Possible New Malaysia/Thailand Issue

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Possible New Malaysia/Thailand Issue

Postby timetraveltees on Tue May 29, 2012 12:07 am

Just ran into something that is a new issue for me but it is exhausting and very annoying. Not sure if anyone else has experienced anything like this but here's my (long, somewhat cautionary) story.

This past week I sold two shirts to a Malaysian buyer. He paid for the shirts but then right away bid on an auction I put up that night that wouldn't end for a full week (this always seems to happen as well, which also leads to non-paying bidder cases if they lose the one they were bidding on because they're not interested in paying for the other ones anymore either). I wrote him a message asking if I should send the two he paid for out or if he wanted me to wait for the auction to end so that he could combine shipping and not have to pay again. He said yes and that he appreciated that I wait to ship so he could save the money on shipping.

Fast forward to last night, he won a Sunstrokes Hawaii shirt for $70. I sent him the revised invoice with free shipping. Also I noticed in my Facebook feed that some of my Malaysia/Thailand friends that are in the vintage/bundle scene were tagged in an album of pictures that were from my listing of the Sunstrokes shirt. This was my high bidder and he was already trying to sell it to someone. I thought, that's fine, I always assume things going over there are being resold anyway. But he reposted it subsequently a few different times, lowering the price each time and I'm assuming found no buyer. Then tonight he sends a message claiming that he doesn't have the money for the shirt. I wrote back saying that it was a binding bid per eBay's rules, and that it was a contract and he had to pay. Especially since we'd been discussing it for over a week and he put in his high bid well in advance of that and should have had the money to pay for it. But then I also mentioned that I had seen that he was attempting to sell it and presumably couldn't find an interested buyer. I told him that was not my problem and that you can't simply speculate on value and then not pay up if you can't flip it before you already have it in your hands. We all take risks buying things with no guarantees that they'll ever sell.

I feel like this might be happening a lot in the Facebook vintage/bundle selling scene which would account for the increase in non paying bidders. I mean it seems like a great scam for them since they take no risk and only pay when they've already locked in that they're going to make money for it. But it sets a very dangerous precedent for us sellers.

In any case, he said he just wanted to cancel this one shirt and wanted me to send the others. I told him this was unacceptable and that he had to pay for the Sunstrokes shirt or I would cancel the other shirts and refund his money for those. I know I was losing out on some money there if I ended up refunding him but my hope was that he already had paying buyers for those shirts so that I would call his bluff and force his hand in paying for this Sunstrokes one because he was responsible for getting those shirts to his buyers. Then out of the blue he filed an eBay claim for an item not received for Levi's Olympics shirt I had sold him and shipped over a month ago. This is also another one he had posted on Facebook for sale and subsequently sold. I have no doubt that he did receive it and indeed sold it but was attempting to extort me by filing this claim. I contacted eBay as a preventative measure to get their take on what I should do and what would be the safest option to keep my account in good standing and reduce the risk for retalliatory feedback. They suggested that I either escalate the never received claim or just issue a refund, which I did since I always have third party insurance so I can just file a claim and get my money back for that. But I also then cancelled all the other transactions and refunded his money for the other two shirts he had purchased because I wasn't about to send them to him and go through the whole process of an item not received claim yet again especially since I believe he's angry about the whole thing, even though it is completely his fault.

The eBay person was very helpful and seemed to ensure me that this person would not be able to leave negative feedback or take any other action against me if I followed her advice. Hopefully that'll be the case and they'll back me up should it come to that. But I have plenty of documentation to back up my case, including all his Facebook posts with all these various items. So I think I might be covered but it still concerns me somewhat.

Long story long, I just wanted to put this out there to you guys to share my nightmare in case any of you had any thoughts on the matter but also to let you know that this may be an issue we have to look out for. It's a scary proposition that there are people over there prospecting on our listings and then backing out when they realized they can't find a buyer right away. I'm okay being a middle man in this chain but I'm not okay essentially being a dropshipper for customers that can change their mind on a whim.

eBay recently sent a survey out about a potential policy shift that would make buyers sign a billing agreement that pays for any items immediately, much like Amazon one click purchase. I'm all for this, so long as there's a better shipping discount system in place so you don't have to constantly refund shipping costs to people who overpay when they buy more than one shirt. But even then, that's worth it. As it stands now, I've got over $1000 in non paid items for this month alone. 90% of my buyers are great and there are no problems at all, even the overseas one are great for the most part. But the 10% that are deadbeats or cause problems waste an incredible amount of my time and energy and it makes it not fun. I realize you're going to get that in any business but hopefully eBay takes the steps necessary to prevent these types of buyers from running roughshod all over their site. Even when they get non paying strikes and are blocked from bidding, they can just open up a fresh account (which happens every day) and continue doing the same thing as much as they please. It's happening right now with another buyer that I've had to block on 3 separate occasions, sometimes he pays, most times he doesn't. Round and round we go.

Sorry for being so long-winded, hopefully this will be helpful informationt to someone. Really just wanted to get it out there in case others have had this happen to them. Later on.

- Mark
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Re: Possible New Malaysia/Thailand Issue

Postby jimmyj on Tue May 29, 2012 12:31 am

Think you handled it well. So much frustration coming from those countries. I think you can manage it so they can't leave feedback - but I doubt eBay will step in and remove it.

So much crap goes on with eBay unnecessarily because of the ability to be able to buy without paying. Why don't they just implement payment at purchase time? It's exactly the same reason they don't give two sh*ts about bootlegs and knockoffs that run rampant in every niche. Money. They make money off every transaction - including the ones that don't go through.

I know in my eBay days a decent percentage of sellers didn't file for refunds and there was still a loss even if you did - certain fees were non-refundable. It's probably millions of dollars of fees per year they will miss out on with a simple payment change.

Just like policing fakes/fraud isn't in their best interest - they would take massive loses on both listings and final value fees. The only time they take it seriously is when they get warned via VeRo - because that's stage one in avoiding a lawsuit.

eBay = :evil:
Jimmy J
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Re: Possible New Malaysia/Thailand Issue

Postby timetraveltees on Tue May 29, 2012 1:09 am

First off, a belated congrats to you sir.

And yeah, I think they're well aware that most sellers don't even really care or know that they can recoup those fees. Really it's obnoxious to even go through that process because it's 4 days before you can file the case, then another 4 for the buyer to respond and only then can you relist the item and get your final value fees back. But that's only part of the problem because you don't get your insertion fees back most of the time. Plus in the case of an auction, any heat you had on a given item has dissipated and its value has been incredibly marginalized unless it's something spectacular or super rare. And by the time you relist it nobody cares and there's next to no interest.

Case in point, I have a 1979 Nike Pinwheel shirt up for sale now that I've had to straight up list starting at a penny in the hopes to increase interest and sell at a decent price. I had it up as a 10 day auction, it sold for $304. I had private offers up to $150 that I declined to let it run its course to see what happened. Winning bidder never pays, I wait the 8 days for the non paying case to close. Then send second chance offers to the three next highest bidders, two don't respond and the one that does lowballs me at $100. He's partially right because you only get what the market will bear. And the market did not rightfully bear the $304 price tag because the sale did not go through. And when you have the Malaysia/Thailand "joy bidder" contingent opening up new accounts daily to jump into the fray and up bid things for no reason with no intention of ever paying, this causes a severe problem. As I said, most of the buyers over there are legit and very nice and honest. But the ones that don't ruin it for the rest of them.

The somewhat low barrier to entry on eBay is what allowed it to become the behemoth it is today, but it's also what continues this trend of new members that doesn't understand excactly how the site works or how to do things. I can't count how many times people have bought stuff and then sent a question being like "I was interested in this item..." and it's like yeah dude, I hope so because you just committed to buy it. But since they're trying to ape the Amazon model a little bit and becoming more of a storefront and less of what it's known for, hopefully they'll shift things a bit to make it more like any other e-tailer. You want to buy something, your card/PayPal is charged, end of story. I just hope that they don't lose sight of the people in our realm and related niches that contribute a significant portion to their bottom line and literally built their brand from day one. See below for an article discussing the poll I was emailed. I think if there were some adjustments made to the combined shipping aspect of it then I'd be all for it. It might turn off some buyers that are wishy-washy about buying an item, but I think that would wash out anyway.

I know eBay can be a nightmare but I've done well on there for the most part and my sales are consistently growing month to month, but like anything else, more sales equals more problems. But hopefully they don't continue to turn a blind eye to these types of issues just because they're able to fleece sellers for fees even when the sellers themselves don't even realize any money from the sales.

http://blog.ecommercebytes.com/cgi-bin/ ... 31866.html
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Re: Possible New Malaysia/Thailand Issue

Postby hermosavtg on Wed May 30, 2012 9:33 pm

Great post. A problem likely to grow with the new required 14-day return policy requirements.

Could you publish this problem buyer's user ID so we can all add him to our blocked bidders list?
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