2011.06.02 Great eBayer or “moran?” Opinions seem to differ

Written by David Green.

By RICH FOLEY

It’s been awhile since I’ve reported on my buying activities on the eBay auction website, mostly because I haven’t done that much lately. I did, however, manage to make what will probably be a life-long enemy, all because I had the nerve to ask for what I was promised.

Back in November, I bid on a diecast replica of a NASCAR race car. The seller had a huge selection of cars available, including one somewhat hard-to-find one I had been looking for. Even better, he offered as a bonus an additional car of his choice to the winning bidder.

No one else bid on the auction, so I won the car at the minimum bid, plus the additional mystery car, all for a grand total of $15, shipping included. I paid promptly and patiently waited to see what the bonus car might be. 

A box arrived fairly quickly, but I was disappointed to see only the car featured in the auction. No bonus car, no note, just half of what I was expecting. Usually when an eBay seller makes a mistake, they bend over backwards to make things right because having good feedback from buyers is crucial in impressing potential buyers, and earns the seller better rates from eBay. But after eight years, I discovered a seller that just didn’t care.

I e-mailed “David” in New Jersey, pointing out that I didn’t get a bonus car and asking when I could expect it. I received a reply saying that offer was no longer valid. Oh, really? I then asked whether or not he stood behind his listing and he tried to blame some unnamed “they” who supposedly didn’t update the auction. That sounded like a problem between David and this “they” person, but David made it clear that he was done dealing with it.

Maybe he’d had previous success stonewalling and trying to bully other customers (somehow, he had a 100% positive feedback rating), but I didn’t feel like letting him get away with it. I gave him four or five days to consider his position, which probably made him think I had given up, then gave him negative feedback, dropping his rating to 99.8%. That was enough to set him off.

He replied to my feedback by calling me a crybaby, then left feedback for me, calling me a “moran.” I laughed when I saw that. Did “they” teach him to spell, too? Then eBay got involved, asking if I wanted to open a formal complaint since I’d left negative feedback. Why not?

In my complaint, I asked for the second car. David refused, offering a refund if I sent the car I received back to him. This would have cost me almost $11 in shipping and fees to get $15 back. I offered to settle for a $7.50 refund, since I received half of the two cars I expected. He refused again.

I finally opted for the eBay mediation process, in which each side makes their case and an eBay arbitrator’s decision is final. Again, I stated my position and asked for a $7.50 refund. I don’t know what David told them, but I would have liked to have seen his face when he received the verdict.

The arbitrator awarded me a refund of the entire $15, which they had already retrieved from David’s PayPal account and returned to me. In addition, I got to keep the car I received. I couldn’t help but ask myself, “Who’s the ‘moran’ now?” 

Kristi in California, however, holds a better opinion of me. A few weeks ago, I was thinking about a  bank in the shape of a spaceship I had as a child. I did a search for it on eBay, asking to be informed of similar listings. Within a week, eBay sent an e-mail with Kristi’s auction item, which turned out to be a duplicate of my old bank.

The bidding was already higher than I wanted to pay and I noticed that Kristi didn’t have the combination to the bank, mentioning the “fun” you could have trying to open it as a selling point.

It’s pretty sad that I still remembered the combination of my own bank more than 40 years after getting rid of it, but I decided to have some fun myself. I e-mailed Kristi, telling her the story of my old bank and that I didn’t think I wanted to pay what the bidding had reached, but offering my old bank’s combination in case she wanted to try it.

“WOW!” Kristi e-mailed back after successfully using the combination. “That was the tip of the week!” She added that she would amend her listing to include the combination. When I checked back a day later, she had even given me credit by name, calling me a “great eBayer.” Take that, David from New Jersey!

  • Front.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016