Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Smoke ‘em if you got ‘em … not

Sometime last year, I picked up a Brown & Williamson Commemorative Series wall hanging that features 10 packs of cigarettes.  According to my research, the wall hanging was a celebration of heritage and achievement from the giant tobacco company that had a huge manufacturing plant in Macon, and employed 3000 people before closing in 2003.

I hate cigarette smoke, but even a hater like me can realize the contributions
that this company made to the city of Macon
I’m not a smoker, but I knew enough about the company to realize that this collectible had to be worth more than the church’s asking price of $1.  On the other hand, I had my doubts about the legality of selling cigarettes online, and didn’t think Ebay would allow it.

Still, there were other such collectibles already listed, so I decided to take a chance on the item.  I listed it the next day, and, as expected, Ebay slapped me down, and removed the listing.  Then, something strange happened.

Ebay called me.  The customer service representative patiently explained Ebay’s rational for removing my listing, and told me that I could relist it provided that I used exact Ebay policy verbiage in my description, which the representative then provided via email.

So, I relisted it per Ebay’s instructions, and after almost a year, it finally sold yesterday.  Granted, it wasn’t for a lot of money, but it proves to me that while Ebay justifiably gets a lot of heat due to questionable policies and procedures, the retail giant genuinely does want sellers to succeed, and sometimes even lends a helping hand when needed.

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