Hi, this guide is all about Communication and Feedback.
As you may have noticed, I have recently received my first Negative Feedback Rating. I can honestly say, hand on heart, that this was not due to a fault at my end and I will explain what happened before I get onto the issue of Communication and Feedback.
The item in question (which I received Negative Feedback for) was a DVD Recorder. It was simply being sold in good faith and in a good working order. I clearly stated in the listing that there was no media discs included with the unit. The DVD Recorder was working fine at my end.
Anyway, I received the Buyer's payment and promptly sent out the DVD Recorder via Royal Mail, Special Delivery. It arrived at the Buyer's address the next day. But, I didn't receive any e-mails from the Buyer - no contact, nothing. I tried e-mailing the Buyer several times for a week or so but I didn't receive a single reply. So I decided to wait for the Buyer to contact me. 4 weeks had elapsed since the buyer received the DVD Recorder unit and out of nowhere, bam! The Buyer decides to leave me Negative Feedback.
The Buyer was claiming that their chosen programs were not recording properly and that the power cable blew up.
Well, the Buyer could've at least tried e-mailing me to tell me that they were having a problem with the item. But they didn't. I tried reasoning with the Buyer and asked them to explain their Negative Feedback, this is what they said:
"I fail to see if we will come to any compromise. The point is mate...the unit has been inspected and the squ was barely passable, power cables dont just blow up unless they were faulty...so if I were you...id feel embarrased about selling it on and for that reason I will not remove my feedback."
I followed that up with this response:
"What do you mean by 'inspected the unit' and who inspected the unit? The Power Cable was working when I sent it out to you - I was using it while it was connected to a Surge Protector which is what I use for all of my electronics equipment. In fact, I just bought that power cable brand new about 1 month ago so I fail to see how it could just blow up on you. As far as I can see, the Power Cable can only blow up if there was a Power Surge at your end and that is NOT my responsibility."
"And why did you decide not to contact me after all this time? I said in the listing that if you think you have discovered a problem with the item then contact me first before you think about leaving feedback. There was a letter addressed to you in the parcel with the DVD Recorder unit that clearly stated this. How could you miss something like that? Are you blind or are you just plain thick?"
"I don't even know why I'm trying to explain myself to you because as far as I'm concerned, I have done nothing wrong here. You've left it so late that I simply can't take in what you're telling me. What if the faults you're telling me about developed recently or you deliberately sabotaged the power cable all by yourself ?"
"I can't be held responsible for that because I haven't offered any warranty on this item. It was sold in a good working order but USED condition which is exactly what it means."
"If you're not satisfied with what you bought one month after you bought it, then that is not my fault."
2 things are bothering me here:
1) What's an squ?
2) Power cables can't blow up unless there is a mammoth Power Surge or something has been dropped on it!
If the buyer wasn't happy with the quality of the recorded programs then they could so easily have asked me for a refund and I would've been happy to take the DVD Recorder back and given the Buyer their refund. And the point about the Power Cable blowing up is not my fault either. A Power Surge causing the Power Cable to die is a fault in the Buyer's Electricity Supply - NOT MINE. It's not my Electricity supply, so why should I take responsibility for something that was clearly the Buyer's fault? The only other reason I can think of as to why the Power Cable would blow up is because something was spilled onto it. Again, this is not my responsibility as I don't offer extended warranty.
I can guarantee though that anything that I sell will not be dead on arrival (DOA). Note how the Buyer never reported the item as dead on arrival and never reported it to Ebay either.
In any case, Power Cables can easily be replaced. They are widely available on Ebay for around £5 or so. So it's not a complete disaster if the Power Cable gives out.
Notice that I don't offer any kind of warranty on items that I sell on Ebay. This is because I'm a private seller and I sell everything in good faith and in good working order - I don't own a shop. I have yet to sell anything that was faulty. But if I did sell something that was faulty, I would always mark the title with the words "Faulty for Repairs".
The buyer didn't even bother to report the DVD Recorder to Ebay as an Item Significantly Not As Described. Nor has the Buyer ever asked me for a refund. The Buyer preferred to keep a "faulty" item and not report it to Ebay - I think that says it all.
You know what I think, I think that the buyer is happy to keep the DVD Recorder because low and behold, IT WORKS PERFECTLY! If the DVD Recorder truly was faulty, then the Buyer would have been hellbent on getting their money back from me. The Buyer never asked for the refund so what am I supposed to do?
Anyway, since then, the Buyer has refused to remove their Feedback and for some reason, they seem to have mysteriously disappeared off the Ebay radar all together.
I think you'll agree with who I think the Villain is in this situation - check the Buyer's Feedback (jamesbuilding) if you still think that I'm the guilty party in this situation.
Avoiding these situations:
Well, there's only one way of avoiding these type of situations - COMMUNICATION.
I also recommend that you read through the ENTIRE listing before bidding or clicking on the 'Buy It Now' button.
In all of my listings, I've always stated that the Buyer should always E-mail me first if they think they have discovered a problem with the item. Leaving Negative Feedback before Communication is Unprofessional and Childish.
Note that I always say to E-mail me if you want to get a response - I don't just give out my Phone Number to anyone, you know!
I will only give out my Phone Number if an unforeseen issue has arisen. If you check the rest of my Feedback Ratings, you'll trust that I will do everything in my power to solve the Buyer's problem.
If you don't tell me you have a problem, then I can't help you.
If somebody leaves me Unfair Negative Feedback, then I think you'll agree that it's only fair that I do the same for them.
If you READ the ENTIRE listing before making a purchase and COMMUNICATE with the Seller/Buyer at every step of the transaction, then it will help to avoid ugly situations like the one I described.
Remember, seeing Negative Feedback in a Ebay user's profile doesn't necessarily put them in the wrong. I would recommend reading both the Buyer and Seller's Feedback comments on the item in question before making a judgment on the Buyer/Seller.
Some people who have 100% Positive Feedback are not always Genuine. Some Ebayers top up their Feedback ratings by buying a bunch of small items or items of questionable legibility such as e-books. I've had a lot of buyers who have not paid for items that they've bought from me and yet they somehow managed to amass a 100% Positive Feedback Score. So it just goes to show you that Ebayer's with 100% Positive Feedback are not all that.
I hope that this guide has given you an insight into the perks of Communication and how to avoid ugly situations like the one I've described.
Many thanks for reading through this guide.