I recently had a string of bad experiences on Ebay.
I’ve been a member for over 15 years so what happened kind of shocked me. But what shocked me even more was the way people reacted and treated me.
I had a ton of Proactiv products I wasn’t using (too much auto-ship) so I decided to sell them before the expired and went to waste.
It seemed like a good idea at the time–and I was happy to make a little extra money.
I listed my auctions and decided to give each buyer the choice of “economy” shipping for $3 or Priority for $5.75. Ebay’s system told me that economy would be parcel select and take 2-8 days for delivery. For some reason, when my customers went through check-out, Ebay told them instead that they’d receive their items within 2 business days. Every single buyer chose economy. Since my listing gave me up to 2 business days to ship even before the clock would be ticking on shipping time, this caused a lot of confusion and then consternation among those who purchased from me.
Adding insult to injury, my local USPS office did not do origin scans, so none of my tracking numbers appeared in their system until packages were well on their way and well into that up to 8 day shipping time. Some weren’t scanned until delivery. I received a negative feedback after just five days, despite having politely communicated with those worried purchasers while they were waiting…and lots more angry, accusatory e-mail messages. They accused me of not shipping until 8 days after I shipped. They accused me of sending unsealed packages so they could extort me into refunding them and allowing them to keep their products. They accused me of deliberately shorting them on quantity.
Ebay will not back me up as it seems I have no proof that the shipping estimates I was shown varied from what the customers were shown.
During the week or so that I was in limbo waiting on that 8 business day shipping time, I got no fewer than 2-3 irate messages a day. Every time my phone would ding to alert me, my heart would skip a beat and my stomach would knot. Being accused of being a liar, a thief and a fraud cut deep to my core–especially since it quickly was obvious I would have no way of defending myself or protecting myself. I ended up refunding two people just to make them go away–they were the meanest of all and they knew what they were doing. They actually lied to extort me–and they won. I sat in my office, coughing and sick, clicking “refund” because I didn’t have the strength to argue.
I am not saying I am perfect or beyond making a mistake. I’ve made mistakes. I’ve shipped late or shipped the wrong item. And when a mistake is brought to my attention, I will bend over backwards to make it right. Past mistakes have led to me being very careful when I sell online and I’m quite certain that the error this time wasn’t mine. I’m a human being though and even if I did mess up, I don’t deserve to be berated and told I’m trash–just because I’m not perfect. I think it would do us all well to take a breath and remember that there is another human being on the other end…even when we’re just dealing with someone we know only online.