Tolkien Collector's Guide
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The Wonders of...

Feb 16, 2009 (edited)

Having just spent a lot of money on what I think is a rare item, eBay often comes up trumps with what can only be described as What????

http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/50th-Anniversar ... |65%3A3|39%3A1|240%3A1318
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Nov 12
Well thumbs up from me badgering the seller into updating the listing at least!
Nov 17
Seller: dursrudyauctions (1060)
Ends Dec 14, 2018 5:42:55 PM
Buy-It-Now:
$1,400.00
Nov 20
Seller: gabriellez0 (48)
Ends Dec 15, 2018 4:53:50 AM
Buy-It-Now:
$400.00
eBay Item #123490611984

"I have tried to deceive the item as best I can". ROFL - Freudian slip?

228_5bf3759a7c29f.png 2502X424 px
Nov 20
Is it still possible for a seller trading on eBay to have & enforce a blanket "no return policy"? Distance selling laws cover Buy-it-now auctions; but for normal open auctions is it still allowed?
See my entire thread on this. I would say NO. In my case the buyer did finally get banned but eBay has not decided to return my 900 dollars. Everything I have read indicates the No Returns policy is toothless and any "Not as Described" claim will side in the buyer's favor. I do wonder if local laws apply. I would assume so. But in the US forget it.
Nov 20
So are you saying this is good or bad? I've always taken a fairly dim view of sellers with stated no return policies; since in most cases this appears to be in breach of eBay's own rules. Therefore, why are they selling on eBay? But that's just my view as a buyer. Having heard your horror story I'm beginning to understand why sellers need protection too.

I'm still confused though: do you think you can have a no returns policy as a seller?
Nov 20
No, you cannot have a proper 'no returns' policy. Sellers love to write 'sold as is', but this is meaningless. With eBay's guarantees nothing can be 'sold as is'. If the buyer finds that their purchase is 'not as described' then they can return it 100% of the time. The seller must stand by their description.

Using 'sold as is' usually implies that they want the buyer to take a chance purchasing their item at a lower price. So if there is, for example, a first edition Hobbit that looks perfect externally, the seller may want to list it as being in 'Very Good, clean' condition, and state 'sold as is' so that they don't have to flip through every page ensuring the condition. But if the buyer then finds ten pages with ink on them 'sold as is' won't hold up, they will be able to return it at the seller's expense. Sellers must be responsible for their descriptions. eBay does side with buyers too readily, but generally speaking this is a good policy, it protects buyers from being scammed.

But the seller does have the option to list an item with 'no returns'. This only means that if the buyer changes their mind about the item they cannot then return it (unless it is 'not as described').
Nov 20
You get the impression that most sellers stating "no returns" are really implying that they won't welcome any returns though. Yes, eBay will make them (as per policy); but they are clearly putting their cards on the table (to me) when they say this. Giving eBay itself the benefit of the doubt, I guess it's their aim (?) to rid themselves of this kind of seller generally. And that's a problem for amateur sellers just wanting to sell "their stuff"; eBay built its empire on the back of the ordinary seller. The bargains come from the ordinary seller! However, let's be honest; the onus has to be on the seller to accurately describe the condition of the item they're selling. It's also reasonable to expect someone who claims to be a "seller of books" to be competent in selling books e.g. know what faults to look for & know how to describe books.

I don't think any of this matters much when we're talking £10 here or there. But when we're into the hundreds of pounds for single books I think my expectations of seller behaviour are a little higher.
Nov 20
What do you mean by "putting their cards on the table"? Are you saying that by stating 'no returns' the seller is admitting there's a reason they don't want their item returned?

I don't think eBay wants to be rid of amateur sellers (speaking generally), I think they just prioritize attracting more buyers, regardless of method.

You see plenty of "I'm not a professional bookseller" statements on eBay. If you're selling a book for over £30-40 I don't love this excuse. It's not difficult to do a quick search and figure out how to properly grade a book. You don't need to know technical terms to know that a book with torn pages shouldn't be graded Near Fine. And I think it's obvious when a listing isn't written up by a professional; it doesn't need to be mentioned. Just do your best, be honest, and it will work out fine *almost* every time.
Nov 20
At the end of the day, if something material has been left out of the description or the description is incorrect, I'll raise a SNAD. I think I have only actually done this once (though I probably should have done it four or five times in reality), but I tend to avoid sellers that have disclaimers on returns, as my assumption is they are going to stiff me. Avoiding most (not all) of the professional Tolkien sellers helps, as I know they often paint their items in an unreasonably positive light, as I have seen the same items for sale before they bought them. Usually the amateur seller was more honest...

Just as importantly, what kind of numpty would pay $400 for a 1955 Hobbit with no jacket and lots of fading to the boards? $100 at best.
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