Chinese buyers on ebay - beware
Old 03-20-2018   #1
mkvrnn
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Chinese buyers on ebay - beware

I recently sold both of my M3 cameras on ebay, one with a Summicron and one with Summilux lens. Both were bought by the same buyer who I assume to be Chinese. I posted them the same day to the international shipping address he supplied.

He wrote a month later to say that he had not received the Summilux camera, which seemed rather strange since they were carefully packaged in the same box!

Two weeks later he wrote to say that the shutter of the Summicron camera was very inaccurate at the slowest speeds and that he had spent £200 having it repaired. The strange thing is that the shutter on the Summilux was unreliable at low speeds, which I clearly explained in the listing. The Summicron shutter however, did sound accurate. So it sounds as though he has the two cameras confused.

He then claimed that the coating on an intermediate lens element is defective and sent me a photo in which the lens appears perfect, so I'm baffled.

Today he has claimed a partial refund of £200 through ebay. If really did spend £200 on having the shutter fixed, which I seriously doubt, why didn't he just contact me straight away about the problem and ask to return the camera?

I also sold a third camera, an M1, which the English buyer was delighted with. This whole episode has seriously put me off allowing bids from anybody from the Far East.
 

Old 03-20-2018   #2
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I’m sorry you had a bad experience on eBay. Over the approximately 20 years I have been using eBay I have had mostly good experiences and a few bad ones. Coincidentally the most recent bad experience, last month, was with a seller in the UK whose item I never received.

Once some time has passed and your annoyance has cooled I would suggest you reconsider whether you need to dismiss hundreds of millions of people, spanning many countries, languages and cultures (most of which are far more different from one another than, say, English vs American culture) based on a bad experience you had with one fellow in PRC.
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Old 03-20-2018   #3
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Yeah, that could have happened no matter where you sent it. At this point though, refund him the 200 quid, and be glad he's not going for the refund of the second camera. Cost of doing business on eBay.

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Old 03-20-2018   #4
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Far East is too broad assumption.
I know one gear collector, photog in CA, USA who often sells to HK (only they could afford it these days ). He never told a word to have a problem.
I also sold some not expensive things to HK, no problems.
 

Old 03-20-2018   #5
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Hi there, sorry that you had this bad experience.
I have to say some of the people from my country (China) can be very difficult to deal with. But I also agree with Leo that there are always black sheep in any countries. I believe most of Chinese buyers won't do this and there is no need to assume people should be aware of the whole "Chinese buyers".
Forget to mention, if this buyer also do this in a China online dealing platform (like Taobao), he would definitely be despised by every other Chinese.

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Old 03-20-2018   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ko.Fe. View Post
Far East is too broad assumption.
I know one gear collector, photog in CA, USA who often sells to HK (only they could afford it these days ). He never told a word to have a problem.
I also sold some not expensive things to HK, no problems.
Never a problem selling to HK and Indonesia, and for that matter to the UK. Only once did a buyer request a small partial refund to pay for the cleaning of an element in a lens I sold to the person. His eyes apparently were better than mine. ...knock on wood...
 

Old 03-20-2018   #7
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Of the 3 problems Ive had selling several hundred expensive items on the bay one was a minor issue with a seller in HK and two issues in the US. The buyer in HK and New York were buyers remorse.

One thing I can say about Chinese buyers and ofcourse it's not all of them that they often try to beat me down in price. I don't mean just offer, they get insistent and rude trying to get a lower price. Ive had a couple simply not take NO for an answer. There seems to be an attitude of entitlement among some. Some accept no as an answer and others just keep on and on until Ive had to get rude. Ive never had this happen with any other group and assume it's a cultural thing. Generally I refuse to ship to China and noticed last week a person in NY that I deal with who's Chinese refused to ship to China.
 

Old 03-20-2018   #8
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I don't understand the problem you're having. EBay doesn't do "partial" refunds. If he opens a case that the subject wasn't as described EBay will have him ship it back to you. EBAY supplies the shipping label and tracks the shipment. When the shipment arrives back to you then, and only then, will they refund the purchase price by taking the money from your PayPal account.

I really doubt that he will send anything back to you.
 

Old 03-20-2018   #9
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Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
EBay doesn't do "partial" refunds
Yes they absolutely do.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Beemermark View Post
I don't understand the problem you're having. EBay doesn't do "partial" refunds. If he opens a case that the subject wasn't as described EBay will have him ship it back to you. EBAY supplies the shipping label and tracks the shipment. When the shipment arrives back to you then, and only then, will they refund the purchase price by taking the money from your PayPal account.

I really doubt that he will send anything back to you.
They allow partial refunds in the Resolution department. eBay does not provide the label for returns, that's up to the seller to provide if the case is opened as an "item Not Described Properly". If the buyer opts to return it because they just no longer want it, then they are the ones responsible to return it on their own dime.

Best to not muddy the waters with inaccurate information.

As far as you are concerned mkrvnn:

Did they actually open a case for the item or are they asking you directly for a partial refund?
 

Old 03-21-2018   #11
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The 'partial refund' thing is a popular scam and a buyer tried it with me but I insisted they returned the item (nothing wrong with it when I got it back). Since then I've made detailed photos of everything I sell as well as recording the serial numbers as I've heard of people being sent photos of damaged cameras they've received that weren't the items they had sent.

I've also recently decided that I'm never selling a camera again, I always regret it haha!
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Old 03-21-2018   #12
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"Sound accurate" is a description I dislike most and I would never use. If the buyers are mean or having OCD, then they can really pick on it.
On the other hand, I've bought "sound accurate" cameras that did not work or were way off, from eBay.
I have sold a couple of cameras that I used and serviced, all film tested. I only sell when I am 100% confident with the items I sell. You need a pair of nice wader when the water is murky. The buyers are from Italy, Portugal, Singapore, Sweden, and Turkmenistan. Decent buyers.
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Old 03-21-2018   #13
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I don’t quite follow your point. You had a bad eBay experience with a single Chinese buyer and therefore people should beware of all Chinese buyers?

Right.

Come to think of it, I had a weird experience with a US buyer once - Beware selling to the US!
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Old 03-21-2018   #14
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Originally Posted by nukecoke View Post
"Sound accurate" is a description I dislike most and I would never use. If the buyers are mean or having OCD, then they can really pick on it.
On the other hand, I've bought "sound accurate" cameras that did not work or were way off, from eBay.

Sorry but I must take issue with that. I don't have facilities to measure the accuracy of a shutter, so the best I can do is judge by the sound. Any photographer quickly develops an ability to get a rough estimate of the speed of the shutter from its sound, and while I can't claim to distinguish between 1/500 and 1/1000, I can certainly judge 1 second, 1/2 second etc. In this particular case the buyer is claiming that the slowest speeds were very inaccurate, and I know for certain that they weren't. Those speeds were inaccurate on the other camera he bought from me, and I clearly said so in my listing. I think he has confused the two cameras, and I suspect deliberately in order to claim £200 from me.

So I think "sounds accurate" is an acceptable description. If the shutter didn't sound accurate or was broken, the would certainly be right to return the camera.

Any description on ebay is clearly subjective, but I believe it is the duty of the seller to provide as full, accurate and honest a description as possible. So if I think the shutter sounds inaccurate I will say so, and if it sounds accurate to me I will also say so. Similarly with the description of a lens. If I can see a defect such as a scratch, damaged coating, mistiness, fungus etc. I will say so. If can't see any defects I will say that it appears to be in good or excellent condition, although I'll avoid definitive statements such as "it is in excellent condition". Similarly I will always avoid using words such as mint or perfect. Semantics perhaps, but I think it is the seller's duty to provide as full and honest a description as possible. And in return I expect honesty from a buyer.

Lastly I genuinely apologise if my initial remarks caused any offence, or if it sounded as though I was labelling all Chinese buyers as unreliable.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #15
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Really you can have this problem with any buyer , however the international shipping complicates things .
The fact that they claimed at one point that they only received one camera is suspect ó this is a common scam when use it combined shipping as you do not have separate tracking numbers .
The repair -eBay and PayPal state that an item can not be returned if itís been taken apart or repaired , I had a lens that was damaged -the seller said have it repaired and once I sent him the receipt he would do a partial refund PayPal told me not to do it in that manner as after it is repaired / sent to another address I have no recourse .
 

Old 03-21-2018   #16
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I've had only fantastic experiences using eBay's Global Shipping Program. Instead of shipping directly to foreign buyers, I select the option to use the Global Shipping Program and eBay forwards my package to the buyer from a Kentucky warehouse that I send the package to. I save on shipping costs and I'm supposedly insulated from a range of common problems:

Quote:
Besides making your items available worldwide, there are a number of benefits to using the Global Shipping Program:
  • If an item is lost or broken during international shipping, eBay Money Back Guarantee cases will be resolved in your favour, and your seller performance standards wonít be affected
  • When you provide free domestic shipping to the shipping center, youíll automatically receive 5 stars for shipping costs in your detailed seller rating
  • If you charge for domestic shipping to the shipping center but receive a rating below 5 stars for shipping costs, it won't count against your seller performance standards
  • Youíll automatically receive 5 stars for shipping time in your detailed seller rating when you ship with same business day or 1 business day handling, upload tracking information within 1 business day of receiving payment, and deliver the item to the US shipping center within 4 business days
  • Any negative or neutral feedback that can be attributed to the Global Shipping Program from item handling during international transit will be removed
In fact, I don't think I've ever heard anything back from any of the GSP buyers.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #17
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This whole episode has seriously put me off allowing bids from anybody from the Far East.
The ''Far East'', an archaic term dating back to the 12th Century, includes: China, Hong Kong, Macau, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, Taiwan, Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, and Russia.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #18
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IMHO I won’t buy from a seller that uses Global Shipping Program because it is so slow. It adds weeks to the delivery time.

Last edited by TerryMcC : 03-21-2018 at 06:11. Reason: Added extra comment.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #19
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I've sold for many years on ebay, with the vast majority of collector Leica gear going to HK or China. This situation is very common.

That's not to say that these methods are not used in other places, of course.

Have you called ebay? Asking for a partial refund is an acceptable negotiation, but only *before* any work is done.

In my case, I never accept partials; if the buyer isn't happy, they must return the item for a full refund. I can't count how many times after stating this, supposedly dissatisfied buyers with 'unacceptable defective items' disappeared and stopped communicating. They simply realized they were dealing with an experienced ebay seller.

Many ebay sellers of camera gear have never sold camera gear before, and they know nothing about it, and those are the sellers that are at high risk to these types of buyers.

There are other scams, such as specifically asking for shipments to be done via small flat rate box, or flat rate envelope. These are priority mail shipments, but they do not track all the way to the international destination; the tracking usually stops at Chicago, or whatever the location of exit may be. The more expensive priority mail shipments *do* track to the destination. Scammy buyers who know this will then file a claim of non-receipt, when they actually have received the shipment, however delivery is not shown on the usps.com tracking, so they will win the inevitable ebay claim.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #20
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I've sold my used gear to dealers to avoid these issues. I've sold expensive model trains directly, and yes, some folks take advantage of you and in fact some of these are located in the US. Knowledgeable buyers familiar with the used market for a product and reasonable expectations can come together with reasonable sellers. I've found the best of these DO NOT happen on eBay. My next selling move and 1st with camera gear will be to try this forum, Photrio and some of the others. I am not greedy about price, but KEH has gotten ridiculous in some of their overly aggressive discounting of excellent, very clean gear. I've pushed back on them recently and they've revised their initial offers upward, but seriously... how much mark up do they really want?
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Old 03-21-2018   #21
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On my experience, the few times I've sell stuff to China, had nothing but great experience by the seller part. On the other hand, I think shipping services (specially FedEx), treats parcels like crap. Two of the Chinese people I sold my items to let me know (they didn't made a refund request, put a comply or anything) told me the package was slightly damage outside (that's why the signed off) but item inside had some slight damage (even though item was well packaged). One of a set of Leica R lens I sold him lose the red dot and one of the clear plastic cases of one lens shattered.

So, pack well and don't be cheap with shipping service

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Old 03-21-2018   #22
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Well I was wrong again. However, I only accept returns. People complain, sometimes because I think they changed their mind, or sometimes they want to run a scam, or sometimes I made a mistake. But when the returned package shows delivered to me - then EBay issues the refund.

Doing anything else only opens you up to scammers.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #23
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Sellers need a way to "blacklist" buyers.
 

Old 03-21-2018   #24
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Quote:
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Sellers need a way to "blacklist" buyers.
Hey guess what, they do.

https://offer.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI....dderBlockLogin
 

Old 03-21-2018   #25
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eBay would be a much better experience all around if users were better informed of its features for both buyers and sellers.
 

Old 03-30-2018   #26
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I've had two incidents -
Sold a IIIf to China - guy shows me a picture of a heavily brassed IIIC saying it happened in transit demanding a partial refund

Sold a IIIg to China - First Class - untracked - claimed he never got it, and I can't do anything about it (really needed the $ too)

Listed a collapsible summicron - got bid up way higher than I expected the price to be - looked at the top 2 bidders - ~50 feedback, all from buying $0.01 to $5 random items from chinese knick knack sellers - cancelled that auction, relisted a month later, and same BS...

I'm sticking to selling Leica gear here
 

Old 03-30-2018   #27
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Originally Posted by benjkim View Post
I've had only fantastic experiences using eBay's Global Shipping Program. Instead of shipping directly to foreign buyers, I select the option to use the Global Shipping Program and eBay forwards my package to the buyer from a Kentucky warehouse that I send the package to. I save on shipping costs and I'm supposedly insulated from a range of common problems:



In fact, I don't think I've ever heard anything back from any of the GSP buyers.
+1

I completely agree too. Once they had this option available, I've only done internationally shipping this way. Alleviates most headaches from the seller's end. Yes, it takes longer to ship but if something is lost or damage along the way, then GSP takes care of it.... I just make sure it ships to KY location ASAP.

Some things to consider:
Returning back to the states from working in China for 2 years, I can say that their way of doing business selling secondhand gear is vastly different than the western ways. I've had numerous miscommunication of things which I've assumed was correct or proper. Even still, I've had issues even when a local was translating things for me. I can share many stories but I won't get into details... Words and Phrases can easily be misinterpreted ...

For eBay, usually, I downplay my gear description, making sure everything is listed. eBay for me is just notorious for nickel-and-diming everything that isn't listed in the description... As a seller, you just want to avoid as much as possible. "Dumb" it down and spell everything out...

All in All, take it as a learning experience. It will happen again (not that I'm hoping it would)...
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Old 03-30-2018   #28
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With expensive items like this, i wouldn't bother selling via eBay. For anything above £150, i use Ffordes who keeps a commission. Never had a problem with them, had plenty of problems with eBay.
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Old 04-01-2018   #29
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It's nothing to do with China; it's people and we all know what they are like...

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Old 04-01-2018   #30
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be happy that he didnt open a case and accepted to return both cameras sending you a box with two bricks inside.
then you would have lost both, cameras and money.
eBay is full of scammers from all around the world. Every time I sell something there its like watching a horror movie, you know the buyer could open a case on ebay or paypal at any time.
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Old 04-01-2018   #31
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I haven't sold on that site for a while. I had similar experience with an individual of the same nationality living in the US. Wanting refund, even though, there was nothing but buyer remorse in their minds. The best solution for that is to have them return the item (completely) for full refund. If they are cheating, they will not do it. It is a good idea to video tape the packing of the item before sending it out. They may return it changed or broken on purpose. Ebay rules are weighted on favor of the buyer (that is why I buy only there). They assume the seller can afford to have some small loses that he account for. If I need to sell something, I will do it through the forum to people who has been here for a while, and with full return warranty. I have noticed on the Ebay that some people sell stuff that they purchased earlier and still shows in their history. You can read the description in the first sell that shows what is wrong with the item, they omit that in their own description. Not nice.

Prejudices are not good for social behavior, not all individuals are the same. However, for business purposes, you have to keep in mind that, and I appreciate the OP's advice. For example, I used to buy from Japanese sellers and trusted them a lot because they were very honest in their description. But lately, I have two cases that were not like that. In those cases, I sent a video of the box opening and testing showing the lens not working (He said, it was perfectly OK). Then, he realized that he was caught and offered partial refund. Now, I trust no one, and do not buy anything on eBay that I could not be ready to lose.

Amazon is becoming that way too. They are allowing third party sellers like eBay to send rocks in brand new boxes of expensive items. Go figure!! I am missing my Sammy store in my home town. They closed 3 years ago.
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Old 04-01-2018   #32
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Originally Posted by DKimg View Post

Some things to consider:
Returning back to the states from working in China for 2 years, I can say that their way of doing business selling secondhand gear is vastly different than the western ways. I've had numerous miscommunication of things which I've assumed was correct or proper. Even still, I've had issues even when a local was translating things for me. I can share many stories but I won't get into details... Words and Phrases can easily be misinterpreted ...
.
That's an interesting phenomenon.
I absolutely hate how Taobao sellers describe things. Nothing is clear, everything is greasy and slick.
I think the "misinterpreting" has a lot to do with traders having double-standard on description when buying/selling things. And then they use less engineer-ish language to have people tricked.
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Old 04-01-2018   #33
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... it's people and we all know what they are like...

Regards, David
True, that is why we got a deluge once! Maybe time for another one?
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Old 04-01-2018   #34
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True, that is why we got a deluge once! Maybe time for another one?
I think it's already started...



This is how it peaked last time and the flooding was about a third the way across the road this afternoon. Note the underwater traffic lights in about 2ft of water...

Regards, David

Last edited by David Hughes : 04-02-2018 at 08:01. Reason: Finger trouble...
 

Old 06-03-2018   #35
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Originally Posted by nickthetasmaniac View Post
I donít quite follow your point. You had a bad eBay experience with a single Chinese buyer and therefore people should beware of all Chinese buyers?

Right.

Come to think of it, I had a weird experience with a US buyer once - Beware selling to the US!
I sold a bunch of Nikon equipment on ebay, one bad experience. Had a reasonable offer from a guy I suspected was a dealer. He claimed a rub on the rear element. I had the choice of offering him a $100 discount or pay for return shipping and relist the lens.

I gave him the discount to avoid the hassle as Iím sure he counted on and has probably done to many other sellers.

Now I avoid Seattle.
 

Old 06-04-2018   #36
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I've never sold on ebay, just bought; but only from Australian sellers and never paying by "Paypal".

By allowing for servicing in the price offered/paid and not buying if I got a "bad vibration" from a description or later reply to a question, I've been lucky in always getting the camera/lens I thought I was buying.

It's amazing how cameras have an ability to breed!!
 

Old 06-04-2018   #37
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Ebay loves to sing and dance about their "buyer protection" policies and safeguards. They apparently don't give a second thought to throwing sellers under the bus when a transaction goes sideways, though.


That's why I'm done with Ebay.
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Old 06-15-2018   #38
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I just had Chinese bidders on my ebay items, even though I have EXCLUDED china. I just got off the phone with ebay. They say it's a bug/feature and there is no workaround. They will "forward the problem to leadership, we are getting other complaints like yours." Um, leadership? Sounds like it's planned, otherwise they'd have a technical solution.

Here is what happened. Sunday I listed two lenses, and I didn't want to sell them to China. I did all the machinations to disallow China, including the "Shipping Exclusion list" with that country on it. I checked the settings that I "won't allow bids from countries I don't ship to." I hit save on the listing, and instantaneously get a bidder in China bidding on both my lenses. How? Who knows, all settings are to not allow it.

I delete the bid. Then today another. Guess what will happen 3 seconds before the auction ends? You guessed it, all the Chinese bidders with their sniper programs will win my auction. AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT (eBay phone reps words). She checked all my settings and said I did everything right. But "with our new sellers changes, China is not considered part of Asia in our system. You've blocked Asia, and China underneath that setting...but that's not really blocking them.....sorry...we will forward your problem up to leadership...." She was finished with the call, with a hearty "have a nice day."

So I go to at least update the text on my auction: "Warning - I will remove any bids from China..." But guess what the other new change is? YOU CANNOT UPDATE YOUR LISTING IF YOU HAVE ONE BID. So how do you like that? List an item with China excluded. Get a bid within seconds FROM CHINA, you cannot stop them, and you cannot update your listing. They have just blocked you, the seller, from any control of your sale!

She gave me a complaint number....It's been disabled and the recording says to click the numbers on the ebay web site. ENJOY selling to CHINA!
 

Old 06-15-2018   #39
nukecoke
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Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
I just had Chinese bidders on my ebay items, even though I have EXCLUDED china. I just got off the phone with ebay. They say it's a bug/feature and there is no workaround. They will "forward the problem to leadership, we are getting other complaints like yours." Um, leadership? Sounds like it's planned, otherwise they'd have a technical solution.

Here is what happened. Sunday I listed two lenses, and I didn't want to sell them to China. I did all the machinations to disallow China, including the "Shipping Exclusion list" with that country on it. I checked the settings that I "won't allow bids from countries I don't ship to." I hit save on the listing, and instantaneously get a bidder in China bidding on both my lenses. How? Who knows, all settings are to not allow it.

I delete the bid. Then today another. Guess what will happen 3 seconds before the auction ends? You guessed it, all the Chinese bidders with their sniper programs will win my auction. AND THERE IS NOTHING I CAN DO ABOUT IT (eBay phone reps words). She checked all my settings and said I did everything right. But "with our new sellers changes, China is not considered part of Asia in our system. You've blocked Asia, and China underneath that setting...but that's not really blocking them.....sorry...we will forward your problem up to leadership...." She was finished with the call, with a hearty "have a nice day."

So I go to at least update the text on my auction: "Warning - I will remove any bids from China..." But guess what the other new change is? YOU CANNOT UPDATE YOUR LISTING IF YOU HAVE ONE BID. So how do you like that? List an item with China excluded. Get a bid within seconds FROM CHINA, you cannot stop them, and you cannot update your listing. They have just blocked you, the seller, from any control of your sale!

She gave me a complaint number....It's been disabled and the recording says to click the numbers on the ebay web site. ENJOY selling to CHINA!
You know what, Chinese bidders can also travel to foreign countries and bid on things, or ask someone located in a foreign country to do so. So it's basically unstoppable.
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Old 06-15-2018   #40
Ronald M
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Some Chinese and other Asians pride themselves on being able to "cheat" at business.
 
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