So tragic it's funny

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Some time ago I mentioned my first ebay burning. Well the story has progressed somewhat.

So this is what happened.

Feburary. I was collecting lego bricks for mosaics at the time. I saw some lego that I was interested in, but the seller mentioned that she would only ship to the United States. But she accepted paypal, so I emailed her and asked if she'd ship to Australia. She at first said no, but followed this up a short time later (about 20 min in fact) with another email to say that she would.

So the end of the auction time comes, and the lego I'm interested in has had no other bids. Now, the starting price for all of the lego brick sets was $0.01. That's right, 1 cent each. She had 21 lots, of 1 cent each. So I bid on all of them, and won them all (actually there were one or two other lots that I didn't bid on because I wasn't interested in them).

Now this is where it all came unglued. She told me that they did not combined postage, and postage for each item was going to be $3.15 each, or $66.15.

I went back and checked her writeup for the items. To quote:

"Please remember that shipping is not necessarily combined for all auctions."

Now I would take that to mean that for items where it is impractical to combine postage (say for bulkier items) postage would not be combined. She did not say in her description "We do not combine postage". In fact, for small bags of lego, it would be impractical *not* to combine postage, as separate wrapping/envelopes would be needed for each lot, and it would be far less fiddly to put the whole lot together.

Well, I certainly was not going to pay $66.15. After several emails back and forth, the final postage price was quoted at $37. OK, this is still a complete ripoff, as airmail for that quantity of lego would have been about $10-$15 (I actually went back to several earlier auctions, counted bricks, and gave the postage details for those auctions to her), but I bit the bullet and paid her.

Then a day or two later (and here's the clincher), I get an email saying that to send all the lego by airmail was going to cost her $55.00 - $60.80, which she didn't have on her at the time, so she sent it all surface mail.

Skip to today. One package arrives, postmarked with $6 postage. One single solitary package that cost $6 to send surface mail.

So. I was quoted $37 for postage. It cost her $6. This is $31 that she pocketed for herself. She said she refused to combine postage. The package arrived combined. I was lied to. I paid $37 for surface mail, when it would have cost $10-$15 airmail.

I just had to laugh. What else can you do, really? However, I did address my concerns in an email, and asked her to provide 21 good reasons why I shouldn't leave her a page full of negative feedback for ripping me off and lying to me.

We'll see what she says :)


Dave2 said:

At least you did eventually get what you paid for... I've been ripped off completely twice now, and rarely purchase from eBay anymore. Next time couldn't you just have a friend in the States accept the package and forward it to you for the actual cost of shipping?

April 30, 2004 11:03 PM


Yvonne said:

WOW! I've only been ripped off once big time fromthe USA, paid US$110 and she sent me an email much later to say she couldn't send it, it was too big, then she disappeared. from Ebay and all. 1 year later, she emails me again to say she will send the money back, but of course 4 years later i'm not holding my breath. I do not buy from overseas anymore. (from Ebay I mean)

May 4, 2004 12:58 AM


trainman said:

Leave lots of negative feedback and complain to Ebay.

June 21, 2004 2:09 PM


debbie said:

ask ALL questions BEFORE you buy. Your the one who begged the poor woman to sell to you. Do you know that pay pal charges sellers outragious fees for international transactions? Well now you do. That woman needed to make some profit. If you are worried about shipping costs, ask before you buy or just stay off ebay.

March 25, 2005 11:24 AM


kazza said:

Well the response came to the email from her husband - she'd been in a car accident and they didn't know if she'd survive. That was the only reason I left neutral instead of negative feedback. She started trading again a few months later, so I guess she survived after all.

I did not beg her to sell to me. I simply asked if she'd ship to Australia. When she first said no, I was not even going to bid at all. It's only because she changed her mind and said she would that I went ahead and bid.

If she wanted to make a profit, she should have put a higher starting price to cover her ebay costs. Ripping people off on postage is considered bad form in the ebay community.

March 25, 2005 11:35 AM


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Kazza's "Boring Life Of a Geek" aka BLOG

IT geek, originally from Sydney, moved to Canberra in 2007. Married to "the sweetie", aka Stu. Prolific photographer, Lego junkie and tropical fish keeper.

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