(Disclaimer: this is long) I've been buying and selling on eBay for well over 10 years. I've never had a problem. I've had stupid people that are just stupid but never ongoing, dumb issues.

Until now.

I was selling a Tron: Legacy package that I had won via Twitter from Progressive Insurance. It included a tshirt, a light up pen, a drawstring bag and a poster. The poster was oddly two sided with a mirror image on the "back" of it. All of this stuff had been packed away in its original box in our apartment for about a year.

As cool as it was, I really had no use for it. The poster was nice, but I really don't have the room for it (a "man cave" ... maybe). So it was time to sell it. eBay was the obvious solution... but I didn't really know what to charge. I arbitrarily decided on $35 considering tshirts aren't cheap, neither are posters... and I'd consider the whole thing kind of rare.

So I listed the whole thing here:

Nothing was happening with it for a while but with about a day to go, I got one email from someone asking about the bag and the pen. I told her that I'd offer them for sale separately if no one bought the whole thing. Of course not 2 hours after that, someone did buy the whole thing. I probably would have been better off selling it separately to the lady.

I package the stuff in all the original materials and send it out. In the transaction though, the buyer requested that the poster be "protected." I don't deal in posters and wasn't going to go out and buy a separate tube or packing materials JUST for the poster when the whole package was the sale. I informed him I'd be sending it in the original materials and figured that should be good enough considering that's how it came to me.

Apparently not so much. First contact:

Hi, I received the Tron items today. They arrived right on time via Priority Mail. While I appreciate the bonus items, I really was after the poster. I think I asked that you protect the poster. It was raining out and fortunately, the contents did not get wet. However, since it was not in any plastic or tubing of any kind, there are just numerous creases on the poster. This is not the way to ship a poster.

Also, I looked into this prize package, and the poster given away is supposed to be the autographed one sheet. Is this correct? I don't see any signatures anywhere.

First of all, they weren't "bonus items" ... they were what was for sale. Everything together. It was never advertised as "poster and other stuff." Also, it rained but didn't get wet. OK. Non issue. Why bring it up? Might as well say there was a fire down the street, but the poster didn't burn, thankfully. And this person was not looking at the correct prize package. If this purchase was made assuming this was some special signed poster, that's not my fault. My auction said nothing about signatures or even implied there were anything of the sort. If there were questions about what it was exactly - that's what the ask a question option is for.

My reply:

I have to first admit that I don't make a habit of shipping posters and made an assumption that if the original shipping materials were good enough to ship it to me, it would good enough to ship to someone else. I'm sorry if that is not exactly what you expected. Had they sent me just a poster, I would then assume they would have used one of the tubes you're thinking of. But as there was more to the package, that was not possible. I am actually a bit lost as to why the rain is mentioned though considering you admit it didn't get wet.

I'm not aware of any autographed posters with this particular prize pack. The main "Get on the Grid" sweepstakes did include some autographed items from different levels of the contest (see here: - the official rules outline those prize packages) - but this specific package was from Progressive - and not from the Tron contest linked above. Also, the listing never mentioned anything about an autograph - if you expected one, I'm sorry.

Speaking of Progressive, I finally was able to track down the announcement from @Progressive with my id:!/progressive/status/15894398940217345

I'm willing to "make things right" as much as I can, and in this case the most I'm willing to do is to refund the extra $4 that you chose to pay for the expedited shipping. If this is agreeable, let me know and I'll send it right away.

Right. All fair points I think. And considering that the main problem is one of expectations of the poster, I think even the $4 is more than fair. I figured best case that $4 could have gone to a tube for the poster - which I didn't use - so the money goes back. I thought that would actually be the end. Nope.

Sorry, I wasn't aware of another contest and the one you linked to on twitter seemed to be an independent one with limited winners. I had thought Progressive also sponsored the Disney one as well.

I mentioned the rain as the package was stilling out in the rain for an undetermined amount of time. UPS will at least wrap the package in plastic if it rains, but that's the laziness of USPS. It's not your fault, but I have received posters in the past in a tube with additional plastic on the poster to further protect it.

The box you used seemed like it was the original box, but did you see dents and creases on it when you unrolled it? I know the t-shirt isn't heavy, but it likely compressed the poster further. I just feel really dissapointed it was shipped to me this way. One other seller didn't bother to pad the end of a poster in the tube and the entire side of the poster was ruined. I pay $50+ for original posters and they need to be in mint conditon.

Grr. The weather, again, not my concern. It rained. The package was not affected. Still not my problem. Not a bargaining point. I also don't care the least what any other sellers do with their posters. Nor do I care at all what you pay for posters. Again, not my problem. Even more annoying that the poster wasn't the item for sale. It was EVERYTHING that was for sale. Explained this already.

At this point I just refunded the $4 and gave up. This was getting stupid. It got stupider.

I appreciate your shipping refund offer, but I don't think that's enough to resolve the issue. I'm not trying to be difficult at all regarding this, but I am stuck with a defective poster, especically after I requested the poster be "protected". I am a seller too so I would not want any auction to come back. I have no way of knowing if it was damaged during this shipping or when you first received it. I was at least expecting a new mint poster(shirt, pen etc appear to be new) but I have one with creases.

Shipping on this is probably $10-15 and I am fully prepared to send it back as I do not want a defective poster. We can resolve this in the following ways. Let me know what works best for you.

1. Seller provide a larger refund - I don't think the damaged poster is worth $35. After fees and shipping, you are keeping $20?
2. You accept a return of this item and refund the full amount. I am out the shipping cost and so are you.
3. Seller files a claim with USPS over a damaged item.
4. Buyer files a claim with eBay for Buyer Protection.


A buyer protection claim? For a fucking poster that was in excellent condition and wasn't the poster the buyer thought it was? Excuse me if I just declare this all bullshit. My final reply says the rest... so I'll just leave you with that. Feel free to chime in yourself in the comments. Even if you think I'm in the wrong...

I have to be a bit honest here... because this is slightly confusing to me. You say youre not trying to be difficult, but one of your options is filing a claim with eBay. Over a poster with some possible crinkles in it (yes, very much simplifying the situation). And from an auction where you seemed to expect an entirely different poster, despite the description being very clear. Not to mention where the poster is a small part of a whole package. I'm frankly a little dumbfounded. In all the years I've been selling, I've never once had any issue even close to this. Not trying to sound unreasonable but this is all feeling a bit ridiculous to me. If I were the buyer of course I'd want to get what I'd paid for, but I'd also be sure that I knew exactly what I was getting.

Let's just simplify this whole thing. I'll send you another $15 and we'll call it over and I'd be fine with neutral feedback. I don't need anything back.

The end. I hope.

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