I wrote this post during the holidays when I was stressed out of my mind.

Buyer: This item I bought from you doesn’t work, I want to return it. I wanted one that works.
Me: I am sorry to hear there was an issue with this. Exactly what problem are you having? The item was working fine before shipment, maybe I can walk you through it?
Buyer: Well, I already sent it back a few days ago.
Me: *sigh* OK, well I’ll be on the look for it.
Time passes. Item arrives. Though shipped in the same package and with the same bubble wrap I sent it out in, the buyer has smeared chewed mint gum all over the back of the item which is electronics. (For spite? By accident? Who knows!) It is far from easy to clean this off.
Me: OK, well I got the item back and it is still working just fine. I wish you had let me troubleshoot it with you before you sent it back because I have some idea of what issue you may have been having. (I then explain the issue which was, basically, there is a toggle switch you have to turn on before the item works.) I also just want to let you know that the item arrived smeared with mint gum and, while I’m assuming this was some sort of accident, I wanted to alert you to this as it was gross and very difficult to clean off. How do you want us to proceed? If you wish, I can refund your original bid price and process this as a return.
Two weeks pass. Nothing from buyer. Finally:
Buyer: No. If it works, I want it back. I am an infrequent buyer, how am I supposed to know eBay’s policies?
I don’t say: What the heck does this have to do with eBay’s policies? eBay doesn’t have a policy that says, try turning the item on before you assume it’s broken and randomly ship it back to the seller before even letting the seller know you want to return it. They probably don’t have a policy on smearing gum on electronics either but, frankly, they should.
Instead I say:
Me: OK, well I’ll just invoice you for the shipping and, once I have that, this will go right back out to you. What email address would you prefer I send the invoice to?
Now, for the direct quote:
Buyer: “When you say you are going to invoice to that E address you loose my comprehension of what is going on. If this doesn’t work just let me know and I will go to WalMart and pickup one up. Thanks for all your trouble but it seems that ebay is chasing all us casual buyers to Craigslist…”

I’m sorry but can I just…

  • E address?
  • “You loose my comprehension”? Listen, buddy, while you tighten up that comprehension, how about you work on spelling and grammar as well?
  • I just freaking told you it worked!!! Why are you still unclear on this?
  • How are you going to get an item that has been discontinued for over 10 years at Walmart?
  • Who capitalizes the M in Walmart?
  • eBay is chasing all us casual buyers to Craigslist. I can totally see this. Mean, horrible eBay. Forcing you to buy things that work but not giving you the basic critical thinking skills to know to turn them on first. How eBay forced you to return this only after you took all that time to make that beautiful art creation with your gum on it, it breaks my heart. Then the mean, horrible eBay seller who has not only been insanely patient with you, DIDN’T bill you for the time and labor it took for us to remove all the gum you smeared on the fricking thing, and also STILL offered you a refund even when you were two weeks past the limit for one before you returned it in the first place. On Craig’s List, if you return an item, they pay you double its value just for the privilege of your having touched it. And if you smear gum on it first, well, then they lick your face and make you their King and shower you with jewels, it’s just that wonderful a marketplace. Poor persecuted fellow, no wonder he wants to run from the harsh world of refunds & coddling on eBay to Craig’s List where every sale comes with a free puppy and a lick on the face from a naked hippie!

Guys, I think I might need a vacation…