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Old 11-15-11, 03:06 AM   #1
robbied196
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An Ebay Sale Dilemma, What Would You Do?

Here's a story for you. I sell a few bikes on Ebay mainly to finance other ongoing bike projects. I'm pretty careful about descriptions but I've recently made a sale thats causing a few issues.

I sold a 30 year old Falcon Eddy Merckx Golden Eagle, which was in excellent condition. Nice chrome and paint and bought from an elderly gentleman who had owned it from new. I didn't describe it as serviced, and I would expect any vintage bike buyer to expect an element of ongoing maintenance.

I listed it for collection, no returns, and it made a good price on Ebay £161, more than I was expecting. As it turned out the winning bidder was a long distance away. He said he had been watching several bikes and in his eagerness to place the winning bid, didn't realise it was listed for collection.

As it happened, I had a spare bike box and agreed to post it at cost. I heard nothing for 6 weeks after the sale, but then got a message saying he had been away, and had only just got round to sorting the bike out, but it needed some repairs, He had taken it to his local bike shop and been quoted £60 and therefore wanted £60 refunding.

This £60 is for rear wheel bearings, headset bearings and 2 innertubes. I'd stated the tyres were original and degrading, so he was happy to cover the cost of replacing those.

Now I have the typical Ebay situation of not wanting to get a negative rating, so I made him an offer of £30 to cover the cost of his replacement parts. However he's insisted he needs to cover his total bike shop repair costs.

So, I have a guy that buys a bike but can't collect, does nothing with it for 6 weeks, and then asks for a £60 refund. We've had very good communication, but I'm slightly suspicious. I've now asked him for the name and address of the Bike Shop that's quoted him £60. Just to verify everything is genuine before I refund £60.

He's given me a name and street in London, which despite endless googling, doesn't turn up any bike shop with that name. I've now told him I will agree to the £60 refund but have to confirm the Bike Shop's info.

This is the latest stage. Obviously, I don't want a disappointed buyer but I'm also thinking something doesn't add up. I'm aware that if I can't tie up the Bike Shop details, its probably going to turn a bit unpleasant.

What would you do in these circumstances?

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Old 11-15-11, 04:11 AM   #2
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What's the bike shop in London? Can you do a Google Street View to see if there's even a shop there?

Obviously this is your feedback rating on the line but I can't help thinking that doing nothing for six weeks and then expecting a refund is taking the proverbial. Most commercial suppliers I use insist you inform them of damage or shortfall within 5 days (and often less than that). Otherwise how do you know he hasn't been thrashing the guts out of it for six weeks and knackered the whell along the way?

Asking you to fund innertubes is ridiculous, if you said the tyres were "original and degrading" why does he think he'll get two pristine innertubes?
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Old 11-15-11, 05:30 AM   #3
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I would tell him that it's too late, and that you sold him an original bike. What is the statute of limitations on eBay feedback anyway.

I wouldn't send him a dime, or farthing, or ounce, or whatever you people in England call them.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:36 AM   #4
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That's a bummer. While I buy stuff on eBay all the time, I have never sold anything on eBay because I fear situations like this occurring.

I would challenge the buyer to a wrestling match to settle the dispute.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:38 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by contango View Post
What's the bike shop in London? Can you do a Google Street View to see if there's even a shop there?

Obviously this is your feedback rating on the line but I can't help thinking that doing nothing for six weeks and then expecting a refund is taking the proverbial. Most commercial suppliers I use insist you inform them of damage or shortfall within 5 days (and often less than that). Otherwise how do you know he hasn't been thrashing the guts out of it for six weeks and knackered the whell along the way?

Asking you to fund innertubes is ridiculous, if you said the tyres were "original and degrading" why does he think he'll get two pristine innertubes?
Quote:
Originally Posted by custermustache View Post
I would tell him that it's too late, and that you sold him an original bike. What is the statute of limitations on eBay feedback anyway.

I wouldn't send him a dime, or farthing, or ounce, or whatever you people in England call them.
I'm starting to think this is taking the proverbial! I've tried google street view, can't find anything. This is supposed to a shop called either Cut Cycles or Cut Bikes on The Cut in London SE1. There's plenty of web info on businesses including The London Bicycle Repair Shop and three Evans cycles.

The tyres were holding air when I had the bike, but according to this Bike Shop the valves have gone!

I've now had another reply and the buyer now seems unwilling or unable to confirm the bike shop details. No details, no refund I think.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:58 AM   #6
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Yeah. It would be easy enough to confirm and document his evidence, if the bike shop actually existed. Keep all your correspondence from the buyer, you're going to need it. Sounds like you're being scammed. File a complaint with ebay before he does.
Sellers are at a disadvantage on ebay for this kind of stuff, but you might prevail, especially if you can prove he lied about a fictitious bike shop.
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Old 11-15-11, 05:59 AM   #7
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You don't owe him a cent. You weren't even obligated to ship it to him and could simply have kept the bike and his money.

Best of luck!
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Old 11-15-11, 06:08 AM   #8
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I no longer pay attention to Ebay feedback, which is all bull, as far as I am concerned. Who cares if you have 100% or 98%? As for a refund...

Did you say, no refunds? If so, you are off of the hook. If the buyer cannot produce proof, you are off the hook. But only with yourself - not Ebay. Those people will side with the buyer unless he has 666 tattooed on his, or her, forehead.

So, inform the buyer that no refund is forthcoming. Explain why and then wait for his reaction. Chances are he will drop the whole thing, if it is a scam. If he does pursue the issue, things will be, pretty much, out of your hands, unless you can prove to an uncaring Ebay agent that you are on the up and up. And that does not even work, sometimes.

That is, of course, an opinion, and based on dealing with the Ebay refund deity who is, apparently, without a brain or the freedom to use it if he, or she, does have a brain.

Personal rant but, these days, I do not give a good rodent's rear end about how Ebay feels.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:21 AM   #9
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I believe that eBay (at least in the USA) won't help the buyer if more than 45 days has elapsed since the auction closed. I was burned that way, when a project I'd bought and didn't get around to for a couple months turned out to have a serious problem that the seller had not disclosed.
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Old 11-15-11, 06:25 AM   #10
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Nope, he gets nothing. He bought a used bike that was not listed as having been serviced so it's his risk.

You do have the ability to contest bad feedback and to respond to it on your feedback page, it's nothing short of blackmail if you ask me.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:01 AM   #11
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I basically went through this situation with a seller after selling my Sports Tourer. He inquired about the listing within the last ten minutes and started bombarding me with questions. Then has the nerve to tell me how much it would cost to ship it in a specific sized box and to ship it in two seperate boxes. Not to mention I already has shipping completely setup as the bike was already disassembled and boxed up ready to ship out. So buyers just had to put in their zip and it gave them the actual price. Then guess who wins... So not having to deal with hassle. I went through with pulling everything back out, running to the bike shop and getting a wheel set box to ship them separately and chopping down the original box to try to get it to "his" size. Then the guy still filed a dispute with eBay cause the shipping was still not what "he" calcuated. He left me a negative but eBay saw it my way and I didn't have to refund him for what he calculated for "his" shipping price over mine. There sure are some dandies out there is all I have to say.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:03 AM   #12
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Used sales are as is. I'd tell him to pound sand. The negative rating will go away after time.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:07 AM   #13
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Tell him to take a hike....on occasion you come across an idiot, in those instances there's nothing you can do. I'll take the occasional negative feedback before I succumb to feedback extortion.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:15 AM   #14
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This is a drag, sorry you're having to deal with this. I'd ask him for a phone number for the bike shop, so you can speak directly to the mechanic who's handling the bike. If he can't provide a phone number, you've made a good-faith effort and you're off the hook.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:28 AM   #15
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You supplied an item as described. The only thing I would have done different is to give the buyer a chance to cancel his bid when it became clear he wasn't going to collect it. If a buyer is allow not to play by the rules once, he is most likely to try to cheat a second time.
I had two bidders cancel lately (on the same item!), one stating he was drunk when placing his bid, the other claiming he didn't have money. I just cancelled the bids as not to get into trouble with them should they have won the auction.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:43 AM   #16
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As most of the others have said, this is hardly a dilemma. Good luck anyway.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:46 AM   #17
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Customer sounds like a grifter. Also, 60 quid for "bearings"? Did the shop have to forge the wrenches before disassembling the hubs? Even with new cones/bearings, that's just too steep to be real, unless the pound has really inflated since I lived there!
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Old 11-15-11, 07:49 AM   #18
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No, I wouldn't refund the guy maintenance. If your auction said as is where is, that should be enough. I ate the cost of repairing a defective wheel bought from a guy who didn't know it was defective-- caveat emptor-- but I felt that I could afford to whereas he probably could not.
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Old 11-15-11, 07:51 AM   #19
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Another typical eBay story, when the fun begins long after a completed, cut and dried transaction.

You're done with him. Let him send feedback, and respond to it. I look at feedback, but if it's not positive, I always read up on it, ignore what I think is baloney, and like Randy says, most of it is.
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Old 11-15-11, 08:09 AM   #20
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I'm with everyone else. That guy is just looking to get the bike for a lot cheaper. When you buy a used bike it's an AS IS transaction. The buyer is responsible for getting the bike up to spec to ride it.

The fact that he can't provide the name or contact info of the bike shop is evidence enough that you shouldn't send him anything.

People don't judge you because of one negative feedback. You can't please everyone.
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Old 11-15-11, 08:10 AM   #21
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agree that 60 quid for bearings is ridiculous.
and seriously who expects the hub and headset bearings on a 30 year old
bike to not require repacking?
Take all the info and summarize it for ebay, as stated above before he
leaves negative feedback.

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Old 11-15-11, 08:39 AM   #22
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When I had some stuff up for sale on $Bay I always checked the buyer's feedback as well. Beyond the rating there are the words, and one can do creative wonders with words regardless of the rating.
"Buyer wanted refund of 60 for bearings worth 5 from a shop with no apparent existence, sellers beware" behind a neutral rating left in the buyer's feedback.
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Old 11-15-11, 08:42 AM   #23
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Thanks for the advice. Seems everyone is thinking what I was thinking anyway.

I forgot to mention the chain, something else he's expecting the cost of replacement for. I priced everything up off Ebay and came out at £26, so I thought £30 was a fair offer. I've also spoken to 'Agent Ebay', they are pretty non-committal, the expected 'try and resolve it out of Ebay'. Apparently though, if he raises 'an item not as described' case, the worst case scenario is that he has to return it at his own cost for a full refund.

Like was said above, basically its blackmail. Its almost easier to take the hit, I'm still in profit even minus a £60 refund but its the principal of being scammed that annoys me.
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Old 11-15-11, 08:42 AM   #24
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Quote:
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When I had some stuff up for sale on $Bay I always checked the buyer's feedback as well. Beyond the rating there are the words, and one can do creative wonders with words regardless of the rating.
"Buyer wanted refund of 60 for bearings worth 5 from a shop with no apparent existence, sellers beware" behind a neutral rating left in the buyer's feedback.
This, it will go a long way and will have far more bearing (hah) on him in future than you.
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Old 11-15-11, 09:06 AM   #25
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I think 6 weeks is a totally unreasonable period between the purchase and complaint, but I also think I'd be very clear in saying a bike like that might need some work. I didn't read your ad, and maybe you did make that clear, but I don't think I'd assume a buyer would understand the bike needed work beyond minor maintenance. The tubes are ridiculous...if the tires are degraded I'd assume that new tubes are required as well.

The shipping issue has nothing to do with your problem, since you agreed to his parameters. Your time to address that was immediately after the sale when he mentioned the issue. Overall I think both parties share responsibility (depending on your ad) and the 30 offer was reasonable. Not everyone is reasonable. If it were me, I'd play hardball after a reasonable offer. I'd say something to the effect of, I acknowledge I should have been more explicit desacribing this, but I think you share responsibility based on the length of time between purchase and complaint, and your assumption it was ready to ride. I'd say look, I'll refund the 30...but I'd rather have it back then refund 60. I'd push the issue and tell him to ship it back for a refund and let him know should he go down that road, you'd open an ebay dispute and fight it out based on the 6 week complaint time.
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