Monday, March 11, 2019

There's always something!

I recently sold a small estate of photo gear on eBay for a client.  In the midst of all this, of course, I have been getting things going on home improvements and contractors, etc.   So, I was greatly relieved when all the eBay items had sold and shipped off to the buyers.  After over a week past the sales, I did all the accounting, paid off the fees, etc., the client, and took my small percentage.  Then, over the weekend, I received an eBay message from a buyer that he was not happy with how his lens arrived.  Thankfully, he sent me photos.

This is the Leitz Hektor 135mm lens with bakelite case that I shipped.

It was in excellent condition as seen here, and this was the condition that it was in when it left my hands.

This is the condition it was in when he received it.

In addition, the lens focusing helical was jammed up.

What happened?
It's my fault, pure and simple.  In my rush to get things done, I left the lens inside the Bakelite tube without adding any padding to the top end.  No matter that the entire thing was encased in bubble wrap.  There was obviously enough play inside, that when the package was in transit, all it needed was a nice flat drop on the wrong end to provide enough kinetic energy to the lens to smash the end of the Bakelite tube and ruin a perfectly good lens.  I should have known better. Bakelite is actually a very fragile material and does not resist impact very well if it has aged a long time.  It's not forgiving at all, with little resiliency.  I should have packed the lens separately from the Bakelite tube and all would have been fine.  Do you ever get those nagging little feelings that you should have done something a bit better? That was it, for me.  I knew there was some play inside, but never thought about the worst-case scenario.  I have been selling photo stuff on ebay for many years, without a problem, and this was a case of a bit of sloppiness on my part. 

I gave him a full refund, and thankfully, the Hektor lens was only $46. 

A relatively cheap lesson for me. 

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