Advice needed from Ebay Experts!

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by secretdonkey, Dec 30, 2004.

  1. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Okay, I'd like to hear from people who KNOW eBay rules and procedures and the like...

    Here's the deal... I buy a power amplifier off the 'bay to run my new bass rig 'o doom (Crest CA9). I receive it and it has a problem in one channel that isn't obvious right off the bat, but which is VERY serious. The B channel distorts on certain transients, in a very speaker-bruising way. No problems feeding the EXACT same signal through the A channel.

    Being a less-than-seasoned eBayer, I failed to grasp the full implication of the seller's return policy as stated on the auction - "return for merchandise credit only" - I guess I thought that applied to cases of buyer's remorse or something... I took it on faith that I would be protected by eBay policies and procedures.

    Anyway, so the guy *seems* to be dealing with this in good faith, but is sticking to his policy. He will take the amp back, send it to Crest, or has offered me other amps he has - including a new, but lesser amp. This sucks because I am stuck without an amp for weeks on end, which may be so much spilled milk for me, but presents a very REAL problem for a gigging bassist. I am also worried about such options because it seems that if I let him send the amp out for repair and 6-8 weeks later I'm still unhappy, time will have diluted any rights I have through eBay and my Paypal buyer protection... which brings me to that...

    It has occurred to me that while I may possibly be screwed due to my naivete on the eBay protection, I *might* be able to pursue this through Paypal buyer protection. I don't know squat about how that works. Could I potentially get my $550 back out of the eBay deal, and induce the seller to take back the defective gear? Or will Paypal tell me to let this guy have 6-8 weeks to fix the amp before offering me any relief?

    One other potential kicker - The amp I received was somewhat different from the auction description. The seller included a link in the product description to the manufacturer's website that showed current specifications. The amp I received has no switch or other apparent way to bridge the amp - I'm assuming that's an older design, but an important difference.

    So, for those who have read this far... I'd like a knowledgeable opinion on whether I should bite the bullet and buy a second power amp, and then try to resell this one once it's fixed, or should I fight this tooth and nail (through Paypal buyer protection) and insist that the guy take it back and give me a refund despite his stated auction policy. Please... simple opinions on who's right or wrong don't really help... I need a "legal" opinion re: eBay/Paypal policies and procedures.

  2. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle Supporting Member

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    My personal experience, Ebay is no real help when quibbles are involved. Not to downplay your problem as a "quibble", but his policy was clear, he has offered to help, but you are in a time crunch. Ebay isn't going to go after him when he has offered to send it off for repair or to replace it for other equipment of like-dollar value, and buyer protection will not kick in when the auction was clear as to return rules. When that happens, the terms specified on the auction page are controlling.

    I buy and sell LOTS on Ebay, and fortunately only had a problem once on a small, cheap item. It is a place to find the occassional deal, but it has risks that you are going to have to accept, and it is NOT the place to shop if you are on a time crunch or have to have 100% guaranteed value right out of the box.

    Best of luck resolving your dilemma.
  3. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks, Eric - that may be the exact, less-than-pretty truth I needed to hear. I have told this guy by email that I can't fault him for following his own stated policies. I just feel like I would have been doubly naive to simply accept my loss without questioning and finding out what my rights are. Thanks again.

  4. HamOnTheCob

    HamOnTheCob Jacob Moore Supporting Member

    Nov 21, 2004
    Cambridge, Ohio, USA
    Endorsing Artist for Warwick Basses, Mesa Engineering, Joyo Technology, Dr. J Pedals, and Levy's Leathers
    eBay might not help that much, BUT you've received an item that is different from the description, and you've received an item which doesn't function properly. These are both things that eBay CLAIMS to take very seriously. I would first reason with him, making sure he understands that both those things have occurred, and politely let him know that you don't want to have to report it to eBay, but that you will if you have to.

    I don't think PayPal will do anything at all unless you got the "money back guarantee" thing that they offer for a small fee.

    At any rate, regardless of the seller's return policy, you are not obligated to be stuck with an item that doesn't work and isn't what you thought you were buying in the first place.

    eBay will most certainly help you out in light of that.

    My feedback score on eBay is 82, so I've used it a good bit. I've never had any problems like the one you're having now, but I know that if I had that sort of problem, I'd definitely fight to get my money back, or at the very least to get him to send a partial refund along with one of the lesser amps.

    Regardless of whether or not he offered to send it back to Crest, your bid wasn't for "A power amp in six weeks" it was for a "power amp now". haha know what I mean? He can't just expect you to be fine with this.

    A seller with any integrity at all would refund your money and just get the power amp fixed on his own and sell it again when it comes back.

    He probably didn't know it was defective, but whether he knew or not, it's his obligation to provide you with a perfectly functional (unless otherwise stated) item.
  5. Kelly Coyle

    Kelly Coyle Supporting Member

    Nov 16, 2004
    Mankato, MN
    It sounds like he's reasonable. Perhaps you could arrange for someone local to you to fix the amp and have the seller refund you the appropriate amount. I did that for someone who bought a Trace amp from me (although I would have taken it back). You save shipping, he saves a bit of hassle, everybody happy.

    N.B.: I'd get a quote, get the money from him, and only then fix the amp.
  6. secretdonkey


    Oct 9, 2002
    Austin, TX
    Thanks for the replies. I may be an even bigger idiot than I suspected because I think I *might* have figured out the problem, which does not lie with the amp... I am about to post another Q in the amps forum to explore this possibility...