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Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
It's not as if triber didn't make any attempt to clarify the intentions of the buyer. Which was ignored by the buyer until it was firmly too late. Despite clear evidence the buyer was using eBay at the time. That's the reason I'd take a hard-line approach to a return. I mean, really. The buyer already got a refund for combined shipping they didn't bother to coordinate or request. The OP went well out of her way to ensure this went well. If it doesn't, it's not her fault.
Community Member
Posts: 809
Registered: ‎04-29-2007

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to mjwl2006

Thank you! I agree, the buyer made the mistake and I really tried to find out if she wanted both books. I sent 4 emails, so I feel as if I did all I could. I didn't want to have a problem not shipping within my 2 day shipping time. I just have to hope that the buyer understands.

Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

[ Edited ]
in reply to triber

Like I said earlier, I've had buyers accidentally buy two of the same item countless times but if they only want one, they only pay for one. The paid order gets shipped and then I wait for a reply to the not-paid one, and then wait for an acknowledgement of the Cancel Order. This is what eBay directed me to do the first time it happened. If it's paid, it's shipped. eBay does NOT want us second-guessing multi-item purchases. I have suspicions about your buyer in this case. It's just too handy to claim it was an accident after two days and FOUR MESSAGES requesting clarification and then say it was an error on their part only once is too late to stop. Maybe they saw your willingness to issue combined postage refunds as a sign of weakness to be easily exploited. I hope not but I do have suspicions.

Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to mjwl2006

(Not weakness but willingness to please. A combined postage refund is the right thing to do in this case.)

Community Member
Posts: 30
Registered: ‎01-19-2017

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to mjwl2006

I agree with mjwl2006.. refund-without-return?? i wouldn't do that too! I think it's not fair as she can cancel the shipment if she doesn't really want it or have problems with it. You did nothing wrong so it's unfair.

Community Member
Posts: 924
Registered: ‎10-14-2010

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to mjwl2006
Hmm I always second guess what my buyer wants since for the comic books I sell, most people don't need a second copy. I have had a different European buyer bought and paid for another copy of the same book one MONTH later. I messaged her and asked if she really wanted an identical book and not the next issue instead, and she said she meant to buy the next issue because she thought I had the newest issue listed lol. I told her the newest issue woouldn't be released until two weeks later but if she prefers I could hold on to her funds and ship her the newest issue as soon as it's released. She was fine with it and I shipped her the newest issue two weeks afterwards. Everything was communicated with eBay message and she left me positive feedback again a month later. For those particular books I did have my handling time set at two weeks so it wasn't a problem.

It's not unusual for people to forget what they bought. Heck, I have bought doubles because I forget what I bought when my shopping was done at physical stores...
Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
Yes, however, I find it highly suspect the buyer was unreachable and uncommunicative to the seller's query of confirmation of intent despite being online and actively still purchasing from said seller until after the seller couldn't cancel the order because it had already shipped.
Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
Ultimately, it's not our job to second-guess a buyer's intent. If the buyer has paid for something, it's the job of the seller to ship it. A call to eBay will confirm this, I'm sure. No other online enterprise aside from an eBay seller would question the intent of a buyer like this. If I bought a 12-pack of socks from some e-tailer and then went back a month later to buy the same 12-pack of socks only to have that large etailer question my intent and then arbitrarily cancel by order because they couldn't imagine I wanted 24 of the same pair of socks, I'd be plenty annoyed. I buy, I pay, I expect it to be shipped. I'd resent anyone stepping in to question my purchase or limit it. It's not as if this is an item with a limited-quantity per household issue that triber sold.
Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

[ Edited ]
in reply to triber

I just don't think it's reasonable for the buyer in this case to expect the seller to allow her to get the second item for free. If triber refunds the buyer who now conveniently claims it was a mistake to order two of the same -- as a gesture of goodwill because it was really only a $5-craft book -- my concern is that the buyer will see this as a potential situation to exploit in the future.

To use your example, zee, if you discovered you'd accidentally purchased an uncessary duplicate of something from a brick-and-mortar store, you'd hardly email that store to say you made a mistake, you don't want it but would still like to keep your item and get a refund. If you didn't want that item but wanted your money back, you'd have to take it back. At your own expense of time and return transportation. I don't think triber's case is any different.

Is it worth the angst of the seller for a $5 item? That I can't answer for her. My thoughts on this are reflected by what I think is right by online sale standards and procedures here.

Community Member
Posts: 5,475
Registered: ‎10-21-2008

Re: What should I do in this situation?

[ Edited ]
in reply to mjwl2006

mjwl2006 wrote:
Yes, however, I find it highly suspect the buyer was unreachable and uncommunicative to the seller's query of confirmation of intent despite being online and actively still purchasing from said seller until after the seller couldn't cancel the order because it had already shipped.

I think you may be seeing the situation from the point of view of your category (dealing with younger techno-literate buyers), and perhaps also as a young person who is plugged into technology on a high comfort level. Certain expectations go with that use that don't necessarily apply to over-65's.  They aren't always on their devices, nor do they always understand them.  There is a YMCA  help group in our area where younger people coach seniors in how to use the dazzling, mystifying gadgets they've bought.  

 

In the crafts category, there are always a lot of older, if not truly elderly people buying, and those people often use their computers the way they use their cars -- only as needed, and sometimes with difficulty.  If you're selling in that category you have to allow at least a couple of days for email response.  This creates difficulties because it clashes with eBay's "hurry-up-and-ship" policy. 

 

Since the buyer actually paid for the duplicate item up front, I have trouble reading nefarious intent into her actions.  It's more likely (as the OP originally speculated) that the buyer got confused and thought that because the listing was still showing as active her purchase hadn't gone through.  Still, it isn't for the seller to guess if the buyer doesn't say anything.  I think the OP did everything reasonable to resolve the question before shipping, but without buyer response a seller just has to do what they've been paid to do. 

 

For a $5 item, I'd be nice and refund the money (not the shipping), asking the buyer to return the duplicate by ordinary lettermail when convenient.  I wouldn't be surprised the OP is dealing with an elderly lady who just wanted a new knitting book (or whatever it was) and got a bit bamboozled by eBay's system.  Hahaha -- haven't we all at some point? 

Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
Purchase History is readily available on eBay. It's easy to find and easy to read. I don't agree that everyone buying Crafts is elderly and computer illiterate. I know plenty age 40 and under.
Community Member
Posts: 809
Registered: ‎04-29-2007

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to rose-dee

Had a really nice email from the buyer saying it was completely her fault, thanking me for trying to find out if she wanted the other book and a apologizing for her lack of replies. I did offer a refund. She says she is sure she can find a friend who would like it. Not to worry about the delay in shipping, she LOVES Canada!

 

So all is great.

Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
In fact, I am offended by both stereotypes you present.
Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
I'm very happy to hear that.

My last post was in response to the post previous to mine and your final one.
Community Member
Posts: 2,019
Registered: ‎05-25-2004

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to mjwl2006

I don't think Rose was saying everyone is old and incompetent in her category.

 

I think she's saying that because there are likely a higher percentage of them, one has to be prepared for different behaviours, like slow email responses, and seemingly odd actions because the online world is not the centre of their universe, like it is for some in the newer generations.

 

My world is much the same as Rose's. One of my good customers let me know last week that at 92 he's still going strong! As a stamp seller who's only "medium old" - I'm just a stamp seller pup - one of the few only sort of grey heads at the stamp auctions....

 

One of my very most bizzare sales/problem situations devolved to the point where I was getting almost non-sensible one word ebay messages from the buyer, this was over a couple of days. I was really confused about what was happening or what they wanted to do. Thankfully I called, and I spoke with an exceptionally polite, "old" lady who's son had helped her purchase the item but wasn't there for any of the subsequent actions, which she was trying to do on her own and was having very much trouble trying to do so. 5 minutes on the phone fixed a couple of days of very frustrating stuff (probably from both our perspectives).

 

I very rarely buy stuff here under this (my selling) id. I did last week and darned if I could find my purchase history (I live on the ebay seller hub). Took me a while but I found it. I'm only "medium old" and at one point in my life I was a systems trained professional but because I very rarely purchase stuff here, took me a while to figure it out.... in 10 more years who knows!

Community Member
Posts: 924
Registered: ‎10-14-2010

Re: What should I do in this situation?

[ Edited ]
in reply to mjwl2006

mjwl2006 wrote:


To use your example, zee, if you discovered you'd accidentally purchased an uncessary duplicate of something from a brick-and-mortar store, you'd hardly email that store to say you made a mistake, you don't want it but would still like to keep your item and get a refund. If you didn't want that item but wanted your money back, you'd have to take it back. At your own expense of time and return transportation. I don't think triber's case is any different.


I'm sorry if what I previously said came out the wrong way and by no means I'm suggesting everyone should do the same; I merely stated what I did with my buyers in the past, also assuming that most of my buyers realize that I'm not a brick-and-mortar but just a fellow hobbyist who happens to be selling. 

 

I know buyers in my category well and they are unlikely to buy two identical books. I had buyer thanked me for taking the time to communicate and double check when they purposefully bought two books (one for a friend) but from experience the majority of duplicates were errors. For what I sell,  it makes sense to second guess a duplicate purchase.

 

If I do sell socks or other everyday items, I obviously wouldn't second guess my buyer and ask them if they really wanted two dozen socks Smiley Wink As a book buyer, when I buy doubles by accident, I wouldn't go try to get a refund myself since the places I buy from have no return policy to begin with, so I'd either give the book away or try to sell it here. eBay on the other hand, I cannot enforce a no return/refund policy, so taking this into consideration, it is less of a hassle for me to communicate with the buyer, and refund (eat the small Paypal transaction fee) and cancel a duplicate-purchase sale than to ship it and then work out a return after the fact. 

 

I also agree that triber already tried her best to communicate with the buyer but unfortunately couldn't wait for the buyer to respond before shipping because eBay can be a pain in the rear with handling time. I'm glad to hear that it worked out though, that the buyer said she'll find a new home for the second book Smiley Happy And not to generalize, even buyers in my category (young adults) can be horribly slow with e-mails. But since I'm usually busy with work anyway I don't get bothered by slow responses. 

Community Member
Posts: 924
Registered: ‎10-14-2010

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to zee-chan
Just a thought: if it's an item from the same seller, from the same listing (GTC or relisted), wouldn't it be nice if eBay could display a "You bought this item on XXX date" like the River does? This could save a lot of purchase errors and less second-guessing! Smiley Very Happy
Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
It would be a nice feature if eBay itself confirmed the purchase of a duplicate with the buyer prior to commitment. I get a LOT of accidental duplicate purchases with the big difference from triber's situation being that two of the same item may be bought but only one is ever paid. Which does also cause me some angst due to the loss of the buyer's ability to combine postage on the second item generally to be included for free postage if they really DID want two but accidentally paid for only one (never happened yet) due to my same-day dispatch commitment. When the buyer pays, I have to ship quickly; I can't wait for any replies to my emails although I do send an email nonetheless.
Community Member
Posts: 8,052
Registered: ‎08-15-2012

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to triber
Buyers in my category fall into all age brackets. From what they have revealed to me in conversation both online and at the doorstep, some are themselves collectors of any age while others seek that special item for their child(ren) or grandchild(ren). I get a very high number of first-time buyers and irregular as well, probably purchases made with guest accounts, because I don't require buyers have a PayPal account and never did. It really runs the gamut of demographics. The only thing they all have in common is money to spend. And a propensity to commit to purchase two in rapid succession but only ever pay for one; that's happened countless times.

I once had a buyer from Europe place an eight-item order but pay only for seven. Why? I emailed but knew I had to dispatch regardless of whether I received a reply so I opted to add that item to the existing order as his albeit-more-generous-than-usual free gift with purchase. It was a decent-sized order and combined postage was a key factor. The buyer replied eventually. He was surprised and grateful, there was a glitch at checkout and he didn't notice the final item was left unpaid. I kept him happy, I shipped on time, the transaction was managed successfully despite a buyer mix-up.

I'm very happy this looks to end well for triber. Nothing stings like when you bend over backwards to do good as a seller and it backfires. But it looks as if that won't be the case here, thank goodness.
Community Member
Posts: 1,325
Registered: ‎12-26-2011

Re: What should I do in this situation?

in reply to zee-chan

zee-chan wrote:

I'm sorry if what I previously said came out the wrong way and by no means I'm suggesting everyone should do the same;


 

Yes, exactly.  I, too, took that as a given.  I am always telling people they must make their own decisions.  I posted my opinion, what I would do in the circumstances based on the limited information presented, and outlined my reasons for that position.  Nothing more. 

In post # 10.  

 

I never presume to tell others what to do, because that is not my or any other member's place.  People must make their own choices although it can help to hear others' opinions.  

 

 


zee-chan wrote:    
I know buyers in my category well and they are unlikely to buy two identical books. I had buyer thanked me for taking the time to communicate and double check when they purposefully bought two books (one for a friend) but from experience the majority of duplicates were errors. For what I sell,  it makes sense to second guess a duplicate purchase.

 

 

You're right, it would.  With what we were told about this particular buyer, like rose-dee and ricarmic I also did not see any villainy, just a mistake, for reasons I stated in Post #10.  It could just as easily have been me who made the same goof.  Two identical of a knitting book?  Would I ever be grateful to a seller who caught my mistake!  

 

Your buyers could possibly also intend to buy 2 of the same for the reasons others have stated, so it's a judgement call.  And in a way, choosing to ship 2 identical items when they were bought so far apart and not both together at once is itself "second guessing" the buyer by assuming someone would want 2 identical knitting books.  So a lot depends on how a seller chooses to see it.  :-)  

 

But all is well, the buyer was nice as I figured she would be, and if she has a knitting buddy she can offer the extra book.  Might be quite nice for the friend to receive.  The seller is happy with the extra sale, so it would seem everybody wins.  

 

 

 

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