EBay purchase is turning sour - suggestions appreciated

I like retrocomputing (the collecting of old computers for nostalgy’s sake), so I often keep an eye on “vintage computing” auctions on EBay. I spotted this old portable computer going for a decent price in a few seconds, so I placed my bid and won. First mistake: I didn’t check delivery conditions properly.

The seller was willing to ship me the thing, so we agreed on postage and I made my payment. I reminded him I wanted First Class posting and Signed Delivery. When I asked him to confirm that he did, he claimed he did the first but not the second. Second mistake: not clearly agreeing on terms of postage before paying.

Just as you can imagine, the item never turned up. Seller claims he’s in good faith and he even left me positive feedback saying how good a buyer I am - doesn’t that sound sarcastic if I assume foul play?

Anyway, damage’s done, and I have a feeling that I’ll have to put it down as a lesson learned, but I’m not willing to just let it go. What can I do? If it is relevant, I am in the UK and paid using Paypal.

Was there a tracking number, what does the parcel service say?

Simple, make a claim to Paypal (and your CC at the very last moment) claiming you never got the item. One of them will reverse the charge to him. AFAIK, this works no matter where you are.

It is the buyers obligation to get the payment to the seller. Claims that the “payment was lost in the mail” mean they don’t ship. OTOH, it is the sellers obligation once paid to get the goods to the buyer. It doesn’t even matter if he can prove he mailed it- all that gives him is a claim vs the Post.

I assume here that GB law is similar to US law.

Add Splenda.

Check the PayPal website for information on “buyer protection”. Don’t delay - there is a time limit for claims. I’m thinking 45 days off the top of my head, but check and see what it says on the website.

Another possibility - If it’s overseas shipping, it often takes a very long time to arrive.

Did the seller actually claim he sent it by first class post? If this is a heavy item (old ‘portable’ computers tend to be, so I’m assuming it is) - I would expect the person at the post office counter to recommend standard parcels or some other service - so it he says he sent it first class, that might mean he never even bothered trying to send it.

Anyway, file a non-delivery dispute - whatever the details, it’s the seller’s responsibility to see that you get the item you paid for.

I’m curious, what do you consider a “vintage” computer. I have an Epson “laptop” that I bought new around '82 or '83.

He claims to have used Royal Mail. I’m going to the nearest Post Office and find out if he should have one. I also use my office address as destination, so there’s always someone available to pick it up.

Like this one? Yes, that kind of thing. Anything older tends to get too cumbersome or expensive, or both, for me.

No, it’s different. I’ll post a pic. tomorrow. It’s after 3AM here and I’m going to get some shuteye.

I just got a message from our guy. He claims to have gone to the Post Office and that they told him it’s going to be a 3 months wait to be refunded, and offered me to either refund me half now or to wait the three months.

Of course that smells fishy, so now I have another question for the Post Office. I’m going soon.

He’s messing you around and quite possibly bullshitting you - you paid, he failed to deliver - you need a full refund - the business between him and the post office is entirely his problem, not yours. Start the PayPal/Ebay payment dispute.

Yes, start the dispute. He is trying to get you to wait long enough so you won’t be able to file a claim.

Exactly. Even assuming he truly did send it, it is he, not you, who had an agreement with the post office. He can’t just say “I shipped it, now it’s on you.”

…and even if we were to accept that it was somehow not the seller’s responsibility after he passes it to the post office (which attitude appears to be more prevalent in the USA, but is definitely contrary to eBay UK’s rules [sup](cite)[/sup]), the seller failed to comply with your chosen (and presumably paid-for) shipping specification - the seller is entirely at fault here.

Well, guess what, after an exchange of emails the seller agreed to refund me. I suggested he keep part of the postage costs, so this way I’m off a fiver and I’ll write it off as the cost of a lesson learned.

Congratulations on a reasonably successful solution without too much hassle. I think you have precisely the right attitude about taking a lesson away from it all.

Heh, can’t add anything to the postage saga, but as an anecdote about the hobby - my dad owned at one point an extremely ancient (by computer standards) computer from the 1960s. It was pretty big, had no screen, and was used for performing large numbers of arithmatic computations for scientific analysis - you inputted programming information on a sort of card with a magnetic stripe on one side, and it outputted by printing on a roll of paper like a cash register. Don’t know if it is or was valuable, or whether it still exists anywhere - my dad took it home for a while in the 1990s as a curiousity, but I suspect he threw it out.

Well, collectors could have liked it, especially if it was working, since it was so early. As for actual value, I don’t know, it depends on the kind of collectors. A museum or a University could like it; why not suggest him to donate it?

By the way, sometimes I think that collectors are a bit like porn fetishes: if you can think of it, there are collectors for that. :slight_smile:

Now you tickled my curiosity. Any chance of a pic, maybe? :slight_smile: