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Did You Know... that you need to thoroughly check the packing materials in your orders to be sure you have everything BEFORE you discard ANY of the packing materials?

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Added: 07/04/2016

We sometimes hear from customers who say that items are missing from their order (sometimes ones that have recently started ordering from us, but sometimes from longtime customers), but that is virtually never the case!

How can we be so sure? Because of how we handle orders. We only partially pack each person's order (items from a single set of auctions are grouped together, and sealed into a bag or into a tube, but we don't completely wrap them). If ANY mistake is made in "pulling" the items, it means there is an item "missing" at the end of this process, and we then go back through EVERY item and find the error (but since our employees hate to have to do this, they are super careful and almost NEVER make a "pulling" error!

Then, when each order is paid for, one person here pulls that customer's order, which can include items from many sets of auctions, (re-checking that all items are there both from each single set of auctions AND if those combine with items from other sets of auctions, then all of those items are re-checked too).

 Then another person here packs the order combining the items together, for the third time double-checking that all the items are there! It may seem like a lot of extra work to have two double-checks in place, but we know it is worth it if it keeps even one order a month from being shipped "incomplete", and it DOES work, because not once in 1,000 orders are items "left out", thanks to all this "double-checking"!

So when you receive your order, everything should surely be in there (and at least 999 out of 1,000 times, it will be!).

If you think there is anything missing, do two things BEFORE contacting us:

1) Check the invoice(s) that we emailed you to see if more than one package was sent. What you thought was "missing" is likely in a second package that was sent to you.

For example, if you got rolled and flat items (or if there are too many items to fit in one package or tube), you will likely have two packages coming to you. They may be invoiced separately (in which case you would receive two separate invoices by email) or they may be invoiced together (in which case, two tracking numbers will be listed in that one invoice email).

If it turns out they are in a separate package, then you should of course check the tracking for that other package. If it is still in transit, then you know the answer!

But what if the second package shows "delivered" on the tracking? This is what we tell people to FIRST do if it shows as having been delivered (because one of the below answers is THE answer, 99% of the time):

Sometimes the package was indeed stolen, but more often then not, it was delivered and is there. How can that be? I can't say for certain in every case, but here are some examples of what has been discovered by previous customers who had this occur:
1) The package was left at the door, but it fell off to the side and could be under some stairs, behind a bush, at a different door to the house such as a side door or garage door, or something of that nature.
2) A roommate, friend, relative, or even a neighbor did in fact retrieve the package, but forgot about it. This is easy to do, especially if you happen to receive a fair number of packages. Sometimes we hear back that the customer found the package under a table or somewhere in their home office or even mixed in with other packages they received from other sellers.
3) Sometimes the package was left at a neighbor's house or apartment (or with the front desk, in an apartment building), even though the tracking says "Left at Front Door". It pays to check on this, because this has been the answer in a LOT of cases.
4) We've even heard from some customers who opened the package and even filed the posters away into their collection but completely forgot! I would be surprised if this were the case very often, but we mention that possibility just in case.

So if you have a package that shows "delivered" and you don't know where it is, then first check ALL of the above possibilities (and then of course, let us know whether or not you find the package). If you still can't locate it, we start a claim with the shipper as soon as we hear back. The package WAS fully insured, and we will be able to collect on the claim, so you will not lose any money. We will even cover the shipping cost which the insurance does not pay (which is absurd since they lost the package). 

But what if the items you can't find WERE on the invoice with the items you DID receive (and were shipped in the same package). What then?

Then there is an excellent chance they are in what you thought was part of the "packing material"!

You should first look in any bags containing the items you did receive (and also look on each side of every piece of cardboard from the packaging), because the other items will often be there (we get a phone call like this approximately once a month, and in at least 9 out of 10 times, this proves to be the answer). If you received a tube, look between EVERY single sheet of brown paper that was in the tube, and almost always, in the case of tubes, it turns out the posters were there!

Because of these possibilities (items "hidden" in packing material) you should NEVER throw out any packaging from anywhere (not just unless you are certain that you have removed everything that was in the package, or unless you have gone through all of the packaging piece by piece. You can always just roll the brown paper up and put it back in the tube and put any cardboard back in the box or flat package, and then set those items aside for a day or week, until you are sure everything is accounted for.

But what if you are 100% sure the "missing" items are NOT in the packing material? Then the one remaining possibility is that the item was in the package and it was somehow overlooked (maybe somehow it could have fallen out of the package when it was opened and fell on the floor or under a table or chair OR maybe it is tucked inside another poster that was received).

Look ALL around the area where you were when you were unpacking the package. Sometimes people take out some items to see what they most wanted, and they set them down in an out of the way area, and then forget about them. If this happens to you, don't feel bad because it has happened to lots of others.

Of course, you might be wondering if this happens a lot. It does not (far less than one in 1,000 times)! And the biggest reasons it ever happens is partly because of our very generous combining policy, where we let customers wait 3 weeks in the U.S. or 6 weeks outside the U.S. to have their orders shipped together, and also because we pack so well, with lots of cardboard, brown paper, and plastic, so there are more places for items to "hide".

But PLEASE be super careful to not throw out an item along with the "worthless" packaging! Please take an extra few moments or minutes to look carefully through every bit of the packaging material (and the same goes for any other company you order from). We would hate to be telling you that the most likely answer is when the package was opened, someone thought that the items (which were either between boards or brown paper) were simply "packing material" and discarded them along with the box and actual packing material!

And I want to stress yet again that this is why you need to ALWAYS hold onto all the packing material until you are certain that you have everything that was in the package. It really is not a big inconvenience to hold the packing material for a few days or even a few weeks. We have had several people tell us weeks later that they found the missing items (between cardboard) sitting in a corner.

And for those of you who have inadvertently tossed some items out with packing materials, if it is any consolation, I want to relay a story of what happened to me (Bruce) with a $500 set of lobby cards around 20 years ago. The guy sent me a half-sheet and a lobby set, and the half-sheet was in a big flat package, and I opened it very carefully and took it out and then threw out the package. But he had tucked the lobby cards in-between the half-sheet-sized boards on one side, and then taped them tightly shut. They are now in a landfill somewhere.

But since that happened, I have been fanatical about how ALL of the packages we receive from consignors are opened, going through them piece by piece to make certain nothing is discarded!

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