Saturday, 7 May 2016

10 Worst Types of Ebay Buyer

Top Ten Worst Types of Ebay Buyer

Ebay is a buyers' paradise. Over the years, every policy has been tweaked to be incredibly buyer friendly and, if something does go wrong, ebay claims and paypal disputes mean it's only a matter of time before you get your money back.

For sellers, it's a different story. The default assumption is always that you're in the wrong, a situation which means that, for most of us, ebay is an online swamp of last resort. The place we go when we're so strapped for cash we have had to resort to selling our personal possessions to strangers over the internet.

Because so many buyers are a gigantic pain in the backside.

This week I had a claim opened against me when an item hadn't arrived after 7 days, including a Sunday and a Bank Holiday. I sent them a message back stating I'd be happy to refund if it still hadn't arrived by the end of the claim period but, chances are, they were jumping the gun slightly. She wasn't, she replied. Two other items bought at the same time had already arrived, and where was it already??? I'm not particularly proud of what happened next. I've spent my whole life damping down my instinctive reaction to everything, waiting and reconsidering, and generally reigning in my temper.

Not that day. I fired off an incredibly passive aggressive:

"No problem, apologies it wasn't quick enough for you. I've blocked you from future auctions now so we won't have to deal with each other again. :) Kind regards."

It was petty, and childish, and I'll probably get bad feedback - my second ever over 2,200 transactions.

For once, I don't particularly care.

Instead, I'm going to compound it with a run down of the ten worst types of ebay buyer, liberally garnished with anecdotes from my own experience of 10+ years of selling on the site.


#10. The "I Want It Now!" Buyer

Just like the woman above, this buyer wants their item immediately. They are not, of course, willing to pay for the privilege. In the aforementioned case it was a buy it now with free postage, on which I  accepted an offer over a third below the asking price in the hope of a quick and easy transaction. Sadly, there is no such thing with this kind of buyer.


#9. The Chancer

Especially prevalent on buy-it-now auctions, but they crop up on regular listings too. You have something listed at £50 or nearest offer. They want to know if you'll take £4.99. No. Just no.


#8. The Perfectionist

If you're buying new, you rightly expect perfection. If you're buying used, you need to read the description. The clue is really in the word 'used'. My favourite example of this buyer was someone who bought a bundle of vintage magazines from 1978. I wrote a full outline of condition, covering everything from the pencilled in crossword to the small tear on one back cover. They sent them back demanding a refund because, I quote, they can't be original because the paper is not as crisp and white as I remember when I read them in 1978. This is a family friendly blog, so I'll sum up with 'no', 'doodoo' and 'Sherlock'.


#7. The Newbie

They've not been in the game long enough to know the accepted norms of the site, and want to punish you for it. A typical example is the buyer who doesn't wait for you to combine postage, so you don't. They then want to know where their postage refund is. Not as bad as some, I'll grant you, but still irritating.


miniature box packing scene


#6. The Non-Payer

You send messages, they never respond. I try to give them the benefit of the doubt - anything could have happened to prevent them from getting online, after all - but when I think of the woman who got in touch a month after the auction closed to say she 'forgot' to pay, but wouldn't I still send the item anyway... It does make me wonder.


#5. The "20 Questions" Buyer

They want to know more about their potential purchase, and that's to be commended. It just becomes a problem when it's information which is already in the listing, had they bothered to read it.


#4. The "I didn't read the description" Buyer

Closely related to number 5, this is the buyer who didn't ask the question - they just bought it. Now they're upset the item is not what they assumed it was. This is a frequent occurrence if you're selling doll house and miniature items because, well, I'd obviously be selling a full size television set with free delivery for 99p.


miniature packed box scene


#3. The "I don't like it" Buyer

They've read the description, asked the relevant questions, but when the item arrives they just don't like it. To them, ebay is not an online car boot sale, it's a mail order catalogue to which they can return whatever they want, whenever they like, for a full refund. N.B. Whether or not you accept returns is totally irrelevant.


#2. The "Wounded Pride" Buyer

Subtly different from the buyer above, this one feels the need to justify why they don't like the exactly as described item. It's probably your fault, naturally. The top example of this is the buyer who bought a blouse from me, then needed to return it because it didn't fit. That's a pain, but understandable. Except that is not how they worded it. No, the blouse couldn't possibly be a size 8 because she was a size 8, and yet it didn't fit her... We all love vanity sizing but she really (and possibly literally) took the biscuit!


#1. The Perfect Buyer

They read the listing, paid promptly, messaged you first about any problems, and left feedback without being prompted. They're wonderful, marvelous, you couldn't ask for anything more.

The only problem? They make you wish all buyers could be just like them!



If you have had the misfortune to encounter an annoying buyer, check out my guide on how to block individual ebay users.





39 comments:

  1. This brings back memories! I used to sell regularly on eBay until they made it all about the buyer, regardless of how utterly unreasonable the buyer was. A favourite of mine was a buyer who messaged me to say some vouchers they bought hadn't arrived. To be honest, I kind of suspected they were lying (but it was my own fault for not sending them recorded delivery). I refunded the money. Unbeknown to the buyer, I had noted down the serial number of the voucher and informed the company what had happened and asked for it to be voided. A couple of days later I got an angry message from the buyer saying the voucher wasn't valid. I responded saying "the voucher you didn't receive and got a full refund for you mean?" He didn't reply and had the cheek to leave negative feedback!
    Debbie

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    1. That is epic! I've had a number of occasions where I've suspected they're lying, but it was too low value for signed for and there's nothing you can do but give them the benefit of the doubt. To actually catch them at it though, that is brilliant! :D

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  2. Love this! Luckily I've had a great run of good buyers so I must be due a daftie

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    1. Hopefully you'll avoid them completely!

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  3. I'm considering selling on ebay this gives me pause thanks for the heads up have a great mother's day

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    1. Most buyers really are fine - it's just the odd few who are a pain, which is always the way!

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  4. I haven't sold on ebay for a while now but after one bad encounter with a buyer I always stipulate that if the item isn't paid for within 5 days of the auction closing I will relist. It helps to focus people I find. You do need nerves of steel sometimes. #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. Some people just really take the proverbial, don't they? I'm always saying I'm never going to sell on it again, but then necessity strikes...

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  5. I was nodding along with every point of this post! Part of the reason why I stopped selling on ebay was because of some of the feedback I got - for example, a lady paid 99p for my prom dress (gorgeous, full length ball gown) and complained because there was ONE loose thread!! I also got fed up of going to the post office every week, so now I charity shop everything! #fortheloveofBLOG

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    1. That's the thing, they're so nitpicky and you're like, what more do you want for the price?? Anthony has a job interview on Monday and I've got everything crossed - I won't have to penny pinch every little thing if he gets it! x

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  6. Brilliant run-down of the worst of eBay! Love the subtle differences between these irritating buyers! Thanks for sharing #KCACOLS

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  7. Ah this brings back memories. I haven't sold on eBay for a long time - the way it's all in the buyer's favour now put me off a bit as it's so easy for buyers to take the mick on there. Most of my unwanted stuff now goes to charity shops or gets put on Freecycle.

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    1. They really do - I wish ebay would realise that without sellers there can't be any buyers and make their policies a bit more sensible. x

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  8. This is a really useful insight. I have only used Ebay once to sell some of my maternity clothes but I found the whole experience stressful as I was so worried about not getting the stuff out quick enough. Probably not my smartest move with a 4 week old baby #KCACOLS

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    1. That is heavy going, at 4 weeks! I'm sick of ebay, but I just need the cash at the moment. Still, it gives me something to complain about! lol.

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  9. ...and this is why I don't bother with ebay any more! After selling a complete drum kit no less than four times, and having to store it (and hold the money in paypal) for over two months before the eejit that bought it and paid up finally got around to arranging a courier (of course it was stated collection from Kent only but what does that mean to a hipster in Sweden?).

    Wow, that was three years ago and I'm still bitter! Hahaha #KCACOLS

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    1. Lol, I don't blame you though! We had a huge box of books that sold, and I was so pleased to finally be rid of it. Then they didn't pay and we had to relist and wait weeks and weeks to shift the thing. x

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  10. I aim to be #1 and suck it up when things don't turn out quite as I hoped - and relist them in the hope of at least making my money back. My one gripe is sellers who use filters on the photos - one blue dress turned out to be brown! Fortunately I like brown :)

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    1. Aw, no! At least you still liked it. I think my biggest thing with sellers is when people list books with a stock photo, say the condition is excellent - and then you actually see it...

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  11. This was a really interesting read, I can buy imagine it he different buyers you've faced. My OH would have done exactly the same as you, probably worse. For then first time I put a couple of baby things on eBay, didn't end up getting a hue amount once you've paid everything but my buyers have been OK so far.l, but I will let this be a lesson to me lol. Thanks so much for linking at #KCACOLS. Hope you can come back again next Sunday xx tammymum xx

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    1. Most people really are fine - it's just that the irritating ones stand out the most! x

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  12. These are perfectly true! we sold a brand new office printer to a company. it arrived, a week later we had complaints that it wasnt working and they wanted a refund. my husband said you need to send it back and we will then refund the money. they demanded a refund right away! There was no way until we hd it in our hands were theyy getting £200 back. I thoiught it was very dodgy. Well we got it back, they got there refund. Well the state of the printer was horrendous! It had photo paper melted round the insides and the mangled up photos I managed to get out were of family pictures on the beach. We managed to find some one who repaired it for us and we have since got it boxed up. I just don't want to go through that process of selling it again. xx

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  13. Giggle I love this. ...cracked up over..and want to punish you for it. I have been en Ebay seller for a long time. I hate the where is it buyers after 2 days. I hate the complain about postage even though it is exactly the same as Royal mail prices, does not include time or the packaging...though I admit as a buyer I often forget to give feedback. Must get better. #Fortheloveofblog

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    1. Definitely - I often feel like responding with, take it up with Royal Mail if you don't like it! x

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  14. Oh my days, I LOVE your response to your buyer - naughty and cheeky but oh so very funny! I don't really bother with selling on ebay if i'm honest. First there's the fees and trying to get the postage right, then there's a handful of the issues you mention in this very post... I'd rather not bother. Kudos to you for sticking with it for a decade! #Truthabout #kcacols

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    1. I hate being rude, but at the same time it did feel very therapeutic to let it all out! x

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  15. I love the idea of selling stuff on eBay but seriously, what a faff! I have tried to sell a few things on our 'small ads' at work thinking it would cut out the whole 'fees' issue but people are just as flaky to be honest - wanting photos then not bothering to get back to you etc. I'm definitely tempted to car boot sale... Thanks for linking up to #thetruthabout Jess Xx

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  16. I've not had too many problems, but two examples spring to mind. The guy who bought something and then wanted to come round and collect it that afternoon even though I hadn't offered local collection as an option. And the woman who bought a hat stand from me (yes really). It was available for local collection but as I was in the area, I drove it to her house. No feedback whatsoever. Charming! #truthabout

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    1. That really sucks, especially when you've gone out of your way to be helpful too.

      I hate when people decide out of nowhere they're going to collect - it always happens on weeks when we're really busy with work, etc, and there's nobody in for them to come and collect it.

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  17. I was a little wary to read this as I am only an occasionally ebay purchaser and was so afraid I was doing something wrong! Apparently I am doing fine! I think Amazon's speedy delivery makes people expect it to always bee like that on other sites! #KCACOLS

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    1. Aw! Nope, most people are great - it's just the odd few who take the mick. x

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  18. Brilliant! So true, I found this too when I have been selling my daughters baby bits - very frustrating indeed! #KCACOLS

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    1. It's always on the stuff you think will be really straightforward too! x

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  19. I have never really bought anything on eBay, only 2 vases for my wedding and I've never sold anything. I remember the one thing I did buy arrived broken, and I managed to get the money back - I must have been one of those annoying eBay buyers. I didn't realise that it could be so difficult for a seller on eBay, you must be an expert having sold over 2,200 items! Thanks for joining our party this week at #fortheloveofBLOG, we hope you come back next week. Claire x

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    1. Aw, nah, some breaks and lost packages are to be expected - no matter how careful you are packing them! x

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  20. I've never really had any bad experiences on Ebay mostly non arrivals when I have accidentally bought from China! However they always reply and refund straight away. The last one offered to resend or refund. I asked for it to be resent. They refunded and then asked where they're positive feedback was :/ #kcacols

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    1. I've found the custom service to be pretty good with sellers in the Far East - my favourite kind of ebay listing is 99p buy it now with free shipping though, so it's not a disaster if something goes wrong!

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