Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Open letter to the asshat on eBay (yes, language warnings)

I collect cookbooks. And sometimes as well as trying to sell them on eBay I look at big lots of cookbooks, mostly for fun. So one day I see someone selling a lot of 50 cookbooks, and I decide to look. That's a huge lot.

At first look, it wasn't impressive. A lot of books, sure, but the photos make it look like somebody was going to estate sales and buying them in bulk, or cleaning out old houses. A lot of them address specific dietary issues, most of them aren't that old, and at least one of them clearly isn't a cookbook at all. But then, looking at the more detailed photos, I spot two words....  Crap. Do I really want to get 49 books I don't want for one I do? How much is this going to cost me? And it's an auction....

I win the auction. One person bidding against me, price (+shipping) got kind of high, but I wanted that book. They notify me, I respond via PayPal, all is copacetic. They send me the tracking number, which I check every day. A week goes by and the package finally makes it to the post office. Eventually a very unhappy postman delivers a very large box to our door. I make a note as to why most book lots are not this large. HEAVY box!

I open it up to see with some dismay that the box is probably 20% larger than the stack of books inside, and no packing material was put in with them to keep them from bouncing around. I start taking them out and realize that they all feel cruddy. Not "30 years in a basement" cruddy, more like "a week in an open box in the back of a pickup truck" cruddy. But I dig down and find the book. Hurrah! It's intact. And it's what I thought it was. I clean up all the books so I can evaluate them and give the makeup book to a friend of my daughter's.  Yay. 48 cookbooks of varying sorts to get rid of.

Oh -- eBay wants me to give feedback on the transaction. Hmmm. Yes, the one item out of 50 that I had been wanting came through okay, but the whole box was cruddy and it was a bad way to treat the books. I decide to give neutral feedback.  I get a response from the seller that they wish I had contacted them before doing the feedback, and that they'd "ate ten dollars on the shipping". Okay, not my fault, wasn't complaining about the price.

So while we are exchanging e-mails on that, they order something from me. Cookbooks, just a couple of bucks. A little voice in the back of my head wonders about this, but I decide to send off the order anyway.  A few days letter they lodge a complaint, saying that there were pages missing from one of the cookbooks. Now that little voice is yelling at me. I am human, I can miss things, but I really doubt there were pages missing when it left here.  I call eBay and talk to them about it. The woman I talk to suggests I report the other person. I'm too nice. Instead, I do a full refund of their money, but block them so that they can no longer do transactions with me. Done.

Or so I thought.  *Six weeks later* they leave feedback on the transaction. Negative, of course. "Never inspected the item just assumed it was in good condition poor".  This from the guy who included a makeup book in a cookbook lot.  I responded with "This is incorrect. However, I issued you a full refund on March 15th." (a.k.a. six weeks ago)  Sadly, eBay doesn't give you much room for response.

I HATE all of this. I like everything to run smoothly, and for people to be nice to each other. I don't like the rating system on eBay. Some folks getting their money back for an error and getting to keep the books would actually give a positive rating as I responded promptly and dealt with it. I feel this is a spiteful response because I gave them neutral feedback on the other order. But this time I contacted eBay and reported the guy. I still have the e-mails, and I hope they have some record of my call. And I really hate to say this, but I hope I'm not the only person he's done this to because guy, fuck you and the horse you rode in on. This sort of dickish behavior is why I am hesitant to post things on eBay, because it opens me up to having to deal with assholes. Seven weeks I was off eBay after the initial exchange, and I come back only to find his feedback. 

I'm done with you, asshole. I'm writing this to put it behind me. I'm going to HTFU and go back on eBay. I'm going to keep that book next to my desk and smile at it every day, knowing that I have a thing of beauty and that you are stuck being an asshole. And even if I had nothing to do with it, some day your asshole ways will get you kicked off of eBay and I still have a book that was worth all of more ways than one.

Besides, I still have 48 cookbooks to get rid of. *groan*

1 comment:

  1. I got here via a FB post someone posted of this (and it was definitely worth the read, oh boy what a jerk that guy was), but I'd actually like you to contact me about a rare cookbook & it's accompanying VERY rare emphemeron. I'm Star Cat Books, and the book was my mother's, as is the ephemeron, in "as new" condition. I'm Been through the ringer with this piece with Harvard's specialty library & kindness from specialty bookstores, but you may be interested. I figure giving you a holler about it can't hurt.