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
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Carl Byrns writes:

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.
http://www.truetex.com/ebayfraud.htm
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On Sat, 07 Jan 2006 19:56:40 -0600, Richard J Kinch

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
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wrote:

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
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wrote:

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
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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
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wrote:

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
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jim rozen writes:

"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).
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wrote:
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
www.wbnoble.com
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
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If you're unwilling to take any responsibility, what guarantee does the buyer have that you will pack the item adequately for shipping? It sounds like you could just toss it in a box and tell him he's out of luck when it arrives broken.
William B Noble (don't reply to this address) wrote:

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Presumably then, he would have bad feedback from doing that sort of thing in the past. Right?
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On Sun, 08 Jan 2006 19:24:14 -0800, "William B Noble (don't reply to this

<PEDANT MODE> AS IS means "As is" AS IS WHERE IS means "As is, where is"
If you don't specify the latter, then you don't mean the latter
</PEDANT MODE>
<G>
Mark Rand RTFM
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William B Noble (don't reply to this address) wrote:

Now this has me confused... he very clearly stated that if you describe a "blue widget, as is" and you send him a "red widget" you haven't escaped your culpability for misrepresentation of the widget. So why wouldn't you want him to bid on your stuff, could you please clarify?

er
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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.
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wrote:

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
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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?
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wrote:

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
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"Carl Byrns" wrote:

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
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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
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On Sun, 08 Jan 2006 04:03:54 GMT, Ignoramus6826

Me too.
-Carl
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