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Seller refuses to open box

Old 05-17-20, 07:54 PM
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I usually block buyers with these types of requests - red flag.
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Old 05-17-20, 08:46 PM
  #27  
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Originally Posted by countalmaviva
I also wanted to add that, in this particular case, I'm aware that this lever came in a few different colors. Some dipped in rubber and some not. I can't tell from the outside of the box what this particular lever looks like. I may be a very particular case: I'm trying to find the levers I used as a kid, for sentimental purposes. If it's the wrong color, I'm not sure that would be returnable, especially since I'd already have opened the sealed box...

- Oliver H.
Have you thought that maybe, just maybe, if you asked him what color the levers were that he'd answer.you?
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Old 05-17-20, 09:13 PM
  #28  
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Originally Posted by clubman
I think otherwise. Frank has made the choice of selling a sealed item that he won't open. You have the choice of bidding or not. You can't tell him he has to open it but you can return it if the box doesn't contain the described item. You don't have the right to change the terms of the offer.
I love this. It's my first post to attract more than 10 replies, y'all!

Completely understand clubman . It's genuinely helpful to help me understand the perspective of sellers who are experienced with vintage items. I'm calling on this community to help me understand whether I'm being reasonable or not. You say "no."

FWIW, I'm more interested in the discussion than spending $20, though I should add that, in these times, $20 may be a lot for some folks. So far, I count 14 replies in support of not opening the box and 2 in favor of opening the box. Those 14 should be qualified: 7 of those mention Frank's reputation on this forum, which an ordinary buyer might not know. I appreciate the veteran vintage sellers' perspectives on a sealed box. Clearly, many of you feel that a sealed box trumps a photo of the item inside for the purposes of resale value on eBay.

I'll reiterate my earlier observation, which I know because I happened to ride these levers in the 80s: they came in multiple colors and coatings. Also, Google. These details are not made clear in the auction. Many who rebuild vintage bikes as a hobby are fond of color coordinating, so I thought this was not an unimportant point, though no one has responded to it.

Is there an eBay admin here who could offer some statistics? What, if any, difference is there in final sale price between auctions which display the item and those which don't but which are NIB? The mitigating factors in this particular case are: I'm a potential buyer who is looking for a specific color which is not specified on the box. Thus, the buyer is losing my bid, which would drive up the price. Also, there are a lot of prospective buyers out there who don't know of Frank the Welder's fine reputation on this forum.

Personally, I love it when a seller takes a photo of the item in the box. I get that dopamine hit that, let's face it, we all feel when we see a brand-spanking new vintage item. I mean, we're here because we love vintage bikes, so part of the sale is seeing the stuff, right? Does anyone here buy parts in a new, sealed box and NOT open the darn thing?

Then again, maybe I've just answered my own question...getting to be the first person to open the box. Is that a vintage fetish I have yet to discover?

Cheers,
Oliver H.
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Old 05-17-20, 09:14 PM
  #29  
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Originally Posted by cb400bill
Have you thought that maybe, just maybe, if you asked him what color the levers were that he'd answer.you?
But he'd have to OPEN THE BOX, right?
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Old 05-17-20, 09:18 PM
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Originally Posted by countalmaviva
But he'd have to OPEN THE BOX, right?
Maybe, maybe not. But, you won’t know if you don’t ask.
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Old 05-17-20, 09:21 PM
  #31  
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Maru would definitely bid on that box.

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Old 05-17-20, 09:39 PM
  #32  
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Originally Posted by countalmaviva
Is that a vintage fetish I have yet to discover?
Get ready...

https://www.ebay.com/itm/CAMPAGNOLO-...YAAOSw8t1eg6bd
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Old 05-17-20, 10:03 PM
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Originally Posted by P!N20
I have a Super Record box I would sell for ten times that. It is empty, as well.
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Old 05-17-20, 10:29 PM
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Originally Posted by countalmaviva
But he'd have to OPEN THE BOX, right?
No.


There are other ways he might know. At least you would have gotten as much information as you could, in the circumstances. Then bid, or don't bid. You decide.

Btw- News Flash: What seems like the best sales practice to you, may not be, for him. The seller is using his best judgement, in light of his past experience.


You've heard from some other highly experienced folks here that a factory sealed box will command a premium among the right buyers... (who may or not may not be present during any given auction.) I concur. We are basing this on a lot of accumulated experience. Those disagree, probably have less experience, (at least in this very specific area). OP, the original question was reasonable, and thoroughly discussed.

Cheers, Eric

Good luck, what ever you choose.
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Old 05-17-20, 11:01 PM
  #35  
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"Frank the Welder"? I'd just hand him the keys (house, car, safe, speed boat) and say "have fun"! I'd trust him with it, whatever "it" might be.
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Old 05-17-20, 11:34 PM
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You should buy it. If it's not the color you want, you can list it on ebay with a photo of the actual item. Someone will gladly pay twice what you did because he or she won't have to go through the trouble of holding a town hall meeting.
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Old 05-17-20, 11:51 PM
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Ultimately this is a $20 part. Just open the box.

Especially since the box has diagrams of about 3 different styles of levers. And check boxes. But, this one is "none of the above", and has a printed label attached.

I've tried to search for the SS-5S levers on the web, and seem to be getting links to everything but that one.

I would allow the seller to download a 3rd party photo as long as they are willing to guarantee their photo matches what is in the box.
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Old 05-18-20, 05:36 AM
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It's $20 now....

Get over yourself. Better yet, put on a mask, go to Wal-Mart, finger every item on the rack and not buy a thing.

We sometimes think the customer is always right. Not. Many times, the customer feels entitled becomes someone, somewhere, said "you should" or even worse "they should." The evil "they!"

If the information provided is enough for you, fine. If not, move on. Not satisfied? Don't bid, don't buy.

Pretty simple. Children understand it immediately. Adults at some point start to rationalize differently.

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 05-18-20 at 05:40 AM.
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Old 05-18-20, 06:41 AM
  #39  
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SS-5 appears to be black... based on google images. Take that for what it's worth.
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Old 05-18-20, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by P!N20
Bwahahahaha!
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Old 05-18-20, 06:58 AM
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Im going to throw out a scenario. The seller may be trying to make a small profit selling an item at fair market value. To do that he may well be concidering the value of his own time and efficiantly processing the items for sale. So the item you are interseted may allready be packed in a sealed mailing carton. So if you are asking him to undo work and change the condition of the item resulting in more work for him in repacking and haveing to revise the listing. Why dont you offer him $5 to open the box?

P.S. I'm not directing this at the OP in particular. I've been thinking about how to unload stuff on ebay with least amount of hassle, or potential disappointment for all partys.

P.P.S. Value is a funny thing. I made a purchase a while back that the seller made a point of the item being in its original packageing, with pictures of the boxes condition. He the mailed it in the origial box wraped in tape, with a mailing sticker. Thats what neutral feedbacks for.

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Old 05-18-20, 07:03 AM
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It's not the price...or is it?

OK, what if this wasn't a cheap Japanese brake lever from the 90s for $20?

What if, borrowing an above example, it was a first gen Campy Super Record RD in a sealed box from 1973? Let's imagine there's some detail not elaborated on the box. Maybe a Campy fan can provide an example...maybe Tullio put some in the tumbler with the balls and some he didn't, so the finish is different.

If you were the seller, would you open this box to be able to tell buyers about the item? Or, would the high value make it even more important to keep the box sealed?

Cheers,
Oliver H.
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Old 05-18-20, 07:16 AM
  #43  
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If it were a first-generation Campagnolo Super Record RD in the sealed box, I wouldn't sell it to anyone I suspected of wanting to open the box. It should stay sealed.

Some vintage things are worth more in the box - look at collectible toys, for example. The rarest of the rare NOS bicycle parts count among those objects. I don't personally think these Dia-Compe levers are worth more in the box because they are nothing special, but since they are new in the box and advertised as such, I do agree that it might seem unreasonable to ask to remove them prior to the time of sale.

-Gregory
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Old 05-18-20, 07:44 AM
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Doubt they will go for $20, but I wouldn't worry about spending that amount for a seller with 100% rating. I'd like the Brooklyn pedals, but $750 is a little steep (for me), plus my shins already have plenty of "wear marks".
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Old 05-18-20, 08:00 AM
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Originally Posted by merziac
That is an auction by a member here, $20, not a big leap, efbay has your back. If you want them, buy them, seller is a standup guy.
Agree. New Old Stock and sealed. Buy and hope for good packaging and safe shipping.
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Old 05-18-20, 08:04 AM
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“Red Snapper. VERY tasty.”
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Old 05-18-20, 10:18 AM
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Originally Posted by 2old
Doubt they will go for $20, but I wouldn't worry about spending that amount for a seller with 100% rating. I'd like the Brooklyn pedals, but $750 is a little steep (for me), plus my shins already have plenty of "wear marks".
I love Frank's comment in the description:
"These are the ones you have been looking for."

I'll definitely be watching these pedals, out of curiosity.

- Oliver H.
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Old 05-18-20, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by The Golden Boy
“Red Snapper. VERY tasty.”
I only got this reference with assistance, thanks be to Google.
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Old 05-18-20, 10:39 AM
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Originally Posted by Kilroy1988
If it were a first-generation Campagnolo Super Record RD in the sealed box, I wouldn't sell it to anyone I suspected of wanting to open the box. It should stay sealed.
I'm confused--are you saying you wouldn't sell such a derailleur to someone who'd actually be inclined to using it?
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Old 05-18-20, 10:58 AM
  #50  
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I remember buying a new replacement thumb shifter that had the exact same replacement part number as the original one that broke. The original one had a black face and the replacement was sliver. LBS told me they stopped making the black one. Had the same thing happen recently on a lamp lense for an automobile.

Given the buyer is aware of different variations of this lever, I think seeing the actual item is a perfectly reasonable request. Of course, the seller is entitled to keep the box sealed.

I'm not on board with the advice to just buy it and return it if it's not right. It might not be the precise variation the buyer is looking for even though it is accurately listed. If everything in the listing is accurate, the seller does not have to accept this return (listing states no returns accepted). If the seller were to accept the return, the buyer would likely have to pay for the shipping.

As a buyer wondering if this is the exact item I'm looking for, I'd move on.
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