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.
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.
And this, after the first hour in the bath: