Tag Archives: packaging

A Quick Word on Packaging

Having bought several thousand items on eBay over the years you would think I was quite good at it, wouldn’t you?

It seems I’m not. I did spot that several items that seemed cheap last night had serious deficiencies, which an honest seller would have noted in the box for reporting the condition. However, I bought a medallion last night which I didn’t think about too hard and just found, on paying for it, that the postage and packing is about twice what we would charge. And we, as we keep being told, charge too much.

It’s only  couple of pounds, but it goes to show that you need to be careful when buying.

One of my least favourite things happened last Saturday. Someone decided he could save money by sending us an envelope containing his own packaging. I haven’t seen that done for twenty years and thought it had died out.

If you want the postage and packing for nothing, come and pick the item up from the shop. I had a few people do that to me before, and they always send woefully inadequate packaging materials. last time it happened to me I wrote and said that I would use the materials provided but that it was at his risk. He wrote back demanding to know what I meant and I told him what I thought of his materials (bubble wrap with most of the bubbles already popped, and an ordinary envelope). He decided to argue his case and it went downhill from there.

The one that sent the stuff last week sent substandard packaging AND understamped the envelope. We added 20p of stamps and effectively paid him for the privilege of sending him his order. I’d have sent it back with the stamps as provided and let him pay the Post Office the £5 penalty charge. The others, being nicer to customers than I am, put the stamps on and posted it for him.

What these people don’t understand is that there is a cost to having a properly wrapped parcel.

However, I’ll leave it at that, as this could be a whole new rant and it’s the Numismatic Society tonight, so it’s now time to chat to Julia and have a cup of tea.

Day 182

I spend seven hours a day, five days a week trapped in a windowless box of a room staring at a computer screen. On most days I only hear two sounds, apart from the voices of my co-workers – the noise of the rain on the flat roof and the asymmetrical thwack from next door’s food mixer. Commercial planetary mixers have a distinctive sound which I remember from the one we had on the farm.

From this point of view it’s not surprising that my days all merge into one and offer little of interest.

Most interesting today was a customer who ordered a Cigarette Card Catalogue from us. They are  big heavy books and it had arrived damaged. His letter of complaint was querulous. It seems that it was hard to blame the post office for the state of the book when we were the ones at fault for our poor packaging.

We could, it is true, pack them better. If we did so it would increase the weight of the parcel, and its thickness, and put it into another postage category. They are already expensive to post and the extra cost would probably mean nobody bought one. We send one or two a month and this is the first to get damaged.

I would have taken issue with his comment about the post office. The book had clearly been dropped on its corner (hence the damage) and it had also clearly been messed about, as the envelope was seriously creased and tattered. Something had gone badly wrong and as it had been fine when we handed it over it was definitely the fault of the post office, despite the assertions of the customer.

The truth is that it had been damaged by a combination of bad treatment and insufficient packaging. All tyhe customer needed to do was send pictures (which he did) and ask fro a refund. There was no need to start attaching blame or criticism.

Anyway, we apologised and offered him a partial refund or a replacement book. This provoked another long email about blame and fault and unfairness and made it quite clear he was looking for an argument.

Sometimes you wonder about what goes on in people’s minds. However, rather than argue we carried on smiling and being nice. We have already lost money on the book, no point in spending time (which is, as we know, money) on arguing about it.


Time Passing

I realised on Sunday evening, as I sat by the fire watching TV, that it was the first time in about a month that I have not noticed any pain. It’s very relaxing. I now need to make sure, as much as I can, that this continues. I can’t do much about  the weather but I can make sure I lose some weight, do my hand exercises and order the pills in plenty of time.

That was about all I did during the afternoon, as the promise of the morning faded. We had stir-fried vegetables for tea and watched Miss Marple. After that I read a few more blogs and went to bed. Life is less fun since I had to start working Mondays again.

It became even less fun when I actually arrived at work after dropping Julia off. We had one parcel of 14 items to send to Australia and one of eight items to send to Canada. IN addition there were invoices, queries, offers and fourteen other parcels to send. At one point, I started to swell up like the Incredible Hulk. I couldn’t find several of the bits I wanted, things have been moved since the last time I looked at them and time was pressing. Just as I was about to ask for help in locating several of the pieces, a customer came in without an appointment. It would be unprofessional of me to offer an opinion of either his parentage or the lonely existence suffered by his two brain cells, but if it were an international event he really could bore for England.

I have  a deadline looming in six days, and nothing fit to send. Another is lurking behind that one and then there are a couple of extras I have slotted in. There are more in May.

Have you noticed that the year is nearly a third over and, having been on hold for lockdown, I have done nothing that I had planned outside writing. Writing is OK, and I enjoy it, but I really did want to get more work done around the house and garden.

Oh dear, Spring has only just started and I am in a panic about time passing. Strangely, I can calm my fears by playing games on the computer, this feeling better whilst, in fact, making the problem worse. Life is strange.

We had pizza and salad for tea tonight – reasonably easy to prepare as we bought the pizzas ready made and just added a few fresh veg. It was made even pleasanter for me because Julia prepared it. I am a lucky man.