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Any new tricks/tactics on eBay these days?

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Any new tricks/tactics on eBay these days?

Old 07-20-15, 06:32 AM
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Any new tricks/tactics on eBay these days?

After selling about 17 items lately, a surprising number of auction buyers, at pretty low prices, wanted "credit" because they were not satisfied with the item. Now, those who've dealt with me before know I do not underestimate mileage, if I ever state it, and I do not over-state condition. These were all on parts under $20, and they had good photos.

a-nearly new DA7800 chain rings. Buyer asked about mileage, and it's truly under 200. I stated 200-300, and got an immediate response upon delivery, asking for a credit because "no way they only have 200-300 miles." I'm not sure how buyer determined this, but I refused credit and offered full refund, plus shipping, upon return. I'm somewhat convinced I'll not get the same rings back, but have notified eBay of this. It appears something is being shipped back. ($40 purchase price on almost new DA7800 rings. As light as they are, and these were really nice, I can't wait to see what he/she sends back). I should have just sent them to calamarichris.....

b-used stems, clearly stated size and price, good photos. There were all under $15. One buyer asked "where is my item?" when it shows delivered. Another asked for a $5 credit (which I gave, because his correspondence is either very well-written or he's truly a good guy).

c-a set of bars, claiming I mis-measured, and he missed a sale on some other ones. Perhaps I mis-measured, but I don't think so. I immediately offered full refund, plus shipping, upon return. No response at all.

d-a bottom bracket, new-fangled, for which I clearly said I had no clue what it fit. Buyer comes back "it doesn't fit." Right, it doesn't. I simply pointed out the ad.

Some of you deal a lot on eBay, especially on used parts. Are these kinds of responses now the going thing? For me, this was a parts clear-out, and nothing of any kind of real value, nothing over $40, and almost all with free shipping. Are there ways to protect yourself from such tactics? It seems to me they are all tactics designed to get money back on auction-won items.

I know eBay is buyer-oriented, often at the expense of the seller. Is immediately offering full refund, plus shipping, the way to go? It seems to shut down 90% of the problems.

There seems to be a lot of leeway in "buyer says not as described," which seems to allow the buyer to determine mileage, etc, despite good photos. Does this mean you either under-describe the item, or present it as "used" and call it a day?

What does "no returns" mean? Nothing?

Last edited by RobbieTunes; 07-20-15 at 06:37 AM.
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Old 07-20-15, 06:54 AM
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Robbie,
I think that some people have come to think that its easy to see of they can't get a partial refund, or a credit, because of ebay's "buyer first" policies. They feel that its no loss to them to ask, because they think that if it came to a dispute they are going to win, or that a lot of sellers won't risk bad feedback from a "disgruntled customer" (if they are happy are they "gruntled"?) The shipping scam of "where is my stuff", I figure that they think that a seller is too dumb to use tracking, or USPS return receipt required.

I don't have a solution to offer, this is one reason I have not been a seller there. I usually hang on to stuff, or wait until I find someone that legitimately needs the part and just give it to them, value of the part allowing, or at a very generous discount in that case. I'll be following this thread with interest.

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Old 07-20-15, 07:05 AM
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"No returns" in your description means nothing. Ebay allows a winning bidder to select "I changed my mind" and "I no longer need the item" as valid reasons to initiate a return. Buyers don't have to bother with a false "not as described" claim any more. Ebay offers buyers full retail-level return privileges, and encourages buyers to exercise them if unhappy with a transaction. Great for the buyer, not great for honest sellers.

IMHO, as you've discovered, your only defense against buyers asking for post-auction discounts is to refuse. "Sorry, I don't offer partial refunds. Please return the item for a full refund if you are not happy with condition." You risk negative feedback, but there's really nothing else you can do, except to keep handing back money to d-bags. And not giving discounts does end almost all the disputes, since if you're honest/accurate, the buyers are just trying to shake you down. They want the item, they're hoping to get a few bucks back, and it's not worth their time/trouble to repack it, send it back, and wait to get the cash back.

All of this adds up to ebay not being a very good place to sell low-priced items, IMHO. I do understand that selling 20 $5 items yields $100 (or 10/$10, 5/$20, etc), but the time it takes to photograph the items, do the listing, answer the questions, send invoices, remind buyers to pay, finally pack/ship, only to have 5-6 of the 20 auctions be disputed, just isn't worth my time. My minimum is usually around $50/item. Less than that, I'm unlikely to bother with ebay.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:06 AM
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I've sold about 80 items this year and there's nothing new.

Robbie, I'm very clear in my ads, almost every one says, "this is a used bike part, therefore it is only reasonable to expect a variery of imperfections usch scratches, nicks and other imperfections. The pictures provided very clearly depict the overall condition."

And I almost never sell things in 'auction' format. Auctions only bring out the cheap people looking for a deal. 99% of my items are 'Buy Now'.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:13 AM
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Forgot to mention I also ship everything USPS Priority, tracked, insured and signature required. Nobody can claim "not received" that way. USPS now includes tracking and insurance up to $50 on all Priority shipments, but signature confirmation adds $2.35. Shipping anything that weighs more than a pound and doesn't fit into the smallest flat-rate box, from NJ to CA, is a minimum of $12-$13. Nobody wants to pay $12 to ship a $5-$10 item, but I'm not willing to put myself at risk for loss/damage, so it costs what it costs. Which is another reason not to sell cheap stuff on ebay
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Old 07-20-15, 07:21 AM
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My friend sell all kinds of items on e-bay, he hates pay pal. He says it is a ticking time bomb, waiting to blow and take your funds out of your account. He recently sent an item to Sinapore via the postal service, it was $165.00. It was insured, etc.

Buyer says he did not get it, Jim show pay pal all the paper work said it was delivered. Pay pal sides with buyer, Jim is out $165.00 + His postage, & Insurance.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:22 AM
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Similar recent selling experience here. My inexperience. I wrote "no refunds" in my ad - meaningless. I think that phrase almost attracts scammers like a magnet. Next, I did not require delivery confirmation - a huge mistake. Third, the "winner" of my auction for a vintage Campy crank puller (which sold for like 50$ which got me excited) contacted me at the end of the auction, asking what other Campy tools I had. I mentioned a few & he offered to do a buy it now on a peanut butter wrench & I think a fixed cup wrench. Well I shipped from Ohio to California & he claimed "I never received the item" just 2 days after the end of the auction. He got a complete refund on everything under eBay buyer protection. Clearly he was lying because 2 days after that, my items were listed by him at a 50 to 100% markup over what I sold them for. This terrible experience has caused me to quit selling completely.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:24 AM
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Ebay really allows returns now for "I changed my mine"? That is just an awful practice and will drive sellers away for at least the lower priced items.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:28 AM
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I haven't sold on ebay for a few years and, I want to get back into it. I need to. But I'm not looking forward to it given the changes in ebay that favor the buyer. It was needed I suppose as too many sellers were throwing crap at the wall and hoping it stuck. I've bought many, many mis-described items on ebay. Unscrupulous sellers were thick as flies.

However, reading this really pisses me off, Robbie. I don't know you personally. But I know enough just from reading your posts your are no rip artist. This is just low ball cheap azzes trying to nickel and dime you, and it sucks. And they "know" they can get away with it given ebay's rules protecting buyers. Taking advantage of the system is all it is.

I agree with others. All you can do is offer full refund. If you don't, ebay and Pay Pal will do it for you.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:30 AM
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And yes…. ALWAYS use Delivery Confirmation. It is the ONLY verification ebay recognizes, isn't it?
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Old 07-20-15, 07:30 AM
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I buy a lot of fly fishing gear on ebay.

Way too much probably.

I can't think of a situation where it hasn't worked out well.

However, I used to sell Triumph, MG and Porsche car parts occasionally on ebay.

That was an absolute pain in the rear end and I stopped cold turkey with the hobby.

Just wasn't fun anymore arguing with 10% of the guys that try to get something for nothing.

Good to hear that guys like Jim here do well, but maybe I wasn't as skilled at it.

I was plenty naive though.........
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Old 07-20-15, 07:32 AM
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I think that comment says something about the character of fly fisherman, Gomango. No?
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Old 07-20-15, 07:34 AM
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I may go back to just packing up a Flat Rate box and sending it out as a box o' parts, or go back to CL and just offer screaming deals.

"If you give stuff away, they will come." I think that was in a movie about baseball.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:38 AM
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I only represent what I know, no speculation. Also, I say the photos speak for the condition of the merchandise. Also BIN only.
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Old 07-20-15, 07:48 AM
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I avoid any seller who uses "The Global Shipping program" which is in fact charging duty before the item is even shipped. In Canada we very rarely get charged duty on any item under $200 and sometimes there are no charges over $200.

Ebay and Pitney Bowes just pocket this Money. License to steal if you ask me.

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Old 07-20-15, 07:51 AM
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For measurements, I say "My tape/ruler shows approximately XX cm/in "
With out the "approximately" it's too risky and this post confirms my fears. If I'm selling a 63cm c-c frame, but it actually measures 63-1/16, I'm covered. Otherwise with the broadness of "item not as described, they could technically open a case.
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Old 07-20-15, 08:09 AM
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What with all the conspiracy theories. No matter how you look at it eBay is the safest way to sell.

CL? Nope
Facebook? Nope
Internet forums? Nope
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Old 07-20-15, 08:10 AM
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Robbie, PM me a link to your ads..
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Old 07-20-15, 08:31 AM
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Sounds very familiar to my experiences of late Robbie.
I posted here and there were several "ebay buyers" who piped up automatically saying the buyer must have been right, sight unseen. It just goes to show the "temperment" of many buyers that feel all sellers are automatically out to get them. This comes through with them asking for credits, partial refunds etc. Might as well ask and then see if ebay will side with them. I understand the sentiment that some have to just give them the credit to avoid the hassle... but that plays into the "always ask for a credit" game.
I got my part back and it sold it again to someone who found no issue with it and was very happy.
Win some lose some. I'll always be honest with the listing but you never know who you'll be dealing with.
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Old 07-20-15, 08:31 AM
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You did all you could do, you’re at the mercy of the goodwill (or lack of it) of man. Good photos and description should be enough for reasonable people. The ones that are looking for an angle to cheat you, well, there is just no satisfying them.

I sold a vintage movie projector for a friend. This was early on in my EBay career so not thinking much about it I made a couple mistakes…

The winning bid was from China, OK I’m no xenophobe but the path to shipping a large expensive vintage projector to China is fraught with pitfalls. Should have stuck with continental U.S. sale only.

Packaging a very heavy delicate piece of machinery for shipment around the world requires some serious thought and planning. You know, more than peppering the container with “this end up” and “frag gee lay”. After a week of trying to figure this out I ended up taking it to the UPS store and paid them to make it their problem.

Declaration forms and the inevitable request of lower valuation from the buyer. It took a week of explaining through google translator that I would refund the purchase price but under no circumstances would I falsify a declaration form. Arguing in a language you don’t understand through google translator is no fun.

After a week of arguing about shipping cost, declaration forms and other incidentals the buyer unbelievably still want to go through with the purchase even though I tried my best to talk him out of it, he wanted that projector pretty damn bad.

Projector packaged and shipped, two weeks later it’s sitting at a UPS depot in China, two weeks later it’s finally accepted by Chinese customs. The package continues to sit in Chinese customs for another 30 days while the buyer sends me daily emails cursing me out in Mandarin Chinese. IIRC, it took 60 days for the buyer to receive his package and I received threatening emails no more than 2 days apart the entire time. It wasn’t so much the threats of a law suit that bothered me, it was more that it was highly unlikely I would ever get the projector back and have to pay back the buyer that was killing me. When Chinese customs eventually released the package to him he was to my surprise thrilled with the purchase and left me some of the best feedback I ever received; go figure.

So I breathed a huge sigh of relief thinking my export adventure was over when I receive yet another email from the buyer complaining that the projector was wired for 120 and his country was 220 even though the complete specs were in the listing. Good God would this never end! After a quick google search I was able to find a power converter in his country for about $10 which I promptly refunded him.

Thankfully that was the last I heard from him.

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Old 07-20-15, 08:59 AM
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Originally Posted by miamijim
What with all the conspiracy theories. No matter how you look at it eBay is the safest way to sell.

CL? Nope
Facebook? Nope
Internet forums? Nope
Don't you mean it's the safest way to buy?
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Old 07-20-15, 09:23 AM
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1. BIN, immediate payment required.

2. If buyer has an issue, I tell them to return it. I don't play the partial refund game.

3. Sell items that are worth enough that the hassle is factored into the price. Low $$ items = not worth the headache.

4. Do enough transactions that the 95% that go well compensate you enough to cover the 5% that don't go well.

5. I definitely under rate my items on condition. No near NOS BS, I try to detail every defect fully. Usual feedback is "item much better than described" which is my goal.


Some buyers have gotten pretty savvy about asking for a discount after the fact. Thankfully, its still relatively rare. But when it happens, it kind of wears you out.

Unfortunately, still beats all other alternatives.

Long term, its an issue that eBay either has buyers, or sellers. Few buyers sell, so they tend to have little/no appreciation for what it takes to sell.

With the split of the paypal and eBay businesses, eBay is going to have to reinvent themselves. Stay tuned for lots of changes.....

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Old 07-20-15, 09:59 AM
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Out of the goodness of my heart I'll take any 53/39 cranks with 170mm arms off your hands and promise not to complain about them.

Seriously though, sorry to hear about your issues with unscrupulous buyers. Ebay is sometimes the only resource I have for some of my projects and it's unfortunate that people like that have driven up the price and hassle for the rest of us.
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Old 07-20-15, 10:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RobbieTunes
I should have just sent them to calamarichris.....
??
Do I have a reputation as a 7800 fanboi now?
I'll bet I've got at least a dozen spare 7800 unused chainrings in my garage right now.
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Old 07-20-15, 01:40 PM
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I've run into a couple of d-bag buyers.... the most recent one, purchased a used Campy headset... with good
clear photos. It was a 25 year old item, but with a few very minor nicks and scratches in the chrome. it was
in excellent used condition and sold for less than $25. Six weeks after delivery, I got an angry email, demanding
a complete refund plus return shipping. Claimed it was damaged, rusty and that I had misrepresented the condition.

I offered a refund of the item & shipping, if he would send it back to me. He refused, told me he was a powerful
attorney and posted negative feedback 7 weeks after the sale. I tried reporting him to ebay and getting the feedback
removed.... and guess what.... no response. Not wanting even one negative feedback, I decided to refund the full amount AND
return postage. He amended the feedback and I resold the headset to another very pleased buyer and recovered all my costs.

This jerk confirmed the conventional wisdom about lawyers....

ebay has left its sellers without recourse in dealing with unreasonable buyers. Too bad there is no alternative.

I do use CL for items too large to ship, like complete bikes. Aside from the scam buyers, my experience has been mostly positive.

And I do use the International shipping program for all buyers outside the US..... screwed too many times on overseas deals.
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