eBay ID joey1312 (2840)
Sometimes, just when I think I've seen and heard it all on eBay, I get surprised all over again....and, sadly, lately, my surprises are is not the kind that make me want to jump up and down with joy either! Since I am both a Buyer and a Seller on eBay, I get to encounter and deal with BOTH the buyers and the sellers on each end. For some unbeknownst reason, this past year or so, I am finding that eBay etiquette is slipping.....badly!
Here's a recent example I have encountered as a Buyer: I bought an item 3 weeks ago and have not yet received it - even though I paid this Seller immediately upon the auction's end. When I paid for the Seller's item, I specifically emailed the Seller asking that she email me with tracking numbers. No response whatsoever! After a week had gone by and no item being delivered, I again emailed her....no response. I then emailed this Seller 4 more times before I requested her Contact information and telephoned her. The owner of this account told me that she knew nothing of this auction but that her grown daughter may have been using her account! (What???? Why in the world would you let someone else use your eBay account?) She told me that she would contact her daughter and have her call me. To her credit, she did follow through on this and the daughter did call me. Now...I hope you're sitting down for this one: The daughter told me that she had not been looking at her emails OR her messages through eBay since she sold this item to me and therefore, didn't know that I'd been trying to contact her! (Excuse me, but, if you are selling something, wouldn't you be checking your eBay account or at least be looking at your emails? I'm very sure though that she must have checked at least once after that auction ended or else how did she know that I'd paid her immediately and that she had her money in her hot little hands/Paypal account?!) Here's where it really gets "good": When I asked her when and IF she had mailed out my item, she replied that No, she still hadn't gotten around to mailing it out because she wanted to sell a few more things before she had to go to the post office so that she could just mail everything at once! She promised to then mail it out to me that day. Yes, you guessed it! It's been another 8 days since my phone conversation with her and I have still not received my item, so I have now filed against her with Paypal!
On the "flip" side, here's another example I have recently encountered as a Seller: I had an auction item end where the winning buyer had bid 22 times out of the 36 bids on my item. She even put in her last bid a mere 33 seconds before the auction's end, so I knew that she must be hanging around her computer. All of my auctions state quite clearly in the listing description that the winning bidder is required to pay for the item within 24 hours after the auction ends. As I do with each of my auctions, I immediately invoiced her and also sent her a "Winning Buyer Notification" email to congratulate her on her win (and to also, hopefully, speed up the payment process!). No payment from this buyer and no communication of any kind. After my prescribed 24 hours had passed, I again sent her a 2nd invoice and another email to the effect that I had not yet received her payment. Still nothing! After 48 hours had passed, I then requested her contact information and called her. She gave this as her excuse for not paying: Said that she didn't know that she had won the item and therefore hadn't been checking her eBay messages or her email!! Now come on! You don't bid 22 times on an item with your last bid a mere 33 seconds before it ends and not check to see whether you've won the item or not! How ludicrous and how stupid did she think I am? No, the truth of the matter is that she did not take her 22 bids and her win as a serious contractual agreement - plain and simple!
Do you see what I mean about eBay courtesy slipping drastically? Again, since I am both a Buyer and a Seller, I hereby propose a very simple set of, what I will call "Ebay Rules of Etiquette":
Put the terms of your listing payment and shipping clearly in your description so that Buyers know exactly how to pay, how much for shipping, when to pay & by what method. Be clear and concise about when you will ship! I truly feel it is a "cop-out" for sellers to state that they will only ship once a week! I'm sure if you asked them if they'd only like to be paid once a week, you'd hear quite a bit of wailing and gnashing of teeth!
Answer your questions and/or emails promptly!! Nothing turns off a potential buyer faster than when you don't bother to check your messages and get back to them!
When you get paid for your item, acknowledge their payment! After all....they just gave you money, so thank them!
After you've received confirmation of your Buyer's payment, (and, assuming that the payment has cleared), get hopping and print out your shipping label!! This also means that you need to pack up your item and actually send it out....QUICKLY! You got your money...your buyer deserves their item....NOW! How would you like to go into Macys, Walmart, or Nordstroms, pick out an item, take it up to the sales clerk, pay for it, and then have to go home and wonder when you might ever see it? You wouldn't tolerate that now would you? Well, your buyers feel the same way after they've handed over their hard earned moneys!
I know as a Seller, that you certainly check to see when your auctions have ended and if you have been paid for them, so, there is absolutely NO excuse not to check for emails from your buyers and to not check on your shipments to them! Unless you've been in a terrible accident and are in a coma, I cannot and will not accept anything less than a Seller giving their best customer service possible to their buyer who has dilegently paid them!
If you are unsure about a size, color, whatever.....email your seller BEFORE you bid on their item - not after you've already won their auction!! Most Sellers try to accurately describe their items, but they can't always know what might or might not be important to you unless you ask them!
If you have bid on a Seller's item (even once!), it is your responsibility to check to see if you are currently the high bidder while this auction is progressing. Remember: Even if you have been outbid and are no longer the winning bidder during an active auction, the bid or bids above you can be cancelled or retracted....thus, leaving you as the high bidder! When you place your bid, you are entering into a potentially legally binding contract with your seller and it is YOUR responsibility to keep tabs on this auction!
If you have bid on an auction (especially when you have bid multiple times on the item!), you must have decided, for whatever reason, that you really wanted this item! Therefore, again, it is your responsibility to check and see if you have won this auction! That means actually looking at your eBay account and checking your email messages! As I cited in my example above, you don't jump in and bid 22 times on an auction, right down to the last few seconds, and then just power down your computer and blithly walk away! This is not a game folks! You have entered into a legal contract with your Seller who deserves to be paid in a timely manner.
I don't care what time limit is stated in a Seller's listing as to when payment is expected.....if you've been bidding right along and have now won their auction: Pay your seller immediately! It's the only fair and just thing to do!! If for some very odd reason, you cannot pay your seller immediately after the auction's end time, at least email your seller or call them to explain when you will be sending them their payment! Don't leave your seller hanging.....wondering if you've fallen off the face of the earth! Better yet: If you know ahead of time that you won't be able to pay your seller immediately....maybe you'll be away from town when the auction ends or whatever, email your seller BEFORE you bid and tell them of your particular situation. I find that the majority of sellers are quite flexible and accomodating....as long as they know what is going on! Whenever I have had a potential buyer email me ahead of time to make payment arrangements due to them possibly being out of town at the end of an upcoming auction, or needing a few days of extra time to pay because of an expected check clearing their account, etc., I am more than willing to work with the buyers and often find that they become some of my best customers due to the two of us working out an amicable arrangement that suits both of us!
Be courteous and kind! If you have received your item and you love it, drop a quick note to your seller via an eBay message to let them know how much you like it! We Sellers love to hear from you! Also, please make sure that you leave your Seller feedback in a timely fashion! If, however, there is a problem with your item, PLEASE don't just rush in and leave your Seller negative feedback!! How do you know that your Seller might not be able to either answer your questions or fix whatever might be a problem unless you ask them? Now, if they don't even bother to answer your question or concerns, or try to work out some sort of solution, then you have a very valid gripe and you may have to resort to either a claim and/or negative feedback! But, just to jump in and leave negative feedback before contacting your seller is neither productive to either of you, and immediately sets up a really hostile environment between the two of you!
I'm apologize that this is so long....but just remember the old Golden Rule of: "Do unto others as you would wish them to do unto you" and you should be fine on eBay.....whether you are a Seller or a Buyer....or a bit of both!