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Ebay: Gems amidst the Fruitcakes


AirborneAFOL
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#donbee recently shared a "feel good" story in the Fruitcakes thread - I really enjoyed it, especially since I had a few recent experiences like it myself. Thought a thread highlighting positive might be worthwhile (perhaps even stickied?).

Shipping SNAFU. Two weeks ago sold a small $3 PAB item to a buyer in Michigan. Timely, accurately, securely shipped. But in reviewing my "paid and shipped" queue, I noticed the tracking had stalled out at my local (Minnesota) USPS hub.

Messaged the buyer to let him know I was unsure of the reason for the delay, but assumed responsibility for it, and would gladly refund his shipping costs (if it showed up late) or a full refund / replacement if it didn't show up in the next week.

Buyer messages me back immediately and says how grateful he was for my attention to the status and offer, but was happy to wait a week or two to see what happens.

After 8 days stalled out in MN, it starts moving again, and seller messages me saying it arrived in perfect condition, he refuses any partial refund, and sang my praises in positive feedback.

The Moral: proactive follow up on shipping issues may cost you the occasional shipping refund, but buys you immense customer loyalty.

Fellow Brickpicker Courtesies. Had a guy offer 67% my BIN OBO price on a Ninjago Enter the Serpent (no minifigs). Said up front he knows its a low offer but its for his kid and the most he has in his budget.

I politely countered, letting him know 80% of the list price is my bottom "break even" dollar. He declined, but alerted me to a mistake I had in the listing (I had forgotten to enable combined shipping). Went on to mentioned he recognized my store name ("Veritas Bricks") from the BP forums and thought I might wanna make the correction to boost my chances of selling the listing to someone else.

He never did mention his BP name, but I was so grateful for his heads up that I'm going to offer him the set at his price if I can make up for it in selling the parted out minifigs for an extra buck or two.

The Moral: BPer's looking out for one another is a win-win for all of us.

Anyone else have some recent good experiences? Where you start out with a grimace, sensing a headache is coming, only to be left feeling encouraged that there are some honest people out there who aren't just looking to screw you the first chance they get? I don't know about you, but a string of 2-3 fruitcake encounters leaves me wondering if eBay is even worth the trouble. But even 1 gem like these inspires me enough to outweigh the headaches of dozen fruitcakes, so lets hear about some more!

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I had a 42056 Porsche on eBay yesterday - one of the lower priced BINs - using a stock photo.  A buyer inquired if I had actual photos. I was having a stressful day, and may have been a bit of a jerk in my response: told him (all true) I was " ... working, didn't have time for photos right now, but the box - as I recall - was nearly flawless... but if he was looking for a 'museum piece', he should shop elsewhere."  Less than an hour later, he bought it.  I thought that was cool of him, and the least I could do was go snap some quick photos to show him he made the right choice.  I pulled the box out and thought, "uuggghh" ... saw lots of minor nicks, scratches, and a light (but long) crease on the back side I had not noticed before. The box was still very nice... a 9 out of 10... just less perfect than I thought. So I took the photos and sent them, telling him that I know box condition is important to him, and if he wanted to cancel, that'd be fine. That was Saturday and - still expecting the worst in people - when he didn't reply right away, I figured he'd hold out and not reply ... maybe cancel his order Monday at 2 AM, and I'd miss the chance to relist this weekend.  But a few hours later he replied... said the minor flaws looked fine to him, and he's looking forward to getting his new Porsche soon. In general, people are good.

Edited by Kenxxx
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I sold a Darth Revan Polybag and just put it in a padded envelope and dropped off in the outgoing mail slot. First class mail but printed through Ebay shipping labels so it had a tracking bar code to scan. A week goes by and the thing never got a single scan, just says "label created" or whatever it is on tracking. Guy says he never got it and I start to inquire suspiciously because I've never had a problem with that shipping method for polys ever before and knew with no tracking updates he could say whatever and win the case. I've had it before where my local post office doesn't scan and have seen cases where the only update ever was the final "delivered". I thought maybe it didn't get scanned then either and that he was trying to con me. I went to my local post office where it would have went through and gave the tracking number and the manager said it went through their facility the next day after "checking a computer in the back". I told the guy to just wait a little bit longer but he insisted he wanted a refund now after my helpless investigation so my hands were tied and I agreed. Sure enough, a couple days later (around 11-12 days total) the tracking magically scans in process at Phoenix, AZ after shipping first class from Maryland. He receives it eventually and agrees to ship it back if I purchased the return label for him. I just emailed the pdf to him, and he returned it and I was ecstatic considering I started coming off as a jerk a little bit in my emails, questioning his integrity and so forth, and also that he could have just kept it and screwed me for it.

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My very first bulk Lego buy was a 70+ lb lot from a lady selling off her kids Lego. Lot turned out to be really good with 100+ minfigures mostly SW. A couple of gems included. A couple a months later I receive another 8lb box of LEgo from her with mostly Raiders of the Lost Ark. 

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Amazon, not eBay, but a very rare message to receive....

Thank you so much for this awesome set! I'm glad I got the one you were selling! Brand new, just with a damaged box, it was so much cheaper & I didn't feel bad opening it! Again, thank you, I am very satisfied. :)
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Sold a BvS Batmobile poly via lettermail within Canada a while back and the poly got lost in transit. No big deal, it happens from time to time on polys. Buyer contacted me saying he never received, but has experience selling polys himself (had over 3000 feedback and looked to be a LEGO seller as well) and knows it happens. He said he would still like the item, so I told him i'd ship another out ASAP.

He ended up buying another from me to "help lessen the cost of shipping it again". Considering i got these for around $4 CAD or something and was selling for $10-15, i was more than happy to oblige! :)

Buyer left good feedback in the end, and even if i was "scammed" out of the poly (which i don't think i was) i still ended up making even more in the end due to him buying another. Sure as hell beats the buyers claiming i never shipped the item and intended to scam them...

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  • 4 weeks later...
Having a banner Sunday-Monday in sales, I walked up to my local USPS with a box of 33 packages weighing over 20 pounds at 6am. Plan was to slip as much as I could into the drop box this morning on my way to work, then the rest on my way home.

Gal inside saw me approaching and came and unlocked the door, offering to take it. I thanked her profusely, and she was all "No problem at all, happy to help, you keep us in business, and better than filling up the drop box".

Offered to bring her a coffee or something for making the generous exception, she politely declined, and said she's always there at 6am so I can just give a knock if I even have an early drop off of more than will fit in the drop box.

Not really an Ebay buyer "feel good" story, but a pretty good experience all the same

Wow, sounds like you have an awesome post office. People at mine wait until the last second to open and close as soon as they possibly can. Plus there is nothing worse than the drop box being jammed and you have to wait in line anyway. This seems to happen at mine quite often.

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Wow, sounds like you have an awesome post office. People at mine wait until the last second to open and close as soon as they possibly can. Plus there is nothing worse than the drop box being jammed and you have to wait in line anyway. This seems to happen at mine quite often.

The first few months, I'd drop off larger packages in person and always make a point to ask if there was anything I could do with my packaging/labeling to make things easier for them (even though I knew everything was already correct for safe & secure shipping). That little "I want to make your job easier" gesture seems a great icebreaker and lends to them recognizing your face.

I've also made a point to intercept my carrier a few times and similarly thank her, and solicit her feedback on anything I could do to make things easier for her.

These little things can help with big payoffs down the road, like this morning :)

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  • Alpinemaps pinned this topic
  • 4 months later...

First time ever I had someone from this forum (active member, but I won't call him out) say to me after a purchase "hey, aren't you from BP?" Recognized his handle here when he mentioned it, and said I'd have gladly knocked a buck off the $5 minifig he bought had I known - was willing to do a partial refund as well. He basically said "nah, don't sweat it, it was a fair price."

Just some cool BP camaraderie, and made for a highlight amongst my last 250 or so eBay transactions.

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  • 10 months later...

Won a 10019 Rebel Blockade Runner on eBay, with the vague title no one else bid. With the low price, and $3 shipping charge, I started to sense it was going to be a scam or bootleg bricks wrongly listed.

I went through the sellers sold listings after a few days since I hadn't received a shipping notice, noticed he had sold the exact same item, with the exact same pictures, a week earlier for much more than I paid. After that my scooby sense was really tingling. Reached out to the seller just with a vague request for a tracking number. Within a few minutes the eBay app notified me that it was shipped and a UPS tracking number was added. Still wasn't convinced it was going to arrive. Have had many non shipments from sellers when they didn't get what they hoped for the item.

Got home yesterday and there were two giant UPS boxes on my doorstep. Not only did it arrive, but he shipped it assembled. The engine in one box, the rest in the other.  Must have cost a good chunk to ship two boxes half way across the US, and really ate into the payment he received.

image.png.e82e2387929f7ba041c6aa2134c6933c.png

Now I'm caught trying to decide do I keep it because it was such a steal, or sell it for as much profit as possible. It was never a "must have" for me, just tossed the minimum bid up with seconds left and surprisingly no one else was watching it.

Edited by brickvoyeur
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