I do alot of ebaying and have had mostly positive experiences with only a few that I'd consider negative.
I sold a $150 riding jacket one time to a guy in some small foreign country. It was held up in customs for some reason and he opened a complaint against me. A few days later, he got it and the grievance was retracted.
I bought bearings from a dealer in the U.K. that were sloppy, so they sent replacements.
When I sold the XLT frame, I listed it as a frame only twice in the sale. The buyer paid with my "buy-it-now" option and about 30min later, he sent me an email stating that he wasn't going to pay because he thought it was for a complete bike. I had taken pictures of the bare frame as well as the complete bike. I was able to track the guy down, but he dodged my phone calls. I was even able to talk to his mother
and she gave him a world of crap for being such an "American" about it. (That is my own made-up term BTW, showcasing the lack of morals and character of modern day Americans. I love it here, but I'm ashamed of my peers.) Anyhoo...I had to relist it and it sold for even more $$$.
For the most part, people have been "decent" with only a couple of bad apples.
This week...I saw an excellent deal on a WTB Rocket V Ti saddle. I've loved that saddle for like 5yrs now. I've been using one ever since I built the XLT. It usually runs $105-$110, but this one was used and listed at $34.
The seller's description:
WTB ROCKET V TITANIUM Ti Rails Seat Saddle 220g! NICE NO RESERVE!!!
WTB ROCKET V Saddle. Features Titanium rails, and very nice cover. Weighs just 220 grams. Measures 5 1/4" wide x 10 1/4" long. Good SHAPE, minor nicks, and scuffs on rear. Get it here for way less than retail!
So heck yeah, I bit quick. Shipping was excessive at $14, but for $48...I was stoked. I got the saddle and it was definitely not as described. The seller had 100% positive feedback so I had no reason to read it in detail. I got the saddle from him and it was scuffed in the back as he said, but it was chipped under the nose and scuffed and torn under the wings. I would have let all that slide, but I set it on the counter and looked it over closely and noticed the freakin' rails are bent and it's leaning to the left. Flipped it on its back and see that they're off center.
I was going to use the eBay resolution center, but figured I'd try emailing the guy first.
Seller: "I wasnt trying to deceive anyone, I just didnt notice the rails were bent. Sorry, I hope you are not too bent out of shape about it. Let me know what solution works best for you."
He offered to ship me a cromo one and refund 1/2 my money. I told him I wanted a full refund plus I would ship the saddle back to him COD b/c I don't see why this transaction should cost me anything.
Me: "I already have a cromo one. I will accept a full refund. I can ship it COD, but I won't pay for shipping. This transaction should not cost me anything. I'm not bent out of shape at all. Just disappointed...especially after reading your feedback a little more and learning that your neutral buyers frequently report your items delivered worse than described."
Seller: "COD? I didnt even think they did that anymore. I dont normally carry cash, so that wont work. Pay to ship it back, parcel post, and I will give you a full refund. I will then send a payment for your return shipping after you leave positive 5 star feedback. I do this because I am not going to pay return shipping and receive negative feedback. Even though my auction states that I dont pay return shipping, I would be happy to under these circumstances."
Me: "You are (by ebay) not allowed to extort positive feedback. I haven't decided what feedback to leave you b/c the transaction is not complete. I'm not vindictive and don't plan to threaten or "punish" you or drag your name through the mud with bad feedback. I'm a small town guy with small town family morals. I do however expect to be refunded in full. I will ship your saddle back to you via whatever method you choose. I have no problem doing parcel post. I will give you feedback when the "entire" transaction has been complete and rectified.
I have no intention of escalating this to a claim if we can find common ground. When I get a refund, you get the saddle. I have no interest in keeping this bent saddle...though I am concerned about getting my full refund once you have your saddle back. I try not to assume things like this would happen, but you have already lost my trust and your neutral feedback supports my inhibition.
As I said, I see no reason why I should leave you negative or neutral feedback. Selling a used product that is unknowingly bent or broken doesn't reflect on a person's character. Mistakes are made, details like this can get by people. It's how you recover the situation that defines your character.
So whatever, right? You refund, I ship, you refund shipping, I leave peaches'n'cream feedback. Everybody's happy...maybe someone will buy a bent saddle to cover your shipping loss.
(so much drama over a place to rest ma'bum, right? LOL)
Seller: "Ill just send you a refund, and you can keep the saddle. I will do that tomorrow, after I get some more money in my account. This way it will be instant instead of a 3-4 day bank transfer. Good? Good. Have a nice day."
I know now that eBay can still list a seller as 100% positive feedback even when they have had negative feedback within the last 12 months. They use a formula of Positive / negative + positive. Basically, it's because America grades everything on a curve now b/c our morals and character are in the toilet. We figure if someone has 99.99% positive feedback, that's just as good as 100%. Not in my book.
Anyhoo...the seller had 8 neutral feedback remarks that basically supported my own experience.
I got my full refund and now I have a bent saddle to throw on the shelf. I'm so OCD about my bikes, that I'm not going to ever use it...but maybe I can straighten the rails and give it away.
I will take more time and read all neutral feedback from now on.