Vague Sellers on eBay

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DTalos
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Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by DTalos » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:13 pm

I recently came upon an eBay auction of 12 sealed in plastic comic books, but only half were displayed to where you could examine condition. The other half where stacked vertically to where you could not assess condition. I asked seller if he/she could provide a photo that shows all the comic books, so I could examine them more closely, but seller replied that the pictures are difficult to take and pictures taken through plastic don't come out well for him. This is puzzling. I realize the comic books are sealed, but how would I know if there is water damage, etc,. to them? How difficult is it to take a photo(s) of all the comic books. This seller has 100% positive feedback. If I were to have purchased this lot of comic books and the ones not shown in the picture were water damaged, how easy would it be to rely on the description of mint condition for an "item not as described" claim?

When I request more pictures of an item, most sellers cordially provide them.

Are sellers who are vague or don't want to provide additional photos of their auction trying to hide something, lazy, or sensitive and offended you don't automatically trust them?

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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:23 pm

As a buyer, if you think the plastic isn't in perfect condition, complain to eBay and you win. That's how eBay works now. Buyer wins....move on.
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Kenkat
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Kenkat » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:33 pm

I have bought a number of collectible items on eBay over the years and my motto is, if in doubt, move on. Yes, you can probably win a dispute but it’s generally not worth it to me to go through all of that, possibly having to ship the item back, etc. There’s always another auction around the corner next week, next month, next year.

decapod10
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by decapod10 » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:36 pm

DTalos wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:13 pm
I recently came upon an eBay auction of 12 sealed in plastic comic books, but only half were displayed to where you could examine condition. The other half where stacked vertically to where you could not assess condition. I asked seller if he/she could provide a photo that shows all the comic books, so I could examine them more closely, but seller replied that the pictures are difficult to take and pictures taken through plastic don't come out well for him. This is puzzling. I realize the comic books are sealed, but how would I know if there is water damage, etc,. to them? How difficult is it to take a photo(s) of all the comic books. This seller has 100% positive feedback. If I were to have purchased this lot of comic books and the ones not shown in the picture were water damaged, how easy would it be to rely on the description of mint condition for an "item not as described" claim?

When I request more pictures of an item, most sellers cordially provide them.

Are sellers who are vague or don't want to provide additional photos of their auction trying to hide something, lazy, or sensitive and offended you don't automatically trust them?
If the comic books are described as "MINT" and you find they are water damaged or something, you probably have a case to get a refund. Generally eBay sides with buyers. If it's close though, then it would be more difficult.

That being said, I agree that I would expect to see pictures of what I'm buying. I would probably pass unless it's a great deal, good enough where I am willing to take the chance knowing there's a reasonable chance you'll have to try to get a refund

Edit: I have purchased a trading card on eBay sight unseen just said "near mint" because it was a really good price, and it turned about to be fine actually, but again I felt the deal was worth the potential hassle of having to dispute it later.
Last edited by decapod10 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:41 pm, edited 1 time in total.

itaos
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by itaos » Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:39 pm

DTalos wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:13 pm
Are sellers who are vague or don't want to provide additional photos of their auction trying to hide something, lazy, or sensitive and offended you don't automatically trust them?
Could be option D: all of the above

If you really want the item and it is in any way not as described you will likely win a return claim. Up to you if it is worth it,

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Cubicle
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Cubicle » Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:55 am

I'd buy (I do actually...) if it's good deal. The dispute process isn't very taxing the last time I had to go through it.

Katietsu
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Katietsu » Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:23 am

You have written previously on BH about your “bad streak” on EBay and frustration with resolving your problem. It seems like you should not move forward with a purchase which already has questionable communication.

Kagord
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Kagord » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:27 am

My 2 cents, the listings done well with very good and up close pictures and a very detailed description, with 100% positive feedback, will sell for a premium. This is what everyone wants, and the item will have a higher amount of bidders.

Vague sellers create bargains, IMHO, so it's an opportunity actually. To look for a bargain, I try to piece together together less than complete listings and look for long term EBayer not in the business of regularly selling the item with 100% positive feedback to try to find a bargain. I.E. they sell here and there with good feedback. There's just enough with the pictures and description to assume a high percentage chance the item is in great condition, and then I take the risk to bid. I always come up with my final price I'm willing to pay, and put that in with 2 seconds left. It's worked out for me, and I get a great item 15-25% less. Take the risk in account when bidding.

I say go for it.
Last edited by Kagord on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:31 am, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:28 am

Katietsu wrote:
Wed Jan 15, 2020 1:23 am
You have written previously on BH about your “bad streak” on EBay and frustration with resolving your problem. It seems like you should not move forward with a purchase which already has questionable communication.
This ^^^
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nisiprius
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by nisiprius » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:47 am

eBay is all individual-to-individual. Who knows what's going on? Some eBay sellers are probably relying on having huge quantities of listings and actually can't take the time to do a splendid job on each. If they can get sales with vague listings, and if this particular sale isn't large enough to be important to them, it isn't worth their time to dig them out and rephotograph them.

It's even possible that the picture includes the best ones and they don't want to be pinned down on the others--they might be planning to sell those six and just throw in any other six they have around.

One way or another, the chances of those invisible six being wonderful isn't too high. You should just make your bid on the basis of the ones you can see.

Unfortunately, feedback on eBay is so subject to "grade inflation" that "100% positive feedback" is a fairly low bar.

The best eBay can do is to weed out the true scam artists who scam everyone, and even that will take time so at any given moment there are always going to be bad actors selling on eBay, and even if the ultimate result of a bad transaction isn't a money loss it can still be a significant nuisance.

Who knows? I once ordered a book by Jack London and was sent a completely different book, also by Jack London. Was it an honest mistake or were they "trying it on?" I just returned it and got a refund, and I'll never know the story.

I once ordered a 16 mm. sound projector for $40. After three cycles of "oh, sorry, I've been busy, I'll ship it first thing next week" I called the credit card company and disputed the payment, and in quick succession got a distinctly panicky email from the seller saying "I've already shipped it, can't you have them undo the chargeback?" And several days later the projector arrived, as described, perfect working order. And with some difficulty--I forget how it was done--I think I told the credit card company the issue was resolved and they released the payment. Was that seller sincere or "trying it on?" I don't know and I never will.
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Kenkat
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Kenkat » Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:29 am

To Kagord and nisiprius’ posts, the other option here is to bid on what you can see and set your bid amount based on that and that alone. The remaining items are valued at “zero” - if it works out, great, otherwise, you haven’t lost anything. I have heard people refer to this is a cherry-pick. For example, I bid on a coin or a sports card or a comic that has some vague pictures and so I bid on it at a “Good condition” price and if when I receive it I see that it is in “Near Mint” or “Very Fine” condition, then its a score / bargain / cherry-pick. If it is how I priced it, well I got what I thought I was buying. If it’s a disaster, I send it back. Out of 400+ transactions on eBay over the years, I’ve probably done less than 10 returns.

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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Loik098 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:31 pm

I buy and sell Legos quite a bit, including on Ebay. There's quite a few words to describe the box they come in, and I've seen them all. "NIB" can mean anything from "it's in the box" to "the box itself has no creases, dents, scratches, marks, stickers, and looks like it just came out of the factory."

Point is, my "mint" is not the same as everyone else's "mint."

Pictures are worth a thousand words. If "mint" is important, and I don't have pics, I won't buy the item.

Cycle
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by Cycle » Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:53 pm

It can really be a pain to take good photos for eBay, and the person may not be very motivated. Worst case u file a complaint and eBay refunds and u ship back for free.

I sell many items on eBay. I usually take a million photos, but for some items I just don't bother, like for an item in mint condition or new I'll provide one or two photos
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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:13 pm

I'd avoid it if I wasn't sure. Yes, you can dispute it and maybe win, but why deal with that?

BTW...I rarely sell on ebay. A handful of things over 20 years. Once I bought a new cell phone from someplace (don't remember). I turned it on for a few minutes and didn't like the size/shape and decided to sell it on eBay. I sold it as new as it never left my kitchen counter. The guy made me give him money back because apparently there was some hidden "counter" you could access that said the phone was on for 8 minutes so he claimed it wasn't new.

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Re: Vague Sellers on eBay

Post by cashboy » Thu Jan 16, 2020 1:18 pm

DTalos wrote:
Tue Jan 14, 2020 7:13 pm
I recently came upon an eBay auction of 12 sealed in plastic comic books, but only half were displayed to where you could examine condition. The other half where stacked vertically to where you could not assess condition. I asked seller if he/she could provide a photo that shows all the comic books, so I could examine them more closely, but seller replied that the pictures are difficult to take and pictures taken through plastic don't come out well for him. This is puzzling. I realize the comic books are sealed, but how would I know if there is water damage, etc,. to them? How difficult is it to take a photo(s) of all the comic books. This seller has 100% positive feedback. If I were to have purchased this lot of comic books and the ones not shown in the picture were water damaged, how easy would it be to rely on the description of mint condition for an "item not as described" claim?

When I request more pictures of an item, most sellers cordially provide them.

Are sellers who are vague or don't want to provide additional photos of their auction trying to hide something, lazy, or sensitive and offended you don't automatically trust them?
here is what i learned to do (having made good and bad purchases on ebay):

if the information provided does not meet my requirements i ask the seller if they can provide the information i require. most sellers will provide additional information.

if the seller will not provide provide the information i require then i move on.
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