A few weeks ago, I had a buyer leave me feedback that said, “Price was too high but perfect item and shipped quickly!”

So they liked the item, they didn’t have an issue with shipping but they thought my price was too high. So far, so good, right?

The problem? They won their item at auction. An auction that started at $0.99. So while I hate to let facts get in the way of a good argument, didn’t they set their own price with their bid?

If the price was too high, why did they bid that much?

Another recent buyer bought a fixed price item but made an offer on it, getting it for a discount off of the price I had it listed for. This buyer emailed me and in our emails she mentioned that she was annoyed about how much she had to pay for the item.

Wait a second. You put in an offer that was less than what I had it listed for. I accepted. You paid only the amount you indicated that you were willing to pay with your offer. If that price was too high, why the heck did you offer it?

In the first case, I, the seller, was “blamed” in my feedback for having a price that was too high. After 90 days, no one is going to be able to see that the buyer is talking about an auction, they’ll just think my prices are too high. But if I set my price at under $1 and it was bid up to several hundred, that final price is more the work of the other bidders than me personally. Considering I’m one of very few people still starting auctions that low, it burns me to be called out for having high prices on a situation I had no control over.

Now you may wonder why it matters. After all, both people above still bought the item from me. The people above are also just two recent examples of something that happens with some frequency: people complain about the price of an auction or best offer only after they have bought the item. So obviously, as annoyed as they may be, they are still buying from me. You’d think they’d go shop somewhere else if “my prices” bothered them that much (never mind that they are picking these prices themselves, I’m trying to play along with their own twisted logic).

But I have seen people on forums talk about the fact that they use the Shipping Cost DSR to rate the price they paid for the item overall, not just the shipping. (This explains why some people can offer free shipping and still get low stars. Many use it to rate the price overall.) I can’t help but wonder if these buyers who were annoyed about the price, even if they set it themselves, are dinging me there (though my score there is pretty high so if they are dinging, it’s not enough to make a dent).

Or am I maybe mis-reading this? Maybe the buyers aren’t trying to blame me, instead they are waxing about pricing in general. If it is a collectible item, maybe its more of a “crazy how these prices are” sort of thing or with something like an iPod, it is just people wishing they could get it for cheaper. Maybe with my seller hat on I’m misunderstanding commiserating for complaining. I’m not sure if that is plausible but I’m willing to keep my mind open.

This is one of those posts where I don’t have an insight or solution to offer. I was just curious if other seller’s have experienced this same sort of thing and what you think the logic behind it is.