eBay Auction Advice?

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eBay Auction Advice?

Last week, I bought a 1.67 GHz 15" AluBook on eBay (Buy-It-Now for $710) with pretty stock specs. It arrived today. I opened it up, and the first impression I got was of a PowerBook in fantastic shape. Hardly no blemishes, etc. Push the power button, and "BEEP!" So along with all the stock hardware (plus AirPort Extreme, Bluetooth, SuperDrive, etc), it also comes with a dead RAM slot that wasn't disclosed in the auction description.

I contacted the seller and asked for either a partial refund or full exchange, but the seller indicates in the listing that he doesn't issue refunds, and exchanges/returns will only be offered for DOA items. The seller hasn't responded yet (not that I've given him much time).

What should I do at this point? I haven't heard from the seller, but based on the auction description, I'm not hugely optimistic about either possibility I offered. Interestingly, the seller also offers a SquareTrade Warranty (whatever the heck that is). Has anyone here ever bought a SquareTrade Warranty? If so, what does it cover?

Peace,
Drew

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The machine seems pretty DOA

The machine seems pretty DOA to me. I'd explore that angle with the seller, and if he balks, file a complaint with eBay. You didn't mention how you paid for the item; PayPal leans heavily towards buyers, so if you paid by PayPal you can file a claim with them and there'll be a pretty good chance you'll get your money back.

alk
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Thanks for the reply. The se

Thanks for the reply. The seller offered an exchange of the PowerBook for another or of the 512 MB RAM for a 1 GB SO-DIMM. I'll take the PowerBook exchange. RAM is cheap anyway.

I did use PayPal to pay for it. You think that I have a pretty good chance w/ PayPal if the seller doesn't come through? I'm a little worried that once I let go of the PowerBook, I'm completely at his mercy.

Peace,
Drew

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PayPal

If you paid with PayPal, I'd immediately open a dispute there. Provide a full description and offer to provide photos. I've made two claims similar to yours in the past, and they both were settled in my favor.

Tom

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heh, exchange or refund, yer still out the return postage

It's the rare seller who'll pony up the cost of returning their faulty merchandise. You're pretty much on the stick for that cost.

I'd initiate a PayPal dispute even if the seller is acting amenable to replacement. That'll keep 'em honest - trust me, in situations like this I've done it both ways (file dispute and not) and the (not) way has never worked out well.

It doesn't hurt the seller when you file, it just forces them to follow through on their promises. Things have a way of taking lots and lots of time if they don't have the dispute hanging over their heads, pretty soon its too late to have PayPal intervene. Been there, done that, got scr3w3d.

dan k

alk
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Thanks for the friendly & wis

Thanks for the friendly & wise advice, fellas.

I have opened a dispute w/ PayPal to track the issue. This is a first for me in over 6 years of using eBay... I didn't realize how easy it was to work with PayPal. I'm glad they've built this system, and it looks reasonable enough.

Does PayPal hold the funds in escrow while the transaction is in dispute? I thought I read something to that effect while skimming over their tutorial...

The return postage is only about twenty bucks. I don't mind that so much assuming a continued smooth resolution of the problem. I suppose it would frustrate me more if I didn't feel like I already got a good deal on the PowerBook or if the seller were less forthcoming or accomodating.

Peace,
Drew

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Hmm.

Well, I did open a dispute. And boy howdy did it solicit a response. The seller doesn't seem happy. Here are the messages to date (names removed to protect the "innocent."):

From Buyer: [my name] on 9/22/2007 21:55 PDT
Please accept my apologies, and I hope you don't have any hard feelings.

I'm sorry for any misunderstanding. My intent in opening this dispute was merely to provide a little protection for myself as a buyer. Without this dispute, I would have placed myself in the position of not having the funds or the PowerBook. I understand that you have been burned in the past. Please understand that I have also been burned, and this dispute process really protects both of us.

If my language was confusing to you, please accept my apologies. By "next step in the dispute" I meant that we could agree to a resolution: I will return the PowerBook to you, and you will send me a replacement in exchange. If opening this dispute has somehow made it more difficult for you to resolve the issue, then again I apologize. I honestly don't know how PayPal has their hooks into you as a seller. Do they somehow preclude you from sending a replacement after you receive my return? If I am mistaken about this process, please re-educate me. From what I understand, all you need to do is await the arrival of my return (which should be in the early part of the week - I returned it via USPS Priority Mail with insurance and delivery confirmation). At that point, you should be able to just ship a replacement. We have twenty days to complete this process before we really need to worry about how PayPal gets involved, and that should be plenty of time.

Again, please accept my apologies. I did not mean to make this more difficult for you or to offend. I am an upstanding buyer with eBay since 1999, and my eBay feedback (precious to me, especially because it is so limited) is a testament to that.

Sincerely,
Drew

From Seller: [seller's name] on 9/22/2007 19:40 PDT
I dont know why you are trying to make this process much harder then it needs to be. A resolution has been reached already between us. I am however, unable to reship an item when I get it back with this dispute open. That would put you in a possition with the computer and the money and I have been screwed before by this and I will not put myself in this possition again. I do want to get this taken care of quickly and easily as it has been going to this point. If you get this closed I can get the computer reshipped by the next day after I recieve it. I appreciate your understanding in this matter and resolving this so we can get this issue resolved quickly and easily as their is no reason for you to cause any delay in this process.

Thanks,
[seller]

From Seller: [seller's name] on 9/22/2007 19:31 PDT
I have agreed to exchange this. Their is no need to open this and i dont get what you mean by happy to proceed to the next step of this dispute? However with this dispute open it makes it very hard for me to resolve the issue as you now have my money held when I have already agreed to resolve all your issues. I will be more then happy to exchange this one this dispute is now closed as I am not sending you back a computer when you have now put me in a possition to take the computer and the money. i look forward to being able to resolve your issue quickly and easily as it has been going before you opened a dispute on an already agreed upon and resolved issue.

Thanks,
[seller]

From Buyer: [my name] on 9/22/2007 18:59 PDT
(Regarding eBay item [number removed]
Hello, [seller].

I'm opening this dispute with PayPal to track our issue and communications. We have already agreed to a solution (exchange for a fully working PowerBook).

As you are aware, the issue is that one of the RAM slots is dead, and that cuts the maximum RAM capacity in half on this PowerBook G4. This significantly diminishes the performance potential of the machine. After I contacted you through eBay, we mutually agreed to exchange the 15" PowerBook G4 1.67 GHz w/ 512 MB RAM, SuperDrive, BlueTooth, and AirPort Extreme for another in good cosmetic condition but with two working RAM slots.

I shipped the PowerBook back to you this afternoon via USPS Priority Mail with insurance and delivery confirmation. I have a delivery confirmation tracking number if you would like a copy.
I'm happy to proceed to the next step of this "dispute" ASAP.

Thanks,
Drew (aka [my eBay id])

So am I out of line in opening the dispute? Have I really made things more difficult for the seller, or is he blowing smoke?

The seller is suggesting that I should close the dispute immediately without waiting for him to replace the PowerBook. That he would suggest such a thing makes me somewhat nervous. Needless to say, I'm not interested in closing the dispute at this point.

Peace,
Drew

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Having just gone through a Pa

Having just gone through a Paypal dispute, they aren't really that difficult at all. He's just blowing smoke - I would definitely keep it open and just explain again that you have this open in order to protect yourself.

By the way, when I opened my dispute, it didn't "hold" any funds - the money was out of my account and not back in until after I won the dispute.

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And the response: [quote="Pa

And the response:

Here is the big problem. Paypal is more worried about pleasing the buyer then their sellers. You say it wasn't as discribed you sent it back they could care less that I sent you a replacement. Paypal is pretty much a last resort kinda thing and is always there if their is an issue that cant be resolved, but as we already came to an agrement I felt and I have no issue resolving my mistake that their is no need to open a dispute. I am going to resolve this issue and you have my work both in paypal and ebay, but I do need to ask you to please close this just for my own sanity. I have a small profit margin on these and I really cant afford to get screwed. I assure you that I will take care of this issue to your liking. If you want you can call me and talk about this, but I do need to ask you to help me out with this one. You can see my feedback and that I am an honest seller and I do try to resolve problems when ever possible. My cell number is [telephone number] if you want to talk in person. If I dont answer please leave me a message and I will get back to you.
Thanks,
[seller]

So what do you think? I don't want to be a complete sucker, but I also don't want to get totally screwed (or screw an otherwise nice guy).

Thanks for the advice, guys! Wink

Peace,
Drew

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i would leave it open until y

i would leave it open until you got it resolved. then i would close it, this is just to protect you. he should understand this. i think having a dispute files against you would make you a bit aggravated ( which i think he is ). but this wont hurt his rating or anything ( that is if you haven't already gave him a rating). if you close it i dont know if you can reopen a dispute ( if you cant and something does go wrong, you will be screwed ).

i would contact him and explain your part. and you have every right to protect yourself even tho the issue is being taken care of ( this is just a precaution in case if something does go south, even tho it might not happen). just cause you files a dispute dont mean you are telling him he isn't a nice guy or someone trying to screw you over( altho he might seem to think so). but that isn't why you opened it, you did it for your protection.

as a buyer myself, i haven't ran into any issues with ebay yet, its only time before i do. and this topic helps everyone using ebay to help protect themselves if something does go south. and paying by paypal is the best way to go and helps out allot when things do go south.

alk
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Ugh.

Well, the seller came through with an exchange. The replacement is in somewhat worse cosmetic condition with more scratches, a sticky clicker, and screws that stick out from the bottom and cannot be screwed in all the way...

The worst part of it is that this replacement PowerBook is suffering from an intermittently bad lower memory slot. If I leave the 512 MB SODIMM in the lower slot, the PowerBook (4 times out of 5) gives three beeps on startup. This sounds like the issue described here: Apple Support Page

Unfortunately, this PowerBook was built in June, so it doesn't technically qualify. I'm going to take it to the Genius Bar tonight to see if I can sweet talk them into fixing it under the REA, but I'm not optimistic about my chances. So if Apple can't come through, I'm stuck with another bad memory slot.

On the upside, this PowerBook has 128 MB of VRAM.

So what now? I paid $710 for this PowerBook. Do I keep it? Is $710 a fair price for a PowerBook with a dead RAM slot? Or should I ask for a refund? I don't think I'll bite on another offer for an exchange...

Thoughts?
Thanks!
Drew

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Up to you, but...

... I would get my money back and move on.

The seller doesn't seem able to supply you with a nice, working Powerbook. It appears he originally sent you his best one, or that he intentionally sent you an aesthetically worse one because he's angry about the PayPal dispute.

Maybe I'm being too formal in my expectations, but personally I also wouldn't want to deal with a seller who complains about getting "screwed" because I've opened a legitimate PP dispute to protect myself. If the seller is aggravated, fine - but sellers should act in a cool, professional manner, and should express themselves accordingly.

M

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money back

Seller is not worthy of your custom, get your money back while you still can!

dan k

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if the item you receive isnt

if the item you receive isnt what you expected, get a refund. simple as that. what sellers need to realize is there is no difference between them and a real store, you just dont seem them in person. their own feedback will show bad things eventually.....

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yea return it and get your mo

yea return it and get your money back wile you are still able. and take your business to someone else. cause apparently he WAS out to screw someone, wile you wasn't .

if he could not provide you with what the description said, get your money back or have him refund half of it wile you get to keep it. cause what you paid isn't a good price for something that has something broken on it.

You can try to take it to get fixed, but who knows what will happen.

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