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Thread: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

  1. #1
    Distinguished SOTW Member VintageSaxGuy's Avatar
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    Default All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    It has become more popular lately for some sellers to put up BIN listings, later realizing they undervalued their item and then backing out after someone already commits to purchasing it. Sometimes it's just an honest mistake, and sometimes it's just pure greed.

    It isn't helped by those who interfere with the sale by sending a message informing the seller that they think the seller should have sold it for more. This could be argued as either interfering with a contract, or perfectly ethical behavior depending on who you are.

    But what's worse is when someone sees something they want that has already ended, and so they somehow bribe the seller into selling to them instead of the original buyer. This is highly unethical and interfering with a contract.

    Unfortunately, I recently fell victim to this. I bought a sax...only to have the seller give me (and several others) a bogus reason for backing out.

    But what really saddens me is that the person who was greedy enough to go behind all the buyers backs and talk the seller into selling them the saxes is a forum member here.

    It's bad enough that it happened, but it makes me a little sick that someone in our own community is willing to make money this way.

    Has anyone else had this happen to them?

  2. #2
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Hard to tell. I haven't had that happen yet but assume it will happen. What was the item?

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    well, if it is someone on the SOTW community we could be interested in knowing the name and the facts, in that case get in touch with an Administrator first to get some advise on how best to name and shame the person in question.

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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    get in touch with an Administrator first to get some advise on how best to name and shame the person in question.
    +1. As long as you are absolutely sure of your facts and discuss it with an admin. first, many of us would appreciate a warning so that we can avoid this seller.

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    Distinguished SOTW Member artstove's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by sax-ony View Post
    +1. As long as you are absolutely sure of your facts and discuss it with an admin. first, many of us would appreciate a warning so that we can avoid this seller.
    I think the OP said the SOTW member was the (behind the scenes) buyer, not the seller.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by artstove View Post
    I think the OP said the SOTW member was the (behind the scenes) buyer, not the seller.
    Of course you are right - I was skim-reading, I'm afraid.

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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by VintageSaxGuy View Post
    It has become more popular lately for some sellers to put up BIN listings, later realizing they undervalued their item and then backing out after someone already commits to purchasing it. Sometimes it's just an honest mistake, and sometimes it's just pure greed.

    It isn't helped by those who interfere with the sale by sending a message informing the seller that they think the seller should have sold it for more. This could be argued as either interfering with a contract, or perfectly ethical behavior depending on who you are.

    But what's worse is when someone sees something they want that has already ended, and so they somehow bribe the seller into selling to them instead of the original buyer. This is highly unethical and interfering with a contract.

    Unfortunately, I recently fell victim to this. I bought a sax...only to have the seller give me (and several others) a bogus reason for backing out.

    But what really saddens me is that the person who was greedy enough to go behind all the buyers backs and talk the seller into selling them the saxes is a forum member here.

    It's bad enough that it happened, but it makes me a little sick that someone in our own community is willing to make money this way.

    Has anyone else had this happen to them?
    First, I believe it has happened to me before. But when I got the "item no longer available" message, I had no real way of knowing what happened. And of course, how would I even know if the eBay seller secretly sold it to another SOTW member.

    So I guess I need more information to understand how the OP knows all this.

    On a separate note, some people believe that the very fact that there is a way to do something without repercussion makes it legitimate. It's one of those little creeping evils that we often justify to ourselves.
    Good Luck,

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  8. #8

    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    I think it happens alot. My guess for scenarios is, either someone who is a "do-gooder" and knows the real market value of the horn (or mpc) contacts the seller for purely altruistic reasons. ("ya know, you that's really worth alot more money")
    or one of the self-styled, eBay, online, "dealers" contact then & make them an offer, which to them, in their ignorance of what they've got, seems pretty good & they stop the auction & sell it to the "dealer" (who turns it around, perhaps off eBay)

    I've seen alot of things, that look like they may be bargains, disappear, a couple days before times up, either to resurface at a much higher price or never seen again. I've never had someone not sell me something after I've won. I don't think eBay has much of mechanism to stop that, though.

  9. #9
    Distinguished SOTW Member VintageSaxGuy's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    So to clear things up a bit, this is what happened...and it's not very abbreviated so bear with me.

    I came across a vintage tenor that I liked the look and price of, so I hit BIN, paying immediately after that. So to be clear, this was not an auction listing that was pulled prematurely. It was a BIN listing which I not only committed to, but immediately payed for.

    Only a few hours after I 'win' the listing, I receive a message from the seller that they're sorry but they underestimated shipping expenses and must refund me immediately (I've seen many scams/fake listings, and this wasn't one of them so something else had to be up).

    I sent them a polite message saying it happens to all of us, and I asked what the difference in shipping was...also letting them know that I'd be willing to cover the difference.

    Before responding they refunded my money and then relayed a rather huge quote for shipping. After one additional message they agreed to look into shipping it a more economical way, saying they'd get back to me about it.

    Now, this all happened in the evening. Quite honestly, I'm not sure how the seller could have possibly packed up a handful of saxes and received a shipping quote so quickly after the auctions ended (they stated that they physically went into a store, and that it wasn't an online quote). The one thing that seemed clear from the start is that they wanted to find a way out of the deal. But I let it play out and waited for a response.

    A day later and no response. I sent another message asking further about shipping, saying openly that from where I stood it appeared that they either refunded me so they could re-sell it at a higher price, or because they had already sold it to someone else. I received no response to this message. And by now a few people had left negative feedback stating the exact same behavior by the seller (the seller even used the same excuse with them as well).

    Fast forward roughly a week, and I spot a tenor that looks familiar. Not just 'looks kinda like that one I saw', but one that's missing the exact same keys as one of the saxes previously sold by the deadbeat seller. Without a doubt, it is the same sax that was listed (and sold) previously.

    The original seller didn't receive negative feedback from every buyer of the saxes they sold, so I thought 'eh, maybe this person actually received one'. Then I see another familiar tenor listed by the seller...followed by two more. One of which was the tenor I had bought...so I knew for a fact that this seller hadn't bought the sax when it was originally listed.

    I checked and this seller hadn't won any of these saxes listed previously by the deadbeat seller. Four in total (so far) that had been sold to other buyers, but yet the current seller managed to buy all four of them somehow?

    I wouldn't have known the buyer's identity, except for the fact that they have listed many saxes for sale on this forum with links to their auction listings. So it wasn't hard to figure out that the current seller of these saxes (which had been sold to other people not long ago), was also a SOTW member.

    The wrongdoing here doesn't lie solely with the buyer (now seller), since it took an unethical seller for this to happen in the first place. But it also takes an unethical buyer for this type of transaction to go through.

    I tried to come up with a possible scenario where the buyer (now seller) could have been clueless about it, but I just couldn't come up with one.

    They had to have seen at least one of the listings to contact the (then) seller in the first place. This buyer (now seller) couldn't have made an offer while the listings were still active as they all ended almost immediately after being posted. Logically, the original seller wouldn't have continued listing them had they already been sold outside of e bay...and since they took their time between listings, it seems apparent that the offer came after most if not all of the saxes the seller was selling had already been sold. Which explains why I (and the other buyers) received a message a few hours after the saxes had sold about how the seller couldn't possibly go through with the sale due to miscalculated shipping costs.

    The key thing here is not that I'm peeved with someone from pulling a sax out from under me after I had bought and paid for it. Sure it's annoying, but the thing is...not only were they willing to do this to one buyer, but several. They have thousands of feedback on e bay, so if they were willing to do it this time...have they done it before? Or worse, will they continue to do it?

    A few people have said that I should share the name of this member so they're known. I didn't start the thread to leave everyone in suspense as to who I'm referring to, but so far I've held back because I don't take that decision lightly.

    I'll send off a note to an admin and see if they feel any further action is necessary, and if so, how they might prefer going about it.

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    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by artstove View Post
    I think the OP said the SOTW member was the (behind the scenes) buyer, not the seller.
    Quote Originally Posted by VintageSaxGuy View Post
    But what really saddens me is that the person who was greedy enough to go behind all the buyers backs and talk the seller into selling them the saxes is a forum member here.
    yes, I understood that but if a SOTW member has , after a sale had already ended, offered more to the seller and in so doing has prevented the sale to be completed with the winner of the auction he is definitely a person that should be named and shamed on the forum.

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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    yes, i understood that but if a sotw member has , after a sale had already ended, offered more to the seller and in so doing has prevented the sale to be completed with the winner of the auction he is definitely a person that should be named and shamed on the forum.


    i agree, milandro.

  12. #12
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    I occasionally buy horns for selling. I never buy on ebay but I buy locally. The way I do it is to call the advertiser , agree upon a price and generally go to pick up the horn straight away, if possible.

    Anyway, occasionally other people phone and offer more that I have offered knowing that the sale has been already agreed on because the seller told them. I’ve never done such a thing when buying. Most sellers however stick to the agreed price and their word of honour.Agreed is agreed is one of the most quoted saying in Holland.

    Anyway, one day while I am driving to the person who sold me a YSS 475 he phones me and tells me that he has received an higher offer. He says he wants more money. I tell him that I can give him more money but that he has agreed upon a price when we spoke on the phone and in so doing he made a promise and guaranteed that with his honour.

    He still said he wanted 25 euro more (despite the fact that he had been offered 50 euro more). I told him that I could give him 25 euro more but that that was the price of his honour, if he thought that his honour was worth only 25 euros it was his problem not mine, I din’t have to live with the idea that my word was worth so little.

    He took the extra 25 euro but lost a chance to be a man.

  13. #13

    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    How about naming the sax(es) involved, in general?
    No need to be specific about the auction, just something like 'Martin Tenor'.

    Oh, and I would contact eBay.
    Sometimes it's good to know they normally side with the buyer.
    Maybe boot both the seller and buyer/seller off.

    In a best case scenario they can "persuade" the new seller to sell it to you for the original uying price.

    We can hope, right?

  14. #14
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Contact ebay and say that you never got the item you won. It can be taken from there even though the seller returned the money. Best way is if everyone gave this seller a hit on ebay, he would be taken down and it wouldn't happen again. If all else fails, give negative feedback.
    As to naming names, best not to start a battle but it would help to mention the brand and vintage of the horn.

  15. #15
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    One other thing.....If someone contacted the seller telling him it was worth more than listed, I would think a SOTW member should know that to start with.

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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by milandro View Post
    He still said he wanted 25 euro more (despite the fact that he had been offered 50 euro more). I told him that I could give him 25 euro more but that that was the price of his honour, if he thought that his honour was worth only 25 euros it was his problem not mine, I din’t have to live with the idea that my word was worth so little.

    He took the extra 25 euro but lost a chance to be a man.

    Twenty five euros doesnt buy much calcium. He will likely never have a backbone.
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by VintageSaxGuy View Post
    I didn't start the thread to leave everyone in suspense as to who I'm referring to, but so far I've held back because I don't take that decision lightly.
    My popcorn is getting cold ....

  18. #18

    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by VintageSaxGuy View Post
    But what really saddens me is that the person who was greedy enough to go behind all the buyers backs and talk the seller into selling them the saxes is a forum member here.
    It's bad enough that it happened, but it makes me a little sick that someone in our own community is willing to make money this way.
    Has anyone else had this happen to them?
    VintageSaxGuy, I need to apologize as I fell into the trap of reading replies and following along.
    If you are looking for an answer to your question the answer is "No, that never happened to me".
    I think the worst is seconds before an auction closed the item was pulled.
    In those cases I think the seller already knew what the item was worth and was afraid that the item would sell for well below that.

    DID you want opinions on what we would, or you should do?
    Or were you hoping to make the other member sweat a little wondering if you would name names?

  19. #19

    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    Quote Originally Posted by VintageSaxGuy
    The wrongdoing here doesn't lie solely with the buyer (now seller), since it took an unethical seller for this to happen in the first place. But it also takes an unethical buyer for this type of transaction to go through.
    .....
    A few people have said that I should share the name of this member so they're known. I didn't start the thread to leave everyone in suspense as to who I'm referring to, but so far I've held back because I don't take that decision lightly.

    I'll send off a note to an admin and see if they feel any further action is necessary, and if so, how they might prefer going about it.
    As you pointed out the real culprit was the original seller who violated the eBay rules. The buyer may have been part of the scheme but we do not know that for 100% sure. That is why I am hesitant to naming his SOTW identity at this point of time. It is good, though, to keep an eye of his dealings for the future.

  20. #20
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: All Mighty Greed and Unethical Behavior on Ebay

    I am glad that Harri and the staff will be monitoring this “ unnamed person”, because, regardless what the seller did (and that was wrong to begin with) it is not acceptable , for me, that someone makes a pass AFTER an auction has already been closed!

    Even though the final responsibility lays with the seller, getting in touch with the seller after the sale, with the intent to divert the natural course of the sale despite the result of the auction by telling the seller that the item was worth more than he had managed to extract from the auction is in itself very bad, but then offering to buy the item for more is really a despicable act!

    In my view it is a bloody shame that such a person should be a member of Saxontheweb.

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