Archive for May, 2009
Dear eBay Queen;
I’ve been selling on eBay since 1999. I had a buyer purchase two separate items from me on eBay. I shipped them in a USPS priority mail box. The box was 12x12x8, and I used peanuts and bubble wrapped to ship the figurines. I received this email from the buyer today.
"The items came to me broken. I took the package to the post office because I had insurance. They denied the claim because you didn’t ship it according to their standards. If you had taken it to the post office they wouldn’t have insured it.
You sent these precious items to me in a sheet box. The box was not strong enough to withstand the normal post office requirements. I cried so hard at the post office because I gave you the benefit of the doubt. I’ve lost the item, the shipping costs, and the insurance. Are you willing to refund me? You have to ship things in a stronger box!
I have a copy of the hand written letter from the person who told me this was not shipped properly. Not only was the box not up to the standards of shipping this precious item but peanuts foam is not allowed for these items. She said you have to box within a box. You didn’t even have them separated. I’m so sad and hurt that this is broken. Please let me know if you are going to help me."
When are peanuts not allowed for shipping items with the USPS? I don’t know how to respond, or what to do. Please help me.
I understand why you would be confused about this. If you sent this in a USPS Priority mail box, the post office should not say that it “is not strong enough”. If this were my transaction, I would email your buyer, apologize and let her know that you will take care of this. You do not want her to be unhappy. Request the post office phone number and the name of the person she spoke with.
Once you have the information, contact your Post Master and hers. Let both of them know what happened. If her Post Master will accept the claim, email her and tell her to take it back in. If they will not accept the claim, contact your post master to see if they will accept the claim. If they will accept it, have your buyer mail the item and the original packaging back to you so you can take it in to your post office.
If the post office will not accept the claim, it will be up to you to decide what to do. Since this buyer is a little dramatic, I would probably refund her money and apologize profusely.
Dear eBay Queen;
I have been selling on eBay for a few years. The last three weeks have been really slow for me. I am worried. I am a full time father with custody of my two children. Is it me and my product, or am I having some bad luck?
About a month ago I would spend $100 on 100 pieces of clothing. I would start the price at $4 per piece and charge $6.60 for Priority Flat Rate Shipping. Maybe 50 would sell the first time around then the next time around 50% of the remaining would sell till it was gone. Now I spend the same amount, but only about 20% will sell.
Why is this happening? Is it the recession, or is this something that happens in the summertime? I mean, everybody will still need clothes regardless of how poor they are, so why not buy them where they’re cheaper? What should I do?
It’s always hard when an item doesn’t sell like you would like for it to. The economy has hurt all sellers, retail and online. Have you tried a little self promotion? I would consider using the following to promote your eBay items:
1. Google Base. http://www.google.com/base
2. Twitter. http://www.twitter.com
3. Facebook. http://www.facebook.com
When this happens to me (and it does happen to me), I will re-analyze my photos, ad layout and terms. Have you done this? Your price seems extremely reasonable, so I don’t understand how it could be that. Have you checked out the competition? Are they using a model or mannequin? I do know that clothing tends to sell better when it is on a body instead of a hanger or laying flat on the floor. What about measurements? It is very important that the measurements are included in the ad, since buyers can’t try the items on before buying them.
I hope your sales pick up soon!
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item 310142307548
(Enter this number in the eBay search box in the top right corner of the home page) Summer is here! Check out this 1920’s Wool Swimsuit: SOLD $630.00 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item310142307548
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? E-mail: email@example.com
Dear eBay Queen:
I purchased a large antique piece of furniture. It has been 11 days and the seller has refused to return my calls or emails. Before the end of the auction the seller agreed that I could pick the item up on the next weekend and pay cash.
I would like to see in writing the binding contract that I could use in small claims court in an attempt to purchase and take possession of the item which I won on eBay.
I know it may be a hassle, but I won and would like to complete the transaction even though the seller has not returned any contacts.
Guy in Garnett
This seller would be classified as a "Non Selling Seller ." It is against eBay rules to do this to a buyer. You say that he agreed to you paying him in cash, and picking the furniture up on the weekend. Did he say this via the phone or email? If you have his agreement in writing (email) stating that the seller agreed to you picking up the item, then I would think that would be all you need for proof. This being said, I don’t know how you can force someone to sell something to you. If you take him to small claims court, it will have to be in his county, and there could be some extra cost to you in travel. Is this worth it to you?
If this were my transaction, I would email him, and ask him to let you know when you can pick up the item. Give him 3 days to respond. If he does not, I would proceed through eBay’s Non Selling Seller process. More information on it here: http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/seller-non-performance.html To start this process go here: http://contact.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ContactUsNextGen
Another way to look at this is, your seller could have had a family emergency. If he won’t answer his phone or email, you can check to see if he has listed any new items or left feedback for anyone during the last 11 days you have waited.
Good luck with this let me know how it turns out.
Dear eBay Queen;
I lost my job a couple of months ago, and my wife suggested I sell a few things on eBay. I’ve been doing that, and have been pretty successful. We even have 125 feedback!
We recently sold a 1972 Terry Camper on eBay. When we listed the item, we put on the ad that it had damages and needed to be fixed up. The buyer is now threatening to sue me for more than she paid for the camper! She did not complain when she picked the camper up! She says she is suing us for because we intentionally lied to her about the condition. She sends us at least 6 emails a day threatening to sue us if we don’t pay her 400.00 dollars back. She wants me to drive to her home which is over 425 miles away, to pick the up the camper!
My kids and wife are worried sick over this. We don’t have anything as it is. What can we do about this? Can she really sue me? What would you do?
Congratulations on your success on eBay. This transaction is really strange, and your buyer sounds like she might have a screw loose. Did you take photos of the damage? Didn’t the buyer pick up the camper, and inspect it before paying for it?
If this were my transaction I would contact an attorney or small claims court in your area. Let them know the story, and see what they advise you to do. I would contact the buyer and let them know you would be happy to refund their money if the camper was returned. If she does not respond to that offer favorably, I would not answer her emails any longer. At this point you will have offered a refund in good faith and there is nothing more you are obligated to do.
Don’t let this one buyer deter you from selling. I don’t have much experience when it comes to small claims court, I did contact Franklin County’s Court and they said this claim she has would have to be filed here. That may deter her from actually filing a claim against you. Keep your chin up and keep selling on eBay.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item 170329328232 (enter this number in the eBay search box in the top right corner of the home page). What do you take your lunch in? Check out this Davy Crockett Drawstring Vinyl Lunch Box 1950’s Sold $910.00 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=170329328232
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? E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.