Ebay sucks sometimes
September 19, 2008 2:53 PM   Subscribe

I kinda got screwed on ebay but not really.... what are my options here.

So I bought a cd player on ebay, heres the description. The guy said "perfect working order" and "includes wiring harness" except for the freaking harness is missing the ground wire. I went to three diff places to install it, all of them couldn't do it b/c they were out of JVC harnesses and they didn't have the necessary pin connectors to put a new ground wire in (kinda hard to believe an audio install business wouldn't have these pieces but whatever). I got a harness off my roomate, he had an old JVC with a harness but now he's out a harness, which run roughly 20$. Technically the guy didn't lie, the cd player is in good working order and it did include a harness, but it didn't have all the necessary components. I'm waiting for a reply from the guy, I told him the situation and I'm sure it was an honest mistake but I'd still like reimbursement for my roomate's harness. Think I could win with paypal if this guy doesn't oblige?
posted by BrnP84 to Technology (12 answers total)
No. Transactions are as-is.
posted by k8t at 2:59 PM on September 19, 2008

See what the guy says first. The harness should have been usable.
posted by lee at 3:02 PM on September 19, 2008

It's nearly impossible for a buyer to "win with paypal". I've been altogether scammed (no product at all) and they can't really do anything without a mountain of evidence and complaints from other users about same user. And even when they have that they can only refund if the guy has funds in his account -- hasn't moved them over to his bank account yet.
posted by wolfkult at 3:30 PM on September 19, 2008

Most eBay sellers that have accumulated some-what of a positive history will generally try and please you if you mention leaving neutral or negative feedback.
posted by nickerbocker at 3:42 PM on September 19, 2008

You might get the total amount back (excluding paypal/ebay fees) but getting a partial refund will be up to the good-heartedness of the seller.

Also, if he does a simple google search, he'll find this askme in which you say "Technically the guy didn't lie, the cd player is in good working order and it did include a harness...". I'm pretty sure that satisfies the terms of the sale, and would be proof for paypal.
posted by blue_beetle at 3:46 PM on September 19, 2008

For what it is worth, I had a completely different experience than wolfkult did. I ordered a pair of DDR pads (which were advertised as "NEW IN BOX"). When I got them one of them was missing a converter cable (but still had the end I was interested in) and both of them seemed to have "sticky" arrows. I e-mailed the seller asking him to make things right but never heard back.

I filed a claim with PayPal and got back all the money I had spent. I don't recall the time to fill out the form being very long, so I think it is worth a shot on your end.
posted by mge at 4:04 PM on September 19, 2008

My guess is the seller probably wasn't aware of the missing ground wire. It's very possible (and plausible) that they just put the item up for sale after pulling it out of their car and are just ignorant about electronics, ground wires, harnesses, etc. It probably did not cross their mind that it was missing anything. I know that in my experience selling electronics on eBay, there's always a chance the seller is honestly unaware of some electronic snafu or failure and therefore truly believes the item is "good as new." It's only after you get that (sometimes angry) email from the buyer telling you the item was not up to expectations that you learn there was actually a problem with the item. It happens.

Personally, if I was in your position, I would contact the seller through eBay and explain the problem (politely) with the harness and ask if he/she would be willing to refund $20 (the cost of a new JVC harness - you could even provide them a link to Crutchfield or the like with the harness and price as proof) since you will need to buy a new one and the one that was sent is unusable. Most stand-up sellers will at least give the request some consideration and reply.

As the buyer though, I would not go in to this with high expectations. The seller is not obligated to do anything, and your only recourse is to give negative feedback. I would not threaten negative feedback immediately...use that as a last resort.

Good luck!
posted by karizma at 4:49 PM on September 19, 2008

Response by poster: Just got an email back from the guy, he said he hooked it up before he shipped and it worked fine, which is impossible b/c you can't hook it up w/o the ground wire and I just noticed in the original ebay pic there is no ground wire. From his emails he's claiming that he knew nothing about this, I'm not so sure, I'm pretty sure he's trying to play innocent. Another thing I didn't mention is the serail number was scratched out, kinda shady so I'm guessing he's just a shady character. Oh well, I like the cd player but this guy kinda sucks.
posted by BrnP84 at 8:21 AM on September 20, 2008

Can't you just connect the ground to the frame of the receiver? It is the same ground, and that's possibly why the harness was missing the ground wire in the first place (if the original installer was using a more "old-fashioned" method of connecting the ground wire).
posted by helios at 11:24 AM on September 20, 2008

Response by poster: probably no one reading this anymore but the guy said the "black ground wire" was on there before he shipped it because he hooked it up to test it. I'm certain he's lying because the pic doesn't show the black ground, it should be right next to the yellow wire. I emailed him that I'm done with the situation, the way he's covered himself was pretty good, he's offering a full refund only (I pay shipping) and he knows I'm not going to go through the trouble of doing that, so I guess this guy just got away with selling a cd player w/ a faulty harness.
posted by BrnP84 at 8:50 AM on September 21, 2008

This fits PayPal's description of "significantly not as described" which means you can get your money back, according to their policy, if you ship it back to him with tracking (at your expense). Likely not worth it -- net benefit of $20, minus cost of shipping it back to him, plus or minus the difference in price of the radio you purchase to replace it.
posted by winston at 2:02 AM on September 22, 2008

which is impossible b/c you can't hook it up w/o the ground wire

Most of the time, the chassis is ground, and almost every bit of metal in the whole car is ground too. Of all the wires on the harness, the ground is the one you don't really need.

That doesn't really effect the transaction issue too much. What you want to do is negotiate a settlement with him. My feeling is that a full $20 reimbursement would be way too much to ask, but I'm biased by the impression that it is a very minor defect.
posted by Chuckles at 9:05 PM on September 22, 2008

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