Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Are eBay buyers hunting someone to scam?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 2/21/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I sell mostly hunting equipment, not related to guns, on eBay. About 99.9 percent of my customers are fantastic; some even have become friends. But I have two issues with which I hope you can help.

I sold a Bowtech Tribute that had a few chips in paint. I made the condition clear in my auction with numerous photos and descriptions. Two weeks after the auction ended, the buyer emailed, wanting a refund and complaining about the chips in the paint. I was a little snarky by telling him to check the auction photos and descriptions more carefully. I told him I do not take returns for buyer error. I then inquired as to why it took him so long to contact me.

The buyer sent a hostile email saying the bow was in worse condition than I described in the auction, and threatening to give me negative feedback and open a claim unless I refunded him.

I politely emailed back asking him to return the bow. He refused to send it unless I sent him the return postage by PayPal. I gave into his demands. About one week later, I received the bow.

The string was broken, and limb was shattered — presumably from a dry fire. I refused to refund the buyer and took careful pictures to strengthen any impeding case with PayPal (figuring a before and after would bag me the case). The buyer filed a SNAD claim and PayPal decided in his favor, given that the buyer claimed the limb was shattered in his SNAD claim, despite not mentioning it in initial contact with me. I lost the case, but I kept the bow, bought new limbs and string and she is now my to-go bow. 

My current problem:

I sold a PSE Deer Hunter on eBay. Before the auction ended, this fellow contacted me and asked if the bow was suitable for his 13-year-old son as a starter bow. I messaged him back saying the bow draw weight was 50# and draw length 27”. It might not work for him unless he is a bigger than an average kid. I never heard back and did not notice he won the auction until three weeks went by, and then BAM! I see a case opened. He wrote a long message about how his son cannot draw back the bow, it was inaccurate, and the arrows would miss the target. 

You might not know this, but if a bow was too hard to draw back, how would he know it was inaccurate? If the father was shooting the bow, chances are he would be completely underdrawn and obviously won’t hit anything smaller than a barn. My brother test fired the bow before the sale and was hitting at least 6” at 20. Not epic archery accuracy, but this PSE is not a modern state of the art tack driver. I responded telling him to send the bow back. Two weeks have gone by and nothing has been received.

What should I do? — Bow Hunter

Dear Hunter: In the first situation, if your buyer has threatened feedback using eBay’s messaging system, I would contact eBay right away and have them review it. The negative feedback will be removed. If you would have reported this buyer, I don’t think the outcome would have been the same. If the first situation happens again, it is important to get eBay involved. If your photos and description back up the your claim, eBay will back you.

When it comes to the second situation, I simply would wait for the case to close out on its own. If the buyer doesn’t send it back within the 30 days, the case automatically will close and you will win by default. 

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 161219236399. How much would you pay for a single goblet? This “Blue Cut Glass Goblet J John Hoare Richelieu Antique Wine Graduated Twist Stem” sold for $7,265 at

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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