Oh dear, oh dear. I’ve had a bit of a tricky exchange of emails. I bought an item on *well known online auction company* and, too late, realised that the description was inaccurate – that is, it was a piece in two parts (might have been a cup and saucer but it wasn’t) and that they didn’t match. If that’s so, the correct description is ‘cup and a saucer’ – the “a” separating them from being a pair.
Thing is, he’d bought it from a reputable – indeed, prestigious – auction house and had used their description. Since my bid was considerably less than he paid, my surmise was that he realised they didn’t match and decided to sell on. Anyway, the toing and froing went on for some time and I wanted to discuss it reasonably – I felt a lot of sympathy for him in the matter and, as I pointed out, if he’d gone to the auctioneers at the time and said there was a mistake, his money would have been refunded. I told him who I was and that auctioneering is my business. Finally, he just said pay up and shut up, so I’ve spent 20 minutes on the phone to *well known online auction company’s* helpline. On their advice, I’ve written to him cancelling the transaction and recommended that he contacts the helpline himself to confirm what’s been said.
But I hate this sort of thing. I had an almost sleepless night – I got up after 2 wakeful hours, read until 4am, and was still awake half an hour after that. If only he’d accepted that I had a point – he hasn’t denied it in so many words but avoids agreeing with it – I’d have done my best to reach a compromise, but he was quite forceful in his manner. Actually, the helpline chap recommended I phone the vendor, but I said I’d try emailing first. I hate conflict, more so as I get older, and I don’t want an argument.
So, let the buyer beware that he’s not buying a pig in a poke, but let the seller beware that he’s described what he’s selling accurately.
Anyway, the book I was reading in the night, as it happened to be on the cloakroom bookshelf, was Arthur Ransome’s Peter Duck. It must be well over 40 years since I read it. Most enjoyable, for all that the plot’s entirely fanciful. A ripping yarn you might say, and none the worse for that.