Solve It 7: eBay toilet

A spare toilet isn’t something that most people have laying around the house, but Nashua, New Hampshire, resident Gerry Hogan does!

Hogan got stuck with it after his plans to add a bathroom in his basement went down the drain.

“I never got around to it and we just decided the kids moved out and we didn’t need it,” explained Hogan.

With the porcelain project scrapped, Hogan was stuck with his $1,000 throne.

Hogan’s wife was tired of seeing it in the house, so she suggested that he try to sell it on eBay.

“I said if I get $700 I’ll be thrilled. Anything more than that would be gravy,” said Hogan.

Hogan listed the toilet on eBay, and after 10 days on the auction block, it sold to a man in Maine for $786.

However, Hogan had some concerns. “My big concern was getting it there safely,” he said.

Hogan took the pricey potty to his local UPS store and used packing peanuts to pack it securely.

After making sure it was nicely packed, he insured the package for $800.

Everything was going as planned until Hogan got a message on eBay.

“The buyer said that it was broken,” Hogan told 7News.

After receiving the message, the buyer send pictures of the damage, and Hogan called UPS to file a claim.

According to Hogan, UPS had to see the original packaging in order for them to process the claim.

UPS said they would pick up the box used to ship the toilet from the buyer so they could inspect it.

Hogan says he emailed, called, and left messages for the buyer several times to tell him how to proceed, but never heard back.

“I’m really starting to get a little bit nervous… was it really damaged?” Hogan said.

Hogan continued to email and call, clogging the buyer’s inbox and voicemail with multiple messages.

“So I called eBay and said what do I do? And they just said send him a return label and he has to send it back,” said Hogan.

It got worse. UPS told Hogan for insurance they require the item to be sent back in it’s original shipping material – something that he feared may have been already thrown away.

To top it off, if he didn’t do everything by a certain deadline, then eBay would refund the buyer his money, and Hogan would lose out on his insurance claim.

Flush out of ideas and with the deadline days away, Hogan called Solve It 7.

First, we called eBay. The company agreed to extend Hogan’s window to try and get the situation resolved.

Then, we reached the buyer, and relayed the message about what he needed to do to help with the insurance claim.

“It took a couple of days, but he finally called UPS and they came and picked up the package,” said Hogan.

That was on a Friday, and a few days later Hogan said “I got a call from UPS on Tuesday.

They got the package back, and they’re going to approve the claim.”

UPS kept the toilet, the buyer got his $786 back, and Hogan received a check for $900 covering the cost of the toilet and shipping.

“I can’t tell you how grateful I am. If it wasn’t for 7 I know that money would be long gone,” said Hogan.

Is plunging into the problem not getting the job done?

Well maybe we can help flush out a soluation. Give us a call at 617-367-7777, or send us an email to


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