I’ve been caught out today with a purchase on eBay, in some ways I blame myself but in others I blame the seller and it’s all to do with pictures.
I purchased a used laptop CD ROM drive to replace a broken one – mine has a broken bezel (the plastic cover which is all you can see when the drive is installed in the laptop) and a jammed tray. I found what looked to be the ideal replacement – the picture matched and the title was exactly what I needed.
Unfortunately when it arrived today it was minus the bezel – in fairness to the seller the description did have a note to say that the bezel was missing but descriptions are way down the listing page. The note was after I’d seen the picture, the title, the item condition (Used: An item that has been previously used. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended) and then the seller’s listing header and another item title etc, etc.
If you’re selling used items that have parts missing don’t use an image which shows a pristine brand new item with all the parts intact. If you can’t be bothered to shoot your own images it’s not surprising that the buyer expects to receive what’s in the picture but if you must use stock images highlight any discrepancies in the title or subtitle.
In this instance the seller appears pretty reasonable and is accepting a return (they have no choice under the Distance Selling Regulations anyway) but it’s cost both them and me the cost of the postage which is just a waste of money.
I’m fully expecting someone to tell me I should have taken the time to read the small print and spent the time to read every word of the carefully crafted item description. The truth is though I was in a hurry and it’s a routine purchase for a spare part. Having verified the image was exactly what I wanted, confirmed the title and checked the part numbers for both the drive and the laptop I wasn’t expecting anything to go wrong.
Stock images are great for new items, for used items with damage or with parts missing they can be misleading and will often end up as a return. That’s why and now insist sellers picture the actual item. This experience reinforces my usual habit of shooting used items and using my own images for 2nd hand items and hopefully eBay UK will bring in a ban for used item stock images too in the near future. It’s one of eBay’s few policies that I’m in 100% agreement with.
I’m off to the Post Office to pay to return an item that didn’t match it’s stock image, I’m now crossing my fingers that the replacement I’ve ordered does!