Saturday, March 7, 2015

eBay Buyer Scam Artists.

Nothing like a crappy eBay buyer to ruin my Friday night. Here's the rundown.

A few weeks ago, I sold an original Transformers Beast Wars Transmetals Megatron action figure (seen above). It was complete with the box and all parts. I shipped it to a customer in Texas. A few days after receiving it, this customer (whom will remain nameless) wrote me and said that it was broken. Quickly, I responded that I would file an insurance claim with the post office and get them their money back. All I needed from them were some photos of the damaged item so I could complete the insurance claim.

Instances like this are exactly why I put insurance on the high-value items I sell in the first place.

Leap forward to last night. After going a week without contacting me, the buyer finally wrote back. They said that "their customer finally brought the broken Megatron back to them."

Their customer? Oh boy... this sent me into full-on raging detective mode!

Come to find out, my buyer operates one of the largest vintage toy stores in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. They have nearly forty thousand followers on Facebook. They also regularly host appearances by professional wrestlers and comic book artists in their retail location. Needless to say, they're a big deal.

After a series of intense questioning, the buyer/store owner revealed that they received the Megatron figure, placed it for sale in their store, then RESOLD it to a customer in their establishment. That customer then took the Megatron out of the store, only to return the next day and say it was broken. It took that customer nearly a week to return the broken Megatron to the person whom bought it from me!

Yes, that's right... they conducted a totally new transaction with the item that I had NO connection to, only to expect ME to correct the matter.

Instead of them telling their own customer that they couldn't take a return on an item that wasn't broken when they sold it, they want me to commit insurance fraud to cover their butt! How absurd is that?!

Obviously, I told them that I could not do such a thing. My responsibility for the item ended when they received it in good condition. Once they placed it for sale in their own store and resold it, the responsibility was on them. Ugh... and to think, I had to spend two hours explaining this to a person whom just wanted to play dumb and rip me off. On top of that, I spent another hour on hold with eBay customer service just so they were aware of the situation. Thankfully, my service agent was really nice and completely understood the situation (thanks Omar) -- my responsibilities as the seller were met and satisfied.

What irks me the worst is that there are shady businessmen in this world whom would even attempt to pull such a scam. This isn't the first horror story I've faced in my role as a vintage toy and collectibles retailer. Undoubtedly, it will not be the last. When it comes to doing business with geeks and nerds, that's just the nature of the beast.