|Lady M's books on display at the library. Why am I at the back?|
Sofia still here with Donald and we are having fun looking through her blogs. We hope you enjoyed last week's informative one on Halloween; we certainly enjoyed reminiscing over our Halloween experiences.
For my second selection this November I wanted to make you aware of the downside of that thing called eBay. Lady M sold and bought several items on it but had one or two bitter experiences and decided to share them as a warning to all peeps that it is not always a good place to be either a vendor or a purchaser.
She first published this in 2012. Enjoy and, if you wish, leave comments on your own experiences.
What are your experiences of eBay?
Some years ago I listed two small books on competitions. They sold, I mailed them and two weeks later received an email saying the buyer had paid and not received the goods. I asked him to ask neighbours, check at the sorting office etc. Eventually, I attempted to offer a refund. However, the buyers account had been closed by eBay. Yes, he was a scam merchant trying to get goods for free! An early bad experience and hassle on eBay.
I sold some things last year and had just started again. It is hassle, taking photographs, filling in the details, and then waiting. Very few things on eBay are expensive or near their original price. After all, it is an auction site. On the matter of returned goods the law states two things, the item must be as described and fit for purpose; if the merchandise satisfies these two criteria there is no reason why the seller should accept returns. It is clear from the photograph( no longer available but it was clear! Sofia!) that it is quirky and a two tone in colour key holder; the hooks are designed to look like nails and are not even. It went on at £3.99 + £1 p&p. Well, let's be honest, you are not going to get the Crown Jewels for that price are you? I also state RETURNS NOT ACCEPTED. Do I want more hassle of a buyer looking at something and then changing their mind, returning it, giving a refund, relisting? No. After all, eBay originated as an auction site. There are other options on eBay now, but this item was listed on a 7 day auction An auction is just that, you put in a bid, if you win, the item is yours. An auction is not catalogue, it is not an 'on approval', it is not sale or return. As a seller those are my terms and conditions, a buyer can ask questions before purchasing but returns are not accepted. I have often wondered why some sellers have comments on about time wasters, and be sure before you buy. Now, I know why.
There were 20+ views, and a bid at £3.99. When the auction was over another bidder had placed a late bid within seconds of closing, £4.19. The buyer, (TB) also paid immediately. Wonderful, isn't it? Nice eBayer, no hassle, a sellers dream. Definitely not. I posted the item the next day and emailed TB to expect it in the next few days. Imagine my surprise when I received an email saying that TB did not like it, wanted to return it for a refund. I double check, yes, it is quite clear on the listing, returns are not accepted. I look at the details, they are equally clear. Why am I receiving this email? Is TB illiterate? Does TB either choose to ignore sellers terms and conditions or does TB not comprehend the vocabulary?
I am thinking about this as I reread the email. Is it a polite email? Does TB make any apology for wanting to return it? No. Does TB make any mention of my terms regarding returns, stating that TB has understood that I would not normally do this? No. Does TB take it for granted that TB may just return goods? Yes. Sheer arrogance, in my opinion. To make matters worse TB sends a further email within 24 hours hassling me. So, now, I am being harassed by TB. It is time to reply.
I ask what TB does not comprehend by the statement, 'returns not accepted'. I point out that the goods are fit for purpose and as stated and that I was under no legal obligation to accept it back. Also, for all I know this could be part of a scam whereby the goods somehow go missing.
You may wonder if I have ever bought anything on eBay and then realised I had made a mistake. Yes, twice things have gone into the bin and they had been more expensive than £3.99. The seller had acted in good faith. The error had been mine. Why should the seller be penalised for my errors? Let's remember that the seller has to pay eBay commission on the sale and also commission to PayPal. Why should they have to do that all over again? It's called responsibility on my part and respect for the seller.
So, TB replies and accuses me of being rude, will be giving me a negative feedback and wishes me luck selling the rest of my c**p! And I am rude? Yes, TB gave a negative feedback stating that the item looked homemade, I was rude in emails and it was not good. I am asking myself how often TB has done this before? Did TB know that once the negative feedback has been given it is not possible for the recipient to give a return one. It is only possible to leave a positive feedback or go to the Resolution centre. So, TB's feedback is still 100% and mine is 90+%.
I have, naturally, contacted eBay. Are they concerned? Not really. I point out that I have done nothing wrong. I stated the terms, it is the buyer who is breach of contract but I am the one who is being penalised. They offer solutions in the form of I can put a reply on my own feedback to explain why it's there. I can take the item back and offer it as a second chance, or relist and I can ask TB to reconsider. Ha ha! Don't forget all of this is on an item that is less than £5 and I underestimated the postage, so I ended up paying an extra 33p! What type of person causes such hassle?
Does this mean that sellers are being held to ransom? Buyers can behave in any manner because we are all scared of feedback. This FEEDBACK has become so important to us. Well, this lady is not. She has decided that she could not care less. There are better ways of selling goods, with far less hassle. The only thing that really concerns me is that TB may well strike again or I could just be one more of TB's victims.
Do I really want to deal with a company, that if they were the police would be rewarding criminals and serving life sentences on law abiding citizens? No way! Good bye eBay, Hello Amazon!
Please share this blog and let us know your experiences of eBay, good or bad.
Lady M has neither sold nor bought on eBay since then but has found other sites.
Until next week, have fun.
Love Sofia xxxx