|Comments by Alan and Lorraine Pickup
Inverted Feather Cracker Jar
From HOACGA bulletin September, 2002
Maybe we should label this article as "the one that got away." We bought a pretty Cambridge cracker jar on the Internet but the seller failed to package it sufficiently and it arrived in a slightly shattered condition. So the world was deprived of another piece of history and beauty in the form of carnival glass. That broken glass was just the start of two months of aggravation and frustration dealing with the post office. I guess this article is to alert you as to what problem you can encounter when dealing on eBay.
Sellers usually state that they have no responsibility for breakage if you do not insure the item. But what they don't tell you is that they also have little to lose when it is insured at your expense and broken in shipment because of their poor packaging. They should take responsibility for packing the item so it has the chance of arriving in one piece. The problem of the broken glass is dumped squarely in your lap. You are the one who has to return it to the post office, file a claim and wait for the post office to validate your clain and refund your money. And in this case the time span was over two months. We have been told that two months was pretty fast service. OUCH! The seller has your money and what you get is some sympathy, if you are lucky, and a run-around from the post office. Your local post office will tell you that they have handled their part and give you a phone number to a postal claim office that gets you nowhere. No voice contact with real people, you just punch in a number and listen canned message responses.
You can walk into any post office, request insurance on a package with no questions asked of what is in the box or how well it is prepared for shipment. They must collect many thousands of dollars each day doing this and don't hesitate a momen. But that entire nonchalant attitude is lost when you file your claim. The claim form itself, after you fill it out, travels back and forth between your post office and the seller to validate the claim, then you wait and wait. The seller should be insured, not the buyer, and refund your payment then. And only then would they take a little more effort in how the glass is packed.
Green is the predominant color in Cambridge Inverted Feather cracker jars and they are not hard to find. The problem is finding one that has great iridescence. This one met that criteria but didn't survive the trip.