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Selling on Ebay...Help/Advice

Discussion in 'Off Topic Forum' started by egan21, Feb 18, 2010.

  1. egan21
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    egan21 New Member

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    So I've just made my first transaction as a seller on Ebay. I sold a very nice dell computer that was a couple years old. Brand new the computer was close to $4,000 and since I never used it I let it go and the final bid was a little over $1,500. This computer was in great shape and it still even had some plastic coverings on it from when I bought it, it was barely used and practically new.

    After the auction end, they buyer paid immediately, being my first time selling I wanted to make sure I did things promptly so I got the computer out and made sure all of my private information was erased and all of the settings were set back to default. I then tested the features (webcam, dongles, speakers, and everything just to double check) I then took the computer in it's case to the UPS store and had the computer packed very nicely and ready to go (It cost me $95 for packing and shipping).

    Once I shipped the computer I notified the buyer and he replied with a request to call him as he had a few questions about the computer. So I called and we talked about the computer, the features and all it was a very easy and pleasant conversation. From there I waited for it to arrive, it took 6 days to get to him which is normal.

    2 days after the computer was delivered and signed for the buyer calls me to say the computer is not working. I asked if there was a problem with shipping, he said no it was packaged very well but it was very cold when he unpackaged it. So I asked him to explain and he said he powered the computer on just fine and he was setting up his speakers (He's a DJ) and wiring his system, he then tried to hook it up to the internet and he said the screen went black on him and he was unable to get it to work since then. He said the computer powers on but the screen won't show a display.

    I told him he should unplug everything and reset the computer and to be sure there is enough power charged to the battery as this machine is a power hog. He was going to do so and let me know the next day. He calls me back and still no luck, now he wants to return the computer and get a full refund.

    I am unsure what to do. I know the computer was in perfect working condition when I sent it to him. It was practically new and I double checked the computer before I sent it and everything was in top notch working order.

    He believes I sent him a dead computer, which is not the case at all.
    To me, it seem it seems like he has shorted something out or has screwed the computer up in some shape or form while trying to hook all of his DJ gear and speakers to the computer.

    Now he is trying to send me a non working computer back to me while getting a full refund.

    My questions for you are;

    What would you do?

    If he goes to ebay or paypal saying I sent him a bad computer, how do I defend or prove otherwise?

    What are your thoughts?

    I scared that if I refund him the money and he did screw up the computer I will be stuck with a dead computer and out a bunch of money considering what I paid for the computer initially.

    I've also thought about messaging him on ebay re-stating what he talked about on the phone so I have evidence of him saying he was able to power and boot the system initially.
    But, he could very easily say that it never powered on, so idk...

    Anyway, so for the long story but I really do not know what to do here as I feel I am not a fault for the computer not working.

    Thanks for your time and advice.
  2. patriot839
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    patriot839 New Member

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    I sell on ebay consistantly and you did the right thing he damaged the computer by putting power to it when it was ice cold he may just need a new monitor. Did you offer insurance? Whatever you do do not volentarily give his money back no refunds he received what you listed no refunds
  3. hookbill
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    hookbill Premium Member Premium Member

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    If you're planning on being a seller at all on eBay you really have no choice but to refund the money, lick your wounds, and pray that this guy doesn't know how to plug in a computer.

    Having bad feedback as a seller with just 1 sale is a killer reputation. I know they've made it a little tougher to find out what the negative feedback is but just having it on there would be bad enough.
  4. patriot839
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    patriot839 New Member

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    If the guy does open a case with ebay or paypal they will ask for both sides of the story just tell the truth and you should be fine if ebay decides in your favor they will not allow him to leave neg. Feedback you will be ok just stick to your guns and be honest
  5. sam5828
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    sam5828 New Member

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    Well first of all did you offer any tipe of warranty with the guy? if not he is stuck. but if ya want tell him to ship it back to you or take it somewhere to get it looked at and you can talk to the people yourself to find out the problem. and you either may or may not help him in the cost of fixing it depending on what the problem was.
  6. drivinfocused
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    drivinfocused New Member

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    the computer was cold and he turned it on, could've blown the monitor. did you tell him to try a different monitor to see if that fixed it? like others have said, have him take it to a shop (reputible) check with BBB and find one in his area, or a best buy, circuit city, and what not. have that shop call YOU first and find out what it is... and talk to them directly, not thru him or thru an email...
  7. egan21
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    egan21 New Member

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    Thanks for the reply.

    Would it be a good idea to send him a message on ebay covering what we already talked about on the phone?

    In the ebay listing I said it would not be dead on arrival and no returns accepted.
  8. MinConst
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    MinConst New Member

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    IF you stated this in your listing you don't have to refund his money. You said he told you it did power up and worked until he hooked up his equipment. So it was not DOA, and probably was just fine. Just be prepared with the facts and you should be fine with both eBay and PayPal. Be honest with both.
  9. pyro6128
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    pyro6128 New Member

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    If you just talked to him on the phone, what you need to do is send him a message or email asking him to describe everything again so you can assess the problem. The point of this is that it would be good to have documented proof that not only did you attempt to talk about the issue, but also it documents what he did on his end. So if it ever became a bigger problem, you have proof that he tried to put power to it when it was cold and ended up shorting it out. Otherwise its simply your word against his. Ebay favors the buyer far beyond the seller. As a seller its rough for us out there, but you can't just be a push over either.

    edit, plus you said no refunds accepted, so you don't have to. Although I must say, the no refunds accepted does look a tad bad
  10. egan21
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    egan21 New Member

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    I know this is true but the fact that we had the discussion over the phone means nothing to ebay, it's basically my word versus his and ebay usually sides with the buyer. Unless, he agreed through ebay messaging that it did boot initially.

    What do you think?
  11. MinConst
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    MinConst New Member

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    egan,
    I know this was your first sale onebay and hopefully it will end up to be profitable. In your listing if you stated true facts, no returns unless DOA and it was not DOA I would not refund the money. If you wait to see if a case is opened both ebay and PP will contact you. You can explain this all to them and if they find for the customer you still can do the refund if you like.
    I would write an email to eBay and explain the whole thing to them. They will be able to steer you in the best direction. Emailing the buyer might not be the best way to go about this. I doubt his reply will be what you expect and that will only make matters worse.
  12. sam5828
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    sam5828 New Member

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    send him a email nonchalantly going over what ya talked about on the phone trying to decipher how to fix it for him and get him to agree with you. and tell him to take it to someone you already called and talked to first and explain to them you need to know first.
  13. egan21
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    egan21 New Member

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    Thanks for the help guys!
    He filed a SNAD (Significantly Not as Described) complaint this morning with Paypal.

    Here is an update as far as communication:

    I sent the following message to him basically restating what we talked about over the phone;

    "I will talk with my technichian and will call Dell Support to try and help you get the computer back up and running.
    To get a better idea of what the problem is exactly so I can communicate to the technician and Dell service, I need to know what happened and how it occured.

    What I have communicated to my technician so far is what we have discussed over the phone.
    When we last spoke on the phone, the computer initially powered on and you were browsing through the Dell support menu, when trying to connect to the internet the monitor shut off.
    When the computer was shutdown you said the your speakers were working because of the extremely loud sounds the computer made when it shut down.
    From there, you have been unable to get the monitor to turn back on, while the computer starts up and the lights turn on, the monitor does not show a display.
    Does this sound correct in the steps you have taken so far?
    Please let me know so I can describe this problem the best I can to both my technician and Dell.

    Thanks"

    And here are his replies:

    "Hi Egan,
    we open the box and we set the computer on the desk turn it on.. and at first it came on like it supposed to.. so i started it setting up to internet connection. and the mouse wont not respond to the monitor.. so i shut the computer off to restart monitor didnt come on so better u have to call the dell or bring any technician here...."

    and the other response he sent me a couple hours later..

    "hi egan,i will try to explain what hapened.... when we first turned on the computer it seemed fine so my wife started to set it up to our internet conection.......the mouse stoped responding to the monitor so the only thing to do was to restart the computer ........ when we did their was nothing on the moniter ever since. i said nothing about the speakers.... it wasnt on long enough to ever get that far or to run anything on the computer,,,,,, we were just trying to set it up........ i am starting to get a headache dealing with this and want to resolf this as soon as posible...we need to get it working properly soon or i will send it back and expect my money back..i have never had a problem like this with any of my ebay dealings and i never had to return a purchase but somthing not right and i want a computer that works properly... thanks norm"

    So, my thoughts are this;

    As far as the complaint, in my Ebay listing I listed the item as used, had several actual pictures of the computer on my kitchen island with all of the accessories, I also had 4 or 5 pictures with the computer actually turned on.
    In my description I described it to the best of my ability as well as copy and pasted the description from the Dell website.
    I stated in my auction the computer was used as well as I would not accept returns. I also said it would not be DOA (Dead on Arrival).

    So from my point of view I have done everything on my part the correct way. When the computer arrived it powered up and was working, when he began to set things up is when the monitor shut off. In this case, I don't think I should be liable for what he does with the computer after the initial startup. Since he agreed that it did start up normally I shouldn't be held accountable for any change of settings or manipulation of the computer.

    What do you guys think?
  14. MinConst
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    MinConst New Member

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    I would agree with you. If all as is stated you should not be help responsible. Dell might not be too helpful as this is now second hand but it can't hurt to try.
    From the comments you received from norm he doesn't sound all that computer literate so advising him to reset the BIOS might not be a good idea. That is what I would do. Remove the battery for 5 minutes and reinstall it.
    It is also possible that the fact of the cold may have had some condensation literally frozen in the monitor and the heat from initial power up melted this and caused a short.
    Very hard to troubleshoot at this point.
  15. patriot839
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    patriot839 New Member

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    What minconst said about the cold is most likely what happend everyone knows not to power up frozen or ice cold electronics or atleast most people who live in northern climates. Anyyways from my stand point as a seasoned ebay buyer and seller you did everything correctly and if you stick to your guns you will be a great ebay seller the best thing you can do when a dispute is opened on paypal or ebay now or in the future is respond quickly to all emails from both parties in the future though I recomend only contact the buyers and sellers by clicking the yellow button as ebay puts it and only use there email contact system for any reason that way ebay has full record of everything disputes are settled quickly that way. Just try to stay on top of this and keap your head up this is going to work out fine for you I'm sure. Thanx for the update please tell us what happens and good luck
  16. Martin030908
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    Martin030908 DF Super Moderator

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    eBay has an arbitration process. Might be worth looking into so things get resolved amicably
  17. egan21
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    egan21 New Member

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    Thanks for the help guys.

    Here is what I have drafted to send him but I wanted to see what your thoughts were before I send it.

    "Norman,

    Thanks for the reply, like I have mentioned before I will try to help you as much as I can to get the computer up and running again. I can understand your frustration and I am disappointed our transaction has come to this. I too have not had a problem like this in my ebay dealings as well.

    Since you have filed a complaint with paypal I am willing to work with you to get this issue resolved.

    As far as the complaint with paypal (Significantly Not As Described), in my Ebay listing I listed the item as used, had several actual pictures of the computer on my kitchen island with all of the accessories, I also had pictures with the computer actually turned on.
    In my description I described it to the best of my ability as well as a description from the Dell website directly.
    I stated in my auction the computer was used as well as I would not accept returns, I also said it would not be DOA (Dead on Arrival), I also did not offer a warranty with this computer.

    So from my end of this transaction, I have done everything on my part the correct way. When the computer arrived it powered up and was working correctly (as you have agreed), but it was when you began to set things up is when the monitor shut off. In this case, I am not liable for what you do to/with the computer after the initial startup. You stated to me on the phone you had your speakers hooked up and you were a DJ, I do not have any control to what you do to or with the computer after the initial startup of the system. For all I know you could have damaged the monitor yourself or even shorted the computer out through your equipment hooked up after the computer was up and running.
    Since you have agreed that it did start up normally and was working I shouldn't be held accountable for any change of settings or manipulation of the computer afterwards.

    With that said, I will not refund your money. I will however try to help you solve the issue with the computer.

    Here are some ideas to help you with trying to figure out what the problem is with the computer.

    1.) Connect the computer to an external or another monitor to see if the problem lies within the monitor itself or the computer.

    2.) Reset the power to the computer, to do this unplug all power supply from the computer and remove the battery. Once the battery is removed, hold down the power button for 7 seconds to drain all the power from the computer. Let the computer sit for 10 minutes with the battery and all power supplies removed.
    Once, this is done replace the battery and restart the computer.

    3.) Restart the computer and during the startup hold down the 'FN" button and the monitor button on the keyboard.

    Another option is to check with Dell to see if you can get an extended warranty for the computer. I believe an extended warranty will cover all parts and labor.
    If you did decide to do this please let me know and I can help you with that and we can try to figure out a way to split the cost of the warranty should you go this route."

    What do you guys think?

    Thanks a Ton!
  18. patriot839
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    patriot839 New Member

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    That's great send it out it tells him just what is options are and it let's him know exactly where you stand with this issue
  19. thegipper
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    thegipper New Member

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    I guess i have to play the devil's advocate. If i bought a computer and it died the very first day i had it, I'd want a refund too. It is possible that this 4 year old computer met the end of it's lifespan naturally. In that case it seems awfully petty to say well it powered up once for you, not my problem. If the guy had it a week or a couple of days i guess that might be different, but it seems like this guy turned the computer on once, and it died.

    Is this a laptop, i was a little confused about that actually.