Saturday, January 30, 2010

Problematic Buyers and Sellers Part 3

Here are some memorable transactions with buyers. All of these transactions were on eBay and are from at least several years ago. I hope that people who read this do not fail to understand why I remember these particular transactions.
  1. One person who was buying to resell failed to read the description and complained after receiving the book. He stated that he wouldn't be able to sell the book for enough, so he wanted to return it for a refund. I had mentioned a rubbed area on the cover and that the front free endpaper had the corner cut off. His complaints were that the rubbed area was worse than what he expected and that the front free endpaper was not price-clipped; rather, the corner was cut off.

    I pointed out that my description did not mention price-clipping and that I did state that the corner was cut off (I actually mean what I state - shocker!). Since it was true that the flash on the camera disguised the amount of rubbing on the cover, I did agree to refund upon return of the book.

    I did not receive the book back, and the buyer pestered me week after week. I asked how the buyer packed the book and whether delivery confirmation had been placed on the package. He did not use delivery confirmation, had thrown away the box (what...he knew he wanted to return the book probably as soon as he saw it but he threw away the packaging!?), and had used the dreaded bubble mailer. I was disgusted. I eventually issued a refund to make him go away. Since I did not receive the book back, I did not owe him a refund. I only did it because I was stressed over other stuff going on in my life and I wanted the transaction to be over. It is because of this one transaction that I have the following refund policy for my Bonanzle booth, and the second paragraph is the most important part:
    Please ask for approval before returning an item. Buyers are responsible for all postage costs unless the return is due to a mistake that the seller made, in which case the seller will pay for the costs.

    Buyers are required to use the original packaging to guarantee that the items are packed securely. Additionally, buyers must purchase delivery confirmation so that both the buyer and the seller have proof that the return was shipped, and the buyer has proof of when the seller received the return.
    If the buyer cannot use the original packaging with delivery confirmation, then I don't want the books back.

  2. I sold a Trixie Belden deluxe edition to someone for under $5.00. The buyer complained when she received the package. I had stated that there was no writing inside the book, and the buyer was upset because a name was written inside the book two or three times. She freaked out and said she would be leaving negative feedback if I did not issue a partial refund. It was a rude message.

    For the record, it is against eBay policy to threaten a seller with negative feedback. Aside from that, I was offended at the tone and wanted to tell her off. I want buyers to be happy, but threats get my back up. Never threaten a seller, especially when you want something. Always be nice first. This was years ago and a mailed payment. I could have refused a refund and let the buyer give me a negative.

    Instead of telling the buyer off, I responded the same way I would have if the buyer had asked nicely. I offered the buyer half of her money back so that she could keep the book or a full refund upon return of the book. She accepted the partial refund. The reason why the buyer had such a problem with the names is because she wanted clean copies for her niece, which is understandable. I always try to mention when a name is inside a book, but it is easy to forget.

  3. A reseller bought a book from me and then complained because of a name written on the dust jacket. I had not mentioned the writing because I missed noticing it, and the reseller wanted a partial refund because the book was worth less. It should be noted that the jacket was not in that great of shape aside from the name. It should also be noted that the book was a Nancy Drew Cameo edition that sold for around $14.00. I issued a refund of around $7.00. I was annoyed later to see the book sold for around $45.00. The reseller would have been fine even without the refund.

  4. A reseller bought a book from me and complained about a stain on a page in the middle of the book. I was provided a picture as proof. I issued a partial refund. I have always remembered this one because of how this seller usually made books seem better than they were when selling them.
Are you seeing the pattern? The resellers are very fast to complain when a book has a flaw not mentioned in the description. Interestingly enough, some of these people do not hold themselves to the same standards as they hold their sellers. You would be interested to know who some of these people are, and you would understand why I remember these transactions. I am now quite paranoid when some of these people buy from me.

Resellers tend not to read descriptions. Many times, I have had resellers ask me about the last title listed or some other important point when if they would only pause to notice who was selling the book or skim over the description, they would realize that the information is already there.

I want to close by mentioning that I do make mistakes, and probably more of them than I realize. I hope that buyers do let me know when I have made a mistake. I did owe each of the buyers mentioned in this post a refund, so I granted each of them. These instances are not the only times I have ever had to issue refunds, but these are the ones that have stayed in my memory because of some lingering feelings on my part.

Last, I listed these experiences in the order of annoyance. The first one I mentioned is the one that annoyed me by far the most. I still have bitter feelings over that one.

1 comment:

beautifulshell said...

not to generalize too much, but resellers - the type you're talking about, not the collectors who happen to resell - really take the fun out of collecting, sometimes. you can usually tell when you're bidding against one, and it makes me bitter when i know the buyer probably won't enjoy the book as much as someone who's really interested might. i realize there's money to be made in old books, but sometimes i wish i could just find the books i want to read in peace! (unreasonable, i know.)