Re: Why not to buy a Morgan Monroe
This is one of the huge issues when purchasing internationally. You get hit for very high shipping costs inwards, plus any taxes or duty, and should something be seriously wrong, as in this case, returning an item can cost an arm and a leg. Unfortunately, also, when purchasing between continents, many of the normal consumer protection safeguards either do not apply or are impossible to enforce. This is why, where possible, it is best avoided. Even though you are not at fault at all here, you lose. Paypal can certainly force the dealer to refund - but as already noted, they may require you to return the item (tracked) at your expense. From Australia to the US that is far from cheap. You will also not normally get a refund for any duty or import taxes paid (there are procedures for this in some cases, but it can be very complex). I would look to source your instruments in Australia next time. Might cost a bit more upfront, but at least if something like this happens, you are in a far stronger position.
Having taken a close look at your first pic, I see something metallic there too. If there was no rod, there should just be an empty (wood) channel. It looks like there could be a rod in there, way back under the nut?
Gibson F5 'Harvey' Fern
Gibson F5 'Derrington' Fern
Distressed Silverangel F 'Esmerelda' aka 'Maxx'
Jim Triggs 23 F5, Northfield Big Mon #127
Silverangel custom 'A'
'39 D-18, 1950 D-28.