Communicating with ebay sellers

musicguy

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I saw a watch on ebay(that has now ended) that was just listed basically(not exactly)
as just Railroad watch, I have seen "Pocket watch" as well and have made the same comments
to those sellers. I tell them if you want to sell this watch, it should be listed
as (and this is a made up example if you search for it it's only a coincedence)
"Elgin Pocket watch Grade 478 21 jewels Railroad 16s"
I always get a big thank you. I don't follow them to see what happens.
I know this may hurt a few bottom feeders buyers like me,
but there are so many miss labeled ones every day that I'm not even making a dent
for pointing out one once in a while.


Rob
 

Rick Hufnagel

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I am guilty of the same thing.

The most recent one was someone asking a TON of money for a watch i was looking for with no movement picture. Had to coach them through it.


How are you gonna sell a $300 watch without a movement picture. Lol


Silverode is not silver

A big old watch doesn't mean it's a railroad watch

It's not 15 jewels

It's not even 11

Ect ect ect. Lol
 

OldSchool1959

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I am guilty of the same thing.

The most recent one was someone asking a TON of money for a watch i was looking for with no movement picture. Had to coach them through it.


How are you gonna sell a $300 watch without a movement picture. Lol


Silverode is not silver

A big old watch doesn't mean it's a railroad watch

It's not 15 jewels

It's not even 11

Ect ect ect. Lol
I find myself always helping people on fleabay. I am polite when I do because some can take it the wrong way.
 
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Jim Haney

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This has been the standard procedure for 20 years.
You can't change stupid, so let it go and hopefully you may benefit some some of this.

I tried for years to help these people and was cussed out, told to mind my business and go fly a kite, so I just started paying what they wanted and they were happy and so was I>>>>>o_O:rolleyes::oops::eek::D
 

GeneJockey

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I did spend a little time and exchanging messages with one seller who was very nice and seemed grateful for the pointers. But there's a tidal wave of listings with either misinformation or no information, and I only have a small bucket to bail with.
 

OldSchool1959

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I guess my post did sound kind of harsh, and it wasn't meant to be. I'm never mean, I explain politely and have even provided references for verification.
Didn't sound harsh to me....
 

OldSchool1959

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I did spend a little time and exchanging messages with one seller who was very nice and seemed grateful for the pointers. But there's a tidal wave of listings with either misinformation or no information, and I only have a small bucket to bail with.
It seems fleabay lately is full of misinformation that's done not due to lack of knowledge, but to downright fraudulent descriptions and doctored images. I am amazed at how some sellers get away with these things. I guess when you get 20K feedback you get away with almost anything.
 

ben_hutcherson

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There was a time when I did this, but I've had too many people NOT appreciate what I was doing and gave up.

From an occasional seller's perspective, I've also occasionally been contacted by people who I assume were well-intentioned about a "mistake" in my listing. I'm not saying it never happened, but at the same time at times I've received suggested "corrections" that were in fact completely wrong. It's not worth getting into a battle over whether or not something is correct-if there's any ambiguity about something(i.e. whether a particular dial on a watch is correct) I will say something like "This does not have the such and such dial often associated with this watch, however I have observed other examples of this watch with the same dial as is on this one in this general serial range" and let the buyer take that how they wish.
 

musicguy

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I don't tell people on ebay if they have the wrong dial or something else wrong with their watch,
but if I see a 21 jewel watch listed as a 17j then I "sometimes" send them a note
that says hey just for your information this is a 21 jewel watch(and I only do this
if the 21j is in plain sight their photo in the listing). I did send a note recently
to someone who listed a Hampton watch co as a Hamilton Watch Co.


Rob
 

GeneJockey

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I've lost count of the number of times I've seen watches with US-built movements, with 'USA' prominently on the movement, billed as 'Swiss Movement'.
 

Kevin W.

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Same experience of Ben, what he said. I was even reported to Ebay when trying to help someone. No one needs the stress of being told i was interfering when i was not. I rarely ever try to help any more.
 

musicguy

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Just a nice reminder please do not discuss current Ebay auctions
in this thread. We do not discuss current auctions in this educational section.
You can absolutely can discuss completed auctions.


Rob
 
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darrahg

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Like most of the above statements, I just got tired of correcting sellers so-called descriptions and don't bother any more. I rely solely on photos when interested in an item. If the photos don't provide enough information I don't consider with it.
 

Kevin Neathery

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It's nice when you actually when a seller listens and does not argue. I had one actually update it properly. There are still some that appreciate someone trying to help them out.
 

Dr. Jon

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I am finding I need a different kind of communication, making sure the item is as described. I have received wrong or useless items on my last three buys.

One was collet the seller had clearly listed as having the threads I needed. When I got it I found he was just wrong. I simply could not use the item. He has refunded my money.

A got an 8mm collet based saw arbor from China. It is 8mm but it has the wrong thread. I'll probably grind off part of it to get the thread short enough that the three turns it will go will hold it. It took over a month to get here and I can use it but I wont use it often.

Yesterday I got a tool post described as Watch maker Jeweler or Machinist tool post. It was too large and I got a return approval. It was not only too big for a WW lathe it was too big for a Sherline.

Henceforth before I bid on something I'll ask very specific questions like "Sorry if this is a nuisance but are you certain that this item has the feature I am buying it for, even if it specifically calls out the features I need.

I sometimes help out a watch seller if he is selling something I have and am not interested in buying and the listing could produce trouble
 

richiec

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I have pretty much given up advising sellers. The last one had a Waltham 1888 listed as an 1872 model. I emailed the seller, no reply either way. The listing is not there anymore so don't know if it sold or if they took the listing down. Most times no replay is the answer. I have only had one seller thank me in the last 10 years.
 

musicguy

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I still send eBay sellers notes all the time and in reality the majority of the time
they do say thank you.

One thing I never do is correct someone who has RARE or Seldom seen or some other
crazy description of a regular watch(sometimes a 7j). I know these people will never listen, I also rarely
contact any of the wholesale movement sellers. Or as I said any sellers who deliberately
mislead in an auction. They are not worth my time.

I took all of my items down from ebay after a week or so into the pandemic. I had a few
go for much lower prices than I expected. I have also purchased a few watches and parts for
much less than I would have expected them to sell for(pre pandemic). I have
asked 3-4 of the big PW sellers on ebay (that I know) if they are seeing the same thing and they all have
said yes they are.


Rob
 

DeweyC

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I have now noticed fewer things being offered. I am very selective but I keep on eye on a bunch of things for trends. Fewer tools and material, fewer (zero?) microscopes, less Schaublin, etc.

I thought things would pick up with the cancellation of the National.

I take a position different from Rob and others who try to educate sellers. I would never think of correcting an auctioneer in the middle of a sale and this is no different. Plus, I do not want to interfere with buyers who took the time to do their research.

Bear in mind that back in the early days of eBay I would often tell buyers to send less money because I thought it was overbid.

Until one day I received two responses. One asking if I was calling the buyer stupid and another asking "what I was trying to pull?".

At that instant a switch snapped in my head and I just let buyers and sellers make business as they see fit.

I started w/ eBay in 1997. Stupidly, I thought the stock offering was unsustainable! Pez dispensers:???: Who knew? (yeah, somebody did, I know)

I will say eBay has been extremely helpful in the very few instances where I had a dispute with the seller. Even when the seller specified no returns.

But I stopped selling 10 years ago after eBay changed its focus from neutral to a bias toward buyers. I had escaped a couple buyer fraud situations and I decided the new model was not a good business model for me.

I did talk with a Rep about that and he told me there are now programs available to protect the seller. But that eats into margins even more and I do not handle attempted fraud very well. I prefer to focus my time on positive things.
 

Jeff Hess

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we have been trying to help eBay with tips and such from time to time to make their site better. The power of their platform is HUGE.

yes, there are a lot of mom & pop sellers who make mistakes in listings.
yes, there are scam sellers.
yes, ebay did a good job but over-reached in their quest to protect buyers.
Yes, there are large sellers with many emlpoyees who "list items" and make mistakes also.

I would love to have permission to share this thread with some of the brass at eBay. Is it possible to get permission?

Jeff Hess
 

topspin

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I used to correct sellers where their information was incorrect, but I soon got bored of that. Nowadays I generally only bother if they have either asked a question in their listing, or clearly had an accident (e.g. uploaded the wrong set of photos.)
As one of the sellers indirectly pointed out - at the end of the day, we (the collectors) know what we're looking at. So, as long as there are good photos, most of the wording is superfluous anyway.
If somebody is going to spend more than about fifty quid on buying themselves an old watch, then it's either because this is something they collect, or because they have more money than they know what to do with. Good luck to them either way.
 

James J Nicholson

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I used to correct sellers where their information was incorrect, but I soon got bored of that. Nowadays I generally only bother if they have either asked a question in their listing, or clearly had an accident (e.g. uploaded the wrong set of photos.)
As one of the sellers indirectly pointed out - at the end of the day, we (the collectors) know what we're looking at. So, as long as there are good photos, most of the wording is superfluous anyway.
If somebody is going to spend more than about fifty quid on buying themselves an old watch, then it's either because this is something they collect, or because they have more money than they know what to do with. Good luck to them either way.
Hmmmm interesting post, have no clue what 50 quid is equal in good old US currency but glad I am among those that have more money than I know what do do with and enjoy spending it on old watches.
 

Kent

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... I would love to have permission to share this thread with some of the brass at eBay. Is it possible to get permission? ...
Jeff:

You don't need permission, you can send them a link to the thread and they can view it like anybody else on the internet.
 

musicguy

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As a person who buys and sells on Ebay I have had more problems with
sellers vs buyers. In the past 12 months 3 sellers didn't send the item I purchased(one of them did after some back and forth)
(and that does not include the poorly wrapped stuff).
I know buyers can be a pain too but I don't mind that eBay supports the buyer.
In the end there is not to much enforcement they can do on either
side of the sale because it's really an honor system.



Rob
 

Jim Haney

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Rob,
I will have to disagree with you, because the deck is stacked with rules favoring buyers.

Is is not an "honor system" when eBay refunds the buyer from your Paypal account and the seller has no say in the matter.

Buyers lie, cheat, steal parts, wreck watches and even try to get 50% discounts for dishonest reasons.

Then sellers have to put up with non-paying buyers and there is nothing that we can do about it,eBay will not force them to pay even though they claim it is a legal contract, what it is legal joke. !

I have been selling on eBay since 1998, so I should know the score, and it is, Buyers 100 Sellers 0.
 

musicguy

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You are a big seller and you always have watches for sale I can absolutely
understand your frustration as a seller. I have been selling on ebay since 2005(and before under a different name)
but not too many items per year(I buy more than I sell) so I don't have anywhere as many bad experiences as you.
As someone who buys the majority of my watches on ebay(and Jones Horan)
I was just saying ebay sellers can be a handful too.



Rob
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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Rob,
I will have to disagree with you, because the deck is stacked with rules favoring buyers.

Is is not an "honor system" when eBay refunds the buyer from your Paypal account and the seller has no say in the matter.

Buyers lie, cheat, steal parts, wreck watches and even try to get 50% discounts for dishonest reasons.

Then sellers have to put up with non-paying buyers and there is nothing that we can do about it,eBay will not force them to pay even though they claim it is a legal contract, what it is legal joke. !

I have been selling on eBay since 1998, so I should know the score, and it is, Buyers 100 Sellers 0.
Geez I'm feeling old. I can one-up Jim since I've been buying and selling on ebay since 1997.

FWIW, IMHO it's nearly impossible (nearly...I'm sure it's happened) for a buyer to loose money on ebay. They need only make a claim. They don't need anything other than their "word" that something was amiss. But, having said that, I've had remarkably few instances of either buyer's or seller's remorse on ebay. Ebay is 1000 times better than the "old days" when you bought a watch through the mail based on a short written description with no pictures.
 

Jim Haney

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Greg,
I used to buy watches from your list in the 1990's and never had a problem, because you were a honest seller.

A big factor that is being missed is the dollar amount of the SALE.

If you sell basically junk, that is not a negative term, I love junk, however if the items are under $100 or $50 , there is usually no reason to cause problems.

When you sell watches for $400-$1500 is when the buyer can cause problems. It may be that he should not have spent that much, maybe his wife found out about it, or whatever reason, but the dollar amount usually causes problems, etc, Maybe buyers remorse.

In the last several months. I sold some Mickey Mouse watches and said they ran fine and a guy files a complaint with eBay about them being defective because they lost 2 minutes in 24 hours. That right, a 70 year old Dollar watch actually lost 2 minutes in a day and it was defective?

I protested and of course I had to refund the $350. This happens more often than people think, however you never hear about it because of the way eBay hides the facts.

Ask some big time sellers, like Jeff Hess, and you will find out that eBay is very deceptive and on the side of the buyer.

Why, there is no other game in town so we have to accept it and hopefully keep all of this dishonestly to under 10%,
 

Greg Frauenhoff

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Greg,

Let me guess. You couldn't figure out how selling Pez dispensers was a sustainable business model and did not buy the IPO either. So it goes.
Live and learn. On the plus side, eBay enabled me to move my little watch business to Colorado.
 
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