As I mentioned in a previous post, I’ve been doing a little of shopping on eBay lately. The seller of one of the items I purchased emailed me to chat, we are both collectors of the same thing, and we had a nice little chat about it. Over the course of the conversation, she mentioned casually that it was nice talking to me and that she should probably mail my item out soon.

Now this came as a bit of a shock to me as I bought said item on March 19th and this conversation was taking place on March 27th. I understand that not everyone mails the same day of purchase but 8 days later and the seller is only just thinking that she should “probably” mail it soon? The listing doesn’t have a handling time listed, I went back and checked but, in my own person view of the world, 8 days is an unreasonable amount of time for her to not have even mailed it yet.

I was a little upset about this as I had assumed the item would be arriving soon but, as I said, we’d been chatting and friendly so I didn’t want to be a jerk. I simply said, please do mail it soon, I am looking forward to getting my items. This conversation happened early Friday so my hope was that she would get the items out Friday or Saturday. Instead, she emailed me on Sunday and said, “I’ll try to mail it sometime next week.”

Wait, you’ll “try” to mail it “sometime” next week? So I may be looking at a full 2 weeks after purchase before you ship this item? I have a right to be a little ticked at this, right?

Now this seller is obviously a casual seller and doesn’t have much feedback. But here is the moral dilemma I have to put to you, my fellow online buyers and sellers.

She is otherwise a nice person. We chatted. A part of me feels like it would be very wrong of me to give her anything less than all 5 stars since she does so little business, a single bad rating could really cripple her. I would only be talking about a lower star rating in shipping time as, assuming the item arrives in promised condition, is the only issue at hand as communication and shipping costs are fine.

But the other part of me knows that I mail within 24 hours of payment and still have to work to remind buyers to give me 5 stars. Shouldn’t my 24 hour ship time count for more than her 2 week ship time? If we were grading on a curve here, her rating should be pretty low on this.

The seller in me, though, knows how damaging a bad rating can be. Feedback shouldn’t be personal but it can be so damaging to a seller, it has become more so. I have to ask myself, is this delay worth crippling her, albeit casual, business?

While all this is conjecture at this point as I have yet to even get the item in my hand yet so there is plenty of time for things to go more right or more wrong, with the facts as they are above, I have to ask, what do you think I should do?

Or, better yet, in this same situation, what would you do?