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Thread: Need some E-bay advice re: a dispute

  1. #1
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    Default Need some E-bay advice re: a dispute

    Hey guys...

    I'm faced with a quandry, and I'd like to hear your opinions.

    I bought this Selectadock II docking station off of E-bay to use with an old laptop. (It's a great way to get PCI and ISA slots in a compact, transportable package. DreamBeamz has been using them for a long time and he swears by them.) I paid $40 for the auction plus $30.70 shipping. (ouch! High shipping, but it was packaged well.)

    The unit didn't arrive right away, so I sent the seller an e-mail asking what the problem was. He replied that they had some delays in the shipping department but that the unit would ship soon. We sent a few more messages back and fourth while I waited for the item to arrive. (These were not sent through E-bay's messaging system, but were sent directly to the seller's Yahoo account from my home e-mail.) Note that I included my home telephone number in at least two of these messages, though I never could get a phone number for the seller.

    When the unit finally arrived, I unpacked it and immediately noticed that it had been opened before. (All the software packages were opened, including the CD-rom, the manuals had been opened, all the accessory packages had been opened, and the shipping tape had been removed and re-placed in slightly different positions. You could still see the residue where the tape used to be.)

    Nevertheless, the unit did appear to be in very good condition, so I hooked it up. Unfortunately, it didn't work. I checked everything twice, but no luck. I was getting ready to go out of town (to NC, actually - to meet with George), so I e-mailed the seller and told him that the unit appeared to be dead-on-arrival, but that I'd perform some more tests after I got back.

    The seller never replied to that message, and now claims that he never received it. (He said the yahoo spam filter must have killed it, but it seems strange that it didn't kill my previous messages.)

    When I returned from my trip I performed a whole bunch of additional tests with a second laptop, a second port replicator, and ultimately with a second SelectaDock unit. The tests showed that everything was working EXCEPT for the selectadock I had bought on E-bay.

    I e-mailed the seller several times explaining what I had done, but I did not receive any responses. (The seller claims that he did not receive any of these messages.) So, with little recourse left, I filed a complaint with PayPal.

    Immediately I received a response from the seller; he said he never received any of my messages, and that I needed to use E-bay's message system to contact him. (This sucks, because they limit you to 1000 characters.) He also said that the unit had not been used, and that he opened the software to make sure it was all there before sending the unit out. He said I would need to contact IBM for warranty support if it was broken. (Note: These units are obsolete and have not been sold at retail for many years.) He also accused me of using it for a month, possibly breaking it, and now wanted to return it because I didn't need it anymore.

    I fired back with a condensed version of the history above, including my outrage at him selling something listed as "Brand New" when it had clearly been opened before. Furthermore, his "power on test" had been performed without a laptop or port replicator, which means you can't test anything. (Well, technically if you plug it in there is a relay in the PSU that goes "click", but that's it... To test anything else you need to plug in a laptop.)

    Initially he offered a refund of $40 (the winning bid price), but I would need to return the unit at my expense and eat the original shipping charge of $30.70 I called PayPal, and they said that when they end up looking into the problem (after March 19th) if they agree that it's fraudulent, I will get my entire $70.70 back, and will only be responsible for the return shipping charges for the unit.

    Now he's offering to refund me $40, plus roughly half the original shipping charges, or $16, for a total refund of $56. I'd still have to pay the return shipping on the defective unit though.

    Part of me wants to give this guy the benefit of the doubt. I'm basically a trusting person that way. But part of me is pissed off that someone (allegedly) tried to take advantage of me. Either way, it's not about the money... I've bought a hell of a lot of stuff on E-bay that turned out to be completely useless crap, so another 70 bucks isn't going to make any difference. But the principle of the matter is really chapping my ass...

    So, what do you guys think? Am I being a total asshole here? Should I just take the $56 refund and shut the hell up? Or should I stay in this and not back down until I get my full $70.70... And is the stress worth it?

    Adam

    PS: I should point out that while all this was going on, I WON another auction for a selectadock III unit. This one is used and pretty beat up looking, but it was owned by a physician and the guy is willing to guarentee against DOA, so I know I'll have a good one shortly. (I spoke to this new seller on the phone, and he's totally cool.)

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Default

    WOW! Lots of reading! Well, I think you should get FULL refund and he should also pay for shipping back

    I have something like this going on on paypal, hope it will go trough.
    I buyed an item from a member in here...

  3. #3
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    the end result should be paypal giving you 100% of money back after confirming that you have shipped the item back. But dont ship the item back till paypal prompts you to do so. Also, if paypal fails to determine any wrong on this then you can always use your creditor, then you wont have to ship the item back.

  4. #4
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    What Dream Beamz said.

    Paypal is geared very much towards protection for the buyer, not the seller.

    Make sure you send it registered, and demand the full value back.. It appears he was out to sting you, so why not do the same back...
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  5. #5
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    I got screwed totally from a guy in Canada. No offensive comments directed to Canadians....just this one. How could I resolve a trip to find a bogus name , phone # and address?? It was for 210.00 USD. Get this > Paypal couldn't do anything filing through there way of dealing with this....his account was promptly closed after he was sent funds and transferred. So I sent a letter and other contacts to my bank from where the card was issued. They called me 3 days later and replenished the funds contingent on their inspection of the matter. Yeah the guy is an ass. I sent him several emails and tried other means to no avail. Am I pissed ? No doubt. But what do you do? Bottom line.......it is a crap shoot. Feedback and a good history means a lot, so the noobs need to stand the test of time and build a good track record. Still there is that chance.............I am not going to stop buying/selling. Just as I have some cover from this kind of flack I will continue. Meanwhile I am going back to final assembly of the new monster laser. Got it back from the ano shop wednesday. Pix soon. Paypal and e-bay are the ones that are really getting the big dough......every second an auction is closing and fees are being collected.

    Good luck on reclaiming your cash. Sometimes these things just don't work out very pretty.
    Last edited by MechEng3; 03-10-2007 at 16:14.
    You are the only one that can make your dreams come true....and the only one that can stop them...A.M. Dietrich

  6. #6
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    I'd be an ass myself. "Brand new" is just that... and Yahoo doesn't just start to screen a person's email after you have replied to that person... I'd go the paypal route and tyr for it all back.

    Good luck man!
    Love, peace, and grease,

    allthat... aka: aaron@pangolin

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    My wife had a simular problem.
    PP refunded her all the money she had paid through PP, but she had to cover the return postage.

    Jim

  8. #8
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    Who has the biggest feedback score? And who, if either of you, has the most neutral or negative? You can bargain with the seller if he's likely to lose more by mutual exchange of bad feedback. In this case, you can tell him straight, it's not worth the waste of time to try to dupe him on a deal of that value, or any value, you just want full return, promptly, and will leave good feedback if he settles the deal willingly. Carrot before stick. He's a trader, I doubt he wants one deal to make his life awkward, he'll probably accept. if he doesn't immediately do so, tell him that any feedback you leave will be determined on how he handles your offer, given that you are really not trying to waste his time, and want that request granted so you can move on. You might end up not leaving each other feedback and never getting settlement, but if the guy has come as far as he has on the postage issue, you can probably strike a deal for all of it, including what you paid to return the goods as well as what you paid to get them, IF he thinks this will quickly make his life easier.

    It doesn't hurt to gently point out what a waste of time a Paypal dispute is, with its locked account problems for him. But if you do point this out, it has to be VERY tactfully done, if it looks like a threat, he might call your bluff, and it should be a bluff. I've only once opened a formal dispute. Never again! The burden of proof is astonishingly hard to fulfill, and it's ALL at your own expense, and they won't do so much as look at a hyperlink, let alone an email attachment, so forget ALL, and I mean ALL forms of electronically transmitted evidence except faxed copies of paper documents, and even that's useless unless they explicitly and formally ask for them. If you use this ace, make damn sure you never have to play it cos it's all but unplayable, sadly. If you wanted to volunteer evidence they didn't want to see, you'd probably have to send it special delivery accompanied by a letter from a solicitor or lawyer spelling out specific legal requirements that they accept that evidence. The only practical advantage the dispute has is to get the seller's Paypal account locked down for a few days to thorughly waste his time if there is good reason to think that might help you win.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 03-11-2007 at 08:13.

  9. #9
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    Cool

    Thanks for the advice guys!

    I started the dispute with PayPal before I posted here, so I suppose I'll let that run it's course for now. The other nice thing is that I paid with my Visa Gold card, so I can always work with them if PayPal won't help. But I've decided to stick it out for the full refund. It seems petty for such a small amount, but the principle of the matter really has me upset.

    Unfortunately, *I* have the better feedback score. The seller already has a few negatives, though it's not that bad. (I think he has 3) I don't have any, though I'll probably end up with one after this whole thing is over. (Retaliatory feedback and all.)

    Then again, if the guy refunds my money, I'll probably just give him a positive and write some non-descript comment so as not to alarm anyone. I'm not out to ruin the guy, but I don't like the idea that I've been swindled either

    Cruch - is the situation with the guy here on the board working out? If not, be sure to tell us. (If it's a communication problem, someone might be able to help.) On the other hand, if it ends baddly, then we'd all like to know too! (Here's hoping it doesnt!)

    Adam

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buffo View Post
    Unfortunately, *I* have the better feedback score. The seller already has a few negatives, though it's not that bad. (I think he has 3) I don't have any, though I'll probably end up with one after this whole thing is over. (Retaliatory feedback and all.)
    What's unfortunate about that? It's as I suspected, and is ideal. If he tells you nonsense, leaving it as a fight of your word against his in something that can't be proved without a courtroom full of expert witnesses, leaving him thinking he's got you, you've actually got him. Tell him that bad feedback would hurt him FAR more than it would hurt you, and he'll see reason. Offer him carrot first though. You have to convince him that there is substance to your claim before you play cards like feedback bargaining or formal disputes... And the old thing about letting someone save face always applies. That's the real way you can win. You get everything you want, he gets to save face. That's about as good as you can get.
    Last edited by The_Doctor; 03-11-2007 at 21:03.

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