Oozing Goo - The Lava Lamp Syndicate

Hi people,

So as you know, lamps and other items sometimes don't make it to their destination in one piece. Is it the sellers responsibility to ensure the item or items is properly packed?

I for one am getting tired of receiving item that is broken and/or just damaged. Some sellers are aware of the damage is their responsibility but some are just rude about it. Isn't there a policy on eBay that the items must be packed properly? A guideline of sorts for the seller. When the damage happens do you ask for a full refund or partial depending on the damage? How as a seller can they deny the damaged item for a refund or how as a buyer get a refund or partial refund from a disgruntled seller? Who is right and who is wrong? I know about the resolution center and I'm in the process now but it's just a pain sometimes.

Let me know what stories you have and your stance on receiving something broken or damaged during shipment. I know I will ask the seller to pack the items properly from now on.

Thanks for your response in advance.

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Replies to This Discussion

Take lots of pictures.

If the outside of the package is damaged, it is the carrier's issue. If you have insurance, then the seller needs to work with you for the insurance claim. (i.e. providing receipts). 

If the seller is 100% at fault then the pictures will reveal the issue. Sometimes the seller will ask you to send it back (just to get your goat).


I had one seller where I sent packing and shipping instructions. They got mad at me for "telling" them how to pack it and subsequently did it wrong on purpose. The lamp came sqaushed. I provided lots of pictures on a web page where I archived bad sellers and pictures of them. They forced me to send back the package at my expense. but they begrudgingly refunded me.


They had no case, because I sent them very clear detailed instructions on how to pack/ship. They complained on eBay's mail system so they could not dispute the issue.


Some sellers may see the instructions, then charge you more. I had one seller charge me $20 more because they did not get the price they wanted. For the $20 they ended up with bad feedback both for overcharging me and shipping the lamp 60 days later. 


Most sellers will work with you. The key is to provide really good packing instructions and examples. Most sellers will try.

I myself bought something off eBay and I did not specify packing instructions but it did come damaged. Now because it came damaged am I stuck with it? Do I ask for a partial refund or just ask for a full refund and return the items? I have opened a claim just in case. This is not my only purchase that is damaged at the moment and I will have to open another claim.

My question is this, my item arrived broken and I don't feel like I have to buy a broken item that wasn't packed well which is why it got damaged. If the item was insured it wouldn't be a problem but it wasn't. So is it the sellers responsibility to ensure the item arrives safe?

It is the sellers responsibility to provide safe packaging.

This is where your pictures provide the details. Consider your self as a mini lawyer proving a case of responsibility.

You don't have to accept a broken item if the seller's packaging was inadequate. The seller may feel they took all kinds of precautions, but some really do not understand the traveling issues with lava lamps. 


In the future it's up to you to provide instructions and to request insurance.  Otherwise they will always be coming broken.

In my situation the first few packages came broken, after I provide instruictions and requested USPS priority or UPS ground, the frequency of broken items dropped greatly. The only items that arrived broken after that were from sheer negligence.


Pictures of packaging are key.

Hi, interesting points - as a business seller on eBay and with a website shop too, and specialising in selling lava lamps (including custom made black Grandes!), this is a big issue for me.  No courier will insure items containing glass or liquid, so it is in the seller's best interest to pack the item well. The buyer has a right to expect the item to arrive undamaged and so the seller needs to accept responsibility for any damage - lsater, they can then take it up with the courier of Royal Mail, etc.  Those sellers who refuse to replace or refund items arriving damaged are breaking the law, as well as just giving bad service.  And those sellers who say that the buyer should should be the one who should place a claim with royal mail or the courier etc are just plain lazy.  Its basic good service for a seller to accept responsibility for an item arriving undamaged.  I rarely have lamps arrive broken because I send them out in custom ordered outer packaging, to prevent this, but sometimes it can happen.  Accidents can happen, and the buyer should not have to accept responsibility.  As far as eBay goes, if you receive a damaged item and the seller refuses to do anything, that is the time to open a dispute.



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