When a "Nice" buyer screws you over....

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Hello everyone.

Just wanted to share a story, and maybe get some advice, although I'm pretty sure I know what the outcome will be.

Sorry this is not directly "Star Wars" related, but where it is a vintage toy, and I do sometimes sell Star Wars, I think hopefully it will be okay.

I listed a vintage Transformer several weeks ago with a buy it now. I constantly had a buyer from the UK contacting me, trying to get me to accept an offer that was considerably lower than my asking price. This went on for a while, and the toy remained unsold. I finally worked out a price we both could live with, although a bit lower than what I was hoping. Anyway.... I pack the item and get it sent off. While it was in transit, I noticed that I made a mistake, and sent the wrong weapon with the figure. I immediately sent the buyer a message, telling him I was aware of the problem, and once the figure arrived, please let me know so I could send the proper weapon. I asked him if he would PLEASE return the incorrect weapon, as it would allow me to list that figure as complete when I got it back. The buyer agreed.

A couple weeks go by, and he says he got the item, and confirmed the wrong weapon. I shipped the correct one out that same day and sent him the customs number. Now, mind you, this was nothing more than a padded envelope which I was able to send to the UK for a little over $3.00.

A few days later, I get confirmation from the buyer that he got the correct weapon, and "sent the other one back" Three weeks go by, still no weapon. I message him, he says "give it a few more days" because apparently it would have been "very expensive" to ship it with tracking. He never provided a customs number, either.

Well, here we are, about two months AFTER the sale, and still no sign of the weapon being returned. I contacted him yet again to ask for the customs number, with no reply. I'm well ware this was my mistake. But why agree to return the wrong weapon, with no intention of ever doing so? I'm now stuck with a different figure I can no longer call complete, and will no doubt loose some profit because it's missing a weapon. I guess I'm more frustrated with myself for making the mistake in the first place. But it's still very frustrating when someone agrees to something and then never follows through.

Should I keep contacting the buyer? At this point should I just let it go, sell the other figure as incomplete, take a bit of a loss and move on?
What would you guys do?

Derek
 
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That sucks.

With PayPal protections, it is a buyer's world, and with eBay's one-way feedback system, you can't even shame them into doing the right thing. I'm not very active there right now, though when I was, I had similiar instances stick out - uncommon, but still there. I also had other (more frequent) cases, where the buyer did follow through, so I haven't lost all faith in eBay humanity! :)

At this point, it's probably out of your hands and time to let it go.

A couple of things I've learned:
1) I'm assuming you were offering to pay for the return postage (it was after all, you requesting the return). When asking a buyer to return something, pay for the postage/shipping directly. My preferred method was to generate a label in PayPal/USPS.com and scan it for them to print. On one occaision, I had printed and included it with the replacement component. One one occaision for a larger item, I also provided a UPS account number, which effectively was the pre-paid approach.
2) In some cases, especially where shipping/returns will be expensive as compared to the value of the product, as unsavory as it feels, it might be a wash with giving a full/partial refund and letting the whole thing go. For all us Vintage Star Wars folks sometimes getting bent out of shape over 'wrong sculpt' of weapon being paired with such-and-such figure, a couple bucks discount surprisingly can make everything awesome. Buyers are often wary enough not to ask for it, as that's Feedback Extortion and eBay takes it seriously and will often side with the seller in a dispute (and even go so far as to remove negative feedback).
 
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To be honest, no. I didn't even think to offer to pay return shipping. I guess I just assumed where I paid to ship the correct weapon out of pocket, the buyer would be kind enough to do the same. Had I thought about it, I would have (and SHOULD HAVE) included the return label with the correct item. That is one more thing I will always consider from now on.

I didn't offer the partial refund because I wanted to make it right, hence sending them an email and letting them know when I noticed the problem. I have a feeling that had I just let it go and they found out when the package arrived, it would have become a whole big thing.

I'm hopeful that maybe it will still turn up, having been somewhat caught in the holiday mail craze. Not very likely, though, I have to agree. I'd say it's time to just suck up the loss and sell the other figure as incomplete.

Thanks for your thoughts. I will most certainly consider sending the return postage from now on.
 
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Hello everyone.

Just wanted to share a story, and maybe get some advice, although I'm pretty sure I know what the outcome will be.

Sorry this is not directly "Star Wars" related, but where it is a vintage toy, and I do sometimes sell Star Wars, I think hopefully it will be okay.

I listed a vintage Transformer several weeks ago with a buy it now. I constantly had a buyer from the UK contacting me, trying to get me to accept an offer that was considerably lower than my asking price. This went on for a while, and the toy remained unsold. I finally worked out a price we both could live with, although a bit lower than what I was hoping. Anyway.... I pack the item and get it sent off. While it was in transit, I noticed that I made a mistake, and sent the wrong weapon with the figure. I immediately sent the buyer a message, telling him I was aware of the problem, and once the figure arrived, please let me know so I could send the proper weapon. I asked him if he would PLEASE return the incorrect weapon, as it would allow me to list that figure as complete when I got it back. The buyer agreed.

A couple weeks go by, and he says he got the item, and confirmed the wrong weapon. I shipped the correct one out that same day and sent him the customs number. Now, mind you, this was nothing more than a padded envelope which I was able to send to the UK for a little over $3.00.

A few days later, I get confirmation from the buyer that he got the correct weapon, and "sent the other one back" Three weeks go by, still no weapon. I message him, he says "give it a few more days" because apparently it would have been "very expensive" to ship it with tracking. He never provided a customs number, either.

Well, here we are, about two months AFTER the sale, and still no sign of the weapon being returned. I contacted him yet again to ask for the customs number, with no reply. I'm well ware this was my mistake. But why agree to return the wrong weapon, with no intention of ever doing so? I'm now stuck with a different figure I can no longer call complete, and will no doubt loose some profit because it's missing a weapon. I guess I'm more frustrated with myself for making the mistake in the first place. But it's still very frustrating when someone agrees to something and then never follows through.

Should I keep contacting the buyer? At this point should I just let it go, sell the other figure as incomplete, take a bit of a loss and move on?
What would you guys do?

Derek
why that stuck up half-witted scruffy looking NERFHERDER!
buyers like that suck.
 
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To be honest, no. I didn't even think to offer to pay return shipping. I guess I just assumed where I paid to ship the correct weapon out of pocket, the buyer would be kind enough to do the same. Had I thought about it, I would have (and SHOULD HAVE) included the return label with the correct item. That is one more thing I will always consider from now on.

I didn't offer the partial refund because I wanted to make it right, hence sending them an email and letting them know when I noticed the problem. I have a feeling that had I just let it go and they found out when the package arrived, it would have become a whole big thing.

I'm hopeful that maybe it will still turn up, having been somewhat caught in the holiday mail craze. Not very likely, though, I have to agree. I'd say it's time to just suck up the loss and sell the other figure as incomplete.

Thanks for your thoughts. I will most certainly consider sending the return postage from now on.
Derek,

If you PM me this guys details I can ask around the UK collecting scene to see if anyone knows him.

Happy NY

Walkie
 
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I guess it would depend on the cost of the weapon. I know it's not star wars, but if it were a black endor blaster, I would say yes without doubt. An imperial common blaster, let it be and share his name.
 
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All I can add is that my wife's family is all from the UK and we all send each other packages constantly.

For us, this is a common scenario: They will send us 3 packages from England. We will receive 2 of them and when we skype they'll be like "Oh where's the other package?" and that can go on for several weeks of skypes and then it'll finally arrive, even though all 3 were sent together at the same time. We've had that happen so many times over the past few years it's become routine. And the lingering package has always eventually arrived.

Be patient, if he seems legit and says he sent it. It may very well arrive yet.
 
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Well, it's the first week of March and it still hasn't arrived. I've given up. I'm still undecided if I'm going to replace the weapon or just sell the other item as incomplete. I guess it comes down to the cost of replacing the weapon. If it can be done pretty cheap, I'll consider it.
 
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I may be wrong, but I don't think you did what I'm going to say.

Why don't you write the buyer, say you never got it even though they said they sent it, and then say you suspect that they never did. Ask them if this was the case because they felt like they shouldn't have spent any money on your mistake, that you should have paid the extra shipping cost. And if so, that you would be willing to do so to get the mistaken item back.

For all you know, they are a 'nice' buyer, but having to spend for your mistake rubbed them the wrong way. They may have been as undecided on what to do as you have been since. When you asked if it went out, they may have responded 'yes' because they hadn't formulated a decision yet, or found it awkward to ask you to pay for it.

They may not be comfortable being forward or confronting people.
Letting time go by with no answer doesn't reflect well on them, but maybe it is weakness.

If you do nothing, well it looks like you've gotten nothing.

But if you spell it out, "Hey did you never send it because you felt I should have paid for it? It hadn't occurred to me at the time and I'm sorry, I should have done that, I am willing to do so now" then maybe they will feel relief of stress or awkwardness, and reply.

Sometimes people can't face a situation but if you lead them there and show you are being reasonable, they will find the strength to engage and respond.

If you do this and get it resolved, then great. If not, then you know for a fact that you owned up to the situation being caused through your mistake and offered what was needed to complete it. That there was no fault on their end for its existence. But now you know that the lack of a resolution is a fault on their end, and barring health or any difficult or tragic event occurring in their life, they have shown to be less than the 'nice' person you thought they were.

You have given them a full 'out' of a situation, the entire mistake is yours not theirs, but the decision to not comply is a decision on their end to be negligent in doing the right thing.

You don't get your item back, you've acknowledged the mistake in handling it was yours, and now you know that they chose to take advantage of your mistake.

I have seen 'nice' people take advantage of a situation. It wasn't something they would normally have done, but in the moment they did the wrong thing. By giving them this last chance, you give them the chance to correct doing the wrong thing. For all you know it bugs them on some level, but if they weren't able to express/confront you in the first place that you should pay the shipping, they may have an even harder time trying to address the fact that they lied that they sent it but really still have it.
 
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One of my last emails with the buyer, I did say that had I thought of it, I would have, and probably should have included a return envelope. So I did admit that with a little more thought, I should have taken care of the return postage. HOWEVER..... And this is something that I mentioned in my very first post, this guy managed to keep messaging me to lower the price until I finally came to a price we could both agree on. This price was already considerably lower than my original Buy It Now. I understand he's in the UK, and shipping cost is higher. I also on my own, spent more money out of my own pocket to fix the mistake. Now, I can obviously understand if I had asked the buyer to cover the cost of sending the replacement out to him. This was my mistake, and I would never ask someone to do that. I guess I just sort of assumed that with the considerable price reduction, and sending the correct item to him, that he would be kind enough to send the wrong one back. Hell, he could have even asked me to refund him the cost from his original purchase, and I probably would have done it.

The only other thing I find odd about this, is after I contacted him the last time, and he said it must have been lost, He then has the nerve to say to me that he "thinks he has one in his spare parts bin, if I wanted to just pay postage." So, wait! You claim you sent mine back, and it got lost, yet you just happen to have one you would send if I pay for the postage? That was probably his way of trying to get me to cover the return. I have yet to reply. At this point, if I decide to replace the weapon at all, I will buy one from a seller here in the US. I know it will be cheaper.
 
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The only other thing I find odd about this, is after I contacted him the last time, and he said it must have been lost, He then has the nerve to say to me that he "thinks he has one in his spare parts bin, if I wanted to just pay postage." So, wait! You claim you sent mine back, and it got lost, yet you just happen to have one you would send if I pay for the postage? That was probably his way of trying to get me to cover the return. I have yet to reply. At this point, if I decide to replace the weapon at all, I will buy one from a seller here in the US. I know it will be cheaper.
It didn't happen to me so I would never tell anyone what to do, or how they should feel.

I guess the way I see that is if the first getting shipped out was a lie, would I rather be bothered by this attempt to cover that lie, or choose to let them off the hook of acknowledgement and follow through with this offer. Do I need them to admit/face what they did, or simply let them make amends for it without calling them out on it.

Of course, this offer could be a lie as well and you pay for shipping and it never comes.

And if you can get a replacement for cheaper then in terms of dollars that is the easier way for how to restore your figure back to complete, and it's up to you on whether you choose to follow through on the incident itself or leave it be.

It was just a thought I had, a wrong decision made that they were too weak to correct on their own. I have no way to know if my thought is correct or not, but wanted to throw that perspective out there. I have to deal with a lot of 'what if' thinking in my world so it was easy for me to think of the 'wrong decision in the moment by a weak person' possibility.
 
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