Yep - only two feedback ratings and a feedback score of only 75%! Guess I was blinded by the lovely cerulean blue of this Smith Corona, thinking a grandchild might enjoy it, and didn't notice that rating. When it arrived today playing peekaboo through its flimsy cardboard box things did not bode well.
And as the unboxing continued, things just got worse ...
I will request my $59.42 back from this seller, but don't anticipate even getting a response (But see the addendum at the bottom of this post!). So what did I learn from this purchase?
- Of course, read the whole listing. Don't buy from sellers with low feedback response or score.
- When paying for the item send an email to the seller with a friendly note requesting them to pack it carefully. Multiple layers of bubble wrap, at 90 degrees to each other, building a cocoon at least four inches thick, placed in a nest of styro peanuts or similar of at least four inches all around inside a sturdy carton, is simple and does the job. Then thank the seller for reading the note, saying how I am looking forward to adding the machine to my collection, It's worked before.
Overall, my experience with eBay has been good. I've received no machines in a condition other than what I expected from carefully looking at the photos and reading between the lines of the description. Of the 30 or so machines (please don't tell my wife) that have arrived, only two were damaged in shipping, and one of them is repairable. But not this one, unfortunately. If anyone needs a Coronet Super 12 for parts, just let me know!
And now for the winner. One of my granddaughters is a writer, in her second year of working toward a degree in marketing. She lit up like the sun when I asked if she might be interested in having and using a typewriter. She even gets it about editing hardcopy away from the distraction of the computer. My quest for a suitable machine resulted in this treasure which also arrived today:
Contrary to my pessimistic expectations, the seller of the unfortunate blue Coronet provided a refund the same day I requested it, for the total amount of the item plus my shipping cost. This is a reminder that I must add a third tip for purchasing via eBay:
3. eBay sellers are, for the most part, well intentioned, and do not purposely try to cheat or mislead. This basic quality of human nature is supported and encouraged by the eBay feedback mechanism. Straightforward and friendly communication is an important part in eliciting that positive human quality.