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OT - Postal Rant

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  • OT - Postal Rant

    So... the PayPal dispute was resolved in my favour. All I need to do is ship the $39 DOA micrometer back and I'll get a full refund.

    The cheapest I can ship said garbage back to China from up here in Canada, with the required tracking number, is $73.76. Now, despite being forced to learn calculus in college, I do still know my sums. By the time I put it back in the envelope it was shipped to me in (yeah, micrometer, no box, envelope, DOA... surprise, surprise) it will cost twice as much as I paid to get my money back.

    I mean, YEAH, I'm a little angry with the guy that sold it to me... I'd go so far as to ship it back at $40, just to take the money out of his pocket. But, I'm not going to double-down on principle. So, now I have a $40 C-clamp. Oh, and I learned a lesson. PayPal refunds are worthless for anything under $100 or so, at least for anything shipped international.

    I get that China subsidizes their postal system such that people there can mail me trinkets for $2, shipping included, with tracking (.99 without tracking), but WE subsidize our postal system too. I couldn't mail a stamp back to China for that price. I guess the Chinese get their money's worth; we're too busy paying for stress-leave. I could use some stress-leave.

    Yes, I do understand that postage is a reciprocal agreement. Our postal system loses money delivering the garbage I buy from China and China's postal system loses money delivering the stuff I ship back (smirk... 'ain't going to happen). I guess that's why it actually costs $73.76. But, there has to be a better way.

    I does seem like a good business opportunity. Just issue tracking numbers to people, let them locally mail stuff to you, pack it in a shipping container, and then send it off to China when it's full. Who cares if it takes 6 months? The stuff is broken anyway. I mean, I'd pay the $12 local shipping (without tracking) to said company and maybe another $5 to have the container shipped to China. All I need is a tracking number to make PayPal happy. So what if it says "Item entered in system" for 2 weeks while it sits in our postal system, then "Item ready for departure" for another couple of months while the container fills up. Dreaming, I guess.

    Oh well, I've already bought and used another digital mic, this time from BusyBee (when they had their free-shipping thing going on). Of course, it was also made in China... but I guess BusyBee gets them by the container for even less than what China Post will ship them. I suppose it could be worse, we could be on the "too costly to ship to" end rather than the other way round. I do like getting those silly little packages in the mail. Near addictive, it is.

    David...
    http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

  • #2
    Hate to bust your balls Dave, but you should've known better than to buy a Micrometer from China.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by KiddZimaHater View Post
      Hate to bust your balls Dave, but you should've known better than to buy a Micrometer from China.
      Oh, good enough for me. My skills, and most of the rest of my tooling, are a long way from the good stuff. Still, having a 25mm electronic digital micrometer show -76mm on the display is a wee bit of an issue The thing still has an actual scale, so it's not entirely junk, but I wanted the relative measurements a digital one gives.

      All I was after was one step above the calipers I was already using. Incremental improvement, as they say. Maybe someday I'll actually know how to hold a mic such that I can make use of the good stuff. I mean, I appreciate good tools, and I do have some, but sometimes they can be wasted in the hands of the ignorant I'll fumble around with the cheap stuff until I can realize that I'm getting inconsistent results... not because of me but because of the tool. Then, I'll fork out for something I'll swear about when I drop.

      David...
      http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

      Comment


      • #4
        Have you looked into other delivery services? FedEx? UPS? Others?

        There must be an economical way to do this.
        Paul A.
        SE Texas

        Make it fit.
        You can't win and there is a penalty for trying!

        Comment


        • #5
          Rubbing salt in the wound

          Around 11:00am, Tuesday of last week (May 20) I dropped off ten medium flat rate boxes at a US post office in Sparta, New Jersey. The contents were a total of 160 lbs of fluorescent minerals from the Franklin and Sterling Hill mines. Total cost for shipping (with tracking) was $123.00. Nine of the boxes arrived at my door in Austin, TX at 2:09 pm Thursday, May 22. The tenth box was on my doorstep Saturday.

          I was impressed!

          Sorry to hear about your dud mic. The only way I am able to deal psychologically with internet purchases is to think of every purchase as a gamble. Am I willing to gamble x dollars for whatever they are supposedly selling me? Usually I "win" the bet and the item meets my expectations. The few times the item doesn't stand up I try to not get too emotional about it and just chalk it up as a lost bet. If you get too wound up about it, it won't hurt the jerk that sold you the dud, it will just make you loose more hair. Just don't deal with that jerk again and find somewhere else to gamble with your tooling funds.
          My cup 'o plasma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1vMfmhM9fg No dialog, just ten minutes of dancing plasma and music. Turn on, tune in, space out.

          Comment


          • #6
            Yeah, I suspect Canada -might- not have the worst postal system in the world, but there's a big list of countries that I know outclass it by a long shot. Japan is the best I've seen, where you can mail live crab and it's still alive at the other end, and you can choose the time (morning/afternoon/evening) when it arrives too. Entire businesses have built up around the excellent service. No way that would happen here.

            As for the gamble, I totally get that. I've lost, all totaled, $240 on mail-order purchases through the years. I've saved at least 10 times that on stuff I actually had to buy, so I'm not complaining. I could say I've "saved" many thousands of dollars through these purchases, I've been doing it for a long time, but, truth be told, I probably only bought a lot of this stuff because it was so crazy-cheap. It does feed the tool addiction.

            To be honest, I'm more annoyed with Canada Post than I am with PayPal or the Ebay seller. And, really, it's my fault for picking the guy selling the mic for $1 less than all the other guys. It appears he made the difference by not shipping the box it was supposed to come in, and it looks like I end up eating the results. Something to think about for the next time.

            Still nice to be able to rant though Thanks for reading, even if you brag about your most excellent postal system.

            David...
            http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

            Comment


            • #7
              That's why I never buy anything outside the US. I would rather pay a few bucks more for the same item and have an in-country return point if it does arrive DOA (or doesn't arrive). There have been a number of items I could have "self-imported" from China but the risk is not worth the savings. And it usually arrives faster.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by fixerdave View Post

                Still nice to be able to rant though Thanks for reading, even if you brag about your most excellent postal system.

                David...
                I totally agree! The ranting can be cathartic.

                If its any consolation I may have been stung by the Canadian postal service as well. I had a small meteorite being shipped from Canada about ten years ago. Didn't show up.....for months. Then it arrived with some apology from the postal service. I don't remember the exact wording but they basically acknowledged they lost it for a while. I don't remember if the problem was on the north side of the border or the south. All I know is it took too darn' long to get my rock!
                My cup 'o plasma: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H1vMfmhM9fg No dialog, just ten minutes of dancing plasma and music. Turn on, tune in, space out.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I bought some NiMH and Lithium batteries from a Chinese company, and when I tested them I found they were actually 1/2 to 1/3 their stated capacity. When I informed them of the deficiency, they offered a refund if I sent them back, or a partial refund if I kept them. It would have been an enormous cost to ship these (especially the Lithium), and so I accepted the half-price offer which was reasonable. I also agreed to give them a favorable rating, although I did mention that the capacity was not quite as advertised.

                  I don't have any digital micrometers, but I have had several digital calipers, and I was able to restore good operation on one that had crapped out, by taking it apart and carefully cleaning the PCB and connections. It could be that salty water vapor got to the micrometer because of poor packaging, and a good cleaning with water and detergent followed by thorough drying with a heat gun may fix the problem. It would also be interesting to see the guts of this thing, if you can take some good pictures.

                  Sometimes I have found US resellers who offer essentially the same Chinese goods for almost as cheap as those directly from China or Hong Kong. Then you have someone you can actually call and talk to, and returns usually involve only a few dollars postage.
                  http://pauleschoen.com/pix/PM08_P76_P54.png
                  Paul , P S Technology, Inc. and MrTibbs
                  USA Maryland 21030

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by PStechPaul View Post
                    ... I was able to restore good operation on one that had crapped out, by taking it apart and carefully cleaning the PCB and connections....
                    Yeah, I've already had it apart. First thing I did, actually. Nothing obvious, and I didn't want to proceed until I gave the guy a chance. So, I'll give it a few more days, and then have another go. It's just 2 circuit boards (display and sensor) attached via plastic ribbon. Judging by the failure, I suspect it's something on the sensor board and that appears to require a full disassembly to get at. I'll probably start with a simple wash and dry, as you've suggested, and then go for disassembly if required. Then again, I've already bought another, so it's redundant anyway. I'm not sure how much effort I want to put into what would be a $20 local sale.

                    Oh, and yeah, batteries and SDcards are pretty hit and miss on ebay. Lots of failures being dumped out the back of the factories, I suspect. I've had some success by shopping for ebay sellers specifically recommended outside of ebay.

                    David...
                    http://fixerdave.blogspot.com/

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by fixerdave View Post
                      And, really, it's my fault for picking the guy selling the mic for $1 less than all the other guys. It appears he made the difference by not shipping the box it was supposed to come in, and it looks like I end up eating the results. Something to think about for the next time.
                      David...
                      Yep, This is why sometimes I don't go with the cheapest seller, but will actually find the cheapest seller that sells a different model from the 'cheapest' seller.

                      Imagen my surprise when the 2nd cheapest seller sold me the cheapest sellers model, not the model pictured in his ad and most of the buttons on it where broken and it was about 1/2 the weight and rigidity as the model in the ad.

                      Raised hell about getting the model I PAID for, as the one they sent didn't even work and they sent the working one and let me keep the dud. Anyone need a precision doorstop?
                      Play Brutal Nature, Black Moons free to play highly realistic voxel sandbox game.

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