Friday, July 24, 2009

A heartBREAKING Pink Saturday, episode fifteen~

Welcome to Pink Saturday! Please visit Beverly at
How Sweet the Sound for more pink eye candy!
You may remember my Pink Saturday post #2, the dainty pink bossom china?
I got them on eBay in January of '07. My brother and SIL had gotten me a gift certificate and naturally it was burning a hole in my pocket! I came across the following auction and my heart skipped a beat:
Antique China Set Delicate Pink Floral Pattern
The auction description:
"My grandmother had these pieces that match her Haviland tea sets and platter (see other auction). These pieces have no manufacturer marks on the bottom, so I do not know who made them. They actually belonged to her grandmother so are very old.
The pieces are very lovely, almost transparent. The design is a delicate pink floral with green vines and leaves. Along the rim there is a very light, raised additional design; white raised frieze. The pieces show very little wear, *one tea cup does have a very, very small chip*. However, these peices of china are in good shape and there are no other cracks or chips. The serving pieces have most of the gold gilt intact.
In the pictures, there are sponge liners between the plates, that is the darker beige you see between them.
Shipping will depend upon location but I will have this packed carefully by the local shipping service. I also suggest insurance."
Sounded great, right?? She did have a low feedback number, but hey... everyone has to start somewhere right?? And it was 100% positive.
I covered all my bases and emailed for a shipping estimate.
Q: Hi there! How much for shipping and insurance to zip -----? Also, how will the set be packaged? Thanks!
A: The shipping and insurance should be around $60 to your zip. I plan to take it to a pack and ship store and have them package it properly. I am assuming they will use bubble wrap and peanuts to be sure it will not break. I am not sure how much they will charge for this service, but I will add that cost on to the shipping fee. I esimated the insurance at $100, but can up that if you would like. Enjoy Bidding!
Hmmm. Sounded OK, RIGHT?!!!
The asking bid was $50. That is how much my gift certificate was for, woohoo! I could handle the shipping.
Oh, did I mention this was a set of china for TWELVE??
I was the only bidder, how exciting! Before paying, I emailed the seller and told her I wanted a copy of the reciept for the packaging, etc.
I waited impatiently for my beautiful set to arrive. Finally I heard the drop at the door. When I picked up the first box, my heart sank.
You could hear clanking china.... and I just knew it was bad.
Now mind you, I expected to have a broken plate here, a teacup handle busted there.... or a crack or two. But nothing prepared me for what you are about to see.
Please~ grab a tissue and perhaps the hand of someone you love and watch the following slideshow. Be sure to enlarge it by clicking in the botton righthand corner.

Ahhh... remember those "sponge liners" the seller talked about in her description? She failed to mention that they were DRY ROTTED. Not that a perfectly spongey 1/8 inch liner would've protected anything fragile what-so-ever from the UPS man!
Was this woman insane?!?!
No bubble wrap... Oh, I take that back. The large platter and small platter were spooned together and wrapped in one sheet of it. You saw how that turned out.
The bottom of each stack of plates was on the bottom of the boxes. There was china dust in the bottom of those zipped *ahem* china protectors. Each stack knocked against each other again and again within the mere handfull of peanuts inside. Oh, the agony.
So I email her and tell her I have broken china. I was trying to be as nice as I could, I was so afraid I would not get reimbursed.
To my surprise she reimbursed my money before I even sent her pictures of the damage. (She's something, huh?!)
She appoligized and wanted to call me to say whe was sorry. Oy, I did NOT want to talk to this woman. Seriously, how stupid could someone be?
I told her that each and every peice should have been bubble wrapped separately. Then she told me that the platter was bubble wrapped.
She was so totally clueless, what could I possibly say?!
Finally all I could muster was "I think we've both learned a lesson here."
It's been over two years and I'm still sick about it. I'm sick that she would even SELL precious family china in the first place. (If she was telling the truth). I didn't save the original photos from the auction, or if I did I cannot find them. But they were all there... perfect and in tact.
As I went though each dish I just prayed for a service for four. I barely got it.
Frankly I'm surprised any of it made it at all... especially the more delicate pieces such as the gravy boat and dishes with lids.
I left her positive feedback; how could I not? I wrote, "Gracious seller remedied issues with damaged goods received. Thank you!"
In the end I guess I made out like a bandit. I'm sure Penny of Lavender Hill Studio would've been rather happy to get a box like that, LOL!
I have saved the peices and do plan to do a mosaic of some sort.... just waiting for the right project to come along.
If anyone has any ideas, please let me know!
Thanks for "listening".....
OH! By the way... inside the box was a reciept from Walmart for bubble wrap and peanuts, totaling about $5.00.


Country Wings in Phoenix said...

Oh Nikki! I would have been absolutely sick. No wonder you are still feeling it. I would be too. Those dishes were just what you wanted, and who would mail them not bubble wrapped? Her mind must have been warped. Oh my. Did you say that you at least got a service of (4)? I think I would have sat in the floor and bawled. Not that it would have helped. I have signed up to follow your blog. It is just beautiful. Please pop over and visit. I would love to have you follow my blog as well. Wonderful PS post Nikki, as maybe you will save someone else the heartbreak by giving them this peice of advice about shipping and requesting specific packing. Country hugs, Sherry

Chris said...

That is a very sad story! I agree that it is even more so that she would sell her grandmother's china! Glad you were able to salvage some of it!

Justine said...

Nikki, I couldn't read most of the post! The text is sooooooo tiny (and I've got 20/20!) and the colors were blending in with the background. Waaaaaaaa!

But... I DID watch the slideshow and OMG. I cannot believe someone would be so careless with their shipping. Did you demand a refund????

Justine :o )

Justine said...

Hmmm... I think the problem is that the page isn't totally loading, so behind the text is your background (rose) color. But the text IS very small! LOL

Justine :o )

Amber said...

I'd have been so furious! I don't know how you kept your composure Nikki! You're a better woman than I am. Glad that it sort of worked out though.

stefanie said...

so sad, maybe you can use the broken ones for a mosaic, so you can still remember them

Anonymous said...

Happy Pink Saturday!

Did I see pink Christmas decorations on your table?

~ Gabriela ~

Jaede said...

People really do make you wonder at times..........It's amazing you got anything that wasn't broken. Such a beautiful set too. Since she refunded you so quickly makes one think she knew she didn't wrap it correctly in the first place.

Bunny said...

Oh my this is such a sad story made my heart sick just to read it and see the video. Happy Pink Saturday

Envoy-ette said...

This just breaks my heart..and burns in my belly. I would have been furious and wondered if she was trying to collect the insurance from UPS and even if I lost the $50, I would have made up for it with my wrath! Stupid people like that shouldn't be in the business of selling and shipping items. How many other "family treasures" has she destroyed after collecting money for them?
I'm sure my response seems over the top...but the only time I ordered something from e-bay, it too arrived without proper packing and the item was a "one of a kind" orginal that could never be restored after shipping. I was so hoping to give it a proper home, but never had the chance.

Anonymous said...

My heart sank reading this story!! I would have been very sad indeed.

As a seller, always always send breakables with insurance and properly packaged. I would hate to be the buyer and have this happen.

Anonymous said...

Heartbreaking I say :-( And to see such lovely, dainty china on the first picture. How excited you must have been to receive them and then this is what's in the box :-(

Ok, maybe you can also save some of those broken china with the flowers in them and let Joy of Cupids Charm make you a wonderful charm bracelet or necklace. Just cheering you up!


Lallee said...

Nikki, I remember your dishes and when you received them. True heartbreak! Being that they were vintage just makes it so sad a loss! I bought some little McCoy pots this past month for my birthday on eBay. I knew when I saw the box they would be broken. Box too small--barely any packing, pots rolling around. I am now waiting for PO and praying they will reimburse with the insurance I paid. It was the seller's fault in my eyes for her poor packing. Sniff. I wanted those pots.

Claudia said...

Oh, my heart was in my throat when I read your post! How heartbreaking. How could someone ship all that without bubble wrap? It is beyond me. I'm so sorry! I'm glad you managed to salvage something from it. My experience on Ebay has been positive with everyone packing things well, but I've never ordered a whole set of china, either!

Happy Pink Saturday.

fitty's pinky rose cottage said...

awww Nikki, I am sorry.. I had bad experience before with seller like that.. I am so sad looking at the broken china.. :( Happy PS

A Southern Rose said...

I hate that this happened to you. Its hard to believe that anyone would think that it would arrive undamaged, packaged that way. What was she thinking!?

On a brighter side, you could mosaic a buffet or a teacart or a side table. I'm sure that you will think of something!

Hugs to you,
Lee Laurie

Elena said...

O h dear, this is such a sad story - to see all that beautiful china in such a state.

But what I do like about all of this is how you handled the situation and that you are going to turn this into a positive. I hope we get to see what you make and how your mosaic creation turns out.
I'm sure it's going to be fantastic.

Have a wonderful week.

ciao for now,
Elena :)

Rue said...

OMG Nikki! I'm so sorry. I had things like that happen too, but nothing like this. I'm glad you got your money back at least.

BTW, your hair looks gorgeous! So does your sister's! Beautiful before AND afters :)


Susie Jefferson said...

I do sympathise - but I'm afraid I couldn't READ your post as the colour of the text and the background colour appear the SAME colour to me! I could only read the green bits and then read between the lines, lol.

Did you use PayPal? If so, you should be covered insurance-wise, although that's not much comfort when you want the china not the money! I'm also pretty sure eBay has a complaints procedure. It really is too bad that the seller couldn't be bothered to invest in bubble wrap and paper.

Happy Pink Saturday anyway! (Big apologies for not visiting sooner - it's been a hectic week for me, and I was teaching Saturday AND Sunday, so this is my first chance to blog-hop).

Penny from Enjoying The Simple Things said...

Oh Nikki! I am so sorry that happened. I can't tell you how many times I have purchased china on ebay and they have arrived just wrapped in a single sheet of newspaper and loose in the box. They always arrived broken that way.

The funny thing is, I don't want them broken for my mosaics. I break each piece with tile nippers in the exact size I want. I do create custom pieces from other peoples china, so if you are interested let me know...

vickie said...

Hi, I'm still looking at last Saturday's Pink Saturday! What a sad story. Hopefully you can do a mosaic project with the pieces, or have Penny make something for you!

Christie said...

Oh Nikki, my heart sank when I saw how that package arrived. I can only imagine how disappointed you were. I am glad to know that the woman made it right, but it was still sickening that all of those plates ect. got damaged like that. I think using them for a pretty mosaic project would be a wonderful way to repurpose them. They are such a beautiful pattern. I have been wanting to learn how to do mosaics with china too. I was just at a web site trying to learn more about it's the address I found the other day it gives some good instructions that I printed off...though I'm sure there are many more video tutorials on the internet too. It's good to know that some of the pieces survived the disaster...I don't know how though! I hope you have a great week....
Big Hugs,

paintergal said...

Unbelievable that she shipped that precious china to you like that.

Lori said...

You were far more gracious then I could have been! How terribly sad! Lori

Beverly said...

Ugh! That is heartbreaking.!!!

Happy Pink Saturday.

Cami @ Creating Myself said...

I've bought loys of china from eBay over the years & the only mishaps I had were a set of Havilland Moss Rose & a black & white toile set. Both auctions closed at a very low price. I think some sellers just don't want to spend time & money packing carefully if the auction doesn't reach what they think it should.

You were lucky to be reimbursed. The moss rose seller refused to reimburse me, saying that I could collect the insurance on it but the seller w/ the toile refunded all my money & let my keep the broken plates. I was still able to salvage a service for 4 out of it though so I resent her half back.

Shipping has gotten so high now that I haven't bought any china from eBay in some time.

Rechelle ~Walnuthaven Cottage~ said...

OMGOSH!!! I know I would have been feeling rather ill as well.
Ugh. Glad you were able to find some unharmed pieces, but geez louise!

KatCollects said...

Wow, now that is scary. Since you were willing to pay the extra for all the packaging why in the heck didn't she do what she said and have it properly wrapped. I am sorry you were disappointed, I would have been too.