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sticky eBay situation - need advise
Old 23rd May 2006
  #1
Here for the gear
 
btsabq's Avatar
 

sticky eBay situation - need advise

I recently sold a pair of Beyer Dynamic M500 ribbon mics on eBay. These mics were modded by Stephen Sank (before I bought them) to contain RCA 77 DX ribbons. I have used these mics (mostly as in-front-of-kit overheads – no blasting amps or vocals) for a couple years and they have performed really well. I had just used them on a session and then when the auction ended, I packed them up very carefully and sent them to their new owner. The auction had this normal type stipulation “Because of their age, they are being sold as-is, but guaranteed not to be doa.”

I get an email last night...approx 1 week after the buyer received his mics...stating that the mics did not resemble his coveted RCA 77 DX mics and that in his opinion they are doa. He stated that they sound thin and both mics are distorting. He believes that the ribbons are “blown” on both mics...and wants to return them for a full refund.

I told him that the mics were functioning perfectly before shipment. I asked him whether the issue was that a) the mics were malfunctioning or b) that they didn’t meet his expectations. He said it was a combination of both. He basically considers that fact that they do not meet his expectations = DOA.

He now is asking to have them looked at by a technician and if the tech says they need repair I can either pay for the repair or refund his money. I think it may cost me money just to have a tech look at them...

They sold for about $700 for the pair and were insured for that value by USPS. I want him to be happy with his purchase...but on the other hand...what if he disliked the mics enough to have intentionally damaged them?

I could use some advise.

Thanks,

-Brian.

p.s. He is threatening on giving me negative feedback if I don’t work with him on this.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #2
Lives for gear
 
allencollins's Avatar
 

He could be scamming you too so take the money and run

ebay is a dumping ground. Everyone knows that going in

I wouldn't buy a guitar pick on ebay
Old 23rd May 2006
  #3
Lives for gear
 

Well this is how I see it. He admitted they were functioning, he admitted he didn't like the sound, if you saved those then he has no case. Take your money and be happy, if he isn't then he can stick them back on ebay. Not to mention he waited a week to do anything, when I buy off ebay I test it the night it comes in no matter how busy I am I'll at very least put them thru 20 minutes of work. I'd say the furthest you should do is help if he files an insurance claim but other than that I'd say just let it be, he may just be f'ing with you to get money.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #4
Lives for gear
 
tnjazz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by btsabq
I recently sold a pair of Beyer Dynamic M500 ribbon mics on eBay. These mics were modded by Stephen Sank (before I bought them) to contain RCA 77 DX ribbons. I have used these mics (mostly as in-front-of-kit overheads – no blasting amps or vocals) for a couple years and they have performed really well. I had just used them on a session and then when the auction ended, I packed them up very carefully and sent them to their new owner. The auction had this normal type stipulation “Because of their age, they are being sold as-is, but guaranteed not to be doa.”

I get an email last night...approx 1 week after the buyer received his mics...stating that the mics did not resemble his coveted RCA 77 DX mics and that in his opinion they are doa. He stated that they sound thin and both mics are distorting. He believes that the ribbons are “blown” on both mics...and wants to return them for a full refund.

I told him that the mics were functioning perfectly before shipment. I asked him whether the issue was that a) the mics were malfunctioning or b) that they didn’t meet his expectations. He said it was a combination of both. He basically considers that fact that they do not meet his expectations = DOA.

He now is asking to have them looked at by a technician and if the tech says they need repair I can either pay for the repair or refund his money. I think it may cost me money just to have a tech look at them...

They sold for about $700 for the pair and were insured for that value by USPS. I want him to be happy with his purchase...but on the other hand...what if he disliked the mics enough to have intentionally damaged them?

I could use some advise.

Thanks,

-Brian.

p.s. He is threatening on giving me negative feedback if I don’t work with him on this.

Best advice in this situation is to take the mics back no questions asked and refund, less the shipping costs. I would however stipulate ahead of time that if they are not returned in the same condition you shipped them out there will be no refund given (obviously, no refund until you have the mics back in hand). If he hasn't fukked them up himself he ought to agree to this I would think.

As for the feedback, that always makes me laugh. I know the feedback serves as your on-line reputation when you're a seller, but if anyone threatened me with that I'd tell them straight up it doesn't make a damn bit of difference to me. What's important here, the feedback or the money/merchandise? Laugh in the face of his idle threats. I would.

FWIW - the use of the phrase "As is" does NOT provide you with any protection. A chargeback can be made by the buyer regardless of your auction wording.

Dirk
Old 23rd May 2006
  #5
Gear Maniac
 
GearGeek's Avatar
 

A week after he recieved the mics he writes you? I dunno man, something sounds fishy. It sounds like he used them for a week long session, and either he's done with his session and doesn't need them anymore, or someone dropped one and he wants you to pay for it.

In either case don't give him sh*t. Tell him DOA does not mean being satisfied with a product. Maybe next time, he should do a little more research on a mic before he buys it.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #6
Lives for gear
 

Trouble is with this sort of thing is that if he used Paypal...most do...he can claim that the items are not as described and Paypal will pull the money from your acct. The seller is always assumed guilty until. My wife sells vintage clothing and recently had Paypal pull money on two things. One in Europe where she clearly stated that she sends International orders via USPS. The buyer refused insurance, so the item got held up in her customs. She claimed that the item was never sent and Paypal pulled the money. My wife sent them receipts from USPS as well as email threads where the buyer declined insurance. Still, they sided with the buyer. We're out the item, the shipping and they probably got the item once it cleared customs. You think they're going to send us a refund if the item hits later?
I can handle ebay scumbags...it's Paypal that irks me.

m
Old 23rd May 2006
  #7
Here for the gear
 
btsabq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnjazz
Best advice in this situation is to take the mics back no questions asked and refund, less the shipping costs. I would however stipulate ahead of time that if they are not returned in the same condition you shipped them out there will be no refund given (obviously, no refund until you have the mics back in hand). If he hasn't fukked them up himself he ought to agree to this I would think.
Dirk
Thanks for the resonses so far.

So what happens if I go this route and the mics ARE fukked? Couldn't he still get PayPal to pull the money from my account if I decline to refund his money based on the condition of the returned mics? Then I have broken mics and am out 7 bills.

This really sucks.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #8
Lives for gear
 
tnjazz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by btsabq
Thanks for the resonses so far.

So what happens if I go this route and the mics ARE fukked? Couldn't he still get PayPal to pull the money from my account if I decline to refund his money based on the condition of the returned mics? Then I have broken mics and am out 7 bills.

This really sucks.
Unfortunately, yes. In an Ebay transaction the buyer usually holds all the cards. Your only possible remedy might be suing him in small claims court if you can somehow prove he damaged them.

If he paid with a credit card he can get his money back, no matter what. It would suck to have 2 busted mics back, but the alternative would be to be out the money AND the mics. If they do come back dead, then move on to the next decision (do I refund or fight...)

I agree with the previous post - it could certainly be an impedance issue. The problem here is that he holds all the cards and if he's a smart Ebay/Paypal user, he knows it.

Good luck, and sorry you're in this situation.
Dirk

PS - chetatkinsdiet: insurance is the responsibility of the seller. when selling, ALWAYS make it mandatory. if anything gets broken, the seller is responsible regardless of whether the buyer purchased insurance or not. The buyer can always charge back the purchase if it shows up broken, and then you don't have a leg to stand on. So make them pay for it regardless, so you're covered.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #9
Lives for gear
 
nukmusic's Avatar
 

I think its bull. Maybe he is trying to pull a SWITCH on you. He did say he already has some mics like it. but what can u do.

get him to return them less shipping costs. and a refund to be given only after you double check them. If he switched them........you know what to do.
Old 23rd May 2006
  #10
Lives for gear
 

Yeah, tnjazz is right...the seller should always make insurance mandatory. I do when I'm selling something, but her items are sometimes not too expensive...$20-30 bucks....not that big of a deal, but it's the principle of the thing that was brought up above that the buyers have ALL the cards.

m
Old 23rd May 2006
  #11
Here for the gear
 
btsabq's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by tnjazz
PS - chetatkinsdiet: insurance is the responsibility of the seller. when selling, ALWAYS make it mandatory. if anything gets broken, the seller is responsible regardless of whether the buyer purchased insurance or not. The buyer can always charge back the purchase if it shows up broken, and then you don't have a leg to stand on. So make them pay for it regardless, so you're covered.
The mics were insured for the full value by USPS Priority Mail and I still have the receipt. I made insurance mandatory.

Can someone please explain how it works if I end up needing to file a claim? (or should he be the one filing a claim?) Sorry, I have to claim ignorance on this topic...

Thanks,

-Brian.
Old 24th May 2006
  #12
Lives for gear
 
tnjazz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by btsabq
The mics were insured for the full value by USPS Priority Mail and I still have the receipt. I made insurance mandatory.

Can someone please explain how it works if I end up needing to file a claim? (or should he be the one filing a claim?) Sorry, I have to claim ignorance on this topic...

Thanks,

-Brian.
Keep the receipt, for sure. You will need it when/if he opens up a Paypal dispute. It will get you off the hook with Paypal, but that's only half of the battle.

You file the claim if they are damaged in transit. Of course he will need to provide you with the proof of damage in shipping, which I'm guessing he cannot do. This is a totally fishy situation; unfortunately there is not clear cut solution. You can try to fight it but chances are qvery good that you will lose.

Paypal does not get involved in "not as described" situations - only if the item is not received at all. If he got it, Paypal will close the case with no action. Only problem is that then he can go to his CC company and pursue a chargeback.

The only thing that can for sure get you out of this is if he didn't use a credit card to pay you. Unfortunately you have no way of knowing or finding out whether he did or not. If he didn't, the chargeback issue is moot and you can tell him to go piss up a rope.

I wouldn't say Ebay is a haven for junk as allencollins did (I got a bunch of gear on Ebay and it's all been great so far), but it has gotten a lot more suspect in the last couple of years. That's why I try to buy and sell everything here and on other private boards instead. I know I'll make less money back, but I still feel safer.

Good luck,
Dirk
Old 24th May 2006
  #13
w2w
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w2w's Avatar
 

I ALWAYS put in my auctions that ALL sales are final no matter what and to ask questions BEFORE buying,buyers remorse is not an excuse to return,if they dont like the item they can resell it.I also dont lie about the condition so that they are getting what they paid for.Mics are a tricky item.I agree with the above post that if threatened with negative feedback...so what,you might be getting scammed.He waited a week,thats a problem in itself.Im sorry,but your not a store,its an online auction,its part of the business of Ebay,your always taking a chance no matter who you are dealing with.Most of these items are USED.Everyone so far has offered excellent advice.I would hold your ground.I always transfer money out of Paypal instantly into a bank account,and then transfer it out of that account right away into another as well to avoid a charge back.Some people are so ridiculous as far as what they "claim" or demand after buying an item.Sorry if it sounds harsh,but unless you offer a money back guarantee,thats the end of it.Why should the seller take it back because the buyer changed his mind.Its worse in a case like this,your dealing with sensitive ribbon mics,there is a good chance he might have damaged them.If you were honest on your end then sorry,let him resell them.I think his comment about "its a combination of both" tells you enough,that they are/were working,he just does not like the sound.Hindsight is always 20/20,just read some auctions terms,now you know why so many people put all those clauses in the listings,to try an avoid these types of situations.In the future,just try and be as clear as possible about the terms & let the buyers know that all sales are final,items are AS IS,describe them honestly & that should save you from these situations.You said mics are guaranteed not DOA,well...He used em & didnt like the sound,that says to me they arrived in working condition,thats what you delivered,as you said,thats the end of it.Of course it can get ugly,its up to you how hard you want to stand your ground...Good luck!!!
Old 24th May 2006
  #14
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tnjazz's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by w2w
I ALWAYS put in my auctions that ALL sales are final no matter what and to ask questions BEFORE buying,buyers remorse is not an excuse to return,if they dont like the item they can resell it.
Legally this language will not protect you. If I bought something from you with those terms that was broken and you refused to refund, I would still be able to get my money back. I agree that buyers remorse seems to be the case here though, and is not a valid excuse to return.

Quote:
Originally Posted by w2w
I always transfer money out of Paypal instantly into a bank account,and then transfer it out of that account right away into another as well to avoid a charge back.
This will not prevent a buyer from getting a refund, FYI. If Paypal cannot collect from you as a result of the chargeback they will simply freeze your account. In general this is a good idea (don't keep money in your PP account, ever!) but it's not really any protection.

Quote:
Originally Posted by w2w
I think his comment about "its a combination of both" tells you enough,that they are/were working,he just does not like the sound.
Agree. He used them for what he needed, now he is trying to strong arm you into taking them back.

Quote:
Originally Posted by w2w
Hindsight is always 20/20,just read some auctions terms,now you know why so many people put all those clauses in the listings,to try an avoid these types of situations.In the future,just try and be as clear as possible about the terms & let the buyers know that all sales are final,items are AS IS,describe them honestly & that should save you from these situations.
Again, the language in the auction of "as is" and "no refunds" is not valid and can be circumvented by legal means. Credit card companies offer chargebacks to protect the buyer from fraudulent purchases. There are loopholes in the logic though. The bottom line is if he really wants a refund and knows how to manipulate the system to his advantage then he will get one, no matter what your auction says and no matter what the majority thinks is the "right" thing. It sucks, but it's the chance you take selling used merchandise on Ebay.

With all that said, I'm wavering a little on my initial post. I'm starting to think maybe standing your ground might be called for in this situation. He will get his money back if he knows how to work the chargeback system, but to stand firm on the principle might be the best approach initially, especially since he did indicate some degree of buyers remorse about the sound quality.

Good luck and keep us posted!
Dirk
Old 24th May 2006
  #15
w2w
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w2w's Avatar
 

Dirk...I agree with a lot of things you say & should have been a little more clear in my post.Yes certain terms wont prevent people from getting a refund,and more importantly,you nailed it,if someone wants to play with the system & cry loud enough,they will get it.On the other hand,if you as a seller do keep things honest & are selling exactly what you say you are,its the buyer who has to spend the time,and sometimes money to get a refund,and needs to show a legitimate reason for getting one.If Paypal freezes your account...so what,not that big of a loss,yes it is nice & easy to use,but the fees are a joke & would not be the end of the world. Putting in certain terms & language in a listing is by no means a concrete way to prevent problems,but it can help you & make some people think twice,and does give you some ammo just on the simple,"it states very clearly what the terms are,if you dont agree,dont buy it".I have experienced this first hand and told buyers,it clearly states in the ad,you didnt read it,thats the way it is.Could they have pushed it,...of course.I still think the most important thing is to be HONEST in your listings & hope the buyers are too.(Wishful thinking on that end!!). I have 321 (100%)positive feedbacks & have only had a few flakes & stood my ground.I also have slowed down on my Ebay activity because its getting so crazy.I just think its a shame what this guy is going thru.I also believe more & more,be prepared for the bull$hit if you want to buy & sell on Ebay,its just getting that way.Again,you make excellent points on this topic.Sometimes a little tough bluffing (strict terms) will get you some help too.I still think he should stand tough on this & at the same time,try & do it without hopefully getting tempers to rise.
Old 25th May 2006
  #16
Gear Head
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by chetatkinsdiet

I can handle ebay scumbags...it's Paypal that irks me.

m
More Gospel truth...
Old 25th May 2006
  #17
Gear Guru
 
lucey's Avatar
A pair of modded M500s ... that are supposed to be like 77s ... for $700?

Of course they sound "different"! Was he expecting 2 77s for $700?








(aside: UPS never pays claims, beware of them)
Old 25th May 2006
  #18
Gear Nut
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by w2w
I always transfer money out of Paypal instantly into a bank account,and then transfer it out of that account right away into another as well to avoid a charge back.
I have a couple of big-ticket items on eBay right now, and this thread has me concerned. What about this strategy for avoiding chargebacks:

Don't connect your PayPal account with any bank account at all. This may be a hassle, but you can always withdraw PayPal money by check (for $1.50 fee).

Sure, this would limit you a little as a buyer, as you would have to use a credit card for purchases. It might also limit your "confirmed" status or the level of your membership, but you could still buy and sell through PayPal.

If you don't have a bank account tied to your PP account, how can PP get money from you for a chargeback? Through your credit card? But if PP charged your credit card for a chrageback that a third party demanded, that would show up as a purchase on your credit card, which you could then dispute. Right?

My credit card company allows me to go online and generate "virtual account numbers" with payment limits. These virtual numbers can be used only once, so if someone tried to charge more than my self-set limit for that number, the charge would not go through. A PayPal account with this kind of one-time-only card number could also help prevent chargebacks of large amounts. The only hassle is that, as a buyer, you have to generate a new virtual number for each purchase. With PP, that means you'd have to replace you credit card info in your PP account each time you make a purchase. For someone like me who uses PP only occasionally, this is not big deal.

Or could PayPal send you a bill for a chargeback and make your life miserable if you don't pay it?
Old 25th May 2006
  #19
Gear Addict
 
BeerHunter's Avatar
...just a quick comment about the negative feedback. Couldn't they leave a negative comment regardless of the outcome?
Old 25th May 2006
  #20
Gear Maniac
 

I had the exact same thing happen with a VC6Q. I took it back and refunded the money, but there was nothing wrong with the unit before or after. I even sent it to PMI to check it over. Their diagnosis was user error. In your position, its a crap shoot. Any way you go can go wrong. That's the risk of ebay.

Now Pay Pal....that's a real load. Three times they tried to take money out of a bank account when I went through all the procedures to pay via a card. After the first time I even printed the screen to prove it. They still said, "no you didn't!". Avoid Pay Pal like the plague!
Old 25th May 2006
  #21
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tnjazz's Avatar
Not connecting your bank account loses your seller protection. If a PP dispute is filed against you, being "unverified" or whatever they call it will pretty much result in Paypal finding in favor of the buyer every time. There's not really a good reason NOT to link your bank account.

Paypal will not charge back. If they find in the buyers favor in a PP dispute, they will attempt to take the money out of your PP account. If it's not there, they CANNOT remove it from your bank account. That is illegal. Paypal does not have that authority, contrary to popular belief.

If PP finds in the seller's favor, they will close the case. Then the buyer has the option to go to their credit card company and charge back. The credit card company will normally do this with no questions asked, and yank the money directly from Paypal.

As a result, Paypal will hit you with fees and the chargeback amount. If you don't have the money to pay them, they will freeze your account. This could however make you liable for delinquency, reportable to collections and it could very well end up on your credit report (I suppose, but I don't know for sure).

And yes, the buyer could still leave a negative feedback no matter what, but by then who cares about that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by jeak
Or could PayPal send you a bill for a chargeback and make your life miserable if you don't pay it?
That's pretty much it in a nutshell.

Dirk
Old 25th May 2006
  #22
Gear Nut
 

Dirk, thanks for all the info. Sounds like the best thing is to take payment by money order or chashier's check and forget PP if you're worried about getting taken. I wonder what the statistics are -- what percentage of sales end up in bogus chargebacks. It would be interesting to know, but really in the end it's all luck of the draw. Wost-case scenario, you're out a few hundred bucks and you've learned a valuable lesson.
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