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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:05 am   #1
Pinball
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Default 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

I purchased a Grebe Synchrophase Radio Receiver Type MU1 from a US seller through the GSP on eBay. It was defined as 'restricted' at the Global Shipping Center, tracking info:

"30 Jul 2021
10:43am PDT
Undeliverable - Item restricted at Global Shipping Center
Erlanger, Kentucky 41025-2501

29 Jul 2021
12:21am PDT
Delay at Global Shipping Center Item Restricted
Erlanger, Kentucky 41025-2501"


I have been refunded, and understand that the seller gets to keep his payment, but the item will not be returned to him. It is now the property of Pitney Bowes/eBay and may be destroyed.

Has anyone else experienced this with 1920s/valve radios being shipped via GSP either US to UK or UK to US?

I am very sad :-(
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:28 am   #2
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Exceptionally the mods have allowed this post. It would be useful to know what we can't send via GSP. No moaning about Pitney Bowes/eBay though please.

Have you asked Pitney Bowes/eBay why the item was restricted?

I have heard similar stories where radios have been assumed to contain mercury in the valves. They later appear on eBay minus the valves.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:35 am   #3
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Thank you for allowing the post, which is much appreciated, as I do think this is an important, potentially quite damaging issue for the vintage radio community. What is the issue with making this type of post that may be problematic for the forum, as I do not wish to break any forum rules?

Regarding eBay, their email to me stated:

"We're writing to inform you that your recent purchase through the Global Shipping Programme from [] can't be completed.

The item in question has been classified as restricted. This could be due to import/delivery restrictions or eligibility requirements within the Global Shipping Programme. The item will not be sent on to its final destination and will not be returned to you.

Don’t worry, we'll send a full refund to your original payment method within 72 hours. You may notice two separate refunds; a refund for the item and a refund for the postage and import costs. No further action is needed."


There is no further information provided, and no appeal process or ability to discuss with anyone. Most concerningly, given the seller and GSP site are both in the US, the seller will not be sent back the radio, so it is now lost to the vintage radio community, and unknown what Pitney Bowes will now do with this radio.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:38 am   #4
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

If you're not able to contact Pitney Bowes/eBay or don't get a reply from them then this thread serves no useful purpose.

All we can do is advise members not to buy radios which will be sent via the GSP.

Have you thought about contacting a consumer rights radio or TV programme such a BBC Radio 4's "You and Yours" or perhaps a newspaper?
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:52 am   #5
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

I wanted to raise this issue to the wider community, so that others don't have the dreadful experience I have had.

I am trying to contact eBay, as is the seller, and will most definitely report back further information here. I am very persistent!

It would also be useful to know if other members have had similar issues and what happened, as part of experiential sharing.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 10:54 am   #6
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

According to the community, Radio and guitar amp TUBES are a restricted item.
I do have a link to the thread but I've not posted it as it may contravene the rules here.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 11:34 am   #7
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

It's pot luck if stuff gets through or not.
As well as tube based equipment & parts, they may seize items described as magnetic or spark (e.g. the 1920's Eisemann magneto my Dad lost to the GSP system).

Also be aware that they have lower maximum size & weight limitations for parcels, than USPS or other shipping companies. The same applies if we send stuff out of the UK using the GSP.

And they do pass some seized items to resellers in the country of origin, to recoup some of their loses, if I could remember the name of the largest reseller it would give more clues to items they don't like.

David

Last edited by factory; 1st Aug 2021 at 11:47 am.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 11:47 am   #8
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

I won't be using GSP again if possible.

I phoned eBay and made a formal complaint. Will also be receiving a GSP email to file a complaint.

If valves are the issue because someone at Pitney Bowes thinks they contain mercury, then why not remove/destroy the valves rather than a 100 year old radio? This is cultural vandalism.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 11:52 am   #9
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Meanwhile at some venue sometime later....For sale.......

Lawrence.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 11:57 am   #10
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinball View Post
I won't be using GSP again if possible.

I phoned eBay and made a formal complaint. Will also be receiving a GSP email to file a complaint.

If valves are the issue because someone at Pitney Bowes thinks they contain mercury, then why not remove/destroy the valves rather than a 100 year old radio? This is cultural vandalism.
The staff won't be trained to be able to identify which valves (or other items) actually contain hazardous materials, therefore restrict more items as a result.

David
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 12:02 pm   #11
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Quote:
Originally Posted by ms660 View Post
Meanwhile at some venue sometime later....For sale.......

Lawrence.
Yes, someone at Pitney Bowes is amassing a collection of interesting things! Ebay has lost my custom.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 12:05 pm   #12
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Distressing indeed, and important that we at least find out enough to try to avoid any further such incidents. I think the only radio I've bought from the USA through GSP was an early Transoceanic, which arrived without any problem, with its valves of course and with an original massive battery still in place, but that was quite a while ago.

Paul
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 12:26 pm   #13
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinball View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by ms660 View Post
Meanwhile at some venue sometime later....For sale.......

Lawrence.
Yes, someone at Pitney Bowes is amassing a collection of interesting things! Ebay has lost my custom.
You should still be able to buy from ebay.com without using the GSP, look for listings with USPS international shipping direct to the UK instead.

Edit: removed as I've re-read the sticky post and we are not allowed to discuss ebay vendors.

Looking through some of that, I would say that items containing batteries, liquids/gases of any kind, tubes/valves and heavy or oversized items could be restricted.

David

Last edited by factory; 1st Aug 2021 at 12:47 pm.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 12:31 pm   #14
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

This is a known problem with this shipping service and has been brought up on many other forums and social media sites over the last few years.

As mentioned above, your best option is to avoid this shipping service wherever possible for the likes of any vintage gear that contains valves.

One way around it is to ask the seller to remove the valves and send them by some other service but be aware that there have been problems with the likes of DHL, FEDEX etc doing similar things.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 1:04 pm   #15
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

It was the first vintage radio I've bought from the US, and Grebe of course not one you find in the UK often. Looks like it will be the last such purchase for me, as I'm not taking the risk again.

The upsetting aspect of this is the inability to communicate with someone to find out exactly what happened, just an inflexible 'no reply' corporate email. They won't even return to seller in the US from the GSP US facility. The radio is to be destroyed, or perhaps will turn up at an auction somewhere eventually. If the valves are the issue, why can't they be removed?

Just imagine all the precious, irreplaceable items that are being destroyed? Corporate cultural vandalism.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 1:24 pm   #16
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

This has been going on for some time. I sold a radio to a buyer abroad and had the same message, the buyer was very disappointed and objected to ebay. I don't think he got anywhere though other than a refund. A friend has had the same selling valves. I bought some valves from Russia though no problem sent direct. It seems it is just the GSP system that picks it up. I think someone must have decided the getter splash was Mercury.
Lots of overseas buyers have now stopped using the GSP because of this and the cost. They employ a forwarding company of which there are loads . You then send to them and they forward it doing the suitable customs declarations etc. Even if you make your listing UK only and block all overseas destinations they can still see and bid on your listings, it's no problem though as you just send to UK address at UK postage cost.
For this reason I now don't offer GSP and make all my listings UK only. I cannot be bothered to send abroad direct it's too much trouble!
In my experience it is no good complaining to ebay if you disagree with their policies.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 1:41 pm   #17
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pinball View Post
It was the first vintage radio I've bought from the US, and Grebe of course not one you find in the UK often. Looks like it will be the last such purchase for me, as I'm not taking the risk again.

The upsetting aspect of this is the inability to communicate with someone to find out exactly what happened, just an inflexible 'no reply' corporate email. They won't even return to seller in the US from the GSP US facility. The radio is to be destroyed, or perhaps will turn up at an auction somewhere eventually. If the valves are the issue, why can't they be removed?

Just imagine all the precious, irreplaceable items that are being destroyed? Corporate cultural vandalism.
It won't be destroyed, they rarely even open the parcels these days.

It will end up other restricted items, sold in bulk to one of the many asset recovery providers that I can't mention (forum rules) and advertised on ebay with no international shipping, with the original sellers description & pictures copied by the reseller (this is allowed under the T&C's for GSP).
The one I remember has many such listings for tube radios, no parts are removed.

Asking for the valves to be removed would not help, in fact it could cause problems if the item was seized & resold, as the next buyer wouldn't know the valves were missing, unless the listing & pictures were changed to show an empty chassis.

David
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 1:54 pm   #18
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

My only concern buying from the USA, nothing I add to do with Ebay at all, is the import charges plus extra on delivery a lot of the time.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 3:03 pm   #19
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

If it's legal to re-sell 'internationally restricted' goods in the source country, because they are not 'domestically restricted', then I don't understand why Pitney Bowes/eBay doesn't return items to the sender/seller.

Instead, a secondary market is being created for re-selling 'restricted' goods. How bizarre and wasteful, as I assume eBay isn't profiting from the exercise, and reputationally is damaging itself as e.g. customers such as me decide to never buy from them again.
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Old 1st Aug 2021, 3:26 pm   #20
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Default Re: 1920s Grebe radio 'restricted' by ebay Global Shipping Programme

Negotiate with the seller to buy equipment minus its valves or use a commercial shipping company instead of GSP.
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