Monday, December 6, 2010

How not to ship model cars - damaged in transit ebay purchase

When I sell things on Ebay, I mail them to their new owners using a new Australia Post box, and plenty of bubble wrap. I believe you should receive your car in the same condition as I would like to receive it. After you have paid me - it is your car. This is not how everyone thinks. Recently from Ebay, I bought a 1:32 Carrera brand 1970 Plymouth Roadrunner Superbird. I dont collect slotcars and I dont collect 1:32, but I do collect Superbirds. I won it really cheaply - it cost $8.95. 
A few weeks later, I receive a card to come and collect a parcel. The card from Aus Post asked Darren Raggs to come and collect a parcel. It took some minutes of negotiation to convince Aus Post that I was who I was, that the seller had just scribbled a name instead of printing it, Raggs sort of looked like Haas etc, and that I could predict the contents if they opened it at the PO counter. They were convinced, and let me take the parcel. I use this PO several times a week, so I think that also helped.
As I walked off with it I could hear rattling, could feel hard plastic or a box, and noticed several tears on the plastic reg post envelope. Not good.
I decided to photograph the opening, and sadly I was presented with a Superbird with no wrapping, protective or otherwise. None whatsoever. The seller has just jammed the car and display case into a plastic envelope. Jammed is the right word too, as the plastic envelope had been stretched and pulled over the plastic display case. No bubblewrap or foam beads to be seen anywhere. I could see the first breakage as I made the first opening cut. It was very disappointing.
 Completely smashed right through.
 Same on this corner
 Back is smashed also
This is the Ebay ad for the car. 

As can be seen, by not wrapping the car in bubblewrap and then placing that into a box, then mailing it, the seller has guaranteed that the item will be damaged in transit. I just cannot understand the thinking of the person who would do this.

I paid for registered post, so obviously the seller is thinking of their own protection, and there's nothing wrong with that, but they certainly were not thinking of the safety of the item they had sold me.

If there is one positive, it is that the Superbird is undamaged. The display case is unusable though.

After looking at the damage, I emailed the seller to tell them what had happened. I indicated I would be leaving negative feedback. That was four days ago, and they haven't responded. Today I left negative feedback and a comment that the item was sent with no protective wrapping, resulting in damage.

If any reader mails cars, please look at these photos and appreciate how a few moments with some bubblewrap and tape, and using the correct mailing media for the item can ensure that damage such as that shown here, will not occur. Bubblewrap is your friend. It is also the reason I use Aus Post boxes, foam beads and bubblewrap when I mail cars. People occasionally whinge at the cost ($7 minimum) but perhaps now they can understand why I wrap cars so carefully before mailing them.

Related posts:
Ebay Paypal Dispute Resolution unfair to sellers

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Leyland Force 7 and its German doppelganger from Audi

Last weekend I went to the EPIC Swapmeet (which was an EPIC fail...), and I snapped a foter of this early 70's Audi coupe in 1:18, by a company I had never heard of called 'Anson Collectibles'. It struck me instantly as 'Force 7ish'... Coincidentally, I received on the following Monday a 1:43 Trax Select Leyland Force 7 coupe, in resin. I plan a detailed article on this model, but thought i'd post this now so you could all see just how similar the Audi and Leyland designs are. I like to think the Force 7 is a little more modern...
Anson Collectibles 1:18 diecast 1974 Audi 100 Coupe
Trax 'Select' 1:43 resin 1974 Leyland Force 7 

Its pretty amazing that both companies had cars that looked so similar, in the same year! 

Canberra Model Vehicle Collectors Club - Nov 2010 Meeting

On a cold  and wet November evening, the members of the CMVCC gathered at the Eastlakes Football Club to talk diecast and peer at scale model diecast vehicles. I'd forgotten all about the meeting, and had missed the last one, but I had run into Peter the day before at the EPIC Swap meet, and he had reminded me. 
Peter had just taken delivery of a bunch of Morris Minor diecast. They are N scale and 1:76 scale by Oxford Diecast. 
 N-scale Morris van
Very attractive and detailed 1:76 Morris convertible. This reminds me of Arthur Beares car from 'Mother and Son'.
 N-scale Morris van. Thats a pen in front of it so you can comprehend just how small this car is. The tampo printing on the number plates is legible. Amazing. Very cheap too, only 5 bucks each.
Box of Matchbox Collectors Club era Dinkys. Nice Tucker Torpedo.
The theme of the evening was 'dioramas', I didn't know this as I didn't get the email, but I was BURSTING to show off my newly acquired Trax Select Force 7 in 1:43. I bought along a Trax P76 in the same colour, to show the pair. I bought a cardboard box, and a pillow case, and created a small display. Louis bought along a micro machines fold out garage, and won the diorama category.

If you are in Canberra, and collect diecast, this club is a fun place to talk diecast and display and show off your cars. We meet once a month and its very casual. Email me for details.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

2010 Queanbeyan Swap meet - Diecast Haul

Unlike last years Queanbeyan Swapmeet, this years had much better weather with no rain! There were many vendors selling diecast, not just in the dedicated diecast hall, but also scattered among the individual sites, with people just selling off parts and general car related (mostly) stuff. A full report on my two days at the swapmeet can be found on my other blog 'On Four Wheels'.
I came very close to buying this, but I have other 3 inch service stations that just sit in their boxes, and no room to display, so i left it behind for someone else to take home I did circle back several times while I ummed and aahed about it though. I think it was Australian made, from the late 60's.
I've never seen this many Micro models in one place before. When I arrived serious negotiations were under way over the tanker in the front. It ended up going home with a gentleman. I own one Micro, and thought about buying a few more but none fitted my collecting themes.
Here is my haul! Issues 1-100 of Restored Car magazine, in excellent condition, for an embarrassingly small amount. A few novelty number plates, a tyre ash tray, a 1982 Bathurst Book, a Sidchrome adjustable spanner - and 14 diecast cars.
Matchbox 'Midnight Magic' in black and silver - the only diecast I picked up from the dedicated diecast vendors hall. It cost 2 bucks. A bargain I thought, although it needs a cleanup. Three Australian themed matchbox cars, a Falcon, a Commodore and an FJ. I already had the FJ and Falcon, but not boxed. 5 bucks each.
Three Fun Ho diecast. new Zealand made toys roughly Lesney sized. A Ford truck, a Bedford and an articulated lorry. All very rough, but complete. My first Fun Ho and as anything that you have more than three of is a collection...
These two Ford GT's are kids toys. Made by Kinsmart. I picked them up and thought that apart from the odd 1:36 scale, not bad for 5 bucks each. The Anglia behind it was from the same vendor, and is also a kids toy, also in 1:36, by Saico.
A golden Trax FJ Holden in 1:43 - I have no idea what its worth, but I paid about what it cost new. The two Matchbox Kingsize were IIRC ten bucks each. In excellent condition. The K-7 Racing Transporter has no racing car, but is complete apart from that, clean glass and stickers. I love the K-7, and have a small fleet of them.

Overall I had a great day looking for Ford and Leyland parts, old motoring books and magazines, and of course tiny cars. When I was laying out my treasures to photograph I realised I only bought one car from the vendors in the dedicated diecast building. Why? Several reasons- firstly, I already had a lot of the cars that they had on sale that fitted my collecting themes, secondly, many of the vendors have unrealistic pricing on their wares. Especially on items where the box is atrociously worn, and has obviously been packed and unpacked from show to show. If I am paying a premium I want it mint and pristine. One person had a recent range of 1:32 Australian cars on sale at 60 dollars each - you can still buy them at Toys'R'Us for 15 dollars less!  Then again, some vendors had quite reasonable prices and some would haggle. It never hurts to make a lower offer than the stated price - and I always do.

There were a few exceptions to this diatribe, and I must single out Trevor from Trax. Trax have always had a stall at this swapmeet, and they do sell their cars at their retail price, with a big array of show specials priced at 30 dollars. Sadly I already had everything on the table that fitted my collecting themes so I didn't spend a cent with Trax - but I had a great chat and found out a few things coming up from Trax.
  • The Legends series has a second item in the planning stage featuring Mick Doohan and his World Championship bike. Licensing with Honda is under way. This would be the first motorcycle model from Top Gear. 
  • A Trax 1:43 HQ Statesman is coming out at the end of the year. 
  • No more 1:24 cars are likely, only recolours and different liveries of existing cars.
  • No recolour of the 1:43 Leyland P76 is on the horizon (as far as Trevor knows anyway). 
Trax had a Legends 1:43 Brabham car on the table, so I picked it up and inspected it closely. It doesn't fit any of my collecting themes, so I haven't bought one, but I was very impressed with the first resin from Top Gear. Crisp lines, excellent detail for the scale, good paint, it was a really nice little model.

I had a great two days at the Swapmeet and recommend it to every car and diecast enthusiast. I spent some money, found some treasures and looked at great cars - all in beautiful Canberra weather.

Related posts:
2010 Queanbeyan Swap Meet/All Ford Day Part 1 of 6


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Tuneup for your Superfast Matchbox car

This is obviously meant for one of the early 70's Matchbox 1-75 range of cars, but what on earth is it for ? How do you use the tuneup oil ? Pop the tiny 1:87 hood and fumble for an equally tiny dipstick ? How on earth do you use the track wax ? Mr Myagi style perhaps ? And the brush ?

(photo from the Matchbox Community Forums)

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Out of the Garage - Sold on Ebay

I photograph all the models that I sell, and sometimes these little cars look simply amazing. Im trying to be strict about what I sell, whittling the collection down to my core interests - instead of the Magpie ' I like that car' approach I previously held. This hasnt stopped me buying new cars though, especially Hot Wheels and Matchbox. Sometimes I will also buy 'lots' of car if I see one Im after, and sell the rest.

I thought I might post some photos of cars I have sold here, as a way to remember them. I am glad they have found homes where they are appreciated.

Look at that pickle! Beautiful model.
Great colour scheme, and nice for the Yesteryear collector. 
Great graphics. 
Deep glossy black and period advertising. Nice.
Red and blue Unic taxis.
Three pre-war Brumm 1:43 models. Bentleys sold quickly.
Trio of 1:64 Nascar Hot Wheels. Good detail for scale.
Hot wheels insanity. 
Majorette Golf and a caravan, also sold quickly.
LLedo MG racer, beautiful model. Popular, wish I had more to sell!
Matchbox VW ambulance. 
Vivid yellow Matchbox Ford Transit. Lots of watchers, but took awhile to sell. 
Matchbox Corvette. Very nice colour scheme.
Matchbox Porsche. Common model, but nice and crisp.
I was amazed when this sold, but VW's are always popular.
This went quickly as well. Maisto colour scheme. 
I now regret selling these. Trio of Matchbox Vipers.
Maisto Tonka. Hey - its got four wheels...