Backstory: My sister emailed me asking about an old 45 we had. She wanted a copy. So I found a good one on eBay, bought it, and had it sent to her. The record arrived...in three pieces. So we emailed the guy and he refunded my money. However, I left him a Neutral feedback, because that was what I thought was appropriate.
He disagreed, and sent me this email:
On Fri, 15 Dec 2006 12:21:11 -0700
"eBay Member: c-17a" <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
I just noticed you posted a NEUTRAL eBay feedback on me...why????? I can't believe it. First, I posted very positive feedback on you, second, I refunded your money PLUS S/H for a record you neglected to insure in case there was damage in transit, as was explained clearly in the auction. I value my eBay feedback very highly, and would ask you to reconsider your rating. I believe I have been extremely fair and bent over backwards to make it right. As it stands I am out the auction listing fee, the S/H costs and the record too, and only earned a NEUTRAL feedback???? Thanks, Randy Witham
Right. I thought about this a lot...and just sent him this response, ccing my sister and "email@example.com" which probably doesn't really exist, but looks official.
I gave you a "Neutral" feedback because the experience I had with this transaction was just that: neither completely positive nor completely negative. I understand your concern regarding your feedback; I have been buying and selling on eBay since 1997 (almost 10 years), and I don't take feedback lightly.
I actually put a great deal of thought into the feedback I give. In this case, I didn't leave you feedback until I'd conversed with my sister, for whom the record was purchased and who was the one who actually received the package and saw first-hand the damage. I have been copying her on all the correspondence regarding this transaction.
While you did send the package in a timely fashion, in her opinion it was not packaged very well. A folded-over piece of cardboard does not seem very sturdy, and after her description of it, I am inclined to agree with her. We mail a lot of stuff long distances (we live on opposite coasts) and so the both of us have some experience in this area. Personally, I probably would have sent it in a Priority Mail box, with some bubble-wrap or paper to cushion it.
And, while you are correct, I "neglected" to buy insurance, how would having this package insured have changed anything? The purchase of insurance would not have prevented the record from being broken into three pieces. All that insurance would have done would have made the US Postal Service pay me for the record and you would have kept the money I paid. And I am sorry, but I don't think it's entirely the Post Office's fault in this case.
Also, while you did give me money back for this damaged record, you did not "refund" it. You sent a Paypal payment to me in the amount I sent you...and from which Paypal deducted its customary percentage. So while I was compensated, it was not a full refund.
Finally, it's not even about the money. I was trying to do something nice for my sister, because it was something I could do for her to brighten her day and make her smile. And I was unable to do that because when she got it, it was broken, and that actually had something of the opposite effect from what I was going for.
So, yes, Randy, you got a "Neutral" feedback. It could have easily been a "Negative," but I felt you did uphold most of your side of the bargain in this case. However, in typing this response, I have had more thoughts on the matter, so if you would like me to revise the feedback I did leave, I could easily do so. I just don't think you'd like my revision.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.
Those of you who know me, know that when I am very angry, I become very articulate. Case in point.
Edit: He wrote back!
You are one amazing individual..............truly.
I have shipped hundreds of 45s and LPs to destinations all over the world. Plz check my other 200+ positive feedbacks on record sales alone, many from repeat buyers, concerning record sales. Using a double walled cardboard folder is the absolute best/lightest/cheapest method. Most buyers are way too cheap to pay extra for priority/double boxing/whatever.
Unfortunately, this is the only one that has arrived damaged.
YOU neglected to buy insurance what was offered you when the invoice was sent. This meant you assumed the risk the US Post Office might/could/would lose or damage the record in transit. My auction clearly shows the Near Mint condition it was in when sold and shipped.
I have been an eBay member since September 1999, so I know a thing or two about feedback, and when buyers are less than honest, less than fair and decidedly selfish, self-centered, and live in a world apart from reality.........reference my one and only negative feedback years ago from a seller that sold one thing and delivered something totally different. No amount of "negotiations" was going to convince this crook to change his criminal ways........
You miss a very important point, it certainly was not MY fault the US Post Office employees damaged the record. It was packaged appropriately, safely, cheaply (buyers like that part), like 100s of others I have shipped. This is simply a one-off event.
Ponder this: You were never owed a refund at all............not for the 45 or shipping/handling. You didn't pay for it.....remember the terms of out contract? Here's the text from the terms of sale you agreed to:
"Seller's payment instructions
PayPal preferred -- Cashier's Checks or Money Orders O.K. Quoted First Class rate in the USA only. International buyers must agree to pay actual air mail shipping to their address. Buyer pays for insurance if desired -- plz add $1.35 per $50 and $2.30 per $100 to the final amount. Thank you."
Looks pretty clear "buyer pays for insurance".......and if you are going to quibble over a few pennies PayPal kept on the refund I gave you that you were never owed, you are again.....one amazing individual. Out of the goodness of my heart I refunded your purchase price and S/H. So I lost the listing fees, the 45 (supposedly), and the S/H plus PayPal fees too. Oh, I have not yet seen the damaged returned to me to prove your story that I asked to warrant a refund. Maybe it's really not damaged and you're working me for a free record........?
Overall, how about a little personal responsibility, my friend?
I invite you to revise the feedback, then I get to respond to the world the TRUTH of your character. As it stands I can not. So ponder that.....
I'll be anxiously waiting to see what you do. I more than upheld my side of "the bargain".......even bent over backwards........you did not, and still have absolutely no reason not to post super-positive eBay feedback on me concerning this transaction.
Oh, have a MERRY CHRISTMAS too!
What can I say? I guess we'll have to agree to disagree here.
When I sell, I only give the option of sending Priority because I don't trust regular mail; I would have paid for that.
Sorry. I feel my Neutral is accurate and I will leave it stand. You may want to rethink your packaging strategy.
I forgot to add: If my sister has kept the pieces, I am sure she would gladly return them to you.
K: do you still have them? Send 'em back; I'll pay for postage.