Antique art meets nightmare Buyer
We sold a dreamy framed print of Pharaoh’s Horses on eBay. My husband remembers seeing it on the wall in his grandparent’s parlor when he was young, and we were hoping to find someone who would treasure it, which we did … but first came 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 saga, we had misgivings concerning the pitfalls of selling online due to the drama of mailing fragile antiques.
The frame had a delicate gessoed border. The wood frame had a fragile veneer. 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 at a 7-day Auction with a lower starting bid price and a higher 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 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 Bid price. I explained that wasn’t possible. However, I said if Pharaoh’s Horses does not sell on auction after seven days, I would adjust my price lower when I relist it.
Sold, Day One
Anxious to buy, that eBayer clicked to Buy It Now, day one.
Drama ensues: minutes afterwards, I received a series of panic messages from the Buyer to cancel the sale.
Buyer had a dilemma. She had items in her eBay Cart. When she clicked to buy Pharaoh’s Horses, she inadvertently bought everything in her cart. Sadly, she drained her shopping bank account with a single click.
The eBayer was e-mailing me while calling eBay to cancel the sale. EBay Customer Service got busy. So did I, cancelling her order minutes later. 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 messaged me to wait a week. She wanted to regain footing on her finances. I had empathy for that, and I waited several days.
I did not wait a week because (1) it takes only hours/a single day for eBay and PayPal to restore funds and (2) the eBayer was operating outside eBay protocol.
She sent multiple e-mails saying not to relist Pharaoh’s Horses because she was the rightful owner. But she never bought it.
This eBayer felt that buying-cancelling within minutes entitled her to buy at some future time, at her convenience, and at her preferred price.
She even called eBay for my personal contact information, which eBay gave her (naughty eBay). That eBayer began harassing me from an “unidentified” phone number.
As an unknown caller, she left me a voice message saying not to sell Pharaoh’s Horses to anyone else but her. What a nightmare.
Later that week, I relisted Pharaoh’s Horses with my original asking price. I e-mailed the disappointed eBayer first with a link to my new ad as a courtesy to give her the first opportunity to buy or bid.
However, she returned my e-mail saying she could not make up her mind whether she wanted to buy right now or buy at my asking price.
Within the hour, the art sold to another Buyer!
Nightmare, take two …
When the disgruntled eBayer saw that it had sold, she began dumping e-mails telling me to cancel the sale to the new Buyer because she still wanted to buy it — sometime; therefore, I couldn’t sell it to anyone else. She even e-mailed that she had reported me to eBay. Why? What did I do? I began 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. 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. I had my Hallmark happy ending when a new Buyer purchased our beautiful framed print.
We shipped Pharaoh’s Horses off to the new Buyer, who loved it. She wrote that it 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 online is a two-way street. The Seller is required to describe the product honestly and to ship intact. The Buyer in-turn pays on time and accepts 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. – pw
NOTE: READ ABOUT MY DAY JOB IN PAJAMAS.