Okay, it's not like I really need another Electrolux Model XXX.

But when I see one on eBay that's particularly nice I do keep an eye on it. However, I rarely bid on them any more since, in recent times, even relatively crummy specimens have been going for astonishingly high bids. I mean in the hundreds of dollars.

It was to my great surprise a couple of weeks ago when a very, very lovely XXX came up and at the last hour of bidding had only gotten two low bids. I could tell from the photos that the machine was in excellent condition, and all original. The only thing it lacked was the cord winder but it had the Companion, original hose, and all the original attachments.

So, figuring I'd get sniped as usual, I placed a bid for 20 bucks.

It was to my even greater surprise when I won the auction -- in fact not even paying the full $20 I had put down.

It seemed that this auction was charmed -- not only had hardly anyone found it apparently, the seller was nice, seemed intelligent and articulate, and did not gouge me on shipping. If anything, she undercharged me at $18.50, sending it to Los Angeles from Atlanta.

It was to my even-great-still surprise when the machine arrived: My heart lept with joy when I unpacked it and saw that the machine literally is like new!

There are no rust spots on the chrome; no marring or scratching of the wrinkle-finish; the leatherette is in absolutely perfect condition.

It has the original thick Belden Cord (hi Rick B.!) that is still soft and supple, again just like it left the factory.

The bag looks absolutely unused; the bag chamber is spotless and blemish-free; and the rear filter looks like it was just installed yesterday. There aren't even any of the "imprints" that you see when filters are taken out, cleaned, and re-inserted.

The wands are beautiful and scratch free -- only very slight scuffs at the tips from connecting them together and into the attachments, but again, this is very very minimal. I'd say it looks like the machine could not have been used more than a dozen times at most!

I had written the seller and BEGGED her to please pack it carefully, taking special care with the hose. I told her the machine was almost 60 years old and it would be a real shame if it got ruined. Well, my biggest fear - the hose - was unfounded. It arrived in perfect condition!

This did surprise me since I must say, her packing was careless despite my pleadings and admonishments. The box was only loosely filled with packing peanuts and the machine was not wrapped with bubble wrap - just enclosed in a plastic bag with cardboard strips attached to the bottom. But it appeared to have made it safe and sound nonetheless -- again, I was thrilled at the condition of the hose.

Here are some photos of this gem -- please keep in mind that they don't even begin to do it justice.











But ....... there is a sad end to this story.

After I got the Electrolux out of the box and got a good look, I turned it over. My heart just sank down to my toenails when I saw that it had gotten a severe jolt to the right-rear corner, badly crimping the housing in and snapping the steel runner off. It's so badly crumpled that it will be impossible to fix it back to new condition.

It really got a good slam -- it would take a terribly bad blow to do this kind of damage, since the runner is pop-riveted into the body of the machine and the rivets were sheared right out of the sheet-metal housing.

There is no way to repair this. It's a total loss. And that's a darn shame since the machine is in such INCREDIBLE condition -- almost like new.





I emailed the seller with the bad news, but told her not to bother with an insurance claim. She had shipped it via DSL. Filing a claim would be a huge hassle for both of us, far more so than would be warranted. That's one good reason why I NEVER use DSL.

This applies across the board to all the carriers -- UPS, USPS, DHL and FedX. But at least with UPS in particular, getting a refund on damaged goods is a fairly painless process. Not so at all with the other carriers, and DHL in particular. They are notorious about denying damage claims and make you jump through many hoops in order to discourage people from reporting damage. Indeed, case in point.

Besides, I am more sorry about the loss of the machine than the loss of the money I paid for it.

I am finding that more and more, eBay purchases are proving to be disappointing more times than not, one way or another. Most of you reading this know of some of my other eBay horror stories, such as the dumb-dumb who shipped a once-mint Kirby 511 in the original box -- and to add insult to injury, when I came home I saw the box sitting on my front porch, the lawn sprinklers were giving it a good bath.......

I am getting less and less interested in buying on eBay. Good news for my bidding competitors I guess, but really, this is happening with ever-increasing frequency. Along with just finding more and more scammers and morons in general. I could tell y'all some stories................

"What a world, what a world."


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