I'm a diehard thrifter and garage sale addict! I love the thrill of the hunt! And I love making CASH from trash so I also resell on eBay and Etsy. I share my successes to inspire you ... and my failures so you learn from my mistakes. Please join me on this wild and crazy ride of making cash from trash!

Monday, August 19, 2013

Selling on eBay: When it Rains, It Pours

6312 (3)Have you ever had one of those weeks whern you just want to hibernate in a cave for as long as you can.  Well, last week was it for me and it started with these jeans.
Last week Monday started off just like any other day.  Coffee mug by my side, I sat at my computer and opened my eBay messages. First message was from the buyer of the jeans who said she was “so mad” because the jeans didn’t fit and was returning them.  Surprise to me, because she was so happy when she received the pants, she’d already left positive FB.  Okay, weird, but no problem … except today I get a message from her that tracking shows the pants were delivered and she was looking for her refund.  Problem is I didn’t get them.  I asked her to give me the confirmation # and address where she mailed it so I can check with my carrier.  To be continued …
Second message was from eBay telling me I was in violation of their name-brand policy – again – and now my policy compliance status was “medium”.  Oh, no, not good at all!
M8555It all started with a listing for McCalls patterns for doll clothes.  The title included the words American Girl.  However, the week before last, eBay removed the listing because it was in violation of their name-brand policy.  Their email also said I could use the words “fits”, “compatible with”, etc.  I relist with a new title that says the pattern “fits American Girl or Gotz or Corolle'”.
Thinking I was in compliance, I was totally surprised when they removed the listing again.  That’s 2 violations within a couple of weeks and my status is downgraded.  This was serious so I called eBay – my first time ever.  I spoke with the first rep; and after reviewing the emails from eBay and discussing it with me, he said he didn’t understand.  He transfers me to another rep in the Policy Compliance division.  Go through the whole thing again; and this rep explains that they do not allow the exception of using “fits”, etc. for clothing and jewelry … and that it also applies to doll clothes.  Seriously?!  I then ask him if I can use the brand American Girl if the pattern is for doll accessories, because this makes no sense at all.  The rep could not give me an answer so he checks with his supervisor.  Turns out that when I relisted the patterns, I added 3 brand names, instead of just American Girl.  They now considered this “search manipulation”.  What?!
I pleaded my case and how confusing this was not just for them, but especially for me.  So they agreed to remove the 2nd policy violation and I agreed to revise my title to “McCalls 18” Doll Clothes for your Favorite American Girl Doll.”  Although it took a week to show up, my status is now “good.” 
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After my call to eBay, it’s Monday afternoon and the day is not over.  I notice someone left me a NEG feedback – my first in over a year.  I already  had a headache and I was not happy about this.  The buyer had only 3 feedbacks and never contacted me to let me know she was unhappy.  I posted a reply to her NEG FB, but decided to also contact her explaining that I do offer returns and refunds. 
She responded saying the item was not what she expected; she said they were “jeggings”.  I knew when I listed these jeans, they were pretty worn and faded; and debated about listing them.  I did say they had moderate wash/wear, but I had no clue what jeggings are (now I do).   In hindsight, I probably could have written a better description so I decided to offer her a full refund.  I told her to keep the jeans as I didn’t want to incur the additional cost of return shipping.    This ended up costing me $1 for the jeans plus the $5.35 for shipping. 
This was bad enough, but getting the NEG FB made it worse.  I’d read posts from sellers who have had NEG FB revised.  In my message, I asked her if she would revise her FB and she agreed.  I did tell her it’s always best to contact a seller prior to leaving NEG FB because most sellers will work with their buyers to resolve any issues.  So this was a lesson learned for both of us.
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So it’s still Monday and I get a message from the unhappy buyer of these mugs.  This time, I know I messed up … and by now, I was ready to throw in the towel.  Getting a part-time job was looking pretty good!
When these mugs sold, I’d run out of packing material; and it took me a day to get to the store plus another day to pack and ship.  I was a little worried the package would take a day too long.  However, it was going by Priority Mail so the buyer would get it in couple of days. 
Many times I’ve had buyers contact me when they purchase an item asking me to ship it out right away because they  need it by a certain date.  Unfortunately, this buyer did not let me know she was expecting the mugs for her mother’s birthday on Saturday; and the mugs still had not arrived by Monday.  Okay, so she’s known her mother’s birthday was coming up for a whole year, and she waits until the week before to order something ONLINE.  Then expects it to arrive on time from California to New York.  Now you make it my problem … really?
Anyway, I send her a message apologizing for the delay, and give her the option to return the mugs for a full refund.  Or if she wishes to keep the mugs, I can give her a refund on shipping.  As I’m waiting for her response, I’m now worried the mugs will arrive broken.
The mugs finally arrive on Tuesday, safe and sound … except one mug is the wrong color!  Now she’s really upset, but still does not tell me what she wants to do.  I send a message asking what I can do to make it right.  She responds that she would like the right color if I still have the mug.  The tone of her email is now much calmer and understanding.  Unfortunately, I tell her that the 2nd set of mugs also sold and has already been shipped.  Apparently, when packing the two sets, I mistakenly switched the mugs.  What to do?
I find the right color mug on eBay and offer to buy it and have it shipped directly to her.  This was actually cheaper for me than to refund the shipping.  She responds that she talked it over with her mom, and her mom is actually happy with the colors she received.  She said if I refunded half the shipping cost, she would be happy.  That worked for me and I still made a small profit.
This is one of those times when I was expecting to get NEG FB, but so far, the buyer has not left any.

Last week’s issues were not limited to eBay.  Our dryer went out also on Monday; and the cost of repair is $300+ and a week turnaround.  In the meantime, we are hanging our clothes to dry on a small wood rack and the backs of chairs!  Hopefully, will be ready any day now.
Oh, it doesn’t end there, either.  Without going into detail, I fell -- force landed – on top of the dishwasher’s open door and eventually ended up on the floor.   Other than a bruise on my shin, I am fine.  The dishwasher is another story.  The force and weight of my body, broke the door off its hinges.  It’s pretty old and DH doesn’t want to incur the cost of repair, especially since we still need to pay for the dryer.  So we’ll be washing dishes by hand for awhile.  Good thing I have 2 alternate dishwashers – they’re called sons!


Anyway, I'm so glad that week is over!  I am also happy that  I was able to spend  the rest of the week and weekend with my granddaughters who came for a visit from Texas.  So sad they are leaving tomorrow and I’m missing them so much!

14 comments:

  1. Oh, my. You packed quite a bit into only a few days. Hope you have some days of great joy ahead of you.

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  2. Gosh, and your last post was filled with so much awesomeness with those great sales. I recently had a couple of problems too and had to give refunds but luckily my customers left me good feedback. I'm happy that Ebay erased that second policy violation for you.

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  3. And I thought my week was wretched after sending the wrong item to a buyer. Just hang in there!

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  4. Sorry to hear you have such a bad day. I do believe when bad things happen, it always happen in multiples.

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  5. OMG!!! I had a VERY similar week to yours a few months ago. Tons of mishaps on eBay, and at home. I like to refer to it as "doom week".
    Hang on! After the rain there's some sun shine! It gets better.
    Oh, and ps. I hate buyers who leave NEG FB on eBay, without contacting the seller. It drives me absolutely insane!

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  6. What an ebay week. I just started selling again after a five year break. Sales are slow but I am hoping it is because of summer.
    You must have a nice dryer to pay the three hundred for repair. I might of bought a new one. I enjoy your blog so much. I tried the mugs like you. They are hit and mostly miss. But the one that did sell made a nice profit. All mugs at my GW are 99 cents. I have sold 16 things and cannot get a rating because only six people have left feedback and you need ten. Mostly newbies buy from me. Hope the rest of your week is more enjoyable.

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  7. It's days like your Monday that you wish you had a time machine to go back and fix everything before it causes a problem.
    You have had your share of mishaps. Enjoy easy sailing for the rest of the month.

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  8. http://revivalbristolri.wordpress.com/August 21, 2013 at 1:16 PM

    And I thought my week was bad...you win! I don't normally comment, I rarely have a moment to myself but I want to tell you how much I enjoy your posts and how much I have learned. If you ever decide to get a job make sure it is in business teaching or development because you rock! Victoria

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  9. So sorry you had such a bummer of a week. But please tell me--didn't Ebay just recently implement a new rule that you cannot leave FB UNLESS you have contacted the Seller first??? I was sure of it. Maybe it didn't go into effect yet? I had that happen to me about 6 months ago. Some old goat gave me Neg FB, saying a vintage coat he bought was all worn out--which it was NOT, and he never contacted me. I was steamed--still am! :-)

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  10. What a terrible week! Hopefully the days will get better!

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  11. What a terrible week! Hopefully the days will get better!

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  12. OH. MY.GOSH. You and I have had the same week! I mailed off the wrong size shorts to a man in Miami. My mistake. He now wants the correct size, but he lives in the dominican republic and claims it will be $40 to return the new shorts to me. Sold a vintage backpack to a lady who paid by echeck, yet wanted me to mail the backpack immediately...before payment cleared. I explained why I could not do that. A day before her payment cleared, I went to grab her backpack to begin to package up and sell to her. It's GONE. I tore my entire house apart for a day, never finding it. Ugh. I kept thinking, "this is NOT worth the stress!"

    Here's to better days ahead!

    Thanks for a great read, we all have those weeks! :)

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  13. Ashley@SimplySellingGirl: I agree with you and not sure which bothers me more: those who leave NEG FB without contacting you first or the one who opens a case without contacting your first. Yup, just got an open case today.

    Linda Shields: I thought so to and I looked all over the place for that policy change. Maybe it's not yet implemented.

    Olivia: LOL, dryer's not that nice nor is it that old, but it is computerized and some "board" has to be replaced. At that price, we thought we'd be better off buying a new one, but that would cost twice as much. Of course, the wood dry rack only cost $18 - maybe we should have just stayed with that! I would never ever buy a Sears Kenmore again ... nothing but problems with both appliances.

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  14. Wow! I wish all eBay sellers were like you . . I rarely leave negative feedback - and I always contact the seller first. Sadly, most ignore my emails. But I feel the majority of my buys at eBay are positive.

    I'm a big thrifter anyway - I only buy on eBay when I know I'll have trouble locating at my stores. I've thought about selling on eBay - but after reading all of the work you do - I think I'll pass:)

    PS - check Craig's List for dryers, washer, d/w . . . I bought a perfect condition Kenmore early 80s washer and dryer for $70 - 'extra heavy duty' - LOVE them! After reading a ton of dismal reviews on new washers - I thought I'd go this route. Also bought a top of the line d/w - another Kenmore for $35. Still sitting in the carport - my husband really hurt his back unloading it (in a hurry - in the dark - I told him to wait!) and has been out of work for a month. I just hope it's not a forever type of injury - the dishwasher wasn't so cheap afterall . . . .

    LOVE your blog - so fun!

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