Well, it arrived today. Looking like this:
I wanted to inspect the box before the UPS driver left in order to make sure there wasn't damage but those people are as stealthy as ninjas. He dropped the box on the porch, sprinted across the yard to his truck and was on his way down the street by the time I heard him. Needless to say, he didn't knock or ring the doorbell. They never do.
The box looked beat up so I was worried when I hauled it into the house. When I opened it I was greeted with an avalanche of broken styrofoam bits where the packing had disintegrated under the battering it had received in the "caring" hands of UPS. The idiots.
The bottom magazine rack is broken off the table and the leg and corner of the top are damaged. That leg is also loose. It's toast. The seller said to send pictures of the damage to them and they will refund my money. They didn't want the wrecked table back. I wouldn't want it either.
I didn't reorder the table because I don't trust that it won't happen again. In the past several years husband and I have ordered several pieces of occasional furniture - a nightstand for his side of the bed, end tables to go with the new sofa in his computer room, end tables for the living room, a console table. These have all been ordered from different sellers and in three of the cases, including my table, the merchandise has arrived damaged. The fault is that the sellers don't adequately package the stuff to withstand the handling that UPS or FedEx will give them.
In all cases, the items arrived in the packing boxes from the manufacturer with no additional protection. These are generally thin corrugated boxes with thin sheets of styrofoam to keep the things from slipping around. The styrofoam boards are never thicker than 1". This kind of packing is adequate to keep the items from being scratched up while they are crammed into a cargo container on a ship from China, but not intended as packaging in and of themselves.
This is what the packing looked like:
You can tell it's been beat to hell.
I have decided to just quit trying. I checked and couldn't find a store locally that sold the brand and know that options are limited because I looked at just about every cherry side table in existence online before I ordered the one I did. I only have a small area to fit in a table and this one was perfect. You can't blame me for thinking that to reorder it is just nuts.
One other thing: The last time this happened, with my husband's nightstand, the seller said they didn't want the damaged table back and I could trash it. I got it in writing. Nevertheless, I left the damaged table sitting in my garage for months just in case. After nearly four months I cleaned out the garage and disposed of it. Not three weeks later I got a notice from UPS with a sticker to put on the box so they could pick it up. I called the seller back and they said it didn't come from them and they still didn't need the damaged goods. They filed a claim for damage against UPS and that was who wanted the table and packaging back to refute the damage claim. Too bad - I told UPS I didn't have it and tough luck.
I'll keep this junked table for a while just in case the same thing happens.