We all buy stuff on eBay, and we all have good and bad experiences. . . I’ve been planning for a while to start including situations I encounter with eBay sellers on the blog. The feedback system favored sellers by putting buyers in fear of retaliatory feedback for so long that while the feedback system is getting better it’s still broke — most buyers still feel leaving negative feedback is nearly taboo . . . more most of us it is a last resort that rarely gets executed.
Such was the case last December — why I’m bringing it up now will be more clear in a moment, but last December I won a Cat Staggs Hellboy sketch from eBay seller hux777. Now, I bid on quite a few auctions, and I ALWAYS calculate the shipping cost into my maximum bid — this auction was no different, and while I did win it was only by pennies and I won for my highest bid — slightly over $21 to make the final cost slightly over $25 after adding the $4 shipping fee.
The invoice arrived and I was charged $8 for shipping. . . so I politely emailed the seller and asked why there was a discrepancy — unfortunately I no longer have the emails I sent as they were sent through eBay who removed the emails after a set period of time. The response emails are copied to my personal email, so thankfully I still have copies of those.
The seller’s response to my inquiry was:
It’s supposed to be $4 to the UK and $8 to the US. will amend.
I don’t recall exactly what happened at this point, but the next email I have from the seller was
Jon, the postage states $12 on the auction not $4…
At this point I posted about the issue on a web forum, and asked some of my eBay savvy friends to check out the auction to see if I was losing my mind, but everyone looked and said “No, it clearly states that shipping is $4,” so I responded to the seller saying that the auction says shipping is $4 clearly, and that was all I was willing to pay. . . Their response:
I think it’s best that I cancel the trnsaction. As I said there is obviously a misunderstanding with regards to shipping costs. I appreciate you do not want to pay more for something that you believed was cheaper, and I certainly am not prepared to ship at a significant loss to which you will also appreciate.
Again apologies for the misunderstanding.
Huh?!? There was no misunderstanding, I didn’t believe something was cheaper — this was plainly and clearly how it was sold on eBay. It just so happened that back in December eBay was rolling out a ‘customer service phone number’ for certain eBayers, so I called eBay and had them verify what was happening. Of course eBay said shipping was listed at $4 to the US so that is all I should pay. I relayed this back to Richard who simply responded with ‘Invoice sent.’ and he billed me the proper amount.
At this point I was a little aggravated — I bid according to his listing and I had to fight with him to get him to honor his own advertisement that ran on eBay for a full 5-7 day auction. I paid, I got my card, and at the end of the day, even after all the BS left the guy positive feedback.
Fast forward to yesterday. . . I attempt to bid on another one of his auctions for the first time since December, and I get a message that I am ‘disallowed’ from bidding. So I email him again through eBay asking why I was blocked from bidding.
And the response I got:
I do not want to deal with you thats why you have been blocked please do not send any messages either as they will go unanswered.
That’s great customer service. Especially from a guy who is starting up a collectibles company (according to several hux777 auctions he is part of the up and coming Factory Entertainment brand).
So for having to follow his own auction rules — which cost him $4, he’s willing to lose a customer for life. He didn’t know at the time that I have a blog and would be posting this, or that I write for NSU and that I will be far less compelled to write about Factory Entertainment since he is attached to it, or even that I was talking about other collectors about this issue on a public web forum — and honestly — that is the way I like it — it gives me more to write about.
As for me — it’s no big loss. hux777 does not sell a unique product, and at $8 shipping, items are rarely worth bidding on for me. . . not to mention if I find something one day that I absolutely have to have I simply will have a friend or family member bid on it for me. . . At the end of the day I should have left that negative feedback. . . ohh well.
Happy Collecting — and good luck out there!