Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Rant: eBay Sellers

The details in the following post are deliberately vague while I try and resolve the situation.

While not about toys in the strictest sense, this post does result from a toy-related problem and is likely the place where a lot of people purchase vintage toys:


I know a lot of people have issues with eBay, the company, but this rant (sorry, this is going to be a rant!) is about sellers - specifically one particular seller.

Last night I placed my bid for a toy on eBay. The timer ticked down and mine was the highest bid. Fantastic, I thought, since I'd been wanting to buy this particular item for a while.

Shortly afterwards I received a message through eBay from the seller of the toy, along with a cancellation request. Apparently he'd previously listed the item and it had sold for four times the amount I'd bid, however the previous buyer hadn't paid. The seller wasn't happy with my winning bid, and wanted something more along the lines of the previous one.

(You notice how I try to avoid saying I 'won' the item, since you don't really 'win' anything on eBay - you buy it.)

I was a little irked, to say the least.

You can't just cancel an auction because the bidding didn't go as you'd liked. You list your item and you take your chances. If you're not willing to let an item be sold for less than a certain amount then you either start the bidding at a higher price, or you set a reserve. Simple. If you don't do either of those things then tough, you accept what you did get and move on.

A number of years ago I had an eBay purchase cancelled because 'the item was broken'. My immediate thoughts were that the selling price wasn't to the seller's liking, but there's not a lot you can do about something that's allegedly broken. Last night's seller simply came out and refused to sell it. Honest of him, but slightly stupid as I'm now going to kick up a fuss I might not have done if it'd been 'broken'.

Besides the fuss-kicking, I am in a quandary as to what to do about the situation. I've rejected his cancellation request and sent a message to him that a selling price being not to his liking is not a sufficient reason not to sell. Do I now pay for the toy? If I do pay and he does send it, will it arrive in one piece? I've sent an email to eBay and hopefully they can suggest something. This can't, after all, be the first time such a situation has arisen.

Besides me having a little rant, this post is aimed at sellers on eBay: there are ways of not letting things sell for too low a price on eBay - use them!

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