Monday, 30 August 2010

The life and times of an honest ebay account

The account was born mid may of 2010 after a discussion from its owner about the problems sellers were having to go through to sell their goods on ebay and as always its moto was not to screw anyone and try not to get screwed.

Now the discussion was one of those that thousands of sellers have had since ebay pushed the self destruct button, as they wondered how long an account would survive from a normal person that does not do all the things all sellers know they have to do to stay on ebay?

So in a realistic world, which is not ebay, the seller comes along and opens one account to sell their items. They are just used items and they know almost all there is to know about them, so it should be a simple job adding them to the auction format and letting the buyers decide what they want to pay for them, while assuring they have giving enough information and enough quality photographs to show what the items are.

So the first ten listings go up and the buyers buy all but two items, and the normal I missed the item, as I was at work sellers contact about the other two, which are relisted with another thirteen items. A few of them leave feedback after getting their goods so everyone is happy.

A couple of NPBs, one that claimed they made a mistake and another that did not respond other than to say sorry but I forgot about this item and I bought another.

Still in the first month and suddenly there is a red feedback glaring out at the poor seller who is just puzzled, as they assumed all was well, as the buyer had made no contact. They contact the buyer asking what was wrong and suggesting it is normal practice to contact the seller before leaving feedback, as if there is a problem with the item they do have the option to return it.

The buyer apologises and accepts to remove the feedback, and then decides oddly to keep the item.

So the sales continue but the sellers friends are saying you will see, as he gloats over fixing a problem.

The account has over thirty good feedback as they move through the second month, and the account is still only listing around seven to ten items and the account has to deal with its next oddball buyer that leaves a positive feedback but complains that the shipping was too expensive. The buyer is again puzzled over this one as the shipping was shown and the charge was only ten pence over the stamp price. When contacting the buyer, they claim that the fact the seller had charged for and used tracked postage on such a low cost item was what they did not like.

So their goes the clean DSRs of the account as they now have a one or a two for shipping charges.

Now the account begins to add a few more items with each listing and it is now at eight to fifteen every four days and things are looking up as the good feedback keeps rolling in and the buyers do seem to like what the account is offering, as they keep bidding on it.

It is almost the end of the second month when within a week of each other there are two people wanting to return goods, and both items had ended quite well. The seller just assumed buyer remorse, as the reasons for the returns were a little silly, as both reasons were shown in the listing. The seller however tells them to return the items for the refund.

It is a matter of days when the direct to ebay comes in with the reason being that they had changed their mind. The seller tells them that they could return the item and it is customary to contact the seller before going to ebay. They claim they are new to ebay, even though their account had started the beginning of 09. The next day the first of the requests that the seller had accepted had gone to ebay and put a return request in. when asked why, when the seller had already agreed to accept the item back? they do not respond.

The next day the second of the first two items does the same thing and goes to ebay and there is another direct to ebay return by a person with almost the exact name as the first one but for the fact they had added a letter to their name. This time they had made an error and had not looked at the measurements of the item. Again send the item back is told to them, while pointing out that it is customary to contact sellers before going to ebay

Looking at all those that had gone to ebay, all of them were on different address' but a simple search through google maps show the seller that they all live with in an hour of each other, as did the person that leaves a red feedback the next day claiming the item was not what it was. When the seller contacts them and suggests they are wrong but they can return it, and it is customary before leaving negative feedback to contact a seller. Another new to ebay that had been on for over a year suggests that their daughter loved the item so they had no intention of sending the item back and would have it checked. There response to the sellers response in the feedback is that they were wrong and they retract their statement. But then go on to ignore the request to remove the red feedback request and the emails sent to them, even though their account is still active buying mailing supplies and hair extensions.

Exactly a month after the second direct to ebay claim the buyer leaves a red feedback with more nonsense, as it was apparently being abusive telling them it is customary to go to the seller before going to ebay.

The account is suffering as its DSRs are being hit and the negative feedback is forcing the seller to sell more than they wanted to. They begin to list more, listing five days a week around seventeen items a day. Which is the only way to clean up the idiots feedback as if you get enough green then the reds are nothing.

Ebay makes a change and there is a glitch where all the accounts used goods are suddenly marked as new with tags, and as you can't make changes after bids are on the items then most of the items can't be changed.

Another black feedback claiming slow delivery for an item that the person took two weeks to pay for.

The fourth month of the account when paypal start demanding info such as photo ID, suppliers details and such. This comes in over the August bank holiday weekend and before the weekend is in its third day the ebay and paypal accounts are dead in the water with paypal holding the funds in the account for one hundred and eighty days.

The account has lasted four month, which is not good for those sellers that are fighting to stay on ebay, as you have to sell large amounts to stay on ebay and defeat the system, but if you sell too much then paypal will want to know who, what and why, and if you are not willing to hand over that info or would struggle if you buy all goods from many sources, who rarely give invoices, if ever. Then you will have to switch to having several accounts open at the same time, I suspect four or five would be the minimum. Each time the account gets attacked you move on to the next leaving the used account to heal itself over time.

Or if you have any sense then give up on ebay, take the hint and move on to, as ebay has become too much hard work, that will be taking years off your life. Stress can kill, ask any doctor, and the stress of being an ebay seller is just one of those things that should be stamped with warnings like cigarettes or alcohol.