Any other recourse for bad eBay besides feedback?
June 4, 2005 8:27 PM   Subscribe

Ugh. I think I may have just had my eBay ripoff moment. Item was described as being in decent condition with scatches and was verified to work (it was a navigation DVD). Of course the scratches were actually significant and further and more importantly it didn't work. eBay seller specified *all sales final* (IMO this does not apply as item was stated to work and did not). Opinions/suggestions on this? Is there any other recourse besides leaving bad feedback?
posted by gnash to Shopping (16 answers total)
On the opinions/suggestions - basically wondering if anyone has any ideas on how I can get my money back.
posted by gnash at 8:39 PM on June 4, 2005

I don't know if there's any legal/procedural recourse, but you could also just trying getting the disc re-polished. I think somebody here first mentioned this in a different thread, but most mom & pop DVD rental stores will have a disc polisher that they use for themselves. They'll often re-finish yours for a fee, and they can get some pretty bad scratches out. (I checked my local one the other day, and they do it for $4 a disc, but with a big volume discount.)

There's a decent chance that even if you can't get your money back, you can still get a usable DVD out of it.
posted by LairBob at 8:41 PM on June 4, 2005

If you've asked the seller to make this situation right and they are not responsive you are probably out of luck; eBay is very much a caveat emptor proposition. You can report them to eBay and claim they misrepresented the goods but this is unlikely to do anything. If they conciously sent bum goods they had misrepresented they will simply say "it worked when I shipped it" and it pretty much ends there. The only way you can get your money back is if the seller is willing to give you a refund.
posted by nanojath at 8:45 PM on June 4, 2005

odinsdream is right. Some drives are better then others.
posted by delmoi at 9:27 PM on June 4, 2005

If you paid with a credit card, even via PayPal, you can probably get your money back if you play it right.

If you used cash/check/money order/etc., you're probably out of luck if the seller won't cooperate, though you may want to investigate eBay's various "buyer protection" stuff.
posted by trevyn at 9:28 PM on June 4, 2005

before you leave bad feedback at this point like 90% of ebay idiots, have you tried contacting the seller first? even though they say "all sales final," some will refund, exchange, or credit you if the item just doesn't work.

i can promise you he will have absolutely NO incentive to work out anything with you if you leave bad feedback before contacting him about the problem.

if the seller does not respond to email, definitely go the "buyer protection" route. and amazon both worked in my favor the two times i was shafted with the seller being unreachable.
posted by Ziggy Zaga at 10:55 PM on June 4, 2005

Technically you must exhaust all avenues with the seller before leaving negative feedback. Also, be prepared for retaliatory negative feedback if you do so. It's against policy but people do it and it's nearly impossible to get feedback removed (to do it, you have to go through SquareTrade and pay like $20). Ebay is a shithole recently, I hate the way they run that place.
posted by knave at 1:08 AM on June 5, 2005

The threat of negative feedback can often take care of such situations. As Ziggy zaga said, it it the threat which is powerful, not the feedback itself. Once you have fired that weapon you have taken away the incentive for the seller to work with you and you are SOL.

Even when all sales are final, as is, etc., if the item is not as described you have a valid reason to ask that the transaction be rescinded. I would say that a disc which is "verified to work" and in fact does not work is not as described.

I would hold off on trying to buff out the scratches and save that option for a failure to resolve things with the seller.
posted by caddis at 3:48 AM on June 5, 2005

Try contacting the seller first. I also know that once Ebay gets their money, they tend to lose interest. (Close friend of mine was the victim of fraud, Ebay didn't seem to have much interest in it or the fact it was pretty wide spread). Of course, they claim for the seller's privacy they couldn't disclose what was being done--if anything. That being said, good luck.
posted by 6:1 at 5:31 AM on June 5, 2005

Neagtive feedback can be mutually withdrawn if both parties agree, it doesn't cost anything.

If he has a good feedback rating your threat of bad feedback should be enough for him to refund you the money. It isn't worth him ruining his reputation over a DVD.

If he has mixed feedback with a good few negs already then he has less to lose from receiving another and you probably shouldn't have dealt with him in the first place.

As above, if you used Paypal or a credit card you should be able to get your money. Paypal will almost always side with the buyer.
posted by fire&wings at 5:34 AM on June 5, 2005

I have contacted the seller and wouldn't leave negative feedback until it was exhausted. It occurred to me I might have problems with this transaction, and wondered what I would do if I had problems with future ones.

A lot of excellent responses thus far - thanks!
posted by gnash at 6:38 AM on June 5, 2005

Did you try the disc in another device? I have discs that won't play in my laptop but do on the pc and the dvd player and some that will play in dvd player but not pc or lappy. If you have an alternative device or easy access to one, it might save the heartache.
posted by peacay at 9:01 AM on June 5, 2005

Other option: take your disc to a local Game Crazy store (usually attached to Hollywood Video stores) and see if they can run it through their professional disk buffer. They use this machine to restore poorly treated game disks before reselling them, and it usually works on just about anything.
posted by Aquaman at 11:07 AM on June 5, 2005

For a DIY solution to scratches, use non-gel (the white kind) toothpaste and a soft cloth. Wet with water when necessary.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 5:00 PM on June 5, 2005

AuctionBytes Online Fraud Forum has a lot of helpful information.
posted by mlis at 5:34 PM on June 5, 2005

I have had a couple of cases where what came out of the box was not quite what I was expecting. What I have done is to write to the seller, not in the spirit of "HEY YOU CRAZY*&^%^LUSR YOUFSKEDME SALE BADBADBAD YOU" but with a clear simple explanation of the problem phrased in such a way as to make it clear that I believe there has been an honest mistake, no blame implied. My experience has been that the seller will work with you to make it right.

In all but two cases I have been able to make things right just by dealing with them calmly and politely. This comes to about a 1-2% failure rate, which is not bad. One of the failures was an out and out scam artist. Without eBay cooperation we couldn't narrow down his location past a specific city. eBay doesn't deal well with that sort of thing (do they deal with it at all??) so some of my fellow buyers and I got together and quietly shut down all his sales for him.

The other case was a company that just didn't give a fsk. I even called them on the phone, told them that their ad was factually incorrect. They just didn't care. We settled for running their reputation down to the point where they gave up on eBay.
posted by Ken McE at 7:28 PM on June 5, 2005

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