View Full Version : Ebay Clown Stories

Jan-14-2004, 9:05pm
I just sold a mando on ebay and this is the second time that someone has bid and then vaporized off the face of the earth. Has this happened to any of you? Let's hear some stories.
Reminds me of the guy who calls you to come test drive your corvette, then says I'll let you know what I decide and you never see him again. I've met thousands.


Steven Stone
Jan-15-2004, 11:28am
What was their feedback rating?

I don't allow 0 feedback folks to bid on my auctions unless they contact me and give me a phone number.

On average I delete 2 bidders per auction, but I haven't had anyone flake out in a couple of years with this method.

Another advantage of this policy is other biddrs don't feel as if they are up against a phantom or straw bidder, or someone who has no idea what the item is actually worth.

Jan-15-2004, 11:37am
Did you guys see the bidding war for the Ibanez 524 yesterday? One guy had a feedback rating of 1 and the other -2. Now how how do you get a rating of -2? At any rate, the guy with the rating of 1 got it and he may be a great guy too. But a -2? Wow!

Jan-15-2004, 12:28pm
I have bought many items from Ebay and only had one bad experience. I bought some tapes from a guy who wouldn't take PayPay, wanted me to use BidPay, claimed he never got my money order, etc. He then started sprouting a lot of negative feedbacks; he has since been bounced from EBay. When you consider the 70 or more Ebay transactions I've made that isn't too bad, but it is frustrating just the same.

Jan-15-2004, 12:43pm
every year in septemeber i would inevitably get a college student who would use the buy it now option or snipe at the last minute and win one of my auctions. they'd then disappear and when i left negative feedback weeks later would whack me back with the usual retalitory negative feedback. all of these ebayers have since been suspended.
now i generally don't list during the first few weeks of september anymore and i do not take bids from zero rated bidders unless they make contact with me prior to bidding. i have cancelled more than a few bids from bidders with a lot of negative feedback. i find that the cheaper the item the more headaches i get from the sale, even when selling things on classified boards.
the biggest horror story i had was when a bidder with several negative feedbacks talked me into letting him buy a guitar from me. everything went smoothly untill he got the guitar (i believe his fiance must have had a fit over his purchasing another guitar). i tried square trade to resolve the problem but the guy was so irrational it was eerie. he threatened to take me to court. i never heard a word back from him when i sent him an e-mail with the name and phone number of my cousin, a personal injury lawyer in the same state this guy was from. never heard from him since. bad thing is he is still out there on ebay selling and buying things and racking up more negative feedbacks for his threatening-like behavior.

Jan-16-2004, 10:03am
Some guy won an auction of mine, but never contacted me. He had more negative feedback than positive, so I guess I wasn't too surprised. Anyway, I left him negative feedback, saying he never contacted me. He then leaves me negative feedback ranting and raving about how I suck. You get a chance to briefly respond to negative feedback, so I simply said, "Compare his feedback with mine, then decide who to believe." I figured that was the best way to discredit him. That was the only bad experience I've had, and I've bought ~50 things and sold ~10 things over many years.

Darryl Wolfe
Jan-16-2004, 10:57am
I personally have not had a bad experience yet. I've had a few that I felt sure would go bad, but they didn't. I buy and sell quite a bit. The biggest comment I can make though, is that the type/category of item makes a huge difference in the success rate. Selling a carbon fiber hood for a '69 Camaro will get you in trouble every time. Instrument and instrument parts oriented items seem safe, unless you are selling a neon purple pickguard for a Fender Stratocaster.

Get my drift

Jan-16-2004, 1:01pm
I sold my bowlback a fews months after the Captain Corelli's movie was out. I had bad experiences with people mailing their checks, so it was a paypal only auction. I did say to contact before bidding if new or if a different payment was needed.

A bidder waited till the last few minutes to bid and out bid 12 bidders. He then asked for a address to mail a check, arg. We gave him 3 days to mail a check, he writes back hourly how he is 14 and wants to learn to play the mandolin. Several days go by so I check his history on bidding and his wins, the little jerk had bid on 25 mandolins winning 14 of the auctions. And he was still bidding and winning. He had 15 positive feedback at the time but thats when the negatives started rolling in. His positives had been from buying video games.
I relist the mando and blocked his id from my auctions. His name was jesse7777777 , then I get a jong7777777 bidding on it. He had AOL and just kept creating new id's harrasing me. I ended up contacting the original bidder he outbid and did the second chance offer.

Jan-16-2004, 1:25pm
Instrument and instrument parts oriented items seem safe, unless you are selling a neon purple pickguard for a Fender Stratocaster.

Get my drift
No. Please explain in black and white terms so that we can all understand. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Darryl Wolfe
Jan-16-2004, 1:42pm
Well Crowder, to take it a bit further....greenmando has a surprising but good point. My take is that if you can avoid bidders between the age of 14 and 20, you have a good chance of securing a good sale. The horror stories (at least to me) involve teenagers and/or irresponsible young adults. This category of ebay bidder usually seems to gravitate to car parts, video games, and electric guitar stuff. I also see it on ebay motors with respect to vehicles (I'll come up with the money somehow) My instrument parts and used golf item sales have gone flawlessly..and some times I've just mailed stuff to them prior to receiving their check. I no longer do that, but have never been burned. The folks I deal with always contact by email and never seem to be con or scam artists.
I did sell alot of electric guitar parts once, and had no trouble. The only problem there was the plethora of email questions and special requests and such....again back to the young adult syndrome.

Jan-16-2004, 1:46pm
I haven't had any problems on ebay, but last sunday a guy came to test drive an old beat up Volvo I had for sale, and finally showed back up with it this morning. Decided he wanted to have a mechanic check it out and it took a week for him to get it there. Anyhow, he plans on bringing me a check this evening. Now maybe I can pick up a new mando.

Jan-16-2004, 2:23pm
I sold my jeep on ebay, some local decided to come and look at it. He tests drives it and tells me he will return next week with a mechanic. Thinking about it later I emailed him and reminded him it was a auction not a car ad.

Many people have used the "buy it now" when I have had auctions and they never get back to me. I think many of these are people who think it is like amazon.

I like the fact that ebays "buy it now" is set up where you can except immediate payment only sales.

Jan-16-2004, 3:33pm
Here's a goodie....

I owned a well-worn but good-sounding Santa Cruz D guitar for a few years, and finally decided to upgrade last Christmas. This guitar had cosmetic issues...some finish wear, a few capo marks on the back of the neck, a slightly wavy top. It did have a pickup, which is desirable to some. I had paid about $1200, and the market for guitars had gone up a bit, so I listed it on ebay with a reserve of $1350 and waited.

About a day into the auction, this guy emails me all breathless asking if I thought there was a possibility that the guitar had Brazilian back and sides. I said very doubtful, but I'll check with Santa Cruz. As expected the word came back negative. The guy still thought it might be, and was having his repair buddy look at my pictures and all this and was just convinced it was a Brazilian guitar. I discouraged him all the way.

Well, I happened to be watching the auction during the last five minutes to see if any of the trollers had decided to bid---the bidding was right under my reserve at this point. As expected, my "pal from Brazil" and a couple of other guys started trading bids. It went from $1300 to $1650 in a matter of less than a minute, before ending eventually at $1775 or so, plus $35 for shipping. So I sent the guy an email and told him that since he was obviously so excited about the guitar, he could PayPal me right away and I'd take it to UPS the next day and pay a little extra myself to get it to him quickly.

Well as soon as the guitar landed this guy was sending me emails and even calling my home phone and acting all huffy on the answering machine, saying that he was sending the guitar back immediately and wanted a full refund, including shipping...that I had totally ripped him off. As it turns out, the guitar wasn't made of Brazilian rosewood after all!!! Plus the jackhole had forgotten all about my disclosures on the condition. He was ranting and raving about the dings and finish problems I'd told him about. He said that I had no choice in the matter, that the guitar was coming back and that was all there was to it.

Normally I'd have been pretty understanding, but this guy went over the moon right from the beginning, and that sat wrong with me. Also the auction had cost me about $50. The PayPal had cost me about $50. The shipping had cost me about $30 more than the $35 I'd collected from him. So, as I tried to calmly explain to him, any "full refund" he received was going to be net of these expenses. I also reminded him that the reserve price had been much lower than what he'd bid on the guitar, which should have been a good indication that the guitar wasn't worth $1775 in the first place. Still he was going ballistic, threatening me, etc. I told him in no uncertain terms that if any more threatening words came out of his mouth that I'd have him banned from ebay in a heartbeat. I also said that I was willing to work with him in order to protect my feedback, but that ebay was a "buyer beware" marketplace and that he had acted recklessly in his bidding with no fault or encouragement from my side.

Eventally I got him to agree to a settlement: I would PayPal him back the difference between his crazy-high bid and my much lower reserve, less my expenses. This came to almost $400 in "profit" I was returning to him in the name of fair trade, and I told him I expected no negative feedback as a result of this settlement. I knew he could sell the guitar for more than my reserve based on the bidding from others that had occurred on my auction.

Of course, the guy left negative feedback anyway. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif I might have handled it much differently if he had treated me with any respect.

Jan-18-2004, 11:49am
I have sold mandolins on the classifieds but not on eBay. Crowders post interested me and I have a couple of questions. #If you use PayPal, how much does it cost for say, a $3,000 mandolin and who pays, buyer or seller? #I have been to auctions and if you win the bid, you own it. Different on eBay? #Meaning that if I put a mandolin up for sale, I should give a trial period the same as on the classifieds? #If so, who pays for the shipping both ways if the auction winner wants to send it back? # #Thanks # Clamdigger

Jan-18-2004, 1:15pm
Generally, the seller absorbs any fees from the Paypal transaction. The trial period thing usually isn't a good idea on e-bay because there are a lot of joyrider type people and the relisting fees and time element could really make it a pain. I am sure the fees on 3,000 would be at least $130-$150, but I don't remember the percentages. If you are going to sell on ebay, I would suggest a disclaimer about feedback less than 5 or so. If somebody with no feedback bids, you don't know anything about their trading practices. Nice thing about ebay is that you can set a reserve price and a "Buy-it-now" price and avoid haggling for the most part.
Hope this helps


Jan-18-2004, 1:27pm
Thanks Rob, it does help. From the sounds of it there are a lot of tirekickers. I have never used PayPal and it sounds expensive. Do most people use it or a certified check? Clamdigger

Jan-18-2004, 1:40pm
I have bought and sold a few mandolins and guitars on ebay with so far pretty good results. When dealing with a large amount of money (like when I bought my Taylor 810 this summer) I get an address and phone number and start checking. I haven't had to delete a bid yet but would in a heartbeat if someone with no feedback bids on my auction and doesn't write back if I send an e-mail.

The only thing that makes me mad about eBay is people who don't really understand how important feedback is to a seller and they leave neutral feedback when the deal goes down good but they are just such a$$inine people to deal with that they just can't be happy and leave bad feedback.

Case in point, I sold a minor item (less than $10.00) to a lady this summer and she sent her money order and it took about a week to get to me. In the meantime she writes me every day...."Did you get it? ..... Did you get it?Did you get it?"

I finally get her check and I send her the item the NEXT day and the next thing I no she leaves me neutral feedback saying I was slow to ship. Keep in mind that up until them I had 100% good feedback (about 30 deals)

I had already left HER GOOD feedback!

Boy was I PO'd, I get mad everytime I see that neutral! hehehehe

And the bad thing is that it is on there forever! http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif

Jan-18-2004, 2:02pm

Keep in mind that you can also request that the buyer pay by paypal e-check, as you will not have to pay a huge fee. Check the paypal website for details. It does take longer, and it has to "clear" just like a regular cheque, but to answer your question most people like to use paypal because it is instant and saves the effort required to go out and get a certified cheque. The seller fees for ebay can get pretty exorbitant also, so keep that in mind.


Jan-18-2004, 2:53pm
It does help Rob. Thanks. Sounds like there are a lot of tire kickers out there. Clamdigger

Jan-18-2004, 4:26pm
Some good points here about ebay. #I like PayPal as a buyer and seller. #The fees are only 2.8%, or $28 for a $1,000 transaction.

I can seal a deal in 2 minutes by PayPal -- it's almost like shaking hands. #There are some risks on some transactions, but you get your money immediately. #Or, you can send someone else their funds. #It just seems to work better and make for a transaction closer to dealing with someone face-to-face.

Personally, I have never sold anything on ebay. #Nor, have I bought anything of consequence.

I have sold 4 mandolins on the Cafe site. #It's great and you are dealing with honorable people (at least my experience to date). #By making a donation to our Cafe host, we are supporting this great site.

Jan-18-2004, 5:10pm
This is all great stuff and very relevant. I've bought some great stuff over the years but as time has gone on, for me the sellers have gotten shaky and the deals are harder to come by. The last guy I dealt with I bought just the kind of monitor speakers(for recording) I wanted and at half the best price I could find on the net and they were only a month old. All my stuff I've bought Buy It Now as was this one. The guy seemed real slow to respond and we were actually only 3hrs apart. When I asked if there was somewhere we could meet half way to defray shipping he declined, he only wanted to ship. In this day and age I guess I could be kinda worried too so I let him ship. The speakers were real heavy being powered and he put them in separate boxes a big box, all padded with newspaper! NOT good. When they got here they seemed ok, but when I plugged them in one had a slight hum. I emailed him about it and it took several days for him to email back and he said it was probably a bad ground on my wiring in my house. I tried different plugs, rooms, connectors etc and always the same, so I emailed again. Once again it took days to hear back and by this time he said I should have told him there was a prob and we were out of the 15dys that the insurance would cover it! I was always careful to be courteous and never hysterical and not blaming as it was a great deal. He said he would check into seeing if his warranty would still cover it and never heard back. I gave up and you really have to listen close to hear the hum, but still..... And now my son wants to sell his Go-Ped and that would be the best place to do it as I see others selling them on there. We tried locally but got nothing. Now I'm very wary as this is just the group (teenagers) that seems so sketchy. I think with all this info though it might be worth a try.

Jan-19-2004, 6:35am
I listed a model A Ford two years ago and had a lot of inquiry but few bids up until the last day. During the last hour it cleared my reserve and went several hundred dollars higher. I emailed the winner immediately but the email bounced. I was suspicious but decided to wait 24 hours to see if he would write me. I then contacted the second highest and offered it to him at his bid. He answered back and I found out that he was within easy driving distance. We struck a deal and he came, drove the car and payed me with a certified check. Over two weeks passed. The winning bidder sent me email from a different address asking why I had not contacted him. I wrote back and sent a copy of my original email to him and told him that since I could not contact him I considered his bid nul and void. He sent me ugly email for several weeks and left a nasty negative comment. I countered the comment and reported him to ebay. I've since changed computers and ebay id's.

I've bought a mandolin, a fiddle and a guitar on ebay with very little problem. The fiddle did have a repair that wasn't mentioned but other than that all of my music purchases on ebay have gone smoothly. Incidently the fiddle is excellent and, I believe, historically significant.

Jan-19-2004, 12:32pm
Dale! Everyone else! I need help. I was checking out some archaeological items on Ebay and I found some that I'm pretty sure are scams. The guy lives, allegedly in Syria, and has only just over 100 feedback. All of which where positive. When I checked his feedback, 95 out of a hundred were from the same guy. When I checked that guy's feedback, almost all of them were from the first guy. Also, the guy only accepts cash.
What is the process to notify Ebay that something is fishy?
Please help!

Jan-19-2004, 9:27pm
I've never sold stuff on Ebay, but have bought Quite a bit, including an autoharp and accordian. In my experience, if you're looking for great deals, they seem to be few and far between on Ebay these days. For the most part, the sellers know market value on their items and set the reserve at or ABOVE that. If you happen to be the only bidder on the item and make it to reserve, you get it close to market value. If you get emotional or excited at the end, you go a couple hundred over market.

Where I find ebay valuable is if I'm looking for an item I can't find anywhere else.

For the most part though, especially with the number of scams I see, I'm very wary of spending much on a single purchase there. Now if the person lived close enough I go by and see the product and pick it up, maybe. But then I'm not very trusting anymore.

Jan-21-2004, 4:16pm
I've bought and sold on eBay with generally good results. The couple items I purchased that never arrived were worth less than $5.00, so it didn't kill me. Almost everything I've purchased has been worth almost exactly what I paid, so I've been happy but without any real bargains. I've been pleased with prices I got for instruments I no longer played, parts I'll never use, and instruments needing repairs I'll never have time to do. People have generally been pretty nice, but you can tell by reading some of the descriptions that there are some real characters out there, too. You meet them at auctions and flea markets, and this is a big electronic one.

About three years ago I bought a Dobro on eBay from a guy in Arkansas. I asked him to tune it down, and pack and ship it by UPS. He said he couldn't get to UPS, but worked for the post office and would send it by Priority Mail. I rushed off my money order. At the end of the week, a guy came into my store with a guitar case. I noticed a postal uniform, and thought "it must be my Dobro, but they didn't have to unpack" - and realized of course that they didn't. He didn't lock the case (how could I get in?), but put one piece of string around it, and slapped a mailing label and stamps on the side of the case. The postal carrier said, "What's the problem? It's insured." A few hours work and a new cone later it was fine, and I kept the label and stamps on the case to illustrate the story until they finally fell off. Never assume it comes in a box, I guess.

Jan-24-2004, 9:00am
I've got one that happened last night. I had a new pair of boots listed & a zero feedbacker used "buy it now". I invoiced him & didn't hear from him for 48 hrs so I emailed a friendly but to the point reminder I thought........check out his reply.

(my reminder) Need to hear from you before I relist. I realize this is your first purchase but If I've not heard from you by Saturday I will relist & leave negative feedback.

"Yes, my first purchase on eBay.
And ... my first threat on eBay.
I am new to eBay so I can only assume that your comment to “leave negative feedback” must be something generic to your eBay subculture that is used as a weapon of some kind. #

My PC went down. #In fact my machine locked up when I was looking at your boots. #I hit the return key and control/Alt/delete several times. #That must have inadvertently “placed an order” somehow. #

You are obviously so engrossed in your PC and your eBay business that you have forgotten that you are dealing with people on the other end. #AND, not ALL people are unethical or ill intentioned.

Sir, your email to me was abrupt, rude and not written in a business manner that is acceptable to me. #On first contact your comments were unwarranted and totally uncalled for. #I would just buy the boots anyway, even if just to keep my PC honest but at this time I don’t feel comfortable doing business with someone who makes demands and threats on first contact. #

What if it were you? #What would YOU think?"

Amazing! Computer locks up & in hitting the contol-alt-delete buttons a 3 step purchase process was "somehow" completed..... #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Jan-24-2004, 12:58pm
What if it were you? What would YOU think?"

Amazing! Computer locks up & in hitting the contol-alt-delete buttons a 3 step purchase process was "somehow" completed.....

I would guess that this character is strapped for cash and also knows next to nothing about either eBay or computers. What probably happened is that shortly after he purchased your boots, he had some kind of computer malfunction that he had to pay someone else to sort out for him, which caused him to wish he didn't have to spend the money on boots he doesn't really need, when he now has this repair bill to pay; i.e. he had big-time "buyer's remorse". Thus he was in a bad mood when he got back online and received your note, the "abruptness" of which he saw (in his own mind) as a perfect justification for calling off the deal. So he made up a cockamamie story about the computer locking up and "accidentally" placing the order which seemed plausible to him in his sheer computer ignorance, not realizing how ludicrous it would sound to anyone with a basic understanding of the way these things work. None of this is meant to excuse his behaviour, but just as a heads-up that there are a lot of ignorant folks just getting online for the first time. I know some who have been online for several years who are still pretty ignorant. Good luck!


Jan-24-2004, 9:52pm
I just love these stories. I love my dog... people? Well I'll have to think about that one for a while.

Jan-24-2004, 10:39pm
(my reminder) Need to hear from you before I relist. I realize this is your first purchase but If I've not heard from you by Saturday I will relist & leave negative feedback.
I might would respond with info about the steps it takes to get credit for the seller fees and the negative feedback is part of the process. It might be able to be defused.

We auctioned a movie script, the buyer wanted to mail a check, cool. I think it takes 7 days before you can file the intent to collect seller fees for a bad transaction. So after all the steps and many ignored emails. We get a personal check a month later, postmarked the day before. We waited till the check cleared and mailed the script. At least we did not have to pay the seller fees on that one.

Jan-24-2004, 10:44pm
I just bought a Taylor guitar on ebay. I only had one purchase to my credit at this point. I'd hope most of you would give a guy a chance even if he has almost no ebay history. We all started with no feedback at some point. I understand the extra cautions and am glad to meet any reasonable request to prove myself to the seller. The seller was very pleasant to deal with and now I have my beautiful Taylor and two positive feedbacks.

Mark Normand
Jan-25-2004, 8:22am
Couple of tips for the newer ebayers:

If you're buying, use a snipe program like esnipe.com, otherwise you'll almost never win by sitting there like a vulture with your finger poised over the 'enter' button, most of your serious competitors are sniping. I usually set mine to bid within 2sec.

When selling, throw in an extra related small item you might have laying around. Buyers love getting free extras.

http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/coffee.gif

Steven Stone
Jan-26-2004, 1:23pm
I never use snipe programs. I've had them fail to get in, and not place the bid.

I prefer the studied approach of placing my highest bid a couple of minutes before the auction closes and then not following it. Emotion makes people bid more than they should in the heat of battle. I know what an item is worth to me, and that is what I bid.

If someone is willing to pay more, I KNOW they are paying too much http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif

Mark Normand
Jan-26-2004, 1:45pm
Well Steve, I've also had my finger poised like you, and had the kids disrupt me http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/rock.gif http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/biggrin.gif so sometimes the -studied- method is not the best (for me)
I have all your advantages, but do it at -my- convenience, not the sellers ending time. Between my wife and I, we must have over 500 buys, maybe I need to take a break! ha

>>>If someone is willing to pay more, I KNOW they are paying too much>>>

According to who? Maybe the guy who pays more than both of us, just maybe, knows something we don't, ya know?

Jan-26-2004, 2:13pm
I'm not aware of the snipe programs. But doesn't Ebay have the "bidding by proxy" feature that allows you to enter your highest price and it will automatically out-bid other bidders by just enough to win, but only up to your limit?

Mark Normand
Jan-26-2004, 3:13pm
sure Lee, but if you and others are bidding days ahead of time, that only drives up the price too fast, thats what they want, then it turns into an emotional struggle, like Steven mentioned. You keep coming back for more.

Better to just fly under the radar, then let the snipe hit 'em at the last few seconds with your proxy bid. Know your top-end limit, as always! If you lose, well, there'll be another one, probably not sniping a Loar anyway!
http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/laugh.gif #http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mandosmiley.gif

Steven Stone
Jan-26-2004, 11:37pm
[Maybe the guy who pays more than both of us, just maybe, knows something we don't, ya know?

I know this is going to sound really pretentious, but I don't bid on things that I don't know a lot about.

If someone is willing to pay more than I am for an item I bid so that I KNOW they will be paying retail. I don't pay retail on EBAY. It's against my religion. http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/tounge.gif

Mar-23-2004, 12:13pm
The only bad experience I've had with eBay was when I bought an article of clothing for my wife. The seller listed the item as "small, but will fit a medium." Well, when it arrived, the item was tagged "XS" and wouldn't fit anything much bigger around than a Pepsi can. Now, the seller had already left me positive feedback for my prompt payment, http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/smile.gif so I had nothing to lose by politely pointing out that she had made an error in her description and asking her to take the item back. She went ballistic and refused to acknowledge the error in her listing. So first I threatened her http://www.mandolincafe.net/iB_html/non-cgi/emoticons/mad.gif with negative feedback, hoping that it would sweeten her up, but she sent me another e-mail rant and told me not to contact her again. I had no choice at that point but to make good on my threat and then resell the item. Only time I've left negative feedback. I did have some problems with a college student who was selling a Fishman violin pickup -- according to him, his roommate thought it would be cute to submit a bunch of shill bids on the item -- but we got it worked out before the auction ended, and I bought the pickup at a fair price.

Mar-23-2004, 12:43pm
Does the Ebay sub-culture consider it improper to ask the seller if its OK to telephone him/her at his/her convenience several days before the deadline to discuss the item?

John Ritchhart
Mar-23-2004, 2:34pm
"All of my efforts were rendered nugatory by the interposition of subterfuges." - Vidmar.
"It wasn't my fault!" - Joliet Jake Blues
Well at least he called you "Sir".

Coy Wylie
Mar-23-2004, 6:53pm
Does the Ebay sub-culture consider it improper to ask the seller if its OK to telephone him/her at his/her convenience several days before the deadline to discuss the item?
I wouldn't think so. Any time I buy and expensive item, especially and instrument I always as for a seller's phone number. Just talking to a live person on the phone has reassured me.

Mar-24-2004, 3:57pm
Here's a method I came up with last time I was involved in a last-second bidding war:

I opened 3 or 4 windows on the same item and set them up with bids of varying amounts, from low to high, so that I would be 1 click away from confirming the bid in each window. Then I waited till the last 15 or 20 seconds and clicked through those windows in ascending order.

Worked pretty good, and the final price was still dirt cheap.:D

Mar-24-2004, 4:04pm
About 3-4 years ago a seller had a Giovanni Rosadoni viola up for an absurdly low price; think it was $500 or $800 or so (retail on one of his violas would be somewhere between 7K and 20K). The instrument had what the seller described as a "sap line crack" in the heel -- couldn't tell from the photos whether this was something I should worry about. Unfortunately, when I finally got the seller to reply to an e-mail, she refused to tell me the reserve, give me her phone number, offer a trial period, explain what a "sap line crack" was, any of that fun stuff. And she could barely type. I almost bid on the thing anyway, but caution got the better of me. The viola ended up going to Elderly -- they either fixed the heel or decided it wasn't a problem, then sold it for 4K. (sigh)