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Thread: Am I a bad eBay buyer?

  1. #1
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Am I a bad eBay buyer?

    I just got an item that was listed "New" but the buyer mentioned that the box had been opened. When I got the item, one side of the box had been cut off with a utility knife (even though there was a tab opposite so it could just be opened) and then reattached with packing tape, and the styrofoam inside was pretty torn up with some pieces missing. The item itself is fine, but it was listed as "New" and it clearly is less than that, so I opened a case requesting a replacement or a partial refund.

    I got a print not too long ago, and it arrived with creases (due to poor packaging), and I ended up getting essentially all my money back and I kept the print.

    I got another print even earlier with similar damage and with that I also got a partial refund for and kept.

    Recently I got a case from a person on HardForum and it got damaged in shipping. The guy opened an insurance claim and I got a full refund and I got to keep the case. In that situation really nobody was out anything but a little time and trouble, so it was a win/win.

    In these other situations though, there really isn't a win/win scenario. It's usually art that can't be repaired, salvaged, or replaced, and in general I go for the best case lose/lose compromise. In most cases I calculate the shipping cost to them (since they'll be responsible for it) and request that I keep the item and get a refund minus that amount. Since the item is essentially worthless to them I know they'll probably take the offer and I'll just have to live with the damaged print until another one comes up on eBay.

    I've been searching for some of these prints for years, and I can't tell you how decimating it is to think I've purchased one of them only for it to arrive with creases from damage in transit.

    So, am I bad for offering what I think is the best deal for me? Sometimes I feel weird, like this somehow happens more often to me than others, but at the same time I really don't want to keep or pay the price I offered on an item that isn't the same as the one that was represented. Anyone else have similar situations?

  2. #2
    Stupidity feeds my children blueonblack's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a bad eBay buyer?

    Doesn't sound like you're bad to me at all. In this instance it's art but it really doesn't matter what it is, it's the buyer's responsibility to get it to you in the condition listed in the sale. If it's damaged in transit I still hold the seller accountable, since he or she is the one that packaged it. Granted shipping services damage things, but it certainly wasn't *your* fault it got damaged.

    Sounds like you're handling these just about right if you ask me. (And you did.)

    “Do not trust people like me. I will take you to museums, and parks, and monuments, and kiss you in every beautiful place, so that you can never go back to them without tasting me like blood in your mouth. I will destroy you in the most beautiful way possible, and when I leave you will finally understand why storms are named after people.”

  3. #3
    Why must hard drives fail together? TheMainMan's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a bad eBay buyer?

    I'm with blueonblack on this one. Listing an item correctly is definitely the seller's responsibility. If they don't know exactly what they're selling, that needs to be clear up front (working, what it is, etc.). If the item itself is like-new but the packaging is damaged, that too needs to be stated clearly in the description. If it isn't, then that's deceitful and should be dealt with accordingly, which it sounds like you've done.

    SgtM and I experienced the perils of shipping things about a year ago, when a well-packed box was simply crushed in shipping. Most of the stuff survived, a testament to the fact that it actually was well packed, but the top piece snapped in two. If you've seen his work then you know it's art; we worked out an arrangement that suited the situation and it sounds to me like you did the same with your situations. As long as there is a constructive dialogue about a solution, I think you've done your due diligence.

    Really for any product, art included, in my opinion it comes down to whether the item can be used for its original purpose. I would say that the burden of proving that it was damaged/not as indicated is on the buyer, but if you prove that then a mutual solution needs to be reached.

    Long story short, it sounds like you've done your part in being reasonable about these issues.
    TheMainMan

  4. #4
    A.B. normal msmrx57's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a bad eBay buyer?

    Having been on the selling side of a couple of transactions that have had problems I'd say that you're making the best out of things. Sometimes things happen in transit that are out of your control. Communication is a huge part of solving the problem. One of the issues I had was with something that got broke in shipping, it was well packed but when the buyer got it it looked like a hippo sat on it. After dealing with the guys in the brown truck we got it sorted out. The other issue that I had was I sold a spare gas tank from my cycle listed exactly what year and model it was off of, buyer never asked any questions then wanted me to pay to ship it back when it didn't fit his (different year and model). PayPal did not side with him because the listing stated specific year and model info.
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  5. #5
    Undead Pirate d_stilgar's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a bad eBay buyer?

    Thanks for the feedback guys.

    In my own experience as a seller I go out of my way to make sure that I am being 100% accurate about the condition. I'll take extra photos and describe my own issues, problems and experience with an item to make sure people know what they are buying.

    So I generally try to expect the same from others. As it was for this last item, it's a collectible, so the box matters. The box having been opened affects the price one way, general damage to the package, even beyond rough shelf wear is another.

    The seller offered a $30 partial refund today and I took it.

    Note: The seller is a warehouse seller and gets a lot of items in. Shipping this item back would have cost ~$20. If you add in the hassle to them to refund my money completely, wait to get the item back, add it back to the inventory, re-list it, this time paying better attention to condition and taking more photos (you would hope), all while paying someone to do this, you see why offering a partial refund is the best solution.

    msmrx57, it sucks the most when something is essentially irreplaceable. It's why I've kept some pretty damaged art (albeit for a fraction of the price). I really just wanted the item. For $10-15 I'll just keep the damaged one and hope someday to find one in pristine condition and pay a lot of money for it.

  6. #6
    Custom Title Honors Snowman's Avatar
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    Default Re: Am I a bad eBay buyer?

    I don't know, I wouldn't say you are a bad purchaser. I sold an xbox 360 as an arcade system that would overheat from time to time. Fast forward to when it arrives, kid tells me he is keeping it and wants all his money back because there is a hard drive error. It's whatever, kind of seems like if you want to ebay or craigslist anything you got to play the game.
    Regedit'ed, Rooted, and Jailbroke anymore questions?
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