Sunday, June 01, 2008

eBay Drama

Ahhh. Sunday again.

This past week I logged onto ebay and found that a seller I had left neutral feedback for was contacting me to complain.

I purchased the little tykes tunnel and paid immediately. I paid $25 for shipping. A week after I paid, the item hadn't shipped yet. When I contacted the seller, she didn't respond. I contacted her twice via myeBay, and once via email. I was just getting online to get her phone number when I saw that she had finally responded. She told me that she was having problems "finding a way to ship the item because of it's bulk." Unfortunately, she was selling MANY other bulky little tyke type items, and was shipping them, and had been for what looked like years. She also had two other negative or neutral feedbacks from other members who had the same problem with her. She had either backed out of the transaction stating that she couldn't ship (after she said that she could in the listing) or she had held their items and not shipped in a timely manner.

So she told me that she would be shipping on a particular day, and that she would provide me with tracking information. I waited. That day came and went. No tracking information. This was when I was still working, and I was very concerned that this big item, which was nearly $100 after shipping, would be left outside of my house and would either be rained on or stolen before I could get home. I was worried that she wouldn't ship or that she was taking my money. I asked for tracking information from her again, and never heard back. When the item did arrive, the actual shipping only cost her $21 and the time it took to get from her to me was just 4 days... but it had taken two weeks to receive after I paid.

I was frustrated by her lack of communication, by her promising shipment by a certain date and then not shipping on time, and by her overcharging me on shipping. I wouldn't have minded a few extra dollars on shipping had she gotten it to me on time, but it's even more frustrating to pay that much and then not receive it for two weeks. If you are going to repeatedly sell large items and advertise that you will ship them, I would expect that you would have checked shipping costs and venues before you list the item and make that promise. And if you feel that the item needs to be disassembled (mine was not) then you should probably be sure you can disassemble it without damaging it BEFORE you tell the buyer that you will ship, tell them how much it will cost to ship, AND take their payment.

Instead of immediately leaving feedback, I decided to mull it over. In the end I decided to leave her neutral (not negative) feedback, about a month after the transaction. Immediately she thought that NOW it was okay to contact me in a timely manner and ask why I left her neutral feedback and why I didn't contact her to let her know I was unhappy.

Hello, just a note to ask you why you did not contact me to let me know you were dissatisfied with the transaction, I try to respond to all emails in a timely matter and before this neutral feedback I had a perfect 100%, I would have refunded or partially refunded your shipping charges, are you sure your remembering the right transaction as its been quite a while, please email me back and let me know how I can make this right. Thanks
This also frustrated me because it seemed like once her reputation was on the line, suddenly she was all about customer service. I explained to her why I was unhappy and that I felt it was my duty to leave this feedback so that other buyers knew what to expect from her. Since she primarily sells large items, and has, at least three times, refused to ship or complained that she couldn't ship the item, then I can see a pattern here.

So I let her know exactly why I was upset about the transaction:
I am sorry but I thought that you understood when the transaction took place that the shipping took too long. I remember it distinctly because I not only emailed you but sent you two myEbay messages also. I didn't hear from you for almost a week after paying. I was ready to look up your telephone number- but then you emailed and told me that you were having problems finding a way to ship the item because of it's bulk and that it would ship a particular day, and it shipped almost 4 days later. It was extremely frustrating to buy such an expensive item and be worried that it wasn't going to get here at all. I didn't receive it for two weeks after I paid but the actual shipping only took 4 days. You promised a tracking number and never send it. I had seen your previous two customers who were dissatisfied when you held an item and when you refused to ship another item that was listed as shippable, and I assumed that this was an ongoing issue for you as a seller. I felt others should know.

So below is the email that I got back from her, after telling her why I was upset. I have to admit that it really made me chuckle. Every time someone on ebay screws you over, it inevitably comes out that someone was sick, had surgery, or something. I understand that life happens, but if true customer service and satisfaction is your goal, and you make a mistake or have extenuating circumstances, then you should take care of those right away and make sure the customer is happy and taken care of. And if you've been selling on ebay for two years, and you haven't figured that out yet, then yes, you probably need some neutral feedback here and there.

I am a mom selling kids toys on ebay, my own and those that I find at resale shops, garage sales, etc., I do this as a supplement to our income as I have a daughter with special needs that requires me to stay home and thats not to try to get the sympathy vote. I am not an expert shipper yet, I do my best, sometimes I sell an item that proves a problem such as disassembleing that item might have caused damage to the toy which I do believe I emailed you about, I do my best to ship it as timely as possible, if something proves a problem I usually email and offer a full refund or shipping fee , a discount, I have never left anyone bad feedback, I would try to speak of my dissatisfaction first to that seller. I am so glad you are here protecting fellow ebayers from such unscrupulous sellers as myself. I will try to rectify my ongoing issue ( more than 2 yrs ago, and at the start of my selling.) and hopefully be the perfect ebayer you seem to be. Good day.
So I responded

Don't waste your time yelling at me. I don't really want to hear about it. I am a WAHM too. Sorry to hear of your difficulties and I wish you luck in the future.
I hope she figures this out. LOL. And just for the record, she didn't try to "make it right" and refund a shipping fee, or give me a discount, as she mentioned that she wanted to do in her very first email. Empty promises. LOL. And I was also pretty frustrated that she said those feedbacks were "over two years ago" because last time I checked, August of 2007 isn't even one full year ago. She must have her time mixed up. He.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Oh my, I've had my share of ebay drama. Such fun!

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