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I found a listing for an amp I dearly love on eBay. Low reserve, very good price. So I checked out the seller. Turns out he's never sold a single thing on eBay, though he has purchased a lot of audio tubes.
So I watch as days tick down on this auction. Nobody bids. I think, maybe I can get this amp for a song. So I investigate the seller just a bit. I google his eBay moniker, and voila! Turns out he has gear (including the amp!) listed here at AA's Inmate Systems. So I figure the guy is indeed the legitimate owner of this amplifier.
Encouraged, I email him. I say I 'd like to speak with him over the telephone. He replies, but does not give me his real name or his phone number. I send him a second email, which he ignores. Arghh! Now I'm discouraged, and ready to ditch this auction.
But he did leave me his return email address. Which I googled. And, to my surprise, I found a wealth of information about him. His real name. His place of employment. Various contact info. Turns out the guy is a serious DIY builder of audio amplifiers. Still, it felt like I was spying on the guy.
How would people here deal with a non-communicative seller without a history on Ebay? Anybody have an issue with using the net to track down personal information? Kinda bugs me, to be honest, though I seem to do it well.
I'm a first time eBay buyer, and I'm not entirely sure of what I'm doing. Does anybody suspect that I might get conned here? To my best guess, the seller looks legit. I'll be sending > $1000 to him in a few hours time, unless I get warned off by somebody here.
There's always tomorrow.
IOW, if you feel a little "put-off" by the whole thing now, what do you think the future will hold, ie: the rest of the deal?
Just my two cents.
eBay's an auction site, auctions have been a scary way to buy since they started. You don't get to look as closely or know the seller, whether it's online or offline. Cars have been sold wholesale at auction for decades, and you take your chances. Prices are cheaper than conventional deals to account for this risk, and that's fair for both. However, when someone resorts to stalking (I agree with your feelings) to try to get the benefit of a conventional sale at an auction price, seems like they're trying to get more than what they are paying for. A full service shop gives a phone number, trial period, etc., and you pay a price for all that. If you cannot afford that price, don't buy the item. Don't bother someone who never offered all that and still expect to pay a bargain basement auction price.
Yep, I've got a lot to learn.
First, I got outbid. In the last 2 minutes of the auction the price shot up from 1 k to 1.5 k.
Second, there are limits to communicating with a seller. A lot of inmates here are adamant about having the seller answer all reasonable questions. You make an equally valid point; the seller really doesn't have to disclose much of anything at all, except perhaps the condition of the gear.
Finally, what is appropriate/inappropriate action when checking out a seller? Googling someone's eBay moniker seems pretty tame. It's openly posted public information, and it enabled me to find his gear listed here at AA. Googling the guy's email addy on the other hand looks more borderline. Yes his email addy was publicly listed here at AA, but it led directly too details of his personal life. So, where's the border between public and private? I'm not sure. That's why I posted about it.
You're right- Seller shouldn't have to disclose anything but the condition of the gear. You're not entering any kind of relationship with the Seller, and if the seller's going to defraud you, he's going to lie about other things as well. I go on feedback on eBay, a "vibe" about the ad, and I ask questions about condition, age, etc. of gear if it's not clearly specified. But, anything beyond that, I just don't worry about it. If I feel the least bit uncomfortable, I just don't bid. As a general rule of thumb, as with all auction sales, I bid 25-30% less than I would pay in a store. Then, if I get bad gear or lose money one out of 3 or 4 times, I break even. I'm actually always surprised that you can send a complete stranger money and get something good back, which I always have so far.
To me, the whole privacy thing is an issue. On one hand, the info is out there and is public, sort of. but otoh, to me, it's creepy looking into people like that. I guess my bottom line is you shouldn't be bidding on eBay unless it's money you can afford to lose, and this is a sign you were out of your comfort zone and should not have been bidding anyway. Follow some auctions for awhile, buy some cheap stuff, the see how you feel. If you need more control and your expectations are too high, go to a good retailer!
If you worried about being conn'd then either use a escrow service or buy via credit card then if it goes pear shaped dispute the transaction with the credit card co.
But as for him not giving you his phone number why should he ? may be he doesnt want people phoning him up at random, he's entitled to a life.
Dont forget the seller also takes a risk, after all he doesnt know you from adam, that you might pay with some dodgy card or check etc and then he looses out; posession being 9/10 of the law.
Ebay only works on trust - bit like all business's.
If I were to buy equivalent gear new I would pay three times as much! Or more. So it's eBay for me. Risk is part of the deal. Will be using Paypal.
If you're placing your faith in PayPal to make this a safer transaction your fooling yourself.
Seller's terms were either Paypal or money order. With Paypal at least I have the option of credit card charge-back if things go wrong.
If your point is that Paypal sucks, I concur. I've reading from paypalsucks.com, and the horror stories are many.
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