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Fri Aug 7 2015 22:13:10

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I have a different situation, and I'm curious what your readers advise. I feel bad about this.

I won an eBay auction for an antique plate and immediately paid $78 for the plate and shipping. The listing said the plate would be shipped Priority and that tracking would be provided. A couple days later, the seller marked the plate as shipped, but there was no tracking number. No big deal - I can be patient for 3 days. :) 

Five days later, with no plate, I asked the seller if she could provide the tracking. The seller responded the next day and said her assistant would upload the tracking tomorrow and that the seller had just shipped a bunch of stuff and had been very busy. The next day, there was still no tracking number and no plate. I asked again and waited more than 24 hours, and didn't get a response or number. 

On about the ninth day after the item was marked shipped, I opened a request. eBay told me to wait 6 days (maybe because it was a weekend?) before doing anything else. I didn't hear from the seller, and I didn't get the plate. 

On the 15th day, eBay refunded my money. I left seller a neg and moved on with my life. I'm not vindictive, but I was truthful. 

AFTER I got my money back, seller contacted me, told me she had been searching everywhere and that she thought she mailed the plate to someone else and she had been waiting and hoping it would turn up! I told the seller that that was perfectly understandable - we all make mistakes - if only she told me! She also offered to send me the plate free if it showed up. I told her do NOT send the plate to me, I got my money back and I was fine, and that I simply wished she had just communicated with me.

eBay wouldn't let me change the feedback, so I left a follow-up that said it had been a mistake and that I wished the seller had communicated that. (The seller didn't ask me to do it, but it seemed like the right thing to do.)

Yesterday, the plate showed up at my house!!! The seller spent almost $20 to ship it AFTER I said please don't. I feel very bad about this. Believe it or not, not all buyers want to rip people off, and I don't think I deserve this free plate. But I also told her not to send the plate, and I bought something else with the money from the plate. If I pay her for the plate, then I'm spending money that I don't really have to spend right now.

Should I pay her for the plate or accept it as a gift? If I call eBay, will they ever let me change the feedback? What a pickle. I've been an avid eBay buyer for 14 years, and this is a new one.

Please pardon the length - I know the readers here are sticklers! 
Thanks,
S.




Comments (64) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 07:32:32 2015

I wish people like yourself would wait to leave negative feedback. I have been on ebay long enough that to know that things happen beyond the sellers control. Sellers (and buyers) have things happen to them like illness, death, family crisis, miscommunication with their own employees, parcels lost in the mail, computer problems, etc. Since removing a negative feedback is very difficult (even if a buyer calls ebay and admits to a mistake), then people should leave negative feedback at the latest possible second or give the seller the benefit of the doubt. And since you have been around for 14 years, you should have have realized this. Well at least you know now. Unfortunately for the seller things like this might hurt their business. Good luck trying to remove the negative. Next time please don't leave any negative feedback unless a seller blatantly tells you where to go. Then move on with your life.

Also, ever since the 2 way feedback process was eliminated, buyers are too quick to leave sellers a negative since they will never received a negative. Tell me, if the seller was able to leave you negative feedback, would you have waited or maybe not have left a negative?  

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 08:42:41 2015

@Frank Abagnale

First, I too think leaving a Neg should be the absolute last resort. Second, if the details of the poster's story are completely accurate then, Frank, let me tell you where you can stick your "I wish people like yourself would wait to leave negative feedback".

If, you as an ebay seller, can read that story and *still* think the seller didn't deserve a neg, you should really consider *NOT* selling on ebay anymore.

She made multiple attempts to contact the seller *and* specifically ask what she was looking for. All she wanted was the tracking which the seller stated in the listing they would provide. And, during their correspondence, the seller told the buyer she would have her "assitant" take care of it. For starters, the "assitant" excuse sounds like pure BS to me. And, because the seller *did* respond about the assistant following up, your whole "things beyond seller's control" is a complete throwaway statement. When the seller responded, it had already been five days on a Priority shipment. The seller made no indication that there were extenuating circumstances. They just completely dropped the ball.

After 15 days and multiple attempts to get something as basic as tracking, a Negative Feedback was MORE than warranted.

@S.

Personally, I wouldn't even think about paying for that plate.

You specifically said *DO NOT* ship the plate and, if your story is to be completely believed, you weren't petty or rude in your correspondence/feedback, you just simply wanted what the *listing* said it would provide and you told the truth after that didn't happen OVER TWO WEEKS later.

In my humble opinion, the seller sending the plate after you told them not to is almost worse than them not shipping or communicating your purchase in the first place.

Anyone that has sold on ebay has made some sort of mistake like this where a shipment "fell through the cracks". I haven't had an issue exactly like this, but when I've had a shipment issue, I too have offered to send the item for free after the buyer already had a full refund. If they say they don't want it and *then you still send it*, you're just showing the customer that their wishes are not important to you or that you simply don't listen to your customers. When a buyer has told me not to bother sending the item for free, I've simply replied how sorry I am (again), assured them this is not the norm and reference my TRS status and exemplary Feedback score and send them a coupon code good for 50% off any one item in the future if they would be willing to give me another try.

There's nothing worse, as a customer, than feeling like your voice isn't heard. I think you did everything right, S., and if it makes you feel better, sell that plate on ebay and donate the money to a local food pantry or animal shelter.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 08:46:07 2015

I once had a package take a month to go from my state to the state next door. It had tracking and insurance, but all info went missing. I communicated with the buyer almost every day during this time, and had refunded her. We were both amazed when it finally arrived from its long vacation. It was in perfect condition. She repaid me. She never left a negative feedback, probably because I was in constant contact with her. In the end, we both had a sigh of relief and a good laugh over our wandering statue. So, yes, things can and do happen beyond the seller's control. The Post Office is not perfect.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 09:03:41 2015

@1beck3

Ya know what? You're right. I made a mistake and judged too quickly. Worse of all, I had nothing better to do than leave a negative remark. At that moment, even though I was not out of pocket, I had nothing more important in my life to do than leave a negative remark regarding a plate.

Ina, can you please remove my comment. Thank you.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 09:25:49 2015

I have sold on freebay over 14 years, I finally gave up when the 6 month policy came to be with buyers able to open cases both on freebay preypal and finally charge cards (some extend warrantees up to a year) the op simply should be allowed to call freebay and have feedback removed is the true answer, mistakes do happen and the seller should never upload tracking with no numbers yes the buyer should accept the gift as the seller was sincere and offered it as the seller wants repeat business, the problem here is freeebay wanting to use the metrics to beat the seller up rest assure they also took the money from the sellers account the second this started. these things can happen to anyone however tracking uploaded with numbers. and the venue should allow this to be adjusted, I believe unless they changed the way again that the seller can request feedback removal thru their panel, they I think are allowed 3 per year they send this to buyer and buyer agrees. this feature may no longer be or may just simply not work (as most) but the seller will have a defect no matter what the buyer does and will loose the money and of course the fees and bear the mark 13 months

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sat Aug 8 10:14:45 2015

I would have simply marked the package "return to sender".
 

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 11:08:15 2015

Let's boil it down to the basics:

True excuse or not, the seller repeatedly chose not to communicate with you.

The day after getting the negative feedback, they sent you the plate.

They didn't ask for payment.

So, the plate is essentially a bribe to remove the negative feedback.

Now it's up to you and your morals to decide what to do: take the bribe and remove the feedback, take the bribe and don't remove the feedback, or refuse the bribe and send it back.

Your call.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Aug 8 11:20:52 2015

@ajeweler

I explained this before

Defects last for 12 months not 13 months.

PS: You can't live your life in fear of the "Supposed" 6 month return policy.

example: August 8th 2015 to August 8th 2016 is only 12 months not 13.

Your thinking is flawed at best!

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat Aug 8 11:22:44 2015

@ OP

Keep the plate and next time wait until you leave negative feedback, you have plenty of time to decide what type of feedback to leave your seller.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sat Aug 8 11:52:53 2015


The crux of the matter is communication.  

OP the buyer tried to communicate to no avail.  Then seller did not listen. Yes, things happen on the sellers end, but if communication is not covered by seller or someone on their behalf - then put yourself in the buyers shoes. They feel like they have hit a wall.  


I rarely leave a negative, tho. Recently had a purchase with damage, tried to contact the seller with photo and NO response.  After seeing photos eBay resolved in my favor very quickly and refunded.  Although not asked to return item I tried to: EXCEPT - sellers address, which had been on the resolution thread completely disappeared at the refund along with all traces of the transaction.  Finally seller replied to email with her address and I sent it back to her (on my dime!)  

I don't know why she never replied to my initial emails but I did not plan to leave a negative or any FB at all. Which is moot - since the transaction disappeared.  



I don't know if sellers are overwhelmed lately (maybe OP's was) but SLOW down and double check before shipping - it is costing you money!  

Lately, as a buyer, I have received an unusually high number of wrong items (switched labels - one was a 3 way switch with one angry buyer holding MY items hostage), or received MY item along with items I never ordered, package labeled with wrong format postage ''postage due'', along with multiple undisclosed damage that was not caught by the seller.  

I realize sellers are human and I don't leave bad FB over stuff like that but some buyers would and the shippers are getting a bonus on the extra shipping the seller has to pay.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 13:16:59 2015

You will need to have the seller send you a feedback revision request if you really want to remove the negative. It is completely your choice to do so, but it must be initiated on the seller's end.
Contact the seller and ask them to send a feedback revision request. This revision will not revise the DSRs.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: edneff This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 15:00:54 2015

what to do send it back

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 15:20:09 2015

This seller treated you shabbily. VERY poor service. I might not have left a negative, but I think it was justified. What a disappointing experience.
Lord they DRIP with sweetness once you have their attention. It's unfortunate it took a negative feedback to get it, but so be it. I would email her and thank her for the plate and ask her please to block me so I don't mistakenly buy from her again.
You can keep the plate--mailbox rule :)

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 15:24:11 2015

My Oh My..What to do??

If you don't pay for it....

And you don't return it....

Then put it on a shelf and smile everytime you pass it because YOU STOLE IT and  scre wed the seller as well with your negative feedback.

You have been around the block with ebay to know what you should do.  To even be entertaining the idea of keeping the item shows what kind of person you might be.

Wish I knew your ID as I would block you faster than a speeding car.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 15:33:34 2015

@abbyguy

6 month return policy applies to you as stated is for a high risk business simply not viable ........gold and silver prices are up and down lately these issues are not covered 6 months ago silver was 25/oz today 15/oz not flawed at best at all! but smart thinking

your business of buying surplus tools by the pallet and reselling them single are not the same. they are purchased as surplus so your mark up is different

in the dashboard it clearly shows up as august 2014 (item returned the 2nd) is still showing up in dashboard today being august 8th will be over 12 months, so your perception of the dashboard is the same as as your prediction of stocks freebay. last month

again Phillip nailed it on the head GREAT JOB!! to the dollar

and finally my annual sales were exactly $960,527.73, in 2014 thru freebay, with that being said if I must pay shipping out and back on silver being at a loss 6 months after the sale (and we both know ebay sides with buyers no matter what??? and for any reason.

you simply cannot fix STUPID!

dear Abbyguy
I do not and will never sell on that venue again, good luck to you with your sales, facebook will in my opinion take out the rest of what is left of that sinking venue

the OP of this article, is asking what to do / advise my option is keep the plate and try to work with seller to remove feedback, as they already received their DEFECT, lost money and tried to make good and keep the buyer happy, even if feedback is removed the defect will remain 13 yes 13 months

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: Owen This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 8 15:49:46 2015

All kinds of things can happen to sales. Items can get lost, they can get broken during the packaging, the seller could get suddenly ill, or someone in their family could get suddenly ill. People could even die.

They could get evicted, their stock could be stolen, they could have a flood, or a fire, and on and on. Then when the item is on its way. other things can happen, breakage, lost in the postal loop somewhere, theft by Post Office employees, etc.

I know that all of these excuses have been used by scammers, but they might not be excuses, sometimes these things really do happen.

I like to treat my customers the way I would like to be treated. I hope my buyers do the same. Most every problem can be worked out, perhaps not the way it was supposed to be, but in an equitable way that is fair to both parties. No one has to lose their tempers. Just be a human being. But there also has to be 2 way communication. Without that, resolutions don't happen.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Sat Aug 8 22:55:19 2015

Sorry, but the buyer was justified in giving the seller the negative.  Buyer tried to get the seller to respond to her inquiries, but she was ignored.  She requested tracking info and was again ingored.  Once the seller finally responded, the seller was told to NOT SEND THE PLATE, and again, the buyer was ignored as the seller sent the plate anyhow.  Buyer... you do not need to rescind the negative, and you do not need to return the plate.  You were justified in everything you did.  And yes... I have been an eBay buyer AND SELLER for over 15 years now.  As a buyer, I would have done exactly the same thing.  And for those sellers that want to block me because of that... feel free to do so... wouldn't want to buy from you anyway.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Aug 8 23:43:25 2015

I agree with everything letter writer S. did.

I can understand that things happen that sellers are not expecting, and mistakes sometimes occur, but the seller in question needed to be honest and keep the buyer apprised of what was happening. Instead, the seller lied at least twice regarding shipping and uploading tracking.

Also, the fact that the seller stated she had been searching everywhere for the plate, and hoping it would turn up, means the seller knew it was never mailed yet continued to allow S. to believe it was on its way to her.

Add to that, S. said do not send the plate, which the seller did anyway. To me that relieves S. of any duty to pay for the plate. Also, since S. left a follow-up on the feedback, anyone who reads the negative will see the response and can draw their own conclusions.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 02:38:33 2015

Feedback can in fact be revised but the seller has to initiate it. All they need do is go to ''feedback forum'' and then select ''request feedback revision''. eBay will then send you an email, all you need do is follow the instructions.

Unfortunately however, since you opened a case, the seller will still be left with a defect for 12 months anyway.

What I normally do is check the seller's track record in feedback with respect to past issues. If they have an essentially clean record I'd give a lot of time, no contact back from the seller or not as things can happen such as illness, death in the family, etc.

If in fact this seller sent you the plate after all had transpired and it wasn't a USPS issue with the plate having been sent on or about the stated date, I feel you should keep it as the seller wouldn't have sent it had they not felt bad. Type the tracking # from your label at www.usps.com to see when it was shipped.

What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?   What Would Dear Abby Advise This eBay Buyer to Do?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 9 05:18:11 2015

I smell an eBay VALET or Selling Assistant "store front" as being Front and Center in what generated this LEGITIMATE problem.  Such a VALET service could be the root of all the problems reported. Non-reply to requests, marked as shipped, but no tracking, NEVER sent (even if labels had been switched EACH of the switched label buyers would have received tracking numbers) and finally the PLATE having been sent to the OP even after refund, after negative, and after OP having said, "No, don't send as I have my money back."  I think that the embarrased VALET operation did the ReShip at THEIR expense to try to mollify the OP for all the hassle THEY caused.  If you don't like the VALET suggestion, just substitute in: teenage nephew, ex-spouse, forgetfuly aunt, helpful counter employee at "we be postal boxes" who accepted the package on commitment to PACK and SHIP as directed.... a RAFT of similar where reference to "my assistant" as the BOX RENTAL users who cite their off-USPS "box#" as a SUITE#.  KEEP THE PLATE !  Either the seller OR the "assistant" spent their own $20 to ship to you and no matter if YOU return the plate... their $20 is SMOKE and ASHES. It was a full-throated effort to make amends.. accept it with grace.

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