eBay from another angle

I have been following the thread about "good condition" and "as-is"
with great interest. As some of you know, I sell stuff from time to
time on eBay. What you don't know is that I occasionally sell stuff at
a local flea market.
My selling rules for both are simple: everything is sold "As-Is" with
no returns.
Everything I sell on eBay is "As-Is" only because A) I can't guarantee
the shipper won't destroy or loose something (happened once, took
three weeks to resolve. The customer got his money back).
No returns in case the purchaser buys something and then returns an
identical but defective unit (think it happened once- I'll never know
for sure).
I don't take credit cards for the simple reason eBay and flea markets
sales are just a hobby for me. Cards are a hassle.
At a flea market or garage sale, or any auction I have ever been to,
"where-is, as-is" is the rule of the day- why should eBay be any
different?
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
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Many people who bleat out "as is" when selling something don't seem to understand what "as is" means. They think they can pull all kinds of dishonest tricks to sell something and then shout "as is" when the buyer complains he's been swindled. Reminds me of kids who would lie to your face and then excuse themselves with "I had my fingers crossed".
"As is" does *not* mean that you as seller take no responsibility for the condition of the goods. It does not mean the buyer assumes the risk of loss in shipping. It does *not* undo other representations you have made about the goods, such as make, model, condition, etc.
A lot of sellers wrongly use the term "as is" to describe stuff that is OK but just cosmetically beat up. This includes many retailers.
I suppose a live auctioneer could point to an item and say nothing but "I am selling what I am pointing at, as is", and then have made no concrete representations so that he was truly selling something "as is". But as soon as he says the thing is a live horse, it had better be a living horse and not a dead horse or a live mule.
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Reply to
Richard J Kinch
Because a long distance buyer has to rely on your pictures and your description. Items that are in working order are worth more than junk sold for parts only, or items that are missing vital parts.
Reply to
ATP*
To me, "As Is" means that it's probably broken, but the seller doesn't want to admit it, and does not want to stand behind the product when it is broken. Either say it's broken or describe it accurately including the flaws and guarantee no DOA are the only two options I deal with as a buyer (and occasional seller) on Ebay.
Jon
Reply to
Jon Danniken
Ebay is different from a garage sale or flea market because the buyer usually can not physically inspect the sellers item before a descision is made to purchase or pass on the item. Ebay does not offer this option and buyers are subject to the integrity of the seller, unfortunatelly many sellers see "AS-IS" as the catch all to dispose of items they know are trash and could never sell at a flea market or garage sale because a buyer can see the item is trash and would never buy the item.
Best Regards Tom.
Reply to
azotic
I sell many broken items and I always sell them "as is". I say in description something like "this item is broken, does not power up, see pictures, sold as is, bid accordingly".
i
Reply to
Ignoramus6826
Right you are. Since I can't be 100 percent sure that an item is in perfect condition, I start the auction at either one buck or five bucks and let the buyer decide.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
Me too.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
Actually, it does. I can't control what happens to something once it leaves my hands. According to you, if the buyer damages the item, I'm on the hook. Look at it another way- if you buy a burger at McDonalds and drop it on the floor, do they owe a new one just because you didn't get to eat the one you ordered?
The shipper- me- assumes the risk of loss as in ' it never got to the seller'. The buyer chooses whether or not to insure against damage.
And not a few buyers take "As-Is" to mean "creampuff" and then seemed surprised when the item isn't what they imagined it is. Some of them take "As-Is" to mean "a little dirty, just needs to be cleaned up".
Let me be clear- I'm brutally honest about what I'm selling, such as "Engine block is cracked at #2 cylinder near oil gallery,but has many servicable parts". I get questions like "Can it be welded?" or "Can I use it as is?".
"As-Is" is a reality check for the Larry Lightbulb dreamers skimming eBay.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
Yeah, that's true. But let me repeat what I wrote to Richard Kinch:
(And) not a few buyers take "As-Is" to mean "creampuff" and then seemed surprised when the item isn't what they imagined it is. Some of them take "As-Is" to mean "a little dirty, just needs to be cleaned up".
Let me be clear- I'm brutally honest about what I'm selling, such as "Engine block is cracked at #2 cylinder near oil gallery,but has many servicable parts". I get questions like "Can it be welded?" or "Can I use it as is?".
"As-Is" is a reality check for the Larry Lightbulb dreamers skimming eBay.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
So what if you are selling a working item, one of your own tools? Wouldn't you represent it as working, particularly if it was a valuable item with moving parts?
Reply to
ATP*
If it's valuable- something I have a large investment in- chances are it won't wind up on eBay. I'll sell it at the flea market where folks can look/see/hear it or to someone I know has an interest in it ("Hey, Carl- if you run across xyz let me know").
The same holds true if it's a heavy item- despite my warning that an item is heavy and shipping charges should be a factor in their bid- buyers have bid up an item to where it's cheaper to just buy a new one locally. The buyer then expects me to take less than the final bid and make up the difference. The only way out of that one is to mutually end the auction.
As a seller, I'm at the mercy of someone who I've never met. I screen the buyer and have cancelled auctions because the buyer has a lot of negative feedback due to no-pay or post sale problems.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
This is not what people expect from Ebay sellers, since the law does not permit mail order retailers to do this.
"As is" indicates only that you do not warrant the product free of defects that you have not described in the ad. It says nothing about shipping.
False analogy.
I you specify that you are not responsible for shipping damages up front, you will lose most of your bidders. Try it and see. The fact that you are saying "as is" and meaning something different than what the buyers expect is deceptive and dishonest.
Who pays for shipping insurance is negotiable, but if it is not paid and the item is damaged en route, the seller has not met their side of the contract (unless explicitly specified otherwise).
Also, taking credit cards is not a hassle, it is quite trivial now with Paypal. You are simply denying the buyer their rightful protection.
Alan
Reply to
Alan Wright
Yes, it does. You cannot buy an item from a retailer, damage it, and then return it for cash or credit. It's called fraud.
The law also permits retailers to set their own return policies- most car parts stores do not allow returns of electric or electronic items. I live where there are frequent storms and sometimes long power outages- as a consequence stores will not refund generators because so many customers try to 'rent' them for a week or until the lights come back on. By 'stores' I mean Home Depot and Lowes.
OK- let me try this one: if you buy a burger at McDonalds and decide you really didn't want the extra pickles you ordered do they owe a new one just because you didn't get what you really wanted?
You really ought to read all the posts before going off half-cocked. In my original post I wrote: Everything I sell on eBay is "As-Is" only because I can't guarantee the shipper won't destroy or loose something (happened once, took three weeks to resolve. The customer got his money back).
Let me expand on that: That was on my dime- I lost money on the sale. I refunded the buyer as soon as the shipper declared the item lost (it appears that one of their own employees stole it). So how was I deceptive and dishonest?
PayPal is for idiots- their history shows that they are far from secure or trustworthy.
Also, you might be interested to know that credit card protection is not automatic and usually does not extend to buying second hand merchandise. You don't have to be a genius to figure out why.
Whether it's a garage sale, a flea market or eBay, you can't realistically expect to buy used stuff from someone you have never met and then return it because either you broke it or you have buyer's remorse.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
Try this one: They give you a chicken sandwich instead of the burger. Do you have to return it before they give you the correct item?
In legal parlance this is called a mutal mistake of the facts. Basically you thought you were buying a burger, and paid for that. They thought they were giving you a burger, charged for that, but gave you something else.
It means the deal is off.
You get your money back, the chicken goes back. Then you try to do the deal right the next time.
In practice they won't take the chicken back, but will simply give you the correct burger. Health laws and all.
The example of machinery sold at flea markets or on ebay is similar. If you thought you were selling them a working honda motor, and you delivered a trashed out briggs and stratton, then the deal should be off - each person should be put back in the position they were before the deal happened.
This is easy at a flea market because the buyer is free to examine the merchandise closely. I bet you have fewer problems like that at flea markets than on ebay.
This is one reason I like to buy on ebay from sellers who put abundant photos on the auction, and disclose fully and freely. As a result I've never been disapointed in items I've gotten via on-line auctions.
Jim
Reply to
jim rozen
I don't know about other folks that sell stuff on occasion, but Alan, please never ever ever buy anything from me - I sell stuff mostly to get rid of it, and if I say AS IS, I mean exactly that, and if the buyer doesn't buy insurance, then it's on them - to me AS IS means AS IS, Where Is - I have yet to have an item sold on ebay lost or damaged in shipping, but it's not soemthing I'd warranty.
Bill
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to contact me, do not reply to this message, instead correct this address and use it
will iam_ b_ No ble at msn daught com
Reply to
William B Noble (don't reply t
Agreed- but if you buy a burger at McDonalds and you get a burger, don't complain that you thought you would get aged tenderloin.
I use a lot of photos in my ads and I post the shipping weight and I caution the buyer if an item is going to cost a lot to ship. I've put up with buyer's remorse ("My wife says I can't have it- can you cancel?"). I try to deliver more than the buyer expects- like throwing in accessories I found after the auction started. I've never had a negative feedback on anything I've sold- but I've gotta cover my ass against the yahoos and dreamers.
-Carl
Reply to
Carl Byrns
"Should be" is your opinion. There are many opinions. And there is the actual law, which most people haven't even heard of.
Most sales fall under the UCC.
In cases like your example ("non-conforming goods") the seller owes you not a refund but conforming goods (a working Honda motor). Or the difference in price to buy the described goods elsewhere, minus the salvage value of the junk you received (typically $0).
Reply to
Richard J Kinch
This proably isnt the correct place in the thread to post this - but can I ask a question?
I just bought a new lathe. A beginner machinist - still struggling with "whats that thing called" and "how do i tell if this is out of tolerance or not" and other things of like ilk.
I want to sell (well, have to) sell my unimat 3 - its works ok (as far as I can tell), its got HEAPS of accessories, including the miloling attatchemnet,a nd a thing that grinds tools, and a thread curring thingo (some of them I dont even know what their called, let alone if there worn out or complete or not) - its got tools (they cut, but are they REALLY sharp - dont know, no basis for comparison as a novice).
How would I describe this on Ebay - as is, pretty good, I cant find anything wrong with it - heaps of accessories - all reasonable descriptions. Which one, as a buyer, is the better one?. Yes, will put up a few photos - of what - the lathe itself - jsut shows the same picture as the catalogue, doesnt give any idea of wear/tear etc.
What to do, brains trust?
Reply to
Andrew VK3BFA
Similarly, if I do have the ability to test something, I'll do it. I've got a coin cointer that I'm about ready to list. The description will include something like "Ran a gallon or so of change through it 3 times; got the same count each time. The banks counter agreed when I deposited the coins. The count was as follows (number), and to count these 6,423 coins, the elapsed time was (time) which works out to about 800 coins per minute"
So I'm not just going to say "it works", I'm going to give the test results which show how I KNOW it works. To me that's better than just "tested, works fine" or something. That could mean anything; a pocket full of change through it didn't jam. Showing actual test results is worth doing, I think. Of course, a dishonest seller could fake test results, but then they wouldn't back up their sales with "If you find a problem where the item is not as described, I will make it right." as the only "condition of sale".
I think giving information like the above gives the buyer a better feel that he's getting something good, and that should result in correspondingly higher bids...and zero returns.
Reply to
Dave Hinz

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