The metal spinning tip looked completely mangled and there was a divot/chip in the flicking tip. The photo below is AFTER I fixed it - I really wish I thought to take a before photo. It had gouges all over it (tool marks) and a very large burr on the tip that caused it to wobble all over and barely spin. Knowing my husband has some metal files, I put this away for a little while - DON'T file angry (see below). Today was a day off, so I tackled this, and it really only took 5-10 minutes to fix it up.
It could still use some fine filing to get it ultra smooth, but I've learned when sanding/filing things, its best to do it in small, short sessions ... I did once sand a hand sander right through the wall trying to fix a really bad, old paint and plaster job from the previous owners of our house ... oh and by hand sander I mean a MANUAL hand block sander, you know a flat piece with a handle that you clamp sandpaper onto ... not an electric one.
Now I am confident in tackling some of my other spindles and sanding the flicking tips / making minor adjustments.
I am quite pleased with how this turned out and happy that I didn't waste $40. It spins incredibly now that it has a smooth surface and I fixed the divot in the flicking tip too. Its a gamble when you purchase things like this from other people, but generally knitters/spinners are good peeps.