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Bad Ebay Experience--Diamond Ring

Discussion in 'RockyTalky' started by Eva14, May 4, 2012.

  1. Eva14
    Rough_Rock

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    by Eva14 » May 4, 2012
    I browsed Ebay for months looking for my dream right hand ring. I have expensive tastes (Tiffany, Cartier, HW, etc.) and had hoped to get a used ring at a discount on Ebay.

    I finally found what I thought was my dream ring, at a good deal less than retail cost. It was one of the brands I mentioned above.

    I made an offer, the seller counter-offered, and I made a final offer. This took less than a half an hour. It came to $12,000, which is a lot of money for me. This was the first time I've ever placed an offer on an item, and I wasn't completely sure how the process worked.

    The seller had 100% positive feedback and has been on Ebay for several years.

    I read the item description carefully and studied the pictures.

    I think I got caught up in the frenzy of making the counteroffers and didn't think things through as well as I should have. (We all make mistakes, right?)

    I wasn't able to pay immediately due to a Paypal "sending limit", so I had a couple of days to study the ring's pictures after I'd made the purchase commitment. I started to wonder what I'd do if the ring didn't look right on me, when I'd be paying a LOT of money---$12,000!

    I emailed the seller and told her my concerns. I asked if she would accept a return if I wasn't happy with the item. She rather rudely told me that those were questions I should have asked BEFORE I bid on the item.

    In my email, I explained that I'd wanted this particular style of ring "for years". She then made a sarcastic comment. She wrote that if I'd wanted this exact ring "for years" then I surely must have gone to the brand name store and tried it on at least once, so I would already know what it looked like on my finger. But the truth is that I never have tried that particular style of ring on my finger before, so I don't know what it would look like on my finger. I didn't appreciate her insinuating that I was lying.

    The seller told me unequivocally that she does NOT accept returns under any circumstances. She was sarcastic about that too, saying that she doesn't send out expensive jewelry for "try-ons".

    At this point, her rude tone had really turned me off. If I went through with the transaction, I would be stuck with a ring I paid $12,000 for and I'm not even sure what it looked like in person! I decided that I couldn't take that risk. In my opinion, online vendors SHOULD accept returns on their items. Unless they are shady or have something to hide. I started to worry even more.

    The more I looked at the photos of the ring, I noticed that a certain area that should have pave stones did not. I was getting really scared. What if the item wasn't authentic? I couldn't take the risk. Even if it was authentic, my dream ring has the pave and I wouldn't be happy with this ring.

    I sent the seller a POLITE email explaining that I had decided to cancel the transaction. I apologized profusely for the inconveniece to her. I thought she might ask why I didn't want to go through with the transaction, so in my email I said that the lack of pave stones would bother ME. I NEVER said I thought the ring was inauthentic. I told her that she clearly had documentation of the ring's authenticity (the folder with the diamond grade info) and that for all I knew, the brand name store makes a style of the ring WITHOUT pave.

    I said I thought it best to cancel the transaction before having her send me the ring, in which case I might not be happy with the ring. I said "we both have 100% positive feedback, so let's keep it that way".

    I was utterly SHOCKED at the ANGRY email that I received from her in response!!! She completely misinterpreted my email. She said: "Why are you threatening ME with negative feedback when YOU are the one who won't pay for the ring???" I don't know where she got that from.

    The seller went on to say "How dare you question the authenticity of the ring just because you can't afford to buy it?" I did NOT question the authenticity of the ring. And only *I* know what I can afford to buy. She acted like I was threatening her, saying "Don't send any messages to my personal email, because I won't respond". She said send the messages through Ebay, but what more was there for me to say? I cancelled the transaction. (She was the one who originally had asked me to send messages to her personal email address instead of through Ebay.)

    She went on a tirade, saying "this is business, not a game!". She was accusing me of being frivolous and playing games, when I was a serious buyer who simply decided to back out of the deal. I've NEVER had to retract a bid before, and I told her so in my original email. Her tirade continued: "This is a terrible way to do business; you've wasted my time! And the ring comes in more than one style, so why don't you educate yourself instead of questioning the authenticity of the ring???" This was RUDE beyond belief. In my email to her, I had said, 'for all I know, the ring comes in more than one style".

    Gosh, all I did was retract a bid! I know that's no fun for any seller and I've never done it before. I took the matter VERY seriously. I had told her, "After much deliberation, I think it's best that we cancel the transaction". I had expected a simple reply of, "Okay, sorry it didn't work out for you. I hope you'll shop with us sometime in the future". Instead I was verbally abused! It almost brought me to tears, her email was so nasty.

    Her store has some nice jewelry, but why would I ever want to buy anything from her in the future? She certainly ruined the buyer/seller relationship. If she can't accept a bid retraction without getting nasty, she's not a person that I want to deal with.

    You'll notice that I haven't mentioned the seller's name or the name of the brand name jewelry store or the name of the ring style. It's a popular style, so I decided not to write these details. I'm even being the better person by not mentioning the name of her Ebay store, as it never was my intention to cause any trouble.

    Ebay wants me to leave feedback. I'm not sure what to say. She deserves a negative for the way she treated me, but I'm not that vindictive. Besides, I don't want her to say anything that would ruin my Ebay reputation. I'd like to give her a neutral, and just say "it didn't work out; transaction canceled", but I've heard that leaving a neutral is as bad as leaving a negative. She has 100% positive feedback, so she'd really be mad if I put a dent in that. I suppose I should give her a positive so she doesn't say something nasty about me?

    I just had to share this experience, because it really was awful to be treated this way by a seller. She had no right to say such horrible things to me. A true professional would handle a bid retraction with class, correct? It's very stupid to turn off a potential future buyer just because ONE transaction didn't work out.

    Eva
     
  2. Maisiebelle
    Super_Ideal_Rock

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    by Maisiebelle » May 4, 2012
    You don't have to leave her feedback. I would just let that go. She can't leave you negative feedback as the rules were changed to stop the seller leaving negatives.

    I can see why she is annoyed. She did offer you the chance to return the ring if you didn't like it. I understand that $12000 is a lot of money to spend on ebay but thats what you chose to do. I personally wouldn't spend more than a couple of thousand max on ebay. She might have had people watching that ring and they would have gone elsewhere once they saw it had sold.

    I wonder if you got a little bit carried away when you saw the ring and had buyers remorse once the excitement wore off. Thats not the sellers fault. She might have been a bit rude in her emails but I think I might be too if I had just lost a $12000 sale.
     
  3. Upgradable
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  4. makemepretty
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    by makemepretty » May 4, 2012
    Besides being rude, she didn't do anything wrong but you did. Bidding is supposed to be binding. Now, you know she can't leave you bad feedback so be the grown up and don't leave her any. You changed your mind, she didn't and in this economy-it hurts her. If there was something wrong with the ring or it wasn't authentic you WOULD get your money back, even if she didn't accept returns because those are Ebay/Paypal rules and not up to the seller.

    I had a buyer honestly tell me they didn't have the money. While I really needed it, I said that was ok and let them off the hook and was polite (but that's me in general). It was hassle to me though.

    I guess what I'm just saying is that I don't believe she deserves a negative or a neutral because of her attitude, while not professional(it's freakin' ebay, not Tiffanys so don't expect Tiffany customer service or any high end for that matter-you pay more at a store for a reason)it is understandable that she's mad and you were implying that something might be wrong even if you didn't actually say that. Cancel the transaction and move on. If she didn't want to cancel it she could have a non paying bidder strike put against you because you were the one in the wrong here, you bid before thinking it through and all questions SHOULD have been asked before, sorry.

    It's not the end of the world and if you don't feel right buying then don't. Instinct is important! There's a better ring for you out there so cheer up but don't punish her for your mistake.
     
  5. Eva14
    Rough_Rock

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    by Eva14 » May 4, 2012
    Just to clarify: The seller told me that she did NOT accept returns under ANY circumstances. That's what scared me the most. If she had told me that she accepted returns, I proabably would have gone through with the sale.

    Spending $12,000 on a ring you've never seen AND you are not allowed to return it under ANY circumstances? That does not seem fair at all. A seller could send out a fake or a damaged item and then the buyer would be stuck with it. I didn't want to take that risk.

    Thanks for your replies.

    Eva
     
  6. Christina...
    Ideal_Rock

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    by Christina... » May 4, 2012
    I wouldn't leave any feedback either, and just let it go. As Maisie said, they have changed the rules and she can't leave you negative feedback.

    I can understand her frustration though, it's possible that others had offered bids that she didn't accept because of the sale she thought that she had with you. And it is your job to review all the photos and ask any questions before making an offer or placing a bid. I understand that you were probably caught up in the excitement of finally finding what you thought was your dream ring, but it's always best to get all the information and inquire about a return policy before making an offer.

    You likely would have been covered by ebay protection too had the ring turned out to be counterfeit or not as described, another reason for the sellers frustration too I'm sure. But, live and learn, it would seem that you've come to the conclusion that buying on ebay isn't going to be the way to go for you and honestly I'm not sure that I could make that large of a purchase on ebay either.
     
  7. Maisiebelle
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    by Maisiebelle » May 4, 2012
    I thought I read that she would let you have a refund. Sorry, my mistake :))
     
  8. Eva14
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    by Eva14 » May 4, 2012
    Right, I certainly don't want to punish her. I wouldn't leave negative feedback. I guess I can just skip the feedback and say nothing.

    I just hope that she DOES cancel the transaction; she hasn't done so yet, although she has relisted the item.

    I should have just gone to Tiffany's.

    The thing is, I had a WONDERFUL experience with another jewellry seller on Ebay. He was so professional and polite. I think I was naive and thought that other Ebayer's would be as nice as he was.

    Am I really on the hook for the ring? I definitely don't want to buy it now. I did realize that it's a binding contract, but I also know that there is something known as "bid retraction" for exceptional cases like this.

    By the way, the seller had multiple offers for the ring, but they were all lower than mine. It's a very popular style of ring, and I really don't think she'll have much trouble selling it. She does a very brisk business.

    I just hope she cancels the transaction! This is turning into a nightmare. A cautionary tale for those who use Ebay. I admit I wasn't careful enough. I tried my best to be as thorough as possible, but I made a mistake. Mistakes happen in life. I wasn't at all familiar with the offer/counteroffer situation, and I admit that I did get caught up in the bidding.

    I usually only buy "Buy It Now" for this very reason.

    Eva
     
  9. Maisiebelle
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    by Maisiebelle » May 4, 2012
    I think that it takes a few days for a transaction cancellation to appear on your ebay summary. I had to cancel a sale once because the buyer was messing me around. I didn't get the option to cancel straight away. You will get a message from ebay to ask if you agree to the cancellation.

    She is obviously going to cancel it because she has relisted the item. I don't think you need to worry. She isn't going to force you to pay.
     
  10. Christina...
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    by Christina... » May 4, 2012
    Yes she could leave you on the hook for paying for it, you had a contract, likely she won't and as you said she has relisted the item but the fact is she could place a non paying bidder on your account warning other selling from dealing with you.

    Retracting a bid has very specific limitations, and changing your mind doesn't count, and to your knowledge she didn't misrepresent the item so I don't think that you would fall into that category either.
     
  11. Eva14
    Rough_Rock

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    by Eva14 » May 4, 2012
    If she does place a non-paying bidder note on my Ebay account, will I have the opportunity to share my side of the story? I have 100% positive feedback, always pay right away, and have hundreds of glowing reviews from various sellers.

    Thanks for any advice.

    Eva
     
  12. blinglover78
    Rough_Rock

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    by blinglover78 » May 4, 2012

    Maybe I am misunderstanding, but didn't you know this before you placed the bid?
     
  13. makemepretty
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by makemepretty » May 4, 2012
    A non paying bidder mark really doesn't do anything. I guess if you have a few of them, your Ebay account would be suspended but one doesn't really matter. For future reference, even if a seller doesn't accept returns at all and the item is fake or not as described you do get a refund. You would just have to file a claim to do it but changing your mind about an item or not liking it or the wrong size, does not qualify. You can only retract a bid before the auction ends and under certain time constraints and reasons.
     
  14. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 4, 2012
    I only buy expensive items if they have a return policy, and this is always stated in the listing. You do not have to buy only items that have buy it now, but you do need to be sure they have a 7-14 day return period. I would not leave any feedback since you were really the one in the wrong. I would never buy from that seller, though, since I don't like her attitude. I wish we could know who it is!

    One other bit of advice, don't get caught up in bidding. Always decide the maximum you are willing to pay for an item. Then place your bid in the last 10 seconds. Bidding earlier just runs up the price. And even if you put in an amount $1000 above what the next to the last bid is, you will only pay one increment above the last bid, not $1000 more.
     
  15. Mrsacornblue
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    by Mrsacornblue » May 4, 2012
    I hate to say it but when you bid on something on Ebay, it's a binding agreement. You are really in the wrong here and the seller has a right to be upset. You should have made sure that all the details such as a return and whatnot were in place BEFORE you bid. I had a similar problem...I bid on a ring and it was the wrong size head to hold my stone. (There were two versions and I clicked on buy it now for the bigger head). I emailed the seller and he assured me that it would fit my stone but I still had to take that chance and pay for it or risk having negative feedback and other actions taken against my account. The stone ended up not fitting and it cost me an extra $100 to have it fixed by my jeweler. I understand that $12,000 is a HUGE amount of money but that is the risk of Ebay. You have to be absoultly certain before you commit or make sure there is a return policy you agree with.
     
  16. Statefan42
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    by Statefan42 » May 4, 2012
    From your story, the seller didn't do anything wrong. You don't have to accept returns on ebay. If the item description didn't say they accepted returns you should have asked that before placing a $12,000 offer. I understand that you had second thoughts but that doesn't mean the seller had to accommodate you. I'd be irritated to if someone backed out of a $12,000 sale. I see this as a "bad ebay experience" for the seller not the buyer in this case. Unfortunately sellers cannot leave negative feedback anymore.


    From Ebay's site.
    Under what conditions can I retract a bid?

    Whether you can retract a bid depends on the circumstances and timing of the bid. You can retract a bid for the following reasons:
    You accidentally entered the wrong bid amount due to a typographical error. For example, you bid $99.50 instead of $9.95. If this happens, you need to reenter the correct bid amount right away.
    Changing your mind does not qualify as accidentally entering a wrong bid amount.
    The item's description changed significantly after you entered your last bid. For example, the seller updated details about the item's features or condition.
    You can't reach the seller by telephone or email.
     
  17. ame
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    by ame » May 4, 2012
    The thing about all this that sticks out to me is that she wanted you to email her outside of email using personal accounts. THAT right there would get her shut down on Ebay as a seller.
     
  18. CharmyPoo
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    by CharmyPoo » May 4, 2012
    I hate to say this but you will find few people to side with you. You made a purchase without asking the questions and then you got cold feet. Ebay deals are gotten with a level of risk that you take when making an offer or placing a bid. There is little impact as sellers can't leavenegative feedback anymore. I think you need 3 non-paying strikes before something happens.
     
  19. diamondseeker2006
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    by diamondseeker2006 » May 4, 2012
    It was the opposite, Ame. The seller was insisting that contact NOT be by email.

    "She acted like I was threatening her, saying "Don't send any messages to my personal email, because I won't respond". She said send the messages through Ebay.."
     
  20. Mico
    Brilliant_Rock

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    by Mico » May 4, 2012
    I understand where you're coming from, and regardless of you not clarifying a return policy I don't think the sellers actions were ok. I've had that happen with some sellers when shopping in NYC's chinatown who yell at you to get out when you hesitate on finalizing a purchase (also, once in hawaii when my boyfriend was looking at some things to buy for his mother and them not having the pattern he liked). It's shocking and feels horrible - especially when someone isn't use to people raising their voices or speaking so harshly when they don't know them. I'm sorry you had to go through that.

    As a side note, I think the OP clarified the seller initially wanted the emails to be via private and later said not to contact that way anymore.
     
  21. ame
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    by ame » May 4, 2012
    No she only says that AFTER the OP backs out:
     
  22. Statefan42
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    by Statefan42 » May 4, 2012
    The difference is that this isn't an example of hesitating to finalize a purchase. When you submit your price on ebay and enter your password and click on the agreement to buy you are finalizing your purchase. You are promising to pay. It's not like spending time with a salesperson and just not buying the item.

    I do agree that the seller should not have asked you to initially contact them outside of ebay if that is what happened. You should always go through the ebay communication tool.
     
  23. ruby59
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    by ruby59 » May 4, 2012
    Just to clarify something:

    Rules have changed on ebay. Sellers can state anything they want about a return policy. However, in actuality a buyer has 45 days in which to return a product that is SNAD (significantly not as described). To be specific, this is not for people who just change their mind or have buyers remorse. But if you had received the ring and it was a "knockoff" or the diamond was fake, paypal would have returned your money within the 45 day time frame.

    Yes, you should have asked all questions before bidding. However, that is not an excuse for the sellers' rudeness. Buyers do change their mind, and at least this one did so before the ring was sent out and money was spent on shipping costs.

    As far as having the seller contact you outside ebay, that is only a red flag if she wanted you to purchase the item off of ebay to save payal ebay fees. Many times communicating through ebay can be a little iffy and does not go through. So sellers and buyers may decide to communicate through email so they will not miss anything.

    Did the seller issue a mutual cancellation? If so, then she cannot do an unpaid paid strike against you. And yes, 3 unpaid strikes, can terminate your buying privileges.

    But you do need to be careful in the future before bidding as it is a binding contract. Cancelling once can happen but now you know. Also, sellers do share "bad" bidder lists, where they will block them from bidding on their accounts.
     
  24. ChrisES
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    by ChrisES » May 4, 2012
    This is probably why she thought she was being threatened with negative feedback. A minor but unfortunate misunderstanding!
     
  25. mandasand
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    by mandasand » May 4, 2012
    I think maybe you've learned your lesson. Don't buy items on eBay that cost $12k without a return policy.
     
  26. distracts
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    by distracts » May 4, 2012
    While the seller treated you awfully, those really were things you should have been sure of BEFORE bidding. While the seller behaved abominably, you also behaved badly by retracting your bid, not being clear on her return policies, and not being sure that was even the ring you wanted. And her bad behavior was mainly just in her attitude, while yours was in breaking a contract. So... no gold stars for anyone.

    Also since this is an education site that is trying to help consumers make better buying decisions, please share the name of the vendor who treated you so horribly. I am sure we would all like to be able to avoid her lovely attitude in the future.
     
  27. TitanCi
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    by TitanCi » May 4, 2012

    I think Maisie hits it on the head.

    Bidding or offering, counter-offering is a virtual hand shake IMO. That means you obviously want the item enough to bid/offer YOUR money for it. Bid retractions are bad because you back out of the transactions for the wrong reasons unless you entered in the wrong bid amount, say $120,000 instead of $12,000.

    I can see why the seller is upset with you, but if I were you I would have asked all those questions BEFORE bidding on the ring. IMO, she had the bad ebay experience, not you. There's no need to leave negative fdbk for her, and luckily for you she can't leave you any. Just my $0.02.
     
  28. tina sparkle
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    by tina sparkle » May 4, 2012
    To tell you the truth, I'm always suspicious of posts like this. Why join pricescope just to vent about this one transaction? It seems weird and "trollish" to me.
     
  29. TitanCi
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    by TitanCi » May 4, 2012
    +1.
     
  30. Eva14
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    by Eva14 » May 4, 2012
    Thanks to everyone for your responses and advice.

    I'm not a troll. I periodically look through the Pricescope "Jewellry Box" to see pictures of people's rings.

    I needed to vent about this somewhere, so I chose to do it here.

    I made a mistake and I learned my lesson. The seller also was incredibly rude. I simply was not familiar enough with Ebay and its policies. The rules are quite complicated.

    I don't want to reveal the seller's name because that would be vindictive.

    I admit I made a mistake---no one is perfect. This is the first time it's ever happened to me, and I have learned my lesson.

    I am very glad that I did NOT go through with the transaction, as the seller was rude to me even BEFORE I backed out of the deal. Also, I am not 100% convinced that the ring is authentic.

    I've looked at dozens of pictures of this ring style online, and her ring was the first I ever saw WITHOUT pave stones on the basket. On the brand name store's website, the ring is also shown ONLY with a pave basket. So I'm not convinced that the ring comes in more than one style. I think this realization freaked me out more than anything, and I admit I only noticed it AFTER making the purchase commitment.

    So I believe I had good reason to back out of the deal. My instinct told me something was "off" about the ring and the seller. Better to be safe than sorry, especially when you're paying $12,000.

    Eva
     

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