How to Deal With an Ebay Buyer Scam? (swapped pickups on return)

Discussion in 'Bad Dog Cafe' started by Musekatcher, Aug 18, 2019.

  1. Milspec

    Milspec Friend of Leo's

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    We think alike, I have actually told an unhappy buyer once that I would just drive over to his town to pick up the item in person. We were 3 hours away from each other, but I was pissed and really wanted to make the drive. Strangely, I never heard from the buyer again and he left a neutral feedback response.
     
  2. Mike Eskimo

    Mike Eskimo Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    And don’t dwell on the fact that he CAN leave you negative feedback - whatever happens.
     
  3. ladave

    ladave Tele-Holic

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    Probably doesn't feel right but it's what I would have done. You took the high road.
     
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  4. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Yea I really struggle with this cursed nice-guy streak. Here's what motivated my decision to work with this guy:

    Maybe he's just frustrated, confused, or otherwise not "equipped" to manage what has happened, or his incompetence in wiring and soldering has left him desperate, and he's acting out irrationally. Maybe I can spend 20 minutes and fix the ground loops on the pots, or the reversed pickup leads. He's in a desperate situation and mad at the world, but if I can do that, I think it changes his outlook that everybodys not out to get him. Win-win.

    Now if he's a sociopathic crook scammer, I deduct what I think is appropriate, and refund him the balance. He's caught, it cost him $$, and Ebay now has a case of his stunt. He's essentially punished for the right reason, and learns a lesson. I sell the guitar again and come out. Win-win.
     
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  5. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    This is just catastrophically flawed, I don’t get why this is even allowed to stand.
    And allowing returns six months later? This is ludicrous. It’s a “rent stuff for free” invitation, with an option to steal it.

    Not surprising at all. What works for eBay is — more money in their pocket. Assuring buyers that they are safe gets them to click on “buy”, creating profit. They only care about honesty and fair dealing as it impacts their profit.
     
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  6. Musekatcher

    Musekatcher Tele-Afflicted

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    Update, its been silent since I granted a conditional return. I was smart this time, and documented everything, and put the conditions in the replies, etc. The return was never made, and the time has expired for him to return it. I sent Ebay a note that they shouldn't refund the money, as I suspected a scam, and that he volunteered he modded the electronics, and probably mis-wired something in the process.

    I suspect he read my correspondence with Ebay, and I hit close to home - he miswired it, or over-soldered the pickup leads at the windings and killed a pickup, etc. Or, he realized he got it for half its value, calmed down, and realized he wants to keep it.

    Also, in retrospect, I may have called his bluff. He may have been fishing for a partial refund, to settle. By going the full extreme of offering a return and inspection/refund, he didn't want to risk exposure, or loosing the guitar (which he got for half the market value).
     
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  7. mgreene

    mgreene Tele-Holic

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    When a guy tried this with me, I told him I would refund when I got the item back.

    It turned out however that he had bought the item on his girl friend's phone and when she understood that all of this was happening over her ebay account I never heard anything else.

    Ebay is pretty lame is always accepting the buyer's claims over the seller. The one time it could have worked for me they sided with the seller in Germany and I never even received the item.
     
  8. netgear69

    netgear69 Tele-Afflicted

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    It is safe to say there are a lot of sh#tbags lurking on ebay who have no morals whatsoever and what makes it frustrating ebay does not give a toss
     
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  9. Flyboy

    Flyboy Tele-Meister

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    Ask for it back. Before you refund him.
     
  10. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I'm not sure this is true.
    Or maybe we need to define "a lot"?

    Are a larger number of the sellers on ebay rude/ bad than say the number of drivers in rush hour traffic or at a soccer match?

    For example, if we can expect some abusive treatment every time we spend an hour in rush hour traffic or go to a soccer match, should we also expect some abusive treatment every time we buy something on ebay?

    I'm just not finding a lot of bad sellers on ebay after over 1000 purchases.

    But maybe people that sell stuff are good people while people that buy stuff tend to be bad people?

    I just think internet speak over blows complaints, and saying ebay sucks is popular now, like saying reverb is heaven on earth is also popular.
    Seems like it's been discovered recently that there are jerks on reverb too, but it's unpopular to call reverb out while it's cool to ***** about ebay.
    At this point if we shop for used guitar gear, we will find the same sellers listing the same items for the same price on both sites.

    Seems a bit off to suggest that buyers on one site are bad and buyers on the other site are good.

    I agree that the paypal policy has two really bad things, the six month returns and the lack of guarantee of returns to the seller.

    But I have to wonder if the internet love for hating on ebay makes buyers wary of buying there, since the internet says ebay is unreliable, so ebay or really paypal adds extra security for buyers to keep the business going.

    I personally find online sellers of used stuff and used stuff in general to be a risk, because there is no way to confirm it is what they say it is until we get it. If ebay or reverb had more seller protection than buyer protection, I would not buy there AT ALL based on the assumption that people are generally good and honest and sellers would never lie or if they made a mistake they would have kept my purchase money and refund me right away because people are just so good and honest and wouldn't spend my $500 before I let them know the yard sale guitar I bought from them is great.

    Remember that buyers pay without having the thing they are buying in hand, and have to have faith in the goodness of sellers.

    Sellers OTOH get the money and can ship whenever they feel like it, can pack poorly, can leave the paid for item out in the rain, can ship to the wrond address, all while they have our money.

    The buyers of unseen merch take the primary risk of buying from non business sellers online and waiting to get the merch in good condition.
    Thus buyers need protection more than sellers.

    If ebay primarily protected sellers, we would see far more undisclosed issues in listings, slow shipping, poor packaging, and sellers refusing returns on legitimately defective items.
     
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  11. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    I sold a reverb pedal, the buyer claimed it was DOA. Ebay refunded him, no questions asked.

    Ebay is a buyer's market. They will refund for just about anything no matter what the seller says. They let people reneg on winning bids.

    I had a buyer win, wait 5 days, and simply cancel their bid. Combined with the 7-day listing, I lost almost 2 full weeks. Not to mention that there were other interested bidders who could have purchased the item.

    I have no idea why eBay operates this way, it didn't always used to be that way.
     
  12. Old Deaf Roadie

    Old Deaf Roadie Tele-Holic

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    I don't even look at eBay anymore. There's too much import junk to sort through to get to any gems. Then, there is some guy with auto-bid going which ultimately pushes the item past my high price limit. I choose only face to face cash transactions via Craigslist, retailers, or local ads these days. If I have to order something, I typically choose Amazon.
     
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  13. JDB2

    JDB2 Tele-Meister

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    It's because easy return policies have become expected in the consumer internet marketplace (e.g., Amazon) and they drive sales. Which drives money into eBay's pockets. The large-scale commercial sellers that drive eBay's profits, sometimes themselves with shady business practices (i.e., counterfeit and/or defective "refurbished" goods), will thrive within this framework. The small-scale sellers like us, who built eBay into what it is today, are sacrificed and left vulnerable to scamming or unreasonable buyers.

    It is also a whole lot cheaper and easier for eBay/Paypal to make returns easy for buyers than assess on a case-by-case basis every time a buyer cries foul, given the sheer volume of transactions occurring as a result of the aforementioned commercial sellers.

    Its really very simple - the small scale sellers like us don't make enough money for eBay to waste time on, and we have no collective power to change their practices.

    Hence I only sell gear on Reverb and fervently hope it stays good.
     
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2019
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  14. MilwMark

    MilwMark Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    @telemnemonics - Well said.

    I’m not ascribing this to you, but I find it ironic when private online sellers:

    - want the scale the marketplace provides.
    - without the investment or cost that a store carries (employees, space, insurance, “spoilage”, returns, time dealing with customers, THEFT, and I could go on and on)
    - complain about credit card fees, platform fees (which a business also incurs, in addition to the other costs)
    - complain about “tire kickers” asking questions and wasting their time (again, what do you think a store does all day?)
    - and get all bent out of shape when a distance transaction - where as you note, they get the money well before the buyer touches the gear - when a transaction goes south.

    Remarkable social experiment.
     
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  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I do find the massive quantities of import junk on ebay annoying, but the first thing I do in a search is choose "US only".
    Maybe that's not what you mean, and I still have to figure out if asn item is import junk before bidding.

    I also never ever use Amazon at all for anything!
    They sell almost entirely import junk!

    I do have to unbox and put into use lots of stuff from Amazon at my job, and find their consistency of quality stuff for good prices is way below ebay.

    What sells Amazon as the place to buy seem to be free no questions asked returns.
    Consumers love that about Amazon.
    Seems like TDPRI members are really happy when they get their money back on an Amazon purchase and don't even have to return the merch!

    So why do consumers hate that about ebay?

    Like @MilwMark said, an interesting social experiment.
     
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  16. Telekarster

    Telekarster Tele-Meister

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    I've been on Ebay for 20+ years, long enough to have been a member on the servers in the guys living room! LOL!! Back in the day when there was no checks and balances whatsoever, 100% high risk, and the only way to pay someone was to send a check to them in the mail.... and "hope" you got your item, and it was ok. You had their personal ID, including phone number, they had yours. Pretty scary wild west sort of days actually. But, nearly 800 transactions later (mostly as a buyer) and many fairly high $ items purchased, I can honestly say that there have been only a handful of "problem children", and in nearly every case Ebay stepped in and solved the problem one way or the other, including a time when they refunding my entire $$$ which was significant, and banning the corrupt seller for life over the ordeal, and that was 10+ years ago. So... for me at least, I've had a good experience with them.
     
  17. Dog Bite

    Dog Bite TDPRI Member

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    Sorry about your ebay troubles. I was an ebay buyer and seller for years. Mostly having little to no problems. I had over 600 sales with all perfect feedback. Then ebay changed it's policy to always back the buyer 100% of the time. That is when the scammers went crazy. If ebay rules in the buyers favor and that's their policy now they take the money from your pay pal acc. and refund the buyer upon notice of the return to you and they can return any old piece of crap and ebay takes their word for it, if there is no money in your acc. they charge it to your credit card. Nobody reads those ebay updates to their policy emails and that included me. After 3 scams I quit selling on ebay.
     
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  18. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

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    Yep... the buyers essentially have all the power now; they control the flow of money from start to finish, and also control whether or not any items get shipped back after a refund. And even if eBay does somehow rule in the sellers favor and ends up banning the buyer’s account, that makes absolutely zero difference to the individual seller who got scammed... they are still out the money and the item.
     
  19. Octorfunk

    Octorfunk Tele-Meister

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    Makes sense to me.

    I also wonder if it's not due to the cultural shift that came with my generation (millennials). Compulsiveness and buyer's remorse seem to be the norm these days, and completely acceptable behavior. See a new guitar that you can't afford on Ebay? Sure, go ahead and buy it. Play it for a day and realize it's not 100% of what you wanted it to be, and there's also something else you really need that $$$ for? Of course I'll return it and get my money back, why shouldn't I? Lie and say it's defective? Of course, whatever it takes to get my $$$ back.

    Place a bid that you can't afford in the heat of the moment because you really want that thing? Of course! Retract the bid after you win the item because your feelings changed? Of course!

    This kind of thinking seems to make sense to more and more people these days.

    Now if a store has a no-questions-asked return policy, that's completely different. I've returned things many times to GC because it wasn't what I expected. But I've never lied to them and said it was defective simply because I changed my mind. I simply state that I didn't really like it, and according to their return policy that explanation is perfectly acceptable.
     
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  20. bcorig

    bcorig Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Once I bought a Les Paul Studio on Ebay.
    Now I only buy disposable latex gloves on E bay.
     
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