I am an avid eBay shopper. I swear you can find anything you could ever want on eBay. For example: Handsome Husband and Grumpy Grandpa purchased a “project truck” (aka the blue hunk of sheet metal on wheels that now resides in my once pretty driveway) for $1,000 for the purpose of having something to haul trash and mulch in. I won’t even go in to all the details on the $500 brake job or various expensive trips to Auto Zone this truck has inspired in the two months it has been a part of our family. Imagine my surprise when HH declared he needed an owners manual for this money pit! He knows I am a resourceful school librarian, but where would I begin to search for a manual for a 1985 Chevy S-10? Why, eBay of course! The shipping cost more than the book for heaven’s sake. Where else would one find such a specialty item? Truly eBay is the place where you can find anything you need. Want some diapers with poop already in them? They probably have some of those. With famous people poop, I’d bet!
I am a pro at shopping on eBay. It’s so easy to use Paypal that sometimes I forget just how much I have purchased, and it’s a little shocking when all the packages begin to arrive. The thrill of winning an auction is a heady one, as I am sure you know. That being said, selling on eBay is an entirely different animal. I have sold a few things, and all in all it has been pleasant. But as with all things, sometimes there just has to be a fly in the ointment.
I listed my old purse for sale on eBay. (Not the purse of Wal-Mart alarm fame mind you, I listed its predecessor.) It never even got a bid, because someone snapped it up at the Buy It Now price. I was overjoyed! I carted it off to the post office, packed it up in a priority mail box, waited fifteen minutes in line and paid the man $12 and went on my way. Little did I know that I had just signed off on a nightmare. Four days later the buyer sent me a message that she had gotten the package. She left me positive feedback, so being a nice southern girl I did the same in return. I happily went along with my larger Paypal balance and didn’t think another thing of it, until… four more days pass and the buyer sends me another message. This time she says she DID NOT get the package and she wanted the tracking information. I managed to dig around in the floorboard of my Mommy-mobile (what appears to the naked eye to be a simple Chevy Equinox but is actually a breeding ground of Little A’s tiny McDonald’s toys- I swear those things are like rabbits!) and find my receipt from the USPS. That’s when I got a big old knot in my stomach. I made an error. I screwed up. In my rush at the post office I didn’t make it clear that I wanted tracking and delivery confirmation. The priority mail medium flat rate box shipped, but there is no way to know where it ended up.
I have now been to two branches of the USPS here in town, which is slightly akin to standing just inside the gates of hell at this time of year. I have opened a case to search for the missing box. I have called two separate offices of the USPS Consumer Affairs, and all assure me that they will find it. It has to be somewhere, right? Each postal employee has listened kindly to my story and gently reminded me that buyers are known to scam people. I am well aware that this person may well be fishing for a refund, and then she will have my purse and my money!
Fast forward to today, and the buyer has opened a case against me with eBay. I could have cried! Yes I am a good girl, everyone is supposed to like me and be happy with me and be dazzled by my lovely manners all the time. (See Mom, I listened!) I reread all the messages between this woman and myself. And then I got mad. I decided to call eBay and tell them I am being scammed. Do you know how hard it is to find a phone number for eBay?!?!?! I succeeded though, and I spoke to a genuine eBay customer service rep name Habib. He listened to my story and apparently could read all the messages on my eBay messaging (scary thought!). When he saw her message saying she got the package he told me to respond to her dispute and defend myself. He said that the customer service team would not only look at those messages but at both parties’ eBay histories. He assured me that the matter would be handled and all I had to do was state my case.
I have spent an hour drafting my message to the eBay gods in dispute resolution, and finally submitted it. I really believe this lady got my package, saw that I didn’t put tracking on it and saw a big blinking sign that said “SUCKER” on it. I’m crossing my fingers, toes, eyes and everything else crossable that this can be resolved. If they find in her favor I will gladly refund her money, and I hope that it will not affect my feedback rating or eBay status. Those little stars are serious business, people! I still haven’t heard back from the USPS, by the way. I’m still holding out hope that they will pull through for me in the end.
I’ll keep you posted on how this goes. For now I am sitting here crossed like a black cat just went across my path, kicking my own behind for not being more careful. This might be a very expensive mistake. Maybe I’ll go browse on eBay to take my mind off of it…