eBay Buying Suggestions

BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
Well, this conversation struck me as something interesting when another topic got a little off subject...

What do you eBayers look for when buying equipment from their online marketplace?

While I check eBay often, I am hesitant to buy big items from them as I was burned early on. I have bought some amps and Crestron gear from eBay at great prices and have also sold stuff as well.

I definitely look for sellers who have a fair amount of feedback and I read negative reviews very cautiously. If a seller is questionable then I may email them a question about the product just to see how quickly they respond and what they have to say. That makes or breaks some questionable deals for me.

Anyone with 100% positive feedback who has bought and sold items and has put together a good description with actual photos is almost always going to be someone I am more confident in. I know I sold something that didn't work right when the customer got it... I sold it 'as-is' but it was a couple hundred dollar item. I did NOT know it didn't work as it powered up fine - it was an internal issue beyond power. So, I worked with the buyer to get his money back less a few bucks for eBay fees. We split it and we talked. He was local so I went to his house to work things out. I got positive feedback from a buyer who could have been very pissed about the product, but understood how much I worked with him.

Anyway... I always review negative feedback as a very bad thing. Almost all buyers and sellers who take pride in their sale/purchase send multiple emails and requests and ask questions. If a person screws up so bad that they receive negative feedback then something went seriously wrong with the transaction.

I HATE: Sellers with only 2-3 feedbacks. Sellers with to many negative feedbacks - especially if they are recent. Sellers who use stock photos of the item they are selling. The words 'AS-IS' and 'All Sales Final'. Shipping of an item being 30 bucks even though when it shows up on my door it only says $5.00 on the postage stamp. Improper descriptions. Buyers who don't email you back. Sellers that don't email you back. No images. Improper descriptions of items - like when something is scratched, they just want you to pick that up from the photo instead of actually saying: This item has a 2" scratch on the screen in the upper right corner.

Any other opinions on this?

I have based all my sales on what I feel makes a good sale and have seen my items sell for about 20% more than identical items from other sellers who don't do the same as I do. This is on $500.00+ items I should note.
 
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slmcdonald7

Junior Audioholic
My general opinion on eBay and buying audio equipment:

Generally, all contracts are an allocation of risk. Thus, the less you pay, the more risk you assume.

When it comes to audio equipment, much of what I would be interested in buying is expensive enough that I would rather not assume the risk of it not working. Thus, I will always buy "big ticket" items from authorized dealers who can offer me a warranty, and against whom I would have some recourse if ever there was a problem.

If you happen across a good deal, and have the opportunity to purchase equipment for a price low enough you wouldn't mind losing the money if the product was junk, then go ahead. Otherwise, spend a little more and get a warranty. If you can't afford to fix or replace it if it breaks, you can't afford to buy it cheaply on eBay.

- Stephen
 
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sjdgpt

Senior Audioholic
BMXTRIX said:
I definitely look for sellers who have a fair amount of feedback and I read negative reviews very cautiously.

Anyone with 100% positive feedback....... going to be someone I am more confident in.

I always review negative feedback as a very bad thing. If a person screws up so bad that they receive negative feedback then something went seriously wrong with the transaction.

Any other opinions on this?


I actually view negative feedback as a positive report and the best way to screen vendors.

First, the reviewer took the time to write a negative report. It takes more thought and effort to write a negative report that replicate the usual positive, and often meaningless, report.

How many times have we all read "great ebayer". I am sorry to say, that is a completely meaningless report. What is "great" to one person may be mediocre to another.

Secondly, the subject matter of the negative report is even more meaningful. If a vendor has a 70% approval rating, and the negative reports are regarding .....

"it took three days for my order to arrive by UPS"
"I waited over an hour for ZXCVB to call me back"
"The receipt was enclosed in the box, and he "knew" I was going to take the shipping box to the wedding and give it as a present"

..... I know the worse things being said about this vendor are trivial problems from what are often grumby customers. Remember, nobody is perfect, so I would expect a good portion of the customers to complain about trivial matters.


If the vendor has a 95% approval rating, and the negative reports are.....

"it arrived damaged, and it took 5 days for the replacement to arrive"
"it arrived damaged, and it took 3 days for the replacement to arrive"
"it arrived damaged"
etc etc

..... get the idea. There is most likely better than 5% chance for the item to arrive damage, but in each instance the vendor took care of the problem in what I belive to be a prompt manner. If the price is good, and I am willing to wait for a replacement if it actually needed, this is actually a very good vendor to do business with. It is his "negative" reports that clearly demonstrate his capabilities.


If the vendor has a 99% approval rating, and the negative reports are.....

"he double charged my credit card, and he failed to catch the error, and I had to call thirteen times over two weeks to get the second charge reversed"

"the item was described as ZXCVB, but it was really a XCVBN that arrived, and he won't correct the problem"

"shipping time was quoted to be 4 days. It was ordered on the 7th and arrived on the 27th"

These problems, even once in a blue moon, even if it is just one time in 100,000 are immediate causes of concern. It doesn't mean the vendor will loose my business, it does mean that if I choose to buy from that vendor I will monitor the purchase very carefully.



100%, or near 100% approval ratings? Those are suspect. Even my mother doesn't think that highly of me.
 
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hopjohn

Full Audioholic
sjdgpt said:
100%, or near 100% approval ratings? Those are suspect. Even my mother doesn't think that highly of me.

I've been selling items since '99, have 100% feedback, and not by accident. I can appreciate your approach to buying from those who have some negative feedback, but not buying from those with 100% who have busted their *** like I know have, is just flawed logic.
 
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sjdgpt

Senior Audioholic
hopjohn said:
I've been selling items since '99, have 100% feedback/QUOTE]

Never had somebody just complain because they were having a bad day and you became their target?

I have had people complain because we used biodegradable fill... nothing wrong with the product, they just don't like the smell of biodegradable fill that we were using. The next person complained because the biodegradable fill (popped pop corn) was stale. I have people complaining because their UPS next day air Saturday delivery (quaranteed delivery time 10:30 AM) didn't arrive until 10:25 AM. The reasons are often trivial and so unreasonable or so far beyond anybody's control as to be laughable.

Complaining is the American way. Absolutely Zero complaints? In my experience something is wrong.
 
BMXTRIX

BMXTRIX

Audioholic Spartan
I would agree that something would be weird if someone sells over 1000+ items with no complaints. But, I buy about 80% of the time and pay via PayPal immediately. So, 40 of my positives come from purchases.

That leaves 7 positives (or so) for sales I have made.

Yes, people have bad days, and I can understand that, but I definitely review pure positives quickly then look at the auction in front of me to see how it is presented. A page of BS stock photos and no real description leave me a LOT more suspect than 100% positive feedback.

I have even had items I have flipped. They had crappy pics and descriptions, I bought them cheap. Then I took a lot of good pics, tested the item fully, and put up a good description. I made over a grand on one item doing this once.
 
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hopjohn

Full Audioholic
Sure they complain, and even for reasons similar to what you describe, but that doesn't mean they don't complain in an email first. I've been able to quell the frustration etc. before it becomes a negative feedback. If their first response was to give a negative feedback, and respond as you've described I wouldn't lose sleep over it. In that scenraio, they would be acting irrationaly and anyone who looked into it, could see that for themselves.
 
rgriffin25

rgriffin25

Moderator
I think the point of the matter is that it is nearly impossible to please everyone. There are rare cases that a seller does have 100% feedback. I would think they would be more likely to go the extra mile, especially if they have a perfect feedback rating to protect.
 
M

MDS

Audioholic Spartan
There are some interesting viewpoints in this thread. I buy infrequently from Ebay - mainly music that is now out of print and/or hard to find so even the few times where I had some minor trouble with a vendor aren't that bad.

However, I think Negative reviews are far more important than positive reviews. I wish ebay would allow you to view only the negative reviews instead of requiring you to scroll through all of the reviews looking for the negatives. While alot of negative reviews are just plain silly, as mentioned already (I saw one guy leave negative feedback after 24 hours!), it is helpful to see negatives and what if anything was done to correct them. A negative that says "Never received my CD" with a follow up by the vendor that says "Must have been lost in mail - sent another one" are positive.

I do think alot of positive reviews is good. The idea that someone with 100% positive reviesws should be avoided is insane to me. However, most of the positive reviews are identical: "Great Ebayer. A++++++++". People try to outdo each other by seeing who can add the most plus signs. Those reviews are absolutely worthless. I got a positive feedback for my payment and the seller simply put 'a'. That is worthless too. I took the time to bid on the item and pay for it promptly and this idiot couldn't take more than 5 seconds to write one single sentence as a positive feedback. The positive reviews that are valuable are things like 'CD arrived quickly and in as-advertised condition" or for a buyer "Prompt emails and payment".
 
zipper

zipper

Full Audioholic
Rather than start another thread, I thought I would get your opinions here............

I've had all of 2 ebay transactions(both purchases) & both were amps. The 1st one went w/o a hitch. I paid (paypal) within an hour of the auction ending & had contact within 12 hours after that..............received amp in about a week. The 2nd amp purchase was the opposite. Once again I paid immediately, heard nothing from the seller, so I emailed them the next day to see if they got it. About 2 days later I got an email from them claiming I sent it to the wrong acct. :confused: & to cancel it( I used the "pay now" link just like I did for my 1st purchase). So I did. No other instructions. Didn't hear from them for a week, during which time I consulted ebay about sellers who won't contact you or return emails. They finally answered & gave me another email address to send the pyment to. After some more emails, it was verified that they received the payment & they said they would ship it out on Monday(this is Friday).

At this point I'm already a bit annoyed but I figure things are finally moving, so OK.........................not so fast my friend. I was expecting to get some shipping info(tracking #) & by Wednesday I heard nothing. More emails ignored, in fact I finally sent them a message in which I asked for a refund if they were having trouble shipping the item...............nothing. Then, 11 days after payment confirmation, I get a mssg saying they paid for shipping via UPS thru Paypal ( Oh, did I mention their listing said they USUALLY ship within 48 hrs?). There ends up being a mix-up at UPS & the thing sits in a warehouse for about 5 days before it moves. Finally, for an auction that ended before Thanksgiving, I receive the amp on Xmas eve day....................& yep, you guessed it............no power cord :mad: .

I used a cord from another piece of equipment & verified that it worked. It's evident that the seller is a couple who have sold mostly $10-$20 items & had no neg feedback, but I felt that it was warranted is this case. So a week later I posted feedback that said...."Sorry, but too slow. Took over a month to receive item.".........knowing that I was risking retaliation. And that's what I got. Within 8 hours they left me a neg saying that I "SENT PAYMENT TO WRONG ACCT"....(fastest they had responded to anything during the whole ordeal......go figure), followed by a request to mutually withdraw the feedback. I still have an opportunity to withdraw but don't think I should, even though it looks pretty crappy for me to have 2 feedbacks, 1 pos & 1 neg.

IYO's, was I justified? Would most ebayers read the remarks & agree with me, so as to not be biased against my bidding? It's hard to make an accurate depiction of what happened in 80 characters or less.
 
snakeyes

snakeyes

Audioholic Intern
i hate when they put the competitors of there products name in the title so it comes up on searchs. like the title "not vandersteen b&w Paradigm- just as good made them in my basement" its so misleading and annoying
 
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sjdgpt

Senior Audioholic
zipper said:
So a week later I posted feedback that said...."Sorry, but too slow. Took over a month to receive item.".........knowing that I was risking retaliation. And that's what I got. Within 8 hours they left me a neg saying that I "SENT PAYMENT TO WRONG ACCT"....(fastest they had responded to anything during the whole ordeal......go figure), followed by a request to mutually withdraw the feedback. I still have an opportunity to withdraw but don't think I should, even though it looks pretty crappy for me to have 2 feedbacks, 1 pos & 1 neg.
As noted by my previous message, I actually seek negative posts, especially detailed negative posts that demonstrate the ability of the vendor to resolve the problem.

Leave the negative.

For if I was a vendor that desired to sell to you, your negative report is not a negative to me. It is representative of a clerical error that can be resolved.
 
zipper

zipper

Full Audioholic
Is it common for Paypal mistakes to happen? I went to the "Pay Now" button in the listing to send the payment, just as I had for my other transaction, so how could I have sent the payment to the wrong acct.? I figured if there was a problem it was on the sellers' end since they posted the listing. There were no specific payment instructions other than how they would accept payment.
 
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sjdgpt

Senior Audioholic
zipper said:
Is it common for Paypal mistakes to happen? I went to the "Pay Now" button in the listing to send the payment, just as I had for my other transaction, so how could I have sent the payment to the wrong acct.? I figured if there was a problem it was on the sellers' end since they posted the listing. There were no specific payment instructions other than how they would accept payment.
Clerical errors do occur, but I suspect 99+% of clerical errors are the fault of the vendor.
 

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