And the Gold Star Goes To…

We often complain about the evil eBay police and the insensitive customer support people (read our last blog entry).  But sometimes, you just find a human being among the heartless and it’s always nice to point this out.

Selling for third parties, we often have 50-80 auctions live at one time.  If a client has a lot of one type of item, we try to list these over a few days span so that any interested buyers will bid on multiple items.  We combine shipping, so the buyer is happy (we hope) and our client is happy (since multiple bidders often result in higher returns).

We had a number of watches and various pieces of jewelry up for auction one week.  One bidder ended up winning four auctions.  We patiently waited to be paid until he was done bidding so that we could save him money on shipping everything in one box.   When the box arrived, boy was he thrilled with 3 of the items (he got them for a steal!), but he was unhappy because he took one of the items (a 14K gold vintage Omega watch) to a jeweler who told him he overpaid.  So this buyer wrote to us and asked us to adjust his winning bid on the watch.  He didn’t ask us to raise the prices on the other 3 items (really?  Aw shucks!).  I knew where this was heading (the dreaded negative feedback!), so I promptly put in a call to eBay and asked them what they would suggest I do.  The customer representative told me to simply explain to the buyer that this was an auction and that that he was not the only bidder and he won it.  I knew that.  But, what about the inevitable negative feedback I would most certainly undeservedly receive?  This rep told me not to worry – he said if I got such a feedback, he would do his best to get it removed.

So, following his advise, I basically told the buyer that he won it, and that was that (I phrased it much nicer).  So, about two weeks pass and I get the notice from PayPal that the buyer filed a claim against us in the famous “not as described” category.  He claimed that in my auction description, I described the watch as “solid 14K gold” (the usual terminology on eBay for items that are real gold as opposed to gold plated) and that since the inner working of the watch were not gold, I did not describe my item accurately and he wanted his money back.  In the history of watch making, I don’t think any  watch workings have been made of solid or plated gold – not even the revered Rolex or Patek Phillipe.  And to boot, PayPal not only froze my account for the cost of the watch, but also the other 3 items this buyer won, since I shipped them on the same invoice (to save this guy on shipping costs)!

I called PayPal to explain the history of this transaction and wonder of wonders, the woman on the other end of this call actually understood me and had worked in a jewelry store in her past life.  She knew that the innards of a watch are never made of gold – only the case and/or band could have been gold.  She told me she would try to get the case closed out and she did it! Within 10 minutes – I was off the hook and my money unfrozen!

Of course, you all know what followed was the dreaded negative feedback.  This guy actually left me one negative and 3 neutral feedbacks (how generous of him!).  Luckily, I got the name of the eBay representative (I sometimes forget to do this) and gave a call.  I couldn’t get him on the line, but the guy who did answer got the message across and voila! – all the feedbacks from this clown were removed.

So, eBay and PayPal representatives – my hat is off to the two of you and you have earned my Gold Star!  I wish there were more like you in the world of eBay!

Published in: on May 4, 2010 at 7:38 am  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. This is but one example of the hoops you must jump through to run your business. I don’t think people always understand or appreciate your efforts. You do GOOD work…..

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