September 30th, 2005

I Hate eBay

I really do hate eBay, even though it’s not really eBay’s fault.

First of all, I have never liked auctions. I don’t like the idea of bidding wars and prices scaling out of control. Just tell me how much the stupid thing is, let me buy it, and let me get on my way. I have no patience for buying things. When I buy something, I want it right now. This is why I pay more for some things – I know I can get it cheaper online, but I want it right away.

Second, I don’t really trust people. This is based on some experience, some self-evaluation, and some out-and-out paranoia. This is why I lock my van door even when I’m only leaving it for two minutes and there’s nothing in it that anyone would want to steal. Sometimes as I’m walking away from my unlocked van I think, “I can leave it unlocked, it’ll be fine.” But then I can’t. Once I’ve thought of it, I’ll have to lock it. That’s just the way it goes. I expect the people on eBay that are selling things to leave me hanging, stripped of cash and dignity, with no merchandise to show for it.

These reasons are why it is strange that the first thing I ever bought on eBay was a van. Strangely enough, it all went well and I got a decent vehicle out of it. I’m tired of driving vans, but that’s really not eBay’s fault. That I know of, anyway.

You might remember when I played Dance Dance Revolution on vacation. If not, pretty much all you need now is that I played it and enjoyed it. I knew they had the game available for the Xbox, and my friend Brian wrote a review of a really good dance pad for it, so I decided to try to find a cheap one.

I found several on eBay and made a bid on one that was ending soon (again, I don’t need the as-instant-as-possible gratification). When the auction ended, I had lost. But, lo! Shortly thereafter, I received an email from the seller. The high bidder backed out or something, and would I still like to purchase it?

Why, yes, I would.

Final price with shipping: $50. Not bad for a $100+ dance pad. I PayPal-ed her and waited.

I was surprised when I received the pad a week or so later. A stranger lived up to their end of the bargain! My faith in humanity was restored! …for about ten minutes.

During assembly, I noticed some cuts on the inside of the pad. Then, I discovered the back/down arrow didn’t work. Grrr.

I contacted the seller via email and explained the situation. She said she’d replace it if I sent it back and she found it to be defective, and she’d also cover my shipping costs for sending it back ($11.something). I wasn’t able to send it right away, but I sent it back within two weeks. It was right in the middle of my move and it’s difficult for me to get to the Post Office. I made sure to get a tracking number on the package, and I watched it online over the next couple of days to make sure it was delivered.

At this point, I get an email from her. It was a mass email to many people informing them that she was going on vacation and would be back on August 3. Fine. Whatever. I kept in contact with her for a little while, telling her that I’d sent the package and yadda yadda yadda. Once she sent out that email, any time I’ve emailed her since, I get an automated replay that says she’s on vacation until August 3.

Long story short (or at least shorter than it could be), I haven’t heard from her since the last week of July. I emailed at least once a week and always got the auto-response.

Yesterday I started the process of complaining to eBay and PayPal. See, they have these procedures because they know (just like I do) that there are deadbeats out there.

One problem. Remember how I’m a slacker? Remember how I’m lazy? Remember how I procrastinate? Turns out I waited too long. There’s a time limit for complaints: 45 days. I am well-past 45 days. I am also out $61+.

The seller isn’t even a seller any more. A look at her eBay userpage says “private” and you can’t even read or leave feedback.

So frustrating. Yes, it’s my fault for taking too long to look into the issue, but there shouldn’t have even been an issue in the first place.

That’ll teach me to trust people.

9 Comments on “I Hate eBay”

  1. lazy slacker says:

    I won an auction the other day and am purposefully avoiding the seller. I put the wrong bid limit in by like $40, and simply wont pay.

  2. Brian Arnold says:

    Man, I'm really sorry to hear about such a negative experience. That really stinks.

    I've had one or two bad experiences on eBay, but a good 10 positive ones at least. I'm sorry you got burned on your second outing. =(

  3. Meags says:

    I liked eBay until I found that after all is said and done I can usually buy it cheaper from WalMart. And wait less.

  4. Orizon Urple says:

    I am an ebay junkie. Mostly, when I buy from ebay, it's junk. Hehe!

    I've been ripped a couple of times, but meh.

  5. Kim says:

    The thing that drives me BONKERS regarding eBay is the people who have the magic little bidder set up that it automatically bids a dollar up everytime someone else bids. ITS CHEATING!

  6. elprup noziroh says:

    Having announced my love of ebay, I am now of course trying to deal with someone who is dodging questions like "Where do you want me to send the money?". If he neg rates me for the delay in payment, I will burn his car.

  7. JClark says:

    I feel your pain, that's terribly frustrating.

    I think I've got you all beat though. I lost a $2000 laptop to a scam-buyer who sent me a fake money order. And yet, I've used eBay since (to buy my iBook, got a decent deal, not great but worth while), I'm just REALLY careful about it.

    Word of advice: PayPal (confirmed accounts only) or POSTAL money order, that's all you should accept under most circumstances. Oh, and if you do get another sort of money order, don't cash it at your bank, go to one of those places where you pay like $2 and cash it there, that way if it's bad they can't take the money directly out of your account without telling you first.

    *grumble grumble*

  8. MadMup says:

    LS – write them and back out gracefulyl!

    Meags – Wal-Mart is WAY easier

    Kim – that is frustrating…unless you're the one winning the auction, I'd guess.

    J – I remember that story. Yeah, you've definitely got us beat on that one!

  9. Abe. says:

    I've usually never had a bad experience on eBay. I did buy a set of brand new DVDs at 90% off the regular price. One of the DVDs was missing the chapter insert, but it's no big deal.

    I also overpaid about 200 dollars for something else once by mistake. I ended up paying it because I didn't want to back out of a transaction.

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