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garyg
02-28-2012, 01:48 PM
Bought a pre-32 Martin the other day via the bay and it was shipped from Iowa to Georgia. The guy said it had one small crack, but it's got one large crack and about 4-5 other small cracks. Could that have happened somehow via temperature or humidity changes between here and Iowa. It's clear from the description and the guitar strings and dust that were on it that the seller doesn't know anything about ukes. TIA, g2

Gwynedd
02-28-2012, 02:08 PM
be that as it may, there is something (oh how I wish I knew this as a n00b ebayer) called SNAD or "significantly not as described." You can politely ask seller to accept return as the item had more cracks than described (typical for the small sharp practices of small time sellers) and see what he'll do. Be a man of honor or argue. If the latter, you file SNAD with Ebay and they will take care of it. Have the pictures from the listing if you can get them before they are taken down.

hmgberg
02-28-2012, 02:35 PM
Sorry to hear about this, Gary. I recently purchased a Roy Smeck uke from an Ebay seller (I've one like it for a few years, but wanted one in better shape) that was advertised as being in "excellent condition." From what I could see in the pictures, it appeared to be in great shape, except for some strum wear. When it arrived, it had a small (1/2") crack at the bridge and, more problematically, several cracks in the back, which while not all the way through, made it such that the back could be pushed in with the slightest touch. I don't know whether the back issues were the result of drying, it may be so. I contacted the seller indicating that the uke was not as described and listed the problems. She wasn't very receptive, to say the least. Finally, after several exchanges back and forth, she told me to ship it back, stating that she would refund me if the ukulele was in the same condition it was when she sent it. She also made some snide comment about my expectations of an older uke and suggested that I should buy a cheap new uke instead. I wrote and said that I would expect a refund even if she could see the problems I noted when she got it back regardless of whether she believed they were not there when she sent it to me. Then, I sent it back. I don't have a good feeling about it.

Then, I bought some cheap uke because I wanted to paint it. It was listed "Buy It Now" for $25.99, shipping included. I paid for it immediately. A few days later, I got a notice that my money had been refunded because the seller, a new E-bayer was having logistical trouble with Ebay. I wrote to him and asked him to let me know when the problems were resolved so we could complete the transaction. A few days later, the listing reappeared except the BIN price was $70.00. I'm fuming.

I have not yet left feedback for either of these purchases/non-purchases. Until now, my experiences with E-bay sellers have all been good. I have never left negative feedback. Lately, it seems sellers don't care whether I leave good feedback or not, or even about ethical selling.

garyg
02-28-2012, 03:39 PM
Hi Howard, sorry to hear about your experiences too. I went back and looked at the pics and some of the cracks clearly are visible so who knows what's going on. But they clearly were there at the beginning. I've been buying and selling on ebay since '98 and it is definitely the wild west but I'm a bit surprised by this. It will all work out. I'll take it to my luthier friend tomorrow and he'll be able to glue the cracks. Paying $375 for a pre-32 Martin style 1 means that I can put some money in it and not feel bad about the purchase. The Grover tuners alone are worth 75, and I always wanted a great beater uke. I've found that sellers don't generally respond positively to these situations so I'm just going to forget about it. cheers, g

TCK
02-28-2012, 04:16 PM
Ugh- good old Ebay. I once bought an accordion (a long time ago) on Ebay- Paolo Soprani, hand made reeds, described as a "great player'...though I was too young to note all the pics were taken from similar angles, and none from the back. Accordion arrived with all the reeds floating in the bottom of it and a hole in the back of the bellows. Seller emailed me to tell me that he had spent the money on medical care for his mother...and I was stuck with a POS whose guts are now spread into about 100 accordions.
Back then, the SNAD did not count for much, as I was out the cash for certain. Now it seems safer for sure than it was in those early days. SUre hope you are compensated for the item, as I am looking at the guts of this accordion and wishing I could smash it over someones head for about the millionth time

Gwynedd
02-28-2012, 10:09 PM
Nine times out of ten the seller will be minimizing damage and describing it better than it is (on any item.) Then they make up a sob story that their third cousin had a triple bypass, their mom needs rehab and they broke their patella playing Rounders, and so the money can't be returned. I learned that while a certain group of noisy campers-in-public-parks rages about evil big business, it's the little guy that is more apt to cheat people, and does. I have numerous examples.

Pukulele Pete
02-29-2012, 12:29 AM
A few years ago I bought a Martin style 1 on Ebay. It came from a supposedly well known music store whose owner is supposedly a writer on vintage instruments for a well known magazine. Anyway
it was listed as being in original condition with no cracks. When I received it , the bridge was broken off and reglued so poorly you could see daylight underneath and globs of glue. After some arguing back and forth he took it back but I ended up losing about 100 bucks for postage and handling. I really freaked when I got it , didnt go through Ebay ( I dont think they were so helpful back then) but got most of my 7 hundred back. I have steam coming out my ears right now thinking about it. The owner was a real @$$hole .

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 01:39 AM
Nine times out of ten the seller will be minimizing damage and describing it better than it is (on any item.) Then they make up a sob story that their third cousin had a triple bypass, their mom needs rehab and they broke their patella playing Rounders, and so the money can't be returned. I learned that while a certain group of noisy campers-in-public-parks rages about evil big business, it's the little guy that is more apt to cheat people, and does. I have numerous examples.

Wait, what does the Occupy movement have to do with getting scammed on Ebay? Are you seriously blaming Occupy for that? Different issues, and one of them is political.

As for the OP, some of us go out of our way to describe every possible blemish, because we don't want to have to go through the nightmare of disputes and we want people to know what they're buying, probably the majority of us on this forum. I've seen Martins in a local luthier's shop getting small cracks repaired. Luthiers see that stuff as routine with older instruments. Maybe it's worth seeing if it can be/is worth being salvaged. Not that I don't agree, the guy totally glossed over need-to-know things about the condition.

garyg
02-29-2012, 01:51 AM
Okay, since this thread has changed from "can the uke have cracked in transit" to "uke sellers that ripped me off" I think that everyone has had a bad experience with ebay but in fact, I'll take partial responsibility for my purchase. After receiving the uke and then going back and looking at the pictures, some of the cracks are visible. OTOH I did ask if there were any cracks and he said that he looked at it and there was only one. I'll probably write him and ask for a partial refund but I'm okay with my purchase if a bit disappointed. What I should have realized is that few people were bidding on that uke and that should have tipped me off. After all, things that appear "too good to be true" usually are. But all in all, my uke purchases on ebay have been very positive and that includes 9 ukes purchased in the last year, all vintage. Only one other has been a slight disappointment but the others have been great including a 20's M2 in great condition for ~$675. Of course the uke market has really softened in the last year. When I started looking a year ago a Favilla soprano was $375-500 and now I have no takers for one at $250 in the marketplace. I"m not trying to minimize anyone's bad experiences and ebay is definitely caveat emptor. To better times, g2

Ukuleleblues
02-29-2012, 02:19 AM
I've been ripped off once on E-bay and another time I got a damaged uke (neck broke in two, single boxed, insurance USPS would not honor).

Since then I always do this:

I don't buy from sellers with a small volume - Inexperienced and sometimes slow shipping

I don't buy from sellers with a low prices but high shipping (You know tuners for 3 cents but 7.99 shipping) - Crooks

I don't buy from sellers with less than 99.6% approval.

I read all negative comments on those with 99.6 and above and don't buy from those who don't communicate when there is a problem.

I won't buy a uke/instrument from someone who won't double box.

If I ask a question about an item and don't get a response or the response is slow I figure since they are selling the item this is the fastest/best communication I will get from them. If it is substandard when they are trying to sell me something it wil only be worse if I have a problem. I won't buy from them.

I Goolge their E-bay ID (one time I did not do this until after the fact and found the seller was involved in multiple lawsuits pertaining to the sale of instruments. I finally got my instrument but it took forever and at one point I thought I got ripped off. I always check on Google now.

garyg
02-29-2012, 03:16 AM
@UB great advice especially googling the user name, never thought of that. Guy has 100% positive feedback on 400 sales though. cheers, g2

Teek
02-29-2012, 09:31 AM
Okay, since this thread has changed from "can the uke have cracked in transit" to "uke sellers that ripped me off" I think that everyone has had a bad experience with ebay but in fact, I'll take partial responsibility for my purchase. After receiving the uke and then going back and looking at the pictures, some of the cracks are visible. OTOH I did ask if there were any cracks and he said that he looked at it and there was only one. I'll probably write him and ask for a partial refund but I'm okay with my purchase if a bit disappointed. What I should have realized is that few people were bidding on that uke and that should have tipped me off. After all, things that appear "too good to be true" usually are. But all in all, my uke purchases on ebay have been very positive and that includes 9 ukes purchased in the last year, all vintage. Only one other has been a slight disappointment but the others have been great including a 20's M2 in great condition for ~$675. Of course the uke market has really softened in the last year. When I started looking a year ago a Favilla soprano was $375-500 and now I have no takers for one at $250 in the marketplace. I"m not trying to minimize anyone's bad experiences and ebay is definitely caveat emptor. To better times, g2

I have over 5K pos fb on eBay since 1998, and that's after they removed all the duplicates from repeat buyers, which is another 2K.

I have more problems with buyers than I do with sellers. These days the buyers have all the control. There is nothing the seller can do really, if you file a SNAD, the seller may have the entire transaction sucked out of their bank account, will be reprimanded, and may be suspended, while you keep the item. Sellers cannot leave anything but positive feedback so I don't even bother anymore unless I get one first. The detailed seller ratings kill us in search if they go down a notch. I had 1 or 2 people who wanted Priority speed shipping on Medial Mail items so nailed me because it didn't fly across the country in two days. Also I have people who pay late then ding me for "slow" shipping. I over pack to keep things safe from grumpy USPS handlers, and I mail the same or next day.

I believe that all you see on eBay or Amazon or UU or FMM or any other venue is just a cross section of how society really behaves. There's a lot of scummy behavior and also a lot of very ethical people, but most people are probably sliders, they'll get away with whatever they can within reason and have little concept of customer service when they are the one supplying it. So yes, people will under represent an item, and if the photos are taken from 5 feet away, or don't show a whole area (back or side say) then I am especially wary.

Gary, as you said you could see them when you looked later, good for you for then assuming some responsibility for not catching it. I will note that some older people, ahem, need to have their glasses on and be looking under good light at the correct angle to see flaws. I know that I have stuff I never knew was there show up in my photos. I use Photoshop to process my high def photos and my own website to host so I see my photos, the average seller just uploads right from their camera. That's why I take a lot of photos and show life size or much bigger (maybe 400% on flaws). I don't want to be accused of non disclosure, then I could very well be out the money and the item. When I am looking to buy anything, especially ukes, I always look for shadows, bumps, broken lines, anything that might be an indicator of damage.

It seems to me I have not seen any crack free Martins of late for higher prices. I feel like you do, if it felt and sounded really nice, I'd just fix it. I would ask the seller for a little comp, and that is something that sellers complain a lot about, being blackmailed with negative feedback, but in this case because of the item description you have the right to some compensation. If I was the seller, I would say "Oh crap, there are cracks?!" then look at my own photos and say "Yes there are, would a $75. refund help you out?".

Re: ukuleleblues' post, sellers list an item for under .99 cents with high shipping not because they are crooks but so they can list for free. eBay hates that so now punishes that practice by holding any item that doesn't have FREE shipping out of search until the last few hours, and taking a 20% cut of shipping. Buyers don't care that shipping costs the seller real money, that boxes and materials cost money, that packing time and delivery to a shipper are required to ship an item; that should all be free. Then if you include the cost of the shipping in the start price of the item, it doesn't sell because it's "too high". I love working from home right now, but it would pay me better to just give some of my stuff to Goodwill or leave it in the alley, including the ukes I recently sold.

Gwynedd
02-29-2012, 11:31 AM
Aside from the fact I think THIS seller was definitely selling an item with a less-than-candid description, you are right. And buyers, now can't get bad feedback for blackmailing for post-sale discounts or the worst, which is "it never arrived!" and then keeping item and money. And leaving bad feedback to boot--this scam is prominent many places. But I think he has a point about the cracks. I would not however ask for compensation unless it is offered by the seller. Because people have pumped this "give me a post sale discount" blackmail and you can't sort it out from the real issues.

garyg
02-29-2012, 01:48 PM
Thanks for all the interesting and useful comments folks. I thought that you might be interested in how this all turned out. I do feel that the seller misrepresented the uke, I asked him if there were cracks and he said there was one. So here's what I wrote the seller who did offer me a refund (no comment about shipping costs)
Gregg, I'm going to keep the uke I just don't want to hassle sending it back. This is what the local luthier said "Hi Gary, there is a back brace missing and several cracks, plus the bridge problem. I would want to take the back off and replace the brace, then it will be easy to fix and cleat all the cracks. I need to remove the bridge and reglue it.
It will cost about $200 to do all the repairs."
If you feel like contributing to the repairs that would be most appreciated. If not, well I'm not going to get into a big hassle about this.

Onwards and upwards,
G2


And here was Gregg's reply "Gary, with $200.00 worth of repairs you become the owner of an instrument worth $1k - $1.5k. Enjoy the beautiful sound. Aloha ! Gregg"

So a slider we have, and I will end up paying $575 for a 20's Martin 1M that I can take wherever I want and not worry about it too much. I mean everyone needs a Martin beater uke right <g>. I just can't get too upset about these things, even the guys gross exaggeration of the price and his unwillingness to chip in given his poor description. My research tech of 23 years had a mild stroke last night, now there's something to be concerned about. cheers, g2

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 02:55 PM
Funny how he didn't mention the need for the repairs the first frakking time. Must have slipped his mind when you asked point blank. Honesty is hard.

When you get of over wanting to smash it to pieces, maybe look into making it better. Who cares about collectors going oh no, it's meant to be played.

But give this scammer his well earned negative FB, and then concentrate on the friend who matters.

garyg
02-29-2012, 03:52 PM
Hmmm maybe I didn't express myself well, I am having the uke fixed and I wasn't being sarcastic when I said everyone needs a Martin beater uke, I was being wistful about the experience. It really is going to be a uke that I'm going to take everywhere and not worry about it, that is why I kept it. But I guess I sounded like a real snob, or someone really angry. I'm just a bit detached about the whole thing. I did send him an email back saying that his estimate of its value was a joke and that he shouldn't pretend that he was giving me a good deal, but after all he did give me the option of returning the uke for a refund minus shipping. Oh well, enough said. The uke does sound very nice.
Thanks everyone. g2

hmgberg
02-29-2012, 04:29 PM
I think detached is good in this case. The sooner you can put the negative part of this experience behind you, the sooner you can really enjoy the ukulele. And, I agree with you Gary, everyone should have a beater Martin.;) I bet it sounds great.

Plainsong
02-29-2012, 05:27 PM
No, you didn't sound like a snob and I got that there are much more important things in life. I just forgot that he did offer a refund. You took one for the team by keeping it, because if you sent it back, he'd just try it again and again and again. I bought this bracelet once on ebay, and the first time it came with a clasp that was too small to fit on the matching keeper. Ok, mistakes happen, and the seller sent me a new one. This time, it had no clasp, and no place to put a clasp, and nothing was broken off in shipping. I took pics of both, and said I was keeping both because I didn't want her selling it on to the next person with the same problems. She called me a liar, said I photoshopped it, but no way she was making those herself. Then again, she's on Etsy too, which is a haven for factories masquerading badly as handmade. She's obviously one of those.

Ok, that's not anywhere near a Martin with bonus extra cracks, but it's the same in that keeping it helps it not happen to the next person.

But I agree, it's a story, but ultimately not as important as life. :)


Hmmm maybe I didn't express myself well, I am having the uke fixed and I wasn't being sarcastic when I said everyone needs a Martin beater uke, I was being wistful about the experience. It really is going to be a uke that I'm going to take everywhere and not worry about it, that is why I kept it. But I guess I sounded like a real snob, or someone really angry. I'm just a bit detached about the whole thing. I did send him an email back saying that his estimate of its value was a joke and that he shouldn't pretend that he was giving me a good deal, but after all he did give me the option of returning the uke for a refund minus shipping. Oh well, enough said. The uke does sound very nice.
Thanks everyone. g2

garyg
03-01-2012, 02:23 AM
Thanks everyone, not that anyone is still interested but I have to admit that this guy did piss me off with his comment about what a great deal I was getting and no admission that he had provided an inaccurate description, so I did send him the following email "Gregg, I don't know what hat you pulled those numbers out of, but in the last 6 months I've bought Martin 1M (40's) and 2M (20's) ukes in excellent condition and with great sound and each was under $700. There is no doubt that the uke was not accurately described and you're lucky that I didn't file a SNAD report. So please don't try to tell me that I got a great deal. I gave you a chance to act with integrity and you passed. later, g2 " End of story. The uke will sound fine and be stable after a bit of work so as Tom Petty once said "It will all work out, eventually"

Chris Tarman
03-01-2012, 03:19 AM
Good for you, Gary. I believe in turning the other cheek, but you can only take so much before speaking out becomes the right thing to do. Of course he won't do anything about it, but at least he knows that you know that he's a d€#*head. And sometimes , that's the best vengeance there is.

hmgberg
03-01-2012, 07:09 PM
Sorry to hear about this, Gary. I recently purchased a Roy Smeck uke from an Ebay seller (I've one like it for a few years, but wanted one in better shape) that was advertised as being in "excellent condition." From what I could see in the pictures, it appeared to be in great shape, except for some strum wear. When it arrived, it had a small (1/2") crack at the bridge and, more problematically, several cracks in the back, which while not all the way through, made it such that the back could be pushed in with the slightest touch. I don't know whether the back issues were the result of drying, it may be so. I contacted the seller indicating that the uke was not as described and listed the problems. She wasn't very receptive, to say the least. Finally, after several exchanges back and forth, she told me to ship it back, stating that she would refund me if the ukulele was in the same condition it was when she sent it. She also made some snide comment about my expectations of an older uke and suggested that I should buy a cheap new uke instead. I wrote and said that I would expect a refund even if she could see the problems I noted when she got it back regardless of whether she believed they were not there when she sent it to me. Then, I sent it back. I don't have a good feeling about it.

Then, I bought some cheap uke because I wanted to paint it. It was listed "Buy It Now" for $25.99, shipping included. I paid for it immediately. A few days later, I got a notice that my money had been refunded because the seller, a new E-bayer was having logistical trouble with Ebay. I wrote to him and asked him to let me know when the problems were resolved so we could complete the transaction. A few days later, the listing reappeared except the BIN price was $70.00. I'm fuming.

I have not yet left feedback for either of these purchases/non-purchases. Until now, my experiences with E-bay sellers have all been good. I have never left negative feedback. Lately, it seems sellers don't care whether I leave good feedback or not, or even about ethical selling.

Well, my bad luck with Ebayers continues. I'm still considering whether to leave negative feedback on the seller who reneged on my completed transaction and re-listed the item at a higher price. When he cancelled the sale (and refunded my payment) he indicated he was having trouble with his NEW Ebay account. When I confronted him about the new higher price, he said that a friend of his told him the original price was too low. That's it. Do I leave negative feedback?

In the meantime, I thought about trying to pick up an alternative uke to paint. An Ohana tenor (all lam) popped up, BIN for $40.00. I thought, "How fortunate, I can move on from the previous experience." I bought and paid for it. Now, the payment remains unclaimed. I've contacted the seller. He has not responded to me. I don't know what to do about this one either.

Lastly, I've been watching an Ebay listing for an ukulele that has been on my "must have" list for a couple of years with the intention of bidding as the listing neared closing. With over 3 days left to go, the seller apparently pulled the item from Ebay sale.

This last one stung more than the others (a specific uke I wanted), even though I suppose the seller had a right to remove the listing since nobody had yet bid on it. And, my thinking may now be reactionary given the cumulative effects of these recent transactions, but I'm pissed. I would like to leave negative feedback, at least on the guy who reneged. Is it me, or is this behavior unethical? In this case, the transaction was completed. He made an offer (BIN price), I accepted (paid for it), he took my payment, then refunded it and listed the item at a higher price. This guy has a 100% positive feedback rating, albeit with only one other transaction.

garyg
03-02-2012, 02:19 AM
Hi Howard, I haven' really kept up with how ebay works especially visa-vis feedback, but I would definitely complain to the ebay folks about the reneged sale and the uncompleted sale. I don't think that you can leave feedback unless a sale has been completed which means you're SOL on some of those sales. I think that Teek's post has lots of information about what we can and cannot do now. Having never left negative feedback and remembering the feedback wars that used to go on, I haven't left negative feedback because I felt that it was more important, in the long run, to preserved my own perfect feedback record. But if sellers can't give negative feedback to buyers I wouldn't hesitate. In my own case I'm not going to leave negative feedback because as I mentioned, the guy offered to return my money, but at $375 for a 20's 1M I thought that I"m still in an acceptable price range with $200 in repairs and I bet my buddy will charge me less in the end. As for the special uke you wanted, over the years I've seen a number of listings where an item was misidentified or listed at a way low price with no reserve and if I really want it I always throw a low bid in just so the person can't withdraw it when their knowledgeable friend says "You did whattttttt". However, my real bid always comes at the very end of the auction using a sniping program. Most of my experiences buying ukes on ebay have been very positive and actually several have involved people over emphasizing defects (calling scratches cracks) which makes for a pleasant surprise when the uke arrives. There seem to be many quality ukes going for low prices on ebay now (I know that Chris T bought a 3M in decent condition for $1500 and there's one up now with a starting price of $1200), the market seems to have softened substantially. Just in the year that I've been watching, Favilla sopranos used to hit $400+ a year ago and now I can't sell a good one for $250 on UU. I've purchased 3 Favillas, 3 Gretsch's, a Kamaka white label ($289!), and a Martin 2M (excellent condition) + Regal ($750!), and have been happy with all my purchases. What pissed me off about this was the boldness of his lies, there were plenty of pictures but when I asked him if there were cracks and he said, oh now that I look closely there's one on the back. I didn't really pay as much attention as I should have. I often watch and bid on several ukes at a time, although I'm not looking for any more right now <g>. Funny, I watched that guy Steve of the Barnkickers list a younger Martin 1M (decal no headstock stamp) here for $400 with cleated cracks and saw it sit and sit and now I'm going to end up with one, okay so mine's a 20's uke for $175 more <g>. C'est la vie, and I know that mine will be in great shape when it's done. cheers, g2

Chris Tarman
03-02-2012, 05:01 AM
If it makes you feel any better (about the uke, not the eBay experience), my Martin Style 2 has several cleated cracks, and it's probably my best-sounding Martin. Of course, I bought it from Elderly in full knowledge of the repairs, and I didn't have to pay for them myself... It might kill the resale value (well, I think I paid a fair price from Elderly and could probably get my money back on it, at least if the market ever picks up), but it SOUNDS great.

garyg
03-02-2012, 06:27 AM
Thanks Chris, the uke sounded pretty good, not as good as my others but definitely Martinesque and with the bridge problems and cracks it was a bit difficult to tell. My luthier friend says that filling the cracks will improve the sound so I'm feeling quite hopeful about it. When I get it back I'll make a video of it and post it on youtube <g>. cheers, g2

Teek
03-02-2012, 07:27 AM
Gary, you have such a good sensible head on your shoulders, I wish we could clone you and spread you all over the world as a fine example of how to behave in society and as a voice of calm and reason.

Howard, I can't find the specifics from eBay on your cancelled transaction, but you can report the guy who sold the item and then refunded you and relisted it. It depends on whether or not you want to let the guy slide for not researching his item before he listed it. Doing so AFTER a sale is not really copacetic, eBay will see it a fraudulent activity. If you have the original listing in your sniping program or watch list or a watched item reminder email, and you have the new listing, just forward the emails or URLs all to eBay. If you can't find them just do a search for the item and look on the left for the completed listings" option and click the check box to find it/them. If the seller has low feedback he probably just doesn't understand his obligations, and figures you got your money back so no harm no foul. I don't think eBay cares about seller's remorse though. (The seller who hasn't answered may have a personal problem and doesn't know how to reach you. In the old days we had everyone's real email address easily accessible, now eBay makes it a big secret and you have to mostly go through eBay messages, to cut down on off eBay transactions. Also if a computer went down it wreaked all sorts of havoc, in these times people usually have a backup laptop or can use a friend's, but now they forget their passwords!)

AFAIK the options a seller has for not following through are only that the item was lost or damaged since it was listed. I used to think "lost?" until I recently lost some rare autographs somewhere in my own office, can't find them to save my life and they couldn't be too many places. They can also close a listing early for the same reason, there is an option for "error in the listing", but if the seller relisted the item at a higher price right after it was sold, eBay will nail him. That's unacceptable.

If I listed a 1K Martin for $100 BIN accidentally and there was a bid before I caught it and it sold, you know I would apologize profusely and refund the buyer and take my lumps, and it would actually BE an error and I could probably prove that to eBay by showing comps and saying I missed the extra zero, but eBay would be very unhappy with me and I would be penalized period.

Here's the lost/ SNAD page for buyers (http://pages.ebay.com/help/buy/item-not-received.html), and for sellers (http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item-not-as-described.html) (what they should do). The seller probably should have offered Gary a partial refund especially since it was requested because he had a legitimate issue, however I am NOT certain if offering a full refund absolves him of a partial refund, it may very well have fulfilled his side of the contract. If it was a good price in that condition including the repairs, then it may be better considered, as Gary has, as a wash. Gary, you can still leave a neutral feedback stating the non disclosure to warn others, a neutral is as bad a ding as a negative on a seller's account, it just lets the buyer appear less unhappy.

Seller hoops are here (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/selling-practices.html) and here (http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/seller-non-performance.html).

garyg
03-02-2012, 08:29 AM
Teek Thanks so much for the kind comments, set my weekend off to a very nice start and kudos to you for providing so much help visa-vis ebay. I've learned heaps from your posts and am much better "armed" now. God help me if I bid on any more ukes though <g>. Good weekend everyone, g2

hmgberg
03-02-2012, 11:10 AM
Thanks for the input, Teek. It's really helpful. Regarding the ukulele that was removed prior to bidding, I wrote to the seller and received a nice response. He wrote that he would never have removed the listing if there had been bids. He had a reasonable offer from someone local to him, so he sold it. Although I would have loved the uke, I'm not miffed at him. I understand his position and am grateful that he responded.

As for the seller who has yet to claim my payment, I agree, something might be going on in his/her life. I'll wait a few days more for some kind of response.

I'm still waiting to hear something from the seller to whom I returned the Roy Smeck. For me, this one came down to principle. All of my experiences previously have been much like Gary's: the seller have been very strict in grading things; and, most often, when I received the items, I'm pleasantly surprised. This seller boasted about the condition of the ukulele, asserting that it was in excellent condition and further stating that the pictures "tell the story." Well, I have gone back and looked at the pictures and cannot see the cracks in them. I already have a beat up Roy Smeck and was only buying this one because it appeared to be in great shape and the seller confirmed same in the listing. It's actually in worse shape than the one I already have. The crack at the bridge is small but I can feel it with my finger more easily than I can see it. The real problem is with the back. The few cracks that don't go all the way through the wood, nevertheless compromise the structural integrity. The back is spongy. Had she not been so snide in telling me that if I wanted a new uke I could get one cheap, or some such thing, I would have just kept it and tried to deal with it somehow. I offered to take it to my luthier (with whom I'm currently building ukes) and hear his recommendations. I offered to split the cost. It probably would require some kind of brace (the Smecks don't have a brace in the back) and would have cost about $40.00 ($20.00 each). But she wasn't having any of it and told me to ship it back. It cost me almost that much to ship it back.

My greatest issue is with the seller who refunded my payment and then re-listed the ukulele at a higher price. I have his e-mails explaining that his buddy told him he sold it at too low a price to me. It wasn't an error. He just has no compunction about reneging on a completed sale. I have a feeling, given the way he writes ("I was gonna list it") that he is a kid. So, while I don't want to make this a huge part of my life (enough problems at present), and I don't want to garner negative feedback for myself (although I understand that sellers can no longer leave negative feedback for buyers?), but I do feel that this guy should not continue to think this is an acceptable practice.

hmgberg
06-03-2012, 03:49 PM
And, the Ebay misery continues. About 10 days ago, I got a really good deal on a banjo uke. Bought it, paid for it immediately (as the seller required) and began waiting for a tracking number. When I didn't get such a notice, I contacted the seller, who has a perfect Ebay rating by the way, and asked if he had shipped it and if there was a tracking number available. He wrote back saying that he sold this for a friend living in a different state and that he would get back to me. Several days later, I wrote to him again asking if he heard anything about the uke. Didn't get a response until tonight. He wrote that he has been unable to reach the "trusted friend" who is "not an unreliable person," and would be fine refunding my money "making it [his] problem to deal with." Or, we can let it ride for a while. Well, naturally, I want the ukulele...otherwise, I would not have bought it in the first place. I'm sorry, but I don't think refunding my money makes this a "no-harm-no-foul transaction."

I didn't complain about the other transactions I described earlier in this thread, but I have every intention of complaining big time on this one. Like it will do me any good!

mm stan
06-03-2012, 09:07 PM
I bought a martin with a back crack and it cost me more to fix it...but it is one of my sweetest martins I have..... consider the repair and if it is worth it..
I'd contact the seller if I felt the ukulele was not of fair market value as advertised with the damage.... Good Luck.... how does it sound anyways, that
would be most important to me too..

Pukulele Pete
06-04-2012, 12:05 AM
My 1930's Style 1 had about 12 cracks and a hole in the back , fixed it myself and it sounds great. I bought it real cheap because of the condition, sounds great now.

garyg
06-04-2012, 09:47 AM
I had forgotten all about this thread until Howard posted something on it this AM. The uke actually sounds quite good, not quite as nice as my 20's 2M or my 40's 1M but it does sound pretty damn good even if I had to put $200+ into it. I've already taken it on one trip which is something that I would rarely do with my more "pristine" old Martins, so all in all it worked out okay. Actually I traded some art to my luthier for the repairs so I didn't have to put any money into it <g>. Back onto ebay, I just bought another uke off ebay so we'll see how that goes. cheers, g2

hmgberg
06-14-2012, 05:17 PM
And, the Ebay misery continues. About 10 days ago, I got a really good deal on a banjo uke. Bought it, paid for it immediately (as the seller required) and began waiting for a tracking number. When I didn't get such a notice, I contacted the seller, who has a perfect Ebay rating by the way, and asked if he had shipped it and if there was a tracking number available. He wrote back saying that he sold this for a friend living in a different state and that he would get back to me. Several days later, I wrote to him again asking if he heard anything about the uke. Didn't get a response until tonight. He wrote that he has been unable to reach the "trusted friend" who is "not an unreliable person," and would be fine refunding my money "making it [his] problem to deal with." Or, we can let it ride for a while. Well, naturally, I want the ukulele...otherwise, I would not have bought it in the first place. I'm sorry, but I don't think refunding my money makes this a "no-harm-no-foul transaction."

I didn't complain about the other transactions I described earlier in this thread, but I have every intention of complaining big time on this one. Like it will do me any good!

Here's an update on the banjo uke. Last Friday, the seller contacted me and said that he heard from his friend. The friend told him that he had a family emergency and had to move from where he was living, but that he would ship the uke shortly. Everyday, same thing...no uke...no shipping notice...no word from the seller. Today, I was trolling Ebay for ukes and what do I see: the same vintage banjo uke, the same pics, the same description, the same seller, the same BIN price. I bought it again. I demanded that I be refunded one of my payments, that the uke be shipped to me immediately, with evidence of insurance and tracking and that he contact me within 24 hours. Then I registered a complaint with Ebay customer service. I have a feeling it may have been sold a few times in between my two purchases. I'm covered under Ebay Buyer Protection, although it will take a while to get my money back. At the very least, if this is a scam, which it now appears to be, he's been caught in the act and I doubt he will try it again. However, in my conversations with Ebay customer service, I have been led to believe that sellers are allowed several "black marks" before they are banned from selling in the future.

To recap: seller has 100% positive feedback - which is a misrepresentation if he is selling for someone else; seller did not have possession of the uke when he sold it to me, at least the first time - which is unethical at least if not illegal (I'm not a lawyer); seller sold the same item twice (at least) but never delivered it once- that's got to be illegal.

Here's my prediction: He is likely to say that the second listing was a mistake. How can I prove otherwise? He'll say that his friend actually shipped the uke, but that it must be lost in the mail. Without tracking, I have no evidence that it wasn't shipped (which is why I demanded that it be shipped with tracking this time) just in case he wants to commit mail fraud as well.

Plainsong
06-14-2012, 11:28 PM
It's my understanding that if you file a PayPal complaint and he has no proof of shipping, you'll get rewarded the zero funds that are in his account. But we're probably past that time limit to file a claim. I remember the thread but not the details. Have you tried getting a refund from your credit card? There isn't an IF to this scam anymore.

hmgberg
06-15-2012, 12:44 AM
It's my understanding that if you file a PayPal complaint and he has no proof of shipping, you'll get rewarded the zero funds that are in his account. But we're probably past that time limit to file a claim. I remember the thread but not the details. Have you tried getting a refund from your credit card? There isn't an IF to this scam anymore.

I filed a claim with Ebay last night. I was aware of the time limit, and was within that limit. I was assured that Paypal would refund my money if there was no resolution to this. Why do you say there is no IF fraud in this case?

garyg
06-15-2012, 04:26 AM
Hi Howard, sorry to hear that the problem continues. I'm beginning to really wonder about ebay, but my last few uke purchases have been good. I would be curious to see what the Post Office would say about this. onwards and upwards, g2

Plainsong
06-15-2012, 05:23 AM
I filed a claim with Ebay last night. I was aware of the time limit, and was within that limit. I was assured that Paypal would refund my money if there was no resolution to this. Why do you say there is no IF fraud in this case?

Well, because it's 100% fraud. He never sent anything and posted it for sale again. It wouldn't not be fraud.

hmgberg
06-15-2012, 07:06 AM
Well, because it's 100% fraud. He never sent anything and posted it for sale again. It wouldn't not be fraud.

Sorry, I misunderstood you to say that it was not fraud. I'm glad, or sorry actually, that we agree that it is. Last night, I again checked this seller's feedback and it was still 100% positive. Today, it is at 87.5%. All three of the feedbacks for his mos recent transactions are negative and use the word "fraud."

hmgberg
06-15-2012, 07:12 AM
Hi Howard, sorry to hear that the problem continues. I'm beginning to really wonder about ebay, but my last few uke purchases have been good. I would be curious to see what the Post Office would say about this. onwards and upwards, g2

Thanks, Gary. I think it is only mail fraud if the seller claims an item is lost and makes a claim for it when he never sent it in the first place. Perhaps because he is engaged in interstate commerce, there are some other crimes he has committed. I don't know. The Ebay resolution center has been very nice and reassuring about my money, even telling me that because I caught him selling something twice, the department that investigates frauds is taking special interest "as we speak."

Plainsong
06-15-2012, 10:46 AM
Sorry, I misunderstood you to say that it was not fraud. I'm glad, or sorry actually, that we agree that it is. Last night, I again checked this seller's feedback and it was still 100% positive. Today, it is at 87.5%. All three of the feedbacks for his mos recent transactions are negative and use the word "fraud."

Unless the time limit has run out, it's worth filing a PayPal complaint as well. I would assume the other buyers have done that too. And your credit card. PayPal and eBay frown on that, but PayPal has a reputation for ruling in your favor and not refunding you. (because the account has no money in it)

I'm sorry about the hassle though. I'm as guilty as the next person of wanting to think the best of people. :(

hmgberg
06-15-2012, 05:58 PM
Unless the time limit has run out, it's worth filing a PayPal complaint as well. I would assume the other buyers have done that too. And your credit card. PayPal and eBay frown on that, but PayPal has a reputation for ruling in your favor and not refunding you. (because the account has no money in it)

I'm sorry about the hassle though. I'm as guilty as the next person of wanting to think the best of people. :(

Thanks for the sentiment, Plainsong. I've read that if I file for resolution through Paypal, it will cause the claim through Ebay Buyer Protection to be revoked. I suppose this is to prevent people from being compensated more than once. It is my understanding that Ebay reimburses the buyer (in this case) and then goes after the seller. A rep from Ebay told me that should the case be escalated, because the seller makes no effort to resolve it, that the resolution through would be expedited since the seller cannot produce evidence that he has shipped the item.

I originally responded to this thread because I had some bad experiences with Ebay sellers, as had Gary. I wanted to get some input from people on the forum as to how I should respond...whether to complain, post negative feedback, etc. I didn't do anything in response to the previous transactions, they were small purchases and I was not out any money. Like you, I want to think the best of people, but in this case, I think the only responsible thing to do is to hammer this guy as much as possible to try to get him off Ebay, so that he won't be able to victimize others.

hmgberg
06-15-2012, 06:35 PM
You're not going to believe this...he listed it again!

hmgberg
06-15-2012, 07:10 PM
And somebody bought it again! I'm sure he'll list it again. I've posted a warning in "Buying Tips." Hopefully, none of our members will be scammed. I've also called Ebay again to report the newest listing. The rep could not pull the listing without contacting the seller first. I told her, "well, somebody's going to buy it very soon" and it probably has been sold over and over again during the past few weeks. She said that she could not pull up the seller's history to check and all she could do was make an immediate report to their fraud people. Despite the obvious scam, I have to abide by all of their processes before I am eligible for a refund. That seems a little ridiculous.

Plainsong
06-15-2012, 11:12 PM
Feedback plummeting from 100% to 87%, multiple listing of exact unique item... Wow, as long as EBay gets their share, it doesn't sound like it bothers them one bit. Ever thought about taking EBay to small claims court to get them to invoke the buyer protection?

garyg
06-16-2012, 02:25 AM
Wow, the eternally selling uke. Sounds like ebay's protections are working very well or very speedily? Well at least I hope that the weather is good up there Howard. cheers, g2