Archive for eBay

Here we go again … another non-paying buyer on the same item

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , on February 18, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

For the second time in about six weeks, I am dealing with yet another instance of a non-paying buyer. And to make matter worse, this is the same item in which the last potential buyer also backed out.

A little more than a week ago I got a push notification that one of my lots of cards had an offer. I saw the offer and took it, immediately sending the buyer an invoice.

I was a bit trepidatious when the offer came in since the last buyer made an offer on the item and then failed to pay. I have learned, sadly, not to get my hopes up for a sale unless the payment is actually made.

Well, here we are, some eight days later and not only have I not seen payment, I have also not seen any communication from the buyer, despite my messages and invoices sent to him.

What the hell is wrong with people on eBay? Better yet, what is wrong with eBay not allowing sellers to leave negative feedback for non-paying buyers? I know eBay says it keeps track of the NPB’s and threatens to discipline the nefarious users, but if you ask me, a negative feedback in a case like this speaks pretty damn loudy. I mean, a quick glance at this guy’s user name and feedback score shows me 561 deals and a 100% feedback. And now a closer look shows six positive feedbacks in the last week, and one “positive” feedback in which the seller explains the buyer did not pay.

Sadly, that “negative” feedback is left as a positive and is hidden among a plethora of positives because the system is broken … the only way for a seller to advise others of what is going on is to leave a positive feedback and say something in the comments.

It’s nonsense. eBay does a pretty good job of protecting the buyers — which I appreciate as a buyer — but as a sometimes seller I’ve seen too many cases lately of buyers getting away with misuse. This needs to be fixed.

I promise to pay …

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 16, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Folks, when you make an offer on a Buy It Now item on eBay, there is kind of an unwritten agreement that you’re going to pay for that item in a fair amount of time … Still coming up with excuses three weeks later is not the right way to do it.

About two weeks ago I wrote (Link) about the non-paying buyer issue that has been hitting me in recent months. Toward the end of that piece I documented the sale of a pair of cards for $200 just before the new year, but a week later I had not received payment.

Well, here we are almost three weeks after the sale and … all I’ve got is a promise that the buyer will pay.

Here’s the skinny:

I sent three reminders to the buyer and on that third one, the buyer advised that he was waiting for others to pay for items that were purchased from him so that he could pay for my items. He promised to pay me soon.

So I waited three more days … and send another reminder, which went unanswered.

I then sent a fifth reminder on Jan 15, almost 20 days after the purchase agreement was made, and the buyer responds, advising that he promises to pay me at some point in the next few weeks.

No, We’re done. A case has been opened.

This practice is unacceptable. If you do not have the ability to buy an item, DO NOT BUY THE ITEM. No seller should reasonably wait more than a few days unless some other agreement has been made BEFORE THE OFFER WAS ACCEPTED. And if some circumstance arises where you cannot pay, then YOU should be contacting the seller and not wait to be hounded about the issue.

eBay Bucks are Great: my January 2019 purchase

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , , on January 6, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

If you’re not enrolled in eBay’s eBay Bucks program, and you’re a frequent user of the auction site/app, then you’re missing out.

For the uninitiated, here is the deal:  You get 1% eBay bucks on all of your purchases, which may not seem like a big deal. But several times a quarter eBay runs specials in which you can get 8%-10% eBay bucks – usually available to those using the eBay app — which some of us collectors treat like a holiday. That’s when you pull out all the tricks and hit that PC card and enjoy the reward. See a card you like for $70, buy it and get $5.60-$7 in eBay bucks later.  The eBay bucks add up for three months, and then each quarter eBay presents you with your digital eBay bucks, which are essentially used like a gift card on the site.

Obviously the more you buy, the more you accumulate.  I have gone quarters where I have tallied just a few dollars, and other times where I’ve approached $70.  This quarter, I was pretty much right in the middle at about $37.

I’m funny when it comes to free stuff, sales and gift cards, or in this case eBay Bucks, because I’m always looking for a “deal.”  I’m such a cheap-ass sometimes that I am looking to make a one-for-one transaction just so that I can say I got a particular item for free – even if it matters to no one but myself.

And so this week, after receiving my eBay Bucks, I spent four days looking for the item I wanted to obtain.  And Sunday I found it … although it was not a perfect “for free” item as I hoped.

For several weeks I’d been watching a 1998 SP Authentic Roger Clemens autograph slabbed a low grade by BGS.  The grade doesn’t matter to me, I wanted the damn signed card!

For so long Roger Clemens autographs were like unicorns to me, not like they are today where you can routinely find them in the $30-$60 range. And the 1998 SP Authentic Clemens, limited to some 400 non-serial numbered copies, is a classic as it is one of his cards signed while shown as a Blue Jays player.

The card sat for almost a month at $49.99 and then it ended early this morning with no buyers.  It was re-posted at $47.99 and I knew I had to hit it before someone else did.  The Mint graded versions are posted for the $90 range, and I have not seen any raw copies.

And so, with my eBay Bucks, I essentially got the card for about $10, plus $3 shipping of course.  Is it the most-savvy purchase ever?  No.  But it’s a big deal for me since I’d been eyeing this card for two decades, and been on the fence for about a month as to whether or not to buy this copy.

As mentioned above the grade leaves much to be desired, it’s slabbed a 7.5 — the card was nailed for “edges.”  I love BGS graded cards, but this one will be cracked and placed in some other type of holder to go along with my other Clemens autographs.

 

eBay selling frustrations – The NPB

Posted in Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 5, 2019 by Cardboard Icons

Non-paying bidders/buyers on eBay is not a new trend for our hobby. We deal largely in commodities that fluctuate in price with any given day; and we know that buyers run hot and cold. Some people buy with emotion and make a purchase when they think they’re getting a good deal. And then afterward they back out of the purchase agreement with a myriad of excuses …

-My son bought this with my credit card – I did not approve.

-My child has a birthday coming up, I need to sell some other stuff first.

-I thought this was for a whole collection, not just one card

… you get the point.

Personally, I had a pretty good track record in this arena. Most of my buyers came through and made their payment within the first 24-48 hours, and sometimes it would drag to three days. But for whatever reason, I’ve had three of the last five items I’ve sold end or appear to be heading toward NPB status.

One of the excuses above was actually used 6 weeks ago when I sold a Chris Sale 2010 Bowman Chrome Prospects auto. The buyer claimed to be a “breaker” from the east coast and appeared to be putting together a buy-back product when he made the purchase. I accepted his offer and then I waited … and waited. I hit him with two reminder notices via eBay and then he shot back that he’d be paying at the end of the week, which of course came and went. I hit him with a third reminder and then came the the most ridiculous excuse I had heard to this point. In summary it went like this:

His daughter was having a birthday soon, and he was trying to sell some items to make sure she had a present. He was asking me if he should sell his gold chain so that he could pay me for my Chris Sale card.

I stepped back from my computer when I saw this and laughed because the scenario seemed so far-fetched. I mean how did we go from him being a breaker, to not having enough money for the card right now, to needing money for a birthday gift AND he was adding a guilt trip of asking me if I wanted him to sell his gold chain. I should add that this was a base Sale Chrome AUTO under $100 at the time.

I digress, the reason this came up today is I am dealing with a new NPB who has not even responded to my two reminders. This buyer has some 1,500 positive feed backs and made an offer for one of my items; the offer was for $200. I pondered it for 30 minutes but ultimately accepted. This was on Dec, 29, a week ago today. I figured the buyer would pay Sunday, or Monday. Then realized me might be waiting for his eBay Bucks to kick in, which as most of us know happened on Wednesday. And when no payment came then I figured he might be waiting for Friday, Jan. 4 for payday.

But here we are, Jan 5 and no payment or communication. So frustrating.

Anyhow, I’ll leave you with this: If you’re buying something from someone and need an extra day or two, communicate that to the buyer. Don’t leave them in the dark — I mean we all love when eBay throws us a bone with special deals. But also don’t be one of those guys who makes an offer or hits a Buy It Now knowing you can’t pay for the item within two or three days.

Are your card packages being received? A reminder for buyers and sellers.

Posted in Commentary, Misc. with tags , , , , , on January 27, 2018 by Cardboard Icons

A few weeks ago I had two eBay purchases arrive on the same day. As soon as I got notification via eBay that they were delivered I went straight home to retrieve them. When I arrived, I found them sitting on the porch, atop a box of Similac samples my relative had received.

These packages were pretty standard card packages — bubble mailers that could have been shoved into the secure mail slot in the garage door. However, the postal carrier decided to leave them on the step, in plain view of the street — available to any person who wanted to take the items.

Fortunately for me I got to the cards in time. But not less than a week later I received a message from a buyer who claimed that he did not receive a card I sold him last month.

The buyer told me that he never received his card, which he had purchased for more than $150. I promptly checked the delivery confirmation number and it showed that it had been delivered some 30 days before I received this message.

The buyer and I went back and forth, and the buyer opened a EBay case against me, which automatically tied up my PayPal account until the case was resolved.

I provided the buyer and eBay any documentation I had. And after calling eBay myself, the auction site took my side and agreed that I followed the right steps. I won the case and my PayPal account and funds were unlocked.

While I had come out on the positive end of both cases discussed above, it is unfortunate that things even had to get to this point. Mail theft is so rampant these days that it’s common for pieces to go missing, and sometimes the bad guys winds up with someone’s $150 Card.

But these examples prove that it’s a good time to share these precautionary tales with fellow collectors.

If you’re buying something, keep an eye out for mail. Use the tracking numbers, and if it’s expensive ask the seller to consider using a signature confirmation service — at YOUR expense. And do all you can to provide a secured area for a postal carrier to safely deliver your package.

And If you’re a seller, make sure you document your tracking numbers and keep your records (I.e. postal receipts and customs forms, etc) for several months. If you can show eBay that the item you sold was delivered to the confirmed address you should win your case should one be opened against you. Whether or not it actually was received by the buyer isn’t your problem.

Obviously this system would work better for everyone if thieves didn’t exist, but that’s not the case. And whichever side of the buyer-seller relationship you fall on, you have to do what you can to protect yourself.

Ben,

Former Beckett Baseball columnist.

———

Collector of Hall of Fame tobacco era and Rookie cards.

Collector of Roger Clemens and Clayton Kershaw.

You can reach me on Twitter and Instagram @cardboardicons. You can also e-mail me at cardboardicons@yahoo.com

This needs to be said about our hobby and card “values” in wake of Rousey loss

Posted in Commentary with tags , , , , , , , , on November 15, 2015 by Cardboard Icons

I’m not an MMA fan per se. I don’t buy Pay Per Views, seek Online streaming of events or even care really about who’s the champ of their weight class in whatever promotion.

But unless you were living under a rock last night there was no chance you were going to avoid the hot topic: Ronda Rousey getting knocked out by Holly Holm with a kick to the neck and a succession of punches to the face and head to end the fight and Rousey’s reign as baddest woman on the planet.

You’ve all seen the video or still images. No need for me to go there.

I watched this madness unveil on Twitter via countless reactions and a seemingly endless barrage of bandwagon jumpers.

But what started to upset me, as a card collector, was when discussions started to center around how a Ronda Rousey 2012 Topps Finest autograph sold on eBay for $1,300 before the fight and how blazing hot Holly Holm’s rookie cards immediately after the fight.

   
Rovell is not a hobby guy.  He’s a sports business reporter, so he’s always looking for a numbers angle. I don’t fault him for that.

While what he tweeted is true if you believe what you see on eBay, the perception of actual worth of a card gets misconstrued before, during and after big events such as the Rousey-Holm fight.

The reaction to Rovell’s tweet included mostly discussion about how the Rousey card is seemingly worthless now and how dumb collectors are.

Additionally, this conversation about the Rousey card then leads to a discussion about Holm’s card(s).

During the minutes that made of the entire fight, Holm’s card went on eBay from just a few dollars to one hitting triple figures.

While this is all true, what you won’t hear from the mainstream media outlets or via their reporter’s Twitter streams is that many of the immediate high sales on eBay for cards of people involved in significant events often go unpaid and the “worth” or “value” ends of being incorrectly reported to the masses. 

True, Rousey cards lost value generally speaking and interest for Holm’s card increased based on the outcome of UFC 193. But they surely are not to the extreme that some would have you believe based on the immediate numbers shown on eBay.

Collectibles by nature are volatile and what’s important for everyone to understand is that the value of a card is determined in the exact moment a transaction is actually completed. And a deal it’s not actually complete until cash or goods are exchanged and the items is delivered.

  

A New Era of Trading

Posted in Newspaperman with tags , , , , on October 12, 2010 by Cardboard Icons

For the last dozen or so years, I’ve been trying to catch the trend of trading online. I’ve done it. I like it to an extent. But there is always one problem: How on earth do I get EVERYTHING organized in a way for people to view it.

I know I am not alone. Lots of collectors are frustrated by the tiresome process of listing or scanning cards — many of which likely will be passed up by other collectors because they, too, are usually looking to upgrade their own more common cards.

When I started online trading in 1997, I was astonished to think I could agree to make a trade with someone I’d never really met or spoken too and then send the cards through the mail. One of my first online trades was through the America On Line message forums. I swapped a bunch of Emmitt Smith cards for a 1983 Topps Tony Gwynn rookie. Big win for me. I disliked Emmitt and needed the Gwynn for my then-blossoming rookie card collection.

Over the years many more trades were made, but the process was still the issue.

And then it hit me a few years later: The most effective method of trading is actually selling on eBay. I might not get card for card what I would have liked, but it was an effective means to lump a bunch of cards together in an auction and then take the proceeds of that sale to buy something else I liked.

I’m not breaking news to anyone here. There are hundreds of collectors who are in the same boat. And there are probably as many or even more who still enjoy the process of a trade.

What’s funny is that two or three times a year I actually do a more traditional online trade through one of the good trading sites like The Bench, Sports Card Fun, etc. But that fun only lasts so long for me. I simply do not have my cards stored in a fashion where they can be listed or scanned with great ease. Besides, I’ve changed my collecting habits. No longer am I chasing cards for sets. I like to buy/trade for singles for the aforementioned rookie card collection.