Selling sealed vinyl on eBay?

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by riverrat, Jun 26, 2020.

  1. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oregon
    Question for eBay sellers: Will eBay support you in not guaranteeing a sealed lp to be defect free, as long as you clearly state this in your listing, if the lp is defective and a buyer opens a claim? Or will they (and paypal) intervene and provide a refund even without your agreement?

    Backstory: A recent buyer messaged me saying that the sealed lp I sold him is "warped and unplayable" and asking what to do. The lp is a recent reissue, but OOP. So not old stock.

    In my listing I said that the lp was "presumed to be mint, but since it is new and sealed there was no way I can guarantee that", and that I did not offer returns on opened lps.

    I initially considered denying the request - my listing clearly said that the lp was not guaranteed to be defect free, since I could not determine this without opening it. But I agreed to exchange the lp for an opened copy I have. I agreed to this because I figured that eBay and paypal would probably not back me up, since they always side with buyers, regardless of the issue at hand. So I elected to exchange the lp, thinking I could probably fix the warped one with my Vinyl Flat.

    Then the buyer messaged me asking for additional layers of cardboard in the replacement copy because he suspects the lp may have warped during shipping. So, after I agreed to exchange it, he offered further info that he suspected it was warped in shipping. Not sure where this suspicion comes from, unless he found the lp delivered and left in the sun or something similar, and actually knows for sure, rather than simply "suspecting" it. I'll never know..

    Obviously, I'm not happy with how this is playing out. Do any of you other eBay sellers have experience with this issue? If eBay will back me up, I'll continue to offer sealed lps there, perhaps with a more forceful and clear description that the lp is guaranteed to be sealed and new, but not guaranteed to be defect-free, and is not returnable if opened. But if not, I will need to think about doing things differently, e.g. opening all lps to check condition before selling them as "new, but opened".
     
  2. Strat-Mangler

    Strat-Mangler Personal Survival Daily Record-Breaker

    Location:
    Toronto
    If he payed by PayPal, he can basically invent any story and return the record for a full refund. That will override anything you wrote in your listing.
     
  3. riverrat

    riverrat Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Oregon
    That is about what I figured. I didn't want it to be true, but based on past experience pretty much assumed it was.
     
  4. 360-12

    360-12 Forum Resident

    This is why I quit selling on eBay. Fortunately I had unloaded most of the items I wished to sell before it became a buyer's market. Not worth the hassle anymore.
     
    GentleSenator and Strat-Mangler like this.
  5. Dubmart

    Dubmart Forum Resident

    Location:
    Bristol, UK
    Although you may take the odd hit it's the cost of doing business, those odd returns and refunds will likely be far outweighed by the premium you get for sealed LPs something you wouldn't get by opening and inspecting them, the only exceptions should be for new titles known to have warping issues.
     
    Christian Hill likes this.
  6. glide

    glide Forum Resident

    Location:
    NY, NY, USA
    No they will not have your back. But it’s the same case selling on these forums since PayPal is involved.

    It all comes down to the buyer.
     
  7. Francophile50

    Francophile50 The man with the satisfied ear.

    Location:
    Concord,CA
    Being a buyer it makes me feel very sad to hear this. eBay should be a fair and level play field. But to be quite honest I've had packages not delivered to me where both eBay and PayPal have sided with the seller. So not for one second do I believe eBay and PayPal have my back.

    There is such a risk ordering things and shipping things through the mail these days. If I don't receive anything via Media mail the USPS says I can't claim anything because it's not insured. Well who pays then? The seller shipped it in good faith. The buyer doesn't receive it. Would PayPal or ebay reimburse me? Who gets screwed here? It's unfair for the buyer or the seller to take a loss because of USPS loses their package. PayPal and eBay are both profit making companies but they should cover losses because they guarantee receipt of product.
     
  8. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    There are reports on other forums and Facebook groups of records showing up warped after long delivery times so that could be the case here.

    If it did happen in shipping and might happen again, some extra cardboard won't really stop the warping IMO.

    As for selling sealed records when accepting PayPal payments...I really don't think it will matter what you state as your return policy if it isn't as good as, or better than, what PayPal offers buyers. Perhaps you could list the item as Sealed but assumed to be in poor condition and likely warped and/or cracked since you are covering all the potential downsides. But if you did that, you might not sell many records.

    I would suggest the best thing to do is either continue to sell and offer refunds when the record is returned, or do as you suggested in your op, open the record to check it. You could then add a note to the description saying the record was sealed and was opened to check for defects. You might need to knock a few dollars off your listing prices but it might save you money in the long run.
     
  9. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I've never heard of PayPal or eBay siding with the seller for situations such as non delivery. There must have been some extenuating circumstances or you experienced some of the worst luck!
     
  10. Francophile50

    Francophile50 The man with the satisfied ear.

    Location:
    Concord,CA
    It was scanned by the post office as delivered to my house. I was home and never received it. They can scan it and not leave it or scan it and drop it off at the wrong house. I have no idea what they did. All I know is I was screwed and the cost of it was under $20. if something is substantial I tell the seller to make it that I have to sign for it so it goes to the post office and I am insured to receive it.
     
  11. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Location:
    Toronto, Canada
    I thought that might have happened. There's nothing eBay or PayPal can do in that situation. It shows as delivered so as per their terms, the seller is covered. I would use signed for delivery too if items disappeared. I have my stuff sent to work though so there's always someone there to receive any package. We have porch pirates in the neighbourhood from time to time.
     
  12. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    You'll have to take the item back unless you sold it as "for parts non working". Which you almost certainly did not.

    You'll also need to pay for return shipping.

    Personally, I rarely send a replacement copy to a buyer who complains about condition of a sealed item. I figure they're a nit picker and cut my losses by taking the return and then blocking them as a buyer. There are exceptions, but that's my general process. There are a lot of "you've got to be kidding me" nitpickers out there. I am also quite careful about describing condition correctly to avoid these situations.

    If you are thinking of sending a replacement copy, get the return first, look at it, and if it isn't clearly warped and unacceptable, just return the money and be done with it.
     
  13. Francophile50

    Francophile50 The man with the satisfied ear.

    Location:
    Concord,CA
    That's a shame because if you're an honest by or like me and you get a defective product then you're going to be bands over a poor transaction?

    I purchased a ZZ top Eliminator CD that was a target CD for five bucks and when I received it I didn't notice the pinhole damage on the face of it. I played it and one of the tracks was skipping so it was a damaged CD. I contacted the seller and told them and they immediately refunded my money. I asked them if they wanted me to send the CD back to them and they said no just keep it.

    I was being honest and I'm happy to even purchase from that seller again but a damaged product is a damaged product and I wasn't being a nitpicker.
     
  14. kwadguy

    kwadguy Senior Member

    Location:
    Cambridge, MA
    I have had too many bad experiences with someone claiming an item was unacceptably damaged, and when I got it back, the "damage" was anal-retentive nonsense (and I say this as a collector who understands damage and value).

    So now I cut my losses.

    As to whether an item needs to be returned: If a user can prove a severe defect through a picture or video, I'll usually have them just toss it and I'll refund their money.

    I have had some situations where the damage wasn't that bad, but it wasn't worth my paying to return it. So I'll have them destroy it and send proof and I'll refund money (or they can return it if they insist).

    Whether I'll send a replacement (if I even have a replacement) depends very much on how severe the damage is. I shut down nit pickers after they return something.
     

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