When A Good Auction Goes Bad

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I’m sure at some point you’ve heard of an eBay horror story (if not you experienced it for yourself).  Unfortunately, it happens.  Every once and a while there is a buyer who might make a perfectly good auction a nightmare.  There are several degrees of an auction gone wrong, and for some reason, I had them all!  This is why, we as eBay Entrepreneurs, need to protect ourselves from bad buyers.  Even if you listed your item perfectly and made your description as clear as possible, you may get a buyer who argues that they were deceived in some way.  I recently sold a Flowbee on eBay and had a buyer from out of this world.  No really, he told me he was not from this planet Earth.  Here is my story.

img_0383About a month ago I was more than happy to be selling a Flowbee.  I thought this was great!  I decided to do an auction for three days, and it seemed as if people were bidding left and right.  As the auction ended for almost $60, an automatic invoice was sent to the buyer.  After a few days the buyer still didn’t pay (nightmare #1), so I sent another bill.  Finally, the customer decided to pay, and he sent a note telling me that he was just visiting Earth, so if I could please expedite the package.  As I always do, I packaged up his item the same day he paid and shipped it to Brazil.  I sent it priority mail, and I even lost just a few dollars on the shipping costs.  I thought everything was going great until I received an “Open Case” notification from eBay.  The buyer had opened this case because he stated he never received the package (nightmare #2).  This was only five days after I sent the package.  Luckily I was able to provide a tracking number and had the case closed.  The next day I look at my feedback, and he had given me a negative remark (nightmare #3).  He had stated that item was used and not brand new, and demanded his shipping cost back.  It was clear that the object was used in the description.   Now, this is the perfect example of when a Good Auction Goes Bad.  Like I said before, we Ebay Entrepreneurs need to protect ourselves from buyers like this, so here is what you need to do.

  1. Buyer never pays for your item:  In my case, I had to send a few invoices before the buyer paid, but if for some reason he decided not to pay at all, you can open an unpaid item case.  This way you are protected from paying the Final Value Fee for the item.
  2. Customer states that they never received the item:  Ebay knows that there are some scandalous buyers out there, so they put in place a program called (Seller Protection).  This way you can plead your case and prove that you sent the item to the buyer.  I ALWAYS recommend that you get Delivery Confirmation when you ship an item.  If you are shipping outside the US, then you have to fill out a customs declaration form.  There are two different forms you can fill out.  One is if it is under 2 lbs.  This one does not do a good job tracking a package after it leaves the US, but there is another one that is for items over 2 lbs.  This is a bigger form that you have to fill out, but it tracks your item as it goes to the destination.  I always fill this form out even if it is under 2 lbs.  Only once have they had me fill out the smaller form.  In my case, I was able to track my package and prove that I sent it to him.
  3. A buyer leaves you a negative remark: When a buyer leaves you an unjustified negative remark you can have it removed.  eBay has a tool that will allow you to ask the buyer to retract their feedback that they left.  Usually, you have to justify why they should remove the feedback, but 99% of the time they do.  Here are eBay’s guidelines.

As you can see, eBay has your back when a Good Action Goes Bad, but just make sure you have all of your ducks in a row with every auction!  Feel free to leave your eBay nightmare story in the comments below!

For more tips and tricks, check out “The Keys to a Successful eBay Business” HERE

 

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