Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Selling Online

Just a little rant, and a warning for those who are considering selling some items on a certain large, unnamed auction site. The site I am talking about is a household word, and it has a subsidiary that is an online bank used by millions of people to transfer funds online. You all know what I am talking about; I am not naming it because I am not interested in being sued. My complaint is that the auction site leaves almost no option but to use their online bank to receive payment for what you sell; and if a buyer decides to steal your item and demand a refund without returning the item, the auction site and its bank assumes that whatever the buyer says is the truth. There are thieves trolling the auction site whose m.o. is to buy an item and then upon receipt immediately institute a chargeback, claiming that the item was not as described (but of course they want to keep it, for their trouble). In my case (this time) it was an alternator. I specifically stated that there was no warranty and no return, even though I personally tested the alternator and it worked fine. The thief buyer received the item, instituted a chargeback, and checked the "not as described" box. Since I checked the "no returns" box when I listed the item, "not received" and "not as described" were the only options. The auction site's online bank seized the money from my account and sided with the "buyer" with no proof whatsoever. My only options were a full refund with or without return of the item, or a refund of most of the money (not even enough left to cover my shipping cost) with no return. Given those choices, I offered a full refund with return of the item. In the fine print, the auction site states that they will refund the money to the thief buyer upon receipt of proof that a package was shipped to me. Here is what I expect to happen: I will receive a package containing the bad alternator that my alternator replaced. I don't know; maybe he will just ship an empty box. Either way, the auction site (which does business very similarly to the Mafia) will be satisfied. What set me off so much was the email I received from the online bank after I agreed to a full refund after return of the alternator. In this email they stated that their "investigation" determined that the "buyer is entitled" to a refund. I am fully aware that this was just a form letter, but it truly added insult to injury. By the way, this auction site instituted a new rule awhile back that the seller can no longer even post negative feedback against a buyer. On that site, it is not "buyer beware;" it is "seller beware." I have disliked this particular auction site for years, because of the control-freak way they do business and also because they are overtly anti-gun. I have also done business with Amazon.com and with Google for years, and I heartily recommend them as alternatives to the big name auction site. Amazon is just as established, and it is now easier than ever to sell on Amazon. Google has Checkout, which is an alternative to that online banking service, especially if you have your own website.

1 comment:

Nan said...

A few years ago I decided to try selling some vintage dresses using that large, unnamed auction site. In my case, I was never out any money or goods, but I must have spent a good two months dealing with e-mails about a dress that the successful bidder claimed to have never received after paying for it. The bidder kept saying she'd sent a money order but I hadn't sent the merchandise as promised so she wanted her money back. I kept asking her to tell me what address she had sent the money order to, and she finally slipped up and said she didn't have an address. Oh, then how did you send me a money order? That ended that.

The truly bizarre part was that it was only a $15 transaction. Why on earth would anyone bother trying to scam someone out of a mere $15?! Now I sell on Etsy (anything craft related or vintage, like paper ephemera and old clothes) or Amazon (used books). I've been selling used books on Amazon for over 10 years now and have never had a bad experience with them.