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Ebay Buyer Unhappy - What Would You Do?

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Ebay Buyer Unhappy - What Would You Do?

Old 07-03-11, 09:22 PM
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Ebay Buyer Unhappy - What Would You Do?

I sold a set of wheels back in early March - decent set that was used and in fine shape. Not perfect or mint but structurally sound and cosmetically nice. About 3 years old.

Buyer writes today - 4 months later - to tell me that he just returned home from being deployed and that he opened the box TODAY to find that the bearings are shot on both wheels. They certainly weren't shot when I boxed them up.

A hundred things ran through my mind and I know what I'm going to do but I'm wondering...

How would you handle? And no, he hasn't left feedback yet.

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Old 07-03-11, 09:27 PM
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Ouch. Hope Paypal doesn't try to screw you. I'd write up a nice reply stating something to the effect of after 4 months time in his possession you can't really comment on the condition of the wheels at this point.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:28 PM
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Four months? Sorry but that is a little excessive. How long can a buyer leave feedback after an item is purchased?
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Old 07-03-11, 09:37 PM
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If he is willing to pay postage tell him to send him back, if you confirm they weren't recently ridden to grounds you'll refund the purchase price and postage one way.

You may be safe blowing him off, but that's not what eBay was supposed to be about - at least until Meg sold it out to e-stores.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:37 PM
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I smell BS... Hope all goes right for you. So what's your plan?
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Old 07-03-11, 09:38 PM
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Originally Posted by LowCel View Post
Four months? Sorry but that is a little excessive. How long can a buyer leave feedback after an item is purchased?
I honestly don't know but the record of the transaction has been removed from Ebay.

I might add I want to do the right thing...whatever that is.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:41 PM
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He is lying but the ball is in his court. He is obviously the type of person to leave negative feedback so you might as well make him happy and refund him and just re-list them in the hopes that an honest person gets a good deal.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:41 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad View Post
I honestly don't know but the record of the transaction has been removed from Ebay.

I might add I want to do the right thing...whatever that is.
How much are bearings? You could always show a gesture of good faith and offer to pay for half (or all if they aren't too expensive) of the cost of the bearings.
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Old 07-03-11, 09:42 PM
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Additional information - he's not looking to send the wheels back, at least not yet...just for me to pay to replace the bearings.

Bearings are standard garden variety cartridge style but I would imagine it should also include some funds for labor. I can't imagine it would be all that much...
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Old 07-03-11, 09:43 PM
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Do you believe him when he says he just got back from being deployed, because if so, as long as the wheels really weren't ridden for four months, maybe you shouldn't care when he makes the return.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:08 PM
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Originally Posted by Nachoman View Post
Do you believe him when he says he just got back from being deployed, because if so, as long as the wheels really weren't ridden for four months, maybe you shouldn't care when he makes the return.
I'm 100% about making a buyer happy. If he had mentioned at the time he purchased them that he wouldn't be inspecting them for 4 months, no problem. Do I believe him? Maybe. With Ebay and Paypal watching out for the buyer, does it matter?
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Old 07-03-11, 10:23 PM
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I am by no means an experienced eBay-er, but I just want to say, people like you are what makes me trust sites like eBay. So go with your gut feelings and do what you feel is right. If you think sparing 20-30bux can save you from all the drama and grief, then by all means do it. Even if he's lying or a cheat, it's not worth losing sleep over.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:30 PM
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Ask him to fax you his deployment papers proving when he got home. That should be easy for him and quick too. If he really was overseas that should prove it.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:40 PM
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Quite a lousy situation. I used to sell things on Ebay, but after having a few similar episodes, I concluded it definitely wasn't worth my time - even for items costing up to $200. I lost more sleep over one bad buyer unhappy with their perfectly good purchase because it 'wasn't as perfect as they expected' (I shipped an original packaging box flattened) and decided it wasn't worth it to lose my 100% good feedback over it.

I've since abandoned ebay. Not worth the hassle.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:40 PM
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I'm pretty sure ebay rules state that buyers can only request refunds for a certain time period (45 days if I recall correctly) and 4 months is beyond that. Given that the buyer didn't disclose to you they'd be out of the country at the time they bought the item, I'd think that the same time period would apply. Even if it was within the time period, your only obligation is to offer a refund upon return of the item. If you don't receive it back, you're not obligated to refund their money. I also think that when a buyer returns an item, ebay requires them to send it with delivery confirmation (to prove it was actually sent I assume.) If they do send it back, then I'd carefully inspect it to make sure it didn't appear in a different condition than when you sent them out. Then, if you want, you could either refund their money, or offer to replace the bearings if the buyer would be happy with that instead. If you refunded their money prior to receiving the item back, or offered to pay for bearing replacement, ebay might interpret that as you sold them defective merchandise and might rule in favor of the buyer, rather than you, in the event of an official dispute. And it wouldn't necessarily mean the buyer wouldn't still leave negative feedback.
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Old 07-03-11, 10:52 PM
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Do you have a return policy? Mine states that items must be returned within 7 days and will only be accepted if the item is defective or was somehow damaged by me. If the guy buys something and then is deployed, he should ask a buddy, spouse, etc. to check them out for him. That being said, I'll also spend a small amount to make a customer happy even if I think it's not deserved.

fwiw I think there is a 3 month time limit on leaving feedback now. You also get to respond to feedback, right? I had a buyer leave neutral feedback once because the lettering was slightly cracked on a 15 year old jersey I described as "good condition - no rips or tears" (it was iron-on lettering, and any idiot knows that crap cracks the first time you wash it). But he also claimed it was sweaty and stinky. No communication over our differing opinions, no request for a full or partial refund, nada. I looked up his history, and he had never once left a positive feedback. I simply replied "Item was washed prior to sale, could have asked for refund", and let it roll off my shoulder.
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Old 07-03-11, 11:04 PM
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UK - my normal refund policy is "no questions asked" within 7 days of receiving product. 14 days for frames. I'll disregard the time limit if the buyer approaches their issue without laying blame or accusing me of cheating them.

I've had maybe 4 or 5 disputes in over a 1000 sales. Only a couple questionable ones. And I worked out every one to the customers satisfaction. I really hate unhappy buyers.
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Old 07-03-11, 11:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad View Post
I honestly don't know but the record of the transaction has been removed from Ebay.

I might add I want to do the right thing...whatever that is.
I have been selling for 12+ years and this sounds fishy to me.. I'm sure if you allow buyer to refund, you will get back a used wheelset way beyond what you sent.. What the buyer should of said is, I have been riding on these wheels for 4 months and they are now shot..

60 days is the limit for him to leave feedback and he has 45 days for a paypal dispute. If he used a credit card he could go to them and try to dispute the charges.. You can get much more detailed advice at the ebay seller central, lots of experienced sellers who have seen and heard it all..

just google: "ebay seller central, you will need to be logged into ebay to post a question.

I'm sure if you asked him to send you detailed pics of the wheels, you will see significant use to show that they have been ridden. Because of the recent buyer oriented bias on ebay, buyers are trying to take advantage of this by making claims like this way beyond what would be acceptable.
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Old 07-04-11, 12:36 AM
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Originally Posted by 55/Rad View Post
UK - my normal refund policy is "no questions asked" within 7 days of receiving product. 14 days for frames. I'll disregard the time limit if the buyer approaches their issue without laying blame or accusing me of cheating them.

I've had maybe 4 or 5 disputes in over a 1000 sales. Only a couple questionable ones. And I worked out every one to the customers satisfaction. I really hate unhappy buyers.
You sound like a nice guy, like I used to be until the jaded world turned me bitter. Liars like to take advantage of nice guys like you. Now, I'd still rather err on the safe side and accidentally let a few liars slide to make sure I'm taking care of the honest buyers, but if you're 100% positive you sent the guy good bearings, you know which category he falls into.
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Old 07-04-11, 12:40 AM
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This doesnt make sense to me,meaning the buyers story.I would ask for a copy of paperwork showing his arrival/deployment and a legitimite quote and inspection from a LBS.4 months is a crazy length of time to be saying something like this.
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Old 07-04-11, 02:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Rand View Post
This doesnt make sense to me,meaning the buyers story.I would ask for a copy of paperwork showing his arrival/deployment and a legitimite quote and inspection from a LBS.4 months is a crazy length of time to be saying something like this.
Asking for proof of his return date, along with an offer to pay for the bearing parts is a good solution and compromise. A used set of wheels do not come with new bearings. Let him pay for the labor.
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Old 07-04-11, 04:36 AM
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I always try to make buyer happy as well when I deal with Ebay, but in this instance 4 months is quite a stretch. I feel that the purchaser needs to do a little work here. Have him send them back and upon inspection either refund him the purchase price or tell him to go scratch. A copy of his papers might change things, but I am with the others. Wouldn't he have had someone open the box and check them prior to this? He obviously had access to a computer. If he was away and a new set of bearings makes him happy that would be the easiest, but he should pay for the labor, imho. Personally, I have never had this kind of trouble with something I sold on ebay. The couple of times I had a problem it was because of damage in shipment and then I just have them send the item back and I eat the cost. Good luck whichever way you go, and I hope I get to purchase something from you someday, at least I know there's one honest ebayer left out there :-)
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Old 07-04-11, 04:56 AM
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I used to sell all the time on eBay, but don't anymore because buyers have so much leverage and dishonest ones can screw your good feedback and they know it. The last thing I sold, the buyer basically accused me of ripping him off and it was just easier for me to refund him the money and be done with it (about $50).

If you know the bearings were in good shape, then you've already done the right thing. Write him back and politely explain the situation.

If you're not sure about the condition of the bearings when you shipped the wheels, then offer to have a shop replace them. It's an easy and inexpensive process. First, however, be very polite with the buyer (giving him the benefit of the doubt) and request a copy of his deployment papers.

Also, be mindful that if the bearings really are shot that there could also be damage to the hubs and then you're looking at a much bigger expense.

Anyway, the whole thing seems odd for wheels of that age.
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Old 07-04-11, 05:47 AM
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I would find out how much an LBS (near the OP) would charge to replace the bearings, and if not unreasonable, offer that amount back. I also sell on eBay, and really try to keep my buyers happy, and if the fix is not too expensive it would be worth it to me to keep the buyer satisfied.
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Old 07-04-11, 05:56 AM
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Originally Posted by AllezDada View Post
I would find out how much an LBS (near the OP) would charge to replace the bearings, and if not unreasonable, offer that amount back. I also sell on eBay, and really try to keep my buyers happy, and if the fix is not too expensive it would be worth it to me to keep the buyer satisfied.
Or offer to pay his LBS direct for the work.
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