Buying and Selling on eBay: Tips, Tricks, Problems & Questions

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by HansderHund, Jul 27, 2012.

  1. Mox C

    Mox C Senior member

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    A family in each city to handle the local intake. Nice.
     
    Last edited: Sep 24, 2012
  2. capnwes

    capnwes Senior member

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    +1....actually...if you had any idea how much paperwork I am behind on you would choke.
     
  3. GMMcL

    GMMcL Senior member

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    I need to quote myself here and ask for some advice.

    After some sleuthing, I have determined the following:
    1. The USPS has admitted they failed to properly track the package. Apparently, since the shipping was purchased online, the package showed "$0" paid for tracking, so the in-taking post office didn't flag it for full tracking. Terrifying to think how often THIS happens. Anyway, they say they "believe" it was delivered to its destination, but cannot provide proof. (Even worse: Their position is that "federal tort law" prohibits them for reimbursing me for anything other than the cost of the service that wasn't performed -- in this case, tracking. But since I paid $0 for tracking, I'm entitled to $0. I'm an effing lawyer and even I find this argument offensive!)
    2. It gets worse. The "destination" in question was a college campus -- UCSF to be specific. UCSF centralizes mail delivery, so all packages are first received and processed by their central mail sort facility. So even if it had been properly tracked, all the tracking would have shown was delivery to the UCSF central mail facility, and nothing further.
    3. And worse yet: UCSF doesn't track incoming packages, or require signature to pick up packages. So there is no record of it having been received by UCSF or delivered to the recipient's building.
    4. But now for the worst part: The particular building I was shipping to is unique in the UCSF system in that the mailroom is an unsecured, shared space. (It's apparently a lab building where profs and grad students work; it's not a dorm or housing facility -- unless the dude was living in his office) That's right, anyone can wander in and grab their (or someone else's) mail. So even if EVERYTHING else had gone right, the package could have been nicked as soon as it arrived at my buyer's mail cubby.

    The item cost me $85. Add $10 shipping, and my total at risk amount is $95, and that's not counting the ~$40 in profit I had on the item. Clearly Ebay is going to side with the buyer on this one. So my gut tells me I should just proactively refund him.

    My only question to you dudes is: Given that the buyer knowingly shipped to an unsecure mailroom (as opposed to his house, for example), should I ask him to share some portion of my at risk amount? Or is that just setting myself up for bad feedback and an SNAD case? One thing you should know: The buyer has already sent a snarky message saying he had bought the item for an "event" that has already passed, and that he's annoyed. So we're already on shaky ground.
     
  4. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Senior member

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    Spoo is living the dream.
     
  5. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Sounds like you're going to have to refund him and fight with usps for the $100 insurance payout on the package :confused:
     
  6. capnwes

    capnwes Senior member

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    If it is possible, I would wait. There is a note somewhere on the USPS site that mentions deliveries can take up to 15 days no matter what service you are using. I have had this happen on 3 or 4 occasions. Its probably still out there somewhere. I would calmly try to explain this to the buyer and play it by ear. You have no control over the package delivery time, but if he is pissed you may do better to just deal with it now and hope he pays you back when it is delivered. (that actually happened to me once also)

    Keep in mind that the tracking number is not actually a tracking number, but delivery confirmation numer. I see many packages whith only 2 scans, pickup and delivery. It all depends on the workers.

    Also I think you may be able to intercept the package and have it sent back to you if it turns out to be still in route. I have never done it and am not sure of the requirements. I just got this in an email today.
    https://pi.usps.com/cpi/howItWorks.jsp
     
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2012
  7. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Ohh didn't realize the short time frame. I would definitely hold off on the refund, not like it was a $3 Thrifted shirt.
     
  8. capnwes

    capnwes Senior member

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    Oh wait...I see now it has been over 17 days. I was thinking it had only been 11.
     
  9. GMMcL

    GMMcL Senior member

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    Thanks, guys. Just to clarify: It shipped on Sept 5 via Priority. It's already been 20 days. I'm going to give it another couple of days if I can.

    As for getting the $100 insurance, first, I think priority is no longer insured by default. Second, I think USPS's position is: We delivered it. You don't get insurance since we did what we're supposed to. Granted, they can't prove it, but I'm not going to sue the USPS over $100 -- it's just not worth my time.
     
  10. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Are they taking the stance that it's delivered? The only thing they have to back them is delivery confirmation and that's obviously not working. In my experience, the postal employees will always initially take the stance of "probably delivered" just to get you to go away :brick:
     
  11. GMMcL

    GMMcL Senior member

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    Yes, and yes. I asked for a supervisor. I was told "I will try to get someone to call you back, but no guarantees." I said that was outrageous. But what the hell am I going to do?
     
  12. capnwes

    capnwes Senior member

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    Here is the update

    Drumroll Please!

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]


    Is anyone really surprised?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  13. VLSI

    VLSI Senior member

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    Was rooting for you :( but not surprised. They actually ruled "not as described" rather than just forcing the return (that you already offered)? You should call and ask them to explain the decision if for nothing but a laugh while the phone rep squirm trying to defend such lunacy.
     
  14. capnwes

    capnwes Senior member

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    It just says, "We have determined that the buyer should return the item to you for a full refund." I asked him to return it anyway, the only difference was the 10% restocking fee ($4.25). I assume it was closed in neither of our favors. I wanted a 10% restocking fee and he wanted me to pay the return shipping. So I guess you could call it a draw. Now I just have to see if he actually returns the tux or if he sticks something else in the box.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2012
  15. GMMcL

    GMMcL Senior member

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    The post script, if anyone is interested.

    Me, today:

    "I believe I have now exhausted all options to track down the package.

    USPS is telling me that the package was delivered to UCSF's central mail facility, though they have acknowledged that they failed to properly track it, so their tracking system does not definitively show that it was delivered. (They are also refusing to reimburse me for their failure, but that's my problem, not yours).

    UCSF's mailroom confirms that it is not among their "lost/missorted" packages. Unfortunately, they do not log incoming packages, so I can't say whether it was delivered to your mail stop. More troubling, they advise me that your mailroom is unsecured, and that packages are simply left in your mail cubby with no signature required to pick it up. That makes me very concerned the package was stolen.

    The only possible saving grace is they say that packages are sometimes mis-directed to the wrong floor of Genentech Hall. Have you tried checking the mailrooms on floors other than yours?

    Assuming you either have checked, or that you don't find it when you do, I will process a refund for you. I'll note that my costs for this item were significant. I sell items on ebay as a hobby, not as a profession, so I rarely make much money. This item was no exception. Had I known it was being sent to an unsecure mailroom on a University campus, I would have insisted on a different delivery location -- your house, for example -- or signature confirmation. Instead, I'm now in a position where the security I thought I had by sending the item priority was illusory, losing quite a bit of money on the item, and having essentially no recourse. Personally, I feel it would be far more equitable for us to split the loss, but I will not insist on that.

    Thus, if you believe a full refund is a fair and just result under the circumstances, I will process one for you. "

    Again, no one is more sorry than I am that this has happened.
     

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