Wednesday, July 30, 2008
Dumb & Dumber
I sold me a fancy plate the other day.
It was definitely NOT true fine china, but a production of some dank Viennese cellar sweatshop where children fed only on dark chocolate bon-bons are forced to paint beautiful designs on display china. It even says Hand Painted Vienna China in fine orange lettering so you can see it from 100 yards and you know it's real.
Or so I thought.
I did say in my listing that it had some minor wear, but was in excellent condition none the less and I suppose that's true, as far as vintage Viennese china goes. I just had a little hiccup @ the point of boxing it up.
I stood there in the bright florescent light of my basement eBay facility which includes a photo booth, shipping table, inventory shelving and monster paper cutter I rescued from an old dumpster.
The bright light played me false. I looked at the plate & it had the distinct appearance of having been flailed with a cat-o-nine-tails laced with tacks & coated with abrasive carborundum chips.
How do I know that look?
Let's call it a vivid imagination. Let's just say, the line between reality and any given nightmare I create is mighty thin. So, I've convulsed to death from a sever head blow, drowned, burned, tasted Zyklon-B gas, been crushed to death under a leaky port-a-potty, and sadly, seen this lovely plate thrashed with such an aforementioned device as the China Distressing Cat-O-Nine!
What would I think if I got this gnarley piece of landfill and paid 12 bucks for the privilege?
I'd think, "Fuck this guy! I got ripped off! I never ordered a fucking plate!"
So, I think that this guy is gonna be pissed.
Unless he understood that minor wear was an expectation of condition when the words "vintage" and "handed down" are used. I mean, you can see the picture of it. Can't you see the yawning white spaces of china showing through the gold?
That's not enough. I didn't get 1000 positive feedbacks by splitting hairs and frankly I don't deserve the 12 bucks. So I compose a letter to the customer.
"I was putting the plate in the box & looked at it one last time and realized I was perhaps too enthusiastic about the "minor wear" in the gold leaf. This has happened before. I think everything is fine, but when I give it the last check, it looks far worse than I first thought. Sometimes it's as simple as "the right light".
I'm hoping you don't agree, that I'm overreacting and it's just a rare form of Fine China Dysmorphic Disorder on my part.
However, I'd much rather err on the side of caution and not leave you feeling ripped off, because I hate that! I claim to be trustworthy & I'm serious. If you have any problem with the plate, let me know. If not, enjoy and I'm glad it was just dysfunctional anxiety. Thanks. Peace, HB�"
I can see this guy now rubbing his hands together in a Mr Burns, sort of "I've got him now" fashion and looking for any way he can take advantage of my disorder and get a free plate. He probably doesn't even open the box before emailing his utter disgust at my flagrant mail fraud in attempting to foist off this piece of dross on such a fine American as himself. This is tantamount to retail terrorism! An outrage!
He marks me down as the worst seller on record, somehow managing to give me two negative feedbacks and a letter of censure from eBay.
He demands his money back and treble damages for my gross misconduct!
I'm out $60!
Maybe he's a regular guy and I need to get over myself.
He can plainly see the gaps in the photo I used.
What the fuck is his problem anyway?
It's only a fucking plate...
Two days later, he's got his plate. I'm waiting for the inevitable "there's a problem" email. Instead, I get this feedback:
Lovely item. Smooth, easy transaction. Prompt service and shipping. THANKS.
Kick me in the ass & call me shorty!