Monday, December 9, 2013

Probably scammed

On December 2, I sold a pair of Bates Men's 6" DuraShocks Steel Toe Boots to a buyer in South Carolina.  The boots were new, with tags, and still in their original box.

On Saturday, December 7, I received this email:

Uh..... The boots are falling apart. BAD I am going to be taking action on this issue.

Me: “Sorry but they were new in the box. Please return them and I will refund your money plus shipping.”

They MUST be counterfeit because I've had the same model for almost 3 years. And 2.5 years before that.

Me: “They are not counterfeit and were purchased at a real store.”  (OK, so I fibbed a little on this response. They were purchased at a yard sale.)

And now I have to drive home to put my old boots on!? Wasting my time, on my job, time is money!

There's no way... As I said, I've used nothing but 2 pairs of these same boots for almost 7 years. For BOTH of the boots to have the bottoms falling off after not even ONE day of use. Not to mention, they didn't feel right, the tongue was thinner. Counterfeit boots. I am in no way going to send back boots and crossing my fingers about getting a refund. I will send you pictures of these boots if you want me to, but I will be going through eBay and PayPal to get my money back if you don't just do it. As you can see by my feedback, I am honest and don't screw anyone over. I don't mind paying for things, but when I get obvious fakes, I will take action on it if I don't get refunded. I have the pictures ready now to send, if you want to give me your email. I don't think my request is AT ALL undeserved.

Me: “There are no doubts that you are an honest buyer.  If you check my feedback, you will see that I an honest seller and would not jeopardize my reputation by selling counterfeit items.  To put this matter to rest though, I will provide a refund when i return to my office this evening.”

ok… I appreciate that.. because I really need to get myself some boots so I can work monday. I'm off tomorrow, fortunately. thank you very much, I will send you pictures if you wish.

Here’s the kicker, though.  He left positive feedback before starting his email refund demand.

So, as I am trading emails at the local Chinese restaurant during dinner, I am doing the math in my head in between bites of sesame chicken.  Since he had already left feedback, he couldn’t hurt my DSRs if I refused a refund, or tried to make him return the item.  On the other hand, he had opened a case, and if he screamed counterfeit loud enough, Ebay might just sit up, take notice, and take some kind of action against me, no matter if the seller was telling the truth or not.

I decided that the loss of the boots and the $70 refund was worth making this guy go away, so I refunded his money, and blocked him from buying from me in the future.  I also noticed this morning that he had removed his positive feedback.

Was I scammed? Probably. Do I care?  Yes, but it’s time to forget it, and move on. 

Elsewhere on Saturday, we visited a going out of business/clearance/just take it sale at a local stationery type store.  The proprietor was offering insane deals just to clear out the building, which was scheduled to be demolished soon. I wish that I had a real thrift store because I could have filled the shelves with gift bags, party items, paper goods, etc.  Ella purchased some gift bags, and knick knacks (fill the box for $2), while I wandered around trying to figure out how to make a profit on what I was seeing.
A great business deal!
Finally, I saw a box of new Swiftach guns, which attach sale tags to clothing, and several boxes of the barbs that the gun uses.  A quick smartphone search revealed that the guns sell for roughly $20 each, and a box of barbs ranges from $10 to $20.  After a quick negotiation with the seller, I got 33 guns for $2 each, plus two cases (20 boxes) of the barbs for $10 each.  Just to get rid of them, the seller also included three more cases of the barbs.
I priced a gun and a box of barbs at $24.99, although I’m not sure if they will be a big Christmas seller.  More likely, they will sell in the new year as store shelves transition from winter to spring clothes.

As far as sales go, the first full weekend of December was steady, but not the record breaker like last weekend.  On Amazon, I had 25 orders over the three day period (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday), and on Ebay, I only had five.  My favorite sale was gift pack of fishing accessories called Luscious Lures.  After all, nothing says Christmas like a box of fishing lures featuring half-naked women.

Are fish really fooled by lures featuring mermaids?
In closing, just a reminder that mailing deadlines for the holidays are fast approaching.  From the USPS website:

Standard Post Service                Dec. 14
First-Class Mail Service             Dec. 20
Priority Mail Service                   Dec. 21
Priority Mail Express Service     Dec. 23

Have a productive week everyone.


  1. Yes, sometimes you just have to make those scammers go away as quickly as possible and block them asap. I had a similar instance not too long ago with a Ralph Lauren sweat suit. Unfortunately, ebay doesn't provide enough protections for its sellers. Although they did expand the circumstances for which negative feedback could be removed this year, I'm hoping for even more seller protections in the new year. It's just a bit too lopsided in favor of the buyer right now.

  2. I experienced almost the same thing a while back. The buyer had held on to a pair of shoes for two months, claimed that they were fakes and broke after the first time he wore them and demanded full refund. I said no because it was way after my return policy date and the seller may be responsible for the damage himself after that amount of time. Since he couldn't file with eBay, he had a charge reversal done in Paypal, which I ended up losing. That was a very frustrating low in my selling career.

    1. From what I read, both Ebay and Paypal side with the seller most of the time, which is why I decided to cut my losses, and just move on.

    2. Smart move Scott. They force us to have a 14 day return policy, yet they issue refunds for items well after that. It doesn't make any sense.

  3. I had almost the exact same senario happen to me exact mine ended well. I sold a pair of black boots with flames on the side. They were new with tags. Luckily I had taken many pics of them. The buyer contacted me claiming that the boots soles "fell off the first time they wore them" that they had to go home, during a shopping trip, how embarrasing, to change their boots. Ok, these boots had big ole thick black soles, there was no way in h%ll those boots fell apart! I told them to send them back to me and as long as they were in the same condition as I sold them I would return their money. Thats when they started threatening to give me terrible feedback if I didn't give their money back immediately. I called ebay, they saw the messages as well as my pictures, and a week later when they did in fact leave me negative feedback, ebay removed it. I never refunded the money and they never returned the boots. But as this was going on I kept thinking to myself, for sure this is a scammer!

  4. Scott, I have been reading all over blogland about people buying shoes or boots and then saying the soles are coming off. Sorry you had this happen to you. About the tagging guns. Our children's consignment sales in this area are now using those instead of safety pins so you may get some sales from people doing those. Smart buy and good luck with them!