I don’t think I need to sell this point too hard, but ebay has been an absolute cesspool since their May 2008 changes.
This last month has been the worst for me in nearly 10 years of selling. People aren’t paying in record numbers because there’s no penalty, buyers are leaving retarded bad feedback in droves, ebay/Paypal raised fees making profit margins even slimmer, the economy is ass which means Americans aren’t buying the entertainment-related crap I’m selling, and so on and so on.
I don’t even feel like updating this blog anymore. It used to be entertaining when I’d get stupid emails from dumbasses. Now damn near every customer is an illiterate mongoloid and now it’s costing me time and money. What fun is that?
In the month and a half that these rules have been in effect, I’ve received about 4-5 completely unwarranted negs from stupid buyers and I’ve had to fill out 200% more unpaid item disputes. To be exact, 21 since mid-May. That’s more than I’ve had over the previous 18 months, when I began having a Paypal account as a buyer requirement. Now, as a buyer, you can do whatever you feel like and ebay will do nothing.
Just two weeks ago, a buyer scammed $60 from me. I originally wasn’t going to write about it, because, well, it makes me sick to think about shit like this in my free time, but I’ve already written out most of the story to friends over IM and on various message boards I post on, so it’s already written itself, I guess. God damn that was a long sentence.
The item was a box of 30 or so irregular basketball jerseys sold in late May. It was all junk I bought from my Reebok/Adidas hookup; literally worthless stuff you couldn’t sell for a dollar individually. Many of them had MAJOR factory defects, or had ink all over them from exploded cartridges. It went for $45 or so, and after shipping, it was around $60 total. Buyer had decent feedback, paid, and I shipped to his confirmed address using Paypal shipping, just like a normal transaction.
About two weeks after I mailed the item, I noticed the buyer filled out a Paypal claim saying the item never arrived and immediately escalated it to a full dispute. Because I used Paypal shipping, I didn’t have to respond, because the tracking information was already there. Up until this point, the buyer hadn’t emailed me or anything, just a dispute out of the blue.
I looked up the Delivery Confirmation number and saw that the most recent information posted was that it was processed at the post office near the buyer’s house. Usually this means that either the mailman forgot to scan the item at the point of delivery, or it’s at the post office waiting to be picked up. I sent the buyer an email asking what the deal was, and if he truly didn’t receive the item, he should go to the post office to see if it’s waiting to be picked up. I received a response, in writing similar to that of an autistic 9 year old. He unconditionally refused to go there or call them.
A day or so later, I get an email from Paypal, saying that I *lost* the dispute because the tracking information doesn’t show it was delivered, only processed. I figured I’d be okay since it arrived at the buyer’s zip code. Not so much. since I lost the dispute, I lost the item AND the money.
I immediately get on the phone with Paypal, and after the typical half hour wait, I told the phone rep what happened. Without much badgering, I got the phone rep to admit that anyone can win a Paypal dispute if there’s a postal error like that. She said that if there’s no delivery proof, the buyer will always win, no matter what.
My next question was obviously, “So if I ever notice that a package I receive wasn’t scanned, I can just do a chargeback and instantly win?”
She said, “we will investigate it, but yes.”
I was stunned, speechless. I didn’t know what to say next. Paypal just admitted exactly how easy it is nowadays for a buyer to get their money back with two mouse clicks. I really wish I had recorded that phone call.
Later, I called the post office the package was processed at, and they were no help. Big surprise. I’m still hoping it’ll be returned to me somehow, but I’m not counting on it. It’s a pretty big box, not something that should get easily “lost in the mail.”
That’s not all, either. Right after the guy won his dispute and got his full refund, he NEGGED me. Clearly, this was my fault. Was I supposed to fly 1500 miles so I could hand-deliver the item? I left him a positive saying “NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: BEWARE” etc and ebay REMOVED it because sellers aren’t allowed to do that. Ebay wouldn’t remove the neg he left me (not that I was expecting them to), even though he had the item AND my money.
I figured I’d try to at least get my fees back since I no longer had payment, but ebay put a stop to that immediately. They closed the dispute and I didn’t get any listing fee refund. I don’t understand that one. How is that different from a buyer returning an item, getting a refund, then I file a dispute where I get fees back?
Basically, if I didn’t already have selling down to a science, there’s no way I’d bother with ebay any more. I spend very little time and energy on it, and the money is still worth it overall. I don’t know why around 90% of the people selling on ebay bother. They’re not making money, and you can tell they put a lot of time and effort into it.
But if assholes keep scamming me and ebay/PP keep raising their fees, who knows.