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Offline Lashen

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Online Shopping Disasters
« on: July 29, 2015, 02:25:51 PM »
Alright, so I've bought and sold a lot of things on eBay. Some of it is for myself; some of it is with the intent of selling in the future. This is a story about something I bought for myself.
I have many horror stories and this is far from the worst. Some are unfortunately my fault, though, the overwhelming majority aren't. I'm hoping this can turn into a thread about the subject in particular, rather than just my experience. (I would like feedback on this, though.)

So, I discovered an auction on eBay for a Hsien-Ko figure, new in box. The seller had been a member for a couple of years now, but only purchased two things and had no feedback as a seller at the time. I wasn't sure how well to trust them, their username had "1234" at the end and overall seemed fake to some degree. There were things that contradicted that slightly, such as how they had a picture of themself(?) as their icon and seemed mostly literate in the figure's listing description. They claimed it was from their own personal collection, great quality, and, from what I could see the bubble/card was in good condition. He also had some other Capcom-related things for sale. I placed my bid on the item, and won as the only bidder (US $33.50 plus shipping). The item eventually arrived (from New Jersey to California) damaged in a thin, rectangular priority mail box. It was shipped with no padding whatsoever, the bubble had been pressed on quite a bit in transit (bashed in on one corner), and the corners to the card were all dramatically bent/frayed from bouncing around the whole way. It's also worth mentioning that it had a thick layer of dust on it. Unless I planned on opening this figure and discarding everything else (I did not), this was in terrible condition and useless to me. The heavy dust was evidence that it was poorly taken care of prior to shipping, and one of the damaged corners was not clearly visible in the listing's photos, but everything else bore evidence of shipping damage. Basically this guy didn't even attempt to wipe the dust off, dropped it in an empty box and shipped it across country. Not the kind of behavior you'd expect from a collector of any kind. It was a rare figure that he'd clearly been holding onto and kept sealed. Listings for this figure in new condition are scarce and there currently were/are no others on eBay. Discouraged and not wanting to deal with it because of unrelated personal drama at the time, I ended up leaving negative feedback: Put figure in empty priority mail box and sent across country. Bashed all over.

I sucked it up the next day and sent a return request despite the "no refunds" part of the listing. The negligence was on him, not necessarily the post office in this case. I felt I was owed a refund regardless because of how easily preventable this was. The following is our conversation:

Jul 22: You requested a return
Reason for return: It doesn't match the listing
Comments: I m not even sure this was in great quality before you shipped it, considering it s covered in a thick layer of dust. Either way, if it was in better shape prior to shipping you could have done anything besides just dropped it in a large box and sent it across country. It s irresponsible and a waste of what I assume could have been a nicer product.

Jul 26: The seller sent you a message
Message: I am unsure what you want to do here. It was described as original unopened which it is and you were advised "Seller does not offer returns". As for condition you are talking about dust on the box which doesn't effect the structural condition. Otherwise the product was secured in place when packaged/shipped. How are you looking to resolve the issue, what would you like to have happen?

Jul 27: You sent a message
Message: The item was definitely not secured in place. It was placed in a priority mail box that wasn't suited to the dimensions of the item, with no padding, anything whatsoever, and shipped across country, bouncing around inside and bashing everywhere as a result. This is beyond obvious to you or anyone when shipping something. Considering this was supposed to be a part of your own collection, I'm not going to pretend that this is something you'd not care about were it in your possession, especially considering how you never seemed to open it yourself. "New: A brand-new, unused, unopened, undamaged item (including handmade items). " By your logic you could ship as negligent as possible, destroy as many items as you'd like, say it was the post office's fault, and say "no refunds" all because you wanted to save a dollar or some effort. There's no evidence that you even tried to prevent this thing from getting ruined in the mail. Secure is not dropping something in an empty box. This isn't how you treat a $30+ item and I'm still pursuing a refund.

Jul 28: The seller sent you a message
Message: I don't even want to deal with your disparaging remarks or the beyond obvious feeling that you're a victim of some horrific crime. I could sit here and write some elongated swan song to match yours but I won't waste my time. Facts are fact, there were pictures of the items when you purchased it. It stated no returns. By purchasing it you were buying it as is, which was also stated. You ominously leaving bad reviews sending notes across country won't change any of that. I'm sorry you feel there's an issue. There are three ways for you to resolve this. -Take it up with the post office, there's $50 of insurance on the package when shipped. See what they tell you. -Ship the item back for return and I'll refund upon receiving & reviewing. -Resolve the issue on eBay and go on leading a life ignoring that the other exists. Regardless of how you feel, I've done my part and gone beyond by offering a comprise to return & refund when I don't need to. If you feel there was an issue its on you at this point.

Jul 29: You sent a message
Message: Was doing more than just dropping what you consider a collector's item in larger empty box and shipping it across the country also "above and beyond" what was expected of you? How exactly is that a swan song? The only crime you've committed is negligence, pointless negligence at that. The amount of revenue pulled in by sellers across the internet as a whole would be dramatically less if they took your approach, and, with exceptions of people like yourself that just started selling, they generally don't. I sell things for a living. I factor in a lot of things, such as shipping cost, boxes, material such as bubble wrap or cardboard, etc. to ensure that whatever product I am shipping is received safely. I put those things toward the price I am willing to sell the item for and with the exception of freak accidents everyone wins. One of two things happened here. Either you put an item up for auction, I was the only bidder, and you tried to cut your losses this way, or you just have no idea what you're doing in general. Either way, that would be your fault. I am more than lenient on sellers when it comes to items being shipped, but I see no evidence of packing concern here. You'd have to have never sent or received anything through the USPS to think this was appropriate. As many horror stories as I have, I can't blame the post office in this case. There's a reason why people gravitate toward sellers with positive feedback, and you'd be that reason. I don't think you're a criminal, just immature. Quite honestly, I don't trust you enough to return it (even with tracking), so I'll have to think on that today, because it's either that or contact eBay. I don't believe eBay should give me trouble, considering I said what you did was negligent, and your response was to suggest I have some sort of victim complex, call my complaint a "swan song," and tell me my feedback makes no difference before acting "the bigger man" and offering me a solution.

Now, I figure out what I am going to do about this, or see his response—whichever comes first.
In hindsight I'm unsure if I should have just trusted/taken his return offer and not even sent that last message, but he's done nothing but play blame tag with me and ignored my details entirely about how he packaged the item.
So, on a scale from Bob Ross to Gallagher, how crazy do you think I am?
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Offline piscesdreams

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Re: Online Shopping Disasters
« Reply #1 on: July 29, 2015, 02:45:27 PM »
I don't personally think you're crazy. You paid for an item and expected it to at least match the pictures. If the product you received did not match the pictures then you have the right to take it up with either the seller and/or shipper. But I would say chalk it up to not buying collectibles from trusted sellers.

That said, eBay is a buyers market. As a former seller, I can say that unless you have a solid rating and lots of sells under your belt, it seems pretty easy for a buyer to easily say they never received an item or it was not as described. It's a tough move to make as a seller and I had some HORRENDOUS instances on eBay as a seller from people making petty claims, such as a guitar had a surface ding which was clearly described in the listing, with photos and a closeup, but eBay sided with the buyer. Research dictates because I wasn't a big time seller, despite a 100% positive rating at the time.

My whole point is try to deal with really reputable sellers when you can, which by your post, you seemed to have limited options. But I don't think you're crazy. You just wanted what you saw in the pictures. Hope it all works out for you!

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