Self Employed Web

eBay Dishonesty

Posted on Friday, May 5th, 2006 by

eBay Problems: A Personal History of an eBay Transaction with a Dishonest Seller

eBay has become a common household name over the years.  Like so many Internet start-ups, it began in a living room in Silicon Valley sometime in 1995 and its’ first real online incarnation was AuctionWeb in 1996.  My eBay ID dates back to 1997 so I have been around for awhile.

I buy alot of automotive related items for my business at TexasInterceptors.com. Over the years, I have become what I think is a shrewd eBay buyer and seller. I pay attention to feedback ( I had 100% perfect feedback until 2 weeks ago but more on that later.), I read descriptions closely, look at the item pictures in detail and check on what the shipping and handling charges might be.

Over the past year or so, shipping and handling charges on eBay have become one of my pet peeves. It seems many eBay sellers attempt to make too much of a profit on the shipping and handling portion of the auction. In my opinion, they are taking advantage of unsuspecting bidders or those who are not paying attention.  That bidder wins an auction for something they really want and when they go to pay for the eBay auction, they may find shipping and handling charges are exorbitant. Fifty cents or a dollar or five dollars times several thousand transactions ( in some cases) per year can add up to real profits for the eBay seller.

In my case as an eBay seller, I usually take advantage of the eBay listing feature which allows you to add in an “eBay handling charge”.  I will then list the item as “exact shipping charges plus $1.00 handling” (depending on the items size and weight).  eBay makes it easy because they will figure the exact shipping and then add on your “handling charge” automatically.  How simple is that for the buyer?  They know UPFRONT they are not gonna get ripped on the shipping charges.

A few weeks ago (03/20), I purchased an automotive manual from a reputable seller for a reasonable price. The item description stated “Buyer pays exact shipping” (see the screen shot-click on it for a larger pic).

I paid for the item within a few hours of auction close and included $2.50 for shipping. The item arrived with a shipping charge of only $1.84.  I am not in the habit of leaving negative or neutral feedback. In fact, the last uncomplimentary feedback I left was 18 months ago.  In my opinion, I felt the seller was being less than forthcoming and participating in duping the seller as detailed above. I left NEUTRAL feedback for the seller “chazhill” which said:

Overcharged on shipping-Stated “exact” -paid 30% more than actual charge

As you probably know, neutral feedback effects the seller in neither  a positive or negative fashion and I felt it was warranted in this case. The postage on this item should have been $2.50.

“Chazhill” followed up by posting the feed back reply:

Reply by chazhill:

Shipping charge included new padded envelope idiot – total shipping was $2.50

NO Mr. Chazhill, shipping AND HANDLING was $2.50! Exact shipping charges were $1.84. By this time, you have to be figuring this is a lot of fuss over 66 cents and you are probably right. 66 cents times Chazhill’s feed back score of 1172 is $773. Not to shabby a racket.  Plus chazhill chose to be an immature name caller and that angered me.

I also received this email from chazhill:

Complain about $2.50 shipping charge? I lost money on shipping. Go check out the prices on extra large padded envelopes. Hows YOUR feedback?

Uh oh! Checking my feedback, I received the first indication of chazhill’s vindictive nature:

complains about $2.50 shipping charge that included new large padded envelope

I was shocked to see chazhill had retaliated by leaving me NEGATIVE FEEDBACK – the first negative I had received in almost 8 years!

I replied to chazhill’s email:

Mr Hill- You stated very plainly EXACT shipping charges – you charged me $2.50. The cost was $1.84. I take things at face value; perhaps you should change your wording. My wording on sale items such as this usually reads exact shipping plus a dollar. Your statement misrepresents the facts . And since you choose to be vindictive and give me a negative rather than a neutral as I gave you – I will file a formal complaint with eBay. Trust me, I have been on eBay a long, long time (longer than you) and I know how it works. They frown on name calling. My complaint was not about the amount – that is peanuts. You misrepresented the charges-pure and simple. I will also send them a copy of this message which shows the vindictiveness of your response. Best Regards, Andy Jones

Since I could see this was getting nowhere fast, I decided to file a mediation request with eBay – which cost me $20. I asked the mediator to request chazhill agree to the following:

  1. Mutual withdrawal of feedback. I had negative, he had neutral feedback
  2. Refund of the $0.66 shipping overcharge.

A $20 dollar fee to recover $0.66????  I must be crazy right?  As you may already be able to tell, in my opinion, I feel chazhill committed fraud and it is of little matter whether the amount is 66 cents or 66 dollars. Integrity and honesty do not have a dollar amount attached to them.

Chazhill decided to NOT AGREE to my request through the mediator and the case has been closed. I am out $0.66 due to fraud, $20 for mediation and I have a vindictive, stubborn negative on my record.

What about the lesson I learned? I see myself as a savvy, informed eBay veteran and yet I was the victim of fraud.  I guess it is a law of percentages or averages, the more you participate, the more likely you are to be a victim.  In this case, it is also clear the eBay buyer has little recourse against against an unscrupulous, dishonest and fraudulent eBay seller. Even though I availed myself of all options eBay had to settle a dispute such as this, chazhll won and I lost.

What goes around comes around.  Just remember the old saying “Let the buyer beware!”

 

 

DISCLAIMER: My opinions are my own and may not reflect the viewpoint of the website owners. You may not agree with them, you may doubt their veracity but as long as we have the First Amendment, it is my right to air my views in public. Email Me Here if you want to share your opinion. Your email correspondence may be used as content on this page. Sending a response indicates your approval of any email correspondence being made a matter of public record.

– Andy Jones

 

Now for some email exchanges:

—–Original Message—–

From: Andy Jones [mailto:cvpi@earthlink.net]

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 6:15 PM To: ‘METATECH.co.uk (Admin)’

Subject: RE: Warning about Dishonest Ebay Seller

Thanks for the info but I was already aware of that action. It heartens me to see total strangers who have been FRAUD VICTIMS (I will explain below) themselves jumping to the aid of chazhill. It is exclusively those boards/usenet groups that have a overwhelming per centage of eBay Vendors on them. The response from ebay buyers is 180 degrees opposite. To explain the “FRAUD VICTIMS” comment above, I have never posted a SINGLE, SOLITARY message regarding the chazhill episode on ANY message board or usenet group. Whomever is doing this is a troll and probably takes great pleasure in inciting all of you to an angered froth. I can prove the above statement beyond a shadow of a doubt ( re: not posting any messages) if you care to have any of the message board admins contact me. As far as the link being removed, that is of little consequence. The page is now well indexed in Google and Yahoo and gets a good amount of traffic each day from regular searches. Also, thank you for adding to the content of the “Dishonesty on eBay” page. This message will be posted there shortly.

Best Regards, Andy Jones

—–Original Message—–

From: METATECH.co.uk (Admin)

Sent: Monday, June 20, 2005 5:51 PM

To: cvpi@earthlink.net

Subject: Re: Warning about Dishonest Ebay Seller “Andy” <cvpi@earthlink.net wrote in message news:64kse.5414$eM6.5118@newsread3.news.atl.earthlink.net…

What goes around comes around. Exactly, our complaints to eBay got the website address removed from chazhill’s feedback: http://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback&userid=chazhill——————-

—–Original Message—–

From: Andy Jones [mailto:cvpi@earthlink.net]

Sent: Friday, June 17, 2005 12:13 AM

To: ‘Ashley Brooks’

Subject: RE: chazhill

eBay has two and ONLY TWO different definitions for shipping related terms- “Shipping” and “Shipping and Handling”. No gray areas, no other categories. Since when does EXACT SHIPPING not mean EXACT? It didn’t say “approximate shipping” or “shipping and handling”, it said “exact shipping” which means the precise postage. eBay asked this fraud to refund the difference and he refused. He has since changed the wording of his auctions. He was making a nice bit on the side while it lasted, that ride is over. You need to be more objective and I certainly do understand you adding me to your blocked bidders list. You do not understand the concept of fraud – however small the increment may be, it certainly added up to hundreds of dollars over time. You obviously are much too ‘dense’ to understand blocking a bidder such as myself who has a history of paying immediately is not the wisest businessdecision. My buying/selling activity on eBay year to date (not half a year yet) is over $50,000. Yeah, great business decision there Ash.

—–Original Message—–

From: Ashley Brooks

Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 11:51 PM

To: cvpi@earthlink.net

Subject: chazhill

Wow! After reading your web page at http://www.selfemployedweb.com/dishonesty-on-ebay.htm, I have to agree that it does indeed “say it all.” Personally, I think it says you are a bit dense and I’d be more than a little embarrassed about putting such a thing up on the web for the whole world to see. You’ve been added to my blocked bidders list…just in case. Dude, get a life ! Ash

——————-

—–Original Message—–

From: Andy Jones [mailto:cvpi@earthlink.net]

Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 5:08 PM

To: ‘Alle’

Subject: RE: chazhill

Wrong. I understand completely and you should have done your research. I will not go into your skewed view of things but eBay defines it as two and ONLY TWO different definitions- “Shipping” and “Shipping and Handling”. No gray areas, no other categories. Since when does EXACT SHIPPING not mean EXACT? It didn’t say “approximate shipping” or “shipping and handling”, it said “exact shipping” which means the precise postage. eBay asked this fraud to refund the difference and he refused. He has since chhanged the wording of his auctions. He was making a nice bit on the side while it lasted, that ride is over. You need to be more objective.

—–Original Message—–

From: Alle

Sent: Thursday, June 16, 2005 3:44 PM

To: cvpi@earthlink.net

Subject: chazhill

I’ve just read http://www.selfemployedweb.com/dishonesty-on-ebay.htm  and your petty crusade has made me feel sick.    You do not understand the difference between postage costs and  shipping costs. Postages costs may have been $1.84, but the shipping  cost can include postage, packaing, gas to post office, and seller’s  time.

Get a life

——————-

—–Original Message—–

From: cynthia sorgenfrei

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 1:08 AM

To: Andy Jones

Subject: Re: chazhill

Thank you…you too.

——————-

—– Original Message —–

From: Andy Jones

To: ‘cynthia sorgenfrei’

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 2:00 AM Subject:

RE: chazhill

Cynthia, That response makes alot more sense. I can only imagine what a total nightmare it is dealing with clothing items. I hope you also understand my viewpoint — lay it all out, of you are gonna charge $5 for handling; just let me know upfront so I can decide if I want to make the purchase or not. I wish you all the success,

Andy

—–Original Message—–

From: cynthia sorgenfrei

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 12:50 AM

To: Andy Jones

Subject: Re: chazhill

All I can tell you Andy, is that I would have charged you $5. I noticed that he left you a negative feedback (it’s called Power Seller crack-up). At least in your car businessyou have some woman taking complaints over the phone…power sellers generally work alone; as a PS you have no idea of the idiots we deal with weekly. I am an eBay glorified POWER SELLER. All that POWER SELLER means that we are the ones who pay most of our profits to Lord eBay and they give us our stupid little stars and stripes. My feedback is 99, only because I have to kiss ass on account of the feedback system. Money doesn’t flow our way, Ebay and Paypal take an enormous drain on us financially. I probably wind up paying more in fees to eBay than I would if I rented a store in my own community Here is a great example of the feedback and nastiness that a PowerSeller with crack up gives. We get really nasty after a while. Check out what this guy leaves nearly all his customers. I’m going to start being a bitch to my dog customers soon too.

I’m slightly behind this guy. Ebay buyers, they aren’t customers….they are just the fuel that feeds eBay them and the sellers. It’s eBay who should be pleasant, since they are the ones who really have your money, not us. This is SHIJUKU from Japan, one of my favorites. http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dllViewFeedbackMemberLeft&memberid=*shijuku*&items=-1&item=-1&de=off I had some cranky whore from the midwest ask me to refund her shipping because she had to wait too long (ahhhh 7 days?) I kissed her ass and gave her back her stupid shipping, and a free gift, and now she says her jeans don’t fit and I pay her to reship the jeans back via Paypal……

Let me tell you that I hate this bitch and I don’t even know her. She paid next to nothing for the item to begin with. It cost me 5.00 to ship a pair of jeans priority anywhere in the USA and I charge $10 shipping….WHY? Because if it gets lost in the mail, I replace it, I pay for reshipping if something doesn’t fit, and then I reship it again. After all is said and done, I lost all to please the customer. Who pays next to nothing anyway. I give great deals on beautiful items and I deal with complaints and returns all week long. The road to riches is paved in hard work and irritation and it makes me very cranky. The stupid complaints people have make me sick. Make money on eBay? Hardest work I ever ever undertook. But I love photography, shopping, and computing so that is my saving grace. Glad to know you are also a seller, but not a seller who is trying to make a million dollars. There is no racket Andy….it’s work like any other but more and harder

—– Original Message —–

From: Andy Jones

To: ‘cynthia sorgenfrei’

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 1:22 AM

Subject: RE: chazhill

Hey lady, I am glad I got you worked up — people need to be HONEST — that is what makes eBay work. You do not need to lecture me on the way eBay works — not hardly. I have been on eBay since 1997 when it was stilled called Auction Watch. I have SOLD everything from a $0.50 record album to a $25,000 car . It is a businessand maybe one of these days you will discover that it really is about “what goes around, comes around.” Treat your customers fair and square and they will be back. What is your eBay ID so I can check out what kind of businessyou do?

—–Original Message—–

From: cynthia sorgenfrei

Sent: Monday, June 06, 2005 12:11 AM

To: cvpi@earthlink.net

Subject: chazhill

I have no idea who Chazhill is but you are OUT OF YOUR MIND ! Why don’t you come join our racket ! You get so rich selling on eBay. Your article annoyed the hell out of me. You have no idea of the WORK involved with selling to you people and giving you everything for nothing. We don’t make a lot of money ding dong, but you customers piss us off plenty with your rantings about dishonesty, being ripped off and carryings on. We’re the ones getting ripped off, not you. You better delete your stupid article about .66 because when eBay sellers read it they will see all the irritations they deal with daily from online people who think they deserve special treatment. Narcissist.

————————

—–Original Message—–

From: Andy Jones [mailto:cvpi@earthlink.net]

Sent: Friday, June 03, 2005 12:55 AM

To: ‘Scott Leigh’

Subject: RE: chazhill

Thanks Scott, It is an imperfect system when nobody wants to leave negative feedback because of the retaliatory response – and you are right, the mediation is just a profit center. Andy

—–Original Message—–

From: Scott Leigh ]

Sent: Thursday, June 02, 2005 10:59 PM

To: cvpi@earthlink.net

Subject: chazhill

Dear Ebayer, Thanks for the story and time you took to write about the neg. FB you rec. from the above mentioned chazhill. I too was burned and got my first neg. from someone who misrepresented their item. Although Pay Pal refunded me because the seller’s deception was unmistakable, still ebay despite numerous emails has only offered to send me to money making mediation or read ad nauseum their policy. I get only computer generated emails from them and no satisfaction. You are likely past this by now but thanks for letting me join with you for a moment and maybe, just maybe something can change the hands off policy that ebay is angering so many with. We don’t want to lose the areana of ebay but at the same time don’t want to get stung by vengeful, spiteful little sellers that take it out on us for their falsehoods.

Sincerely,

Scott

————————

 

 

 

 

 

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