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Monday, February 13, 2012

A Bad eBay Experience Is The Kevin Love Stomp To My Luis Scola

To be fair, if you throw a ball at my nether regions (intentionally or unintentionally), I might not care whether I step on your face or not. I digress. I've been fortunate to have very few bad eBay experiences, but this is one of those few. I spotted a pair of Kevin Love rookie cards, felt the price was more than fair, and took down the auction - as the sole bidder - for $4.99 delivered. The cards were scanned in screwdowns, so I thought they might arrive that way, though that wasn't a deal maker or breaker. Then the cards made it to my humble abode. cincinnati5, you should be ashamed of yourself, to quote this blog's namesake, William Shakespeare Plaschke.

My Love Collection was sorely lacking in the rookie department, and the above, poorly cropped scan which I took directly from the auction enticed me into buying the pair. They arrived, and I opened the bubbler to discover a number of disheartening things. First, no screwdowns, but that is the least of my complaints. More unpleasant was that the cards absolutely reeked of cigarettes, as if the seller had been storing the cards inside of an actual cigarette. I had to remove the cards from their penny sleeves and toploaders and air them out for days. Literally days. But the worst part of it all is that the Bowman RC had a clear and major ding in the upper left-hand corner.

It doesn't show up as well in the cropped scan as I had hoped, but that corner is quite dinged. I quickly messaged the seller, informed him that his "Mint" listing was in fact wildly inaccurate, and asked for a full refund. He didn't seem all that surprised that the card was damaged, issuing a simple "sorry overlooked that" statement (I paraphrased his response, but that was the gist of it) before saying he would only refund me if I returned the cards. A statement which I have a MAJOR problem with.

Now yes, I could PWE the cards and send them back, but there's no guarantee the guy refunds me, and he'll in all likelihood just re-sell the cards. My biggest problem is that as a seller, it's your job to make sure your customer is satisfied. Had the Victor Cruz autograph I sold been dinged, I would have fully refunded the buyer's money and let him keep the card because the mistake would be mine. Why would I put the buyer through more effort and more time when the mistake doesn't reside with him in the least? Plus, the only way to guarantee the cards make it back to him is with delivery confirmation, which would require a bubbler and thus be more than a stamp. I'd actually lose money on the deal, end up with no cards, and have wasted more time than I'd like to waste.

I do understand the seller's point to an extent, and maybe I've just been spoiled by the great eBayers who have messed up a transaction in the past and simply refunded me without making me go through the hassle of returning the cards, because it was their mistake. I don't know, it's just something that really bothered me. Is it worth the two and a half bucks I lost on the one damaged card to make a fuss of it with eBay? No, unless I could be guaranteed they'd side with me, but I can't. So I'll simply never buy from cincinnati5 again.

It's transactions like these that lead to a massive amount of people detesting eBay with a passion, and seeing sellers as out to do nothing but make a buck off of the hobby we all love. There's nothing wrong with a seller trying to profit, or looking out for his or her own benefit, but there is such a thing as good customer service and admitting to your mistake before doing what it takes to rectify said mistake. Maybe I'm the only customer cincinnati5 has ever lost, but if I were more of a seller on the Bay - and I intend to sell more this year than the one item I've previously ever sold - I'd be doing all I could to build up a strong base of customers.


  1. Yikes. Yeah, stuff like that is the reason I avoided ebay for so long.

    Now I only buy stuff very rarely and only if it's rock bottom prices. Auto/patch RC card for $0.99, sure. I'll bite. Anything over that and I'm cautious.

    There's 3 or 4 sellers that I've bought team sets from over the past year or two, and I keep going back to them for "buy now" deals rather than random auctions. I know they'll ship fast and well protected.

    You could probably win the dispute though, especially if they were picture in screw-downs and the listing said something like "you'll receive the cards shown", etc. Then again, you're probably right, $2 probably isn't worth the trouble.

  2. As a guy you buys a lot from eBay but also sells. I know what to expect when I pay for shipping. What really pisses me off is when I pay 3 buck for shipping and they throw the card in a PWE with a stamp on it. Most of the time the card is in a top loader but that still gets run through the sorting machine. I've been toying around with doing a primer on selling on eBay. I've only had one problem with a card I sold, other than non payment issues. I refund the guys money right away and told him he could keep the card, but he still sent it back to me.

  3. Matt- I think a blog rant suffices haha.

    Mark- Yeah, I've had a few of those pay for shipping and then it gets PWE'd. Not a big fan of that haha.