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Stamp Lost In The Mail, Advice On Next Steps?

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Valued Member
United States
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Posted 02/17/2021   11:28 am  Show Profile Check pascoe's eBay Listings Bookmark this topic Add pascoe to your friends list Get a Link to this Message
I recently bought a US #292 and #293 on eBay. They were shipped via USPS. I got a tracking status update saying "visible damage" and hoped for the best. The envelope arrived, hand marked with "rec'd unsealed". I held my breath while carefully opening and unfortunately the #292 was not inside. The #293 was inside.

I took the following photos as I was opening the envelope and sent them to the seller asking him to confirm what stamps he sent.

Front of envelope, with rec'd unsealed visible


Back of envelope


Top of envelope, looks like it was opened is transit, taped closed with clear packaging tape


Contents of envelope, foam board insert, folded paper


Unfolded paper, stamp storage card visible


Everything from envelope laid out, missing the #292


Seller replied saying:

Quote:
Sorry but both stamps were in there. Go to post office and tell them the situation. Both were insured. I will pull the receipt from my paper work and try to send it to you


Does anyone have a similar experience with advice for me on next steps?

My ideal situation is getting a replacement 292, either now or down the road once the seller acquires another one - but this seems like wishful thinking. Getting my money back would be a consolation, and expected. Maybe the seller finds the #292 on the floor in their home?

Who bears what responsibility in this situation?

I don't think I should share the sellers eBay name but they have been a member since the 1990s and zero negative/neutral feedback in the past 12 months. No red flags and has been very responsive thus far. I have confidence they will help me, I just want to ensure I'm not overlooking something. You all have such great advice!

Thank you for your thoughtful responses!

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Edited by pascoe - 02/17/2021 4:52 pm

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Posted 02/17/2021   12:08 pm  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The seller is on the hook, they purchased the insurance. I would tell them that it is their responsibility to make the USPS claim and that you simply need them to refund your money.
Don
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United States
682 Posts
Posted 02/17/2021   1:14 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree. Your contract is with the seller, and his contract is with the USPS. It is only circumstance that your motivation for a resolution is very high, whereas his is not so high. If he is a decent human being, then his level of motivation should be enough to get it done.
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Posted 02/17/2021   2:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Asking you to follow up with the post office is passing the buck frankly.
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United States
208 Posts
Posted 02/17/2021   3:39 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Rich60 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Hi
Sorry you have this problem.

This is why sellers should always seal up 102 cards in a glassine and tape it shut. Then tape it to the strengthener in the envelope. Things move around in the mail - sometimes quite dramatically. No excuse for things moving about in the envelope. The seller despite his good ratings is on the hook here for not doing his due diligence in packing the order. I pack my orders like they are going to dropped out of an airplane at a 1000 MPH and kicked down the street to your home.

Good luck
Rich60
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Posted 02/17/2021   4:21 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add uboatnut to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Even if you tried to file the insurance claim, the PO can't deal with you. It can only deal with whoever bought the insurance, and that is assuming the purchaser files the claim themselves. They get paid only if USPS thinks the claim is valid.

Hindsight being 20/20. you should have refused delivery immediately when you saw the external damage and "received unsealed" designation, and had the envelope returned to the sender. Let HIM open and assess the contents, and inform you of his decision to refund, reship, or file the insurance claim.

Either way, it's the seller's problem to resolve. And don't let your eBay time limit expire before you take action to recover your money.
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Edited by uboatnut - 02/17/2021 4:21 pm
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Posted 02/17/2021   4:24 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add Torin to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I agree with Rich60. This looks like a poor/cheap packing. If there is a poor resolution to your order, I would mention this in the negative feedback.

I am puzzled by something though. How is this regular envelope which doesn't look to be very thick considered a First Class Package? I don't have the specifications memorized, but doesn't a First Class Package have to be a minimum thickness? For a very slightly higher cost to the seller, the seller could have placed those stamps in a 9x12 envelope with cardboard backing for better shipping protection and sent it First Class Package. The additional weight and cost of the 9x12 envelope would have been worth it to ensure a satisfied customer. As an eBay buyer, I notice packaging quality and praise sellers that do it well.
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Posted 02/17/2021   4:30 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rogdcam to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
All of this assumes that the seller had any or enough insurance to cover the loss and I would bet against it judging on the "cost effective" packaging. The seller still should refund you but it will be telling if there is pushback on that.

Edit To Add: I took a look at the listings. You would think that for $4 the seller could at least use a quality rigid mailer. The 293 listing mentions insurance in the listing itself but not in the shipping section. No amount is specified. The 292 makes no mention of insurance anywhere. Read the fine print when you are going to dump a few hundred bucks. If Amazon shipped you a $300 widget in an old inadequate cheap box you would be ticked off. I hope that all ends well.
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Edited by rogdcam - 02/17/2021 4:44 pm
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Posted 02/17/2021   4:50 pm  Show Profile Check 1typesetter's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 1typesetter to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I use Stay-Flats to mail my stuff. Nothing irks me more than receiving a purchase in a regular envelope with no stiffeners. Put an extra 50 cents on your shipping and use rigid envelopes. Simple as that.
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Posted 02/17/2021   6:25 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add rod222 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply

Quote:
I use Stay-Flats to mail my stuff. Nothing irks me more than receiving a purchase in a regular envelope with no stiffeners. Put an extra 50 cents on your shipping and use rigid envelopes. Simple as that.


I find that problem here in Australia, darn difficult to find a rigid envelope, all the Australia Post envelopes, are limp and thin.

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Posted 02/17/2021   6:49 pm  Show Profile Check kcaramat's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add kcaramat to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Insurance is always for the seller. The buyer is covered by eBay. File a claim with eBay for damaged shipment.
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Posted 02/17/2021   7:42 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add gmot to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Two rectangular pieces of cardboard, taped on all sides around 102 card(s) holding the stamps. Stamps won't fall out and it won't get bent during transit.
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Posted 02/17/2021   8:54 pm  Show Profile Bookmark this reply Add mootermutt987 to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I receive lots of stamps (granted, not as valuable as the ones we are talking about here...) that are packed in a regular envelope, but the seller has cut up a Priority Mail (or Express Mail) envelope to size and placed (or taped) the glassine inside the cut-to-size corner of the PM or EM envelope. No sliding around, and thin enough to get through the system. The PM or EM envelopes are free at the PO, too. I would expect better packaging, though, for items as expensive as what we are talking about here! It is in the seller's best interest, too, to spend a little more to get it right.

We are a curious (aka: nosy) bunch. Keep us informed as to how this turns out. Good luck!
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Posted 02/18/2021   12:04 am  Show Profile Check pascoe's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add pascoe to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
I just took stock of all of your comments (and some I got on twitter) and compiled a response to the seller. My fingers are crossed for positive next step and goodwill offered by the seller. I will keep you posted.
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299 Posts
Posted 02/18/2021   11:12 am  Show Profile Check pascoe's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add pascoe to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
The seller is now offering this as a response:


Quote:
After over a half hour on the phone with e bay, they finally figured out
that I have to file a claim. I will file the claim on 2/22 as that is the earliest
I can file. It was fully insured. Upon acceptance of the claim, I will either
credit your pay pal account or mail you a check. I was on the phone for
over 45 minutes. At least you got one of them. You should ask your PO
if they found the stamp as they probably do not know what it is. I am
hoping they e bay accepts my claim. Any questions just e mail me.


I don't like that they are wanting to wait until acceptance of the claim on their end. Shouldn't they refund me straight away?

Any advice on checking in with my local post office? There is no way of knowing where the stamp "fell" out but since it is such a significant item I think I will call my local PO and ask them if they found anything.

Should I submit a request for refund through eBay or PayPal at this time? Something about waiting longer for this seller sounds off to me.

Thank you all!
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Posted 02/18/2021   11:42 am  Show Profile Check 51studebaker's eBay Listings Bookmark this reply Add 51studebaker to your friends list  Get a Link to this Reply
Seller is trying to make his problem your problem. The seller owes you a refund no matter what he works out with the insurance/PO (and good luck to him on that). Sounds like you are headed for opening a case with eBay.
Don

Edit: In my opinion this seller is either business ignorant or is intentionally jerking you around.
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