Don't get mad, get blogging

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A disgruntled eBay buyer has set up a blog to express his frustrations with an unhelpful seller. Buyer “paceaudio” bought a Nikon D40 from eBay Store “shopsunshine”. He went to pay by PayPal as normal, but was only given the option to phone the seller; a predictable and rather crude attempt to upsell him followed. The buyer then spent three days calling the company chasing up a promised PayPal payment request which never arrived.

Understandably, he got fed up. The camera was needed for work, so not having it was about to cost him money. The buyer left negative feedback, and started bidding on another camera listed by a seller who offered overnight shipping.

The next day, he had a call from a manager at the company, who had seen the feedback and wanted to make things right. He could have the camera the next day, *if* he would withdraw the negative feedback. “Against his better judgement”, he agreed. Presumably at this point he actually paid for the camera (though the blog doesn’t say exactly when this happened), and he was promised that he’d receive the DHL tracking number shortly.

Nothing arrived: no DHL tracking number, no camera. The buyer writes “Now they have my money, my feedback, and I’m gonna have to cancel this shoot at the last minute. I lose money, reputation, and future jobs because of this.”

The story doesn’t have an ending yet. It’d be nice to be able to say that ShopSunshine, even at this point, tried to make it right: a box full of accessories with the overnighted camera would be a step in the right direction. It’d say “yes, we screwed up and we’re taking the hit for that”; and at this point, I think honesty is all that’s left to them. Better that than the buyer saying “and I did a PayPal chargeback and forced them to give me my money back”.

I think there’s a couple of lessons for buyers here too though. Firstly, the threat of negative feedback is always more potent than the feedback itself. Once you’ve left it, you’ve played your hand, so make sure any issues are dealt with *first*.

The same goes for withdrawing feedback: issues dealt with first, feedback withdrawal second. Don’t let any seller blackmail you with promises of supplying the item you’ve ordered once you’ve withdrawn your feedback, because you can’t put that neg back a second time if they don’t come through.

2 Responses

  1. Thanks for sharing my cautionary tale. I’ve posted the conclusion. Lets just say it was not pretty!


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