Online Purchase - Jaw Dropped

First let me open stating that I know it is just a box, and there are many opinions on boxes (keep, toss, burn, sell what have you). I share this story not looking for advice on how to deal with the seller or to be told the box dosen't matter or learn how you manage your boxes, but to find solace in the sharing of your shipping stories that are jaw dropping astonishing in positive, amusing, tragic ways.

A few days ago, I made an online purchase of a Post War Accessory that was complete with original box. This listing would indicate the seller did their research or seems to know their Lionel trains well. Seller shared tracking information and I was excited to get notified that it was delivered today. I got home and saw it on my front porch and I just became exasperated. On my front porch was the nearly pristine original postwar accessory box used as the exterior shipping box!  Of course they went overboard on the clear packing tape. In a corner, the tape had started to come undone and it is very apparent that removing the tape would pull up the fibers of the box and the printing.  Quite maddening if you ask me!

 

Original Post

I always thought all the shipping companies and the post office wants a corrugated cardboard box or something sturdier than a cardboard box. Plus they don't want a bunch of writing or lettering on the box, they want the shipping label and thats it.

San Fernando Valley CA. Joined August 2009

Dennis Rempel posted:

I always thought all the shipping companies and the post office wants a corrugated cardboard box or something sturdier than a cardboard box. Plus they don't want a bunch of writing or lettering on the box, they want the shipping label and thats it.

I agree with your comments however I've found it depends who you deal with at your choice of shipping carrier.

Steve

You may be able to get the tape off. I have had success with placing the box in a very (VERY) damp area for a while until the tape releases. Try leaving the box in the bathroom while several people take showers. Caution...the cardboard will absorb some moisture, and will be permanently affected to some degree.

Arthur P. Bloom TCA 86-23906 "I love the smell of smoke pellets in the morning!"

Arthur P. Bloom posted:

You may be able to get the tape off. I have had success with placing the box in a very (VERY) damp area for a while until the tape releases. Try leaving the box in the bathroom while several people take showers. Caution...the cardboard will absorb some moisture, and will be permanently affected to some degree.

Good idea.  Should several people take a communal shower ?..... More steam can be created that way.....LOL

Dan Padova

 

"In the course of my life I have had to eat my words, and I must confess it was a wholesome diet"..........Winston Churchill

                                                                                                                                        

What a shame that this happened to you especially since the USPS will send shippers priority mail containers free for the asking.

I have found the ‘shoe box’ size to be ideal for most ‘O’ Rolling stock. Pack with newspaper to cushion the item and you have in essence a free and quite sturdy shipping container.

I always thought all the shipping companies and the post office wants a corrugated cardboard box or something sturdier than a cardboard box. Plus they don't want a bunch of writing or lettering on the box, they want the shipping label and thats it.

Plenty of Postwar accessories came packed in corrugated cardboard boxes.

I have had similar things happen, but it's always been on small items. I try to remember to explain to the seller that I am buying the item because of the box. I suggest you try the hair dryer, as has already been recommended. It often works.

C.W. Burfle

As mentioned, a hair dryer will do wonders on removing very sticky tape, UPS labels, etc.  I'm also into RC airplanes and use my hot air gun to remove tape and labels from boxes when I need the box to send an item to someone. 

The air is quite hot so I use some tweezers to grab the tape/label and, slowly, remove the tape as the hot gun precedes the tape to be removed.  You'll be surprised at how effective this is.  I've also used the hot gun to soften epoxy and other glues to remove parts but this has been for wood.  I'm sure plastic parts would melt or deform.

Hopefully, you only cut the tape and, now, can easily remove it, after opening the box.

When removing the tape, move towards the ends of the box lids, etc to avoid, accidentally, lifting the card board from each other.  Same with any rips in the cardboard, move towards the ripped end.

The hobbico version that I use can generate over 400 degrees.  I've never used a hair dryer but a hair dryer probably doesn't generate 400 degrees due to safety and may not be enough heat to easily remove the tape (just a guess).

It appears Hobbico no longer make it but top flite and hanger-9 make them:

https://www.amazon.com/Hangar-...at-Gun/dp/B0006N6XZW    

https://www.towerhobbies.com/c...mp;I=LXHZ16&P=ML

If the seller pointed out that it came with "the original box", and your willingness to pay that price depended on the original box, you could ask for a partial refund...or forget it. I'd probably forget it, especially since I'm not a "box person". When you hit 75, it's amazing how your priorities change.

Hair dryer.

Been there.

Done that.

Glue residue will perhaps remain.....no solution there.

.........

But, J611's advice is my recommended solace.  

Life's too short to lament the folding, spindling, and mutilation of a PW box.

"Seems to know their Lionel trains well"????? .....Methinks rather, a BS (!) graduate of the P.T. Barnum Academy for Sophistic Chicanery and other Thespian Talents, perhaps?

Since you never indicated to the seller that you don't want the original box marred and/or you ask him to make sure the original box is packed in a shipping container in water resistant packing, you are partially at fault.  Live and learn. When I buy on line , I give every seller, regardless if its a store or not, packing instructions. If the seller doesn't like it, then they can refund my money- cause I know when it arrives, chances are good it will get damaged.... been there done that. So far that has only been less than 1% of complaints that I have received and that's fine with me.

NOte, You should give notice to the seller [abeit- not a nasty notice but an informative notice] that the box constitutes 30% of the value of the item. By him being cheap -taping up the oem box and shipping it as and counting on a 20-30 year old box as a safe way to ship is a big gamble! Without a shipping container to prevent damage to the original box, you automatically lost value in that item.

Then I would leave a neutral feedback so the seller will be reminded time and time again for his mistake and hopefully not do it

again [abeit a "***** slap" in his face].  

member:Golden Spike Club Charter Member

    I got a 4 driver motor sent in a ratty looking box that was big enough for a large cake with candles, but only a ¼ to ⅓ filled with peanuts. It was fine, but the packing was a laugh. Not too much else has gone "wrong" for me really.

  You need to send the seller a link to TCA site's section on box grading.

 Or that may have even been the root of twisted thought, since item and box are graded individually.

  I worked in shipping and receiving. It was amazing how some folks packed things. I've received boxes stuffed so neither end closed. Flaps were wrapped over the loads (usallly  mounds and mounds of paperwork) and held shut tight with a half a rolls worth of loops of tape. The end result was anywhere from a giant square-ish muffin in a "cellophane bow", to a square football if they really pushed their luck ,wrapped both ends and used a side as the bottom.

  These were some ultra cheap, depresion influenced, old time sales folks. The multi millionaire founder still scrounged paper clips and rubberbands from the streets around the offices as he inspected the building outside and walked around the block before dumping them in the mail box as he went home every day Took me a year to figure out where they came from!

"Still trying to not shoot my eye out"

 

"Nursing insomnia one railcar at a time"

My aroma therapy? Smoke Pellets.

 





A blow dryer might work, just be careful with how hot you get it, some blow dryers on their hot setting could end up softening the tape as well as the glue.  For me it wouldn't be that big a deal, if I buy an accessory it is to use it, not buying it for its collectible value. I also wonder if 30% of the price will be in having the original box if the item in question is not particularly distinguished, if you buy an operating accessory in decent but not pristine shape and it isn't particularly rare, I suspect those buying it are buying it to use it, not as a collectible (in other words, how angry I would be in my view is if the item is particularly a collectible as versus something people want to use). Me, I would be like some others said, I would slit it open, take it out and use it (play with it), I don't buy things as a collectible or assume it will be at some point, odds are that the stuff I buy won't and quite frankly I likely wouldn't live to see it become collectible if it were

The person who dies with the best toys dies a happy person

Above:

"Cut that tape open, toss the box, plug her in and enjoy." 

Not the point.

I do not collect PW items (I do casually "collect", when convenient and a value, other things - like Williams/Weaver brass locos), but, when I see a PW (for example) item that is also in the original box, I do understand the additional appeal of this. I won't buy it, but I get it. If the box is already gone, fine; but if it's there - yes, it adds intellectual value to the piece and, I guess, monetary value too.  

Heat works. I use a hot air gun but hold it at least ten inches away and move it constantly until the tape starts to ripple. Lift slowly until you feel resistance, then apply more heat. Hair dryer might work. Haven't tried that though.

Its not a total loss.

Pete

You had me a little worried.  I bought from Stout a mint condition 1503WS set and figured they would put all of it in a separate shipping box: and they did.

Their description:

Lot 2170: Lionel Postwar Freight Set 1503WS with 2055 6026W 6462 6456 6465 6257 MINT Boxed

Description: Lionel postwar freight set no. 1503WS, circa 1953 in individual OBs and set box. The set contains; 2055 steam loco with smoke pellets, tamper and instruction sheet, 6026W tender, 6462 black NYC gondola with six wooden barrels, 6456 black Lehigh Valley hopper, 6465 silver Sunoco two-dome tank, 6257 caboose, eight curve track sections, three straight track sections, 6019 remote control track section, 1033 90-watts transformer factory sealed in OB, CTC lockon, set of uncut billboards, instruction booklet and service station pamphlet. The loco and tender have been test run, C8-9. The cars have never been run, C9-10. The individual OBs have all flaps attached. The set box has all flaps attached, but has some skinning.

 

This is my first, and only, complete set with boxes.  I run everything I have and have no boxes for them (save the modern stuff) but thought I'd get one mint set to relate back when I was 7 and got a brand new SF F-3's with 4 passenger cars set.

lionel 1503WS set 01lionel 1503WS set 02

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Unpacked everything and put it in a nice antique, glassed, enclosed cabinet so no dust gets on it.  Very nice set.  Test run engine with smoke, whistle and magna-traction with never used cars plus all the accessories that came with the set, including inspection stickers and literature.  For me, pretty cool: got it in the family room.

lionel 1503WS set 05lionel 1503WS set 06lionel 1503WS set 07lionel 1503WS set 08lionel 1503WS set 09lionel 1503WS set 10lionel 1503WS set 11lionel 1503WS set 12lionel 1503WS set 13lionel 1503WS set 14lionel 1503WS set 15lionel 1503WS set 16lionel 1503WS set 17lionel 1503WS set 18lionel 1503WS set 19lionel 1503WS set 20

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I have had this same set since the early '70s acquired from a coworker. It was my only Lionel train for about 30 years until I got back into three rail.

It was nearly identical to my orgininal 1950 2035 set save the engine and tender, sold off when I got into HO.

Yours is a very fine example.

Pete

Had the same happen to me when I purchased a particular freight car off the bay.  Original orange box was wrapped in clear tape and had the shipping label attached to it.  yes, I got a response back from the seller when he read the feedback I left.  Although I have bought items off ebay, I still prefer to purchase from reputable dealers such as Graham's Trains, Dave's Trains, and others I deal with.  They know the value and take great care to ship proper in all manners necessary.

Jesse     TCA  12-68275 

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