Author Topic: eBAY Problem: What would you do  (Read 4701 times)

Hvillian

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eBAY Problem: What would you do
« on: June 08, 2015, 02:01:37 PM »
The short story:

I won an auction for a bike trailer on ebay.  The seller (who is a consignment ebay re-seller) stated in the listing "I ran a shipping quote from San Francisco to New York and it came to $140.  The shipping price will decrease as you get closer to San Francisco from New York, and larger as you get further away from San Francisco."  Based on my location (a suburb of another moderately-big city) I expected to pay between $110 and $125.

The next day, the seller invoices me for winning bid + $108 for shipping.  Sounds good, so I pay the total.

A couple days later I get an email saying that "Our shipping company has packaged your item for shipping, but the price to ship is significantly more than our original estimates. Please let us know how you would like to proceed."  There was a forwarded email from a shipping company saying the price for shipping would be $186.

I understand that shipping is more than they estimated, but I have had to dip into the sale price in order to ship items before.  I am sympathetic, but also feel it is a little too late to ask for more money than the listing estimated and especially after invoicing me for shipping at a much lower rate.   I figure I have three options:

1.  Refuse to pay more for shipping than already invoiced.  Seller may not ship the item, and I would likely have no recourse other than a refund and leaving bad feedback.
2.  Offer to compromise and meet them in the middle somewhere, maybe the original $140 from the listing.  Seems arbitrary, but would still be a fair price for the trailer, and they are more likely to agree to send it.
3.  Pay for the full shipping price that they emailed in the update.  Not happening, since it would no longer be worth it to me, and I wouldn't have bid if they said shipping would be that high.

What do you think?  Am I being reasonable?
Thanks for your help.

beltim

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #1 on: June 08, 2015, 02:12:48 PM »
Yes, I think you're being reasonable.  I think offering to pay a bit more than invoiced would be nice, but once it's been invoiced the seller has to honor the invoice or give you a refund.  An invoice is not an estimate, but a bill.  Once you pay the bill, the seller can't come back with a higher amount.

bigalsmith101

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #2 on: June 08, 2015, 02:17:55 PM »
I've been there, and done that. So I'll respond.

For me it depends on the value of the item being purchased and how bad I want it. Though, as you have explained, paying the full cost of the new shipping fees at $186 makes the trailer no longer a valid purchase.

If you really want the trailer, I would go for option 2 and meet them in the middle.

However, if you aren't too worried about missing out on the trailer, I would simply request a refund of your winning bid +$108.  Then let them know that you will leave positive feedback, pending the refund. Feedback is a HUGE deal for vendors (I worked in an eBay business for 10 months and sold 10's of thousands of items) and is a major incentive for vendors. They really don't want neutral or negative feedback.

They may have a slight issue as they say their shipping company already packaged it, but all that means is that they have a prepackaged trailer ready for re-sale on eBay, and it's not your concern as they incorrectly estimated the shipping cost.

My recommendation. Tell them that you'll happily pay the winning bid +$108 in shipping as you already have, but otherwise, please refund the money and you'll leave positive feedback.

I bet they come to you asking to meet in the middle.

frugaliknowit

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #3 on: June 08, 2015, 02:25:31 PM »
If it were pure sloppiness/negligence, I would simply refuse to pay it.  It happened to me once when I bought an item from the UK (they have ridiculous postal rates...).   I absolutely refused and the seller "ate it".

I can understand how with a large item like that, the seller could make a mistake.  I can tell you he does not want to re-auction it and he does not want bad feedback.  As the others have said, it depends on how badly you want it.

abiteveryday

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #4 on: June 08, 2015, 02:28:28 PM »
I do a lot of selling on ebay, and this is 100% their responsibility to deal with.    Even if they take a bath on the trailer, it is their responsibility.   Don't pay a penny more.   They can send it for the agreed upon amount, or they can refund you and get negative feedback, end of discussion.

Hvillian

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #5 on: June 08, 2015, 02:37:53 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  These are about the spectrum that of answers that I expected, but it is good to know I am being reasonable.

I try to be sympathetic to problems that can arise, but I don't think I can give positive feedback unless they agree to ship it at the invoiced price.  To me a refund would seem like a "no feedback" or "neutral" at best, even though I don't like to do that.

dycker1978

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #6 on: June 08, 2015, 02:50:11 PM »
Thanks for the responses.  These are about the spectrum that of answers that I expected, but it is good to know I am being reasonable.

I try to be sympathetic to problems that can arise, but I don't think I can give positive feedback unless they agree to ship it at the invoiced price.  To me a refund would seem like a "no feedback" or "neutral" at best, even though I don't like to do that.
If this was me, I would leave negative, unless they shipped the item at agreed, and paid price.  In fact, I might be tempted to leave neutral feedback even if they did, because this has become not an ideal transaction.  Positive feedback is for a positive or normal experience... not one where they come back and say... oh by the way shipping should have been $80 then we charged you.   

stlbrah

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #7 on: June 08, 2015, 03:04:31 PM »
I have been on the opposite end of things before.

The buyer of a $20 sweater was on some random small island off the coast of alaska that I have never heard of. The shipping was approximately $70 so after he declined to pay it, I went ahead and re-listed it and sold to another buyer.

I never bother with negative feedback, since they can do the same in return. I expect a good amount of idiocy when using eBay and CL.

jeromedawg

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #8 on: June 08, 2015, 03:12:32 PM »
I have been on the opposite end of things before.

The buyer of a $20 sweater was on some random small island off the coast of alaska that I have never heard of. The shipping was approximately $70 so after he declined to pay it, I went ahead and re-listed it and sold to another buyer.

I never bother with negative feedback, since they can do the same in return. I expect a good amount of idiocy when using eBay and CL.

Haha yea on CL it's always the idiots who majorly low-ball you for stuff you're selling. Basically asking for a 90% discount... e.g. for something that costs $300, they'll be like "I'll give you $50 for everything. Final offer." like they're some sort of master of negotiation. For that, I would totally say SOUNDS GOOD and tell them to meet me somewhere and leave them hanging.

darkhorse

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2015, 03:44:55 PM »
I never bother with negative feedback, since they can do the same in return.

This is actually false. A seller can no longer leave a buyer negative feedback. It sucks, because there's a lot of bad buyers and they should be identified as such.

OP, you should pay the shipping fees stated in the item description, or the amount the seller quoted prior to you committing to the purchase. After 1000's of ebay sales, I STILL under-quote international shipping at times, and I never go back to the buyer requesting more. It's not ethical and it's just begging for a Neg.


Ricky

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2015, 05:37:47 PM »
I wouldn't negotiate. Just get a refund and move on. You're the customer. What's so unreasonable about that? If you want to be reasonable in a reasonable way, consider leaving neutral instead of negative feedback so as to hopefully give them an incentive to improve. If they don't, I'm sure the next customer will leave negative feedback. Or, if they already have 1000's of sales, go ahead and leave negative feedback.

However, the proper thing for them to do is to ship it anyway. Especially since they do regular business on eBay. If they were some Joe Blow cleaning out their closets, I could understand the desire to hide under the rug and take a hit with feedback, but not really in this situation.

No matter which way you go, negative/neutral feedback, I wouldn't blame you.
« Last Edit: June 08, 2015, 05:45:20 PM by Ricky »

Spork

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2015, 05:49:07 PM »
I do a lot of selling on ebay, and this is 100% their responsibility to deal with.    Even if they take a bath on the trailer, it is their responsibility.   Don't pay a penny more.   They can send it for the agreed upon amount, or they can refund you and get negative feedback, end of discussion.

Exactly this.

There was an agreed upon price.  It was paid.  Now pay more. 

No thank you.

justajane

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2015, 06:06:06 PM »
This is why I stopped selling on ebay. I got tired of taking of bath on shipping. Even though I weighed things and used the shipping calculator, often it didn't end up being accurate. So I sympathize with the seller here. Although you are technically in the right and definitely have a right to leave negative or neutral feedback, if I were the seller, I would likely refund the money and relist, negative feedback be damned. This isn't a book that he or she was off by a dollar. This is a significant discrepancy. As a low scale seller on ebay, I just wouldn't take that much of a loss.

Ricky

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2015, 06:19:05 PM »
Moral of the story for sellers: use the calculated shipping tool eBay provides and be accurate with dimensions and weight. Can't go wrong there. I think too many sellers try to make profit on the shipping for no good reason. I miss the days when eBay wasn't greedy bastards and you didn't pay a final value percentage on shipping fee.

abiteveryday

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #14 on: June 08, 2015, 06:27:06 PM »
Even that doesn't necessarily work.  UPS and FedEx both will take measurements and weight, then somehow after the fact say "well... Ummmm..  Dimensional charges ugh..   Give us more". And you have no choice.   I only ship USPS now because of that.

Hvillian

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Re: eBAY Problem: What would you do
« Reply #15 on: June 08, 2015, 07:57:51 PM »
Thanks again for all of the viewpoints.  As a few of you have mentioned, getting accurate shipping costs doesn't always go as planned, and I know shipping large/awkward items can be a real pain.  I've had to add a few dollars to small sales for shipping before, and would likely only do local pickup if I were selling something this big.  I understand that from the sellers perspective, but also agree that is was very amateurish to invoice me the prelim (or just wrong) shipping cost.

Anyway, I decided I wanted the deal to work out enough that I offered to pay up to the $140 in shipping mentioned in the listing, even though I am not as far as NYC (the example on which the $140 was based).  I was leaning towards splitting the difference, but decided it was just too arbitrary.

I'll see what they do before deciding about the feedback.  With ~350 sales in the last 12 months, I think another negative would push them below 99% (currently 99.1%).