Big Blue Interactive The Corner Forum  
Back to the Corner
 

Archived Thread

NFT: Yet Another Request for eBay Advice

GruningsOnTheHill : 12/7/2017 3:14 pm
Good afternoon, NYG brethren:

I am out of the loop on eBay policy these days, though I used to be a heavy seller in the mid-'00s. In my career selling thousands of items on eBay, I have never received anything but a positive feedback; I'm not out to screw anyone.

Recently sold a top-of-the-line Guild acoustic guitar that my dad bought new in the early 1980s but quickly lost interest in. This guitar is about as clean as any 30+ year-old guitar that has spent its life in closets can be.

I provided 12 large photos showing all angles of the guitar and its pristine surfaces. I also listed the measurement from the 12th fret to the strings. Only one bid came in at my $700 base price plus $95 for FedEx Ground from a guy cross-country. Packed it well inside the original factory case and then a heavy-duty guitar shipping box from Guitar Center.

As per the online tracking, the guitar arrived there this past Monday and the guy left me positive feedback right away. Another eBay success story, I figured.

Wrong.

A message popped up on my phone here at work today saying that the buyer requests a return. Deflating! I know that eBay is very buyer-oriented these days with a liberal return policy, though I'm guessing if this were a scam from the outset for $$ back from the deal, the buyer wouldn't have left me positive feedback right off the bat. That said, I know this guitar is exceptionally clean. His claims: light swirling/haze from polish in one area; preliminary signs of the mahogany top separating in a spot; scuffs on the back of the neck at the 12th fret; and a slight bowing back of the neck. He states that he would not have paid what he did if he'd known about these "issues."

Is the official policy that I am to refund his original purchase and eat one-way shipping after he returns the guitar on his own dime? As I would rather not hassle any longer on this, am I best accepting it as the cost of doing business on eBay and offering to give $100 back to make him happy?

All advice/opinions welcomed.

...  
BleedBlue : 12/7/2017 3:18 pm : link
give him the 100$ and be done with it imo. if you have no use for it and now do you really want to go through trouble of finding another buyer, shipping, etc.

give him a $100 and thats it
Most sellers  
Beer Man : 12/7/2017 3:47 pm : link
Stipulate the return rules in the listing. If you didn't, you'll have to work that out with buyer.
RE: Most sellers  
Diver_Down : 12/7/2017 3:51 pm : link
In comment 13729345 Beer Man said:
Quote:
Stipulate the return rules in the listing. If you didn't, you'll have to work that out with buyer.


It doesn't matter. If a buyer wants their money back/return, eBay allows it. If as a seller you decline, they will take the money from your seller account and let you file a dispute that won't be resolved in the seller favor. I always have it set as No Returns Accepted. eBay is not and has not been seller friendly for years.
Thanks BB and Beer Man  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/7/2017 3:56 pm : link
Again, I'm out of the loop on selling policy, but I do know that essentially anyone can return anything for any reason on eBay. Thus it seems fruitless to put, "sold as-is," or, "no returns" in the auction, because yes; the item can definitely be returned either through eBay or PayPal. On even an unplayed 35-yr-old guitar like this, one can always point to a vaguely "hazy" area and say the item is thus not as described. I will go with the advice above and offer the $100: chalk it up to the cost of doing internet business on an item that I would otherwise be unable to sell from the bedroom of my house on a remote barrier island.

DD  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/7/2017 4:02 pm : link
I guess I was writing my last reply while you posted yours.

It is my understanding as well that eBay is decidedly on the side of the buyer, which is reasonable since there cannot be a perfect system. Why, then, do you bother putting "no returns accepted" in your auctions?

I'm not going to get into a big fight over this, and if the guy won't accept the $100, I will have no choice but to eat the return shipping, be out the money, and start over again, with the possibility that I will get questions like, "Hey, you just sold this. What's wrong with it?"

Hypothetically, does the fact that the buyer gave me positive feedback and then changed his mind carry any weight if I were to contest this? The fact that eBay gives a 45-day period for a return--especially on a vintage guitar--is probably excessive.
I always specify No Returns, not so much that I'm naive  
Diver_Down : 12/7/2017 5:04 pm : link
in thinking that it is ironclad and I don't have to accept returns. It is just that 90% of the buying public accept a seller's terms including a No Returns policy so long as an item is accurately described with quality pictures. If a buyer buys an item and it isn't quite what they expected, most of the time, they will chalk it up as a Buyer Beware experience. I've been selling since '99, and 99% of my auctions are coins and bullion. Buyers of coins and bullion know what they are buying and there is little room to say the item was not accurately described. High quality photos are a must and are easy to provide a buyer. Most of my auctions, I don't even put a description other than Please See Photos.

RE: Thanks BB and Beer Man  
Beer Man : 12/7/2017 5:24 pm : link
In comment 13729353 GruningsOnTheHill said:
Quote:
Again, I'm out of the loop on selling policy, but I do know that essentially anyone can return anything for any reason on eBay. Thus it seems fruitless to put, "sold as-is," or, "no returns" in the auction, because yes; the item can definitely be returned either through eBay or PayPal. On even an unplayed 35-yr-old guitar like this, one can always point to a vaguely "hazy" area and say the item is thus not as described. I will go with the advice above and offer the $100: chalk it up to the cost of doing internet business on an item that I would otherwise be unable to sell from the bedroom of my house on a remote barrier island.
I was talking about "Buyer pays shipping", "Restocking fee", etc. on returns
RE: RE: Thanks BB and Beer Man  
Beer Man : 12/7/2017 5:33 pm : link
In comment 13729455 Beer Man said:
Quote:
In comment 13729353 GruningsOnTheHill said:


Quote:


Again, I'm out of the loop on selling policy, but I do know that essentially anyone can return anything for any reason on eBay. Thus it seems fruitless to put, "sold as-is," or, "no returns" in the auction, because yes; the item can definitely be returned either through eBay or PayPal. On even an unplayed 35-yr-old guitar like this, one can always point to a vaguely "hazy" area and say the item is thus not as described. I will go with the advice above and offer the $100: chalk it up to the cost of doing internet business on an item that I would otherwise be unable to sell from the bedroom of my house on a remote barrier island.


I was talking about "Buyer pays shipping", "Restocking fee", etc. on returns
For example, there are lesser expensive items that I didn't return in the past, because the seller's stipulation in the listing was that on returns, buyers pay shipping both ways; and the item was cheap enough that there was very little to recover by returning it.
Epilogue  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/7/2017 9:20 pm : link
He accepted my $100 price reduction instantly, just as I anticipated. The guitar was pristine; I got rooked. If the guitar really had the issues he tried to claim, then of course he would have opted for his full payment & two-way shipping refunded rather than the $100 price reduction he forced me into. I'm not sure what the solution is, but this is a flaw in the eBay system. On a cumbersome, expensive, cross-country item, a less-than-ethical buyer has nothing to lose by sticking the seller with the option of either offering money back on the deal or eating the return shipping and refunding everything.

Sartre: "Hell is other people."
RE: Epilogue  
Diver_Down : 12/7/2017 9:29 pm : link
In comment 13729612 GruningsOnTheHill said:
Quote:
He accepted my $100 price reduction instantly, just as I anticipated. The guitar was pristine; I got rooked. If the guitar really had the issues he tried to claim, then of course he would have opted for his full payment & two-way shipping refunded rather than the $100 price reduction he forced me into. I'm not sure what the solution is, but this is a flaw in the eBay system. On a cumbersome, expensive, cross-country item, a less-than-ethical buyer has nothing to lose by sticking the seller with the option of either offering money back on the deal or eating the return shipping and refunding everything.

Sartre: "Hell is other people."


I'm sorry that you had to go through this. There are buyers that take advantage of eBay's leniency with siding with the buyer. It is why I have stuck to predominantly coins/bullion. I mark the flips so that if the coin is removed from the flip, then I will not accept a return under any circumstance. I photograph the coin with the marked flip before shipping for my own records to ensure if there ever is a dispute, that I can be assured the coin was not swapped out. Again, most buyers of coins and bullion are straight shooters, but there are always a few out there that try and game the system. You can add the buyer to a blacklist to prevent them from bidding on your items in the future.
The other thing to be careful of is Paypal...  
EricJ : 12/7/2017 9:51 pm : link
because they are ultra sensitive to buyers also. So, even if you get past Ebay the buyer can file a dispute with Paypal and they just take your funds away.

I had this happen to me. I was selling an electronic gift card to Sunglass Hut. The listing clearly said it was a gift card in the title and the description. Some moron bought it and thought I was sending sunglasses. Paypal decided to reverse the transaction. I had to submit a dispute to their judgement by providing info/proof. After a month they ruled in my favor and gave me the money back.

I have a vintage Martin guitar and have seriously been thinking about selling it but no way on Ebay.
Re: The other thing to be careful of is Paypal  
GruningsOnTheHill : 12/8/2017 7:49 am : link
I thought about that too. I know of a rare occasion where eBay actually sided with the seller, and the buyer just filed a claim through PayPal and got his refund anyway.

If this were a small item that costs $6 or $8 to ship like coins, I would have told the guy to just send it back. The problem with something that's fragile and costs $100 to ship is that the seller is taking a large risk after the "completed" sale. The buyer has a full 45 days to try it out and and change his mind for a full refund plus 2-way shipping at the seller's expense. That's a scary thought for a vintage instrument.

I have played guitar since I was a kid and I have bought and sold many over the years: this guitar--while not in the same league as your Martin I'm sure--was pristine with only a few hours of playing time and no issues. The $100 I was beaten out of won't change my life...but $100 is $100. I guess I have to think of the pair of Vans sneakers I custom-ordered in 1990 for $25 and never wore, but sold recently to a high bidder in Japan for over $700; it's a matter of taking the good with the infrequent bad.
Most buyers on ebay for guitars are scum  
Tom from LI : 12/8/2017 8:24 am : link
I never sell any gear there anymore. Only on Reverb. I had a guy state that the guitar I sold him got damaged during shipping and when he sent me the picture... I wasn't even sure if that was my guitar. The guitar was shipping in a hard shell case. The case did not sustain any damage. He wanted 200 off what he paid. I ended up giving it to him, but I believe that he owned the same guitar and he had damaged that one.. bought mine and claimed that was damaged ..

everybody I have dealt with on reverb have been awesome
Back to the Corner