Help me fix an eBay sale gone wrong.
October 3, 2011 6:30 AM   Subscribe

Electric motor/ tool repair in Queens?

I live in Ohio. I sold an older electric hardwood floor sanding machine on eBay. The guy who bought it lives in Maspeth, which Google tells me is in Queens. I'm relying on Google because I've never been to Queens, and have only spent about three hours of my life anywhere in NYC. Anyhow, this very simple machine worked perfectly when I shipped it, but the buyer is having some problem with it. I'm having difficulty assessing the problem long-distance, and the buyer doesn't seem to know enough about motors to diagnose it himself. It's not practical to have the buyer return the machine, because it's really heavy and shipping costs rival the value of the machine itself. Can anyone recommend a company near Maspeth / Queens that could assess problems with a machine that basically consists of a 1HP motor driving a drum (via a pulley) and a vacuum impeller? I suspect this is the sort of problem I could diagnose in about 2 minutes if I were physically there, but I can't see or touch anything, and there's a language barrier as well. TIA for any suggestions.
posted by jon1270 to Technology (5 answers total)
Yup, saying that something electronic or mechanical is broken after it has shipped via eBay is a common scam. (See my previous question here.)

Did you film the machine working before you shipped it? Do you have the serial numbers?

Tell the buyer, "Look, it worked when I sent it to you. If you want a refund, you'll need to send it back to me in the same well-packed box that I sent you, INSURED, at your cost. Once I have assessed that the machine is the same as I sent you, I can refund your money."

If the guy is a scammer, he probably won't both shipping it to you. He might fight you on this.

I'd suggest getting eBay customer service involved (via the phone if you can) NOW.

But if you don't have video of it working, you might be SOL.
posted by k8t at 7:08 AM on October 3, 2011

Oh, and follow this advice from my past question

"I don't believe him. That sounds sketchy. But anyway, seems you should (politely and in a non-accusatory way) let him know that you have records of the shipping information and insurance, and the serial numbers of the laptop, and that what he needs to do is return your laptop to you, and once you've verified that it is the same laptop and the laptop is not working, you can refund his money. If he sends it back and it is not working, you put in the claim with USPS and get $320 back because they damaged it."
posted by k8t at 7:09 AM on October 3, 2011

And RIGHT NOW, take the money out of PayPal and get it into your personal bank account. The buyer can try to get it back from you with great ease.
posted by k8t at 7:15 AM on October 3, 2011 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Thanks, k8t. I'm aware of the scammy possibilities, but I don't think that's what's going on here. The buyer has a six year history of perfect feedback as both a buyer and a seller. The address I shipped the machine to is also a little house that was sold in July of this year - just the sort of place that might need a floor sander. And I've talked to the guy on the phone, and his trouble seems legit.

I called a few tool repair shops in the area and found someone qualified to assess it. The shop will talk to me after looking at the machine. I'll be on the hook for diagnostic costs, but the repair guy will talk to me directly after he gets a look at it.
posted by jon1270 at 7:25 AM on October 3, 2011

Response by poster: For posterity, I can recommend Forestiere Power Tool on 64th St. They found the very simple problem (loose plug terminal screw) and fixed it for a fee that, while not cheap, wasn't unreasonable.
posted by jon1270 at 4:27 PM on November 2, 2011

« Older Complications of not changing last name to...   |   Please help me name my property management company... Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.