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I Don't Get It - Is This a Scam?

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I Don't Get It - Is This a Scam?

Old 07-14-12, 01:31 PM
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I Don't Get It - Is This a Scam?

Wow - I just don't get it

I recently sold a very nice bike on ebay. There were many questions from bidders that I answered promptly and posted on the listing, none from the winning bidder. The winner (has 100+ positive feedback) paid promptly with no communication. I carefully packed and shipped the bike, including all original parts and all the items listed, and I sent the new owner a message congratulating his winning bid and letting him know personally when to expect the delivery. I verified the reception of the shipment through tracking and waited for feedback. There was no response within a day so I just decided that the new owner had other priorities, so I posted a favorable feedback, job done. Or so I thought.

After the feedback was posted I received a terse message from the buyer saying that I had neglected to send him a very important piece of the advertised listing - the kickstand. I didn't mention a kickstand in the listing, and I replied in a genuinely courteous manner that the bike did not come with a kickstand, and none was listed. (It did go with a Flickstand!). I received another terse reply saying that I had implied that the kickstand was included because it was featured prominently in the photos with no disclaimers. I now understand that he is referring to the "show stand" that hooks over the downtube and saddles under the bottom bracket to create a tripod support for display and photos.

I guess I'm glad I did not prop my bike against my car for photos, because by the same reasoning I would owe him my car.

So my question - has anybody had experience with a situation like this? I want to send one more note with a courteous reply that the show stand was not listed and was not part of the sale. But should I do anything else?

I guess I'm also disappointed that he apparently does not recognize that what he did get was very carefully packed and included so many small additional items, things that a C&V kind of person would appreciate!

Thanks - Jim
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Old 07-14-12, 01:39 PM
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In this world we sometimes get to deal with a-holes. I find it amazing that you have to put a disclaimer in an auction, "garage door shown, not included with bike". I would do nothing else but ignore him. If he leaves you a negative, just put a simple to point explination on it, and add to the feedback you left for him that he is a dick.
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Old 07-14-12, 01:50 PM
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Definitely an odd case, but not surprising. I would ignore him unless you are prepared for an ongoing battle over this. Replying just gives him an opening and will escallate the situation.
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Old 07-14-12, 01:59 PM
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Yep, at this point I could just ignore it (I have done for the past day) - any other suggestions? Thanks!
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Old 07-14-12, 02:00 PM
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I disagree with the above...if he's annoyed and/or unsatisfied, he can ship back, on your dime, and pressure for a refund. I would not assume eBay will side with you, and even if it does, you have to argue and respond and deal with it. Regardless, he'll leave negative feedback. Fighting with him, right or wrong, is a no win scenario.

I'd respond in the following manner:

"I'm sorry for the misunderstanding, it was not my intention to be misleading. For future reference, that's an external display stand frequently used by bike shops and collectors. I appreicate your patronage, and as a sign of good faith am refunding you $10...that should easily cover a kick stand. Hope you enjoy the bike!"

To quote a dear friend, "would you rather be right, or would you rather be happy?"

No - I don't think it's a scam, I think it's a misunderstanding. They happen, and not everyone on eBay is a highly knowledgeable bike person.

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Old 07-14-12, 02:07 PM
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I wonder if this guy would order a pair of earrings and expect ears to come with them.

You gotta be really careful and totally explicit on ebay about what is included and what is not included.. The buyer can give you negative feedback but unless they are willing to ship the bike back, you won't have to give a refund or anything.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:09 PM
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I think the dufus might have just misuderstood what a flickstand is and thought it was the display/shop stand you had on the bike when you took the pics. As noted, just minimize any further corespondence with him and if he does make a case about it at eBay, you have enough evidence on your side that you should not worry too much about losing to him.

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Old 07-14-12, 02:09 PM
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And if he is, you'll be potentially paying for shipping both ways. Add in that he won't know how to pack it and it might come back damaged. Now you have another dispute/problem. Right or wrong, it's not worth it.

The person on eBay assigned to the case likely won't understand the issue and might think the buyer's confusion was justified. Want to take the chance if you can solve it over an apology and a few bucks? I wouldn't.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
And if he is, you'll be paying for shipping both ways.
really? i thought buyer had to pay to ship it back? how can ebay/paypal force you to pay for return shipping?
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Old 07-14-12, 02:12 PM
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You need to learn more about eBay...that's absolutely untrue. If the buyer says the description was faulty and eBay agrees, the seller is on the hook for ALL shipping. There is an inherent anti-seller bias on eBay and I wouldn't trust their person to see logic.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:14 PM
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+1 With Aaron, ebay does and WILL side with the buyer, pretty much every time. If the stand was in the pictures (and it was), the seller can demand it, and ebay will force you to either supply the stand, or refund the money and PAY shipping both ways. And of course, you WILL get negative feedback on top of all of it!

Welcome to the wonderful world of ebay.


I would be sending him the display stand ASAP, and make sure whatever is in the pic, goes with the bike.


I have had clueless C/L buyers that ask me what happened to the kickstand that was in the pictures? I tell them it is not a working stand, it is for display only.

Anymore, to eliminate the confusion, I just prop the bike against my steps or a garage door. I've yet to have a buyer ask me for the door.... But it will probably happen sometime.

I deal with a lot of clueless bike buyers, and a lot of them are looking for the sidestand. In person (C/L buyer), I can explain how it works. Over the web (ie,, ebay), not as easy to do. Ebay solves this problem by giving in to any buyer's request, even silly ones like this one.

Its part of the hassle/cost of using ebay to sell items.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:16 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
There are usually two groups of people on ebay, those that sell, and those that buy. Unfortunately, most buyers are clueless about the entire selling process, what is reasonable and what is not, etc.

And ebay WILL side with the buyer, every single time!

I would be sending him the display stand ASAP, and make sure whatever is in the pic, goes with the bike.

I have had clueless C/L buyers that ask me what happened to the kickstand that was in the pictures? I tell them it is not a working stand, it is for display only.

Anymore, to eliminate the confusion, I just prop the bike against my steps or a garage door. I've yet to have a buyer ask me for the door.... But it will probably happen sometime.

I deal with a lot of clueless bike buyers, and a lot of them are looking for the sidestand. In person (C/L buyer), I can explain how it works. Over the web (ie,, ebay), not as easy to do.
+1...this is an inherent risk of eBay and needs to be factored in to your profit expectations if you sell a lot. Make your buyer happy - word to the wise.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:18 PM
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Originally Posted by KonAaron Snake View Post
You need to learn more about eBay
i don't sell on ebay and rarely buy, so i think i'm ok
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Old 07-14-12, 02:22 PM
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Originally Posted by leaping_gnome View Post
Yep, at this point I could just ignore it (I have done for the past day) - any other suggestions? Thanks!
As others pointed out - send him the stand. This is the clean way out. It's the price you pay for not add the words "display stand not included".
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Old 07-14-12, 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Chombi View Post
I think the dufus might have just misuderstood what a flickstand is and thought it was the display/shop stand you had on the bike when you took the pics. As noted, just minimize any further corespondence with him and if he does make a case about it at eBay, you have enough evidence on your side that you should not worry too much about losing to him.

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My first reply to him was an explination about the flickstand, because that's what I thought was he misunderstood. Not so, according to the second response.

I was curious to know if this guy had bought other bike stuff on ebay so I looked up his feedbacks - yes, he has recently bought other C&V type bike stuff. Now I can't assume he is just someone who doesn't know. And that he did not communicate at all until after I sent in feedback? Seems strange.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:23 PM
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so it sounds like u can offer a partial refund.. maybe that will satisfy the buyer:

Because the item doesn't match the seller's description, the seller may:

  • Offer you a partial refund to make up for the ways the item is different from the description


  • Ask that you return the item for a full refund


  • Ask that you return the item in exchange for a replacement item, if you agree

If you're offered a partial refund, you can accept it, request a different amount, or suggest another solution, like returning the item for a full refund. If you decide to return the item, you'll need to ship the item with delivery confirmation (plus signature confirmation for items that are $250.00 or more) and enter the tracking number in the Resolution Center. We'll ask you to confirm that you received a refund or a replacement item.


http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/item-...ml#doesntmatch
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Old 07-14-12, 02:25 PM
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SCAM? No. Clueless buyer, sure. Buyer saw the stand in the picture, and expected to get it with the bike. Guess what, they will win.

Ignore at your peril. How long have you been selling on ebay, how much feedback do you have? Over time, the loss of a pristine record can be devastating. I've been selling on ebay off and on for 12 years, over 1000 feedbacks (all positive). Maintaining that record is a lot of work, and an occasional bend over backwards to a ridiculous buyer.

I have my wife handle complaints from clueless buyers. We get some doozies, and I do not have the patience to suck up to them. So my wife handles that part.

Why bother? Its the cost of doing business on ebay, and a ding to your reputation WILL cost you $$$ on future auctions.

I had a buyer once complain that a "distressed purse" my wife sold was.. "distressed". Sold it for all of $6! Immediately gave them a full refund, plus full refund of all shipping, and my wife handled the apology email.... Ridiculous, but it is how it works.

This is one reason I recommend to people around here that have damaged bikes (ding in the frame or whatever), to AVOID selling on ebay. Despite FULL disclosure, all the buyer has to say is the item is damaged, worse than it was shown in the listing, and they get all their money back. I sold one pair of blue shoes (MSRP > $500). Buyer paid $19 for them. A deal, right? Wrong, they did not match their "blue" dress, so they were the wrong color. Instant full refund by ebay, plus I ate the shipping both ways.

I could go on and on. Ebay is a painful place to sell items, only you can decide whether the $$ you obtain selling items is worth the grief. Despite a number of stories I could tell, I am still using ebay as overall, I end up way ahead (but one time in 100, I end up eating it).

And buyers have no obligation to communicate at all. They win, you lose, thats how ebay works. Fortunately, 99% of the transactions go fine.


If you are going to do much selling on ebay, I suggest you build in costs like this to your business model. You will get clueless buyers. They always will win. You will bend over to satisfy them. Its like the grocery business. They build "shrinkage" into their business model. What is shrinkage? Its shoplifting. Sure, they work hard to prevent it, but they also assume a certain amount of it will happen, so their margins need to be high enough to overcome these losses.
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Last edited by wrk101; 07-14-12 at 02:38 PM.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:31 PM
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Just to be clear:
"EBAY WILL SIDE AGAINST THE SELLER"

Guaranteed. Better offer $10 to him or ship him one of your old stands and buy yourself a new one.

They even refunded my money to a buyer while the item was showing "in transit" the USPS because the buyer said it was taking too long! In that instance, USPS 'may' have lost it, but more than likely it was received but NOT scanned off by USPS. How do I know? The buyer had two other auction items from me received just fine, no case, no refund, no complaints. THEY WERE AL IN THE SAME SINGLE BOX! If I never received a box, I'd want a refund of all items in it, not just one.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:33 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
+1 With Aaron, ebay does and WILL side with the buyer, pretty much every time. If the stand was in the pictures (and it was), the seller can demand it, and ebay will force you to either supply the stand, or refund the money and PAY shipping both ways. And of course, you WILL get negative feedback on top of all of it!

Welcome to the wonderful world of ebay.
....
And AFAIK, if you choose to refund the money, the buyer can return the empty box (but only if he is a true scammer).
Likely though, he only wants the show stand. I'd send it to him.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:33 PM
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If I lose my job i suppose I could use ebay as a way to get a bunch of free stuff. In the eyes of ebay its not criminal.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:35 PM
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Originally Posted by auchencrow View Post
And AFAIK, if you choose to refund the money, the buyer can return the empty box (but only if he is a true scammer).
Likely though, he only wants the show stand. I'd send it to him.

True, a ballsy scammer but maybe you'd have recourse through USPS at that point for mail fraud? Only if the box has official weights. Ebay will say you are lying. Also, they may break it and send it back, or do poor packing on it. etc etc
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Old 07-14-12, 02:44 PM
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Right now, if that was my sale, my wife would be drafting an email reply, something like: "I had my husband pack the bike, and he overlooked the STAND!! I can't believe he missed it, but sure enough, it is sitting right here. I am SO SORRY, I guess I need a new husband. I will have him ship it to you immediately, priority mail so you get it quick. I guess I have to supervise him more.."

And as far as the buyer returning it, what do you think the odds are that they will pack it as carefully as you did? My guess, about zero. So you end up getting your bike back, with some "fresh" damage to it, with no recourse. Welcome to ebay.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:51 PM
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Here's one I wrote on a bicycle part, where the buyer claimed I sent the wrong part:

"I am so sorry for the mix-up on my part. Obviously unacceptable. Please return immediately, I will refund everything you paid (including shipping to you), plus I will credit you for the return shipping.

Thanks for contacting me first to give me the opportunity to address this mistake.

Please accept my sincere apology.


bill"


And the part in question? A new in package, Dura Ace chain ring, properly described, close up picture of the part#, etc., my description was perfect and correct, but buyer was an idiot.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:55 PM
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Originally Posted by wrk101 View Post
I will have him ship it to you immediately, priority mail so you get it quick.
I accidentally left a power cord out of a shipment. I soon as the buyer contacted me, I sent it out priority with a sincere appology. Resulted in great feedback from the buyer.

Send the stand and be done with it.
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Old 07-14-12, 02:55 PM
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I was parting out an old Olmo with a bent frame, and I sold the crank set to an ebay buyer. He then sent a message asking if I had the bottom bracket that went with it. I told him that I did have it, if he would like it I would sell it for $20. He became indignant and demanded that I give it to him. This went on for many messages, I stuck to my guns and eventually he relented and sent me the $20.
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