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Ebay's "Buy It Never"

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  • #16
    With over 60 buys, including several machine tools I have had 5 problems
    #1, a book that the seller would not ship - Ebay forced him to ship the book
    #2 a lot(6) of Carbide Endmills that were used, but advertised as new. The seller sent me 2 more as compensation
    #3 An Albrecht drill chuck that was bent (shank) & I was able to fix but Seller said "I" did it !
    #4 a lot of NIB "Norton"sanding belts that turned out to be a box of mixed foriegn belts. The seller took them back and paid the freight. said the wrong box was shipped
    #5 a lot of 15 NIB Fowler (Japan) Endmills for 100 bucks. I thought it was a fair deal until I got them and only one was a Fowler and the rest unmarked.(China or india)
    The one endmill shown on the eBay closeup photo was the only real Fowler and the seller claims he didn't know the others ( in Fowler boxes ! ) were not and it was a coincidence that the only photographed endmill was a real Fowler
    To me this was obvious fraud- The guy seeded boxes with cheap cutters.
    The fact that only "one" Fowler was found is proof of fraud. If 4 or 5 were Fowler, then you could believe him that he bought them at an estate sale and didn't know what he had.

    Now the reason i point these out, is to show what i think is normal for eBay.
    About 10 percent of the sales resulted in a problem

    In one third of those (# 2 &4) the seller made the deal right after contacting them. These did not involve eBay to correct.

    In One third, (#1) eBay had to force the seller to sell to honor the sale .
    He probably felt the bid was too low and was resistant to ship

    The final third (3 & 5) are fraud in my opinion and represent about 4 % of my personal eBay sales. eBay can do little here outside of seller ratings IMHO.
    A 4 % fraud rate is about comparable to ordinary flea market or newspaper want ad operations.
    My point is, on the whole, eBay is not as bad as everyone seems to think.
    Compare it to your real life and you can see that.
    I have been swindled at flea markets like most of us probably have been
    at about the same frequency.
    Part of life and lets us commiserate with each other

    Did you ever buy a used car ? same thing fellows

    Green Bay, WI


    • #17
      I, too, am satisfied with Ebay.

      Regardless of BIN or auction, here’s what I do:

      - Research the item. Check completed auctions and see what the item, or similar, usually sells for.

      - Research the seller. I check feedback, looking for the negatives to see if there is a pattern. Even if the seller has 100:1 ratio of positives, if there are several negatives that make similar complaints, that’s a red flag. I also read the positives; sometimes there are revealing comments in a positive rating.

      - Check the shipping cost. Sometimes shipping makes the deal not worth it.

      - Ask questions of the seller. If the seller does not respond or gives a vague answer, this is another red flag. I also want to be sure that there are no surprises. For tools, I always ask if there is any rust, rust pitting, or evidence that the tool has been cleaned with a wire brush or blast media; if there are any engravings such as names or numbers other than manufacturer’s marks; if there is any evidence that the tool has been damaged by being dropped, and so on. Specific questions depend on the specific item.

      - Check seller’s return policy. I never buy unless the seller accepts returns.

      - Check location. I tend to prefer buying tools from places that have dry climates.

      - If it’s an auction, I decide how much I am willing to pay. I bid though Gixen, a free sniping service. I never get caught up in last-minute bidding. This is my cardinal rule. Violating this can lead to getting emotionally involved and paying too much. Unless you know this is a one-of-a-kind collectors’ item, there will be another to bid on later. I learned this from a live auction where I saw people walking around with clip boards making notes about the various lots. I realized they were dealers noting their maximum bids. I have also accepted the fact that, if it is one-on-one bidding, you will always win or lose by one bid increment and you never know how far your opponent is willing to go. So I draw the line and I do not cross it.

      - I never buy anything over a hundred bucks or so, as that’s the most I’m willing to risk. I do not consider Ebay a proper place to buy expensive stuff sight unseen. At some point I will buy another lathe and mill, and I’d also like to have a Hamilton 992B railroad watch, but I will not buy these through Ebay unless I see them in person before I bid.

      Some of you will have issues with the above, but this is what works for me.


      • #18
        I tend to limit my spending to $50. for that I have bought a dividing head with four plates. one set of gauge blocks, bore gauge, set of broaches. and got stuck with a 3/4 hp grinder that I could stop with my thumb and no pain. It was the only fraud I have run into so far. Bought lots of other small ticket items too with no problem. Peter
        The difficult done right away. the impossible takes a little time.


        • #19
          I think instead of TMT meaning 'too many tools' it should mean 'too much time'....

          This is simple stuff. If you don't like the prices or policies don't buy.

          Spend your valueless time wandering around flea markets and yard sales...

          My time is worth more than that. I have better stuff to deal with than playing eBay price police.
          Mike N

          Occasional maker of swarf.


          • #20
            Originally posted by Doc Nickel
            Actually, about the only thing I buy in eBay these days is "buy it now".

            And if the price is too high, or I don't like the shipping, I don't buy it. Period, end of conversation.
            Same here. In oversaturated categories you can get decent deals. In electronics a lot of individuals sell their items off quick/cheap with BIN.


            • #21
              Originally posted by Twmaster

              This is simple stuff. If you don't like the prices or policies don't buy.

              Spend your valueless time wandering around flea markets and yard sales...
              I do both of those......

              Ebay I wanted to sell on, but after they wanted full control of my finances (exaggeration, almost) I decided they could choke on it.

              Ebay I was going to buy on, but then it turns out that you almost have to use paypal, and I don't like THEIR policies either...... I decided they could choke on it.

              So, I have bought a LOT of nice tooling at estate and even yard sales....... and I am able to see and evaluate the stuff, instead of relying on the misspelled text and "cellphone camera in the dark" photos by whatever drug addict is trying to get money by ebay listings (notice I didn't say Ebay "sales").

              Ebay can poke it.

              Keep eye on ball.
              Hashim Khan

              Everything not impossible is compulsory


              • #22
                I have had very good luck with ebay, both selling and buying. Only a few bad transactions out of many hundred.

                You simply cant find as diverse of a selection of goodies anywhere else. I have checked the other ones like Bonanzle, which was mentioned in a earlier ebay rant thread. The selection was worse than pathetic. And when I did find something there I found the seller had the same item listed over on ebay.

                This great exodus from ebay that everyone talks about is questionable.

                Buy-it-nows are great. Sometime I need an item and dont want to wait for an auction to end. I can still get the item for a fraction of the cost retail, so who cares. I have seen many items start out as BIN/Auction combos and then end up selling in auction higher than the original BIN.

                Even better is the Best Offer. Especially when an item has not moved for a while. I have gotten stuff for 1/3 to 1/2 the asking, even when the asking was still a good deal.


                • #23
                  Machinists tend to be one of the groups that know what the specifics should be on what they are bidding on. And if scammed tend to find it out very quickly.

                  Of course newbies (like me) still trying to earn their wings have to be more careful. Especially when researching the internet produces no good results for determining the value of something.

                  Paid too much?

                  Didn't bid high enough?

                  Couldn't figure out what to bid.

                  Darren Harris
                  Staten Island, New York.


                  • #24
                    I've gotten all my repair parts from ebay. If I don't like the price, I don't buy it.


                    • #25
                      I sell a few things using the BIN on ebay. When I build something for my self I always make some extra ones... as most of the time is in the set up. I put a reasonable price on them and list at 30 days cause it's the cheapest way for me to do it.

                      Do I like what they have done to ebay over the last few years.. NO but I can't list a spindle wrench... grease cups or shaper parts on CL and hope to sell more then one if that.

                      Oh and few of you on here have purchased from me... if you know it or not.

                      Thanks Tinkerer
                      Wow... where did the time go. I could of swore I was only out there for an hour.


                      • #26
                        I've bought about 56 items in my years on ebay. To put it on topic, a bridgeport, Clausing lathe, rotary table, various electronic devices and even some decent drill chucks from 800Watt.

                        Been semi burned once. Bought a Sony cell phone to replace the phone I use ( I keep buying the same model so I can mine the others to fix up something that works).

                        Anyway, won it, got a shipping notice, never saw anything else. No reply from sender. Started the complaint process. Ebay/paypal gave my money back although paypal took longer to transfer it back to checking than the grocery store grabs it out of checking.

                        Not being able to see the user ids of who you are bidding against really p*ss*s me off though.



                        • #27
                          Originally posted by JCHannum
                          Apparently TMT feels the need to post an anti eBay post every so often to justify his existance.

                          Many of the listings on eBay are no longer auction items, but are eBay stores. They are Buy It Now, but do not expire in 7 days.

                          If you don't like eBay or chocolate ice cream, nobody is forcing you to use it or buy it.
                 many Buy It Nevers do you have running? ;<)



                          • #28
                            Originally posted by Twmaster
                            I think instead of TMT meaning 'too many tools' it should mean 'too much time'....

                            This is simple stuff. If you don't like the prices or policies don't buy.

                            Spend your valueless time wandering around flea markets and yard sales...

                            My time is worth more than that. I have better stuff to deal with than playing eBay price police.
                            Again...I used to spend lots of money on Ebay AUCTIONS.

                            I still spend lots of REAL AUCTIONS...and not on overpriced Ebay Buy It Nevers that run forever.

                            If sellers want my money to return to Ebay, then start running auctions again.



                            • #29

                              Like J.Tiers, I used to buy and sell items on eBay. I have a whole bunch of stuff that I would like to have sold there, but I refuse to use Rip er Pay Pal and their fees are now a bit too much for my blood. I also do not like their ability to put their claws into my bank accounts.

                              Got burned once, had 1 slo-o-w-w-w payer, and only had to adjust the price for 1 item that had a flaw that I did not catch. Offered to take it back with a full refund, but he still wanted it.

                              It seems as if they only want the Reliables of the world who can afford to have stores and list the same things for what seems like forever. I can not wait to see how the new IRS rules regarding 1099's is going to affect fees.


                              • #30
                                Originally posted by Too_Many_Tools
                       many Buy It Nevers do you have running? ;<)

                                I have none at present, but do use it on occasion in the auction format. Once an item has been bid on the BIN goes away in that case.

                                I have over 5000 sales on eBay with a very few problems from either the buyers, eBay or PayPal. I have only made 40 or 50 purchases and had zero problems with any of them.
                                Jim H.