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I Got Snookered On Ebay, Crud.

esterbrook ebay

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45 replies to this topic

#1 PaperQueen

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 17:00

You know the old warning about sending food back in a restaurant because someone might spit in it? Well, I think an eBay seller just spit on my Estie.  :crybaby:

 

Ordered my first two Esterbrooks on eBay---a Gray Pearl LJ from someone who focuses more on other types of collectible items (higher perceived risk, lower price), and a Copper J from someone who claims to deal in lots of Esterbrooks (lower perceived risk, higher price...$49.99). From the latter listing:

  • Restored state: Working J bar and fresh bladder in each. These pens are guaranteed to write.
  • Overall condition: These pens are in gently used condition. There will be no major flaws, but there may be micro scratches consistent with the age of the pen.  
  • We are fountain pen enthusiasts and our special purpose on Ebay is to provide you with quality writing materials, vintage and new, expensive and economical.

 

The first Copper J arrived with three significant cracks running from the jewel on the cap, downward (it was otherwise in very good condition). I felt this was beyond the advertised "gently used condition...no major flaws...may be micro scratches consistent with the age of the pen."

 

The seller agreed to exchange it for another Copper J. I paid return shipping...she sent the replacement...and...well, read the first line of my post.

 

The new one arrived yesterday. Technically, one could argue the J bar "works," but it's severely rusted, as is the lever. There was so much dried ink caked in the nib, feed, and inside the cap, it's taking endless soaking in Dawn and distilled water (two hours and counting) to clear the mess.

 

As for the "fresh bladder," I'm not sure. Can't get a good look inside, but am concerned by the fact the lever easily flips all the way up, unlike my other two Esties that stop half way, presumably due to resistance from the sac (yes, a third Estie found its way to my stable in the interim). 

 

Is all this worth trying to repair, or should I attempt to return this to the seller (in better condition than it was received)?

 

Something tells me, I'm not the first person to have this happen. :(

 

fpn_1447779223__estie_lever_3.jpg

 

 

fpn_1447779233__estie_lever_2.jpg

 

 

fpn_1447779243__estie_lever_1.jpg

 

And this, after the first hour in the bath:

 

fpn_1447779253__copper_estie_1_copy.jpg

 

 


Why are there fourteen samples of dark plum ink on my desk? Because I still haven't found the right shade.

Is that a problem...???  : : : sigh : : : 

 

Update: Great. Finally found one I love (Lamy Dark Lilac) but I can't get more. Ah, life in my inky world....


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#2 fuddmain

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 17:32

I'm sorry this happened to you.  I've been very fortunate through the years buying Esties through eBay.

 

I think the j-bar is the problem, although it probably needs a new sac as well.  I'd return it.  You can likely get two nice, functioning pens for that price


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#3 Cyber6

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 17:47

Agree... don't bother with exchange with that seller, get your money back.  You can easily find a Copper J in the Classifieds here at a better price and with peace of mind that you will get a well loved pen.

 

Do it asap... before your deadline to file a claim with eBay expires.

 

 

 

C.


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#4 linearM

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 18:02

I agree with Cyber6 the Classifieds here are a great place to find a pen.  And the descriptions are right on.



#5 mmg122

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 18:27

Agree with previous posts...get a refund.

In addition to FPN Classifieds, consider buying Esties at Etsy...Impuse Trading Company and Dricker Woodworking are both very reliable sellers. Dricker is less expensive (about $33-35. for J) but Impuse Trading has a wider variety. Both fully restore the pens they sell and are very honest about known issues. These two sellers have routinely been recommended by many of the Esterbrook experts on this forum.

Hope this transaction is fairly resolved for you.

#6 gweimer1

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 19:19

I agree with what everyone has said.  The pens that I sell are described as accurately as I can make them, flaws and all.  A pen like you got is far from the described condition.  Get a refund.

 

And...my first shameless plug.  You can find me on Etsy as MidnightPens.  I probably have a copper coming before too long.



#7 inkstainedruth

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 19:31

I would return the pen and get my money back.  I would also go out of my way to provide feedback on your experience because other potential buyers need to know this.  I hesitate to suggest opening a dispute though, because then you *can't* give feedback if the dispute is decided on in your favor, which is what happened to me a couple of years ago with a Parker Vector FP/BP "set" (it wasn't, not really, but the real issue was that they sort of "forgot" to include everything listed -- cartridges, a "replacement" filler for the BP -- and then got snotty about it) from a supposedly reputable dealer with a huge number of sales and a 97% positive rating.  Only the problem with 97%?  There's that pesky 3% "unfavorable: rating, and I'm now in that demographic....  Got my money back and got to keep the pens, but was not ALLOWED to give feedback.  :angry: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#8 mmg122

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 21:33

GWeimer1...if I had known you were on Etsy, you'd be getting my business! Speak up, Man! We gotta take care of our own.

#9 PaperQueen

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 21:58

Yet again, I'm in love and awe of fellow FPN members.  :notworthy1:

 

In addition to FPN Classifieds, consider buying Esties at Etsy...Impuse Trading Company and Dricker Woodworking are both very reliable sellers. Dricker is less expensive (about $33-35. for J) but Impuse Trading has a wider variety. Both fully restore the pens they sell and are very honest about known issues. These two sellers have routinely been recommended by many of the Esterbrook experts on this forum.

 

And...my first shameless plug.  You can find me on Etsy as MidnightPens.  I probably have a copper coming before too long.

 

 

Thanks to both of you for the eBay suggestions, and to everyone who mentioned checking the Classifieds here. (Duuuuuh...should have started there!)

 

And thanks for the heads up about filing claims with eBay, inkstainedruth. Wouldn't have known that, and agree that it's important to give honest feedback so other buyers are protected.

 

Off to request the refund (if she refuses, I'll go to AmEx next, since that's the card used for the PayPal transaction).


Why are there fourteen samples of dark plum ink on my desk? Because I still haven't found the right shade.

Is that a problem...???  : : : sigh : : : 

 

Update: Great. Finally found one I love (Lamy Dark Lilac) but I can't get more. Ah, life in my inky world....


#10 Chrissy

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 22:52

Agree... don't bother with exchange with that seller, get your money back.  You can easily find a Copper J in the Classifieds here at a better price and with peace of mind that you will get a well loved pen.

 

Do it asap... before your deadline to file a claim with eBay expires.

 

 

 

C.

 

+1 for this. This is what I would do.



#11 Chrissy

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 22:54

I would return the pen and get my money back.  I would also go out of my way to provide feedback on your experience because other potential buyers need to know this.  I hesitate to suggest opening a dispute though, because then you *can't* give feedback if the dispute is decided on in your favor, which is what happened to me a couple of years ago with a Parker Vector FP/BP "set" (it wasn't, not really, but the real issue was that they sort of "forgot" to include everything listed -- cartridges, a "replacement" filler for the BP -- and then got snotty about it) from a supposedly reputable dealer with a huge number of sales and a 97% positive rating.  Only the problem with 97%?  There's that pesky 3% "unfavorable: rating, and I'm now in that demographic....  Got my money back and got to keep the pens, but was not ALLOWED to give feedback.  :angry: 

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth

 

I have never had this happen. I have opened cases, got refunds and still left feedback for sellers with no problem.



#12 Cyber6

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 23:03

 

I have never had this happen. I have opened cases, got refunds and still left feedback for sellers with no problem.

 

+ Me too... (I think)

 

 

Now.. to clarify my post.  I did not say to open a dispute, I just said to check when is the deadline.   Shady sellers are more "cooperative" before the deadline....   The moment your deadline passes,  they can totally ignore you and eBay will not help because you let the deadline expire. 

 

 

So ask for your money back, and if the sellers takes his sweet time.. .make sure you open a claim before the deadline expires.  Then, let eBay do their thing.   I only had to do it once ...  years ago (5+).. and I was able to leave feedback after, maybe the rules have change.

 

 

 

C. 


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#13 Chrissy

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 23:06

Maybe sellers can't leave feedback for buyers after having had a claim against them and given a refund, but I never heard that there was ever any reason where a buyer couldn't leave feedback for a seller.



#14 PaperQueen

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Posted 17 November 2015 - 23:40

So ask for your money back, and if the sellers takes his sweet time.. .make sure you open a claim before the deadline expires.  Then, let eBay do their thing.

To be safe, and since the clock began ticking when the first (cracked cap) pen shipped, I went ahead and filed a formal return request today. 

 

And...of course...have already begun shopping for a replacement.  :wub:


Why are there fourteen samples of dark plum ink on my desk? Because I still haven't found the right shade.

Is that a problem...???  : : : sigh : : : 

 

Update: Great. Finally found one I love (Lamy Dark Lilac) but I can't get more. Ah, life in my inky world....


#15 Tootles

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 00:17

You know you have given enough information to identify the eBay seller, yes?



#16 inkstainedruth

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 02:30

 

I have never had this happen. I have opened cases, got refunds and still left feedback for sellers with no problem.

I don't know what the issue was.  Maybe it's country dependent (you're in the UK, right)?  Needless to say, though, I was pretty miffed.  And it then made me wonder how many *other* customers had been in my boat that would never get to provide feedback on the seller.  Needless to say they're pretty close to the top of my "do not EVER deal with again on Ebay list".  

The fact that they're *not* the top of that list is probably a bit scary....  Worse?  The guy who wanted $100 US for an Arnold with a non-Arnold nib on it (I paid $30 -- the pen is likely worth about $10.  And also higher on the list is a seller who has meh prices and then you can pay an *additional* fee for restoration work on top of the meh prices (and who was fairly condescending when I sent a query a couple of years ago and who I decided I didn't want to deal with).

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#17 benbot517

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Posted 18 November 2015 - 15:48

I know exactly the seller you're talking about. I bought a pen from them when I was a brand new user. Cap lip was cracked when I got it. It's under "Esterbrook J Fountain Pen You Choose Color and Nib!". 


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#18 pajaro

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 07:39

You have to stick up for yourself on ebay when a purchase isn't satisfactory for the price. 

 

Sometimes I have had a sort of crummy pen that didn't seem worth a lot of hassle, though.  Gave five stars, positive feedback and said it was a crummy pen.


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#19 inkstainedruth

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 17:16

You have to stick up for yourself on ebay when a purchase isn't satisfactory for the price. 

 

Sometimes I have had a sort of crummy pen that didn't seem worth a lot of hassle, though.  Gave five stars, positive feedback and said it was a crummy pen.

I gave positive feedback for an Estie SJ with a 9128 nib that looked as if it was an S when looked out in profile.  Because it was my bad for not looking carefully enough at the photos.  But that time I actually opened a dispute and then *couldn't* leave feedback?  I was pretty PO'd.  Especially since it was a to be a gift.

Ruth Morrisson aka inkstainedruth


"It's very nice, but frankly, when I signed that list for a P-51, what I had in mind was a fountain pen."

#20 cobalt

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Posted 25 November 2015 - 18:55

I buy from people who show at pen shows or operate a professional biz. I know who they are on Ebay and check out their deals from time to time. I'd like to use the Classifieds here but I can't seem to sort by country, to manage currency and postage costs. Any advice on how to search.

 

This OP's problem is important. Why aren't we using this network better?


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