It has been a few months since I’ve written about my ebay experiences, but I’ve had a number of projects on the go lately that have required me to make numerous little purchases, from bike parts to electronic components.
I quite like ebay, it gets the job done, but the psychology of it can be intriguing. Such as, when I search for things I generally search by cheapest first and then work my way through the offerings, perhaps looking at the delivery time-frame gained from spending a few pence more, but then I find myself clicking back and forth over a matter of pence and I have to snap myself out of it and point out to myself how pathetic that is. Of course pennies can add up, but you can easily sink half an hour or more into picking and choosing.
Then there is the risk of annoyance to follow (as I have experienced recently)…
- The next day the seller cancels the order as the item ended up being out of stock
- Or, the item arrives and it’s not the one you specifically chose.
Yesterday I was searching for certain bike parts that were missing from a bike I’m fixing up. I found a listing that had all the parts I needed, without having to find the individual bits from different sellers. It was only a couple of quid (£2), but the last one available, so I grabbed it quick and went to bed.
The next day I had that fateful email waiting for me: “The seller has refunded you: no longer in stock.”
I then had to start my search again, and ended up buying the parts as three separate listings… Total: £4.84.
Before this I had spent some time carefully selecting a replacement USB socket for a phone I’m going to try and fix. I discovered different ones were different, so I carefully chose the right one, and bought a bunch of them so I’d have some spares for future projects.
They arrived the next day… brilliant. They weren’t the same as the picture… not so brilliant.
I accepted I could still make the socket fit, just with a little bending here and there, but it irritated me somewhat that I had taken the time to scrutinise the pictures of various listings to select the right one for the job in hand, only to receive a different one. I politely contacted the seller, suggesting I could try and make it work and they agreed, or were happy for me to return them for a refund; they also apologised for the mix-up with the pictures. I proceeded as planned and expected them to amend their listing.
And this is where I consider what feedback to leave…
This isn’t the first time something I’ve received hasn’t quite matched a picture, and the seller has acknowledged. This isn’t the first time such a seller hasn’t then updated the listing. And so, this isn’t the first time I have left something other that positive feedback for such an issue.
Always the conundrum is, what feedback to leave? Neutral or Negative?
I decided on Neutral on this occasion.
What I did leave Negative feedback for recently was poor service coupled with lies and excuses.
I had ordered a replacement hard drive (on a Wednesday) for a client’s old laptop and when it hadn’t been marked as dispatched after a few days, I politely sent the seller a nudge prior to the weekend. Sometimes things are dispatched promptly but the ‘Dispatched’ option isn’t clicked, I myself have clicked that a day later, so I hoped this was perhaps the case.
It wasn’t until Tuesday evening however, that I received a reply from the seller, apologising for the slow response and stating the item had been dispatched on the Friday, and that it “should be with you soon if not already.” The item had been marked as dispatched the day before. The listing had stated 2nd Class postage would be used, but perhaps the seller would use 1st Class instead and it still might arrive on the Wednesday, meaning it would only be a day late by the stipulated time-frame.
It arrived on the Friday and the postage label, whilst being upgraded to 1st Class, stated it had not been posted until Wednesday, basically the day after the seller had responded to my message, and claiming it had been dispatched on the Friday before.
Thankfully the item arrived in good order, but this kind of nonsense (blatant lies) warrants negative feedback in my books. This is not without risk.
Some sellers will take such negative feedback on the chin and say nothing, some will grovel (with all sorts of pitty-seeking) and request that you change the feedback, and some will even go so far as to cause you trouble.
One such seller responded to some negative I left him with the claim that I was the liar; I’d pointed out that a detail in his listing didn’t match that in the picture – the fact was there for the world to see (he also failed to amend his listing). He didn’t leave the issue there either. Some time later he bought some ink cartridges from me (perhaps not realising I was the person who had left him negative feedback, or perhaps waiting for such an opportunity for revenge), he contacted me to say they arrived damaged so I simply provided a refund, accepting that perhaps they had been at the mercy of a heavy-handed postal service. He, however, left me negative feedback claiming the cartridges I sent were not only damaged but used.
Some time later (I can’t remember the time frame) this person ordered something else, and so, recognising their username, I cancelled the order and found my way through ebay’s maze of account options to ban this person from making any more purchases.
I employ this tactic straight away now; blocking a username after leaving poor feedback, and after this latest person lied to me about having posted an item when they hadn’t; I expected a backlash.
Indeed, the next day I had a message waiting for me, a grovel and a story. They claimed it wasn’t fair of me to leave them negative feedback without contacting them first. The thing is, contacting them can’t resolve the issues of late dispatch and lies, and I was the first one to contact them anyway!
They grovel with how ebay will penalise them, or even how life circumstances are affecting them, or they add extra twists to the tale like, on this occasion how when their partner had been to the post office, my parcel had fallen out into the footwell… Why didn’t they state any of this originally I wonder.
This is all, shamefully, 1st world problem stuff, I know.
I remember being sent some tape that was half the stated width and how the seller thought anything less than 50% refund was fair. I wasn’t going to grovel over pence but I do appreciate that small amounts like this can be somewhat significant to others in the world.
I’m reminded of AwakenWithJP’s recent comedy sketch on Youtube, where he responds to his haters, and how, yes, he will do what they say; such as change his mind or opinions to match theirs, or stop making videos. Just like, yes, I will go through the process of changing the feedback I left because I really hadn’t carefully considered what feedback was acceptable, especially since now receiving the news of how they [insert bad karma here]…
One doesn’t actually need to leave feedback, of course, but I think the system works well; it’s nice to receive good feedback for your efforts and I feel like I’m helping others out with a little heads-up when something hasn’t gone to plan. If you receive poor feedback think how you can improve things and move on.
P.S. I’m not really a fan of JP; I think his “comedy” is blatant hating/belittling of people in certain groups (such as those he portrays as his haters)… even if I do agree with some of the points he makes.