What would you do? (damaged in shipping story)

thx712517 Apr 23, 2016

  1. thx712517

    thx712517 TrainBoard Member

    Hello all,

    Bought a weathered Atlas U23B through eBay from a very nice fellow and got it today. Opening the box I found that the loco didn't make it through shipping in one piece. The horns on the top of the hood were broken off, as well as damage to the handrails and some other snapped off bits and pieces.

    I was able to glue the horn back in since it looked like the top had been drilled a bit wider for this particular one. The cutoff lever on the front pilot was also able to be put back together. But that still leaves me with two problems.

    1: Handrails for the Atlas U23B are rarer than hen's teeth. I lack the skill (and the desire to pay someone else) to fabricate new handrails.

    2: The loco has been glued a good bit in the past. The rear coupler box is glued to the body of the loco so the shell's not coming off at the back. On the front one of the clips that holds the shell to the chassis has been broken, so it kind of flops about. I'd like to get the shell off so I can A: oil the moving parts since it makes a racket, B: be able to install a decoder in the future, and C: install Kadee couplers.

    I'm not mad at the seller, since this was a loco he had purchased for a planned interchange on his layout that never materialized. I do feel that the condition of the loco (liberal gluing) and the transit damage justify a return, which I've asked for. Am I overreacting?
  2. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    A return might be a bit difficult, as you've already attempted some repairs.
  3. thx712517

    thx712517 TrainBoard Member

    If I can't return it then it'll go on eBay with a full description of its condition. The deal breaker for me is I can't swap out the couplers, which means magnetic uncoupling for everything on my road minus this loco.

    I seem to be quite unlucky when it comes to road power. I've got a great switcher, but every time I try to go bigger something always ends up going south on me.
  4. traingeekboy

    traingeekboy TrainBoard Member

    There is a lot to be said about having a damaged loco. I used to be fearful of repairs, but that has changed now. I actually like damaged locos because they are so cheap.

    Consider this loco to be your learning loco and just do some repairs on your own. You've got nothing to lose and a lot to gain by doing this.

    On a side note, I just took apart and cleaned my first camera lens. I am sure that my skills from model railroading are what helped me do that. Never to young to learn and all that. :)
  5. J911

    J911 TrainBoard Member

    I don't think your over reacting. Send it back if it wasn't as described. If you didn't waste alot of cash on it, I would just make into a project or sale it off to recover some cash.

    Sent from my SM-G920P using Tapatalk
  6. John Smith

    John Smith TrainBoard Member

    Cut the old coupler pocket off and build a new one. If you have never done that before, this is a great time to learn.
    It is not that hard. Even though I have 30+ years of model railroading... this would be a good project even for a newbie.
    I used to be an auto mechanic 15+ years ago... and whenever my friend needs work on his car... I make him do it with me watching and telling him what to do. "Learn by doing" I would tell him. One day his clutch burned out, and when I showed up... he already had the transmission out of the car! And, no offense to my friend, but if "he" can take a transmission out of a car... I believe you should be able to fix this loco. There is plenty of help on this board... but, the choice is yours. JMS
  7. GSEC

    GSEC TrainBoard Member

    As already mentioned I think I would keep it as a learning tool and a parts reservoir. Or maybe even invest the time to bring it back up to snuff and run it.

    Also already pointed out: if the loco is not as described in the product description, it truly is grounds to return and received a full refund. This holds true for in-transit damage - if it is broken when it reaches the consumer. Despite claims to the contrary by some businesses, the seller is responsible to get the product to the customer in the condition described. Although a seller cannot control how a shipping service handles the goods, the contract is between the seller and customer, not the customer and the carrier. Contact the seller and see if he/she is amenable to this. If not, contact eBay direct - I hear they now have a 100% satisfaction guarantee. Something to keep in mind, though, is that return shipping costs are usually the buyer's responsibility.
  8. GP30

    GP30 TrainBoard Member

    I had a pair of U23B's for a long time, finally parting with one of them a couple years ago (I regretted that now that I am severely power-starved with a much larger layout). One of them, I ended up losing the handrails in a move. It took some time, but I finally found a new set for a fair price on Ebay.

    Anyhow, I've painted, stripped, repainted, detailed, rebuilt and painted that unit again. I absolutely love it! (it's now Chicopee Road #2061).

    You haven't mentioned how much you paid for it, but I would try to repair the unit. Without knowing what was used to glue the coupler box to the shell, you could try a few things to break that bond such as 91% alcohol or finger nail polish or acetone. If you are super careful you could get away with small dabs or drops of extra potent stuff like paint thinner or lacquer stripper. Keep looking for handrails, they'll pop up when you least expect!
  9. thx712517

    thx712517 TrainBoard Member

    I ended up talking it over with the seller and went with a partial refund. Very pleasant transaction from start to finish. I did learn that Atlas is releasing a new batch of U23Bs in fourth quarter 2016, so I may be picking up a new one then.
  10. davidone

    davidone TrainBoard Member

    Never ever keep a damaged product. Send it back no matter the amount of damage.
    James Fitch likes this.
  11. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    The seller is responsible for any damage during shipping. You should have sent it back immediately. As you attempted repairs, you are probably stuck with it now. See if you can find some replacement handrails. If you can't find them, consider this a good opportunity to try bending your own.
  12. BoxcabE50

    BoxcabE50 Staff Member TrainBoard Supporter

    This has always bothered me. Knowing this, I wonder many times a handler of goods has been lax in taking care of what is entrusted to their "care"? And then that seller is stuck for the carelessness... :(
  13. James Fitch

    James Fitch TrainBoard Member

    Packing is important - especially for loco's. If a loco isn't packed with peanuts on ALL sides, it will be more at risk of damage. I sell some things I don't need, usually items still NIB, and always ship that way and so far no issues that I've been aware of.

    If you modify something after you receive it, IMO, it's no longer returnable. If you are unhappy because an item is damaged in shipment, contact the seller immediately after inspecting - that way you've got the item as it arrived and can argue it needs to be returned for full refund.
  14. jpwisc

    jpwisc TrainBoard Member

    I hear you, that's one of the reasons I cut back on selling on eBay. If I do sell something on there, I go a little crazy with packing peanuts and bubble wrap.

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