Dear eBay Queen:
I recently sold a guitar amp on eBay for right around $1600. It is a good amp and is no longer made so it has become somewhat collectible. I packed it with the utmost care, even removing the tubes and packing them in a separate little box. I was a bit leery of the buyer to start with because he had a few negative feedbacks. He was at 98.3%, so I ignored it.
So he receives the amp about two weeks ago, and he emailed me today saying the speaker is blown and two tubes are broken. I was surprised about the tubes because I packed it so well. The speaker being blown was a red light for me because I knew that it was not. So, I reply saying the amp was perfect when it left my possession and if there was any damage it would be a shipper problem (the amp was insured).
Without any further communication, or waiting for me to respond, he opened a PayPal dispute. In the dispute, he was requesting a refund of $65. I did not know or understand what was going to happen next! PayPal immediately froze my account for the full amount of the auction. My account is frozen and the $1600 is no longer mine. If it were frozen for $65 I would have fought this scammer right in PayPal, but, I had more auctions closing and I wanted my account clear to get those funds. I refunded the $65 with a note saying he needs to return the “blown” speaker. I EVEN OFFERED TO PAY RETURN SHIPPING. I contact him a week later asking for a tracking number for the speaker. He replied stating he hasn’t shipped the speaker, but what carrier do I want to use. I reply. A week later, and I’ve still heard nothing. I inquire and he replied, saying he must have thrown away the speaker. Well, now I know for sure that he was lying from day one! The last email I sent him just asked for a simple picture of the new speaker in the amp. Of course he replied saying “I don’t have access to a camera.”
Sorry for the long post. I know that I am screwed out of the $65 and that is fine. I am just hoping that you can help me figure out what to do next. I’m sure that this isn’t the first person to try this partial refund scam. It has happened a few times with guitars and pickups. But, this is the first time PayPal’s policies have screwed me, the seller. I have always and will always be honest and willing to make good on any real issues when I sell things. Unfortunately, there are people out there who are taking advantage of eBay’s new no feedback for buyers from the seller and PayPal’s total buyer protection policy. What should I do?
I don’t think you’ve been scammed, although I think the buyer should have explained what he wanted upfront without the PayPal claim. If I had to guess what happened, I imagine that your tubes arrived broken, and the buyer took the $65.00 you refunded to buy more tubes. You received your 1600.00 (less the $65.00) back from PayPal right? Why would the guy send you back the product and let you keep the majority of the money? I believe this situation worked out pretty well. In almost any other scenario you could have been out the $1600.00, shipping, and have a broken item.
If you should ever have situation like this again, I would contact PayPal and see if they can clear up any confusion you might have regarding the transaction. Another thing you might want to consider is that PayPal didn’t freeze your whole account; they just placed a hold on that transaction. That particular hold would not affect any other transaction you might have.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item: 221157728205 (enter this number in the eBay search box in the top right corner of the home page) Do you smoke a pipe? I’m not sure why this one sold for 15,000 dollars, but it did. Check out this 1988 Bo Nordh Pipe Smoked slightly Used. SOLD $15000.00 http://www.ebay.com/itm/1988-Bo-Nordh-pipe-Smoked-slightly-used-/221157728205
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained Education Specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Do you have a question for the eBay Queen? Email: email@example.com
Dear eBay Queen:
I bought several items (mostly toys) on December 17th and December 18th believing they would be sent by conscience sellers who would send them immediately. I even made sure that the sellers were close to where I live, or at the very least a few states away.
My first item I purchased was a Skylanders Game Set that was in Nebraska. This set was brand new in the box, and had free shipping on it. I paid for the item within 10 minutes of the auction closing. The seller did not acknowledge my payment, and did not send the item until the 20th. I watched the tracking, and the box went to South Dakota before it started traveling towards me in Missouri! I did receive the game set, but it was sent MEDIA MAIL and wrapped in wrapping paper instead of a box. The seller has 64 feedback. Should I say something to him?
My second item I purchased was a hard to find Wii Game. I paid for this game within minutes of the auction being over on Sunday. The seller made a label for it that same day, so I was thinking I would receive it by Wednesday or Thursday. I watched the tracking on this item, and on Wednesday when the tracking information was not showing up, I emailed this to the seller:
“Hi.. I’m freaking out a little bit. I’ve been watching the tracking on this, and it does not show in the system. I must have this by Christmas Eve as it is a gift from Santa. Has this been mailed? It just appears to have a label made. Thanks”
The seller replied:
“Chill out, Yes it was mailed from San Francisco yesterday. I travel for business, and made the label at my company office in Boston, and mailed it from my home in California. I don’t know why it’s not showing up in tracking. You should contact the post office.”
It shows you made the label on the 17th.. but the item doesn’t show in the system. This is a Christmas Gift.. the ONLY thing my 7 year old son asked for from Santa. Where is this item? WHAT is going on?
The seller replied:
“Yes I printed the label on the 17th. At my company’s office. In Boston. I shipped the item within 2.5 days of the auction ending. I do not control the postal system. Please stop harassing me.
It was sent on Wednesday morning. The postal service has your item. This will be my final reply. Although you have been quite rude, I hope the postal service delivers your item by Christmas for your child.”
“Harassing you? You have my money and the item! This was the only thing my 7 year old son asked for from Santa. I trusted you would send the item in a timely fashion.
I contacted my Postmaster for help with this. It is against the USPS rules to make a label and not send it for days later. If turned in for this you could get in trouble. You made the label on SUNDAY and told me you mailed it on Wednesday, when in all actuality you mailed the item on FRIDAY evening at 4:48pm. Your math skills appear to be as good as your selling skills.”
I didn’t hear anything else from him, but he left me a positive feedback that had a negative comment: “Horrible Harassing Buyer Doesn’t Understand EBAY.” Now, what do I do about that?
Tracy, Independence, MO
I am so sorry this happened to you. I’ve had a couple of similar happenings this year when I ordered stuff. When it comes to your first order, I would probably send them a note to thank them for the order. Let them know that the order arrived in great condition, but should not have been send media mail, since it was a video game.
I would not contact the second person, as they seem a little off their rocker. I would contact eBay right away about the feedback comment they left, eBay should remove that immediately. Negative positives are a big no-no. As far as the feedback you should leave for that seller, it’s totally up to you. I probably would not leave a positive. I would lean toward no feedback or a neutral.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item: 3210336888807 Who says money can’t buy love? Check out 6 Love Letters from Prince Charles 1976 to 1980 SOLD $42,000.00 http://www.ebay.com/itm/6-Love-Letters-from-Prince-Charles-1976-1980-Not-to-Camilla-the-love-of-his-life-/321033688807
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained Education Specialist. She lives in Rantoul, Kansas.
Dear eBay Queen:
I’ve been an avid baseball card collector my whole life. While checking eBay for Jeff Samardzija cards that are M.I.A. from my collection yesterday, I found a 1/1 printing plate of Jeff that I wanted. The seller had a BIN for $44.95 or best offer. I decided I better act fast before it sells, so I went ahead and made him a best offer of $25.55. The last Samardzija plate sold for $20.00 and one before that sold for $27.00. The seller then sends me a counteroffer of $44.55, its original starting price. Then he raises the BIN price to $54.95, ten dollars more than the initial by it now! He tried to make it seem like I’m getting some kind of deal because the cards value magically went up $10 because the seller received some interest in the card. After this, I’m thinking this seller is one of those crazy book value losers who are trying to cover the cost they paid for the box with this one card. I decided to send him a counteroffer of $37.55, completely not worth it, but again, I wanted the card. He rejected my offer and sent me this message:
“What’s your problem man? It’s a 1/1 press plate…and a 2007 TRUE ROOKIE….its priced to sell……….with 2.95 shipping….that makes $45 delivered for this……..otherwise when the season starts I hope to get $100.″
In your dreams, buddy! Even his best autographed rookies don’t sell for $100, so keep dreaming and let me know when you come back down to earth and are ready to except a reasonable offer. Unless he gets some drunken moron to buy it, he will never sell that card for what he’s asking for it. By the way, 2007 Just Minors isn’t a “true rookie” of Samardzija, but whatever helps you sleep at night. If you didn’t want to entertain a best offer, why waste both my time and yours and put it on the listing?
I find it really hard sometimes to make sense of people’s stupidity… Why do you think sellers do this kind of thing with Best Offers?
Collector, Denver CO
The logic behind “Best Offer” has vexed me for awhile now. I think you were more than fair with your offer based on your reason was behind it. Did you let the seller know why you offered that price? I’m not sure it would help with this seller, but it is worth a try if you really want it. In this instance I would probably move on and try to find another card. This seller believes their item is worth more than you are willing to pay for it.
Dear eBay Queen:
I won an auction for an Xbox with games on 13th of December. I paid the seller on the same day with PayPal, and since that time I’ve had nothing with problems with this seller. He says that he shipped it with USPS, and gave me a tracking number. I checked the number, and it just shows “it’s left the sorting facility” nothing else! I don’t think they have even sent it!
I contacted my city’s police department, and filled out the Online Fraud Form. I have contacted PayPal and eBay, and the customer support person told me to “wait just a bit longer for the item.” I’ve read over the dispute process, but eBay tells me I need to wait at least 7 days before I open a dispute. The guy’s phone number is in his listing, and I did call him. He just hung up on me as soon as he heard my voice.
What should I do? Do you think I will get this Xbox? At the time of the sale he had 405+ feedback, but I just feel like the post office should actually know where the item is, don’t you?
I think I can help ease your frustration with this transaction. I would say that since you purchased this item less than a week ago, even if it wasn’t the busiest shipping time of the year you need to wait a little bit longer. I’ve been having problems with my own tracking numbers showing up, and seeming to be hung up in the system when I check on them. My advice is to wait until at least the 21st. If it hasn’t arrived by then, I would contact your post master, and if it hasn’t arrived by the 24th, I would open a claim with PayPal.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item: 160918944255. I’d like to have a few of these lying around the house! Pink Panther Bendable Poseable Christmas Ornament SOLD $899.99. http://www.ebay.com/itm/Pink-Panther-Bendable-Poseable-Christmas-XMAS-Tree-Ornament-Dangler-/160918944255
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained Education Specialist. She lives in Rantoul, Kansas