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Addon to A Salutary Tale

(Author: Arup Dasgupta)

After reading a Salutary Tale I thought I should write about my happy-unhappy experience with eBay. I was looking for a set of 142d, tyres for the 1.5 inch pulley and was delighted to see on offer four of them but on sale only to UK. The seller agreed to sell to India and by Royal Mail small packets. That done, I put in a good bid (meaning about twice of their worth) as I lose out because auctions usually close when I am asleep. I woke up this time to the good news that I had won and at a price well below my bid. PayPal was accessed and in the regulation 7-8 days I received the small packet. Oh joy, where are the scissors, snip snip, and what is this? Out comes four pretty good 142cs!

I shot off an email to the seller and got back a reply that he had measured the outer diameter as 38mm which was as close to 1.5" as it could be! Now 142cs are pretty cheap, there was a set of four going for 1.20 pounds which was way below what I had paid. So I put together a 1.5 inch pulley, a 1 inch pulley my existing 142c and the impostor 142d next to a scale and shot the picture off to the seller along with the measurements of the pulley ODs and tyre IDs.

In reply I got a contrite note saying that he was unaware of these details not being in to Meccano and engineering and all that. Would I be interested in retaining the four 142cs for 1.20 pounds and he would refund the balance? That seemed to be the best course. So now I have four decent 142cs at a reasonable price and balance in my PayPal account. That is the good part. The bad part is I lost some pretty good offers for 142ds and now the supply seems to have dried up!

The seller gave me a good feedback on eBay and I reciprocated as I think the mistake was genuine and the seller was quick to admit his error and give a workable solution.

Barry      (at 10:25pm, Wed 24th Aug, 11)

A short time ago I advertised a 1973 #5 with a 5X and 6X add on. I ended getting more than twice what I expected. The buyer was a young local and picked up the goods. I felt a bit guilty about the value so he went away with a made up 7X that I managed to scrounge enough parts for from assorted eras and a #1 clockwork motor in addition. He was very happy.

Charles      (at 5:20pm, Fri 8th Apr, 11)

I think that overall that's an excellent result and you were lucky to come across such a forgiving seller. You can't expect sellers to know what they're talking about (unless they are professional traders), and you do need to look very carefully at the photograph of what you're getting rather than the description which can be complete nonsense. The difference with the "Salutory Tale" is that that description was given by an auction house, who are paid to know what they're describing and are supposed to give reasonably accurate descriptions (or at least state clearly that they're not sure).

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