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Trading Basses (on TB)

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by tim oconnor, Apr 13, 2006.

  1. While I thought it known to apply a general degree of cooperation and ethics when trading basses on this forum, I recently found out otherwise. Some of you are here more frequently than others. Some sell equipment almost daily and members may feel more comfortable dealing with them. There are other less frequent members that sell/trade equipment that to anyone interested might consider the seller/trader a complete stranger. I might be considered one of them.

    I have traded basses w/roughly 5 TB’ers since I joined in 2002. All of the transactions have been successful (for both parties) up to this point. However, I recently traded basses w/a TB’er and while both parties are content w/the basses, I was displeased w/the way the transaction was handled by the other trader. I shouldn’t have to explain exactly what happened in this scenario but I don’t know how else to help others avoid a similar situation w/o describing EXACTLY what took place. The other trader didn’t get it, so apparently it has to be spelled out for some. It is not necessarily my intention to expose the trader in this transaction but to depict what took place and suggest and request information from members offered and post flags to watch out for a more seamless transaction.

    If you have any more suggestions or comments feel free to append to this thread. If you feel I am overreacting (as does the other trader) I’d like to know that as well.

    *Note - I have been on Ebay since ‘99 and have a modest rating of 212 (yet have maintained 100%) so I feel I have somewhat of a clue on proper buying/selling ethics. While trades are handled differently certain actions would and should still apply.

    Here is the scenario:

    The other trader posted the ad to trade their bass. I responded w/a PM claiming I had Qty 2 of what they were looking for in trade. I sent pics of each and offered either one in trade. We exchanged PM’s throughout the day. The trader asked multiple questions which I answered promptly and clearly. They chose 1 of 2 basses they wanted in trade. I gave the trader my phone # and ebay feedback profile (which is my username and TB name – no hiding here) for reliability concerns. I didn’t get a ph# or any other personal info from them. I didn’t get their name (and address) until we agreed to ship. I should have been more reluctant to deal w/someone that was short in messaging and unwilling to either call or offer a ph#. However, we (I) proceeded…

    We started exchanging messages on a Thursday. We discussed shipping (via PM’s). I told the trader I could ship on the weekend for convenience but that it truly wouldn’t ship until Monday as UPS is not open on the weekend, although Staples offers UPS service. The trader agreed to ship the bass early that week as well. I shipped on Monday and sent the tracking# to the trader. I didn’t hear from them until exactly 7 days later when I tracked the bass I sent and found it had been rec’d. I didn’t get a response so I sent an email asking if they liked it and they claimed “Yes, I am digging it”. I also asked if I should expect the bass in trade anytime soon. They claimed “yes I should see it that week”. That’s fine.

    Another week goes by still no bass or even an email or phone call w/the status, shipping info, tracking, etc.

    It is then Monday of the 3rd week and I sent another email telling them that there are only 3 options to what is going on at this point.

    1- You didn’t ship.
    2- You shipped just recently and it is en route.
    3- It’s lost in transit.
    Pick one.

    I’m thinking #1

    They were insulted by my statement and claimed they didn’t know what was taking so long but I would get the bass THIS week. They also claimed I was overreacting and not to worry. Really. What was I thinking?

    Tuesday the bass shows up. IN MY BOX! Yep, the box that I sent to them originally (with my label to them covered by a blank white label) I questioned this and told the trader it was now clear what happened. They obviously wanted to approve the bass I sent before releasing their bass. We did not agree to this. Had we talked about this trial basis I would have backed out. They denied the fact that it was my original box shipped back to me and claimed that they sent it before receiving my bass. Well, anyone that uses UPS on a regular basis knows that the tracking# on the label can be used to get all the details of the shipment. Guess when the bass was shipped? The day after receiving my bass! Hello, It’s my original box. How can this even be disputed? Then I got a message claiming that they stated to me previously that I was warned that they wouldn’t be able to ship until they did. I never heard that before and this was THEIR ad posted to trade…but they are not ready to ship (for 2 weeks)? Why would I believe anything more at this point?

    Needless to say nothing claimed added up. Just lies. Assuming the other trader couldn’t (for whatever reason) possibly ship until they did. Then where does all the lying fit in? It doesn’t.
    I was livid and posted justifiable negative feedback, accused them of lying which was blatant at this point and suggested they Grow Up! To the other trader, who posted retaliation feedback, I was “Rude and Impatient.”

    What’s wrong with this picture?

    Other than to not have followed through w/this transaction what else could I have done to make this a smoother transaction? With the info I provided do you think THEY ever felt they wouldn’t get my bass?

    Luckily in the end, the bass finally sent to me turned out to be OK (only after a MAJOR setup) I didn’t like it as is either. But the feedback I left regards the transaction handling, not the bass.

    I feel this needed to be exposed on the forum which it occurred that allows this trading/selling, but has no fall back procedures other than feedback. There is no documented disputing, claim or insurance, especially when trading and no money/CC/ PayPal is involved. It’s possible I could have never seen the bass. Or received mine back (upon disapproval from trader) and be out the shipping cost. But to purposely wait to approve/disapprove the bass in trade then decide whether to ship is simply wrong w/o agreeing to it prior.

    If anyone feels that I am overreacting please reply. For those that feel that the other trader was not at fault and finds their actions acceptable, please know that this behavior is deceitful and will more than likely get you negative feedback as well.

    To that end, a lesson learned for me. In the future, I personally will not trade w/o speaking to the trader on the phone and getting a better feel for their personality (which has paid off in the past).

    So be careful, more careful than I was. Apparently there are members willing to mislead.
  2. NJL


    Apr 12, 2002
    San Antonio
    What i do, is before any of this stuff is paid for and/or shipped is send out an email - "do you agree with the following?" and list out EVERYTHING.... if I get a yes, then I proceed to the next step...

  3. +1

    Well Jim, that sucks... did you end up liking the Jazz Bass after everything was said and done?

    I know which guy you are talking about. I will make sure to steer clear of him next time he has anything for sale or trade. Sometimes you try to be a nice guy and you end up getting burned, he is the one that wanted to trade he should have sent his bass first! He was looking for a trade before he had a price tag for sale... bummer!

    This is one of those incidents that makes me weary about trading gear on TB!

  4. MikeBass

    MikeBass Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2003
    Royal, Oak, MI.
    I always make sure when I reply back to some one I copy the emails and PM in the e-mail/PM I'm sending containing ALL replies from both of us.
    It's a pain when there are a lot of questions to have that much text in every e-mail, but it's all right there.

    Sounded like a shady deal. You are correct in your negative feedback that you left.
  5. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I have 4 rules when buying over the internet from members here at talkbass:

    1) Needs to have been a member for at least a year
    2) Needs to be a regular poster
    3) Must be older than 21
    4) Must have positive feedback

    The third one is a little odd, but I have had bad experiences with younger people. Quite like your experience, they seem to be on their own time frame and take the attitude of "so long as you get it, what do you care?" Obviously, this is casting a broad blanket, but I've almost been burned twice (on a different board) by the youngins, so I just choose to stay away. I'm ready, so flame away.....

    That being said, I always insist on a home address and day and evening phone numbers. For a large purchase or trade, I will talk to the other party on the phone before anything takes place. I also put everything in writing, including shipping dates, methods, etc. Not that any of this does much for me if the seller decides to screw me, but it at least gives me documentation.

    Obviously, we are only hearing one side of this story, and I'm sure the seller would tell it differently. That being said, if it truly happened the way you said it did, then I believe that you are justified in being mad and leaving negative feedback. I might have left neutral feedback instead, since you did get the bass and it is in good condition.
  6. Ooh, do I get to be the first to say it?

  7. Juneau


    Jul 15, 2004
    Dallas, TX.
    I totally agree with you here. I just had a bad experience with a roomate being too young and not understanding the way things should work in the world. He figured as long as he paid rent when he had it, shouldnt be any issue if it was 2-3 weeks late in some cases, after all, I got my money, late or not. He felt some sort of entitlement to do things the easiest way for him, reguardless of the consequences someone else might have to suffer.

    While a roomate is a different situation, the idea is the same. Sometimes younger folks just dont get how things should be, mostly due to inexperience. I don't so much blame them, but I can do what I can to avoid being their learning dummy hehe.
  8. tplyons


    Apr 6, 2003
    Madison, NJ
    I agree with 1 and 2 entirely. If I feel they're part of the community and get the feeling they feel the same, I'm not afraid they're going to get up and leave, and that their name means something here. I like that.

    3. That's a long shot. Personally, I don't know how to say it, but I'm borderline offended. I know many great and trustworthy TBers under this age restriction, myself being one of them. If I cannot ship til a certain point, I will make it known. I personally just sold a bass, told the buyer I couldn't ship til Monday. He didn't have a problem, and that's exactly how it happened.

    4. How you gonna get positive feedback if nobody's willing to be the first? If I feel comfortable enough (maybe even a few telephone conversations, IM's, etc.) I will proceed. But having these last two rules set in stone, I find kind of counter-intuitive.
  9. zac2944


    Dec 28, 2004
    Rochester, NY
    Too bad Tim. I've had nothing but good experiences with TBers. That said, I have only delt with TBers that have been around for a while, and I've always had phone conversations before a transaction.

    I'm pretty sure that if I got ripped off big time ($1000+) I would hunt that person down. It might be impossible in some cases, but I always try to get enough info before the transaction so that if I wanted to hunt them down I could.
  10. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    I don't doubt that some younger folks will be offended at that, but it's based on my personal experience. That is in no way saying that all teenagers are untrustworthy and unpredictable, but I've had two experiences with buying from teens and both went terribly, so I've just decided to set some limits. Yes, it is a broad, sweeping generalization, and probably an unfair one at that, but it's my own little personal rule that doesn't really affect anyone but me. Moderators would be an exeption to that rule. :)

    The feedback would be from previous transactions.
  11. d8g3jdh

    d8g3jdh Guest

    Aug 9, 2005
    Were I to conduct business on this site my only requirement would be that they be supporting. And not insane or drug addicted or anything like that.

    Isn't this a little hypocritical?
  12. Toasted


    May 26, 2003
    Leeds, UK
  13. Eggman

    Eggman Supporting Member

    Dec 3, 2004
    Denver, Colorado
    I have been fortunate that I have dealt with honest people on this forum.

    I did have an experience that got a touch weird in that the trader said he didn't have a box - so couldn't ship until he received my bass so he could use my box for shipping back. Then said he couldn't pay for shipping because he was moving and his wife wouldn't let him spend the money - so I paid for shipping both basses. All worked out in the end - as I had faith in this person's ultimate ability to follow through with the trade.

    Would be nice if that person would step up and reimburse me for shipping his bass to me. Oh well.

    As for not having a box - go to https://www.uline.com/ProductDetail.asp?model=S-4922

    Good boxes - delievered to your door.
  14. LOL thats funny, boxes shipped in other boxes for you to ship to someone else, sounds "catchy"! j/k :smug:

    I have always had good luck finding boxes and all my needed packing/shipping supply's at my local U-Haul store they have a large supply of boxes and packing supply's at dirt cheap prices. I was trying to get a shipping quote from FedEx and UPS and they wanted to charge me $20-30 to pack it and get this, they did not have a box big enough. I went to the uhaul store, I could get the double strength size box, 3 square feet of packing peanut's, and a 10 foot roll of large bubble rap for less than $15 with tax, and to boot USPS shipping was way cheaper than FedEx and UPS ground!

    U-Haul and USPS have my business for now on considering both FedEx and UPS wanted over $100 to ship a 44lb. amp and I could pack it safely myself and get it shipped for half of that and it took the same out of time... thats insured too!

    If it is 70lbs or under, USPS can handle it. Now as for shipping basses I haven't had to do that yet. But I would consider that link eggman if my local guitar shop(s) did not have a box they could give me.

    Just my 2 cents!

  15. XavierG

    XavierG In Memoriam

    I'd have no qualms about sending you a urine sample if it would put you at ease.

  16. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Hey, I've supported before...

    I try and keep a good reputation here. When I buy something, I send the money. If I don't have the money, I'll tell them I'll buy it when I do, but if I don't get it before someone else has the coin, sell it to them. Just have to be honest. I have had troubles shipping things before, and I communicated as well as I could. I have dealt with some good people on here, too. I have not had a bad transaction, to tell the truth.

    I have had someone have trouble shipping a 90lb. cabinet, and that was understandable. I have had trouble shipping a snowboard, and it was hard to find a box for that thing! (It had a stand included)

    You just have to hope for the best here, and hope a persons sense of decency steers them to do the right thing. Sometimes that doesn't happen. Unless you meet face to face, there are not many safeguards, especially in a trade situation.
  17. Sorry it worked out like that, but at least it wasn't worse.

    As far as under 21s. Being 17, and knowing many other youngun's I don't blame you. Yes, I would ship it when I say I would, pay in time, be honest, etc, etc, but I wouldn't trust most of us. Many kids won't, hell, many adults wont either. I'd stay safe as opposed to risking it. Although it's not as black and white on age, there are many people on this board under 21 that I respect and would trust, so it might be on a case-by-case basis.
  18. ElBajista


    Dec 13, 2005
    Sebring, FL
    I try to get EVERYTHING in writing, and when coming up on closing the deal, I try to reiterate everything that has been decided, down to the smallest detail, making sure that the other TBer agrees completely.

    I don't blame you for giving him negative feedback. What if he disliked the bass? What if he decided to keep both? Lying about using the same box was just stupid and petty. How dumb can you get?

    That's incredibly dishonest and dishonorable, and I'm glad that you left negative feedback so the rest of us can be forewarned. I just hope that this doesn't leave you burned, there are at least some good people on here. :D

    Luckily, most of the buying/selling/trading deals I've had on TB have been great. I only had a problem with one, because the item was in much poorer condition than I expected. Simply, It pays to be honest and follow through with what you agreed to.
  19. guy n. cognito

    guy n. cognito Secret Agent Member Supporting Member

    Dec 28, 2005
    Nashville, TN
    Not really, if I'm the buyer. Typically, the buyer is taking most of the risk, since the money is sent prior to the item. The seller can be alieved of most of their fears once they receive my money, so my time on the board is fairly irrevelant. While the might run the risk that I try to scam them AFTER the sale, my only weapon (as the buyer) is to leave negative feedback.

    As always, there are exceptions for every rule. If someone has been on the board for 10 months, but it is clear that they aren't just here to sell thing and they have supporting member status, then I might buy from them. Coversely, if someone has been on the board for 2 years, but seems to only use board as a classified ad, then I would probably think twice. I would never buy a large ticket item from someone who just joined the board and instantly had expensive gear to sell. The board is a community, so someone who has spent some time here and has some reputation to lose if they screw me is more credible, from a buyer's perspective.

    If someone chooses to buy from me despite my fairly new status to the board, that's their decision, not mine. Different people set different criteria for sellers, and the one I listed above are mine alone and may, possibly, only make sense to me.

    I wouldn't buy anything from you, Scott. You've got a pancake on your head. ;)

    Toasty: Zing? You're not still mad, are you? Come on, you can do better than that...........:rollno:
  20. Ed Goode

    Ed Goode Jersey to Georgia Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Nov 4, 2004
    Acworth, GA
    Endorsing Artist: FBB Bass Works
    I've had 8 trade/buy/sell experiences here at TB, and each one has been nothing but positive. But in fairness, all of my dealings were with long-established members that completely understand the benefits of open communication.

    The trades are the risky thing here. Purchases and sales are simple events .... send the money, the item gets shipped. But trades do require a level of trust.

    I'll continue to deal here at TB until the day I get burnt in the process. And if I do get juiced, it'll likely be at least partially my own fault for being too trusting or not reading the signs of a problem before the trade takes place ......

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