Tuesday, October 21, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Do you see a problem with selling vintage glasses on eBay?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 5/15/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I sold a pair of collectible glasses that had prescription lenses in them. eBay requires that I either pop the lenses out or disclose that these are not for prescription use.

I disclosed they are not for prescription use. My buyer requested a return on them because there was a scratch in the lens going right through where the eye is. I told her they aren’t for prescription use and are just to be collected, so the lens shouldn’t matter. She came back and said she bought them for her 95-year-old mom to wear until her other glasses came in. 

I have two other pair of glasses that are from the 1950s or 1960s; I thought someday I would sell them. They are the “cat eye” type with jewels — very fashionable in the 1950s. Do you think I should even risk it after this? — Poppy

Dear Poppy: In a situation like this, I would ask the buyer to return the item for a refund. I would not offer or pay for return shipping. If they buyer asks, I would gently remind them that these were not sold as prescription glasses.

I think this is just a rare case. I would list those cat eye, jeweled glasses right away!

Dear eBay Queen: I sell on eBay, and when I describe things, I almost err to the side of describing every scratch, ding, and speck of dust to the extreme. I guess I thought everyone else did the same. Boy, was I wrong!

I just purchased an espresso machine, which I got a decent deal on, but still paid a lot for. In the description, it said “this machine is in excellent condition both cosmetically and functionally.” It arrived today, and first thing I saw was that the finish is rubbed off on the top of the machine, an area about the size of a penny. I also noticed that the seller scotch-taped every moving piece to the unit for transit. It is going to take me at least an hour to remove the tape and scrape off the residue it leaves behind. Attached to the scotch tape is all kinds of hair, dust and dirt (eeewww). There also is dirt and sticky gunk around the bottom of the machine. The last straw is that I now see a small spot of mold in the water reservoir. I have never returned anything on eBay, and I purchase carefully. I also don’t mind cleaning up things I buy from garage sales that have to be carefully and meticulously cleaned, but this leads me to wonder what kind of condition this machine is actually in and how well it was cared for. I wonder what could be lurking in the insides. I also don’t want to spend a ton of time cleaning it up to find it does not work. And then if I try to return it, the seller will say “this is in very clean condition” (because I cleaned it)! Oh, and the ripped up styrofoam pieces she used to pack it were filthy. What would you do? — Coffee Addict

Dear Coffee: I would email the seller and let her know you feel the item is not as described. I would probably say something like this:

“Thank you so much for the fast shipping. I receive the cappuccino machine, and I am pretty sure it is not as described. You stated “this machine is in excellent condition both cosmetically and functionally,” but when I opened the machine up, I was surprised to find it very dirty, and even had mold in the water reservoir. You probably didn’t realize this, but by taping the non-moving parts to the machine, the tape has left sticker residue all over the machine. Please let me know the best way to return this.”

If the seller does not want to accept the return, I would immediately open a “not as described” case. If you do this, make sure you upload pictures of all the issues you have with the item.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 301103782195. Vintage eyeglasses are quite collectible. Check out this pair of 1950s glasses. “Genuine Old Stock 1950’s Amber Tart Arnel Eyeglasses 44-24 USA DEPP.” They sold for $1,710 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Genuine-Old-Stock-1950s-Vintage-Amber-Tart-Arnel-Eyeglasses-44-24-USA-Depp-/301103782195

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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