HoosierJoe wrote in post #7626446
I quit on ebay almost two years ago after a string of bad experiences all of it with camera equipment. Purchases and sales I did for other things seemed to go pretty well.
In short, I got screwed on a lens and some CF cards. The CF cards were sold as NIB but had music videos on them from the previous owner (they were Toby Keith mostly so I watched them). The lens was sold "as new" but was horribly broken, probably dropped. I ended up paying almost $200 to fix it. The dispute process was a joke.
So, no to ebay in my opinion. I have bought from this board and fredmiranda.com. Most people here take great care of their equipment. But most of my purchases have been with BH and Adorama because you get a guarantee and the price is realistic.
I agree that I am very cautious about buying electronic gear on eBay. But no more so than buying used anywhere else.
As to your comment about Buyer Protection disputes with the item either being broken or nor DOA being a joke, there has to be a lot more to what happended than you have disclosed for you to lose a "significantly not as described" dispute. It's that simple. Still it should never have happened or been so complicated that the buyer can screw themselves or some idiot reviewing the dispute has no clue and just screws up.
Personally we have received as much as a $1200 refund because a seller failed to pack an item to meet the requirements of the shipping agent, in this case the Royal Post & USPS and it arrived broken. All I needed was for the USPS to deny the insurance claim due to improper packing and submit that written denial of coverage due to inadequate packing to PayPal and that was that, money was returned in full including shipping. And this was an antique oil lamp shipped from England to us here in the US.
I suppose it is all a matter of what one does to follow the requirements for buyer protection. I was on the inside of how these things worked for a number of years as a end user oversight type consultant. Other than a handful of total twits (and trust me there were more and seven of those sorts at any given microsecond) handling disputes on the PayPal side, every time there was a denial to the buyer, some paperwork was not submitted correctly, the comments were not to the point about the issue and were more personal in nature or the buyer demands were in direct conflict with the seller terms. Such as a product sold "as-is, working condition unknown" and then when it did not work the buyer files a complaint and expects to get their money back...ummm...no. A seller simply stating items as all sold as-is is not sufficent to prevent a forced refund. As-is is simply too vague to protect the seller. Yet it is often used as an attempt to hide known damage and buffalo a buyer into thinking they have no recourse...it comes down to reasonable expectations of a seller to plug in a device to see if it powers on, examine a piece of porcelain for damage and as such they need to disclose exactly what issues, if any, were found. If no testing/examination was done then they need to specifically disclose fact and declare the item "as-is condition unknown buy at own risk may be DOA" or something to that effect. If testing was done, to protect themselves sellers need to specifically state what testing was done and what results were found.
On the other hand if the seller fails to disclose to the buyer, the item is damaged, untested, or whatever then the seller loses because the buyer has a reasonable expectation of full disclosure. I was told this by eBay's head counsel around 2001 I believe. The buyer also has a resonable expectation that the item(s) will be properly packed to ensure safe arrival.
Though there was a time a few years back when buyer protection refunds were all screwed up because they were dependent on PayPal recovering funds from the seller. If the seller had no funds in their PayPal account then the buyer did get screwed if the buyer did not use a credit card. PayPal has changed this sometime last year. But trust me that was one topic we argued long and aggressively with eBay/PayPal about. That was because eBay and PayPal as the ones vetting both the buyer AND seller. Neither buyer or seller has the ability beyond the information provided on the eBay site to determine the reputation of their trading partner. Now PayPal is actually backing the transaction with their own cash because they were getting too many chargebacks after failure to recover funds for the buyer from the seller. And in that way you are right it WAS a joke it you did not cross all the "i's" and dot all the "t's" but that is no longer the case it has bbeen improved to be more in line with how your credit card functions to protect you as a consumer. And like I said it was your fellow buyers AND sellers who wanted it all completely changed because no buyer should lose funds on such a transaction when PayPal and eBay both are the ones vetting the vendor. Credit card companies already know they lose that sort of thing in court so the consumer almost always wins a chargeback dispute when it is valid.
As with all things, you need to be careful who you deal with...and even then it might not work out. Look at some of the very frustrating transactions buyers have had dealing with many long time online vendors of camera gear. Folks post their frustrations all the time about shady practices. Yet often those same companies have sterling reputations on eBay because they lose a lot of incentives should they fail to live up the the standards as they exist today.