What to do when an eBay item is less than described?
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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:47 pm 
 

I'm hoping to get some thoughts/opinions on what ya'll do when you buy something off eBay that was described as Near Mint/Mint, but when it arrives you discover it is Fine.

Do you always send it back?  Keep it?  What if the item is still worth what you paid, even at the lower condition?



The specifics of my situation - I bought a GDQ1-7 that was described as such: " module it is in great shape the shrinkwrapp was taken of book looked through once or twice then put into plastic and storage "



This would lead a person to expect a NM/M module, but it is in Fine.  I paid $60 for it.  I would say that in the condition it is in, it would be worth $50+.  Makes it a very tough call.  The seller has offered to refund my money.



I don't think the seller intentionally lied.  I think the auction description was misleading, but perhaps not intentionally so.  I don't intend to leave negative feedback or anything.  I just need to decide if I should keep it or not.  :?



Any thoughts?

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 5:55 pm 
 

Gus; have you asked whether they'd be willing to make a partial refund- $10 or whatever might be agreeable?

(Especially if they've offered to absorb the cost of shipping in either direction should you chose to return the item).



> Do you always send it back? Keep it? What if the item is still worth what you paid, even at the lower condition?



I almost invariably take the hit, either way...



(As often as not, lower condition than expected is due to damage in transit- or through the letterbox- but I can't afford to pay for bomb-proof packing on every consignment).

  


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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:03 pm 
 

No offer of covering shipping was made.  I doubt they'd do a partial refund, since they specifically said that they would do a refund since they had a number of offers on it (duh, a $60 NM/M GDQ is a great deal).  Whomever would get this item would be just as disappointed as me.  :(



Damage during shipping would be a different matter.  This module made it through shipping just fine.  The condition is due to general wear and tear over the years.  Surface scuffing, edge creasing, etc.

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:36 pm 
 

Yeah, agreed. If you're somewhat disappointed, another person is likely to be, too.



http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?Vi ... 5244334415

In the description, the seller states:

> "module it is in great shape the shrinkwrapp was taken of book looked through once or twice then put into plastic"



Could've been rifled through slightly less carefully than you might've expected. But only "once or twice".

Does/could that tally with what you're seeing?

*

i.e. not enough discrepancy to raise a relatively friendly "item significantly not as described" dispute against them, to see how they respond?

(Not as though it's going to hurt your 99.9% rating too much if they foolishly take offense...).

  


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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 6:56 pm 
 

Gus:



What the seller did was describe the module "in great shape" without specifying an actual condition of NM or fine. The description leaves a great deal open to interpretation. "Great" to one person is "Fine" or "Near Mint" to someone else, or even "Very Good" to the elite/snob collector.



In this case, I would just post some vague positive feedback and let it be. IMHO the seller did no wrong other than use vague terms to describe the condition.


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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 7:05 pm 
 

I have to agree with Wraith.  Besides, even if he did list it as NM, that means many things to many people.  That's why we have the Acaeum scale, to interpret what we mean by NM.  Other's interpretations may differ wildly.



On the other hand, if you're truly disappointed, discuss it with the seller.  I wouldn't leave positive feedback if you're not happy, better to leave none at all.  Feedback is not mandatory.

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 8:09 pm 
 

Unless the lister made a critical mistake I never send anything back based on subjective measurements.  



Of something is described as mint and it's close but not really mint whatever I keep it and move on.  



If the item was listed as complete and something critical is missing I'll complain.



I got in a big row with a seller who refused to refund my $$ when he sold me a 128 page "144 page Deities"  The prick insisted return shipping was my responsibility.   Grrrr!


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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:31 pm 
 

I agree in that grading is extremely subjective. That is why I take great pains to accurately describe my stuff.



That being said, there are way, way, way too many people selling this stuff with absolutely no intention of accurately desribing the condition of their items. Not only that, but I think overall condition of this stuff is degrading rapidly. Todays excellent was the same as good two years ago. It really is rare to see near mint stuff that is actually near mint. It is almost always very good at best.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:48 pm 
 

Unfortunately, I have to side with the seller on this one. He described it as "great condition", you took that to mean NM/M.



I think a fair number of Acaeum folks forget that most of the folks selling this stuff aren't die-hard collectors. If you're really worried about the difference between Excellent and Near Mint, you've gotta ask the sellers, or risk being dissapointed. Grading is subjective, and a casual seller or a non-collector seller is going to have a much broader band of "Near Mint" than folks here :)

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 9:52 pm 
 

GraysonAC wrote:Unfortunately, I have to side with the seller on this one. He described it as "great condition", you took that to mean NM/M.



I think a fair number of Acaeum folks forget that most of the folks selling this stuff aren't die-hard collectors. If you're really worried about the difference between Excellent and Near Mint, you've gotta ask the sellers, or risk being dissapointed. Grading is subjective, and a casual seller or a non-collector seller is going to have a much broader band of "Near Mint" than folks here :)


In general, eBay sellers tend to grade in the extreme ends of the spectrum. Poor (by Acaeum definitions) is far worse than you might imagine, and Mint is far better. I've seen a lot of stuff graded on both ends that belongs closer to the middle.

[edit]

I forgot the huge exception to the rule:  everything Cougar sells is VGC.  :wink:

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Post Posted: Wed Sep 28, 2005 10:05 pm 
 

There is one other note to be had in regards to this particular auction.  If you look Gus BINed it to win. This is one of those circumstances where if you take the time to ask the seller about specifics with the condition, you just may lose out to another buyer or at least have the BIN knocked off. Thus the quandry, do you ask questions and risk that the seller will be prompt in his response or do you trust that seller is being accurate in his description. I have been in those situations before and it is not an easy decision to make. :)  Depending on the sellers feedback and what not is where you have to make that decision.  In this circumstance, being that the condition isn't horribly misrepresented, I would just bite the bullet


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 6:27 am 
 

Looking at the picture of the item I would have assumed it was maybe not NM but just below it NM- as it were. What was wrong with the item that drops it. Just curious as it is a fair picture, though it could be sharper, and it looks to be in really good shape. (Beyondthebreach pictures have spoiled us)


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 7:07 am 
 

I recently won a softback PHB (outbidding deimos - sorry)

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll? ... 5232943999

I knew that it wasn't perfect. But the image wasn't that good. So I asked a few questions. I also queried the postage costs and suggested a cheaper option. But I had no reply.



I took a gamble and queried the postage again after the win. But all I got was another invoice of the same amount. So, I paid up.



The item arrived and it was truly appalling. The book had been stapled 3 times and these had all gone very rusty (which I can now make out in the image). Every page had a significant amount of mold/mildew staining and it therefore smelled very bad. Not only that, but the had spent about a third of what I had paid for postage. Even allowing for materials and handling (which hadn't been stated anyway) it was still too much.



I emailed the seller and they asked me to return it. I did this and was then away for a week. On my return, still no refund. Email sent. No reply. Dispute raised with PayPal. Money refunded the next day. Their excuse being that there had been a bereavement in the family. Not that I believed them.



But still nice to get a full refund including the outrageous postage charge.  Although not my return postage.

  

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:26 am 
 

That is the tempting part of ebay biting you in the butt. We see something we have been after for a long time. But as usual, the description and/or picture sucks. So you ask a couple questions. Never get a reply.



Now, do you take a chance or let it go? I got burned once. Very good condition was every single page was loose (module) from staples, writing and highllighting everyhwhere, soda stains and missing hand-out. But the cover looked ok in the picture.



Never again. I will not even bid if the answer is too short or evasive.



And don't let sellers play the "ignorance" game. Ask about the condition of a B2 and you get a paragraph of info. Ask about a B10 and you one short sentence - "looks great" or something along those lines.



You have to ask yourself a hard question or two:



The seller couldn't be bothered to put even a basic description of item condition in his listing. Then he will not take the time to answer a simple question about it. That should tell you everything you need to know.


And I could've bought these damn modules off the 1$ rack!!!

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:33 am 
 

Good advice. :)



Liable to go out of the window on a nice BIN opportunity for many/most people, I'm sure, but that's the nature of the "game"!



=

John; btw, that GW PHB looked horrible.

From experience with GW 3rd MMs if it doesn't look AOK, it's likely to be lousy.

And even if it does look OK, chances are the text block has still detached and the rest... :?

(GW pbs are a pain).

  


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 8:52 am 
 

harami2000 wrote:...John; btw, that GW PHB looked horrible....





Agreed there, if you closely you can even see the rust where the book was stapled near the top corner of the binding. 8O


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:54 am 
 

I am very picky nowdays.  Many sellers seem to think Ebay is simply a cash cow and are only concerned about receiving the money and care little for the rest of the transaction.  If I see anything that looks the least bit deceptive, to brief in describing condition, stupid shipping price, etc I either ask tons of questions or go on the the next auction.  I would rather pay $100.00 for an item I know is in Nm condition than take a chance on some $60.00 item which is labeled great or best I have ever seen condition.  As for shipping I have actually gone as far as setting standards for the sellers I deal with.  How many times have I won an item and it is sent loose in a brown envelope only to have the item severely damaged by the postal system.  I tell my sellers that the item needs to get to me in the same shape it was sent or forget the whole deal.



For me Ebay can be very frustrating, it is very nice to get an item in the mail that looks good and can add to my collection.  To recieve junk makes me very angry.


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 9:55 am 
 

bclarkie wrote:
harami2000 wrote:...John; btw, that GW PHB looked horrible....





Agreed there, if you closely you can even see the rust where the book was stapled near the top corner of the binding. 8O


Sounds like you did me a favor there, John.  At the time it was in better shape than mine, but I wasn't going high on that one in any case.

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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 12:06 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:John; btw, that GW PHB looked horrible.

From experience with GW 3rd MMs if it doesn't look AOK, it's likely to be lousy.

And even if it does look OK, chances are the text block has still detached and the rest... :?

(GW pbs are a pain).




bclarkie wrote:
harami2000 wrote:...John; btw, that GW PHB looked horrible....



Agreed there, if you closely you can even see the rust where the book was stapled near the top corner of the binding. 8O




Thanks for the sympathy everyone! :wink:



As soon as I got the book in front of me I realised what the image was showing.  But hindsight is great at highlighting staple rust in a bad image of a book that doesn't have staples! :?



The seller described the book as The book is in good condition an it comes is softback, although the cover is slightly worn, please observe the picture.



Cover slightly worn - TRUE :D

Softback - TRUE :D

Good condition - FALSE :evil:



As for observing the picture, this told me nothing about the book stinking to high heaven and the pages being covered in mildew.



I was hoping that it was a 1st print GW PHB with a worn cover.  So, I took a gamble that it might be.  I wasn't gambling that it might be moldy.  So, I would have happily kept the book had it not smelled like a postman's sock on Giro day.



And then the final insult; paying £3.50 for parcel rate and getting a reused padded bag with 2nd class postage at about £1.



Anyway, the point I was trying to make was try and communicate with your seller and don't be afraid to use the eBay/PayPal complaints system if you don't get an adequate response.



Just to put this in context; it is the first time I've ever felt the need and justification to lodge a complaint of this nature with eBay.

  


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Post Posted: Thu Sep 29, 2005 1:10 pm 
 

Sorry John, I wasnt trying to be unsympathetic, just pointing out what I noticed. Believe me I would be pissed to if the seller seemingly "forgot" to mention the non-original staples that had now seemingly rusted almost to disintigration. I would have asked for a full refund on my return.


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