Please help me with a sold item dispute
Oct 30, 2008 at 10:07 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 40

MatthewK

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I could use some help, any constructive advice is appreciated.

I've sold lots of stuff over the 'net, including things here, eBay, and some photography forums. I've never had any problems before.

So here's the deal, I sold something which was working fine before I shipped it. The buyer just received it and tried it out, but says it isn't working for him. I told him some things to try, he got some advice from other people, etc., but it still isn't working. It's possible that he did something wrong with it when trying to install it or during handling. He wants a full refund.

I'm not a business, I'm an average guy, I can't just absorb this cost like a business would. If I give him a full refund, I'm left with nothing, a total loss for something which was working fine before it was sent. I offered to refund half so as to split both of our losses. Apparently that isn't good enough for him. I understand where he is coming from, but I'm also in a bad position.

Please help, what do you suggest I do at this point? Do you think I'm right in not wanting to take a total loss on something that's not my fault?
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 11:13 PM Post #3 of 40

jbusuego

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I just receive this email from paypal but unfortunately the coverage will begin 10/31/08
frown.gif
I'm not sure if theres a way to flex it.

PayPal improves protection for eBay sellers


We've made some fantastic improvements to our Seller Protection policy on eBay and wanted to share the good news. It's now easier than ever to be covered against item-not-received and item-significantly-not-as described claims, chargebacks, and reversals. Additional highlights include:


• No annual coverage limit - Every eligible claim is covered at no additional cost to you.

• International sales coverage - Go ahead, sell worldwide. Seller Protection extends to purchases made by buyers in 190 countries.

• Ship to unconfirmed addresses for eBay sales - Now you can ship to any address and eligible sales are covered.

There's nothing you need to do. These improvements apply to all eBay sellers in the U.S. and are effective immediately. For details, see our complete terms and conditions or click the button below.
http://email1.paypal.com/u.d?f4GtukneBgSqvp_Qi313r=2011
 
Oct 30, 2008 at 11:43 PM Post #4 of 40

jilgiljongiljing

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Usually, a refund is due only when the seller gets back the item in the exact condition it was shipped. If you have received the payment and not gotten the item back I don't see why you should refund anything.

All this is assuming that you are an honest person and that the item was indeed in the condition you had described it to be in.
smily_headphones1.gif
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 12:20 AM Post #5 of 40

MatthewK

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He just received the item today, so no, he hasn't returned it. If it's not working as he says then I don't see much point in returning it, they would be going straight to the trash anyway.

I've sold many things before on the 'net without any issues, this is my first dispute, which is probably one of the reasons why I'm not sure how to handle it.
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 12:43 AM Post #7 of 40
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Quote:

Originally Posted by MatthewK /img/forum/go_quote.gif
He just received the item today, so no, he hasn't returned it. If it's not working as he says then I don't see much point in returning it, they would be going straight to the trash anyway.


If you bought something from a shop, even if it was cheap, and you went back saying "I want a refund, it's broken" if you didn't have the item with you, they'd show you the door. If they want a refund, they should return the item, as they'd do with anyone else.

My response would be something like, "I'm sorry to hear that it's arrived not working. If you send it back to me in the same condition it arrived, I will refund you in full." I'd then have my camera ready for when it arrived back, ready to photograph it in detail. If it was clearly broken, then the pictures would be evidence for any eBay or PayPal dispute.

And no, you're not obligated to pay for return shipping.
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 1:03 AM Post #8 of 40

MatthewK

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It's a pair of opamp chips. He is in the process of building an amp himself. He hasn't mentioned any visible damage, so I don't think that will help me there.

In a forum post he is talking about some issues with the amp he's building. Issues that deal with grounding, current, hissing, and he mentions he's worried something may be broken (this is before he received the opamps in question).

I don't like arguments and confrontation, I avoid them as much as possible (just ask my fiancée!), and I hate to think of getting negative feedback for the first time. Refunding half seemed like a good compromise to me, but he turned it down so now I've got to figure out what to do next.
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 10:02 AM Post #11 of 40

stewtheking

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Bob_McBob /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Do you really think it's likely a pair of opamps just stopped working without any physical damage in the mail? It's pretty obvious what happened here.


I don't think 'obvious' is that fair, but there's certainly a shortlist of a few things that could be happening.
a) he's a flat-out scammer
b) his self-build amp doesn't work and he's blaming the chips
c) his self-build amp doesn't work and blew up the chips...

Bottom line is that you should definitely not give any money back until you get the goods back.
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 12:16 PM Post #12 of 40

riceboy

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I would agree with what others have mentioned that you need to get the item back in question. I'm no expert with opamps, but is there any way for you to test them out. What if they work and his amp/build is the cause? I would also look at what other companies that sell parts such as the one you sold do in this situation. I know you are not a business and an average guy, but it could provide some reference point for you. I wish you the best of luck in your current situation.
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 1:08 PM Post #13 of 40

Wmcmanus

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Have him send the opamps back to you. Then send him his money back and forget about it. Not worth getting yourself upset about. You'll soon forget the money aspect of it, because at the end of the day, that's not worth damaging your reputation over (in terms of negative feedback). Nor is it worth it to be fighting someone over something so trivial. Life it too short.

The other thing that I think about when situations like this occur is that online transactions are risky adventures. Yet, for the most part, they seem to work out just fine. So I look at it as a "law of averages" situation and am thankful when the "deal" that goes wrong is a CD ordered from Amazon.com that never arrives, or a set of perfectly functioning opamps that I have to "eat" because of something - don't know what - but something beyond my control.

That's a much better scenario than selling someone a used pair of speakers for $10k or more and then having them claim there was shipping damage or that the speakers were not as described (in terms of cosmetics) and then having to deal with all sorts of issues, like who pays for the return shipping via a freight service. Thats when it becomes a real problem! (BTW, that was just a hypothetical situation, not something that happened to me).

My point was that if you enter into a lot of online transactions, eventually you'll have a situation where something goes wrong and either: a) you get shafted altogether, as in paying for an item that doesn't show up, or b) you - being the nice and reasonable guy - end up taking a hit on something that you know was not your fault, just to avoid the confrontation and the hassle and embarrassment of negative feedback.

Essentially, such costs can be thought of as self insurance payments. In other words, you enter into a number of online transactions and unless the cost of the item in question is quite large, you tend not to insure. So when you have to take a hit on that one bad deal, remember to be thankful for the 99 good deals that went smoothly. Each of those uninsured good deals on used gear actually saved you much more money (as compared to buying those same items new) than you've just lost. So, in essence, such events are the delayed realization of expected losses; you just don't when they will occur or how much they will cost you.

What you do have control over is how much they will cost you in an emotional sense, and my advice is to minimize that aspect of it simply because it's not worth the aggravation.

The one "bad" deal I had related to selling a CD player via Audiogon. The guy who bought it from me had sent all sorts of emails, telling me how this particular player would represent a dream come true to him, and that he had been saving up for it, etc. My price was $1,200 which was quite fair at that time for a Shanling T100. In fact, I just looked on Audiogon and see one advertised for $1,250 today. This was several years ago!

I was hesitant to sell to this guy, but he kept bugging me. Eventually, I caved in and sold it to him for $1,050. It was dumb of me to give him such a break because it really was worth more. But I like helping people out and have a soft spot for folks who seem to appreciate the same things that I do, but can't afford them as readily. I had replaced my T100 with another one in the new color scheme (at the time) which matched my T200 and T300. So it was pretty cool knowing that my old unit had found a good home.

Two weeks passed, and then the emails started again. "Thanks for sending the T100 so quickly and for including the extra tubes. You really didn't need to do that but thanks. Oh, and I hate to do this, but there is one slight problem..."

As it turns out, the "problem" was, in fact, something that he had known about in advance, because he had researched the T100 so extensively that he knew every last detail about the product. The glitch was that some of the Shanling T100 units had an issue with their remote control not working 100% correctly when skipping from track to track. Basically, it would skip the first note or two of the next track that you moved to. It was a reading error, or delay I guess. So when the track that you skipped to started, you didn't get to hear the first note or two. Something that I could agree would be annoying, but not something I had any clue about in advance.

Yet, he did, and pretended to have just learned about it after he received my T100 and noticed the problem. In other words, he said that he did some quick online research to see if other people were having the same problem and, if so, if there was any known way to fix the problem. It so happened that there was a cure! Some guy in California could make the necessary modification to the Shanling player itself (not the remote) and all would be well.

So then comes the bit about how he got such a great deal on this player from me and that he really didn't want to send it back, but this issue was so terribly important to him and that he didn't receive the benefit of his bargain, and so on. From all that he had said previously about how much he had read about the T100 for years and how he had saved up for one and drooled over the pictures, I was 90% sure that he knew about the potential glitch in advance and figured I was a "soft" person to deal with, and thus he would use it as a post purchase negotiation tactic.

Rather than accuse of him of as much, I simply said that once the guy in California was in a position to confirm that he had received the unit (with pics from the guy in California of my unit showing the serial number, such that I knew the repair was being made), I'd gladly pay for the repair, but not the back and forth shipping which the buyer also wanted me to pay for.

It was a $150 repair, and he wanted another $100 for shipping costs. I told him that at some point, he should obviously be able to see that such a request is unreasonable. I'd be happy to take the unit back and sell it for more money (like $1,200) to someone like myself who listens to CDs from beginning to end and thus never uses the remote other than to press start. That would put me in a lot better position than $1,050 less $250 or $800 less the cost of some tubes (probably another $100) that I threw in for free.

He finally agreed, and when I got the pics of my unit from the repair guy in California, I sent him $150 and forgot about it - except that I've used it as an example from time to time, like now. I didn't want to snatch his newfound prized toy away from him and then get negative feedback about a "problem" with the item I sold to him that was entirely beyond my control and not within my knowledge at the time I sold the unit.

I probably should have taken the player back, but I really couldn't be bothered to have the bad taste lingering in my mind. Instead, I ended up selling a $1,200 item for $900 and chalked it up to the Forrest Gump 'life is a box of chocolates' analogy.
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 2:41 PM Post #14 of 40

synaesthetic

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Twenty bux says he fried the op-amps on install, and is now trying to get out of dealing with his own stupidity or lack of foresight.

This kind of behavior has become increasingly prevalent in recent years. Nobody has the bollocks to admit they screwed up anymore. -_-
 
Oct 31, 2008 at 4:37 PM Post #15 of 40

krmathis

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He need to return the (broken) item to you. When you have tested and verified that its broken, refund him the money.
 

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