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Here is why tiki is an eBitch

A ranty-rant, but, for those of you who found my blog through my eBay auctions, maybe this will be informational.

One sure way to get on Tiki's Happy Fun eBay Blacklist of Dooooom: don't pay me. Seems like this would be in "No duh!" territory, but I guess some explanation is needed. Sadly, the people who REALLY need to read this are probably also the people who won't. How do I know? I have maybe 10 whole sentences of text in my eBay listings, and they can't seem to manage even that much.

Some fundamentals: eBay doesn't do listings for me. I have to dig out my items, take photographs, figure out what size box I'll need for shipping to estimate postage, etc. Then I have to do individual listings for every single object I post, which often means doing a bit of research to identify what the heck I'm selling. I spend a good chunk of EVERY SINGLE WEEKEND doing listings. Unlike some other eBay sellers, I have a real full time job. And then of course I have to spend some time fielding questions, and more time actually billing and packing and shipping.

Most importantly: eBay doesn't list stuff for free. After the auction is completed, eBay takes a chunk of the selling price. They bill me for it. Unlike me, they won't wait a day or two for their money because I I don't get paid 'til Friday or my goldfish got sick or I'm going on vacation or whatever.

What happens when someone doesn't pay? If you want your money from eBay back, you have to start the non-paying bidder process. First, you have to wait at least a week after the auction ends to even file the request. Then you have to wait ANOTHER week for the person to respond. And I can't do anything else with the item during this time, like sell it to someone else or even give it away. It's gotta sit there, in eBay limbo.

If you're counting, that's THREE WEEKS from the day of listing that something has been sitting on my dining room table before I can finally try again. Then if I bother to relist it (I sometimes don't bother at this point), you have to wait another week for the auction to conclude. And, in my experience, usually the second auction doesn't go as high. And what happened last week was, the person who bought a thing that was up a second time decided she was unhappy, so in addition I ended up getting cranky feedback. Which impacts my ability to sell.

So, here's what happens if you're a winning bidder who "forgets" to pay: you go on the blacklist. Since eBay has changed the rules, so I CAN'T EVEN GIVE YOU BAD FEEDBACK FOR THIS, that and the non-paying bidder strike are my only recourse.

(Now, I have a couple people who are good customers who have taken a bit of extra time to send my payment, and that's cool. These people are "customers." How do you get to be a customer? Do at least one deal with me where you pay for your stuff promptly then leave me fair feedback. No whinging about postal prices or protesting that the dog ate your paycheck or alleging that aliens forced you to click the "BID" button. Despite what you've heard from Eddie Bauer, NO, customers are NOT always right. There are rules. And, by the way, Eddie Bauer just went through bankruptcy.)

I have some nice stuff, and actually the overwhelming majority of my customers seem to be pretty happy when they get a box from me in the mail. That's what's most upsetting. I'm now averaging about 1 auction a week where the winning bidder skips town. That's like a 10% non payment rate. If I were Amazon or WalMart or something, I could deal, but I'm not. It's just another thing that makes me wanna quit eating up my Saturdays and instead back a U-Haul to my front door and take the whole kit & kaboodle of old dolls down to Good Will, where at least I'll get a smile and a thank you.



( 12 cousins babbled — babble away! )
Nov. 4th, 2009 07:08 pm (UTC)
You don't have to wait to relist items. I've never had a problem telling the non-paying person that I will be relisting the item unless they pay by (I put a specific date and time, usually 48 hours). Even if I am still waiting for the unpaid bidder to go through.

I had a woman the other day who flat out said she didn't have paypal after hitting the buy it now. I was nice and filed to cancel the transaction instead of unpaid bidder, and I already relisted the item.

You don't have to wait to relist. And now the process is only four days after re-paying not seven. You may want to look for the changes, it's all much shorter now and supposedly they can't leave feedback either.

You are lucky you don't rely on eBay for a living. It's much harder then.
Nov. 4th, 2009 07:35 pm (UTC)
I've had a couple people contact me immediately after winning to withdraw, and, like you, in that case I'll just cancel. I'm talking about the people who bid and then disappear.

I need to check into the "new" NPB process. My impression (upon looking at it for all of 30 seconds) was that you could cancel the transaction, but NOT file an NPB strike that way. And, for reasons I've explained above, I'm not likely to settle for a "no harm no foul" cancellation. I would like my vengeance please.

I'm damn lucky I don't rely on eBay for an income. I have no idea how people do it.
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:33 pm (UTC)
My rage at having a bidder back out of an auction with a stupid lie got me my first neutral. Back then, there was no way to mutually cancel a transaction. Now they let you cancel without filing a non-paying bidder warning.

You have to take so much crap from people when you sell on eBay. I feel like I'm constantly on the defensive, because I know that eBay offers sellers little to no protection. Luckily, the same people keep bidding on my stuff now, so I know them. ::laughs:: My auctions don't get a lot of bids, but I'm not resentful toward you or anything. Selling a popular item is a real nightmare!
Nov. 4th, 2009 07:37 pm (UTC)
I list maybe MAYBE four items every two months and I always get at least one non-paying bidder. I don't understand when the idea of a binding contract to purchase became a hold on a item you might like to purchase.

As for negatives, I basically just send a prayer to the eBay gods whenever I mail out a package.

Sorry you have so many problems. I've looks at a lot of your listing and they're always ridiculously easy to get information from.
Nov. 4th, 2009 08:01 pm (UTC)
I don't really know what goes on with the Amazing Disappearing Bidders. I always speculate that they're 12 years old, using Mommy's account. (Which kinda makes sense if you're selling anime stuffs.) But really, I don't know. Could be the same psychological deal that tends to spark flamewars - people out there on the net don't *really* exist, so you can do stuff you'd never do IRL.
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
There are some idiots with spending problems out there. And if you block them, they're like, "Please let me bid! I know I flake on all my auctions, but I really want THIS one!"

I seriously think these eBay addicts bid and only can pay for half the stuff, so they flake on the rest and figure that since it's the internet, nobody can hurt them for it.
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:39 pm (UTC)
*rotfl* Yeah, I get *exactly* the same thing. "I have too many non paying bidder strikes! WON'T YOU LET ME BID ANYWAY????" I swear to god, I see how the mortgage crisis got so bad with people like that out there.
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:01 pm (UTC)
**stands up and waves cigarette lighter back and forth**
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:25 pm (UTC)
Cripes. Just out of curiosity, how do you have your buyer requirements set? I set mine the strictest I possibly can(and you really have to read the buyer requirements carefully before you set them, as it seems eBay tries to trick you into making them really lax), and I've had a surprisingly small amount of flakes as of recently. I've also had a lot fewer bidders ha ha ha ha.

Listing is such a pain. I have a postal scale(which I use frequently for the other use) and order all my boxes from the USPS, and have the mailman pick up my packages for me, but I find myself procrastinating taking the pictures, especially since my cat keeps trying to photobomb me.

Most of my ire is for eBay itself, as they seem to want buyers to screw over sellers. I can't believe the new insurance terms eBay has come up with! They're basically telling you that you can't offer insurance unless you're planning on giving the buyer back their money ASAP when a package goes missing and then filing the claim so YOU can get the money back. They're also complete asses when it comes to shipping things like video games, books, and DVDs. They force you to charge a flat rate that doesn't even remotely cover the shipping cost, and absorb the rest, just to make the bidders happy. Apparently, they don't GET that 1st Class Mail can't weigh over 13 oz., or that if you try to sneak something other than a book through Media Mail, a cranky postal employee can stop your shipment.
Nov. 4th, 2009 10:38 pm (UTC)
I set my buyer requirements as to strict as eBay will allow, and then go in an cancel bids (when I can catch them) from low feedback people who don't bother to write me first. But, still it continues. Recently, I've even had a couple of people who've bought from me before flake out, which is really odd.

I will say, I highly approve of the USPS's click n ship dealie. I threw out my back just before I had to ship a really heavy package, and it turned out, my super-nice mailman just picked it up for me! Mailman = awesomeness!!

eBay is basically trying to be Amazon. But, instead of shouldering some of the burden to keep the site safe (ie, refunding unhappy bidders out of its own pockets), it's pushing it all off on the sellers.
Nov. 5th, 2009 02:15 am (UTC)
YOU need "misha solution." which involves a myself with a BIG "whopyouupsidetheheed" stick, the seller's address, and (possibly, depending upon the postal office's return policy) bento-kitten hopped up on enough sugar to chew her way through everything in the bidder's home.

seriously though that is a level of ridiculous that would make me want to run in little circles, screaming, while beating inanimate objects. you're far more patient than i am (and i deal with the public on a regular basis, most of whom have a bone to pick with us "evile government types) and i'm impressed by your self control. and, with ebay's fabulous new "sellers can't leave feedback" policies it would seem like you're mostly SOL to combat the nincompoops.

have you ever considered etsy? i'm not 100% certain on their selling practices, and i know they require a set price, but it might give you people who are more likely to pay. in any case, i send you a cyber-stitch-love-filled-hug from afar.
Nov. 5th, 2009 03:09 am (UTC)
I briefly did survey research. My interviewees were a pool of adorable little old ladies. From these experiences, I vowed to NEVER AGAIN IN MY LIFE have any kind of job that involved dealing with the public. ^_^ So, you can see where my tolerance line falls. OTOH, I did have to learn to mind my manners. Or ate least *act like* I was mindin' my manners.*

I've tossed around the idea of putting some stuffs on Amazon. I just keep concluding that, for now, for what I'm selling, eBay is still the forum. So, keep that attack!kitten hopped up and ready for now. ^_^

*Long story, BTW. The little old ladies, by and large, weren't the ones were giving me fits. (Well, except that one who refused to turn up her hearing aid.) It was the bosses, and the bosses of bosses. But, another story for another time.
( 12 cousins babbled — babble away! )


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