Urgent Advice Needed RE: Ebay RAM Sale

Discussion in 'Mac Pro' started by sound kev, Sep 24, 2010.

  1. sound kev macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    A few days ago i sold two 4GB Hynix RAM modules to a buyer on Ebay (UK)


    They had been removed from a 2008 Octo 3.2Ghz Mac Pro and were working perfectly .
    I originally had 4 of these modules , the other two were sold separately on Ebay prior to this auction without any problems .

    Shortly after dispatch i received the following message from the buyer:


    I received the ram today well packaged. Unfortunately after trying numerous configurations I've found that one of the sticks appears to not work within my machine. Having tried every combination I've still not managed to get the ram working. Could you please supply me with your postal address so I can return or contact me on **** ****** if you have any solutions.

    I replied:

    Hi ,
    i can't understand how the RAM would not work , it was
    thoroughly tested on the day of dispatch and found to be
    functioning 100% .
    would you mind describing your installation process please ?
    how much RAM was already installed in your MAC ?
    having installed RAM many times in Apple Macs myself-
    the best advice i can give is to go back and check that the sticks
    are seated correctly . there should be a definite 'click' as the
    pins locate into the slot and the latches secure themselves . this
    sometimes requires a degree of gentle force .
    before we start discussing returns i would urge you to take a
    look a my 'auction returns policy' .
    i am sure this is a problem that can be resolved with minimal
    fuss !

    he replied:

    Thank you for the email back. I will do as you say and retry everything and while I understand you don't accept returns if my machine keeps showing 1 stick of ram as faulty I will have no alternative but to discuss options.

    For the time being let me spend some more time trying to get them working and lets re-visit this early next week and hopefully by then I can have some positive news for you.

    i replied:

    Hi ,
    no problem .
    i am aware that it can sometimes take a couple
    of tries , seating and re-seating a module , before it finally works .
    unfortunately upgrading RAM is slightly more involved than just
    plugging the sticks in and rebooting .
    if you haven't done so already i would suggest reading the Mac Pro
    manual .
    i wouldn't dream of selling anything that i knew to be faulty .
    i have sold two other modules of the same RAM without any
    i appreciate your concerns, but as you say , lets revisit this after
    you have taken another look .

    and the latest message:

    Just to let you know where things are at. I ran a diagnosis on the ram using Rember which fired back several errors. So far today the machine has had 3 Kernal Panics and 2 screen freezes while running this ram.

    I'm sorry to say I'm going to have to send these back to you as faulty and therefore not matching the item description voiding your return policy under eBay regulations, (although I'm sure this was not known to you at the point of sale), if it's of any help I can send you the screen log produced by rember.

    Could you supply me with your address and I will arrange for these to be sent back first thing tomorrow.

    I was initially angry and slightly suspicious of this buyers eagerness to send the RAM back .
    I asked him to describe his installation process ... which he didn't .
    For all i know he may not have worn an earthing strap or followed any installation protocol whatsoever .
    I asked him if he already had RAM installed as i've read that mixing different types of RAM can also cause problems .
    I have never heard of the Rember software .
    I would really appreciate it if someone could advise me on the freezes and kernal panics he is getting .
    Would that be caused by faulty RAM ?

    As far as i am concerned , if the RAM IS faulty it's because of HIS actions .
    It was 100% working when it left me .
    Where that leaves me legally .... i don't know .
    I would like to think it's a case of caveat emptor (let the buyer beware) , but with Ebay/Paypal anything is possible .

    For the benefit of other members i will update this thread as and when things transpire .

    At the moment it hasn't escalated to 'dispute' level .

    thanks in advance .


    BTW - his machine :

    Model Name: Mac Pro
    Model Identifier: MacPro3,1
    Processor Name: Quad-Core Intel Xeon
    Processor Speed: 2.8 GHz
    Number Of Processors: 2
    Total Number Of Cores: 8
  2. vogelhausdesign macrumors regular


    Jan 7, 2009
    Columbus, Ohio
    That's a tough situation due to the sensitive nature of RAM. Did you document your testing prior to shipping? Did you use static proof packaging with proper protection from impact? I'd say if you have these documents then you have a case to discuss with eBay because you have evidence that the buyer mishandled the product.

    Also they might have been damaged in shipping, did you opt for insurance? If not, and you didn't document your testing I'd say you're SOL.
  3. DualShock macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2008
    You should probably also mention to the buyer explicitly that RAM for a Mac Pro must be installed in a certain way (how to group the pairs). IIRC, for only 2 sticks (one pair), 1 stick goes on each riser. Two pairs, each pair goes on a separate riser, etc. etc.

    You did mention to him/her to read the manual, but it might be a good idea to also link to the specific pdf on Apple's support site, as well as the pg in the manual. I remember there being a picture and an explanation in the manual about how you're supposed to pair up the sticks.
  4. xUKHCx Administrator emeritus


    Jan 15, 2006
    The Kop
    Did you run a memtest on the ram before sending it? If not then how do you know it was 100% fine.

    In future for anyone selling ram I would recommend running a memtest and printing out a report, one for you to keep and one to place in the package for the buyer.

    Kernel panics can most definitely be caused by faulty ram.

  5. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    thanks for your replies so far everyone .

    the RAM was packaged extremely carefully ; anti static bags for both modules,
    each wrapped in bubble wrap, encased in a sturdy cardboard box and finished off with waxed (waterproof) parcel paper .
    I tested the memory under TechTool Pro but didn't save the results *bashing own head* .
    Insurance was taken on postage .

    It was stated on the auction that no returns were accepted .
    Otherwise what would stop someone from damaging the RAM on installation and just sending it back .... or even buying my RAM and switching it with one of their own faulty modules ?
  6. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey
    I am a long time seller of computer parts on ebay. Take them back and give a full refund.. Sellers even someone with 500 or more perfect feedback will almost always lose in this type of fight.

    There are 4 possibilities here

    A) you sold good ram and he broke it
    B) you sold good ram and he is changing it with his bad ram
    C) good ram was damaged in shipping
    D) you sold bad ram on purpose

    Since the buyer is covered for C and is covered for D.

    You would only be able to win this if you can prove A or prove B.

    Proving A is close to impossible without many photos of the ram in the listing showing it to be not burned or melted then he returns burned or melted ram.

    Proving B is also very hard to do.

    You would need to have taken a lot of photos in the listing and place a small mark that the buyer missed. Then when you got the ram back his dead replacement switch would be caught since it has not small mark.

    Of course you could get them back and put them in your machine and find out they work. Then just sell them again and figure he is a moron. It is very hard to be a seller on ebay. Good luck with this.
  7. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    Meaningless saying no returns does not apply to selling broken gear. I believe you but winning this would be next to impossible.. If you have 500 good feedbacks and 0 bad ones and the buyer is 50 good feed backs and 10 bad ones maybe you could win. It is very hard to win these as a seller.. Myself I don't sell valuable ram without it being registered with a unique serial number. Just Like all the mac minis i sold I have a list of all the serial numbers to stop switches from bad buyers. Take the return and hope for the best. Maybe it will be working ram.
  8. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    Does the buyer have a good and long feedback history? If so, I'd take it back. If not... well, I'm not sure what I'd do.
  9. sboerup macrumors 6502

    Mar 8, 2009
    Agree very much with this. How important is your eBay reputation and how much is it worth? You don't really have any kind of room for wiggle. Chalk it up as a cost of doing business, sucks but not much you can do.
  10. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006

    In over 17 years of upgrading RAM, I've never know this to be the case.
  11. Novablas macrumors member

    Jun 19, 2010
    As someone who sold a fully working dual 3.0 2006 Mac Pro to someone for $1850 on eBay, get your money out of your Paypal account NOW and always get it out immediately, otherwise if the buyer complains they will hold it and give it back to them.

    With more expensive stuff, people like to take advantage of Paypal's buyer protection and just claim something is broken, hoping to get a partial refund and if not, at least they wasted your time and money on eBay listings. Oh, and they have to ship it back too so you KNOW they're gonna skimp.

    Always take lots and lots of pictures (my MP auction had over 20 pics). And always get the full insurance possible on shipping expensive items.

    Your options are if you don't want to return the money at all since you aren't in the wrong to file a claim with the shipper you used, or to get your money out of your paypal account before they freeze it and open a new eBay account with a new bank account and new paypal account.
  12. kultschar macrumors 6502a

    Mar 26, 2010
    I just went thru a nightmare with Paypal after selling an item, I was advised that Paypal will favour the buyer and they were right.

    In the end I had a really strong case (I was selling a Replica guitar item and Replica was the first word in the listing title) anyhow the buyer complained saying it was a replica not the real thing, i explained of course its a bloody replica as its the first word of the listing, end result... Paypal bottled it and gave seller a refund on condition the seller sent it back.

    I believe this is what will happen here as Paypal seem to deem that this action is a win win situation for both parties. They dont give a damn that your ite mcould have been sabotaged or the huge inconvenience of having to resell it all over again.

    I take my money out of paypal instantly but Paypal wil still freeze the money givig you a negative balance until dispute resolved.

    Another infuriating thing if it goes to a dispute is that you have a maximum character count on their form to defend your case. I had so much to say in my defence but I could not submit all the info and had to edit several times my summary.

    PS - be careful, the seller could send a empty package with a tracking number and also still get his money back, this is a common scam His word against yours etc but he looks good as he has a tracking number
  13. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    In over 20 years of upgrading RAM , i have ...
    i appreciate your input :cool:
  14. MysticColby macrumors newbie


    Aug 28, 2010
    Santa Cruz
    that won't necessarily help. my friend sold a xbox, buyer paid, he sent it and withdrew money to bank account, 3 days after sending it buyer did paypal claim that item never arrived and got a refund, which paypal took out of my friend's bank account as there were insufficient funds in his paypal account. good news: friend has good history with bank and was able to get bank to not give paypal money. bad news: no more using paypal.

    I bought RAM on ebay once. I installed it no problem, computer recognized, but SC kept crashing after like 2 minutes of playing. took RAM out, SC worked fine. I didn't even bother with ebay seller - who needs that stress? I just sent the RAM to kingston and requested a replacement, as they have a lifetime warranty :D got replacement and it worked fine.
  15. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Thanks again for all the input .

    Shortly after posting , i found the System Profile record I had saved in Time Machine .

    I also have tons of pictures in my camera which clearly show the condition and serial numbers .

    Wether this is all enough or not ... we shall see .

    The buyer (who - to be fair - has a 153 star 100% feedback score) has opened a case in the Resolution Centre which was inevitable i suppose .

    I will update the thread as and when developments occur .

    I fully understand the doubters on here ... it's just my word ... but i know the RAM was good so , regardless of Ebay or PayPal i will do what i think is the right thing .
  16. philipma1957 macrumors 603


    Apr 13, 2010
    Howell, New Jersey

    Let us know the result please.

    So it is *beber* 78 and 0 feedback against whomever the buyer was at 153 and 0. Since you are in the UK I do wonder if you can win. IN the usa you would lose unless the ram he is holding looks burned or does not match your photo. UK law may differ then USA law.
  17. Sean Dempsey macrumors 68000

    Sean Dempsey

    Aug 7, 2006
    You realize that when you touched the RAM with your hands to remove it from the Mac Pro and put it in your shipping package, you could have easily zapped it with static electricity?

    Did you wear a static band when touching it? Was the machine and yourself properly grounded?

    I'm not saying this happened - but you easily could have been responsible for ruining the RAM after you removed it from your Mac Pro, touched it and zapped it without realizing it, and then shipped ruined RAM.
  18. WardC macrumors 68030


    Oct 17, 2007
    Fort Worth, TX
    International shipments like this go through several X-ray machines with high power magnets. These could easily have damaged the RAM.
  19. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009

    excuse the insolence but ... durrrrrrrrrrrr :D
    i am fully aware of the dangers associated with ESD ...
    i never go in unstrapped .

    actually - joking aside - it's a valid point .
    go on YouTube and you'll be shocked at the amount of so called 'tutorials' where the 'tutor' is not grounded .
  20. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    1. it wasn't an international shipment .
    2. anti static bags .
  21. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009

    yes , true .
    i have less positive feedback than him ... he has 2 instances of neutral FB though ...
    if he had negative feedback , it may have given me a slight advantage.
  22. sound kev thread starter macrumors member

    Jul 14, 2009
    Ok , so i'm in a position where i could go either way here .

    i'm still stumped as to what to do .

    i'm as certain as anyone could be that i sent out perfect RAM and i have decent evidence to support this .

    sadly, from the feedback kindly given on here it appears that - regardless of all the measures i have taken - benefit of the doubt is given to the buyer .

    i find this to be unjust .

    i do have the option of shutting down my accounts and starting again .

    i had already transferred the money out of my Paypal account .
    my linked account is also empty now .

    i don't particularly want to go that route .

    in these situations AFAIK Paypal will pay out the buyer anyway, so justice (as i see it) would not have been done .

    trouble is , if i give a refund , i'm left with one 4GB module of RAM that no one will want .
    effectively , this has cost me £220 ($350) .
  23. PhelpsiPhan macrumors 6502


    Dec 31, 2009
    New Jersey
    This could definately be the issue
  24. Spud1 macrumors member

    Mar 16, 2008
    are you a business or personal seller?

    If you are a personal seller you have no obligation to accept returns, provided that the item was as described. If it has been damaged in transit, which is a fair assumption here, then you can tell your buyer to claim on the postal insurance.

    It very much depends on how your original auction was worded too - if the words "sold as seen" appear then you are covered and he has no comeback. If its sold as tested + working, then you will need proof that it was in tested + working condition before you sent it.

    Basically i'd suggest he claims on the insurance for it and leave it at that.
  25. cutterman macrumors regular

    Apr 27, 2010
    Put yourself in his position- what would be fair? Clearly he has bad ram. Maybe it was damaged in shipping (doubtful), maybe he damaged it (possible), maybe it was defective when you prepared and packaged it (possible). I havent used Techtool Pro for memory testing, but I have used memtest, and it basically needs to run overnight to rule out memory defects.

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