I’ve been buying and selling on eBay for about 5 years now, and only occassionally have had a dud (although deadbeat bidders have increased, grrr).
The one and only time I tried to go through the grievance procedure, it was pretty awful. I buy a lot of 60s music magazines, and it’s hard to find them without things clipped out, pages missing, cos people long ago removed the pin ups, etc.
Anyway, this one seller listed quite a number of Dutch pop music magazines from the 60s, and always claimed they were pristine, intact, lovely to behold, etc., and one came up with a smashing cover of a favourite muso, a magazine that is actually difficult to find.
My winning bid was about $40, shipping to the States about $7 – so not really inexpensive, but it was a fragile magazine, and, gosh, the seller said it was in mint condition. :rolleyes: cos you know where this is going.
Not only did he royally screw up the address (fortunately I was in a small enough town that the mailcarrier recognised my name, and the postale code was correct, and that’s about it), but he simply put it in a paper envelope which didn’t offer much protection.
The magazine itself was scuffed up (age, not transit), the staples holding it together rusted and pulled out of shape cos the centre pin ups had been long removed, pages were clipped, and whole items cut out – including the item on the guy who was the reason I bought the flipping magazine! >:(
I had checked the seller’s feedback, and it was excellent – but about the time I got this magazine, he was starting to get a boatload of negs for everything I described (which hadn’t been there by the time I bid and one; I guess he got a duff load of mags).
Up until this point, he was sweet as pie in corro; when I wrote to him asking for a refund, and saying how awful the magazine was, silence. I sent (and documented) several emails. Nothing. So I went through the grievance procedure, and explained my side very carefully, provided full documentation, and explained that I had tried to contact the guy for a refund, but he never responded.
EBay has a form where you can see both sides of the argument, and you are allowed to comment on each other’s ‘testimony.’
He came back at me, told eBay I was a known liar, thief, and fraudster, that I had damaged the magazine myself, that I had never contacted him, etc etc etc.
EBay’s ultimate decision was that they just couldn’t decide who was telling the truth (he had no documention against all of mine, and he wrote using very abusive language against my calm and to-the-facts. I also had 100% positive feedback against him racking up negatives), and told us to sort it out for ourselves.
Eventually, he was thrown off eBay (but later reinstated), but I have to admit I was absolutely livid at the nasty comments he wrote about me, even with the documentation in front of him.
But this was the only confrontational nasty I’ve had so far in 5 years (outside of the slacker buyers, and even they are in the minority.) And I learnt my lesson as this was early on in my buying – always check with sellers, ask questions, check feedbacks, etc.