18 July 2006


eBay's Feedback feature can be kida quirky. I've bought a few things from eBay and I find it quite convenient for locating specific items that you don't always find in a local department store. Collectible things mostly. The feedback feature can be an indicator of how reliable a seller might be. But it is my experience that it is more often than not a mere quid pro quo deal and, in my experience, sellers don't return the favour of a favourable feedback unless and until you / I / the buyer leaves a favourable feedback on them.

Case in point: In April 2005 I purchased from "personalplayer" what he claimed to be a brand new Jeff Beck DVD of a live performance in Japan. Yet when it arrived it was obvious to me that it was a knock-off, the cover was just a paper photocopy and the DVD was obviously a copy. I complained the personalplayer, told him I wanted my money back or I would leave a negative feedback (naively assuming that this would matter to him). He made no attempts at mediating or negotiating. So I left the negative feedback. Whereupon personalplayer left a negative feedback on me. This creates a warning sign to other sellers that I might not be a straight-up buyer. Fortunately, as a buyer I am able to respond to the negative feedback left on my buying record but it ultimately lowers your overall rating average.

This past May I purchased from "kitten2u" a four volume set of the Lord of the Rings that my son wanted. Being one to always encourage a child to read classic literature I happily obliged. That the seller's address was a mere 10 miles from my home left me to believe that this would be a smooth and swift transaction. Boy, oh boy was I ever wrong. After winning the auction, I promptly mailed my payment to the seller on May 8. On May 19 seller replied to my eMail saying she had not received my payment. I wrote her back and asked her to check her mail that day again because I had mailed it over ten days ago and if necessary I would need to place a stop payment on the check. She wrote me back to say "Oh i am sorry yours was the one for the books? Yes I did get your money order and your books will be mailed monday. Sorry about the confusion it has been very hectic here the last few days." By May 29th I still had not received the books and I wrote her one last time threatenting that if I did not receive my purchase I was going to forward her eMails to eBay for resolution. The books finally did arrive but not before I endured two weeks of my son's constant questioning "Have my books come yet?" Oy vay. Needless to say I did not leave her a feedback, negative, neutral or otherwise for fear that she would do what the previous bad seller did and leave a negative feedback on me.

Similarly, last month I purchased from "anitas_stuff" two cute little retro aprons, like my mom used to wear. I mailed my check after winning the autions, fully aware of anitas' policy of holding the items for ten days for all purchases made with a personal check. On July 10 I wrote to her that my check for $23.96 cleared my bank on 6/21 and that the website shows payment received as of 30 June. But I had yet to receive the aprons and wondered what the status was. Anita wrote me back to say "Hi, Yes you are right and I was going to mail it today but to be honest it has been hectic and I forgot all about it .. I have one other item to mail out so they will both go to the Post office tomorrow (Tuesday) .. promise! .. Anita"

It seems to be that these big time sellers are the ones that get "hectic". So it is not clear to me whether these major, big number sellers are really all that reliable.

For the most part I have had good luck with eBay. But instead of leaving negative feedback for these inconsiderate sellers on eBay, I've decided to execise my freedom of speech here.

1 comment:

Johnson Sanchez said...

Ebay seems to have stopped caring about people getting ripped off, "Buy at your own risk" isn't good enough for me. D