View Full Version : e-bay
08-10-2000, 11:30 PM
Is this e-bay thing safe or could someone rip me off by not sending the product that i bid on?
08-10-2000, 11:36 PM
Someone could rip you off by not sending the product. However there are ratings and such and you really should read over everything carefully and explore the area befroe bidding. I've bought 50 or so items on e-bay and have never had a problem.
08-11-2000, 12:39 AM
I've bought lots of things from ebay and never had a problem. The important thing is to check the seller's feedback profile (comments left by other people who have bought from/sold to him) and make sure he has a good rating. If he does, you're pretty safe. As a rule, I generally don't buy from people who have any negative feedback (unless its like 1 negitive in 2000 positives).
08-11-2000, 05:26 AM
Another good rule is not to bid more money than you're comfortable flushing down the toilet, just to be on the safe side. I buy CDs there occasionally, but I'd never get a car, for instance.
08-11-2000, 07:42 AM
I've been buying on ebay for over a year
and haven't had any problems. I'm cautious
about people who no or little feedback, but
three times I've gotten very rare items
cheap from such sellers with no problems.
You can report bad sellers to ebay, and
they will do something about them (like
bad posters on these message boards).
08-11-2000, 08:00 AM
I've been on e-bay for a year now. have bought from new sellers, established sellers, etc, never had a problem - until now. new seller, didn't respond to e-mails. I got his contact info, called the schmuk and he said his computer had crashed, blah blah blah. E-bay encouraged me to "complete the transaction". never listen to e-bay. Now, I have the option of going to the post office fraud department over a $5 gig. oh, and yea, I can now add to the schmuck's negative rating. boy, I'll bet I feel better then. well, it was $5. and I still do e-bay, only one problem in over 100 transactions. I've even gotten a refund from some one when the item they sent wasn't what I called wearable (I'd asked, specifically), so sent the item back and they refunded my entire payment. So, mostly, it's been a good deal. except for the schmuck. In the future, I won't deal with new sellers at all. and if they don't respond to e-mail, screw it. If your computer crashes, go to the library and get in touch that way.
Edward The Head
08-11-2000, 08:10 AM
I've had problems twice with people, both under twenty bucks. one was for a CD and the other for a board game. I still do it, I get kinda worried on things that I bid too much on but everything else has gone ok. the good thing is that ebay has insurance and you can get back all but 25 bucks or something like that so you can be somewhat safe. I've had pretty good experience with everyone else though.
08-11-2000, 09:39 AM
Your purchase is insured to $200 , 25 deductible. More than $200 you need to use escrow...
visit ebay and read their policies. They are very well written.
08-11-2000, 10:03 AM
You can get screwed, but most of us on ebay are fine folks.
The same is true with mail-order, phone-order, and even, to a lesser degree, face-to-face transactions.
As the others have said: check out the guy's rating. For big purchases, use an escrow service. If the seller takes credit cards, has a listed phone number, that's a plus. (Granted, you usually get better bargains from amatuers than from pros, but you're asking about reliability.)
08-11-2000, 12:22 PM
Absolutely check the feedback. It is a little difficult to do so because Ebay doesn't group the 'negatives' and 'neutrals' apart from the 'positives'... You have to scroll through all the feedback (sometimes 100s of them) to review the 'negatives' or 'neutrals'. Do it anyway! I have dabbled on Ebay for 6 months or so and have won seven auctions (out of 12 or 13 attempts). I have had only 2 problems -- one minor and one a little more involved. The minor problem was an item (a set of chalkware bookends) that arrived broken. My money was cheerfully and quickly refunded. The second problem was one I could have forseen if I had read all the feedback carefully. Here's the story:
In mid-June, as I was preparing to move across country, I found a cool set of vintage dishes on Ebay. The auction was ending on the day after we were leaving California. I decided to go for it anyway, and asked my Dad to bid for the dishes for me. He did so, won the auction and paid for them. When he paid, he e-mailed the sellers and asked them to hold the dishes until July 3rd, because I wasn't going to be at my new house in Virginia until July 7. "No problem," the sellers replied. I was pretty busy upon arrival in Virginia and a week or 10 days slipped by with no dishes. As soon as I got the computer set up I e-mailed the seller to find out the status of my order. I was told that they had sent the dishes to another customer by mistake(!?) but that they had gotten them back again (in good shape) and would mail them out to me right away. 10 days goes by again with no dishes. Another e-mail to the sellers who tell me that they would be sending the dishes in 2 days via FedEx Ground... the delay was due to "setting up an account with FedEx." Another week goes by... Still no dishes. At this point I finally check the sellers feedback and discover -- in addition to 150 + 'positives' --1 'negative' (a dispute over the quality of an item) and 3 'neutrals' about... slow delivery!! By now we are up to August 6 and I fire off another e-mail (my e-mails have gotten progressively less civil, BTW!) and the sellers tell me that the package has gone out via UPS! At last, on August 9, I got the damn dishes -- postmarked (or whatever it's called for UPS) August 7! I love the dishes, BTW, but really felt jerked around by the whole process. After some thought, I gave them a negative rating... forget 'neutral' -- these people obviously have problems with shipping delays and I felt an obligation to do what I could to warn other customers. I just got a snippy e-mail back from the seller protesting the 'negative' -- like I care!
08-11-2000, 12:33 PM
The problem is most eBayers are afraid of retaliatory ratings, so they tend to give positive ratings even after a negative experience. Since eBay's policy is never to edit or remove a rating, if someone give you a bad rating just because you pissed them off, you'll tend to try really hard not to piss them off.
That said, I've only had one problem, but it was with a real wacko who gave me a negative rating because I asked for a refund on an item that was horribly stained, though described as mint. I had to change my email because the guy started e-stalking me when I gave him a negative rating(dozens of horrible, vicious emails) and emailing sellers whose stuff I was bidding on and "warning them" about me.
I still use eBay though.
(Unfortunately, Sublime1300, your OP is more likely to elicit horror stories way out of proportion to their actual occurrence. My single such experience has made me more cautious, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. And yes, eBay has some checks and balances in place. Explore their help page before you bid.)
Mr. Blue Sky
08-11-2000, 05:43 PM
I been e-baying for over a year and have purchased over 100 items. The only problem I ever had was actually with the post office when they lost my payment! Luckily, it was postal money order. I put a tracer on it. It never showed up and it was replaced. The seller graciously held the item for SIXTY DAYS while I got the mess straightened out.
As for negatives, I look to see if the seller has addresses the problem. If it's satifactorily resolved, I have no problem buying.
08-11-2000, 07:17 PM
I have had about 15 items that never showed up. About 10 of these the sellers expressed deep regret and I have chalked them up to my lousy mail service. The other 5 were very rude and said basically "tough luck" Ironically I have boughten CDs from overseas for CASH and they are so quick to send and are so nice. I have NEVER had a problem with any of them.
(there is a guy in Singapore who can get you good out of print CDs and he requires cash but he is excellent to deal with)
The feedback is pretty worthless. I dealt with sellers that had bad feedback and these people sent me wonderful emails and quick as light shipping. Also vice versa. The revenge factor in feedback renders it worthless.
I have also had over 20 people refuse to sell me items as they didn't get enough for it. Standard response is report me and I'll leave you negative feedback. I suppose I could've went to eBay and "Forced" them to sell it to me, but then in addition to having a neg in my feedback I'm sure the items would be "damaged in transit"
So if you only bid what you can comfortably lose you should be OK.
08-11-2000, 07:30 PM
I've sold 5 items, no problems. I'm bad at rating the buers at all. But like they all said, there are some risks, and I don't care to deal with the problems and reporting them.
08-11-2000, 08:23 PM
I've bought something twice, both reasonably expensive items (> $1000), which I got a good price on. I just don't feel like hassling with an auction, and negotiating shipping with somebody for a $30 purchase. I might do that if it was something unique that I couldn't find anywhere else.
Only problem I had was something that wasn't really the seller's fault - he was in Canada, and the shipping price he gave me didn't include a #!@$** fee imposed by customs when it crossed the US border. It arrived with a COD charge.
In both cases the goods were fairly represented. One of them was a retailer selling an open box flat screen that he said he had used to test a couple of video cards. Retailers seem to like EBay for unloading open box items and overstock. This may be more reliable than private parties since the seller is actually in business.
You can get some measure of protection by using the escrow service (does EBay still use Safe Harbor?), but the fee strikes me as a bit too high for my taste.
One really strange thing happened with acoustic guitars on EBay. Early on, there were a lot of musical instrument dealers selling overstocked new Taylor guitars. Taylor didn't like it, and produced a new dealer agreement - Taylor forbid them not only from selling new Taylors online, but forbid them from even advertising prices for new Taylors on their web sites. One of the dealers who had been selling on EBay warned everybody, and, sure enough, when the agreement became effective, suddenly only used Taylor instruments were to be found on EBay. I eventually bought a Taylor from a local store - when I brought the subject up, the owner of that store also complained loudly about the dealer agreement that had been shoved down his throat. Yamaha then did the same thing to their dealers.
08-12-2000, 01:30 AM
We have an Ebay rating of over 100, with no 'negs". I have had some slow shippers, but that is all. I had another guy whp claimed he did not get a MO (and he isnsisted on it), which I found out had happened before*. I offered to split the cost of the $8 MO stop payment fee, but he refused. finally I just paid it myself, and sent another MO. For this reason, I try to deal only with those that take CC or checks, not "only MO's". But, other than the slow shippers, no rip-offs, except, perhaps, that one. (150+ trans)
We used to bid a lot, but the snipers have made it much less fun, so we have cut down a lot.
* the guy lived in a not-so-good area of LA, and I figure either his mail was stolen- a lot, or he just cashed a MO once in a while, and said it was lost. Mo companies don't really check on small MO's.
08-12-2000, 02:28 AM
I am viewing this web page on an iMac I bought on eBay. I bought my CD-RW drive on eBay. I bought most of my Mac software on eBay. I have also sold a computer, a scanner, software, and LOTS of old computer books on eBay. I've even sold some of my pottery. It's great.
My sister makes a nice little supliment to her income by selling her ceramic work. It's great for her too!
Sure, be careful. Check feedback, it gives you a clue about the person's honesty. I really took a chance buying the iMac on eBay, (they guy only had two feedback points!) but I just had a "feeling" it would be OK. And it was. I've only had a few snags with transactions, but nothing too terrible. Right now I have a deadbeat bidder on an old laptop I am selling. But, oh well. I'll just put it up for sale again!
08-12-2000, 04:18 AM
Originally posted by yosemitebabe
Right now I have a deadbeat bidder on an old laptop I am selling. But, oh well. I'll just put it up for sale again!
BTW: If a bidder decides not to pay, you can request your listing fee back from eBay and put it up for sale again.
08-12-2000, 09:26 AM
One guy did not pay me for a few weeks. Instead of getting nasty about it, I just wrote him & asked for the payment & he wrote back saying that he was really busy & just forgot to mail it & then it came in the mail in a couple days.
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