Swedes not so sweet

January 27, 2012

I’m a bit shocked this morning. I’m having an ongoing cyber-row with a Swedish lady I’ve never even met. And it’s getting quite nasty.

It’s all because I’ve developed a new hobby, buying our favourite china, Ostindia by Rorstrand, on eBay. Ostindia is a pretty Swedish blue and white floral patterned dinner service, with a romantic story attached – it came out in 1932, inspired by a shard of china salvaged from the wreck of the Swedish East Indiaman Götheborg, which sank in 1745. We saw it on holiday and fell in love.

Then the eBay supply of Ostindia plates dried up (all right, I bought it all). So clever TL found the Swedish equivalent of eBay, Tradera. As Rorstrand is a Swedish firm, you can hardly move on Tradera for Swedes flogging their Ostindia – it’s still one of Sweden’s most popular patterns today. I’ve had great fun, browsing page after page of candlesticks, tureens and other bits and bobs that you can’t find anywhere in the UK. Before you ask, my Swedish is limited to ‘hi’ – I just paste everything into Google Translate.

Finally, I decided to take the plunge and I bought a teapot. Ostindia teapots have been discontinued in the real world, so I was pleased to find one on Tradera, and remained pleased even when the seller told me how much she was going to charge me for postage. I was very happy indeed, right up until the moment I opened the box this morning. The teapot is NOT Ostindia, it doesn’t have the right markings, it’s slightly the wrong colour, the printing is all wrong, some of it is even blurry as though it’s a bad photocopy of a teapot.

You’d never think a Swede would lie, would you? They have a reputation for being upstanding, honourable, good people. After eight increasingly vituperative emails this morning, I’m now coming round to thinking that it’s no wonder Inspector Wallander is so busy in the Henning Mankell books. What this lady is trying to get away with is blimmin criminal.


You Might Also Like

  • writeonmum January 27, 2012 at 12:23 pm

    OMG! Sneaky little Swede! Is she trying to get away with it? Is there anything you can do apart from venting your rage in an email? I suppose you can report her as a bad seller, like on eBay? Oh, good luck with it, let us know how you get on. Grrrrrr on your behalf. x

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 27, 2012 at 2:02 pm

      The trouble is the website is all in Swedish – I felt fine about bidding etc but am not sure Google Translate will be so brilliant at the fine print – but I’m going to have to have a look. Also I don’t really want to send the teapot back as that will cost me about £25 alone …. a shame but I think the moral of the story is turning out to be don’t trade on Tradera! Thanks for your grrrr, much appreciated x

  • Lottie Lockwood January 27, 2012 at 2:33 pm

    You could of course just have her shot…just get Jeremy Clarkson on the case…

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2012 at 9:45 am

      Mmmm, I think you’ve got something there …… not that I’m advocating violence (much)! In fact wrapping Jeremy Clarkson up in brown paper and sending him to that lady would probably be the best revenge I could ever have *goes off to find brown paper*

  • Jane Alexander January 27, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Oh my…didn’t anyone warn you about the Swedes? 😉 That’s a pain though… 🙁 But the pattern IS lovely…

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2012 at 9:46 am

      It IS lovely isn’t it? Just as well as I am currently spending hours trawling websites for it instead of doing any work *slaps own wrists* xx

  • Addy January 27, 2012 at 3:26 pm

    I was going to suggest you take up the dispute with Tradera like you can with ebay. The Swedes are very good with English (in fact better than the English are!) I hope you get it sorted out. Could you not try taking it up with the Swedish Embassy’s Commercial Counsellor? It’s a pretty pattern.

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2012 at 9:49 am

      The Swedes are brilliant at English, you’re right. I’ve just had a reply back from the Tradera people saying they are very sorry to hear of the problem and giving me the vendor’s email address. As we’ve already exchanged 16 increasingly bad-tempered emails this is not particularly helpful! I think they are pretty much washing their hands of the whole thing. Mama Mia, as Abba would say!

  • English Mum January 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Oh nooooo! That’s so bad. Do let us know what happens – hope you get your money back x

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2012 at 9:50 am

      Thank you, oh lovely one. Actually I think I’m just going to have to train myself to love the teapot as I don’t think there’s much chance of getting my money back. Well, they do say caveat emptor. I love my teapot, I love my teapot, I love my teapot *brave face* x

  • Emma January 27, 2012 at 4:22 pm

    Oh dear….sounds like an absolute pain! Hope that you manage to sort it out lovely xx

    • Dulwich Divorcee January 31, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Thank you honey, it is an absolute pain. I think I’m just going to have to be brave and get used to a rather silly fake teapot *runs off howling and sticks head under duvet*

  • frankie January 31, 2012 at 4:17 pm

    So sorry to hear about your teapot troubles. People suck. I’m in .se and you really can’t move but for tripping over Östindia. I hardly use Blocket or Tradera, usually just go to the local second hand shops. If you’re still looking for specific pieces, maybe try emailing a shop that sells online like and see if they can keep an eye out for you? Those stores get most of their stock from estates and auctions and things, so they’re always getting older services.

    • Dulwich Divorcee February 1, 2012 at 12:41 pm

      Hi Frankie, thanks so much for that great suggestion, I’m going to pop over to and have a look. Yes, it’s true you see Ostindia everywhere in Sweden, wish I was there to browse for myself – there’s always a danger in getting things online. Thanks again for your help 🙂