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Some eBay sellers are assholes

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Reply 20 of 81, by aureal

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Ive encountered a ebay seller like that before too. I asked him if a untested speaker was working and told him I would buy it if it was. He then raised the price on me and didnt even bother to reply to me directly and just quietly changed the listing description. When I confronted him nicely about it he snarkily said they sounded too good. I was like, are you more interested in selling them or holding onto what you like when you also have it for sale? Needless to say I didnt buy it and the item sat unsold for months while the seller could have turned it into cash right there and then if the scoundrel didnt raise the price upon my interest.

Reply 22 of 81, by dormcat

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Baoran wrote on 2022-04-30, 05:13:

Well, it is free market and it is only matter of how much people are willing to pay for things. It does not make someone an asshole if they ask for prices higher than what "normal" price is considered to be. It is just matter of if he manages to sell it at that price or not.

I do know it makes buyer upset if he cant get something at the price he wants to pay, but I dont think asking for higher prices makes anyone an asshole. Assholes are those who try to scam you by selling something fake or otherwise not send you what they claim to be selling.

We're not talking about setting the price higher than market average.

We're talking about setting the price LOWER than market average in order to LURE potential buyers to track the item and ask for details. If a buyer shows high interest, the seller then RAISES the price, leaving the buyer a dilemma:

1) Buyer reluctantly pays the raised price;
2) Buyer insists the original lower price, only to be ignored, replied with contempt ("there are already several buyers willing to pay the new price so stop whining"), or even blocked.

And THAT is the reason we call them a-holes. Worst yet, those sellers are not doing anything illegal (OTOH "selling something fake or otherwise not send you what they claim to be selling" is illegal and can be reported / prosecuted). We can only condemn their immoral actions but it is impossible to eliminate them.

Reply 23 of 81, by aaron158

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had a guy once with best offer on. i offered him $5 less then his asking price. few mins go by he declines offer turns off best offer then doubles the price that's ebay for u. i questioned him on it and he says oh that's an old price i posted it at a year ago. so u been sitting on the crap for a year and no one was interested in paying what u wanted then now a year goes by and u double the price and u think that's going to make people more interested 🤣.

Reply 24 of 81, by darry

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dormcat wrote on 2022-04-30, 14:26:
We're not talking about setting the price higher than market average. […]
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Baoran wrote on 2022-04-30, 05:13:

Well, it is free market and it is only matter of how much people are willing to pay for things. It does not make someone an asshole if they ask for prices higher than what "normal" price is considered to be. It is just matter of if he manages to sell it at that price or not.

I do know it makes buyer upset if he cant get something at the price he wants to pay, but I dont think asking for higher prices makes anyone an asshole. Assholes are those who try to scam you by selling something fake or otherwise not send you what they claim to be selling.

We're not talking about setting the price higher than market average.

We're talking about setting the price LOWER than market average in order to LURE potential buyers to track the item and ask for details. If a buyer shows high interest, the seller then RAISES the price, leaving the buyer a dilemma:

1) Buyer reluctantly pays the raised price;
2) Buyer insists the original lower price, only to be ignored, replied with contempt ("there are already several buyers willing to pay the new price so stop whining"), or even blocked.

And THAT is the reason we call them a-holes. Worst yet, those sellers are not doing anything illegal (OTOH "selling something fake or otherwise not send you what they claim to be selling" is illegal and can be reported / prosecuted). We can only condemn their immoral actions but it is impossible to eliminate them.

In a classical retail context, so called "bait and switch" is illegal in many jurisdictions. Whether the above scenario fits the legal definition of "bait and switch" is another matter ( I am not a lawyer).

Legality ( and ethics) aside, if a seller suddenly sees a surge of interest (from multiple prospective buyers) in an item auction, raising prices might make sense, economically speaking.

But if an item suddenly garners interest from a single potential buyer and the seller's reaction is an immediate price hike, I don't see the strategy being effective unless the item being sold is rare enough that the potential buyer may decide to buy it anyway. Even if it works for the seller occasionally, this is not a good way to encourage repeat business or a good reputation (outside of Ebay ratings), which can be especially significant if the seller's target market members are relatively few and talk to each other . Also, something being rare does not necessarily imply it being in demand . I have stuff that I would be hard pressed to find again if I needed to replace, but can't imagine many other people wanting or be willing to pay much for if they do want it .

Reply 25 of 81, by RandomStranger

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A couple of hours ago I looked for an MP3 player so I don't have to have my phone with me in the gym. I found one on auction in my town in it's box and paperwork the seller saying he doesn't know if it works because he doesn't know how to operate it. I asked that since he has the user manual if following instructions he puts in a battery does it turn on? As a reply the listing was taken down shortly after. Seller blacklisted.

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Reply 26 of 81, by imi

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I'm not selling stuff, and if I would I would only sell tested stuff anyways as I couldn't morally sell something that I know doesn't work or would have to be uncertain about and maybe cause future troubles... but if I would I'm a bit ambigous about this topic... if you ask me a question I can answer easily I'll just tell you, if you want me to take several more pictures... if it's an expensive item sure... cheap item, why bother take it or leave it... but asking someone to test something, when they maybe don't have a setup to just quickly do so and it might take them an hour... I can understand someone wanting to be reimbursed for that time investment, and I would tell someone beforehand.

so yeah, while not my thing, I can somewhat understand it, time is not free, that's why I don't bother, I buy something if I want it and the price is right, and unless it's not a huge investment I don't usually ask questions, that saves me a lot of time too, and if I'm unsure, I don't buy it.

and if I do ask questions, I'm very thankful when a seller does freely invest their time to answer them.

Reply 27 of 81, by RandomStranger

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Yeah, but it all seemed fishy. All the seller had to do to test the item was put in a AAA battery (there are probably some lying around in every household) and push one button. It's not hours of testing, it's literally 5 seconds. All this from an active seller. My impression of the whole story is that he probably just wanted to turn his e-waste into beer money.

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Reply 28 of 81, by Jo22

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There's also the opposite. Some buyers are, too. Socalled "friends" of my family often buy things, break them due to clumsiness and then send them back to get their money back.
They tell us to be "smart" and do the same and just claim the article was broken when it was sold/arrived.
Yeah, very cultural/social people they are. I would never trust such liars or let them enter my life. 🙁

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 30 of 81, by Jo22

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Hm, no, not necessarily. It depends, I guess.

I've had a bad luck a few times myself. Bought a pricey receiver not long ago at eBay, but it never arrived (waiting for ~6 months now).
The tracking number started/ended in the postal office the seller handed the packet over.
Of course, I asked him to investigate. But communication ended shortly after.

It's just that I've just seen too many people (buyers) playing the victim card.
They cause a bad reputation to the people who really suffer from things or are being betrayed in some way.

Edit: Tect corrected.

Last edited by Jo22 on 2022-04-30, 16:09. Edited 1 time in total.

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In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

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Reply 31 of 81, by imi

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Baoran wrote on 2022-04-30, 15:59:

So the best counter for that would just to buy the item without asking any questions?

that's what I do most of the time... but I'm also not the kind of person trying to get my money back if someone sold something "untested" and it turns out to not be working, but I factor that into what I'm willing to pay... either way has risks.

people trying to sell "untested" stuff for the same price they saw around for fully working items just don't get the sale.

Reply 32 of 81, by Jo22

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imi wrote on 2022-04-30, 16:08:

people trying to sell "untested" stuff for the same price they saw around for fully working items just don't get the sale.

I think the same. In such a case, I just simply assume the stuff is broken.
If I think I can fix it or if I can use it otherwise, I may consider buying it nevertheless. 😀

Edit: They also cause price bubbles unintentionally.
Because some platforms like eBay allow for re-listing unsuccessful auctions endlessly without extra cost,
old computer parts may be listed for ridiculous prices for years.
How about making a 150€ price tag for a rusty old Trident TVGA9000 card? 😂
Let's see how much other sellers will adjust their prices accordingly !😁

"Time, it seems, doesn't flow. For some it's fast, for some it's slow.
In what to one race is no time at all, another race can rise and fall..." - The Minstrel

//My video channel//

Reply 33 of 81, by darry

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I once offered to buy an untested item at lower than listed price while mentioning to seller that I would be willing to pay more if he could just plug it in and see if powers up to a non error state.

AFAICR, he gladly did, sent me a photo and made a counter offer which I happily accepted.

Item was well packed and arrived in good condition.

It is all a question of context and details :

-The seller had good feedback .
- The seller sold a variety of items (job lots?), not just audio/electronics so it was not unexpected to see items listed as/is untested, IMHO .
-The item was several hundreds of dollars, AFAICR, so checking it quickly for a potential buyer at a small effort made business sense.

There were, of course, no advance guarantees that I would dealing with a reasonable person, but, IMHO, I had nothing to lose by asking.

Another semi-related point: if someone is selling multiple units of a given item as untested, I would have tendency to believe that is what they actually are, rather than someone trying to make money off of a lot of known defective units, especially if testing would require parts/accessories that are uncommon and not included.

Of course, there are no absolutes, but the overwhelming majority of people that I have dealt with on Ebay an local for sale forums have been very respectful.

Reply 34 of 81, by TheMobRules

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Jo22 wrote on 2022-04-30, 16:13:
They also cause price bubbles unintentionally. Because some platforms like eBay allow for re-listing unsuccessful auctions endle […]
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They also cause price bubbles unintentionally.
Because some platforms like eBay allow for re-listing unsuccessful auctions endlessly without extra cost,
old computer parts may be listed for ridiculous prices for years.
How about making a 150€ price tag for a rusty old Trident TVGA9000 card? 😂
Let's see how much other sellers will adjust their prices accordingly !😁

This is it, the ability to keep listings active for free until the end of time is IMHO the main factor behind the absurd prices on eBay. The "retro hype" definitely affects items that are rare/collectable or desirable, but that's only a limited subset of the retro world. When it comes to bottom of the barrel stuff, such as PCChips motherboards, Tridents, generic I/O cards it just take a few sellers that have no clue what they're selling to list them at a ridiculous price (and even worse, have those listings sponsored, so they show up everywhere) and everyone will jump on the bandwagon thinking that any old PCB they find in their basement is worth its weight in gold.

Of course, unlike rare items which are sold very quickly despite the price, this garbage will keep rotting in someone's storage. I always imagine a scenario of some guy looking at their generic, battery-corroded "untested" motherboard going "I'm gonna get those $200 for this and I won't budge on the price!".

Reply 35 of 81, by [FMC]Ravage

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ebay sellers range anywhere from amazing to complete garbage. You can't always go by feedback since a lot of that is just lazy copy/pasted "reviews". I've had great experiences with new people with 50% feedback and awful experiences from people with 100% feedback and a decade of experience.

For example, I just recently bought a fairly expensive (and hard to find) graphics card...that was shipped in an envelope....from a seller with 100% feedback.

Reply 36 of 81, by Shponglefan

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imi wrote on 2022-04-30, 15:21:

I couldn't morally sell something that I know doesn't work or would have to be uncertain about and maybe cause future troubles...

I wouldn't worry about that. As long as you fully disclose things (e.g. that something doesn't work), there is no moral issue with selling broken hardware.

People will buy those things for repair, to scavenge for parts, or other reasons.

For example, I recently bought a broken motherboard specifically to use for de-soldering practice.

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Reply 37 of 81, by Kahenraz

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[FMC]Ravage wrote on 2022-04-30, 20:15:

ebay sellers range anywhere from amazing to complete garbage. You can't always go by feedback since a lot of that is just lazy copy/pasted "reviews".

I often encounter the exact same positive feedback description on my profile from completely different sellers, like they just copy/pasted the last positive feedback I had received as their own. It's very bizarre.

Reply 38 of 81, by Unknown_K

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The only positive feedback text I give is "as advertised" which I cut and past because I usually give feedback in groups when I get around to it.

Some people take care of the items they ship, others don't.

I had a long ISA video capture card shipped in a padded envelope that was bent pretty badly a long time ago so I had to send it back for a refund. The seller asked if I tried to bend in back into shape like that will fix a cracked circuitboard.

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Reply 39 of 81, by RandomStranger

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[FMC]Ravage wrote on 2022-04-30, 20:15:

ebay sellers range anywhere from amazing to complete garbage.

Also, there is a kind of seller, not just on ebay who goes for quantity over quality. Selling a lot of crap listed as tested and working where tested and working means it probably posted when when it was turned on once. That's how I got my heavily artifacting Radeon 9700 Pro from a 98% positive seller. When I complained the seller said that I should just disconnect the fan on the card. Yes, those cards are famous for loving their fans being disconnected. I'd assume the guy was selling a lot of baked GPUs as well. As long as it works for a couple of days after it arrives he secures a positive feedback.

What untested means more than half the time is tested and faulty. I assume if it's an seller with hundreds of active listings and several thousands of feedbacks in a very specific area then he is then he is probably acting in bad faith and lies about the item conditions or proper testing.

But maybe I'm just too distrustful.

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