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Would you buy from this seller?

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LadyAmalthea:
So, I won an auction a few weeks ago. The item sold for about half of what it usually goes for, and shipping was under $5, when typically this item is at least $12 to ship within my country. I paid within a few hours of the auction's end.

For 4 days, there was no action from the seller. No notification of it having been shipped, no message, no acknowledgment that I had paid. Finally, on a Tuesday (auction ended on the previous Friday), I receive a message saying that they are unable to ship my item, due to a family emergency and they would be out of state; they would perhaps relist the item in the future. No talk of a refund yet.

I wanted to give them the benefit of the doubt, but the low selling price combined with their 4-day lapse in communication really raised my suspicion-hackles, and I wondered if perhaps they didn't get as much as they had hoped, and thought they'd try relisting it later to see if they could get more. They had 100% feedback, so I hadn't batted an eye at bidding when I did, but upon closer inspection after the fact, I realized that they only have ONE feedback, and that transaction seems to have gone well.

I replied, saying I would be willing to wait for the item, and they took 2 more days to respond, saying that they didn't know how long their family member would be unstable, and they finally refunded my money. I started to reply with a request that if and when they decided to relist, would they mind giving me the opportunity to buy the item first at the price I originally won it for, but then decided to just let it go; if they genuinely had a family member in the hospital, I didn't want to bring more grief upon them by badgering them about something trivial.

Well, now the item has been relisted. The starting bid is higher than the starting bid it had before, but is not higher than what I won it for. There are no bids on it yet, actually. The shipping has been raised to a more accurate-sounding $12. There is now a new 'make offer' option, but it's a 'best offer starting bid' auction, so if I made an offer, it would have to be higher than the current bid.

I thought about making an offer for the same amount I originally won the item for (obviously I'd have to eat it on the shipping; a snarky part of me wanted to make the offer less the $7 shipping difference, but I didn't want to jeopardize my chances of getting the item over a piddly 7 bucks...obviously their original quoted amount was a mistake...hopefully that's not what the refunded transaction was all about!). If they reject my offer, then I guess I'll know they are just wanting more money...why they don't just put a reserve on it, I don't know...but if they only have one feedback, maybe they are new to Ebay and don't know that's an option.

I was about to do just that...and then on a whim, I poked around a bit more and decided to check out the one transaction they did have. I noticed that the shipping location was from Florida on that one, yet it was Connecticut on the current auction. I looked back at the first auction for that item (the one I 'won'), and it was also listed as Connecticut. The auction for the positive-feedback transaction only took place 4 weeks ago (one week prior to my 'winning' their other auction). Does something sound not right about this whole thing?

Would you trust this seller? The 2 different ship-from locations just seems really strange to me. I'm genuinely curious to know whether they were telling the truth about why they wouldn't ship my item or not, and making an offer would answer that, but I don't think my wanting an answer is worth getting screwed over if they pull another stunt and don't refund my money this time.

Fyi, I haven't left feedback on the original transaction yet...it does give me the option to, despite it being refunded.

tailrustedtealeaf:
I feel like I would feel protected enough by eBay in this case as they didn't actually ship anything out before, but if you don't feel comfortable, it is definitely worth waiting a little bit longer to see if something else pops up. :) If they only have one or two things listed they may just not sell very frequently, but if they have a lot listed I'd be a bit more wary.

If they had tried to ship or put in a fake tracking number I would be less willing. But since you had received a message (without your input, yes?) it feels more just like someone casually selling to me.

LadyAmalthea:

--- Quote from: tailrustedtealeaf on August 17, 2021, 01:46:23 AM ---I feel like I would feel protected enough by eBay in this case as they didn't actually ship anything out before, but if you don't feel comfortable, it is definitely worth waiting a little bit longer to see if something else pops up. :) If they only have one or two things listed they may just not sell very frequently, but if they have a lot listed I'd be a bit more wary.

If they had tried to ship or put in a fake tracking number I would be less willing. But since you had received a message (without your input, yes?) it feels more just like someone casually selling to me.

--- End quote ---

They didn't have anything else listed until I checked a little bit ago, and they have one other new item listed now. I hope it is a case of them being inexperienced, versus being a serial account-maker every time something goes awry with one of their accounts. You are right about Ebay's protections...I do feel fairly confident that given the record of my past transaction (or non-transaction, however you look at it!) I don't think I could end up being hurt in the end, but that's why I seek the experienced opinions of everyone on here.

Carrehz:
Hmmm... I think personally in this case, I'd let it go and look for a different seller, I've been burned by cases like this in the past. On the other hand, it could just be a new seller that's still learning how eBay works, like you said.

If I wanted it badly enough I might take a chance and trust in eBay's protection for if anything went awry, but I definitely wouldn't bother with them outside of eBay.

LadyAmalthea:

--- Quote from: Carrehz on August 17, 2021, 02:41:26 PM ---Hmmm... I think personally in this case, I'd let it go and look for a different seller, I've been burned by cases like this in the past. On the other hand, it could just be a new seller that's still learning how eBay works, like you said.

If I wanted it badly enough I might take a chance and trust in eBay's protection for if anything went awry, but I definitely wouldn't bother with them outside of eBay.

--- End quote ---

Looks like I don't have a choice, anyway...I tried to put the bid in this morning (for the same amount I won it for the last time), and it wouldn't let me! I got a warning message that I have been 'restricted from bidding on this item'. I'm kind of baffled...there was no bad interaction between the seller and myself. I'm guessing they didn't want to be called out on their shady behavior when they were forced to either accept the bid or basically admit that they were just trying to get more money for it.

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