Would this bother you?

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by mrgreen4242, Sep 5, 2007.

  1. mrgreen4242 macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    If you sold someone something for a "shipping included" price, and they ended up being in AK or HI (assuming you were in the CONUS) and didn't make that very clear during the negotiation process would you be upset?

    Especially if the original FS listing indicated CONUS shipping, and requests for a shipping ZIP code were ignored? Now, there's certainly plenty of blame on the seller side for not getting the ZIP code upfront, but do think it's a dishonest thing to do by the seller to simply not mention that detail upfront?

    (Yes, this happened to me, and I'm in the middle of it right now. The shipping difference is going to be at least $60 more than it would be to the furthest reach of the CONUS, which accounts for 10% of the overall sale price - and that's just the ADDITIONAL shipping, not the entire amount. I'm seriously considering just refunding the buyers money and just throw the item onto eBay).

    Just curious to see what other people think.
  2. tristan macrumors 6502a

    Jul 19, 2003
    high-rise in beautiful bethesda
    At least they're not on the international space station. That's like $10k a pound and flights only go every couple months.

    You should cancel the purchase unless they kick in the difference. They know how expensive shipping is to their corner of the world.
  3. Fubar macrumors newbie

    May 19, 2007
    If your original FS description said something like "Shipping included to Cont US" or something like that you have every right to ask the seller to pay the difference or cancel the sale. On the other hand if you didn't write anything like that i would look into what i could do to cancel the sale, but you may just have to go through with it depending on the terms of the sale.
  4. pianoman macrumors 68000


    May 31, 2006
    you'll have to look at the exact details of the sale. if you said specifically that the included costs would only cover shipping to the continental U.S., then you should either demand they pay extra (which is not an unreasonable request) or cancel the sale.

    if you did not specify that shipping was only to the continental U.S., you might have to oblige the seller or cancel the sale. in this instance, i'd choose the latter.

    additionally, you might be able to compromise; i.e., you split the cost of the extra shipping charges.
  5. MK2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2007
    Without knowing EXACTLY what you and the buyer said it is impossible to know for sure who is at fault. However, I understand your predicament.

    Several years ago I sold a small web camera to a high bidder in Alaska. Fortunately, the shipping I charged in the auction covered the postage for the item. The buyer wanted the camera sent UPS instead at my expense. I explained to him that it can't be done because UPS requires 2nd Day Air to Alaska and $7 shipping would not cover it. He was unhappy about my response.

    Then came the killer revelation. After I shipped the item he told me that he had accidentally provided the wrong address and wanted to change it. Well, obviously I can't do that after post office has the package! He was furious at me for his own mistake.

    Lesson learned: ALWAYS state in an auction that you will NOT ship to Alaska, Hawaii, or foreign countries, or U.S. possessions. This includes Canada as a foreign country, but that's another story you don't want to read -- too many bad experiences shipping across the border.

    My advice to you is cancel the deal and relist the item. Chances are he will do nothing in retaliation.
  6. macjay macrumors 6502

    Oct 3, 2003
    If the original for sale listing indicated that CONUS shipping was included and the buyer is outside the continental U.S., then the buyer is obliged to pay the extra cost of shipping to AK or HI.

    If the buyer does not agree to this then walk away.
  7. ricgnzlzcr macrumors 6502a


    Jun 7, 2005
    I agree
  8. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    The original FS was for a price + actual shipping. The buyer made an offer of $XXX including shipping. We went back and forth for a couple days, but couldn't come to an arrangement. During that time, I asked for a ZIP code, but never got one. Since there was never an arrangement made, I forgot about ZIP code.

    I continued the FS thread looking for other offers, and in that thread I made a price change/drop and asked for $XXX shipped to CONUS. That was the only reference to a shipped price in the original thread. After a week or so of not being able to sell the item(s) at the price I wanted, I decided to PM him to see if he was still interested at his previous offer, and the sale went from there.

    My opinion is that since the original ask was for $XXX+shipping, making an offer that includes shipping and NOT mentioning you're in AK or HI is very dishonest. I PM'd him today after this came up and while he's visited the site (his profile shows activity today since I PM'd him) he's not responded. As such, I'm inclined to simply refund him his money (it was received via an eCheck in a Paypal personal account, so there's no fees to deal with) and try again.

    It's just frustrating because it's clear that he knew what he was doing, in my opinion, and just ended up wasting a lot of both of our time. I'm not sure what he thought would happen - that I would just eat 10% of the sale for him? Assuming there's no response from him between now and when I refund his money (the eCheck is still clearing, I'm not sure if I can initiate a refund until in completes or not) I'll definitely be posting the details in the Marketplace forum as a warning to other people who he might try to take advantage of in the future.

    One of the things that I think I would recommend from this experience is that the admins/owners of the site consider requiring that people who post in the Marketplace have a city/state, or country for non-US residents and if possible set up the forum so that your location automatically appears with your name in all Marketplace posts. It's not a 100% foolproof way to assure anything, but it would give potential sellers a grounds to simply not honor a sale if the final shipping location is no where near the members listed location.
  9. MK2007 macrumors regular

    Aug 31, 2007
    I understand your frustration. For over 10 years I have been buying and selling things on eBay. During that period I have had quite a few transactions as a buyer and seller. I could tell you a few stories that you would not believe.

    Looking back, I think one has to live through these buying and selling experiences to understand what to do and what not to do. You can almost bet that a seller whose feedback has over 100 auctions and 100% positive feedback has had a loss every now and then. It's the only way to survive in the long term or you end up in a feedback war.

    Another thing to watch out for is bidders who ask you to end an auction early. Don't ever do this unless they send the payment first! I got burned badly a couple years ago when a bidder with a lot of positive feedback asked me to end an auction early so he could buy an iBook from me for $950. No sooner had I ended the auction and he changed his mind. I got stuck with the fees and had to relist the iBook.

    I say just walk away from that guy who is giving you trouble. In the future monitor the high bidder's Zipcode too. eBay places it adjacent to the bidder's user ID. If someone from Alaska or Hawaii bids on your item, then cancel his bid and block his account.
  10. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I've actually had good mostly experiences with eBay. Only one bad transaction (I was a buyer, and it was a large scale scam that took lots of people - guy built up a powerseller shop selling magazine subscriptions, and they just stopped fulfilling them and kept taking orders - only $10 lost though, so I didn't lose any sleep over it). This problem stems from a sale here on MR, unfortunately.

    I think we have worked things out, though. I was able to repackage everything into a smaller box which will stay in USPS Priority Mail size limits and they price everything outside of a local delivery zone at a flat zone (so HI/AK are the same price as CA, for example). It's going to cost be about $10 than shipping would have been across the US via UPS Ground, but $10 is pretty reasonable considering I am fully willing to take part of the blame for now confirming the ZIP code during this process.

    I think I am an overpacker, though! I was able to shrink the size of the box I was using considerable and still make everything really secure and well padded. I'm sure people who buy stuff from me appreciate my over zealous packaging, but I'll have to keep this in mind next time I box stuff up.
  11. Macky-Mac macrumors 68030


    May 18, 2004
    Good to see that it's working out ok for both of you......but I can't say that I see the misunderstanding as all his fault. You said you did ask for a location and then didn't bother to follow up when he didn't respond. That's simply not doing your job as the seller.
  12. mrgreen4242 thread starter macrumors 601


    Feb 10, 2004
    I absolutely agree that I share responsibility for the whole thing. The reason I didn't follow up on the location was when it was asked and not answered we eventually ended up NOT coming to an agreement. It was in a second, later round of discussion that we came to a deal, and at that point I should have, of course, confirmed shipping details, but I simply forgot about it.

    I feel, however, that someone who lives in a place like HI or AK has an obligation to tell anyone they are buying something from where they are located simply because the difference in shipping something to them is so large. The difference for me to ship to IL or to CA (I'm in MI) is about $10 (it's ~$15 to IL and $25 to CA). It's $80 to ship to HI, though. Everyone who lives there knows that it's expensive to ship things from mainland to the islands, and my point is that it's dishonest of them if they're not upfront about it.

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