Thursday, March 3, 2011

eBay and True TV not for sissies

When I listed an action figure of Ben Affleck (from his 1998 role as AJ Frost in the movie "Armageddon") on eBay, I had no idea the handsome plastic prince would bring so much drama to my life.

The action figure was paid for on February 21 and shipped out to Santa Monica, California with little fan-fare on February 22 via USPS Priority Mail. On March 2, I received a frantic email from the buyer. It was one of those "Dude, where's my stuff!?" messages that set my heart racing.  It seems "Ben" was needed as a TV show prop that was to be filmed the following Monday and she had to have him by Friday at the latest... that is, Day after TOMORROW!

Looking at the tracking information, I saw that the package had been delivered and a notice left, which usually means the recipient wasn't available to receive the item. After a few phone calls I left a message on the buyer's phone mail. Within the hour I received a phone call back and we agreed that it looked like the Ben was headed back to me. The buyer and I could not understand why it was held only a few days in Santa Monica Post Office before it was sent it back to me. I agreed to get it back to the post office and ship it Express mail immediately to get it to her the next day, her deadline was pressing.

This morning was spent with my usual eBay morning routine, getting shipping labels printed, researching the next items to put up for auction, and taking care of the 1,001 other details that all eBay sellers have to attend.

Noon came and went, no postman! One o'clock, still my postal box was empty. I began to really worry. I had the label printed (this time with the suite number which had been left off the original shipping information) and had researched the cost to Express mail "Ben" back to California. Suddenly, I decided to check the tracking information one more time. To my amazement, it showed the item had been received in Orlando (headed for my place), then sent back westward and received in California about 11:30 last night. Hooray!

I called the buyer (who from the sounds of it was in a meeting) and she told me she had called USPS with the tracking # and told them the problem and that she needed the package sent back to California. I managed to wheedle the details of the TV filming and found out it is to be a prop on TRUTV (network) in an episode that will probably be titled "Forbidden Storage".  TruTV airs such shows as "Hardcore Pawn" a show that I personally enjoy which next airs Tue, March 8 at 10P and the very popular "Operation Repo" which airs Wednesdays @ 9pm. I will be looking for "Ben" on the upcoming show and will let you know more details as I get them.

Lessons learned today:
  1. As a buyer, make sure your complete address is in the Ship To: address field. 
  2. The Post Office will not hold an item more than a few days if address is incorrect or incomplete
  3. Never underestimate the importance of getting a tracking # and putting on each item you ship
  4. eBay is successful, for one thing, because it encourages buyers and sellers to communicate. You won't find that on Amazon!

1 comment:

Kathy Keefe said...

Wow! What a story. I'll keep my eyes peeled for "Ben" too. Love TruTV.