Selling vinyl...my nightmare

Discussion in 'Marketplace Discussions' started by sunking101, Aug 2, 2022.

  1. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    I had a Status Quo vinyl boxset. It was sealed, OOP and fairly popular so I put mine up for auction and it sold for a fair price.

    The buyer then contacted me a few days later wanting a full refund. He had unsealed the boxset and played the records. One he said was slightly warped and two others had surface noise.

    I had assumed that sealed OOP vinyl purchased from a private seller's personal collection was a gamble when it comes to faults. When we buy from a shop we can return for any number of reasons but when we unseal that record several years down the line it's always a gamble.

    So was the buyer right to return this boxset for a refund? If it was me and I was buying sealed OOP vinyl from a private seller then all I would be expecting from the seller would be sealed vinyl in external packaging in the condition described. Beyond that I would ask nothing of the seller.

    I'm not a record shop so should I be liable for any faults when sealed OOP & collectible vinyl is opened and played? If so then selling sealed vinyl is a massive PITA.
     
  2. David Timothy Richardson

    David Timothy Richardson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston
    eBay?
     
  3. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    Yep.
     
    TonyCzar likes this.
  4. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    You're not a record shop but you took on the role of one by selling the item directly to a consumer. In my opinion, that makes you responsible for any defects.
     
  5. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    There's no one single answer to your question, although my suggestion would be to state that this is an unopened product, so buyer assumes any risk that the seller assumed when buying said product back in the day. That won't prevent complaints, but it at least explains that it's unopened, so seller cannot vouch for anything other than unopened state (kinda duh, but watch any advert for a pharmaceutical for why you have to state the obvious).

    If opened, I'd agree 100%. If unopened, I'd disagree 100%.
     
  6. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    When you sell through an online marketplace like eBay, you're taking on the responsibilities of a retailer. This wasn't some Craig's List deal or even an item purchased through the Hoffman marketplace. Frankly, whether you agree or not doesn't matter. Even if the seller states something like "no returns," the buyer still typically has the power to seek a refund when they shop on eBay (especially if they paid through PayPal). Had the same buyer purchased the item through a retailer, they would have had every right to return it, regardless of whether or not it was sealed.
     
    Archtop likes this.
  7. Have the buyer take a video of the warpage and sound and text it to you. Make them prove.
     
    Mang likes this.
  8. Archtop

    Archtop Soft Dead Crimson Cow

    Well, that's rather my point. Retailers have some sort of relationship and/or channel to deal with suppliers/labels regarding issues like this, but private sellers do not. I understand your point, but the rest of us jamokes just get stuck with bad vinyl or a bad sale without some legal precedent (there is likely one or many that could be debated; contract law is a complicated matter). I don't know the law on this, but I do have more than a modicum of common sense and logic, and I don't see why a private seller of unsealed vinyl should be held to the same standard as the manufacturer/retailer.
     
  9. meyers

    meyers Plausible deniability

    Location:
    Canada
    I've had a similar experience as a seller and it sucks, especially as just a small seller of one's personal collection.

    You can't grade media without opening it, and opening it results in a loss of grade. (This is called "Schrodinger's grading".)

    I don't think it's reasonable to expect a seller to provide information that buyers would not be able to ascertain for themselves when examining records in person.
     
  10. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    If I'd bought the boxset, opened it immediately and returned to the shop multiple times if necessary until I got a perfect set...and then listed it for sale years later as unsealed but in perfect condition then I would have got less money for it on the used market and my buyer may not have been interested at all purely because the boxset wasn't sealed.

    There is something magical about sealed OOP vinyl and I believe that you are taking a gamble of sorts should you open it. If you're not prepared to take that gamble then you should buy used, graded vinyl.
     
    seastman, jacethecrowl and TonyCzar like this.
  11. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Because that seller is trying to get something close to retail price for the product and offering it directly to a consumer. If the seller doesn't want to take the risk, they can sell the box set to a record store. Now the risk is for the record store to take.

    I'm not really referring to the legality of the matter. To my understanding, eBay has a policy in place for defective merchandise, which this was.

    Furthermore, two of the LPs were warped (EDIT: I misread the OP when writing this and wouldn't describe the item as defective, though my point still stands). It could be a manufacturing defect or in some cases, a private seller might have left their album out in the sun for too long (to be clear, I'm not saying that's the case here). But at the end of the day, if you're selling a product at or around retail price through an official marketplace, then guess what? You're a retailer.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
    Archtop likes this.
  12. David Timothy Richardson

    David Timothy Richardson Forum Resident

    Location:
    Houston
    I understand your frustration. I sometimes have to fight the folks over at eBay for stuff like this, that's a fight you'll rarely win.
     
    sunking101 likes this.
  13. Muddy

    Muddy Large Member

    Location:
    New York
    Was there any mention of refunds in your auction?

    If not, have you tried meeting him halfway on the price? I think that may be the fair solution here.
     
    zombiemodernist likes this.
  14. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    I'm not frustrated--I'm just kind of telling it like it is. If you don't want to deal with buyer nightmares, don't sell your stuff through eBay.

    By your own logic, someone is taking a gamble when they buy a sealed item directly from the manufacturer and therefore should have no right to return it. That doesn't make sense.

    Furthermore, did you know this buyer personally? If not, you're imposing your own beliefs regarding sealed vinyl onto them. They might not look at sealed products as gambles but as sure things, in part because they can return them if there are any defects.
     
  15. Jump Cut

    Jump Cut Forum Resident

    Location:
    Fresno, CA
    That's too bad. The buyer might be able to clean up the noise if he can get the record cleaned properly. As for the warp, as long as I don't hear any type of warble I'll live with it.
     
  16. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    As a quick addendum to my previous statement, I should mention that I originally read this as saying that one of LPs was warped--not "slightly warped." Now that I've re-read the post, I can empathize with your situation a little more. I agree with you that it is a gamble to the extent that some LPs are going to be slightly warped or slightly noisy. The problem is that people who buy LPs directly from a retailer or manufacturer have the right to return them and often do. By trying to fetch a top price for the item and selling it through eBay, you took on the role. Perhaps they'll agree to a partial refund.
     
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2022
  17. Leugi

    Leugi Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC
    The answer is you shouldn’t be liable but are…

    It’s not worth the aggravation. I would email buyer to send item back for a full refund. I have found it’s best to just accept returns no questions asked.
     
  18. sunking101

    sunking101 Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Location:
    Yorkshire, England
    I have already refunded the buyer.
    I was just feeling a bit salty about it and querying whether my viewpoint is as warped as the records I sell.:D
     
    zongo, bopdd and Leugi like this.
  19. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Okay, but why shouldn't he be liable? This wasn't a garage sale or Craig's List sale--it was an eBay sale, which is akin to an Amazon sale. When a buyer shops through eBay, they expect a certain amount of protection. When a seller sells through eBay, they take on a certain amount of risk.

    Perhaps my opinion is colored by the fact that I sell vinyl and have dealt with some ridiculous buyers. Once I had to almost refund a guy because he said his LP wasn't playing any music when he dropped the needle on it--we eventually realized that his receiver wasn't turned on (or something like that). Crisis avoided but that refund was as good as his had we not figured it out. It's annoying as heck but I'm taking on the risk by selling online through an official marketplace.
     
  20. TonyCzar

    TonyCzar Forum Resident

    Location:
    PhIladelphia, PA
    Use the 80 characters available to you in seller feedback to warn other unaware sellers.
     
    Pali Gap likes this.
  21. jacethecrowl

    jacethecrowl Forum Resident

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    A few years back I bought a sealed LP circa 1973 with a big gouge through the first two songs. It never occurred to me to hold the seller responsible so I don’t think I even informed them about it. The risk was mine alone. Live and learn.
     
    SRC likes this.
  22. Leugi

    Leugi Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC
    I would be most annoyed at the buyer. Regardless of your ultimate responsibility the buyer should have sucked it up. I mean asking to return something to a non retail seller is rude. In my opinion the buyer should accept the risk and once they open it’s theirs like it or not.
     
  23. TheMovieRad

    TheMovieRad If you want to count me, count me out

    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    Dude probably had those records already and is grifting you as you couldn’t verify the records condition.
     
    bmh5879, sunking101 and TonyCzar like this.
  24. bopdd

    bopdd Senior Member

    Location:
    Portland, OR
    Except he's not a "non-retail" seller--he's an eBay seller and that makes him a retail seller because his customers have the same general rights as record store customers. I'd be annoyed too because the albums sound playable. At the very least, I would have asked for them back. The difference in value between "sealed" and "played once" is often less drastic than you might think. And I'm always suspicious of the term "slightly warped" because that sounds like a purely visual assessment and a lot of records can spin with a very slight and non-obtrusive edge-warp and sound just fine.
     
  25. Leugi

    Leugi Forum Resident

    Location:
    DC
    You made your point.

    I disagree and you need to let it go. Why are people so damn argumentative here.

    He is not a retail music store with relationships with suppliers etc. Somebody that sells one item is not Amoeba records.

    Please ignore my post Mr Argument
     

Share This Page

molar-endocrine