Should i trust this amazon seller?
May 8, 2013 9:37 AM   Subscribe

I ordered a box set from an amazon user at the end of april listed as "like new" which it wasn't. Asked for a refund, and he asked for more details and pictures which i gave, then i heard nothing for well over a week. So i decided to file an a to z claim on Monday, then today (Thursday) he says how he had been locked out of his bank account due to some banking issue. Now he's all gung ho to give me a refund after i send the stuff back and drop the a to z. I feel a little weary trusting him. He has good feed back, but it's only 6 feedbacks. Should i do as he suggests or continue letting amazon look into it?
posted by earthquakeglue to Shopping (15 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Let Amazon handle it.

At this point this guy is not dealing in good faith, or he's scatterbrained, either way, it's in the hands of Amazon.
posted by Ruthless Bunny at 9:39 AM on May 8, 2013 [10 favorites]

I would not drop the claim. Let Amazon deal with it.
posted by dobi at 9:40 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

(Just for the record, today is Wednesday, assuming you are actually in the US as your profile says and not Australia or something)
posted by brainmouse at 9:42 AM on May 8, 2013

At the very least, he's got this backwards. He's got to refund you the money and then you'll send the stuff back and drop the a-to-z.

But think of it this way, you shouldn't drop the claim because you're not really getting anything out of it and you don't really have a good reason to help him. Dropping the a to z now and sending the stuff back first puts 100% of the risk in your court.
posted by Mercaptan at 9:44 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

He lost his opportunity for benefit of doubt from you when (1) he sold you something that he described inaccurately, and (2) he left you hanging after you complained.

Now he desires to resolve this informally after you got Amazon involved? Screw him.
posted by Unified Theory at 9:53 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Another vote for, Let Amazon handle it.

He called something 'like new', and it definately isn't? He's a liar. He wants the stuff back and the claim dropped, before he'll give you a refund? That's scammy at the very least. His bank locked him out? Not your problem, is it? (Plus that just sounds like its yet another lie.)

Oh, and please, for the sake of all possible future buyers: once this is resolved, please leave an honest feedback, with accurate descriptions of the merchandise, his actions, and how it got resolved.
posted by easily confused at 9:57 AM on May 8, 2013 [4 favorites]

One thing I've learned in business is that excuses = someone is trying to screw you.

We once had a client who started to fall behind on payments. At first it was 30 days, then 45, then 60, then 90. Once things started getting past 30 days the excuses went from bad to ridiculous:

1. Whoops, we didn't put the check in the mail. It'll be out tomorrow

Next we get:

2. Wouldn't you believe it, our clerk sent out the check using Fedex but our account is with UPS, so they sent the check back to us. We'll re-send it properly tomorrow.

Moving on....

3. We've had issues with out bank ever since we switched a few weeks ago. I'll make a call and get things cleared up.

I think you all can see where this is headed. We finally called the client and told them that we were ending our relationship with them. It taught us a valuable lesson, however: further down the road we had another client that fell into this same line of BS and we cut them off within 14 days. Good thing, too, because they went into bankruptcy shortly thereafter.

Have Amazon work on this on your behalf because I guarantee that once you send that box set back you won't see your refund and it will be the last time you hear from the seller.
posted by tgrundke at 9:58 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Situations like this are the reason that Amazon have a process like the A to Z thing in place. They have them to prevent people in your situation getting screwed.

You give him the stuff back, lose the only way you have of definitely sorting this problem out and then you get a refund? No, that's not how it works and this guy needs to realise that. Right now, the power is all yours. I'm not familiar with how this works with Amazon, but I've heard of people keeping the item AND getting a refund via the intermediary company. Giving up that power by sending the item back and/or dropping the claim is a bad idea. He's used up his goodwill now. I'd go so far as to say that he used it up when he lied about the item's state.

Also, being locked out of his bank account shouldn't affect him giving you a refund. I'm pretty sure it's done via the Amazon interface, like refunds via Paypal, so that Amazon can track what is going on. If he's honest, he doesn't have much to worry about. And if he's dodgy, well, screw him. Leave explanatory feedback. He doesn't have much so any that you leave will stand out.
posted by Solomon at 10:23 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

I have ordered things via Amazon Marketplace that arrived not-as-described. A quick email to the seller explaining the situation garnered an apology and a refund, and I got to keep the item. That's what good customer service looks like. What you are dealing with is a scam artist, so respond accordingly. And leave feedback!
posted by booknerd at 10:30 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: @booknerd Oh i'll definitely leave feedback. It just sounded really fishy to me how suddenly he's willing to be helpful. @Solomon I was actually wondering about that whole bank account thing. It didn't sound right to me, being locked out of it making it unable for him to respond to me?

@brainmouse Yeah, oops it is Wednesday isn't it? My days are thrown off for some reason.
posted by earthquakeglue at 10:42 AM on May 8, 2013

Yeah, being locked out of his bank account shouldn't mean he's locked out of his email....
posted by Solomon at 10:45 AM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

It just sounded really fishy to me how suddenly he's willing to be helpful.

He's still not being helpful. What he's doing is trying not to get into trouble with Amazon and putting more of the burden on you -- seriously, mail it back and then he'll refund you? That would be appropriate if you'd said, "Hey, I decided I didn't really want this," not when it's his screw-up (and I'm being charitable in calling it a screw-up rather than fraud).
posted by Etrigan at 11:08 AM on May 8, 2013 [2 favorites]

No, as a seller who spent a lot of effort fighting an A to Z claim recently (when the buyer tried to claim "not received" because they wouldn't pick it up at their local post office or ask the post office to redeliver) I'm totally OK with you filing a claimn against this guy if the item was not as described.
posted by Jahaza at 1:45 PM on May 8, 2013 [1 favorite]

and he asked for more details and pictures which i gave

In the future, remember to throw your hands up right here and go "screw this!". I'm not super familiar with how amazon works, but on ebay i'd pretty much send a message saying "hey, this item wasn't as described. I'm sending it back and i expect a refund"

Anything other than "OK" in this type of situation is the point at which i'd be contacting the support team of whatever site i was buying it through.

This might seem a bit extreme, but i have absolutely no sympathy for sellers on sites like this anymore. And this is speaking as someone who is currently selling stuff on those sites. I've just had too many bad experiences with people giving me the run around until the 14 day period ran out, or i'd somehow compromised my ability to leave them negative/neutral/descriptive feedback, take advantage of the buyer protection features of whatever site i was using, etc. There is no legit reason for being cagey the way this person is, only bullshit excuses to nefarious ends.

Also, in the future, and this onus isn't even on you, but in my first "hey, i have a problem with this and i'd like to return it" message i always include a "and this is/these are the exact reason(s) why:" section noting whatever wasn't as advertised, or what issues i had using/operating/with the general condition of whatever the thing was.

I'd also like to add that you should never feel bad for returning something that even looks slightly used that was listed as "like new". That label should very rarely be used by any seller on these types of sites/services. It's one of those things like "waterproof" that's just a bad descriptor. They fully deserve the return and whatever other paddling they get for advertising something as that unless it is literally "removed from box, didn't fit on shelf, put back in box" type of stuff, or like, a dvd box set they gave their grandma who never watched it.

Basically, have no sympathy for this person. Call in the airstrike from amazon.
posted by emptythought at 3:56 PM on May 8, 2013

Oh bollocks.

He is stringing you along, and cat stringing has only one possible outcome, as I have already mentioned elsewhere today.

Death to cat stringers. No, death's too good for 'em. *Due Process* to cat stringers.
posted by tel3path at 5:38 PM on May 8, 2013

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