View Full Version : Small ebay problem

12-21-2006, 02:18 PM
Well, I should count myself lucky I guess. I just had my first very minor ebay problem.

I bought a set of 31 Hardinge Collets (round by 32nds) for $200, $219 with shipping. What can I say, I wanted a set of good collets, and this looked like the best deal on a nice set from a big seller with top notch feedback. I paid via paypal within an hour of close. Sent a message (AND in paypal notes) to contact me with tracking number. No response for several days. Sent messages via ebay and email, no response. Over a week later I tracked down phone number via Google and caught the guy on the phone. Lots of hem-haw but got the tracking number to find out it shows delivered that day. Go out and look around, there it is in the FREAKING BUSHES! I hate UPS. But that's another story...

I sent him a message indicating it was here, and about the coincidence as well as the "it's a good thing I got the tracking number before the watering system cut on" part. Turns out to be very well packed, each collet individually wrapped in news paper.
Some have crusty's inside (but not on the clamping face), some with face grooves, but nothing you wouldn't expect with a relatively nice used set of collets; until I got to the 27/32 collet. On this one the keyway looks like someone held it in one hand with an angle grinder in the other and went to town on the keyway. It's been extended and deepened, and not even straight or uniform. There is NO WAY he missed this while individually wrapping! But it’s not a primary collet, so no bid deal. But still, I didn’t buy “30 good collets plus one junk place holder”.

So I sent ebay messages, emails, and left phone messages since last week when I found it. Started off very friendly, but got progressively more stern. Frankly, if he had responded right off the bat with an apology, I could even have been persuaded to let it go since it is one that I would rarely, if ever, use. BUT, no responses on any front, pretty much what I expected. Kept calling at random times during the day, hoping he would pick up, no luck. Must have been using Caller ID. Last night I was in a bad mood and sent a nasty message via ebay stating that I was sending via ebay for additional proof of attempted resolution AND warning of pending negative feedback. Basically, creating a “paper trail” documenting his lack of response. Funny thing, I called again this morning and he answered. Coincidence he says. Hmm...

So, he admits to having gotten all my messages, no excuse as to why he didn’t respond other than “too busy”. Now his response is to sent it ALL back, on my expense of course, and he’ll issue a refund. I say I’ll gladly send the damaged one back, and questioned the sense of sending all back over one bad collet, he basically says, “That’s how it’s going to be.” Obviously a ploy to get me to let it go. I told him, “Fine then, but I want all shipping refunded.” He says, “I’ll decide that when I evaluate the collets”. Yeah, right...

Of course, I figure he’ll stone wall me like he has so far, and I may never get anything back without a battle. Could probably get the $200 back via PayPal or Visa (paypal backing), maybe even the $19 shipping to me, but I’ll almost certainly have to eat the shipping returning to him in any case. And a NEW collet is about the same.

So now what? At this point I think I’ll leave a negative and deal with the typical retaliatory negative. Or maybe I should just forget it? But he has pretty good feedback, and frankly, I wish I had seen someone leave a negative like this before I bought! I would have paid more for another auction to avoid the aggravation alone. Makes me sorta feel an obligation to leave the negative. Then again, is it worth getting one myself (even if contested)? Should I just let it go with no feedback? Or a neutral? Frankly, I would be satisfied with a neutral (since it’s not all that bad a “burn”) if I could only explain the lack of response and attitude. But 80 characters doesn’t let you say much of anything.

So, I'm pretty pissed at his attitude and ignoring my messages as well as refusing to deal with the problem, but am I being a cry baby? Or is this worth hassling with games required to give a negative?

12-21-2006, 02:40 PM
Maybe leave a negative feedback, definitely a neutral. The fact that the collets were not all as described, and the poor communications should be cited.

If an item is not as represented, in my opinion, the seller should eat the shipping both ways, and many do. Check his ads to see if it is mentioned in them.

Let him know of your intentions before leaving feedback, give him a deadline to respond. If he negs you, you can respond and site his feedback.

Keep your feedback short and factual, that leaves less room to refute it. Something like; "Merchandise not as described. Very poor communications."

12-21-2006, 02:41 PM
If that's your biggest problem with an Ebay seller, I'd consider it a blessing.

Dealing with the guys "attitude" is something only you can decide on. Personally, I'd just make sure I didn't buy from him again.

Doesn't sound like it is serious enough to make you raise your bloodpressure. You said that it is a collet that you'd hardly ever use.

My $ 0.02 worth........and probably worth less than that......LOL


12-21-2006, 02:46 PM
This is pretty typical eBay. Personally, I wouldn't leave a negative as he will retaliate and will feel justified retaliating.

eBay is a flea market where you don't get to see what you're buying. My policy is not to buy unless the deal is so good that even if the merchandise were a little off like yours was it would be okay. I know it is annoying to deal with this stuff, but realistically, what would you have paid to get everything but the bad collet?



12-21-2006, 04:00 PM
If I were in your place, I'd check the collets for runout. If they're all where they should be, I'd figure the cost of a new set and compare that number to the amount I paid for the used set. Then I'd be really happy at the great deal I got and start searching ebay for a collet to replace the damaged one.

12-21-2006, 04:16 PM
Keep the collets, you wanted them anyway and give him very bad feedback.

Get his address and personally deliver the bad collet and invite him outside.

I don't know what they are worth but one bad out of 31, just forget it.

12-21-2006, 05:01 PM
It seems to me that the relationship is not easily recoverable at this point as probably both of you are digging in your heals. Sadly most of these things start out very innocently with no one intending to do wrong towards the other. Then little by little it just escalates to the point were it is out of hand. Because the guy, as you said, has lots of good feedback I would assume that he had no intention of ripping you off. You (typical of machinist type people) have a keen eye for detail unlike the seller and noticed the problem right off. I think you both probably got off on the wrong foot over the shipping which is to bad as it sounds like the real screw up was the shipping company. From there things just went down hill. My advice (which is worth less than the pixels it is written on) would be to be the bigger man and apologize (I know you did nothing wrong but remember ends to the means) for coming on a little strong. Then suggest that you got a discount that was equal to ˝ of the shipping cost to make up for the one damaged collet. The rational being that if you returned the part both you and him would be out the cost of shipping one way. Why not agree to meet in the middle. If this does not work I would take comfort in that I tried to do the right thing and walk away.

FWIW you can look me up……. 302suawdust on Ebay. I am no power seller but have sold hundreds of items on Ebay. From time to time there are problems but I find that in 99.8% (my Feedback) of the time they can be resolved.

Alistair Hosie
12-21-2006, 05:56 PM
B Dog you are right to be annoyed but dont let this guys bad manners allow you to be consumed with anger! Tomorrow you will look again and realise this is still a good enough deal, and in a few days be pleased with it in my honest opinion. I would drop comunication with this idiot you will only become less and less happy stop now and enjoy your purchase the seller has not the ability to deal correctly why punish yourself further I hope in a few days you put it down to experience and enjoy Have a nice Christmas from me and my family in the meantime God Bless Alistair

Your Old Dog
12-21-2006, 06:11 PM
Big Oak tree and short piece of rope, yep, I'd start looking for both :D

Actually I would defer my anger if I were you until the first time I needed a 27/32'd collett and then I'd get my pound of flesh. You might spend a lifetime and never actualy "need" that collett. If he said they were in new condition that might be a differant story but you are buying used gear. 1 out of 30 ain't bad, count yourself lucky. You should see the crap I bought, 8 R8 colletts thinking they were a set! I got a mistmatch of just about everything, got two 5/16 colletts !!. Just ordered another set from Enco earlier in the week and wrote of the others as my not being specific enough in my ebay purchase. My advise, let it go and post nothing on the feedback. If he slams you they you can play our card.

12-21-2006, 06:16 PM
Dealing with someone through the internet will always be a risk.
I'm with Alistair.Let it go and don't deal with this clown again.
I do a bit of trading on a local version of e-bay,and in a couple of hundred trades have only had one bad one.I Didn't give negative feedback,because he would have done the same,and I felt it wasn't worth destroying my 100% positive feedback rate.
If you're happy with the rest of the collets,bin the rotten one and buy a new one to fill the empty space in the rack.You'll still be ahead on price,so you'll have done a good deal.
Merry Christmas to one and all.

12-21-2006, 07:04 PM
Some things are not worth the agro BadDog. If it isn`t a biggy, put it in the "later" folder and forget it.
Well, it mostly stops me getting too septic:D
I like to believe that you get back what you give.

Merry Christmas

12-21-2006, 07:15 PM
Dang. I don't do e-Bay but if I did I wouldn't hesitate to give the appropriate feed back in a transaction. It seems that the fear of negative feedback has grown to the point where it is a useless tool anyway. I have never heard of a merchant, online or brick and mortar, that has 100% customer satisfaction. It isn't going to happen. I come close in my business but you cannot keep everybody happy all of the time. There are people out there that would complain if you gave them $1000 and it wasn't all new bills.

12-21-2006, 07:20 PM
So Do A Lot Of People On It.

12-21-2006, 07:31 PM
If I purchased 30 collets and only one was bad I'd be thrilled. I have been taken a lot worse than that.

12-21-2006, 07:45 PM
From his version of events, I get the impression that BadDog is more pissed at being disregarded and the lack of courtesy shown by the vendor.
An entirely reasonable reaction.

12-21-2006, 07:54 PM
Look at it this way you paid 7.30 ea. for the 30 good ones instead of 7.06 ea. for all that's not bad. As far as notes on paypal go they do not show up when you print the packing slip and are easily misted. On the othere hand I send a tracking number on all ups shipments I can't count the number of buyers that seam to miss that and ask for a tracking number days later... so it works both ways. I'd look at it this way the guy has good FB maybe his dog died of some other family matter hit.

:eek: Life happens as we watch our plans fly out the window...you can either explode or keep smiling. ;)

Happy Holidays and to a Good New Year.

12-21-2006, 07:58 PM
let it go ...like how many years is this knocking off your life ..
life is to short .

all the best...mark

12-21-2006, 08:37 PM
From his version of events, I get the impression that BadDog is more pissed at being disregarded and the lack of courtesy shown by the vendor.


Also, his heavy handed "resolution" offer (that would cost me more than the value of the damaged collet, leaving me with NOTHING in the bargain) makes me wonder how many times he's pulled this before. He sells lots of "lots" ;) so how many of these included him working in known bad inventory just to keep from getting stuck with it or throwing it away? And if anyone noticed/complained, how many just decided not to leave feedback (or lied to give positive) rather than risking retaliation? How many were just too timid or busy to even try (much less persist long enough to get him to respond!) when/if they noticed problems?

12-21-2006, 09:22 PM
You probably should just let it go.

I have not needed to leave bad feedback yet but if i have to I would probably leave a web address at the end of the 80characters. This way you can post a page with pictures of the products received and a description of the events. Not sure if this is allowed or what retaliation there would be.

Good luck and happy christmas :)

12-21-2006, 09:23 PM
Whether a sale is on eBay or the corner store, the customer has every right to be satisfied. If he does not get what he feels is what was represented, or is not treated with some degree of respect, some attempt should be made to make it right.

eBay has many conscientious sellers and a few jerks. If the customers do not point out the jerks, they are doing a disservice to other buyers as well as to those sellers who work hard to establish and maintain a good name for themselves.

Anybody can miss a defect, or not feel it is as bad as it might seem to someone else. That is understandable. An honest apology can work wonders sometimes.

Feedback should not be witheld for fear of getting retaliatory feedback. If the problem is stated clearly, in simple terms, it will be apparent where the problem lies. Tell it like it is and get on with your life.

12-22-2006, 01:36 AM
but am I being a cry baby


His "heavy handed resolution" offer is to give you your money back? Where's the problem. Unless they were advertised as new, you bought used. If you want new-buy new.

There are people out there that would complain if you gave them $1000 and it wasn't all new bills.

I agree with this statement as it seems to fit here. You asked.

12-22-2006, 02:00 AM
Fair enough.

But to answer your question “Where's the problem.”(sic) Well, the problem is, he'll give me my money back IF I pay to ship them all back. Is this reasonable? He did state that he would refund my purchase price when he got the collets back, and would “consider” refunding shipping once the collets are returned. And I’m to trust this from a guy who will NOT respond unless you randomly catch him on the phone? This is his solution rather than a simple apology or refunding 1/31nd of the sell cost (which I thought was rather fair in either case). Should he “decide” not to refund the shipping, I would be out $40 with nothing to show for it, or I can just eat the bad collet (or even buy a brand new one for half that). Hmmm, let me think about this... Is that really an offer of resolution?

And he advertised "Nice 31 pc. set" and "Conditions range from good to excellent" (these are direct copied quotes of his words in the add). So, you think I should count myself lucky and happily accept that I got 30 that fit the description? Strangely, I expect that when "Conditions range from good to excellent" on 31 collets, well, maybe I just might 31 collets in the stated condition? Is that really too much to ask? If so, yeah, I guess I’m a cry baby as charged. <sniff> ;)

I don’t disregard your opinion. Sometimes I, like anyone else is too close and when something gets under your skin, it may appear larger than it is. Maybe that’s true, so I aired it for my “friends” (acquaintances really, but as close to friends as your likely to find in an internet forum) in as factual a manner as I am capable before grabbing my rope and side irons. To clarify, I never said he should be destroyed over this and even mentioned considering a “neutral”, but in my current state of frustration over his actions, I don’t *want* to give a neutral, I want to give the negative I feel he deserves. Does he REALLY deserve a negative, that’s the question...

You seem quite comfortable stating exactly how you feel without pulling any punches (quite refreshing actually! :D ), so will you tell us that you would accept this sellers treatment and resolution proposal without hard feeling or response?

Please, by all means be blunt, I have a thick skin and actually do accept criticism (hopefully learning from it) without running to hide as so many will do these days.

12-22-2006, 04:29 AM
BadDog, if the deal is still an attractive one for you, even with the dodgy collett, just wear it.
Put that particular vendor in the "caution" folder.

12-22-2006, 09:14 AM

His "heavy handed resolution" offer is to give you your money back? Where's the problem. Unless they were advertised as new, you bought used. If you want new-buy new.

I agree with this statement as it seems to fit here. You asked.

His solution is to give the money back at a potential loss of $40.00 shipping, or eat the bad collet. That is not an equitable solution in my opinion.

I suspect, if the seller had offered a reasonable apology or offered a couple of dollars back for the bad collet, BadDog might be more than satisfied.

That is not the case. BD paid for what should be 31 acceptable quality collets, not 30. He has a right to be disappointed with the deal and to pass his experience on to others by feedback. This is the purpose of feedback, and if used properly, it has value. I see nothing wrong with leaving a factual, neutral feedback.

I seem to be in the minority here. But I sell quite a bit of tooling on eBay. To my mind, the loss of five or ten dollars on a sale like this is minor. I will have shown good faith, BD will be watching my sales, and might buy more and pass my name on to others. This guy has lost one customer and potentially many more.

It seems to be of a sign of the times that accepting shoddy merchandise and treatment is encouraged, and somehow, complaining is wrong.

Ernest Kerr
12-22-2006, 10:09 AM
Seller has the last word in negative feedback issues and can say anything in his last reply and you have no opportunity to dispute it. He can say you finally agreed that you were mistaken and apologized - and that's the last word. Negative feedback always gets a revenge negative in return. In my experence, with over 200 transactions, I have found the item, most often, to be less than expected. And don't expect Paypal to always side with your complaint. They want documented evidence of your claim - written repair estimates from qualified repair centers, etc. And, even then, they tend to favor the most profitable litigant (read that Power Sellers).

12-22-2006, 11:42 AM
My "negative" experience...couple years ago, I bought a Blake co-ax indicator, after bidding on a lot of them finally got one at what seemed to be a good price. When it arrived I ran out to the mill to play w/it & it took about 2 min. to realize the damn thing was bent! the shaft had been tweaked by jamming it up aganist a vise or something...that sick feeling in the stomach we've all had when we realize we've been had...So, I emailed the seller, first he said it was impossible, his "company" had checked it out, then he accused me of damaging it myself. I filed a claim w/ebay & Paypal, the seller gave every evasive excuse in the book for about a month, then PP wanted me to send the indicator back to the Blake factory, which I did, at my expense. They of course, confirmed it was bent, & sent it back, at their expense, which I thought was good of them...the lifetime warranty, of course, didn't cover that kind of damage. The factory evaluation seemed to satisfy Paypal, I don't know what kind of leverage they applied to the guy, but he soon agreed to take it back & give me a refund. I still ate the shipping to the factory, but at that point I just wanted to be rid of the POS...it definitely racked up some miles on a UPS truck, NC to CO, to CA, back to CO, back to NC. Up to that point, I hadn't liked Paypal much, but they did come through for me, if I hadn't paid through them, I think I would have been screwed. I've never seen that seller's name again, I suppose he just changed it, & I've never worked up the nerve to bid on another Blake, for fear of getting that same piece of crap again..Oh, the point I started out to make, I didn't leave any feedback for the jerk, he needed a strong negative, but I knew he would retaliate, & I just didn't want to ruin my stellar 100% positive, he wasn't worth it...
Ron in CO...

12-22-2006, 03:21 PM
The ebay feedback system is flawed for exactly the reason Ron mentioned - too many people let bad things slide for fear of receiving negative feedback themselves. What ebay *should* do is keep the feedback hidden until both parties have responded or time has elapsed - thus each party leaves feedback, but can't see what was left for them until they've responded themselves. That way there couldn't be any "retaliatory" feedback. I suspect the number of negatives left would significantly increase if such a system were in place, so I doubt ebay would implement it.

12-23-2006, 01:19 PM
I cast my vote in the "let it slide" camp. You got 30 good collets for a little over $7 each. I'd give the seller either a neutral or no feedback - he sounds like he's got cranio-rectosis. ($#it head) Enjoy the collets - I know I like mine.

I do a lot of eBaying. The more expensive the transaction, the more research I'll do into the other party's feedback. Less feedback available to research means greater risk in the transaction. OTOH, I recently sold an '80s vintage Motorola "brick" cell phone for $10 to a guy in Hong Kong. The auction actually ended with no bids, but the guy had contacted me. Seems that I had my shipping options allowing only US and CA bidders, so he couldn't bid. I told him that, sure, I'll sell it to him and ship to Hong Kong, just pay the $10 + shipping. He paid something like $20 to ship the thing!

So, yeah, it was outside of eBay. (risky) It was to an overseas bidder. (more risky) But the guy sent me a Paypal payment which I got and it didn't bounce. If it had, I'm out $20 (shipping) and a useless old analog cell phone. I considered that low risk, and went with it. Everything turned out ok.

Think of it like gambling - you assess risk and exposure. Don't gamble what you can't afford to lose.


12-23-2006, 08:45 PM
Bad dog, why don't you give us the item number so we can look at it and give our opinion ?

Something else : I'm only guessing at this, having not seen the auction, so bear with me. Is it possible that the guy selling it doesn't know what these collets are ? That they might be something that he was left by his old man, or bought in an estate sale?
Is it possible that you have a very exacting eye for these things and he doesn't and you might be judging the guy a little harshly ? I don't know and I'm not judging you; just think about it. Was he really out to screw you?
I agree that he should have responded to you.
I had someone buy a book from me, and send me a nasty note about it being a "Book club edition" and me not saying it. When I explained that I had no idea that that Was a fact that I should convey in my auctions, and that all I was selling it as was a "book" and nothing else, the guy rethought his nasty comment. He was expecting some "collectible"; I never said anything about that, nor would I have known if it was. He judged me based on HIS expertise.

If you got 30 collets that are decent and one bad, let it go. I would still like to see the auction.

12-23-2006, 09:04 PM
I was avoiding the specific auction in order to avoid dragging someone's name through the mud if I should decide that I was over reacting. But that has not happened. I've not yet decided what to do about ebay feedback, but I'll pass on the auction ID. Look under completed auction 120059443044

As you can see, this guy is definitely not misunderstanding what is going on, and he sells quite a bit of stuff, collets in particular. With a name like "colletking", I expect he knows exactly what he's doing. With a name like that I should have know better I suppose, kinda like buying a car from "Honest Ed's Used Cars". :o

12-24-2006, 03:58 AM
Expecting to get what was advertised is fair. A "relatively nice used set of collets" was your initial description. Conditions ranging from good to excellent? Doesn't sound like this collet you describe fits anywhere in between. What some may consider to be good may be crap to another. Is it right or the way I conduct business? Not at all. With a name like ColletKing, one would expect or at least get the impression he's experienced with what he sells. Buying anything without being able to physically pick it up and inspect it is a crap shoot. There's absolutely no excuse for the poor communication but it's happened all too often for me with flea bay and Internet sales. All in all, still seems like a fair deal to me? In his store his customer service and return policy states a 30-Day, Money-Back Guarantee of Customer Satisfaction (subject 20% restocking charge and/o) whatever that means??

12-24-2006, 12:30 PM
Well, I looked at the auction.
If he's calling himself the "collet king", he probably should have caught it. What he considers "good" and your opinion of the same aren't the same.
Still ,the guy has an awful lot of positive feedback and he didn't get it by screwing people left and right; maybe this is an isolated incident. By the same token, he should have responded to you; to not respond is bad karma.
See if he'll replace the defective collet.

A word about ebay and this BB: I notice a fairly common feeling on this BB about ebay that I don't agree with. My impression is that a lot of people look at ebay with the impression that they are going to screwed from the get go. This has not been my experience at all, and I buy and mostly sell with an ebay store. In fact, the dest deal I ever got was a Starrett Digital height gauge for $75.00; I had Starett's price book in front of me: $425.00. Most of my indicators came from ebay.
Think about it. The thing wouldn't work at all if there wasn't a fairly high level of trust. Being a microcosm of society, you're going to find some people who are jerks and wacko's. I met one recently; anybody who wants to look can find me at aew59, my ebay screen name. The first and so far, only negative from a really strange A-hole.