Was I Ripped off on Ebay?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by Epsilon88, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Epsilon88 macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Hey guys,

    So I found an eBay auction for a 1.2 ghz iBook G4 last week. The seller said that it was in "great condition" with a perfect screen. He said that there was in perfect functioning condition. After a long paragraph describing its apparent "great" condition, he briefly mentioned "selling as is."

    Anyway, I won it for $305 including shipping (I know, expensive) expecting a fully-functional iBook. It arrived in the mail today, and the mouse button barely works. I just sat there for 5 minutes pressing it, and nothing happened. Finally I figured out that you have to press it on a specific location at the very left of the button in order to click something. Even when you do click there, it doesn't always work. So basically you have to use the trackpad and/or an externa mouse to get any work done.

    Besides that, the laptop was beautifully packaged, clean and runs well. I'm a little annoyed about the mouse button, though, because I feel like that was a major omission on his part.

    Do I have a right to complain, since I bought this "as is"? Would appreciate your thoughts.
  2. Gator24765 macrumors 6502a


    Nov 13, 2009
    I would send him a message asking about it..

    since it was in the description I would ask for a partial refund..
  3. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

    Oct 31, 2009
    Near Dallas, Texas, USA
    Just get the trackpad replaced and give him less stars in feedback. You were lucky to get one with everything else in good shape.
  4. Hermes Monster macrumors 65816

    Hermes Monster

    May 4, 2010
    If he's neglected to mention a fault, then yeah I think you could complain. I think "as is" only applies to something you can see in person so have a chance to look around and ask any questions at the time. Distance selling makes that impossible, so I'd suggest contacting the seller and see if they're willing to refund you the cost of a repair. If not, take it to ebay/Paypal
  5. ActionableMango macrumors G3


    Sep 21, 2010
    I would never buy anything on Ebay "as-is" and expect it to work. I agree with others, you seem very lucky everything else works so well.

    It won't hurt to ask for a partial refund, but in the end you bought it "as-is", so he can reasonably deny you.

    The problem with leaving negative feedback is that he/she can provide retaliatory negative feedback.
  6. mcpryon2 macrumors 6502a


    Dec 12, 2008
    Actually, sellers can't leave negative feedback anymore, which is just another reason why it's gotten really bad for sellers. Anyway, that's another story.

    I agree that you should contact the seller, then if that fails just make a PayPal claim. They pretty much automatically side with the buyer and it's a pain so it's easiest to just refund and sell it again.

    There is always the possibility that the seller didn't realize the trackpad was that bad. Or it barely worked, then fell off the cliff during shipping. Just don't go in with the attitude that all sellers are out to screw the buyer and you should be able to work things out.
  7. maxrosecollins macrumors newbie

    May 29, 2010
    put in a claim with paypal and get your money back!
  8. MacVibe macrumors regular

    Dec 21, 2009
    Were you ripped off on ebay? It sure doesn't sound like it to me. It is an old computer and you are the type to buy such a thing for nostalgic purposes I presume. If the only annoying thing with it is that the mouse button only works when pressed on one side, you should make a decision: is that acceptable to you?

    If it isn't acceptable, request a refund, and ship it back. If it is acceptable but you would "feel better" with a $25 credit, then explain your displeasure to the seller and see what comes of it. From the way you described the rest of the laptop and the shipping, I would give the seller the benefit of the doubt on this issue- maybe he didn't know, or maybe in some odd malfunction it only happened since the seller last tested the laptop.

    Please don't give the guy negative feedback until he refuses to accept the return if you go that route. I occasionally sell stuff and I try to be as honest as possible, and one bad review out of 15 or so can look bad to prospective buyers. You may decide to sell the computer on ebay after you've used it for awhile and I'm sure you'll appreciate that, even if you are honest, you may not have pointed out all the flaws that the buyer may find and he should be understanding as well.
  9. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    Unless the seller has a poor feedback record, you probably weren't ripped off. (You wouldn't buy from a seller with a poor feedback record, would you?)

    Still, you are correct that "great condition" should include a working trackpad unless it is otherwise disclosed in the listing.

    Start with a friendly follow up to the seller describing the problem and proposing a solution. If friendly negotiation with the seller fails, then you can make a complaint to eBay. If eBay decides the case in your favor, you get a full refund and you can keep the computer. Leaving negative feedback and filing a complaint with eBay is harsh unless you give the seller an opportunity to resolve your concerns first.

    Good luck!
  10. racer1441 macrumors 68000

    Jul 3, 2009
    that's why I always wait for the seller to leave feedback first. You can't mark it as negative, but you can make it stand out and be pretty rough if you need to be.
  11. Shanewilliams macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    its all going to depend on the seller. Some are great to deal with and some of course leave something to be desired. In my experience awhile back I bought a ibook g4 off eBay that was listed in as is condition. Once I received it, I opened it up and was surprised at how pristine it was. It worked perfectly. However, after further examination I noticed that it seemed to be an issue when closing it. I contacted the seller, they had me ship it back to them and they actually replaced it for me.(had a broken hinge on the screen) Basically, everyone has their own description of "as is" in my case it meant they weren't going to warranty anything but that it would arrive as it was listed in the auction. some sellers "as is" means exactly that "as is" Best of luck to you!
  12. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Okay guys. Here is my reply to the seller. Does this look OK?

    "Hi [name removed]

    I received the iBook today. The packaging was phenomenal and the laptop looks great - thanks for that. I have one serious concern though. The mouse button is barely functional. I spent several minutes trying to click on the "Next" button in order to log in to the computer, and nothing happened. Then I discovered that it works only if you press down hard on the far left end of the mouse, and even then it's finicky. I can provide video documentation if necessary. Although this is acceptable when using a USB mouse, it defeats the purpose of using it as an ultraportable.

    I was particularly surprised, as it was not mentioned in the auction ad. I would not have bid on it had that been the case. I would ask to return the computer with a refund of $285 (I can pay the shipping costs).

    I know that you have great feedback on eBay, and that's why I chose to bid with you. I hope my proposal sounds fair and reasonable.

    Look forward to your reply!"
  13. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Guys, this was the original advertisement. Please read my response in the previous post. As you can see, it didn't state the mouse button was broken.

    "This is a used iBook G4 with a 1GB memory upgrade (total memory 1.25GB). Has been sitting on the shelf for a year since I got my macbook. Works great, powered on, wiped drive and reinstalled OS without problem. iBook comes with both the original packaging, and all the original accessories including;
    - power adapter, power adapter extension cord
    - VGA video out adapter. phone cable
    - All manuals and original software (Tiger and iLife)

    This laptop comes with a DVD drive and CDRW, great for watching movies on the go or making music CDs. There are zero dead pixels, and I comes with a newer replacement battery. After wiping drive and installing MacOSX there was minimal drain.Buyer pays all related shipping costs. Laptop was tested, everything (network, hard drive, DVD drive) works great! This is a great and inexpensive way to enjoy the Mac experience. Being sold as is."
  14. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    This is his response, guys:

    "I'm glad the laptop arrived well. I'm sorry that the mouse isn't quite as responsive as you would like. The trackpad had a 'tap to click' feature, I can't recall if that function was baked into Mac OSX or I found a third party feature. Make sure you're run software updates and that you're running the latest (I think it's 10.4.10) updates. Then open up system preferences, keyboard and mouse and look for the tap-to-click or something like that. Let me know if you can't find it and I'll see if I can figure out if I used a third party driver. on my macbook I never use the mouse button as the tap function is very nice.

    I reinstalled the OS, and didn't experience the same difficulty as you describe. While your proposal is fair and reasonable, I did state that this laptop was being sold as-is, and did not accept returns."
  15. wordoflife macrumors 604


    Jul 6, 2009
    I would contact Ebay and have them help you sort things out.
  16. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Does this mean that the best steps would be to go through the Resolution Centre on eBay?

    Also, would it be reasonable to request either a full refund, with the laptop returned, or $85 off and I keep the laptop? Or am I not supposed to propose deals like that? Would $85 off for this type of problem be reasonable? That would be $200 then for a well-running iBook with a broken mouse button.
  17. MacHamster68 macrumors 68040


    Sep 17, 2009
    send it back for a full refund , if you did pay with paypal your chances are better to get a refund so start a paypal case !!!

    btw i have a ibook too a g4 (not for sale )
    but for example could sell mine just for example on ebay and list as(from top to bottom):
    starting bid £xxx
    postage £10
    seller doesnt accept returns (this is very small and often overlooked under the postage fees )

    hello for sale is a ibook g4 1.42 ghz
    in pristine condition , not a single scratch , screen in perfect condition no dead pixels and still bright ,
    keyboard with no signs of wear , trackpad fully functioning
    can be hard to power up maybe a easy fix ,
    but i'm no expert and know nothing about Mac's
    sold as seen ,cant give any warranties

    downside of that deal you might assume its a pram problem , but i know exactly that the logicboard is blown up , looks inside like a nuclear blast , but sometimes if you are lucky it does power up for some seconds ..to the login screen and shuts down again (so i would be able to make a photo of the iBook working ..have to be quick to get a picture before the screen goes dark again)

    but what i want to say ,if you would bid with that type of listing you wont stand a big chance at ebay resolution centre as i did not describe it wrong , you cant prove that i did know the logicboard was blown up ,as i am not a expert and know nothing about Mac's ;)

    with paypal you stand a greater chance as they sometimes pay the money out of their own pocket ..sometimes

    ebay was good at the beginning to buy , and still is in some cases there are honest and trustworthy ebayers out there
    but in other cases its just people want to get rid of their faulty stuff for as much money as they can get , so they make very simple nothing saying listings really , so they cant be held responsible

    there are some deals not to be missed out there on ebay , but its a auction and you never know what you get , as rarely you find people who list "negatives" as it sells better if you highlight the "positives"
  18. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    I disagree, personally ....

    It's VERY possible/likely the seller was using the laptop with an external mouse instead of the trackpad, so he may well have not even realized (or thought it an issue) the button was in poor shape on the laptop itself.

    The suggestions to file complaints with eBay/PayPal and demand a full refund over this seem petty to me, and unfair to the buyer - who will wind up eating his costs to ship the thing to you if he's forced to give the refund.

    When you buy an old system like this, you have to reasonably expect it's going to have some flaws or wear and tear. It sounds like overall, the description was accurate. Everything he stated about it was in fact, true. He simply didn't make mention of the functionality (or lack thereof) of the trackpad button.

    Given the fact it was sold, "as-is", that should be a clear sign to you as a buyer that the seller does NOT intend to warranty or guarantee anything on the machine outside of what was specifically stated.

    This is exactly why I'm done selling on eBay myself, and asked them to please delete my seller account, last week! I've had too many times now where I sold a product, only to have the buyer nit-pick over something or flat out decide to scam me by returning a different product than the one I sold. eBay will almost ALWAYS side with the buyer in a dispute - no matter WHAT the circumstances are. (eBay customer service told me one time that "It's our primary concern that we avoid what we call "buyer's remorse".)

    In fact, the way their "automated" return/refund process works? There's nothing stopping you, as a buyer, from just mailing a box back to the seller with a brick or rock in it! PayPal will automatically complete the refund to the buyer as soon as the tracking number for the return shipment indicates to them the package was delivered back to the seller.

  19. MacSignal macrumors regular

    May 8, 2010
    Open a case with eBay. When you complete the online process for that, you can propose remedies such as a partial credit, etc.. All of this information is presented to the seller through the eBay resolution process.

    The seller has the option to accept your proposal or leave it up to eBay to decide the case. If the seller leaves it up to eBay, eBay will make an all or nothing decision where you will get nothing or a fairly immediate full refund without having to return the computer. IMO, it would be very risky for this seller to stonewall you, but some sellers just don't get it until they lose a case.

    As you describe the situation in completing your complaint online with eBay, stick to the facts. Use the same even tone that you have used in writing your posts here.

    The problem for the seller is that everything in the listing has to be true. It's not acceptable for part of the listing to apply (sold as-is, no returns) while other parts are not representative of what you received (tested, everything in great condition). It's not relevant that the seller used the laptop in a different way than you did, although that is probably the explanation for what happened.

    Either the seller made a mistake in the testing or in writing the listing. It probably was an honest mistake, but eBay will expect the seller to accept responsibility either way. If it was disclosed in the listing that there was an issue with one of the mouse buttons, the outcome would have been different. That is significant.
  20. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Thanks for the responses, guys. This post seemed to elicit strong responses, with people either for filing a claim, and those very against it. In the end, I decided to file a claim because I had actually personally contacted the seller prior to bidding asking about any defects. He said that it was in perfect shape, except for minor scratches. I'm not sure how he could have neglected to mention that the mouse didn't work, but I have a feeling he didn't want to dent the bidding value.

    In any case, I asked for a $100 partial refund and he rejected this, so I've escalated this to a PayPal claim. Fully-functional iBooks go for about $100 less than what I paid on eBay, so I figured $100 was fair.
  21. gorjan macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2009
    $100 for a mouse button? I agree you should ask for a refund but that's asking too much. You can tap to click, and that's the only* possibility on new MBPs for example. A reasonable refund would have been $25-40 in my opinion. I hope paypal doesn't give you the $100, as that's almost half the price you paid. :confused:

    * yeah, I know that you can click the whole button, but as I understand Apple actually wants you to use tap to click.
  22. kingtj macrumors 68020

    Oct 23, 2003
    Brunswick, MD
    Exactly ....

    Since the seller didn't accept the $100 offer though, it'll get escalated on to a demand for a full refund, which as I already said - the eBay/PayPal cartel (that's what they are, since they act as both auction house AND exclusive payment processor for their sales) will rule in the buyer's favor, screwing over the poor guy who sold this iBook.

    If you're so darn worried about your machine having NO flaws, why are you buying OLD systems, used and clearly labeled "as-is" off a site like eBay??

    Oh yeah... you were greedy, and thought you found a "great deal". Well, what you got is a FAIR deal instead of a "great" one -- so now you're upset.

    I doubt it's really that tough to repair the thing yourself, if you were so inclined. Might actually be a learning experience more valuable than the price you paid for the computer .....

  23. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Hey kingtj, I would not have minded having a laptop that came very scratched up, or dirty, or with a broken latch, etc. You kind of expect that with an old laptop. But a non-functional mouse button dramatically affects the usability of the machine. The seller neglected to mention it.

    Sounds like you're just trolling, but as for being "greedy", Mac2Sell lists this computer as being worth $70. I paid over $300 because I was assured by the seller that the only problem was minor scratching. I don't think it's unreasonable for buyers to expect an accurate description of a product before buying.
  24. gorjan macrumors 6502

    May 16, 2009
  25. Epsilon88 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Oct 26, 2009
    Nah. A broken mouse button just doesn't cut it, whether I overpaid or not.

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