Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Spam & Ham and eBay

I have to admit I am a fan of eBay and most of my experiences have been pleasant. I have picked up some bargains and on the whole dealing mostly with other licensed hams or recognised retailers is trouble free and fun.

However I guess the old saying, “If it looks to good to be true it probably is” is as true on eBay as anywhere else.

There will always be an underclass of seller who’s approach to business will be “If I’m not scamming someone there’s no profit to be made”.

A Wolf in Sheep’s Clothing?

I guess there are a few dodgy hams, lets face it nowhere in the exam is there a section on business ethics. But hiding amongst us are a few very bad apples.

Most of the stuff I buy is okay, but here are -

The Magnificent 7 deadly eBay sins

1 - Passing of faulty goods and pretending they are 100%.
I guess this is really easy, but of course there are shades of grey. I picked up one of my FT-107Ms on eBay and the fan was faulty. No biggie it worked after I replaced a few components. But I bought a few items that were totally dead, I fixed some easily - Shame on calling yourself a Ham and not being able to fix something so simple - double shame for passing it off as working!

2 – Overcharging for postage and packing.
And of course they won’t let you collect in person. eBay has clamped down on this but it still goes on. Check before you bid!

3 – Passing off goods with a dubious background.
eBay shouldn’t be a place to fence stolen goods, but I have one radio with dubious ownership. Not much the buyer can do about this but eBay could be a bit more careful.

4 – Using a dodgy delivery system.
There is one delightful seller who uses the most flaky delivery company. He claimed that they called but nobody was there. How it is the Royal Mail (Which you would think were the lower marker for service) can consistently deliver packages to my parents address with no issues and this chump couldn’t manage it. He then has the cheek to ask for more money for postage. If you buy from chalesantennaman you may get lucky, but plenty of hams don’t. Here is a sample of his negative feedback -

• Never Received , no tracking number , 12 pounds to shipping ?!?!
• poor quality item seller would not refund will not use them again
• Raped me on shiping, so watch out for this one - - - - - - -
• never received. Bad communication.Refund via request paypal necessary
• I have PAID for the item through PayPal, I have received NO CARDS & NO GOODS

So use chalesantennaman http://myworld.ebay.co.uk/chalesantennaman/ and this is what you can expect?

5 – Taking ages to dispatch an item
I dispatch the next day or as soon as payment is received. If you don’t have time to send stuff, don’t sell on eBay or like the better eBayers state that delivery will take a bit longer. DON’T deliver it late and then try and blame it on the Post Office!

6 – Bidding and never buying
This runs from new comers bidding too much and realising the mistake they made to a real toe-rag who actually claimed to have sent me a postal order. I think he was under the mistaken belief that I would send him the goods before I got paid. Of course he couldn’t provide a receipt for the order, but the retaliation cost me my only negative feedback.

7 – Leaving negative feedback as a means of retaliation.
“The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

Of course there are a few scammers who can achieve nearly all of the above in a single transaction!

So before you bid check out only the sellers negative feedback. Ask yourself, what if this guy does this to me (He probably will!). Any more than 1 negative over the last 3 months and you can be fairly sure the seller is dodgy.

Now have a look at watersstanton one negative feedback with an apology from them.

Back to eBay & I know who I will be buying from in future!