eBay: How long do you wait?

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Macinjosh's picture
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Joined: Feb 12 2004
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OK, so I bought a Dell Latitude C600 from eBay, from someone with 100% feedback, and glowing feedback on their service, speed etc. That was two days ago, and I haven't heard anything from the seller yet.

I know I'm probably being a spaz, but darn it just email me SOMETHING, so I know I don't have to worry over getting taken for a ride.

For those of you that use eBay, how long do you find you have to wait typically, or even atypically before you hear from a seller?

-- Macinjosh

PS: If nothing else, hey I just wanted to post that hopefully I'll be the proud owner of this thing. Laughing out loud

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coius's picture
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Joined: Aug 25 2004
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give him a warning email

after 24 hours goes by, just drop out and tell him nevermind and say he was too slow. Generally, you are supposed to make contact with each other before 24hrs after the auction has ended. If he doesn't respond, just give him negative feedback and SAY why you did.
EDIT: when sending him the warning email, tell him if he does not respond within ~18 hours, you will automatically give bad feedback

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Macinjosh's picture
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Could Do That...

I could hard line it like that; on one hand it might be good I suppose. I thought maybe I was overreacting a tad. Maybe not?

I got rid of some of my favorite things so that I wouldnt have to spend "extra" money on the thing though, so I am pretty concerned.

-- MJ

Edit: Then again the auction clearly states shipping within 48 hours and thats obviously not happening...

Tom Owad's picture
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Re: give him a warning email

coius wrote:

after 24 hours goes by, just drop out and tell him nevermind and say he was too slow.

Please explain how reneging on your contract after 24 hours is not in violation of the policies you agreed to when bidding.

coius wrote:

Generally, you are supposed to make contact with each other before 24hrs after the auction has ended.

I'd like to see a cite for this.

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Macinjosh's picture
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Nodz...

... the minimum amount of time that you're supposed to wait before filing an Item Not Received with eBay is 10 days, so I'm thinking I should pretty much just email every two days or so until then, and hopefully the pattern will be interrupted either by it arriving or me receiving a reply.

I did have another friend who's a Power Seller say that she's shipped stuff out before ASAP same/next day, and not even emailed the buyer.

Plus, I hate to ruin a good record unless there's really, REALLY a good reason for it.

-- MJ

Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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Joined: Jan 20 2005
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You gotta cut people some sla

You gotta cut people some slack, especially if they've already got a 100% rating. I've had to wait a few days for a response several times. You don't know what's going on in their lives at the moment. A death in the family, serious accident, they won the lottery, or maybe he just met the woman of his dreams, etc. There are things that happen that keep people away from their computers. If he's got 100% with enough feedback, I wouldn't start worrying too much right away.

Macinjosh's picture
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Duly Noted...

... and true enough. I was just thinking actually, it would be really easy to throw me some song-and-dance oh-sure-this-is-what-is-happening email, but dead silence is more than likely for a reason.

No time to worry over it now anyway, time to head out and fire up the bass guitar for hire... Laughing out loud

-- MJ

dankephoto's picture
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Joined: Dec 20 2003
Posts: 1900
calm down, be patient

Stuff happens and sometimes sellers, in spite of their best efforts, may take longer than expected to respond. As a regular but casual seller myself, life can occasionally complicate things and it might be an extra day or two before I can deal with an eBay sale.

You say they have 100% feedback, so trust them. They will get back to you.

dan k (with 100% 535 rating on 625 feedbacks since July '98)

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Joined: Sep 23 2005
Posts: 316
communication is not required

After many years as both a buyer and seller on eBay, communication is not required, especially with a seller who has as shining of a feedback history as you say he does. If you've won the auction and paid then just wait for your item. As a buyer, i do not leave feedback until after i recieve the item, and i only send email if it has been an excessivley long time (anything after a week to ten days). As a seller, I wait for payment, package the item and send it as soon as possible. I then wait to recieve feedback before I leave feedback. You will find that 95% of eBay functions like this. It is a nice bonus if a buyer sends you a "hey, i shipped your stuff" email, but it is rare for that to happen, and sellers with feedback in the thousands will NEVER send emails like that to everyone, It just isnt possible with the amount of volume they do. So, be patient, and enjoy your purchase when you get it. Smile

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I buy only and usualy some od

I buy only and usualy some oddball stuff from low volume sellers so I expect an email when it ships (and tracking if available). The pro sellers might send a generic email with a tacking number through paypal automatically.

With all the fraud going on around the holidays coming up buying high value items is a crapshoot because the fraudsters wait for christmas to screw people and disapear. Expensive trendy items like laptops, ipods, etc are iffy.

madmax_2069's picture
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ive seen people buy stuff fro

ive seen people buy stuff from sellers with a 100 rating get screwed before. but yea you also got to look at this how many items did the seller sell . a 1/1 sell would also be a 100% rating and would still not make the seller 100% trust worthy. now if the guy has sold 25/25 that is a 100% rating he can be trusted a lot more than the seller with a 1/1 sell ratio.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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It's happening (?)

Ok, so here I am, 11 days since I sent instant payment through Paypal to a seller in California for a professional AV PCI card and still no item and more unnerving, no response to emails I've been sending since late last week. Granted, sometimes shipping gets hung up on it's way to Hawaii, but no replies is starting to really worry me. He's got 100% positive on 48 feedbacks, sells lots of professional video equipment and has more items up on eBay right now including a G4 and some other cheaper AV stuff. He just put the G4 up a couple hours ago. In email exchanges right after the auction close he seemed perfectly normal. I paid for UPS ground shipping which should only take about 5 days and would have tracking. I'm getting just dead air. My total with shipping was $48, so if he's a scammer he's not doing big ticket items, except the G4 which I see he's sold a few before and gotten positive feedback on. So I don't know. I suppose I should start to suspect he might be one of those creeps who get a new ID, sell stuff for awhile to build a postive feedback, maybe selling out an inventory he's got, and then keeps posting auctions for the same stuff which he now doesn't have. Oh this sucks. I've only been screwed once before on eBay, and that was for only $20 (talk about lame), which I never got back. Filing the complaint and alerting arbitration and all that is such an annoyance and time consuming...[please insert the appropriate curse words here]

Maybe there's some good reason...but the benefit of the doubt is fast evaporating.

Tom Owad's picture
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eBay has a form that allows y

eBay has a form that allows you to request the users contact information. Give him a call.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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turn of events

Ok, so right after I made my post here I went and checked my email and the guy finally replied (I spammed his email earlier today with 7 requests for a reply). He gave me the tracking number, and said he hadn't bothered to reply earlier because he figured the package would arrive and that would be that...(!!!)...Tracking number says it was delivered last thursday to my garage. I don't see it anywhere...developing...

Anyway, it goes to show, it may not always be as bad as we jump to conclusions. There's sometime a good, or strange (that's being polite) explanation.

Macinjosh's picture
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Re: turn of events

Hawaii Cruiser wrote:

Anyway, it goes to show, it may not always be as bad as we jump to conclusions. There's sometime a good, or strange (that's being polite) explanation.

I got a tracking number for mine. Ugh. USPS.

What are they running their tracking system on, VIC-20s? It says:

Status: Electronic Shipping Info Received

And I know it's gonna say that until a good two days after I've gotten it. How do I know? Prior experience.

The same prior experience that made my 540c arrive in 2000 THREE WEEKS after the 2-3 day Priority Mail guarantee. How come? Because that guarantee only applies to metropolitan areas, and I live in The Sticks. No guarantee then; no way to find out where it's at, you may get it, or you may never get it. Neat, huh?

I'm giving them this one more shot to totally redeem themselves; but yes, at the end of the day: lack of any sort of reply, even some form letter e-mail that they slapped out at you, is totally unnerving.

-- MJ

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Joined: Sep 23 2005
Posts: 316
a suggestion...

several months ago, i made a purchase for over one thousand dollars OUTSIDE OF EBAY from a person whom I had never met before.

The day after payment he went on a 6 week cruise out of the country (yes, that is actually true)

He informed me my package had been shipped USPS, and gave me a tracking number.

the tracking number was usless... so, i sat and waited. After 3 weeks I was able to narrow down the post office that he had shipped it from and I called there.

The people at the post office told me that when a package is shipped USPS they will not even put in a "lost package search request" (their words, not mine) until after 30 days had passed, but that if the shipper had purchased insurance on the package (which for my package was about $7, so yeah, i went with it) Then they may be able to track it.

So, i emailed the person whom I made the purchase from and he did have internet service on his cruise. He called a friend of his who went to his house, got the shipping resiept and emailed me the insurance number.

When i called the post office back (in New Jersey... Im in CT) the person there used my insurance number and tracked the package to my neighborhood post office. I called my local post office, gave them the insurance number and came back 5 minutes later to tell me that my package had been sitting in the post office for over two weeks because my mail carrier was unwilling to put the box (30lbs) into his truck and deliver it to me. They said my package had a note on it indicating that my mail carrier had left a notice for me to pick up the package... which never happened. So, i went to the post office and got my box.

Long story short, if you purchased insurance, get the insurance number from your seller and call the post office. I wouldnt give up hope yet.

TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 613
my rule...

just my 2 cents:

When buying something on ebay, my rule is: if i have not heard from you within 48hrs of auction end, i will leave negative feedback. I also include the following in the 'special instructions' feild: "Please ship ASAP. NOTE: Failure to contact me within 48hrs of the auctions end WILL result in NEGATIVE FEEDBACK and may result in CANCELATION of payment!"

I've never had someone not contact me within the 48hr period.

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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to be hardnose, or not to be

Yeah, hardnose may be a wise approach, although it's unnecessary, at least in my experience, for 95% of eBay transactions. Most people give some kind of response after payment/shipping is made--either cut and dry or even friendly conversation. Even the professional sellers I've dealt with usually have a form email which describes the mailing and the tracking number. I always email about the shipping for my own sales. Someone said earlier that auctioning is otherwise--that correspondence does not occur usually. That's not at all most of the experience I know. It sure would be nice if everyone had the "do unto others" attitude--a certain sense of shared humanity. But then there's that 5% or less who cause problems. I don't know if I'm ready, though, to change my face just for them.

So anyway, I go out again to check the garage and it just so happens that the UPS guy is walking by after a delivery to the neighbor (at 6pm). He looks tired and doesn't remember delivering last thursday or not delivering. That's to be expected, right, since he comes here every so often regularly and deals with who knows how many packages everyday.

So because this seller did not respond to my email inquiries, here I am doing a search six days after the fact! If he had responded thursday or friday, the UPS guy's memory would have been much better. If he had just emailed me the tracking number after sending the package, I would have tracked it and caught the delivery or non-delivery on the day it happened. So what am I going to do? Complain at the seller about his irresponsible behavior? He'd just thumb his nose at me, or maybe get confrontational which could lead to a blemish on MY 100% positive feedback. He'll just say he did his part. Of course, I don't know if he addressed the package correctly. The tracking does not show the address it was delivered to. It just says Honolulu, the garage. I wonder why he seems unworried about his 100%? What 100% really worth anyway? Why do we sometimes walk on eggshells to keep it? Do we all bend over backwards too much to keep eBay's rosey complexion? Now I get to call UPS on the day before Thanksgiving and find out what recourse I have.

So yeah, hardnose may be a wise approach. Out of my 250 transactions on eBay, as far as I can remember, all but two came to successful conclusion--sometimes some rocks and bumps in the road had to be gotten over to get to conclusion--but all but these two got there: the guy who stole my $20, and a package last June that got completely lost in the USPS mail. Now there's this one. So hardnose from now on? Maybe. Or maybe there's a more moderated tact that will work. "48 hours or else" sounds a little harsh and might set the tone for conflict down the road, but you say it works, so...

TheUltimateMacUser's picture
Joined: Jan 28 2004
Posts: 613
'ang on....

I said i've never had a problem. I never guaranteed this would work. However, many experienced sellers with 100% feedback value that, and wish to keep it, as it makes them a bit more trustworthy. I find by projecting a not-to-be-messed*-with image, the seller is more likely to go that extra bit to insure his 100% feedback record isn't blemished. I also feel better when a seller has emailed me saying 'i got your payment, and i'll be shipping the item tomorrow'.

*Watch your language - DrW

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Macinjosh's picture
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Recourse is good...

'cuz I dont have any with the USPS. Tongue

Didn't arrive today, and the same person who told me to call @ 4PM (I was in the PO this morning, mailing a package out) acted like I was doing something stupid calling as they only receive mail on a once-a-day basis.

I guessed that it would arrive next Monday... hopefully my Spider-Sense is guessing late and I'll get it before the weekend.

-- MJ

Edit: My WinXP box, sensing that no other computer can really take its place right now, has BSOD'ed twice... in an hour. I'm trying REALLY hard not to go Office Space on it...

Tom Owad's picture
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An eBay feature I'm increasin

TheUltimateMacUser wrote:

I never guaranteed this would work. However, many experienced sellers with 100% feedback value that, and wish to keep it, as it makes them a bit more trustworthy. I find by projecting a not-to-be-messed*-with image, the seller is more likely to go that extra bit to insure his 100% feedback record isn't blemished.

An eBay feature I'm increasingly seeing the value of:

Blocking a bidder/buyer

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Hawaii Cruiser's picture
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missing package update

I got my package today. Turns out, UPS does keep a record of addresses. They delivered it to the wrong address even though my correct address is printed clearly on the address label. They delivered it to a neighbor whose address ends in 3, mine ends in 9, so I guess it's not too hard to imagine that a tired, bleary-eyed deliverer thought he saw 3. I don't think he usually gets up around to our area until near the end of his day. He went over and picked it up from the neighbor today and delivered it after dark. I wonder why the neighborly neighbor didn't inform UPS of the mistake, or didn't bother to walk over and deliver it to me him or herself? He or she had six days of opportunity to do so. Lots of opportunities for that "do unto others" attitude in this world, aren't there? Good way to make new friends. What's going to happen on that day when the mega-tsunami comes and wipes out Honolulu and we're left up on this hill for months or years or who know how long without food, water, electricity, and law enforcement? Well, maybe he or she just coincidentally got back from a long trip out of town today. Maybe there's another good or strange reason here to be illumined about.

Also shows that it's wise to get to know your mail carriers. I know my USPS mailman very well--walk out to have chats with him frequently. He probably wouldn't ever make this mistake even if the label's address had been wrong because he would have recognized my name. I've not gotten to know the UPS guy until now, so he wasn't primed to catch the mistake.

So another eBay transaction reaches a successful conclusion after some bumps in the road, and even though for awhile my worry went to thoughts of the worse, the reality was something quite different. So I'll be giving the seller a positive feedback. EBay only gives you three choices, positive, neutral, or negative, and negative is reserved, in my mind, for only grievous wrongs committed. And neutral, I don't know what neutral means--that you've disconnected all emotional association one way or the other with the transaction? The other reason not to give him negative or neutral, of course, is fear of likewise retaliation. So we all continue with our 100% ratings, making us all look like the most delightful, trustworthy group of people in the world. Just exactly, how do we gauge confidence using this system? From what I see, most people on eBay have 95 to 100% ratings. If eBay switched to the typical five star rating system wouldn't we end up with a much better sense of each other's performance? It's not really a world of 95 to 100% positive performance at eBay, is it? It's just that their particular rating system forces it to look that way. So yeah, eBay also remains just a happy, cheery world, and I'm happy, I've got my AV PCI card.

Happy Thanksgiving!