Note to self: when you are buying CDs on ebay ALWAYS ask for a quote on shipping before I bid, otherwise when the item goes for the lowest bid the bastards can’t rob me on a the shipping to recoup.
It goes on, and yes I know this is the *second* time now. I hope I’ve learnt my lesson this time and won’t trust people to be sensible and respectful, but I got put off by the fact that I’ve had a good run where the sellers have all been professional and respectible and it lured me into a false sense of trust.
Usually it costs between $4 and $5 to send a CD here from the states. Infact this week I paid $3.50 for shipping on one, but this guy… this guy he says $13.50. Dejavu. The last time this happened it was $14. It doesn’t cost anywhere near that much to send a CD from the US to Northern Ireland. Last time I caught her out on her hidden handling charge, which at the time was against eBay rules. (though I’m told they’ve since changed that rule because it was offending those who make a living out of ripping people off). This time after prodding he renaged and claimed it would be $8, according to USPS. Probably a different USPS that delivers me CDs for $4.50. I guess the jiffy bag costs extra but if you are a good little enviromentalist like me you’ll be recycling jiffy-bags. Also I can’t imagine it costs $3.50 for Jiffy bags in the US anyway. Does it?
Anyway, full cost was going to be $11. I had £10. $10 would have covered my top bid plus sensible shipping. The guy doesn’t do paypal or anything, he wanted cash or IMO. I’ve had problems with IMO’s in the past and for such a small amount I don’t see much problem sending cash. Only I was a dollar short. I used to have a one dollar bill kicking around for ages. I think I was using it as a bookmark… but of course when I go to look for it I can’t find it. I decided it get it out of the way today. I didn’t want to go into town because I had an electrician coming and I’ve felt shite all week but I was forced into it, due to the need for dollars and the need for groundnut oil and peas. I wasn’t a happy shopper.
Anyway² I couldn’t remember if you got IMO’s from the post office or the bank. It’s been years since I used one. Most people seem to have some way to accept credit card or bank payments so I haven’t needed one. I went to try the post office first because I loathe banks and their weird smells. I decided when I was in the PO that I would try my luck and see if they had that extra dollar instead of buying an IMO. The Post Office here doesn’t charge commission for foreign currency, though they always treat you like a freak if you aren’t looking to exchange hundreds. I went in for 10€ a few weeks back and got asked if I was going anywhere nice. “What, with 10€?” “Yeah, I’m going to Letterkenny for a bag of chips”. I stopped myself saying the second half that time, but I still got an indignat look.
Anyway³ I wasn’t sure if they’d have such low denominations in the Post Office but I thought I’d try my luck and swallow my shame. The sour faced middle aged lady behind the window seemed really put out by my request for one dollar but she found one anyway. Being rather glad I decided to stuff the cash in the envelope right there and then to get this payment off and out of my life so I can relax a bit…
I handed the envelope over to the lady and asked to send it airmail. She asked “Sir, is there money inside this envelope?” The way she said ‘sir’ put me on guard. She said it like a customs official. Of course there was money in it. She saw me put the money in it. She heard my nervous and unncecessary explaination.
“You’ll have to send that ‘Royal Mail Signed For’. How much is it worth?”.
“It’s worth about £7.”
“Ok, that’ll be 3.98.”
“Do I have to? That’s more than half the value of the contents.”
“Yes. It’s the rules if there is money in it.”
Sending this amount of money you NEVER EVER do it infront of the cashier. You keep your mouth shut. It’s JUST a letter, no more.
I considered telling her to stuff it and either going elsewhere to post the “letter” or just going home and hiding under the bed until the negative feedback comes in, but I wanted this whole sorry tedious business over with so I paid and left rather sheepishly. The knoweldge in my mind that my attempts to save money and get a pargain and well and truely blown up in my face. At least the guy at the other end will be forced to sign for the letter. Possibly having to go to his local post office to pick it up. Unless they are like the Royal Mail in which case the postman will just ignore the signed-for status and post the thing through the letterbox. Probably in the wrong street.
Why can’t they just use paypal? It makes things so much easier.
What’s that? Paypal charge YOU money for their services?! So do hairdressers. It’s a tough world.