Antique art meets nightmare Buyer
We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it hanging in his grandparent’s parlor, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did, but only after encountering a nightmare eBayer.
Hubby photographed the art for eBay and packed it for mailing: two of the five scary steps to selling on eBay:
- Photograph item,
- Write item description for listing,
- Package and weigh item for shipping,
- List item with proper information and photos,
- Ship sold item securely to Buyer.
Selling on eBay with fingers crossed
Even before my nightmare eBayer saga, we had some misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online and the drama of mailing fragile antiques.
However, with great confidence in this piece, we took photos for our eBay ad and packaged it for shipping weight and size.
The frame had a delicate gessoed border, which made it fragile. The wood frame had a veneer that was fragile. And the rolled, antique glass was fragile. Hubby cut round foam spacers for the inset glass and customized the packing materials for travel into the great unknown, the postal system.
Pricing on eBay can be spooky
I listed for sale our Pharaoh’s Horses with two different prices: a starting Bid price on a 7-day Auction Format and a Buy It Now option for Buyers who prefer to buy immediately and not bid.
The price difference between the two purchase options was 35%. The more expensive BIN price was my dream selling price, and the lower Bid price was for Buyers who like to bid for the best deal.
Well, I no sooner had listed Pharaoh’s Horses than an eBayer launched a number of e-mails. She wanted the best of both worlds: to Buy It Now, but at the 35% lower starting Bid price. I explained that wasn’t possible. However, I said that if Pharaoh’s Horses did not sell on auction in seven days, I would lower the Buy It Now price when I relisted it.
Sold, Day One
Anxious to buy the antique print, that eBayer clicked to Buy It Now, day one.
Drama ensues: minutes after the eBayer had clicked to buy, I got a series of panic messages from her to cancel the sale.
She had a dilemma. She said when she clicked to buy my Pharaoh’s Horses, she inadvertently bought everything in her cart. I didn’t know that was possibly on eBay. However, sadly, she drained her bank account with a single click.
The eBayer was e-mailing me and calling eBay to correct her error and to cancel the sale. eBay Customer Service got busy. So did I. Immediately, I cancelled her order. Her money was returned to her the nano second I clicked Cancel.
Normally, I would have simply relisted my item after I took a deep breath, but the eBayer e-mailed asking me to wait a week until she straightened out her banking. I had empathy for that, and I waited several days.
I waited several days but not a week because (1) it takes only hours to a day for eBay and PayPal to restore your funds and (2) the eBayer was beginning to spook me. The nightmare begins …
Within days of her cancelling, I received multiple e-mails from the eBayer saying not to relist Pharaoh’s Horses because she was the rightful owner.
Even though she cancelled the sale within minutes, this eBayer felt that buying, then cancelling and getting a refund entitled her to buy it at some future time when she had the money.
She even called eBay for my personal contact information, which eBay gave her (naughty eBay). That eBayer began harassing me by phone.
The calls appeared as unknown caller. I don’t answer unknown calls. She left a voice message telling me not to sell Pharaoh’s Horses to anyone else but her. What a nightmare.
Later in the week, I relisted Pharaoh’s Horses, with the original asking pricing, and I e-mailed the disappointed eBayer with a link to my new ad as a courtesy to give her the first chance to buy.
She returned my e-mail saying she could not make up her mind whether she wanted to buy at this time since I had not lowered the price.
Well, with my new listing, within an hour, a Buyer clicked to Buy It Now …. Sold!
Nightmare, take two …
When the disgruntled eBayer saw that it sold, she began dumping e-mails telling me to cancel the sale to the Buyer because she still wanted to buy it; therefore, I couldn’t sell it to anyone else. She even e-mailed that she had reported me to eBay. Why? I have no idea for what. I started to feel like Alice in Wonderland.
After her many ensuing, threatening e-mails, I called eBay customer service asking eBay to evaluate the e-mails from her User ID and to report her abuse of eBay Buyer policies. Customer Service was able to open my e-mails and track her comments and accusations.
They say there is the first time for everything. It is still incredible to me that an eBayer would insist an item belonged to them after cancelling the sale with both the Seller and eBay. Buying on eBay is straight forward. If you want something, you buy it or you don’t. It’s not yours just because you want it.
On eBay, sometimes you have to hold your breath before a happy ending, like The End of a Hallmark movie. You cannot let unscrupulous Buyers bully and threaten you.
I had always pictured our beautiful antique on some happy Buyer’s wall. Happily, our official Buyer loved it. After it arrived in the mail, she wrote that Pharaoh’s Horses arrived quickly and intact – music to my ears when we ship antiques.
The Buyer had a half-bred Arabian horse at one time in her life that she loved. And she decorates with antique furniture and vintage items — a perfect home for our treasured Pharaoh’s Horses.
Selling on eBay has been an adventure, but that month I hit a bump in the road.
Selling on eBay is a two-way street. The Seller needs to list their product honestly and ship it intact per agreement. The Buyer needs to pay on time, and accept the item. The sale is not final until (1) the Buyer holds the item in their hand and likes what they bought and (2) the Seller is paid. The goal is for a happy Seller and a happy Buyer.
NOTE: SEE EBAY SITEMAP FOR THE SKINNY ON BUYING AND SELLING ON EBAY