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Mon Apr 23 2012 12:47:21

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

By: Julia Wilkinson

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An online seller friend of mine recently just had to vent about a buyer. The buyer complained an item "was not what she wanted" (even though it was as described), and the seller asked her to return the item...she has yet to do so after over two weeks and in fact escalated it to a case on eBay. The buyer says she'll return in in her own good time and is "enjoying looking at it on her desk."

It got me thinking about some of the strangest (and yes, most annoying) buyers' notes and emails I have received over the years. In general, the class of notes that annoy me most are those from buyers who ask for all kinds of extra time to pay, and I usually let them have it, cut them slack, etc., etc....only to have them demand the item be shipped out about an hour after they finally pay!

Other sellers complain that a buyer will change their address without notifying the seller, who has no way of knowing about it, and then complain the item went to to wrong address.

How about you? What is the strangest or most annoying buyer message you've received? Post a comment here!




Comments (55) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Are Your Strangest /Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest /Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Apr 23 13:22:51 2012

Buyers who try to tell me what to sell my items for and buyers who make offers on items when there is know "Best Offer" icon on the listing.   I want to block them immediately, especially when they have tantrums when you will not change your pricing to accommodate them.  

Do buyers contact Sears, LL Bean, Target and other retailers and ask them to lower their prices?   Ebay have created this environment.  

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: juliawww
Web Site

Mon Apr 23 13:28:09 2012

I'm not eligible to win (duh), but Rexford that reminded me of another..buyers who make insultingly low offers on items (the ones that do have ''make offer'' on them)..like below cost! ;)

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: JoyfulA This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 14:49:24 2012

Or make me an offer on Amazon!

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: purplerose This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 14:59:10 2012

Buyers who ask questions that were answered in the description, if only they would've taken the time to read. Also when buyers ask for an item to be shipped that I have as local pickup only.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Jim S. This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 15:06:25 2012

1. International buyers who want items under-valued on Customs forms even though my policy is stated in every listing.

2. Buyers who want to know what my ''best price'' is.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Apr 23 16:31:00 2012

1. Lazy, semi literate buyers who are too immature or impatient to read product descriptions.

2. Buyers who make ridiculous low ball offers or actually any offer since I never use Best Offer.

3. Also buyers who want the "best price."

I had a buyer who sent me an offer that was 50% of my cost. I wrote back politely and said I couldn't afford that and that I didn't accept offers in any case.

She interpreted my response as "rude," bought the item, and then left 1s across the board and negative feedback which ebay refused to remove evewn though 5 CSRs said my wasn't rude and that the feedback was malicious.

What was particularly infuriating was that she told me via private email -- which ebay refused to consider -- that she bought the item for the express purpose of leaving low ratings.

What that taught me was to block buyers who send these time wasting low ball and best price offers.

Ebafia really needs to help sellers in this area by making it clear when a buyer sends a question that NO offers are permitted if the seller doesn't have a Best Offer icon and that requests for best price are forbidden.

Many sellers who accede to this kind of pre sale blackmail are taking the transactions off ebafia which should in itself be a powerful motivator for ebafia to prohibit this kind of "questions."

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: DonC This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Apr 23 17:07:34 2012

It's worth noting that the vast majority of our buyers are "normal".

We sell motorcycle gear. I shipped a set of leather saddlebags to a fellow in another continent. He fired off an angry message saying that he had lots of biker friends in the USA who would "get" me.

A couple of years have passed and no scary bikers have shown up:)

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 17:09:07 2012

Har.  

I have a hair trigger on blocking buyers who ask stupid inappropriate questions or complain about shipping.

Selling to those kind of buyers is too risky as Ming learned.  

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 17:19:04 2012

It is amazing how many:
''I just got out of the hospital...''
''My Wife is sick...''
''My husband is sick...''
''A relative is dead....or near death...''
''I'm homebound and a diabetic...''
''My cat just died....''
''We just spent all of our extra money on the iron lung retro-fit''
etc., etc., etc.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Apr 23 18:19:45 2012

Two weird instances come to mind.

1) The buyer who sent me a nasty-gram after two weeks of waiting... wanting to know why I had not mailed their package.

It was waiting for her in her PO box... which was her registered PayPal address. She was expecting it to be delivered to her home (her eBay address).

2) THEN... there was the customer who wanted to return a used self-help book I sold... claiming that it was HAUNTED.

Oh dear, she went into great detail about it... and how the spirit force was particularly strong on page 98... it just made her queasy and dizzy trying to read that page.

She was angry that I didn't tell her it was haunted, or that the previous owner must have died while reading it. (Well, I'm the ''previous owner'' and I bought it new.) And even if I was selling a 2nd-hand book... how in the world would I know something like that? :-D

I agreed to refund her money when she returned the book, but she was very insistent that I do not try to sell it again. It contained a troubled spirit that could cause someone harm.

I donated it to the Children's Hospital thrift store. But now that I think about it, it could have very well been the next Jesus-on-a-grilled-cheese eBay phenomenon. (Back when eBay was fun, exciting, unique and quirky.)

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 19:29:57 2012

One of the strangest was the message I didn't get. I received actual money through the mail. The buyer had not emailed me that it was coming or that she was intending to order the item. She just sent the money with a note about which product she wanted. Fortunately, she sent her email address.

Talk about a wing and a prayer! She took a chance that I still had the item in stock and also a chance sending money through the mail.

When I emailed her, I asked her if she wasn't worried about sending money through the mail and just ordering out of the blue, and she told me she was a very trusting person.

Another strange encounter. I was selling an apparently rare, vintage Catholic mass book. I had no idea this would cause such interest. But a priest was interested in purchasing it. I am Catholic, but he wrote me several times wanting very explicit photos of passages in the book. I didn't have a clue about what he was asking, he was using priestly technical terms. I had to ''fess'' up and tell him that he needed to explain it a little more for me. Then I got the children's version of the request, so I was able to send him the right photos. He ended up buying it.

There was another woman who was a total novice about ordering online. She was very nervous and I had to ''hold her hand'' throughout the process. It turned out that she had not updated her address when she moved several years prior. So when I got the order, there were 2 addresses. One was the new address which was on the order, and another one, the older one, on her payment account. So I wrote to her asking which one was the right one, and she wanted to know how I could possibly have her old address. She sounded like she thought I was spying on her. LOL. I explained to her about the situation and that there was no way for me to know her old address, except from the information the payment processor supplied, which had come from her initially. But she wasn't buying my explanation. We went back and forth with this silly conversation many times. I finally gave up and blamed it on the payment company. Then she thought they were spying on her. I asked if she would like to cancel the order, thank God she agreed. We were friends again, but she said she would never use that horrible payment account again. ROFLMAO

Another funny one. I had an order for a Christmas item, sent it out, and about a week later, I got an email from the buyer kind of annoyed about the undies I had mailed him. I forget what his complaint was. So I emailed back to him that I was not the undies seller, I was the Christmas seller. He appologized and I could tell he was embarrassed. LOL

None of these were eBay orders, so I had a little more freedom in how I handled them, lucky for me.

Selling online can be a real trip sometimes.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Apr 23 19:36:07 2012

Ahh... here's a goodie. It doesn't happen often, but it happened just last week.

Hours *after* I have sent the buyer a confirmation email and provided them with their delivery confirmation number... I receive an email asking to ship to a different address.

Nice.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Apr 23 19:37:29 2012

LOL@Harriet! :-)

"I'm not the undies seller!" HA! Hysterical!

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Mon Apr 23 20:10:50 2012

@Annie:
ROFL on the haunted book. It takes all kinds, I suppose.

My own most annoying one was not so entertaining. It was the newbie buyer who got angry with me when she lost an auction and then demanded that I sell the item to her because she had put in the highest bid (a penny over the actual winning bid) and because she was on a limited income and really needed it. She even called eBay and claimed they told her that I should sell her the item. I explained how bidding and sniping work and advised her that she should consider taking advantage of the Buy it Now next time she wanted something that badly. Then I blocked her :-)

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Harriet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Apr 23 20:25:14 2012

The haunted book story is so funny!! Maybe you should have sold it as a haunted book afterwards. I might have fetched a pretty penny.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

This user has validated their user name. by: silent anarchy

Tue Apr 24 09:02:47 2012

I dont sell on ebay anymore but sell on other venues, i sell vintage militaria items. I state NO PAYPAL but still get questions asking "do you  accept" or "why not?". And the most common quetions are about details already in my descrptions, i feel some of these might be spammers harvesting email address's, i get more spam now then ever before. And i do get questions  demanding free shipping.The most annoying questions are comparing prices to ebay, my vintage original VS ebay fakes. And i do get very lowball offers, example " would you accept $40 shipped?" the item costs $140.  

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: sickandtired This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 24 09:58:39 2012

There are plenty of wing nut buyers out there and I have come across many varieties of them in 13 years on ebay. In the early years it was much easier to deal with them and especially warn other sellers via FB. Now we are all easy pickings and have to twist and contort to dodge the crazies.

I have the same complaints as many other...buyers with different addresses on ebay and Paypal or wait till after they have paid to ask item to be sent to another address - can make a huge difference in the calculated postage that they assume they are paying.

Buyers who do not read the description or shipping information - has also gotten worse - seems as if many only look at the pic and read the title.

I often experience the "I'm not the undies seller" syndrome. Recently had a strip ripped off me because there were only 3 Shelly trios in the shipment - even threatened to call the police....buyer purchased 2 sets from me, which I shipped....the seller that he bought 4 sets from short shipped him. Dodged a bullet with that one - thank goodness he wrote me before leaving a neg and 1's across the board.

My biggest problem is with international buyers who don't read the estimated delivery times that I outline in the description. Packages get to Europe, Au and NZ much slower than the Canada Post estimated delivery window and also take longer than ones sent by US sellers. I constantly get emails and opened cases 3 to 4 weeks after I have mailed items. At that point, the package is possibly still sitting in a container waiting to get underway:)

Last couple of years have also spawned the proliferation of the super cheapskate dollar store shopper who will offer less than 1/4 of the price.

Ebay sellers these days need nerves of steel, iron guts and thick skin.......the fun, spice and wonder have been totally sucked out of place and now it is just a necessary evil.

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 24 11:02:23 2012

We occasionally get buyers who sent the wrong address with their Paypal payment.  

You know it's completely against Paypal's seller protection rules to ship to an alternate address the buyer emailed you, right?

If you do that there is no seller protection whatsoever so we never do that.  The only address we can ship to is the address that came with the payment.  As a result we always win disputes filed with Paypal, because we have proof of delivery. I won one last week, they buyer signed for it, then claimed he hadn't ordered it. ''You signed for it and you didn't return it''.

It goes on all day long but we just say ''Sorry, it's against the rules''.  

If the shipping address in the payment is old or wrong what Paypal insists you do is refund the payment and have the buyer resend it after correcting the address.  A PITA of course but that's what Paypal says the rules are and we never break the rules of someone who is holding our money!

If the buyer is unable to do that they cannot pay with Paypal.  

The other weird thing that sometimes happens is someone will complain they are not there during the day to sign for the item.  Over $250 a signature is required for Paypal seller protection.  We just say ''Sorry, it's not us, that's Paypal's rules''.  

Again, if you can't sign for your package (and it's $250) you cannot pay with Paypal.  It's just the rules.  

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 24 23:23:14 2012

Strangest?  Buyers who leave a glowing Positive (with details specific to the part) before I have shipped their part.

Most annoying?  The dimbulb who left a Negative, complaining of scratches in a specific place on the part, BEFORE I SHIPPED THE PART!!!  Said they weren't apparent in the picture.   Good reason is that there weren't any there in the first place.

Oh, I would have listed the ''haunted book'' on eBay, too...

What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?   What Are Your Strangest/Most Annoying Buyer Messages?

by: Truk This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 25 00:08:24 2012

We sold an item around the first of the year the title contained the word "Scrap for parts only" as did the description and condition
I started getting messages from the buyer right after delivery and he left me all one's
We offered to return it but the damage was already done that's the last we heard from him

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