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Ebay: How long is a reasonable response time?

Old 05-23-04, 03:23 AM
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Ebay: How long is a reasonable response time?

So caught up in the Disney feeding frenzy, I decided to bag a copy of Davy Crockett on Ebay. I found on at a reasonable Buy It Now price of 21 bucks + shipping, so I decided to buy it now. Right after the transaction completed, I sent a quick e-mail confirming the final price, asking for an address to send the payment and providing my address for shipping.

That was Wednesday morning. Since then I've heard nothing. I sent another note Thursday evening, and middle of the afternoon Saturday. No response.

Frankly I hate twisting in the wind like this, and I'd like to move on with my life. When is it appropriate to say - "Look, you clearly have no interest in contacting me in a timely manner. Thus I have no confidence in your ability as a seller to get it to me in a timely manner. The deal is off."

What should I do? How long should I wait?
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Old 05-23-04, 11:16 AM
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He doesn't take PayPal?

Or you don't use it?
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Old 05-23-04, 11:21 AM
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Having just been burned by Paypal, I wont touch it with a 10 meter cattle prod. Call me old school, but I prefer to actually mail payments by hand.
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Old 05-23-04, 12:12 PM
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Were you burned as a buyer?


At any rate, did you email the seller through ebay, or just using his email address you got when you won the auction?

Try emailing via ebay, in case your emails are being blocked/filtered.
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Old 05-23-04, 01:20 PM
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try e-mail thru ebay,as a lot of spam blockers won`t let e-mails go thru,aol,earthlink and hotmail are notorious for this.
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Old 05-23-04, 01:46 PM
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Originally posted by stevevt
Were you burned as a buyer?
I was burned as a seller. See, I had an old paypal account from years and years ago - back when they first opened their doors. As more and more horror stories surfaced, I decided not to use the service, and e-mailed them to close the account.

Some time passes, and I've forgotten all about them until I sold a t-shirt on ebay just a month or two ago. Despite having clearly stated in the auction that I did NOT accept pay pal, despite having sent a "Congrats on winning my auction" letter moments after the auction closed - a letter that again stated the forms of payment (and PP NOT amongst them) - my boneheaded buyer finds my e-mail account and sends off payment via paypal. Turns out Paypal didnt close my account after all.

The item sold for a buck and a quarter. To get Paypal to cut me a check costs 1.50. So I'm having to PAY a quarter to sell my t-shirt.

So I try an log in on my PP account. At this point it's been so long that I dont remember my password. I try the 3 or 4 most likely passwords until I get the "Too many attempts. Please call customer service."

Fine, fine. I call customer service. All I want to do is have them refund the money to the seller so he can send a check or something. They tell me that I have to Fax in a copy of my drivers liscense and a phone bill with my address on it before they can do anything.

So - to Kinkos I go to fax my documents. Suddenly I'm another 4 bucks in the hole on an item that is only worth 1.50.

And then I wait. And wait and wait. Meanwhile, Paypal is suppose to be "processing my request". What that translates to is "Holding our dicks in our hands while we do NOTHING!" So I call back. They are still working on it - the CSR suspects that there's a backlog of faxs in the department and they're working their way through the pile.

So again, I wait. And wait and wait. Finaly I just say to hell with it, call paypal back and tell them to cut the check and close the stupid account. Fine, I'll eat the fees and the other costs that this little adventure has cost me. Congrats, you dumb ass buyer - you get a free T-Shirt. I just want to send the damn thing and wash my hands of the whole mess.

They say fine - account closed, a check is in the mail. And you know what - it's been 2 weeks now, and no money from them. I'm going to have to call back again and bitch at them about where my money is.

So - I dont care if my best friend in the entire world has had kidney failure, and the only replacement kidney anywhere is for sale on e-bay. If the transaction involves paypal, I'll have nothing to do with it whatsoever. The place is a stupid f'ing joke.

4 bucks for the fax, 1.50 for the fees, 30 cents for an e-bay listing and 4 bucks shipping. I'm 10 bucks in the hole, and I havent seen a dime. F Paypal. F them up their stupid asses.


At any rate, did you email the seller through ebay, or just using his email address you got when you won the auction?

Try emailing via ebay, in case your emails are being blocked/filtered.
I did it both ways, through normal e-mail contact and via the ebay "Ask a seller a question" route.
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Old 05-23-04, 02:37 PM
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sounds like paypal did everything according to their internal controls.

as far as the auction, did the seller state that they take other forms of payment? For some people it's a PITA to go cash a check or MO and then make another trip to mail something.

I would also email through ebay. For the amount of spam that people get, your email may either be caught in the filter or lost with the rest of the spam.

a lot of sellers like to automate things and did you get an email with payment instructions from info the seller input on ebay? In my case I let this serve as a notice of payment and I only send personalized messages in case I don't hear anything from the buyer.
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Old 05-23-04, 03:01 PM
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The guidelines from eBay suggest contact within 3 business days, so if the auction ended Wednesday, that means Monday would be the 3rd business day. You also might want to go to the auction page, and use the "request an invoice" feature, in case your two ISPs aren't communicating well.
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Old 05-23-04, 04:55 PM
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Originally posted by al_bundy
sounds like paypal did everything according to their internal controls.
Before things get too confused, let me clarify something - the paypal transaction I outlines has NOTHING to do with the Davy Crockett purchase currently under discussion. I was just detailing my tale of woe in response to a question. In retrospect, I shouldnt have mentioned it. Forget that whole story.

(Given that, Paypal internal controls suck ass too. Having an automated system that fowards the account logon and password to the e-mail account would have been the simplest. But I digress).

as far as the auction, did the seller state that they take other forms of payment? For some people it's a PITA to go cash a check or MO and then make another trip to mail something.
The options were paypal and money order, if I recall correctly. The MO is a bit out of my way - I usualy do checks - but I'm willing to sink the extra buck or whatever to pick a MO up.

a lot of sellers like to automate things and did you get an email with payment instructions from info the seller input on ebay? In my case I let this serve as a notice of payment and I only send personalized messages in case I don't hear anything from the buyer. [/B]
Thusfar the only communciation concerning the auction has been the automated mails from E-bay itself. One about "You've WON!" and the one with the e-mail contact information. Nothing from the seller himself yet.

Well, I'll send off one more note tonight, both via E-bay itself and direct e-mail. Come monday evening, it sounds like I might call it a push.
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Old 05-23-04, 11:26 PM
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If you want to handle this the correct way.
1st email from another email address like hotmail
or yahoo.
2nd Pull up the user info and make a Telephone call.

I can not stress how by doing both of the above has
saved MAJOR headaches.

If those 2 do not work. Leave negative and move on.
Nothing cleans my soul better than a good neg.
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Old 05-24-04, 12:16 AM
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I dont think I'll drop a neg on the seller - neutral, certanly but probably not a neg . I mean sure the transaction was all FUBAR'ed, but aside from costing me some time, I'm not really out anything.

If I had sent payment and the seller fell of the face of the earth, or the item wasnt as described when it arrived - sure, THEN you hit them. But this? It's more of an annoyance than anything.
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Old 05-24-04, 11:32 PM
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Well, I sent the seller a very nice note (both via Ebay and via e-mail) saying that if I don't hear from him in 24 hours, I walk. I think that's pretty generous, dont you?
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Old 05-25-04, 12:09 PM
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El-K, sounds like he doesn't like the deal and figures he can get more. If he's listed more items in the meantime, I'd walk right now.
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Old 05-25-04, 02:48 PM
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<--------- Agrees with ^ post.


Plus you may want to reconsider that Neg feedback. Neutral in understandable, but the seller hasn't even contacted you. That's not neutral, that's one sided B.S.
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Old 06-01-04, 08:56 PM
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give him a negative feedback on the 89th day after the auction ended. This way, he probably won't have time to retaliate.
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Old 06-01-04, 10:39 PM
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The story has taken a strange turn - I was checking ebay again, and decided to see how the other transactions went (and to see if he relisted my item). There are a couple of people who sent payment and havent recieved their disc yet or who also havent heard from him.

This says to me that something is up. I dont think it's a scam, but perhaps the sellers sick mother died or something.

Either way, I might go with the 89 day feedback idea. Still sucks, tho - but I'm glad I didnt send money!

***EDIT*** Also the other reason for not leaving bad feedback YET is that I'm beginning to suspect that the seller wasnt offering up the right item. Pictured in the auction is indeed a disney tin - but the pic looks like one of those taken from buy.com or straight from the disney site itself. It's not - well, here, take a look for youself.



It's not the pic of the actual item, sitting on a table or something. It's a generic promo shot.

Anyway, nowhere in the acuction does it actually mention a TIN, or the number on said tin. I bid without reading fully, assuming that the picture was worth a thousand words - but now I'm having doubts.

So if he responds to my mail asking what the tin number was with "It's not in a tin", THEN he gets the bad feedback for misrepresenting the product. And then I slap myself on the hand for not reading the fine print fully.

Last edited by El-Kabong; 06-01-04 at 10:58 PM.
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Old 06-02-04, 11:35 AM
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Originally posted by El-Kabong
Well, I sent the seller a very nice note (both via Ebay and via e-mail) saying that if I don't hear from him in 24 hours, I walk. I think that's pretty generous, dont you?
Is that 24 hours from the time you sent the mail, or 24 hours from the time he reads it?
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Old 06-02-04, 11:41 AM
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Originally posted by El-Kabong
It's not the pic of the actual item, sitting on a table or something. It's a generic promo shot.

Anyway, nowhere in the acuction does it actually mention a TIN, or the number on said tin. I bid without reading fully, assuming that the picture was worth a thousand words - but now I'm having doubts.

So if he responds to my mail asking what the tin number was with "It's not in a tin", THEN he gets the bad feedback for misrepresenting the product. And then I slap myself on the hand for not reading the fine print fully.
Well here's the problem with that El-K. If you list using a UPC, you get a generic shot. ALL OVER EBAY, people are using generic shots. They are so obvious that you have to take them for what they are worth.

You say he doesn't mention it's in a tin, yet you'd leave negative feedback if it wasn't for MISREPRESENTING? That doesn't make sense. I can guarantee you'll get one back for that.

You had the right idea long ago - just walk away.
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Old 06-12-04, 08:31 AM
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Originally posted by El-Kabong
The story has taken a strange turn - I was checking ebay again, and decided to see how the other transactions went (and to see if he relisted my item). There are a couple of people who sent payment and havent recieved their disc yet or who also havent heard from him.
My prediction: the seller is a fraud. What you describe is a typiccal scam scenario: offer a number of highly sought items at a good price, simultaneously (Dutch auctions are a particularly good way to do this, since a scammer can defraud multiple buyers with a single sale). The seller/scammer accepts payment but never sends anything, and typically never responds to emails either (the email address is usually valid, but any name/phone number information is false). By the time the buyers figure out they have been scammed the seller has the money and is long gone.

eBay's procedure for filing complaints aids and abets these scams, as eBay will not permit a fraud complaint to be filed until 30 days after the auction ends -- and then they take another 30 days to "investigate."

Prior selling history does not seem to be a good guide anymore, since the pros are using phishing schemes to hijack valid accounts and use them as a vehicle to turn a quick fraudulent buck. Low-volume sellers are especially susceptible to this scheme, since their accounts can be used and discarded before the individuals realize what is going on.

The fact that this seller did not correspond with you -- and that other buyers are now reporting non-delivery -- suggests strongly that this is a scam. Looks like you got lucky and avoided being taken.

Keep an eye on his/her account. I bet that you'll find that eBay cancels it soon, leaving everyone who paid the seller out of luck.
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