Buyer Wishes She Would Have Bought from “Reliable” Amazon but Wants Cheap eBay Prices

Posted on June 30, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , , |

Today, we received negative feedback from a buyer and so we are, of course, upset that we do not have a chance to respond with anything but a positive feedback for the buyer (which we will not be leaving for her).  We have reviewed our correspondence with the buyer and are trying to determine just where we did something to deserve a negative feedback and we just can’t see it.  Now, there are times we probably deserved negative feedback and didn’t receive it and so I guess we just have to say there are times we do not deserve negative feedback but we receive it.  This is one of those times and I am sure there will be more to come.  Notice to all sellers: Welcome to the new eBay of 2008.
 
 
1. Buyer purchased two items separately and paid for them separately at different times.  We shipped one item one day and notified the buyer and the second payment was processed and shipped the following day. 
 
2. After we shipped the two items, the buyer contacts us through the eBay messaging system asking for a partial refund since she purchased two items.  She tells us that she sent an email to an email address we have listed in our auction description (FYI we do not have an email address of any kind listed in our auction description) when she purchased the items and that the email sent was asking us to combine the two separate purchases.  To this date, the buyer has never produced those emails.
 
3. When the buyer continued to be upset because we couldn’t combine items after they had already been shipped (and she stated that she should have bought the item from Amazon, a reliable source), we asked her to please refuse the two packages that had not yet been delivered and that once they were returned we would issue her a 100% refund so that she could purchase the items from Amazon (never mind that she would have to pay twice as much on Amazon – which is why, I am sure, she purchased from us on eBay rather than paying full price on Amazon).
 
4. Buyer does not respond but receives the items and two weeks later leaves negative feedback.
 
 
Below are the actual emails.  Every email she sent was answered in less than 2 hours, most within minutes of her sending the email.
 
 
Us: Thank you for your purchase. Your package shipped today and we expect you will receive them in the next few days.

If you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact us through the eBay messaging system or by phone at xxx-xxx-xxxx . Thanks again!

 
Next Day, buyer (Becky) emails for the first time.
Becky: I already wrote you regarding my order but I guess you didn’t receive that message. I was asking for a partial refund because I ordered two items together and you offer a reduced shipping cost for multipule items.
 
Us: Becky, I checked the eBay messaging system and the email you just sent is the only email inquiry we have from you. Does your eBay messaging system show the email was sent and, if so, what is the date?

We do always gladly combine items for shipment as long as we are aware of it. We manage multiple eBay accounts and several websites and as orders come in we send them to the shipping department; if two separate payments are sent for two separate items then we would not have any way of knowing in advance that a customer wants them shipped together. It is only when we receive one paypal payment for multiple items that we know to ship items together. If the same shipping person gets multiple orders from the same person then they bring it to our attention and we inquire as to whether the buyer might want to have the items combined into one box to save on shipping. In that case, we ship the items together and we refund the difference. We never assume that a buyer wants items shipped together because sometimes they have reasons for wanting them shipped separately (for customs purposes or because they have two children and want each to have their own package, etc).

I looked at your order and shipping history and it looks like you purchased two separate items and paid for them separately; one was shipped yesterday and one was shipped today. I don’t have any messages in the eBay system or the Paypal system asking us to combine multiple items. I am sorry that we did not ship them together; we simply did not know.

 
 
Becky: I contacted you as soon as I made the payment and I had to make two separate payments because it required immediate payment since they were both buy it now items. I’m really upset that you would put this whole problem back on me. I emailed you on 6/9/09 at 9:43 pm Alaska time. I tried several times to click buy it now and then adjust the shipping method but it would not let me and I even emailed you about that and didn’t get any response. Please refund me for the shipping as both items were purchased at the same time (within minutes). I did everything in my power and knowledge to buy the items together and emailed you. I think you could give me the benefit of refunding a few dollars since I chose to buy from you an eBay store rather than from a reliable source like Amazon which I had looked at the same night and debated on buying from them. If this is the case then next time I’ll order from them.
Thanks,
Becky
 
 
Us: Becky, while I can certainly understand your desire to save money on shipping (just as we would like to ship multiple items in one box to save ourselves on shipping as well), we have no message from you asking for combined shipping so I’m not sure what we did wrong. We received your orders and we shipped them timely. Amazon would have done the same thing – if you made two separate orders there then they would have shipped them separately just as we did.

It is never our intent to make a customer unhappy but we did not receive a message from you (no eBay message prior to ordering or us shipping, no Paypal note when you paid to indicate you wanted combined shipping) so we did not know that you wanted something different than what you paid for.

We obviously want you to be happy which is why we shipped your orders timely and with great care and why we have answered each of your emails in a very timely manner.

If you are not happy with our prices and service and feel more comfortable ordering from Amazon then we want you to be able to do that. When the packages we sent are delivered to you, simply refuse them. The post office will return them to us at no cost to you. Once they are returned to us we will refund 100% of your money. That will allow you to make your purchase from Amazon or from another vendor. That is the best thing we know to offer since the items have already been shipped and there is no way to combine them into one package after the fact. 

 

Becky: If you’d like I can forward you the email that I saved in my sent folder.
 
You keep referring to the eBay messaging system but I am referring to EMAIL. I sent you an email by using the email you had listed on the eBay listing. I still have it in my sent box. After all this messaging with you do you really think I’d be lying about sending you the email over saving myself a few dollars? This is really frustrating. As I said before since this was a buy it now listing I was unable to pay for both items at the same time. I don’t know if that’s a glitch on eBay’s part of if it’s the way you have it set up. I would click on buy it now and then go to the other item I wanted and do the same but when I’d go to pay one item would dissapear out of my purchased items. So there was no way for me to pay for it. So at that time I would go back and click buy it now again. Finally I just did them separately. I actually emailed you twice and (will finish this in another message, over character limit).
 
So I emailed you twice. The first time I told you I was having trouble with PayPal and that if I was still having trouble I’d email you again later, not wanting you to think you had a non-payer. So please check your email rather than your eBay message system.
Thanks.
 
Us: We do not have an email from you requesting combined shipment prior to us shipping the items. We don’t have an email through the eBay messaging system, we don’t have an email through any regular email (either on our eBay email address or our Paypal email address where you made payment), and there are no notes in either of the Paypal payments we received from you.

We are not saying you are lying. You sent an email that we didn’t receive. What we did receive was two separate orders, each with a Paypal payment. We did exactly as we said we would and we shipped the items timely. We can’t go back after the fact and put the two separate items in one box; we wish we could as it would have saved us considerably on shipping. For the bulb package alone we lost over $1 on shipping because you live outside the continental U.S. If we had shipped both packages together it would have saved us money as well, and we would have been more than happy to share the savings with you.

At this point, it is not a matter of us believing whether you sent an email to one our email addresses or not. Since we obviously didn’t get receive any notification through any means that the items were to be shipped together and Paypal expects us to have two different delivery confirmation numbers, one for each payment, and we can’t go back and change what has already happened…. at this point we have only the one option to offer you to make you happy. Please refuse both packages so that they will come back to us and we will refund 100% of your money. We really want you to refuse the packages and have the opportunity to purchase the items elsewhere as you want.

*************
In case you are interested, the buyer’s information (with only initials and the street number replaced with XXX’s) is as follows:
R. E.
XXX Magic Avenue
Kenai AK 99611

 

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2 Responses to “Buyer Wishes She Would Have Bought from “Reliable” Amazon but Wants Cheap eBay Prices”

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Sorry this happened to you Brews 😦 I got my first neutral just the other day from a buyer in the UK who complained that a book I sold was not in good condition.

The book was listed VERY clearly in Reading Copy condition; she just never bothered to read the description.

If eBay had a viable shopping cart, this whole problem would be a non-issue. As it stands now, you have 2 choices: use IPR on all your items and have people complain about combined shipping issues or don’t use IPR and have an increase in NPBs.

I use the second option, as my business thrives on multiple item purchases. IPR does not work well for those business models. Buyers are not able to send a single payment for different items as they are not purchased until paid for. It’s never good business to force your buyers to overpay and hope for a refund.

A shopping cart–which we were promised YEARS ago–would solve the problem, but I’m not holding my breath.

I know I’m replying to this post months late, but I have just discovered this excellent blog and I’m making my way through all the archived posts.

Isn’t this just so typical of an Ebay buyer? Wants the best product and service, but only wants to pay bargain basement prices.

Website customers are almost a different breed of human being. Less hand-holding, less fuss and none of this ridiculous feedback rubbish. I’m seriously considering my future as an Ebay seller and it’s very tempting to just forget about Ebay altogether and concentrate on my own site.


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