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Old 11-04-2018, 03:34 AM   #1
astrobrain
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Should I unbox a brand new still-sealed statue to photograph it for eBay?

Alright, the title's the question I need the answer to, but Iíll give a bit more detail.

Several years ago I owned a comic book store. Like many comic stores, it didnít last long. I was open for about a year and a half. I sold statues. Not enough to pay the rent, but I sold 'em, and when I closed the doors I still had a few in stock.

This stock went back into their boxes, then into a series of boxes that went into a storage room in my house, and theyíve sat there since.

Iím in the process of cleaning this room out, and Iíve decided to finally sell off or donate some of this old merchandise, including the statues I had in stock. A couple of these statues seem to be in extremely high demand. At the time I closed shop, one was on display in my display case. The other has never been opened.

When I say itís never been opened, I mean the tape is still intact around the styrofoam shell.

Now, Iím going to list this item on eBay. All of the other statues had been on display in my display cases, so I was able to photograph them. I havenít yet photographed the one that is still in its unopened state, because... frankly Iím not sure if I should open it. From recent listings on ebay, this thing's gone for a chunk, and I figure if it's brand new, virgin sealed, it might fetch a higher price.

On the other hand, with it being sealed, I canít verify that it's still in one piece. I mean, there shouldnít be anything wrong with it. But I havenít checked.

So Iím asking for advice. Is it better to leave it sealed and let the purchaser have the experience of popping open a brand new product? Or should I open the thing and ensure it's still in brand new condition, and take photographs to prove it?

Gimme some help here, guys. Thanks.
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Old 11-04-2018, 07:12 AM   #2
Dan_Lebou
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I'd open them for your own peace of mind.

No matter how many "I won't be responsible if there is anything wrong with the item inside" and "buy at your own risk" statements that you add, eBay will still hold you responsible if there is an issue with the item once it's opened.

If it's a statue which comes in multiple parts then what's to stop someone switching out their own damaged part (or even the whole statue) for your new one then claiming that it was broken when they received it? You couldn't even argue that it was fine when it left you because you don't even know.

There are some people out there who will pay a premium if the item is still factory sealed but I think that there are more people who would rather know that it had only been opened to check and photograph but had never actually ever been displayed and I'm definitely in that last group.
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Old 11-04-2018, 10:26 AM   #3
Gothamite
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Yes. Better to open it now and verify its condition rather than selling and shipping a defective/broken statue.

Here's a personal anecdote: I was interested in a new/sealed statue on eBay. I asked the seller if he'd open it to inspect for damage. He said that it was "more valuable" new/sealed and would open it only if I paid for it. I paid for it, he opened it, and yep, it was broken.
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Old 11-04-2018, 12:27 PM   #4
AlexLothos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan_Lebou View Post
I'd open them for your own peace of mind.

No matter how many "I won't be responsible if there is anything wrong with the item inside" and "buy at your own risk" statements that you add, eBay will still hold you responsible if there is an issue with the item once it's opened.

If it's a statue which comes in multiple parts then what's to stop someone switching out their own damaged part (or even the whole statue) for your new one then claiming that it was broken when they received it? You couldn't even argue that it was fine when it left you because you don't even know.

There are some people out there who will pay a premium if the item is still factory sealed but I think that there are more people who would rather know that it had only been opened to check and photograph but had never actually ever been displayed and I'm definitely in that last group.


Good luck on the upcoming auctions, astrobrain!
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:53 PM   #5
eternalblue02
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I sell statues on ebay from time to time. Sometimes I open them and take pictures and sometimes I donít and keep them sealed. Itís really up to you and how comfortable you are. Ask yourself if youíre prepared to give a refund if you didnít check the item beforehand. Or if itís sealed and gets damaged in transit but you have no way of knowing when the damage happened. Thatís why I like to look first so I can retrace steps if needed.

Gothamiteís point is very valid as well. As a seller I would love to get his/her business so why not check it before it becomes a hassle.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:45 PM   #6
MegatronG1
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There are always going to be dishonst buyers that will extort you for partial refunds, even if you made sure nothing is broken. At the end it doesn't matter, since the buyer is always right to ebay.
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Old 11-08-2018, 05:48 PM   #7
Gothamite
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Originally Posted by MegatronG1 View Post
There are always going to be dishonst buyers that will extort you for partial refunds, even if you made sure nothing is broken. At the end it doesn't matter, since the buyer is always right to ebay.
You can protect yourself by taking and sending pix of how you package items. That way, you've already documented with eBay that you were careful.
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Old 11-09-2018, 10:01 AM   #8
qz33
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Here's the thing: It's all about communication, documented communication.

Put complete terms in auctions. If you only have time to ship on Saturday put that in. Show pictures if it is opened and I've even taken pics as packing to ship with a recent newspaper.
Imagine every time you've bought something what you were expecting, wondering and what went wrong.

Always, always, always list an item AS IS in the title don't leave it for a buyer to read the fine print. Yes, break it down in the description as well.

It's more of a pain but even after the auction completes make communication. If the buyer is interested in sealed send messages asking if they prefer it be left sealed and get the confirmation they will be taking it AS IS risk and all.

And keep in mind there are no guarantees as a seller which is why being a seller sucks and we'd all probably do well to buy less in the 1st place.

And honestly the responsibility/liability/risk IS/remains/always will be on the seller just like in every other form of commerce because the seller initiates the transaction and is the financial beneficiary.

As someone that was scammed many times in the wild west eBay days I can appreciate how it is now. I've bought brand new items only to open a dingy box and have dirt from the earth pour out with no recourse in sight other than driving to pay the seller a visit.
eBay is really in a bind choosing between sellers and buyers but it is a necessary choice and the seller is always taking the initial and financial risk.
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