How do you weed out bad sellers on Discogs?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by Hand Of Ike, Aug 1, 2018.

  1. e.s.

    e.s. Forum Resident

    Location:
    United States
    Orders are not automatically cancelled after refunds are given -- you must have been dealing with a particularly unscrupulous seller. If you look at seller feedback, especially sellers with neutral feedback, you'll see many mentions of buyers receiving refunds. I've personally received several full or partial refunds over the years, and I've been able to leave feedback for all the sellers involved.
     
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  2. Hand Of Ike

    Hand Of Ike Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I made a suggestion that I'd like to see a mandatory grading check, so you either say Play Graded or Visually Graded - I think it might help. Didn't go down too well in the Discogs forum - but my tone might have been a bit to do with that, I was pretty cross when I typed my OP.

    I will messaged about 10 sellers who have a copy of the Sergio Mendes LP I want all listed as NM and 80% of the replies say they have only visually graded it. I wouldn't be happy to list something as NM if I'd only visually inspected it. None of these sellers put that they had only visually inspected the disc or even that it "looks mint" in the description.
     
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  3. d.douglas

    d.douglas Forum Resident

    I am a collector, but I occasionally sell on discogs if I want to save up for something more rare/expensive. I play grade (and use goldmine grading) for all the things I have for sale, and send pictures when prospective customers ask. Some issues, however, come down to pressing quality and variations between stampers/countries/etc which unfortunately is the case with a lot of older vinyl (e.g: Canadian RCA Victor pressings from the 60s, even when unplayed, tend to be noisy) and a lot of sellers don't bother to do their research before hand. The problem as I see it, however, is that a lot of sellers don't a) approach selling from a collector's POV, b) have terrible customer/retail skills or c) just want some quick money, so a VG magically becomes an NM.

    Another issue is that discogs doesn't have a photo option, which I really wish it did. It would make both buying and selling a lot easier.
     
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  4. wavertonwood

    wavertonwood Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Australia
    I am a regular purchaser of CDs on the Discogs site. In this day and age it is usually cheaper to buy a bunch of CDs and have the mailed than buying and downloading from internet. Also better sound quality post ripping.

    However I did have an unusual purchase from a Swiss seller with 100% rating from 50+ people. I ordered and paid for approx ten CDs and rather than one package arriving from Switzerland packages arrived from all over the world: US, Germany, UK and so on. Each package with two or more CDs in.

    Turns out this particular seller was re-advertising other sellers products on Discogs. They must have designed a fancy computer code to reroute the initial order to a third party seller and making a dollar or two on the way though.

    My purchase ended up okay except for my confused emails back to the seller why the CDs weren’t arriving at the same time. But I can imagine if you are serious Vinyl collector and the person you are buying from doesn’t actually have the inventory it is an accident waiting to happen.
     
  5. d.douglas

    d.douglas Forum Resident

    I think I know of the seller you're talking about. Matters like that really make discogs difficult to navigate, especially for new buyers.
     
    Hand Of Ike likes this.
  6. Hand Of Ike

    Hand Of Ike Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    I think that is pretty spot on
     
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  7. Hand Of Ike

    Hand Of Ike Well-Known Member Thread Starter

    Yes I've seen this.... Not going to buy from anything like that if I can help it!
     
  8. Joy-of-radio

    Joy-of-radio Forum Resident

    Regarding my recent unpleasant Discogs experience, all has ended well. I got a letter from Discogs, which reads as follows;

    Dear Wayne,

    The feedback from
    twelveinchjunkie on Order *** has been removed because it did not comply with our guidelines. The feedback will not appear on your account and will not affect your buyer or seller rating score.

    The negative rating I left for the seller, which is justified, remains. I followed my gut instinct and reacted accordingly. You see, you can’t go wrong by doing right.
     
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  9. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    I never had a time when I needed to leave negative feedback, although there were times when I was close, I usually was able to work things out with the seller. Usually, sellers want positive feedback and will work with you to make you satisfied. Last time, I requested either a refund or return of this promo recorded claiming to be in VG+ when it was essentially in VG- play wise and the seller taped the record in plastic sleeve to the cardboard and when I removed the tape it left some residue on the flip. We worked out an agreement in which I got half of my money back and kept the record, which I was ok with since at the price I ended up paying was ok with me. Although I had to wait 2-3 weeks for the refund because I guess they "forgot" and they only responded to my request the 2nd time I contacted them.

    While I won't be buying from that seller again, two other sellers I bought multiple items from gave me full refund for an item that was overgraded while the other items I bought from them were accurately graded. I'd return to these two based on the quick communication and the grade accuracy of the other items since I had my money back within the same day.

    I also look at sellers feedback and how buyers feel their items were graded. There was a time I removed an item from m cart because I did not feel comfortable with the seller's feedback. Another seller I feel I will avoid completely gets negative feedback with the story from the buyer as to why and the buyer will most of the time get negative feedback in return with a different story of what I read from the buyer's side and the buyer will sometimes reply that the case for the feedback wasn't true. Definitely not the buyer's fault since they paid for their item and did their end, but some sellers are picky like that and feel they shouldn't get a negative for an item they sent that was misgraded.

    Bonus: They'd also give return negative/neutral feedback for a transaction they had to cancel because they did not have the item and put in the feedback they left that the neutral/negative feedback left was not in line with Discogs policy because there was no transaction when funny enough, Discogs policy also states that all items listed for sale must be ready to be sent to the buyer after payment was been cleared. Karma.
     
  10. goodpickins

    goodpickins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    "Turns out this particular seller was re-advertising other sellers products on Discogs. ."

    This is a new business model that Discogs recently adjusted their TOS to accomodate. It used to be that you had to possess the item to sell it, but someone came along with a seriously lucrative business practice. At one time they had almost 1 million(!) items for sale, without using an inch of shelf space. So whereas Discogs would kick a small seller off the site for this violation of terms previously, they know better than to look a gifthorse in the mouth so they simply changed the wording in their TOS and sales are booming. Kudos to this guy, he is making a small fortune selling records he doesnt have.

    Im not going to judge whether it is wrong or right, it is their site. And Im not going to trash the seller for his inguenuity, he isnt doing anything wrong, and many people find the service convenient.

    There are a few caveats though. And I dont mean for a minute to impugn the business, I have no reason to question their integrity, these are some caveats of drop shipping in general.

    You often wait weeks while they arrange acquiring your records from other sellers.

    You are often refunded after waiting those weeks because they werent able to source them, for any number of reasons of reasons. In the meantime you may have missed out on other copies, and your money has been on loan.

    You cannot ask direct questions about your item because they dont have it. They say they only source from 99 percent plus sellers but there is no way to know or enforce this, and anyone who knows anything about buying or selling on discogs knows that 99 percent plus fb is an illusion, it separates the very bad, yes, but not the people who know how to game the feedback, ie. any experienced seller.

    Their negative fb is regularly removed, this is well documented, i could post 50+ links but im not out to trash anyone.

    Since they dont grade the record themselves and only act as a middleman, if there is a problem with an item they will refund - "partially" (from their seller terms). This is very ambiguous. If I get a trashed record or the wrong record, i dont want a partial refund, whatever that might be. I want what I ordered so I dont have to buy another one. I dont think that is an unreasonable expectation, and im not talking about minor differnces of opinion of grading, those are just part of the game however you buy online. I just accept those and move on.

    They have completely destroyed the wantlist feature. It wasnt great to begin with but now it is entirely useless.

    Discogs is a private enterprise and they are free to conduct it how they will. But it was pretty sneaky allowing this arrrangement after not allowing it since the marketplace started, and then changing the wording of the TOS to allow it, as if nobody would notice. Well we did -
    Discogs Forum - Intensive marketplace spammers with double account

    I think the biggest kick in the teeth to long time members was that not only did they silently enable the practice after threatening since their inception to close your store if you did the same thing, was that they actually promoted them. Thats when most people noticed. Suddenly something that would get you banned earned you a plug right from discogs. Thats some chutzpah right there -
    https://blog.discogs.com/en/crate-minds-vinylexpress/

    Like I said, the service may have its merits as well, ther are some positive takes on those threads. But the way discogs went about it was really sleazy. The same as their mass feedback removals in the past. They either dont care what we think or they think we are too stupid to notice when things like this happen. Just make an announcement, you owe your users that much.
     
  11. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    Yeah that account sucks. Never would buy anything from them. I can order whatever records they're listing from the actual sellers themselves because I live in the U.S. It may be helpful for overseaers but I really hate how somethines 50% of my daily watchlist emails are junk from their stores.
     
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  12. goodpickins

    goodpickins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    Yeah I just took everything out of my wantlist. I dont blame that account for that though, there are a lot of serial spammers. With a massive account like that "seller" (broker is probably a better word) I guess they might have to refresh every day. But relisting your stock every day is unnecessary for most sellers, even large ones, if they know what theyre doing. Ill shop by country and I would have to go through maybe 100 pages every morning of small sellers ( a few 100o records) junk and anything new just gets lost in there. Discogs made an apology for this massive dropshipper which any spammer can now point to and it may apply to them but in any event, the wantlist is now spam. It's finished.

    A guy made a browser extension to block sellers on his own (god bless him). It didnt work for me at the time, it works for others so it's probably just me or it didnt work with my browser at the time. If you dig around the forums you can find it and give it a try. Hes a nice guy and developed it and it's free. It allows you to block buyers so they dont flood your wantlist. The same thing that has been begged by for by buyers forever, and once a year or so Discogs will say they are working on it but that gets insulting after a while. They arent working on it. They dont want it. It prohibits mass sales, eff the real collectors.

    My beef isnt really with this seller, I'm impressed by him really. It seems it is saving some peoplke some money. Its also causing a lot more people aggravation. When discogs weighed the money against the aggravation their choice was clear. They just changed the rules. And the way they did it sucked. But hey, like I said, their site. Hopefully it encourages alternatives because business might be booming now but the bigger you are the harder you fall.
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
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  13. E.Baba

    E.Baba Forum Resident

    Negative feedback from buyers will be deleted if you don't contact the seller first. I wasn't up for a chat. I was just leaving honest feedback. Makes the feedback system unreliable.

    Discogs would be better with pictures of items.
     
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  14. goodpickins

    goodpickins Well-Known Member

    Location:
    Montreal
    quote - "Negative feedback from buyers will be deleted if you don't contact the seller first. I wasn't up for a chat. I was just leaving honest feedback. Makes the feedback system unreliable."



    I think it is a courtesy to give a seller an opportunity to resolve a problem. We are all human and as their database has developed it has become easier and easier for a seller to list an item incorrectly. Go look at DSOTM or any 70s classic rock record on Atlantic for instance and it has gotten that you almost need a forensics labaratory to identify your specific pressing. Distributors re-used old sleeves, what once were 'variations" like runout info are now unique items etc. etc.. And they are unique items, this is important for the database if it is to be thorough. But it is tricky for sellers, you better keep a magnifying glass handy if you are going to list conscientiously.

    But, to your point. There are tons of times when a negative feedback is a no-brainer. There are a lot of sketchy sellers. This is true of any marketplace, and they are a minority. But when someone clearly tries to scam you, I agree with you that a discussion should not be a requirement. And most buyers dont know that their feedback will be automatically removed if you leave it without warning.

    So the feedback is a facade. I dont even read it anymore, I have a few dozen sellers I have learned to trust over the years, and that came at the expense of the ones who burned me. The idea is if you get a piece of junk and you dont like it, you are supposed to haggle to determine what it is actually worth. Well it is worth nothing to me if it isnt what I ordered. I feel like Im bashing them and I dont mean to. Ive bought 1000s of records that im happy with and made a lot of friends on that site. Im pointing out the dishonesty of their feedback system.

    Anyone who is familiar with the site knows that this is like banging your head against the wall. the seller appeals the fb and it's gone, there is no explanation, they will just say they weighed one way or the other (99 percent of the time it will be with the seller unless they are an obvious crook).

    I've been active on the site since it's inception and I read the forums regularly. Of course you rarely read about when people are happy. People dont feel obliged to post when they get what they paid for. You are a lot less likely to say something if your hamburger is alright than if it has worms in it. So the forums would lead you to believe its all bad and it isnt. It's the best major marketplace right now IMO. But I find it interesting how unsympathetic they are to buyer's complaints, and quick to remove feedback for sellers....

    ...when they are *extremely* sensitive about any feedback left on the web about their own site. People complain every day in their forums about how unresponsive they are. If they deign to send you anything more than a form letter you are lucky, if you get even that it takes days or weeks. However they are johnny on the spot if a discouraging word is mentioned about them elsewhere. They will reply immediately.

    I read review sites, check out how fast they reply to complaints there (that is more to the point that im making than the complaints themselves, a lot of those are nonsense and out of discogs control), and if you have ever had one with them, look closely on the response times on these messages and compare with your own experience with them..

    I will choose one review site as an example - Discogs is rated "Poor" with 3.6 / 10 on Trustpilot
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2018
  15. patient_ot

    patient_ot Forum Resident

    Location:
    USA
    This crap exists on Amazon marketplace also.

    Bingo. This times infinity.
     
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  16. greelywinger

    greelywinger That T-Rex Guy

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio USA
    I ignore the rating of Mint (M).
    Highest grading for me on Discogs is Near Mint (NM or M-)
    That is a more accurate grade.
    The only Mint for me is Mint Original Sealed records.
    You can also do research. Sellers with 100% sales and a lot of transactions.
    I've got my eye on one seller with a few 45s in my wantlist.
    Over 2000 ratings & only 6 neutral (No Negatives).
    Also best to check seller terms on their feedback page for stuff like play grading & separating the vinyl & sleeve.

    Darryl
     
  17. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    It's best to assume it's a visual grade on any online site unless otherwise specified.

    You need to assume the same thing in record stores. Records stores don't all play grade their stock. But you do have the added benefit, in some cases, to listen to it if they have a turntable in the store. Otherwise, it's pretty much a visual situation regardless of whether you are buying online or in store IMO
     
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  18. Partyslammer

    Partyslammer Forum Resident

    Yeah, I have to say I've been burned regarding used records from record stores and especially record swap meet sellers than any source online. I look carefully at the album, it looks great, it's something I've been looking for and it's reasonably priced, get home and play it and it's FUBAR in some fashion.
     
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  19. greelywinger

    greelywinger That T-Rex Guy

    Location:
    Dayton, Ohio USA
    Just placed my first Discogs order of 5 singles with the same seller.
    I picked a few singles I don't see that often. We'll see how it goes.

    Darryl
     
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  20. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    Keep us updated Darryl.
     
  21. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

    I've been waiting 23 hours for answers to my questions, about a vinyl purchase. Unless the seller is undergoing some horrendous, life-changing emergency, it seems to me that selling albums is pretty low on his priorities list.
    I've sold items myself. Here, and on eBay, and I was still working at the time, and even with eBay blocked at my office, I monitored my online "stores."
     
  22. SixOClockBoos

    SixOClockBoos The Man On The Flaming Pie

    Surprising that a discog seller is taking longer to respond than persay an eBay seller. I'm currently in limbo with an eBay seller who had not contacted me for three weeks about the shipping status of my item if I didn't message them first. They still haven't physically sent out my item, even though it is in pre shipment mode and it's now been 30 days. At least with discogs you can block sellers from continuing to sell items if they are ignoring you on your order page.
     
  23. Dave S

    Dave S Forum Resident

    I was a moderator on discogs. Nothing in their behaviour surprises me at all.
     
  24. MYKE

    MYKE Columbia 6 Eye Mono - 1958

    Well, this is certainly a new one for me.
    I've contacted a second seller, 15 hours ago now, who also hasn't responded to my ( fewer ) questions (since his copy is sealed).
    Maybe I'm not meant to own this album ? :laugh:
     
    Dave likes this.
  25. ggergm

    ggergm red right returning

    Location:
    Minnesota
    MYKE, regardless of the great respect I have for you, I think you are being a little over the top here.

    I can understand a seller actively monitoring an offer if it is posted on Ebay or on SH.tv. They know the stuff will be on sale for a specific window of time. They should pay attention. Discogs is another matter. The seller may not get a hit off an item on their list for months. When the call comes, the seller could be travelling or camping or have computer issues. It's unrealistic to expect someone to be available 365/24/7 to answer a totally unpredictable call.

    You, of course, are welcome to do what you're doing, and that's find another copy. Missing the sale would be the cost to the seller of hiking in the Rockies in August. But to imply monitoring their Discogs offers is more important than, say, being on their honeymoon is asking a lot.
     
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