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Webb's Antique Mall / Bad business practice

1 United States

I had my eye on an (incomplete) set of China for some time. On my third visit to examine it, I decided to buy it. The posted price was $299.00. I approached a man at the counter and we went back to where the china was. Since it wasn't marked "firm", I asked if he would reduce the price. He suggested $250, I countered with $200 and he agreed. He went to get a cart to transport it to the front and I went to tell a friend what I was doing. When I returned the china was gone, so I went to the front and the man said they would wrap it up and that it would take a few minutes if I wanted to wander around some more, which I did.

They wrapped the china in newspaper and put it in two boxes. When I got home, I immediately unwrapped and saw that a handle was broken off the vegetable tureen. I had examined the china several times on previous visits as well as immediately before deciding to purchase it, and the handles were intact. I called them and told them that the piece had been broken at some point before they wrapped it (I searched the boxes and newspapers thouroughly and couldn't find it). I was told it must have been broken by them because they don't sell pieces that aren't useable and she would see what she could do and call me back. Several days later, she left a message saying they would give me some kind of credit. I called her today and asked if they might be able to replace the piece and she said they would.

However, when I got there, she excused herself and went to talk to the man I'd dealt with earlier. She returned a few minutes later and said that he said he'd shown me the damage before I bought the set and there's nothing they can do for me, but he'd give me $20 or would refund the $200 if I returned the set. In short, he told a bald-faced lie. The evidence of that is that he offered the $20 (not to mention the refund). If he had shown me the damage prior to the purchase and I had agreed to it, why would he be willing to give me cash or allow me to return the set?

I am apalled at the unethical behaviour, not to mention being told one thing on the phone and a completely different story after making the long drive to the store. While I got an incredible deal (I subsequently priced the pieces we purchased and to buy them individually would cost a little over $1200.00), the fact remains that he agreed to sell the (undamaged) set for $200 and then someone there subsequently damaged one of the most valuable pieces (the tureen alone is worth $149 at Replacements, Inc.) and lied about it.

I would like to make others aware that Webb's Antique Mall is not a trustworthy place with which to do business. The two people I dealt with were Jasmine and Roland (if I heard correctly).


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