Ripped off on Ebay

Jack E

Well-Known Member
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I've just been ripped off on Ebay (UK) by a seller called clree. He advertised a mouthpiece as follows:

"Eastman 61/2AL Large Bore Trombone Mouthpiece. Condition is "New".
He also posted a picture, clearly showing the engraving, 'Eastman 6-1/2 AL', and showing the tapered end, with no signs of any damage (see attached images, below).

What I ordered R.jpg


What arrived was not a Eastman mouthpiece, but one made by Arnolds and Sons - and far worse was the fact that it was nowhere near 'new condition', having significant damage to the tapered end (see images), including one outward bulge which would scar the inside of the leadpipe if I pushed it in! I contacted him as follows:

1R.jpg


2B.jpg


Damage.jpg


4R.jpg


"I received a mouthpiece from you today, but it was not as described. For a start, it isn't an Eastman mouthpiece, but one made by Arnolds & Sons. Further, it is not in 'new' condition, as described in your advert, having significant damage to the end, as can be seen in the photos which I have attached. Can you please get in touch. I have not left negative feedback for you, and I would very much prefer if we can sort this out between us.
With best regards, etc"


His response read:
"This was a genuine mistake on the make but I am not sure what happened about the damage for which I apologise. This is the same as the Eastman would you keep it if I were to refund £5?"
His picture clearly shows an Eastman mouthpiece!! How the hell can it be a 'genuine mistake'?

I replied:
"Re. the mouthpiece; if it was just the make was described wrongly, I wouldn't mind, but the damage to the end is likely to have significant impact on the playability of the mouthpiece, and one edge of it is dented outwards at one point, which could well damage the leadpipe on my trombone, so, no - I'm not prepared to keep it for a refund of £5."

He then asked me to return it for a refund, which I did - expecting that he would refund the money I'd paid for the mouthpiece and shipping to me (£21.85), and repay the £3.20 it cost me to return it. Instead, all I got from him was the £21.85. I sent him the following:
"Thank you for refunding the price I paid for the mouthpiece, but I note that you have not refunded the cost of postage to return the item to you. The outcome is that you still have a mouthpiece for sale, and had your postage charges paid in full, for an item which was not as advertised - i.e., 'condition - new' - and I'm £3.20 out of pocket.
It was obvious when I looked at the end of the mouthpiece that at least one of the dents was not fresh (as corrosion could be seen on it), so this had not happened in transit; also, I think putting such an easily damaged item in the post with only a couple of layers of bubble wrap and a Jiffy bag was risking damage to it. When I returned it, with plenty of packing and in a sturdy box, the postage charge was less than you charged me. In fairness, I think you should refund my return postage, too."


His response?
"I am sorry that your mouthpiece was damaged in post. I have sent many mouthpieces in Jiffy bags and don’t normally have any issues with them. As to the refund of postage eBay won’t allow me refund the postage only the cost of the mouthpiece."

Basically, "Tough."

As I pointed out to him, from the corrosion which had started on one of the dents, it was perfectly obvious that the damage had not happened 'in the post', but long before he sold me the item (see close-up image).

In hindsight, what I should have done on receipt of the item was to take it up with Ebay, pointing out that it was 'not as described'. Unfortunately, as he asked me to return it, there doesn't seem anything in Ebay's system by which I can get them to do anything about him - well, aside from leaving him heavily negative feedback.

I'm WELL hacked off!!

Jack
 

Vegasbound

Active Member
Jack

I refer you to the answer I gave on trombone chat

you have not been ripped of, he refunded the cost of the mouthpiece after stating he sent you the wrong one by mistake and it happens when posting out numerous packages, and he offered a discount if you had wanted to keep the one you did receive

it’s a dispute you feel you have over postage costs, and as I said you could have rung Clive as his name and number are on all his adverts.
 

Jack E

Well-Known Member
Jack

I refer you to the answer I gave on trombone chat

you have not been ripped of, he refunded the cost of the mouthpiece after stating he sent you the wrong one by mistake and it happens when posting out numerous packages, and he offered a discount if you had wanted to keep the one you did receive

it’s a dispute you feel you have over postage costs, and as I said you could have rung Clive as his name and number are on all his adverts.
Vegasbound - he only refunded the cost of the item and the postage costs of shipping it to me; when I first contacted him, he said he was unable to refund the postage costs of my returning it to him "due to Ebay rules". You may see that as fair dealing; I do not - especially as the item as received did not match what I had ordered, either as to the brand or (more importantly) the condition.

I posted this thread at 1:55pm today; at 7pm, I had a message from him, offering to refund the cost of my returning it to him, and asking how I would like him to send the money. As I couldn't figure out how to do it va PayPal, I suggested either a bank transfer or a cheque. If he had made that offer to me in the first place, I would not have posted this thread.

Jack
 

Vegasbound

Active Member
I again refer you to another answer on trombonechat,

human error in sending you the wrong mouthpiece, one phone call easily resolved your issue of poor service, one you could have made as his details are always on his adverts.

had you made the call, you would I hope have been a bit more understanding about his “ human error”

good to know it is now resolved
 

2nd tenor

Well-Known Member
I’ve bought and sold on eBay. Generally sellers haven’t deliberately misrepresented or mislead me, but beware of some that frequently trade in second hand goods. To me Ebay is a generally good marketplace that has the occasional problem transactions. eBay isn’t perfect - I too have had problems there - but overall and for me it beats visiting and buying from physical shops and buying from small add’s in newspapers, etc. YMMV.

IMHO it is the sellers responsibility to properly pack items for transit. As a seller I photograph as I pack, just in case there is some dispute, a mouthpiece shank would be bubble wrapped and IMHO the seller was negligent not to do so. Just because a Jiffy Bag (alone) proved to be enough protection for some other sales doesn’t mean it’s good enough for all sales - lack of damage was down to good luck and good luck shouldn’t be relied on.

I quite like Arnold products. What a fair price for the supplied item is I don’t know. However, I’d have been inclined to check, see what compensation was on offer and look at repairing the damage. I’ve restored (to functionality) quite a few damaged shanks. Different people make different choices, if you particularly want something specific then an alternative might just not be acceptable.

To my mind the seller could reasonably be asked to return Jack to the position that he was in before the purchase (so a total refund of all incurred costs). It’s not Jack’s fault that the vendor acted in error, and the whole process will have both wasted Jack’s time and caused him aggravation. We all make mistakes, but when we do so then the right thing to do is to put matters straight - well, as best we can.

In case of significant difficulties with a seller I would almost always raise a formal complaint with eBay. It’s very rare that a vendor isn’t responsive to a polite message but if they are not then it’s a formal complaint. eBay will sort out return postage costs for you and I believe that Pay Pal will too, but the carrier might not be Royal Mail and their collection agent might be a distance from a rural home. As for telephone calls they are outside of the eBay dispute resolution system and so I wouldn’t expect to use them, speaking to someone can be helpful but sometimes it’s better to stick to text.
 
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