effects on the used market, did i do the right thing?

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by cosmicevan, Mar 7, 2006.

  1. cosmicevan


    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    ok, not sure if this is the right forum for this but i really want some opinions on this and it does concern effects...

    i have been buying, selling, and trading equipment for as long as i've been playing. there's nothing like getting a new toy and as much as it pains me to do so, sometimes getting a new toy requires me to sell or trade something i own. i've bought tons of stuff new and TONS of stuff used. at times things don't always live up to what you expect and some times you are disappointed...this is natural. in my (just shy of) 14 years of playing and swapping gear, i've never had someone complain about a transaction - until today.

    i recently posted 3 electro harmonix pedals in the classified section at KILLER prices!!! needless to say, they sold almost immediately. the first pedal that sold was an electro harmonix miniQ. i shipped it via fedex (i offered free shipping along with my price) and it got to the buyer in a day (today).

    i had written the buyer a PM saying all the pedals were in mint condition and explained what they came with. i had neglected to notice that this particular pedal had some goo on the bottom from previously being velcroed to my pedal board. there were also some surface scratches on the pedal (which is almost synonymous with electro harmonix and USED pedals).

    i came home today to check my mail and found that the buyer was extremely disappointed. he held back and refrained from getting loud in the message to me about his dissapointment (which i appreciated)...but his tone wasn't the nicest and he told me that this was unacceptable and asked me how i could come to classify this pedal as in mint condition.

    i just replied to him...apologizing about my poor choice of words for describing the pedal and offered up 3 solutions:
    1. instructions on how to easily clean the goo from the velcro
    2. a refund in exchange for the pedal returned to me
    3. the suggestion to resell the pedal for what he paid.

    so now here's my questions to the forum. did i offer fair solutions? would you complain about this as well (considerring the price paid and the fact that the pedal is used)? granted, i did mistakenly say the word "MINT" in a PM to the buyer...and that was 100% my bad, but if you had bought a miniQ used for $50 shipped to your door (that's less than 50% of what this pedal costs) in perfect working order, would you complain about some surface scratches and a bit of goo on the bottom of the pedal?

    i just feel so dissapointed because i priced everything extremely low so that i could sell the pedals quickly without having to deal with ebay and the general hassal of selling equipment. to get a complaint about the cosmetic appearance of a piece of equipment that is turned on by stepping on it just seems laughable to me. am i wrong? how would you handle this?

    if you feel the need to yell at me and get rude, spare the board and do it via PM or email. but i'm sure this community could benefit from a discussion on this topic as we are a community who constantly buys from and sells to each other.
  2. cosmicevan


    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    well, fortunately, the buyer was cool with my suggestions and it really was the usage of the word "MINT" to him that threw things off. i guess the moral of the story is...be careful in how you describe things that are for sale.

    in any event, i'd still love to hear your thoughts about this kind of situation. have you ever felt disappointed by a transaction? have you ever sold or traded something and the other person was dissapointed? how did you handle it? what do you think is the most fair thing to do in these situations?
  3. Samurai


    Sep 13, 2003
    Mint condition should mean that it is in perfect condition, so I think you were wrong in using that word to describe it.
  4. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    Never, EVER use the word "MINT" when selling a product, even if it IS mint or EVEN if it is new. It is a highly subjective word.

  5. Yes, you were wrong to use the word "mint" but hey... 50$ shipped to your door: that sounds pretty good to me.
  6. cosmicevan


    Feb 1, 2003
    New York
    yeah, i feel so bad about this whole thing. you guys are all totally right...the word "mint" should mean "mint" and i've learned my lesson on wording.

    but that aside, it was priced to move...and at that price, would you complain? and based on the options i gave what would you do? would you send the pedal back for a refund or realize that you got a sick deal and move on? or resell it for more money and turn a profit on the deal?
  7. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    I looked at the pic on your add, and saw the scratch.

    However, you did still represent the pedal as mint. You gave the buyer reasonable options to rectify the situation though.

    Just never use that word :ninja:

  8. AlembicBob


    Dec 28, 2004
    MA, US
    If I thought I was buying "Mint" or "Like New" and got scratched, then I might be upset. On the other hand, it's a foot pedal. If the guy going to put it on the wall or use it? If he uses it, it will get scratched. If there are just a few light scratches, there's no meaningful difference.

    The problem is that you promised "Mint". I would offer the guy a $5 refund to keep it, or let him ship it back and resell it yourself. It sounds like you think it's worth more than what he paid, right? If so you should be able to sell it again and do okay. You'll have to eat the shipping costs if you take it back, so giving him $5 to be happy would be a better deal for you. In any case, if the guy really wants the pedal to use and it was a good deal, he probably won't want to send it back for a refund.

    In the end, you did misrepresent the item, however meaningless that was in real terms. It's probably going to cost you something, either cash or reputation, as a result.
  9. idoru


    Dec 18, 2005
    Brisbane, Australia
    Unless you're talking about actual mint. But how hard would it be to sell mint in mint condition?


    (I found out long ago that nobody likes puns as much as I do)
  10. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    I think you handled the fallout well enough. Everyone makes mistakes now and then- the important thing is how you follow through and take care of business. If you had blown the guy off and said "you got a good deal, quit complaining", then that would be bad. But acknowledging the error and offering solutions, that would be good.
  11. Tedintheshed

    Tedintheshed Banned

    Oct 8, 2004
    Columbus, Ohio
    That seems to be the case. :eyebrow:
  12. didier


    Aug 4, 2005

    Complaining, or at least expressing disappointment, I think is fair, no matter what the price, if it is not what you described.

    It sounds like the soltions you offered were fair, too, and an honest attempt to fix your mistake. But you also have to keep in mind that for a lot of people time is pretty precious, and even sending it back or reselling the pedal have a cost there. It's an aggravation, a minor one and all part of life, for sure, but still not what the buyer was led to expect from the transaction.

    To answer your question, I'd probably let you know I was disappointed, then write it off and move on, thinking but not expecting that you should offer some small money back.