Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner

Nothing Finer than Living in North Caroliner
Blue Ridge Smoky Mountains

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Day 236 - Be Fair

I have an Ebay rating of 100%.  Occasionally I have a buyer who wants to "shaft" me.  I usually do the right thing and work out the details with the buyer. Once I sold my music stand.  I listed it as good as new because I had only taken it out of the box two times, each time returning it to the box for storage. I sold it in the box.  The buyer was upset because for her $1 + shipping, it wasn't "like new" to her because it was a bit tarnished.  I refunded her the $8 including the shipping to keep my rating.  It was the right thing to do.

Recently, I sold a brand new math book with the CD still in the book unopened.  My son had needed it for school and I bought it for $165.  I listed as brand new on Ebay as my definition of brand new was the CD was unopened and the book had never been used.  A buyer bought it with the Buy It Now function at $75 and requested for me to "overnight" it to him for $20.  I packaged up the book at 4 PM, hurried to the Post Office, paid for confirmation and tracking information and he received the book the next day.

The following week, this buyer sent me an e-mail that his son had not been able to turn in his assignment (a week later) because the book didn't come with an access code.  I told him that if he could buy the code, send the receipt I would refund him $50.  He wanted $60.  I told him, he still had the book and it was just like described brand new.  He had opened the CD so now I couldn't sell it.  so the $95 - $20 for shipping - $50 I would refund him, would net me $25 for a $165 book.  He agreed to the terms and instead of turning in the receipt to me, complained to Ebay that my posting was incorrect. He had opened a case before we had a chance to resolve the issue.

I offered to buy the book back but wouldn't reimburse him for the overnight shipping.  He added salt to the wound and sent me an e-mail in ALL CAPITAL LETTERS screaming at me.  It took three days to get and the postage only showed $9.  I responded that this also reimbursed me for gas, packaging, time and postage including tracking and confirmation.  He wanted a full refund. I explained that it did arrive in one business day as Saturday and Sunday are not counted as business days.

After deliberation, I did the right thing for me.  With enough experience and wisdom, I know that when a situation starts bad, it will just go down hill.  I was fair, I gave the man an opportunity to get  $50 and he did not follow through on his promise to send the receipt. I rescinded the offer and told him to give me bad feedback. I figure the people buying from me will realize there is one in every crowd of 96-100 good feedbacks.  One person who tries to cheat another person out of their own morales/ values and pushes the envelope.

Now he wants to talk again.  Caveat Emptor. Under the doctrine of caveat emptor, the buyer could not recover from the seller for defects on the property that rendered the property unfit for ordinary purposes. The only exception was if the seller actively concealed latent defects or otherwise made material misrepresentations amounting to fraud.  Before statutory law, the buyer had no warranty of the quality of goods. In many jurisdictions now, the law requires that goods must be of "merchantable quality". However, this implied warranty can be difficult to enforce and may not apply to all products. Hence, buyers are still advised to be cautious.

Sometimes the right thing to do is to accept a more than generous offer to do the right thing.  It may be the only offer you ever get. 

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