Originally Posted by bwgride
Thanks for the clarification and explanation about ebay activities.
Sure, you're welcome.
Ebay is not all bad. There's a lot of decent, honest people really hustling to profit only $5 off a stem or seatpost. I don't how they compete with the online bike shops selling the entire QBP catalog for a few dollars over their cost.
Unfortunately there's a lot crooked sellers too.
I won a "buy it now auction" recently for a voip adapter, at $25+9 s/h, along with 9 other buyers (10 offered for sale in auction). I paid immediately. A week passes - no communication from seller, no shipping notice or tracking number, no item delivered. I email seller, kindly inquiring on status. No answer for 3 more business days. On day 11, I email again, saying i need to know status immediately or I'll be forced to file negative feedback and initiate a dispute case with ebay. I figured I'd been defrauded at this point by an identity thief and that my email is probably futile.
I go for a bike ride, come back and there's an email and a phone call, no msg left. Seller says he's had a family emergency, item will ship immediately. I get a paypal shipping notifcation an hour later. Next morning I get an email saying seller miscalculated inventory and has no items, and is cancelling order and will refund money. Now waiting for refund confirmation from bank to post to account.
Now, this guy runs an internet cafe / voip company in NYC. They install and setup internet cafes (the tech part, not the coffee), and they sell voip and other networking equipment directly and via ebay. The item I won via auction is easily available - there's exactly 12 sellers listing this item as I type, listing anywhere from 3 to 50 available per seller, at $35 to $60. I could buy hundreds of em right now.
How do I interpret this situation? A guy running an internet company in NYC can't send an email as followup to an auction for 10 days, until I threaten action, then he's magically there right away. He evidently can't count to 10, and doesn't know how to order new stock or care to do so. Technically its breach of contract. He offered the item, i accepted the offer and tendered payment. The 3 elements of a contract.
Here's what I think - seller was distracted for some time, comes back, sees he's only making a buck a sale and says the he!! with it. He may have sold the whole batch for 300 bucks - i dunno.
Long story longer - this is just one of the ways sellers can rip you off on ebay. Others I have experienced include:
1. seller misrepresents condition - looks like new is closer to looks like *****
2. seller fails to disclose significant damage or defect
3. seller sells you a used item they claimed was new.
4. seller delivers item different from described/pictured item, claims they're "the same" when you complain.
Aside from these relatively uncommon situations, shill bidding is the most annoying. You know they're doing it with some confidence when they bid early, on a very low demand item, and drive up the price to that of a new item when its a used item. You click on the bidders name and its shows he's got single bids in on 20-30 items from 20-30 sellers - now who the heck bids that much? Well, people who are going to resell these items might, but they're not going to bid untll the last 30 seconds - not when there's 4 days left in the auction.
It's simply illogical. Nobody trying to get the best deal is going to bid until the last minute. No one is going to take the risk associated with buying from anonymous, unknown sellers where your opportunity to return defective, unsatisfactory items is uncertain - when you can get it from a reputable source such as nashbar, jenson etc for 2 bucks more.
I'm wearing sandals right now that took 4 weeks and 3 auctions to get at my price. The sandals had a defect visible in the auction picture (small knife cut from shipping/packing) . They normally go for ~70 retail. First auction went for ~75. Relisted a few days later, same defect, same sandals. Sold again for ~65 this time. Relisted next day, with excuse "deadbeat buyer backed out of auction". Sold a third time to me for 47, which I consider fair deal. I bid in the first 2 auctions at last minute and lost to shillers. I bid with a day left on the third auction at same price as previous 2 auctions, tired of fooling with this guy, decided to give him time to consider his strategy. He knew my bids from 2 auctions before, decided to actually sell the sandals, and didn't shill the third auction. I think I was the only actual buyer bidding on the cut sandals - the other 3-4 bidders were shills.
These sellers are working pretty hard to defraud some uninformed customers, frustrate a far greater number of informed potential customers, and degrade the ebay experience to a game of "who's the smartest crook with an internet connection" - all for a relatively small profit.
I'm writing this long winded post not just for the benefit of bwgride, but for all the idiot sellers out there. Hey - we're not morons. Just list the item at a fair price, we'll probably buy it if its a good deal. If you're any good at what you're doing, you should be able to profit without these shenanigans. If not, then you should go out and get a real job.
Please, no more $0.99 opening bid Litespeeds, followed by 10 first-day bids driving price up to 95% of MSRP.