Well, I must have been uber-spoiled and karma came out to get me. Last month, my Gehrig-ish streak of good deals came to an emphatic end, with two consecutive purchases go into the collective shitter.
See this card? I like this card, I "need" this card. I found this card at a reasonable price and, hell, I even bought this card. Yet, I do not have this card; how could this be?
I must admit, I do share some responsibility in this mistake. When I initially won the auction for this card for something like three bucks (which, I thought was a steal, since Helmar singles are generally way over-inflated on the secondary market), I was so anxious to pay for it, that I momentarily broke concentration and entered in my old shipping address. Craptastic.
I noticed the error immediately and (still not even 5 minutes after winning the bid) I sent the seller a message explaining the situation and provided the updated addy. Crisis averted, right?
I used to live here... not under the bridge, Joliet
Not so much, as I watched the package tracker over the ensuing days, I saw it start working it's way to my old haunt - Joliet. I also noticed that my message was never actually opened by the vendor. Still, not a huge problem - I set it up so that all my mail gets forwarded to my new residence. So, it will take a little longer, but I'll still get my card of a guy who played a measly 33 games in a Cubs uniform (1940).
Curses, foiled again. Another several days went by and nothing came. The tracker indicated that delivery had been attempted in J-Town and nothing after that. Days became a week, a week became four and I became annoyed.
I called the post office, who spent the first two minutes of the call telling me I was just being impatient (I'm sure they were rolling their eyes at me all the while). That is, until I told them it had been 4 weeks and change. To their credit, they turned the place inside out; however, they could find no trace of my poor, lost Billy.
I tried contacting the seller again to see if maybe it had been mailed back to him and they had forgotten to scan it. This time he responded (about time) saying that he hadn't, but that he'd do some research of his own and get back to me in two days.
Have you seen this card?
Two days went by - nothing. 4 days went by - nothing. A week went by - still nothing, so I wrote him again asking if he'd turned up anything. He was never to be heard from again.
At this point, I was pretty much over dealing with the whole situation and I only had a few days left to file a grievance about the transaction. Due to my righteous indifference, to the minimal amount of $$$ involved, my small feeling of guilt for initially providing the wrong info and a crazy work schedule, that deadline came and passed without catching my attention. Thankfully, it was only a few bucks pissed away.
I was really looking forward to adding a Helmar card to my CATRC binder though. These oddballs are great pieces of folk-art and the original set (which this card hails from and was actually distributed in potato chips) was officially listed in the Standard Catalog and such. Dangnabbit.
To make matters worse, my next attempt at a purchase did nothing to assuage my feelings of depression, rage and betrayal (OK, I may be being a BIT over-dramatic here). Although, this particular story does have a happy ending.
This card here does actually physically reside in my collection now; that said, of these two bumbling experiences, i was much more confident that I'd eventually get my Billy; ol' Cy here was written off as a lost cause.
See the pen on there? That is a signature, all right. If you're saying to yourself, I didn't think Topps started using old-timey players in modern products until recently, you're right - they certainly didn't do that in 1985. This card was created in order for Mr. Block to fulfill autograph requests that came in through the mail, as he ran his prosperous Chicago real estate business.
I must say that it's a pretty much a mirror image of the real deal too.
However, the back is far more statistically detailed.
Thus, when I saw this autographed card that mimics one of my all-time favorite sets featuring a super-vintage player who doesn't have much in the way of a cardboard presence for the low, low price of $1.29 shipped, it was a deal too good to be true... and you know how that old saying goes. Nevertheless, my excitement impulses beat my logic and reasoning to the punch. It wasn't until after I won that I saw the seller's feedback - 38 negative reviews in the last month alone!
Nothing I could do about it now though. A tracking number was provided, though it quickly proved to be a phony, having never actually been scanned in. After a couple of weeks of nothing, I filed a grievance with Ebay and got my money back (all $1.29 of it).
Then, I got a message from my local postmaster telling me that I had a package waiting for me at the PO. Confused, I meandered into the building and found this card waiting for me... with postage due. Drat.
In the end, I ended up paying more for the postage than I did on the initial transaction (only a tiny bit though); but, at least I actually came away with this beauty of a card in the end. It looks damn nice in the B section of my binder.
Meanwhile, if you see this guy on "the Bay," just say no:
Yea, right, like I'm going to consign with someone who had more negative feedback than that Jem & the Holograms movie - woof.
And there you have it, my rash of frustrating and ultimately disappointing Ebay experiences came and went, just like that. I suppose it's a minor miracle that these are the only two transactions that have gone south for me on there.
That said, I'm curious, have you all have any experiences such as these that left a bad taste in your mouth? How did you deal with them? Did they have a happy ending? Inquiring minds want to know.
Oh, and one last thing, anyone know where I can find myself a Helmar card of Billy Rogell??