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eBay Problems Blown Out Of Proportion?



Jack Cooper writes:

I went to a couple forums on eBay, and all I saw were horror stories about selling and buying not getting paid or getting ripped off. Does this happen at a high rate? Is it just people in the forums wanting to scare others off? Quite a few seem just plain dissatisfied with eBay.

Hate to bug you about all this, but if it is as bad as these forums indicate I don’t believe I want to take a chance on eBay. I will just try to promote my web sites and products elsewhere and not waste time with eBay.

* * * * *
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Jack, There are two types of complainers on the forums. People who are natural born complainers, and people who want to discourage others.

The natural complainers learn to use complaints and problems to interact with others. Think about the way we are raised.

We are told to be humble and not tout our own horns. We are told not to talk about the good things going on in our lives, so we focus on the bad things.

Complaints are an easy source of stories. These sad sacks have nothing good going on in their lives so they tell stories about the bad things. Even worse they look for bad things even if they have to create them.

I have problems in about 1 of every 500 eBay auctions. The majority of eBay users are good people who pay quickly and have reasonable expectations.

Let me share a story with you that opened my eyes. I had a buyer a few years ago who came unglued because I refused to ship his item before the check cleared. This guy started sending me very aggressive emails. Threatening and vulgar emails.

I called him on the phone because I am always polite in emails. (Read between the lines!) I talked to his father because the buyer was a deaf mute. His dad told me his son’s only interaction with society was through the internet. Every few weeks his son would pick a fight with someone online.

This is called passive/aggressive behavior. Anger is a chosen response to the feeling of powerlessness. The buyer didn’t feel he was in control of his life, and used his fights to gain self respect.

Sadly, because of the anonymous nature of the internet, this is all too common online. For those of us who feel good about ourselves, the best way to deal with these poor misguided people is with compassion. A little compassion and a lot of ignoring them.

On eBay you will run into these irritating people. High bidders who never pay or are slow to pay. Buyers who want to renegotiate the price after getting their items. Buyers who damage items so they can send them back. Buyers who switch items, or remove parts, and then return them.

The easiest way to deal with these people is to set boundaries and refuse to cross them. As the seller you have the power in the transaction. Don’t ship until you have been paid. Never refund money until the item is returned and examined. Never leave feedback until the buyer has left feedback for you.

Stick to your principles and you will be able to sleep at night knowing you are a reputable and honest person. When you make mistakes, own up to them and make the buyer whole.

Don’t get caught up in the negatives, think about the positives. eBay is a great way to sell products, and generate leads for your other ventures.

To decide not to do something because one eBay buyer in 500 will be a problem is wrong.

Just be honest and reputable in all your dealings and when you get a problem eBay buyer, you can show him some compassion by ignoring him.

Here’s an article on Resolving eBay Buying Problems and Disputes.

Here’s an article on Why eBay Sellers Fail.

Here’s an article that explains an eBay Selling System. If a complainer doesn’t understand this system, he’s not worth your attention.


Did this answer your question? If not, try looking at the questions and answers within the General, PayPal And Other Payment Methods, Problem Buyers, Problem Sellers category, or do a search for other questions.
If you are unable to find an answer to your question, send me an email, and I will answer it.


Many of the articles and free reports here on IWantCollectibles were originally sent to readers of my Antiques and eBay Newsletter. Not all articles make it onto the website, and readers also get notices of free reports and special offers.

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