If I’m selling something, particularly something valuable, eBay is my go-to. Community-driven sites like Craigslist open you up to a variety of risks (getting robbed, unwittingly accepting fake money), so I feel much more comfortable under eBay’s protection, even though you definitely pay for the privilege. I haven’t sold anything in a while, so I didn’t know that eBay has not only raised their take of your final sale amount to 10%, but they also own PayPal, and take a percentage of the money you receive as payment. Wack. That said, my boyfriend has been asking me to sell his old 2008 macbook for over 6 months, so I finally got it up for sale. I listed it with a reserve of $250, and threw in free UPS shipping. It sold for $300, and when I contacted the buyer to ask if he wanted it upgraded, etc before I shipped, he requested that I send it via USPS’s Medium Flat Rate box. I HATE USPS. I hate their employees – every single one acts like they hate their job & don’t want to be there. I hate their tracking – it isn’t updated nearly as often as UPS or the other major carriers. I hate the process – it’s so easy to go to UPS or FedEx & ship something because the employees help you through it. At USPS, they tell you what you did wrong & send you back to fix it & get back in line. Directions aren’t clearly posted, it’s like learning a different language. Hate them. But whatever, the buyer wanted it shipped that way, so I wrapped it in as much bubble wrap as would fit in the box, and shipped it with insurance. 2 days later, I get a message that the laptop has arrived damaged – a crack to the corner & the DVD drive isn’t ejecting DVDs properly. The buyer wants a full refund & for me to pay return shipping which I absolutely refused to. Sorry bro, you asked me to ship it that way, and the listing clearly stated no refunds or returns, sold as-is. Long story short, he opens a dispute. eBay tells him to ship it back to me & upon delivery confirmation, the money he paid me will be refunded. I call eBay & state my case, and I’m told that when I get it, to call them back and say that I didn’t receive it in the state I sent it – eBay will then refund ME. I admit, it sounds way to good to be true, and I’m completely skeptical. But lo & behold – I get the laptop back, call eBay, file a report with the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3, the whole process took less than a minute), recite the case number for the eBay customer service rep, and in less than 24 hours have the full $300 back in my account – and no PayPal fees are taken out! AND the case won’t reflect poorly on my eBay seller rating! BOOM! eBay was thisclose to losing a member, but they actually came through for me. Now I’m trying to get the insurance claim handled through USPS – we’ll see how that turns out – not feeling optimistic The seller was supposed to take it to his local post office for inspection, but instead shipped it back to me per eBay’s instructions, so it might be denied. We’ll see.
UPDATE: USPS approved my insurance claim since the package arrived damaged – read about it here.