eBay problem, your opinion, please

I just won an eBay auction for an Aurora kit I've wanted for a while. I've dealt with the seller off-eBay since back in the '80s with
no problems. I've bought from him on eBay for the last couple of years, again, with no problems. His auction page CLEARLY stated Priority Mail was $8 & First Class was FREE. Yes, FREE. I sent him an email & told him I needed his addy & that I'd take the FREE First Class, but I wanted insurance. He sent me an invoice with the $8 on it & a separate email saying that he was sorry for the confusion, but shipping isn't free. I told him he needed to go read the auction, because that's what he offered. He the sent me an email saying something about when he filled out the auction & put $0.00 somewhere, he thought, blah, blah, blah & again apologized for the confusion & sort of smart-assed stated that out of 72 auctions, I, & 2 others were confused. I responded that I'd "pay the postage, but........", & that there's nothing to be confused about regarding the word "FREE". I've printed off & high lighted the pertinant portions of the auction & enclosed them with my payment & asked him to please explain why _I_ am confused about the postage, when I'm really confused about why he won't honor his auction. He's got 99.9% positive FB (same as me) & about 3000 comments, again, about the same as me. My thought is when the kit arrives, IF he hasn't refunded the postage, the best I could give him is a Neutral & explain why. Of course, I 'really' think I should give him a Negative, but apologize & explain why. I'd like some input, please. BTW, I sell some stuff, usually models, & if I had made that 'mistake', you can bet your butts I'd honor "FREE" postage!
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frank wrote:

As would I. So let's look at what's gained here: A model you want and a relationship going back almost 20 years. What's to be lost? $8 and said relationship.
Is it compromise time? Is the kit worth an extra $4 (probably a little less than actual shipping will cost) to you? I'd find out if he'll split the difference or if he wants to be a jerk. If it's the former, nobody's too happy and nobody's too unhappy. If it's the latter, I'd send the $8, give him negative feedback, and forget him. Just some thoughts. -- C.R. Krieger
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Personally, I think you might be taking advantage of an honest mistake in his listing. Having sold over 200 items myself on eBay, I absolutley see how it can happen. I'v almost done it myself, but caught my mistake at the last moment. And if you think of it, does it make sense for him to charge $8 for Priority Mail and zero for 1st class? What is the marketing strategy in that?
Now I would believe you if you said that you really did think that this was a bonafide offer by him. I don't mean to imply that you knowingly bid intending to take advantage of an honest mistake. That is why I agree with the other opinion that you should split the difference with the seller. As a seller (and buyer) of many auctions, that's my opinion about what is fair.
All the best,
Tom Test
C.R. Krieger wrote:

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If all you say is true and I was the seller, I would try to make some kind of compromise. The seller should show some responsibility for his error and the buyer should be reasonably understanding. The answer lies somewhere between 0 and 8. (:>
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I would agree to a compromise. The seller should have offered such & apologized for HIS mistake & definitely not act like it's MY fault for asking for free shipping which HE offered. Unless someone here can explain how I'm confused by the word "Free" in front of First Class Postage.
Count DeMoney wrote:

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frank wrote:

In a recent auction, I made a sale to Canada. I have been used to charging $7.50 for Priority S&H, with insurance included, but with this sale (first class with insurance) was about $12.00. I bit the bullet on this one, but have included a caviat in my pre-recorded payment options note so I hope I'll be covered in the future.
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frank wrote:

He could have canceled the auction and relisted correctly. He could have edited the listing.

shipping for a steam locomotive, he might have grounds to declare it an obvious error, but free shipping on a model, not so much. That said, coward that I am, I'd just not feedback him at all.

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He couldn't have canceled, it had already ended. Apparently he realized his goof & offered to pay the postage. However, I in turn told him I was sure he made an honest error, & offered to split the postage. I suggested that he remove that line from his future auctions & he said he did. Whether he realizes his exact mistake, I don't know.
z wrote:

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I don't know what people's strategy is. I've bought from several eBayers who offered free shipping on BIN items, where in reality, it cost the seller money. I've bid on & won a number of auctions, models or otherwise, where it stated free shipping of some sort but not another. I chose the free method & there was no squabble about it. If it was his mistake, he should abide by it & correct it in the future. When I bid on it, I bid hoping to win, but I did note his free First Class as opposed to $8 Priority. It's not like some of the SOBs who offer something at $1 BIN & $50 shipping for a $10 item. I looked at some, but not all, of his past auctions. He only offered one method of shipping. I did see another where he offered the 2 methods, now whether or not the buyer asked for the free postage, I don't know.
snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com wrote:

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[snip]
[snip]
[snip]
If he phrased it as "I apologize for *the* confusion", he wasn't calling *you* confused, he just meant that the *situation* was confused, that there was a discrepancy between what you thought he was offering and what he thought he had posted.
More importantly, though, I think it was IMPOSSIBLE to send the kit by First Class mail, free or not. I tested my smallest unbuilt kits (smaller than any of the old Aurora kits I remember building in my childhood); when packed in the smallest possible corrugated box, with a bare minimum of bubble wrap or styrofoam peanuts, even the lightest one was at least 2 ounces too heavy to be sent by USPS First Class.
So he probably *couldn't* ship it First Class, free or not, which pretty much negates the offer you saw on his auction page. He had to use another method, and all the other methods are either more expensive or slower than a 13-ounce First Class parcel.
At any rate, you apparently decided that the model is worth at least $8 more than your winning bid, since you ended up paying what he asked for shipping; you *could* have told him you were backing out on the grounds that there was an error in the auction listing, and offered not to leave any negative feedback if he agree to do likewise.
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He did apologize for "the" confusion, & finished his email by stating that "out of 72 auctions, only you and 2 others were confused". Pretty clear to me. Or maybe that's how I misunderstood the word "free" for First Class Postage. Whether he can actually ship it First Class is irrelevant. I don't bargain with negatives. If I leave a deserved negative, they're welcomed to do likewise to me.
Wayne C. Morris wrote:

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frank wrote:

Split the difference and send it falsely labeled as Media Mail.

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While I can see both sides of the argument, especially as it is easy to make an error when listing an item, it nonetheless is a contract and he should be bound by it. If the tables were reversed and you "accidentally" bid $800.00 instead of $8.00, he sure as heck would hold you to that, if it were the winning bid. I know that is a little extreme in example, but it does illustrate the point.
I've bought and sold a number of times on eBay, and when I screwed up in my listings, I've honored them as that is the reasoning behind the purchase, some people just live for the bargain.
On the other hand, it wouldn't hurt to offer to split the shipping. Chances are the Priority price is inflated anyway, so split it and have him ship it Parcel Post. Parcel Post packages often arrive within 5 days as they ship with Priority anyway.
Hope this helps.
Cheers, Tom
frank wrote:

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That was my thinking. The eBay 'contract' works both ways. Had I not been trying to get one of these for some time, I would have told him to stuff it.
snipped-for-privacy@clearwire.net wrote:

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If you check with the post office I think you will find that Priority Mail and First Class are one in the same - one is for packages, one for letter post.
However, in response to your real question, I once sold a kit overseas. The buyer whined that because I did not mark the customs form as "Gift", he had to pay an exhorbitant amount of duty. I did refund his duty costs (I think they were $15.00 - I actually lost money on the deal) and changed my future listings. They now clearly state that I don't falsify government documents - you are purchasing (i.e. money is exchanged) merchandise and it will be so stated. It is not a gift. I then suggest that any duties or fees are their responsibility and if that is a problem, they should consider not bidding.
John Alger IPMS 10906 Charlotte Scale Modelers
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wrote:

No, they're not the same thing:
<http://www.usps.com/businessmail101/classes/firstClass.htm
--
Al Superczynski, MFE, IPMS/USA #3795, continuous since 1968

My "From" address is munged - use 'modeleral (at) swbell (dot) net' to respond
  Click to see the full signature.
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