Thursday, August 02, 2007

Beware the Miniature Master

Last month, on July 8th, I won the auction on this old mini from Ral Partha. I have the standing version in my collection already, but somewhere along the line I lost the mounted version of this excellent sculpt by Tom Meier. In my excitement to patch this hole in my collection, I missed what should have been a tip off to potential problems with the sale....that this single item was listed as having a location being in "england and usa, United States". (emphasis added)

I mailed out the money order on July 10th, and on July 29th, miniaturemaster posted postive feedback for the transaction. All well and good, I thought, until the following day he also filed an unpaid item dispute for the same transaction, claiming I'd not responded to repeated attempts to contact me.

There were no email messages to respond to, no messages in My Messages on eBay, and even though he has my phone number in my confirmed address, no phone messages.

Since the 30th I have attempted to contact him through all those methods (I have his phone number too) and have gotten no response. In a few days I'll likely have an unpaid item strike for a transaction with postive feedback. And no miniature, I suppose.

His feedback rating is good, only one negative and one neutral. The one negative had to do with not getting the item shipped from England, even though the guy's address is in the midwest...Detroit, I think.

I don't know what the problem is, but the whole business has been extremely frustrating. I suppose I'll keep trying for a few more days, and before the unpaid item strike keeps me from leaving negative feedback I might try lodging an Item Not Sent dispute to see if that gets his attention. Patching that hole in my collection has NOT been worth all the extra work and worry.

It will have to be a pretty awesome miniature at an extremely low price to tempt me to use this seller again. FYI.



Blogger Robb said...

if you view the dispute, there should be an option to put in your message (or reply) which then puts it back in his corner(meaning the strike will not go through until he at least views your response) can also, "follow up" to the feedback you left leaving him a small me if you need help..this has happened to me once or twice, and I have done it once as well...sure he overlooked it.

8:46 PM  
Blogger Shandar the Ashen said...

He says he entered the positive feedback by mistake and that he never got the money order. I've offered to send a second money order, but there is no way that it will get to him before the unpaid strike goes through...which would triple suck, having paid twice and still getting an unpaid item strike.

The price of life on eBay.

7:46 AM  
Blogger Shandar the Ashen said...

He contacted me today and said that the payment address listed as his confirmed address on eBay is not correct, and gave me a military apo box to send my SECOND payment to.

Sending payments to addresses other than those listed as confirmed payment addresses is not advised by eBay and is against the rules. I stand by my warning, this isn't a seller worth dealing with unless you use PayPal. He should really list his auction as PayPal only and then I wouldn't have bothered bidding.

3:23 PM  
Blogger simon said...

Yeah, fool me twice, yadda-yadda. Coincidentally, the August 2007 issue of Consumer Reports covers EBay.

According to them, "of those who tried to settle problems with the seller directly, only 38% were successful."

The article recommends one should only deal with thost sellers with "at least 99%" positive feedback.

They recommend the online Dispute Console, but add only 60% of those who complained to EBay authorities were satisfied. 66% of those who complained to PayPal were satisfied (but that doesn't apply here, sorry!).


6:39 PM  
Blogger Shandar the Ashen said...

Yeah, really the only effective thing is Square Trade mediation. I had to use that with a crazy woman who didn't pay me, claimed the money order was lost, claimed that she cancelled the money order, and then filed negative feedback saying that I had cashed the money order she first said she never sent, then said she cancelled, and hadn't sent her the item.

It is expensive, though, like $39, but this woman was just so crazy and had made such an outrageous claim that I felt it was worth the money to get the negative feedback removed.

Mostly, I don't even bother with negative feedback because even if the feedback is justified I don't want to deal with the retaliatory feeback. If you think of eBay as a gigantic flea market (think a global version of Happy's) you behave in a completely different way...I'm not going to tell the guy at Whitey's Knives he's a jerk...he's got a lot of knives. This is just an example, the guy at Whitey's Knives has never been anything but a gentleman and his knives are quite excellent.

7:59 AM  

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