Yet Another Call for eBay Help! Over a Barrel...

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by ROFLnaked, Dec 7, 2017.

  1. ROFLnaked

    ROFLnaked Forum Resident Thread Starter


    In my @2000-item selling history dating back 18 years on eBay, I have never received anything but positive feedback: I'm not out to screw anyone over.

    My light selling these days is limited to personal items. Recently sold an American-made acoustic guitar that my dad bought new in the early/mid 1980s with the idea that he would learn to play. He gave it up--literally--in a matter of days, and the guitar has been moved from closet to closet for 30+ years. Strings were changed once over the guitar's lifetime. I took the best iPhone photos I could at various angles showing how sparkling clean this guitar is. Conservatively, it's in 9.8 out of 10 condition. I included the measurement from the 12th fret to the strings.

    The guitar sold with 1 bid at $700 to someone cross-country; shipping via FedEx Ground was $95. It's the original factory case with no wiggle room, but I packed well around the headshell and the neck, with padding between the strings and the fretboard. I shipped it inside a heavy-duty acoustic guitar box I picked up from Guitar Center.

    I followed the tracking online, and I saw that the guy received it this Monday and he promptly left me positive feedback. Great, I thought; another eBay success story.

    Not so fast.

    I got a notification for a return request today. Ugh.

    In his request, he cited that there is light swirling/haziness in one area due to polishing; that there are scratches on the back of the neck around the 12th fret; that he sees preliminary signs of the mahogany top separating, and that the neck is slightly bowing back. I would guess by the fact that he did leave me positive feedback that this isn't an out-and-out scam attempt for extra money back, and I'm not sure how to proceed.

    Is eBay's official policy these days that the buyer has to return the item at his cost, at which point I am to refund the purchase price plus his original shipping? For awhile in the mid-'00s I sold on eBay as a source of income, but as I mentioned, I'm out of the loop these days on policy. I realize that it's hard to buy something like a guitar sight-unseen, though I know this is a nice guitar with none of the trumped-up issues he is stating. Is it in my best interest to offer $100 back to close the deal?

    Input & advice welcomed. Thank you.
  2. action pact

    action pact Forum Resident

    Have him send it back on his dime and re-sell. You have few other options.
    You are not responsible for refunding shipping in either direction.

    I'd also politely request photos showing the separation issue.

    What make and model guitar, may I ask?
  3. wwaldmanfan

    wwaldmanfan Forum Resident

    NJ, USA
    What type of guitar was it for $700? If you offered returns, you have to take it back.
    Replace the strings, and get the neck relief adjusted for proper action at a guitar store. This is a strong sell point when you re-list it. Don't say 9.8 out of 10, just say "Only played a few times, a few small marks in the finish." If the top is cracked, hope the next buyer does not notice.
  4. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Greater Vancouver
    Plus the return shipping and everything refunded after you receive the guitar. It's not the buyers fault these problem exist if they're true.
  5. ROFLnaked

    ROFLnaked Forum Resident Thread Starter


    I didn't put 9.8 out of 10 condition in the description (I don/t think...) but I did make the mistake of putting "near mint." Which it is, but nonetheless, it was a mistake in retrospect.

    It is a top-of-the-line mahogany Guild dreadnought. The action is not too bad and while I can't attest with 100% certainty that the truss rod may or may not need minor tweaking, there is no buzzing at all. The other stuff like haziness in a spot, "preliminary signs" of top separation, and scuffs on the back of the neck at the 12th fret are bogus.

    Regarding "offering returns," is there any point in "not" offering returns...? My understanding is that eBay will force he return for essentially any reason, and even on an unplayed 35-yr-old guitar, there is always some vague "hazy spot" to point to. Even if I were to protest, the $$ would be sucked out of my account anyhow once online tracking shows the return.

    Sigh. It's the cost of doing business on eBay, I suppose.
  6. ROFLnaked

    ROFLnaked Forum Resident Thread Starter

    PS-- Not that I would fight it, but does the fact that the buyer initially left me positive feedback carry any weight at all?
  7. Dave

    Dave Esoteric Audio Research Specialistâ„¢

    Greater Vancouver
    If you choose to fight back yes. It sounds like case of buyers remorse more than anything. The problem is, the buyer has complete control. "Oh, this guy doesn't want to completely refund me or says I'm full of guff and the neck doesn't have scuffs at the 12th fret. I'll show him scuffs!!! S.O.B.!"

    This exactly why I prefer craigslist for mobile big ticket items if at all possible. No B.S. as long as you meet in a very public place. If you have no local safe public places hit a government building or even a police station if necessary. :shrug: I mean why not? You're paying for them anyway. After the sale hop in a cab and you're invisible to him so no nonsense can happen. Safety first.
    tmtomh likes this.
  8. Sam

    Sam Forum Resident

    Rochester, NY
    Just do the right thing and offer him a full refund. It sounds like upon closer inspection, he found areas of concern. As long as you get the guitar back just the way you sent it, no big deal. Then you can ascertain as to whether or not he had valid claims. Maybe he does, maybe he doesn't, but you'll get your guitar back to sell another day. In the future, take GOOD pictures in GREAT light so that all aspects of the product are clearly displayed, and mention any areas that you see need attention. Craigslist is "ok," but what the poster above me doesn't state is that you won't get top dollar for your item. Nothing like having the world as your customers for top bids. I sold my camper on ebay and got $1800 more than I was asking based on two bidders fighting over it. God bless ebay!
    tmtomh likes this.
  9. zenarrow

    zenarrow Well-Known Member

    EBay will whether or not feed back left WILL side with the buyer. They have to.
    You will be responsible for full refund plus return shipping.
    Don't fight it, take the lickin' and move on. Good thing though, he can't take away his fb and leave worse. But probably should block them from buying again.
    I would be nice and facilitate the return. Insist on a return and pay for it, and state that no partial refunds accepted. I mean maybe he is asking for a partial refund, and likes the guitar. In that case. He will just hold on to it and keep it.
    But be super friendly or you could get a smashed guitar back.

    Again doesn't matter if they left pos FB or not. Think in eBay's point of view, if you bought a guitar from guitar world and you stated it came damaged. In order to keep food customer service return buyers, they would have to refund. Or your next purchase for any musical item will not be from guitar world, plus you would tell your friends and family.

    No return policy on eBay means nothing. In order to compete with other markets they have to insist SNAD returns are fully refunded. If not, jo q public could sell a cruddy guitar described as in "great " condition, put a no return policy up and buyer is screwed.
    People think eBay's policies over protect the buyer, but think about it, they have to.

    Going back, like I said if you want to offer $100 back that's fine, but if it's worth more to you than that, be nice and explain that there is no problem with returns and you would be happy to accept it back, but no partial refunds.
  10. ROFLnaked

    ROFLnaked Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Hello, and thanks to all.

    Poignant words, Zenarrow. The great thing about eBay is that I can take a pair of Vans I custom-ordered @1990 in Santa Monica for $25 and never wore, and sell them from my bedroom recently to a high bidder in Japan for $700. The downside is this guitar transaction.

    I have played and owned guitars since my early teens--primarily old Telecasters and Mosrites--and this particular guitar was flawless; literally only a handful of hours playing time on it over close to 35 years. No hazy spots, and no "preliminary signs" of the top separating. I did ultimately offer a $100 refund this evening along with a profuse hat-in-hand apology, which the buyer immediately accepted. Proof: if this guitar in fact had the top separating or a bowed neck or any of the other problems he presented, then of course the buyer would have opted for a full refund including two-way shipping at my expense. No; he opted to stick with a guitar that has a separating top and needs neck attention (allegedly) and accepted a mere $100 back.

    The $100 won't make an impact on my life either way...but $100 is $100. I get that eBay has to side firmly with the buyer and that it can't be any other way, but I hate feeling like I was ripped off.

    Oh well. As mentioned, at least he can't give me a first-ever negative feedback. I haven't left my feedback yet, and while the seller can only leave "positive" feedback technically speaking, I do have 100 spaces or less to leave a few words for this less-than-steadfast personage...
    Dave and zenarrow like this.
  11. SJP

    SJP Forum Resident

    The end result doesn't seem so bad, scam or not. I wouldn't leave him a "negative positive" feedback. eBay generally frowns on that and it really isn't worth it to get in the last word. My advice is to move on and be happy the situation didn't turn out worse.

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