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Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Deal with the Devil (eBay FAIL)

Tomorrow's my birthday so I'll be treating myself to a long weekend. A long weekend filled with games, family, food, and drinks! I just wish that the days leading up to my big day hadn't been soured by a setback on eBay. Did you know that eBay seller protection only works if you ship with tracking and delivery confirmation? Neither did I...

At the beginning of the year, I picked up The Williams Collection for $17 at Wal-mart. I promptly sold the game for $30 on eBay. I was happy making a quick profit on a game that I felt was a little lacking when compared to Pinball FX 2 (some pinball enthusiasts would disagree with me). In any case, the buyer immediately asked for a tracking number as soon as I'd sent the item. I told her that there was no tracking option included in my $6 shipping and handling fee (Canada Post charges $5 for standard lettermail to the States and I charge $1 for the padded envelope and my time).

A week later, the buyer asked about the status of her package and questioned whether or not I had sent the game when I said I had. Yikes.

Earlier this week, the buyer informed me that if the item was not received immediately, a case would be opened. And that's when I found out that I would lose the case and be forced to offer a 100% refund because I had only charged $4 for shipping and handling instead of the $20 required by Canada Post for delivery confirmation.

The lesson to be learned here is that any eBay buyer can make a claim of non-delivery, get refunded, and still keep the item from sellers not opting for pricier shipping. It doesn't matter if the package arrives or not: once a buyer determines that no tracking or delivery confirmation was applied to the package, the buyer can make a claim of non-delivery and collect. Shipping is not as prohibitively expensive in the States ($5-$6) as it is in Canada ($13-$20). In any case, I guess my days of selling on eBay are done. There is no way that I'll want to charge customers $12 or more for shipping a video games worth less than $10. Why would anyone want to buy from a Canadian seller when you can get the same game shipped much faster (and with online tracking) from a U.S. seller?

Needless to say, I'll likely end up refunding the buyer sometime next week. And I'll get charged fees by both PayPal and eBay for my troubles. And I'll get my 100% feedback score ruined. I should have known I'd have problems after seeing the buyer's eBay ID: satanxxxxxxxxxx (Note: I've hidden most of the buyer's name due to the update below). I guess I'm getting away easy: most people can lose their soul when making a deal with the Devil. I'll only be out $25 and all credibility as a seller.

UPDATE: So...I just found out that my game did arrive safe and intact. It was a couple days late, typical for Canada Post, but in excellent condition. I was not scammed in any way. The buyer, much like any gamer out there, was really just interested in getting her game. She was concerned that I had pulled a fast one. All's well now, hugs all-round. I am still done selling games on eBay due to the cost and inefficiency of Canada Post and eBay's new seller protection policy. Did you know that it is impossible to send a video game with delivery confirmation for less than $13 (Canada to Canada) or $20 (Canada to USA)? How the f*ck am I supposed to compete with U.S. sellers and their $5 registered mail? eBay? Canada Post? Are you listening? Good. Suck my balls. That is all.

That will do it for me. I'm off to get drunk and play some Enslaved and a little pinball.

Have a great weekend!