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Old Nov 15, 2007, 11:36 AM   #11
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Yep. Unless positive feedback is greater than 99%, I tend to avoid an Ebay vendor (because many people are afraid to leave negative feedback in case the seller retaliates with negative feedback of their own, as pointed out by Reanimator). So, the actual percentage of unhappy customers is usually higher and I look at anything less than 99% as a red flag.
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Old Nov 15, 2007, 1:12 PM   #12
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On the other hand, a broken seal would not bother me, provided the contents appeared to be correct and the items appear to be unused and undamaged and worked OK With international orders, Customs may even inspect contents in some cases. Also, many camera manufacturers don't use sealed boxes anymore.

Even if they do (as it appears in your case), I probably wouldn't let it bug me if a broken seal was the only thing I found wrong. I certainly wouldn't go through the hassle of returning it for an international order unless it was defective. That's just me. It's your time and money.

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Old Nov 15, 2007, 3:05 PM   #13
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Thanks for your comments and advice, Reanimator and JimC. 97% or 98% positive is certainly not good now I actually use my head and think about it. This is especially for a very large seller with 10,000's of transactions. You would think that a large seller is just like a big business and would have normal hiccups worked out to prevent many issues, esp with things as fundamental as broken manufacturers' seals for items sent as "New, Never Opened".

[glow=red]In fact size of the seller could be bad, since my one single negative rating may just move the seller's rating a tiny bit, like a 0.1% decrease, and so a bad seller may not care, compared to a seller with only 100 transactions ( -1 % ). [/glow]Also, I have discovered since that when a Dispute is raised with Paypal, some money is withheld by Paypal from being withdrawn by seller apparently to ensure proper attention and settlement. For a very large seller, a few hundred dollars withheld for my case is nothing, if he sells many items each day. So,
My advice is to avoid sellers with a huge number of transactions.


I think we are seeing the beginning of the



[glow=blue]10 Commandmants of Buying from EBAY


1. Do not buy from sellers with less than 99% positive rating.

2. Avoidsellers with more than 10,000 transactions because your negative feedback will do next to nothing and not a deterrent for them (but they can hurt you).

3. Avoid sellers with only 10 or less transactions for expensive items.

4. Search the Net to using seller's ID as keyword (That's how I found this forum.)
[/glow]

What else? We need suggestions.



By the way, the other seller said he had shipped the item (Finefix F30) and provided a tracking number. He told me he cold not fully withdraw his money until I clear the PayPal Dispute and asked me to do so as soon as I receive the item. So, there is some good news with this much smaller seller (about 80 transactions). On the other hand, even though I escalated the Dispute to a Claim (more serious in PayPal's Resolution process), I still have not heard anything from X1387.




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Old Nov 15, 2007, 3:13 PM   #14
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JimC wrote:
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On the other hand, a broken seal would not bother me, provided the contents appeared to be correct and the items appear to be unused and undamaged and worked OK With international orders, Customs may even inspect contents in some cases. Also, many camera manufacturers don't use sealed boxes anymore.

Even if they do (as it appears in your case), I probably wouldn't let it bug me if a broken seal was the only thing I found wrong. I certainly wouldn't go through the hassle of returning it for an international order unless it was defective. That's must me. It's your time and money.

Unfortunately, it bothers me a lot. I worry that the contents may have been returned by some other customer due to a problem. I also am not happy as I paid for a "New, Never Opened" item, which is what X1387 the seller put in his Ebay description.

When Customs inspect contents, at least in my country, they reseal the package with very prominent coloured tape marked and include an explanation and contact info. In my case, the FedEx bag, a very tough plastic bag specially designed to prevent tampering, was totally sealed and intact when delivered. There was also a nicely taped buble wrap around the box. So, it is logical to assume whoever put the box into the FedEx bag was putting a box with a broken seal into it. I am so disgusted just talking about it. :evil:


UPDATE



I just noticed that all the items sold by X1387 on Ebay are now shipped from US. I wonder why it was just mine that was shipped from Hong Kong, or why their items are no longer shipped from Hong Kong.

What's more troubling is this. I found that the negative feedback I left half a day ago has already disappeared when I clicked on that seller's rating. You will have to go to the second page to see it. This is exactly what I was saying, it seems a huge seller does not have to care about the occasional bad feedback. It will take a hundred cases of bad feedback to make a significant change to their rating in this case, and so just pray that you are not in in those 100 cases if you choose to buy from a really big seller.

[glow=red]IMPORTANT [/glow]:O:O:O

From theabove reasoning,and also what was mentioned in my earlier posts, the larger a seller is, the lessyour negatingrating on them would affect them, and therefore the more careful you have to be. So, another recommended guideline from me to reduce the risk from buying anything expensive on Ebay is ----


[glow=red]For sellers with more than50,000 transactions, look for a positive rating >= 99.7%.

For sellers with more than 25,000 transactions, look for a positive rating >= 99.5%.

For sellers with more than 10,000 transactions, look for a positive rating of 99.2%.

For sellerswith500to 10,000 transactions, look fora positive rating of 99%, the minimum for any seller if at all possible.
[/glow]

It is much safer in fact to go with a seller with 100-200 transactions IMO:!:,if everything else is equal, becausethey have to worry about your 1 feedback, which would account forup to 1% decrease or increase in their rating. The big sellers can just ignore you if they want. They also do not have to care that much if you raise a Dispute or Claim with PayPal, as any money withheld from them by Paypal for settlement isso insignificant as compared toasmaller seller. :roll:




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Old Nov 16, 2007, 2:46 AM   #15
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Another thing I found out and I want to warn other Ebay buyers is this - When you have a problem it can easily take a month or more to find out the outcome. So, if you really need that item, or cannot afford the money to buy another one, be careful. It takes a few days just to find out from the seller if the item is not shipped or if it is not what it was described as. Longer if the seller is not responsive and answers once every few days. Then you can contact Ebay, then raise a Dispute, then raise a Claim, and these resolution steps will take a month if allowed to continue, going by the number of days each process is allowed. I do not know how long it would take after that, supposing that a resolution is available, then it must take time to return/exchange or refund. So, if you buy now, Nov 16, you may not have a complete resolution by Xmas. There is so much risk buying from Ebay.

I will continue to tell you my experience as this case continues and I hope to get your support. I think a lot of the truth, the wisdom and important issues will come out of this. If you are a lawyer, let me know and I can use some advice. If not, just help communicate this post to others to let them learn from my mistake and learn what to do to protect themselves.

I thinksome logarithmic scale or a different yardstick considering the number of transactions or size should be used for as an indicator of a seller's quality than just a simple % figure by Ebay. Being a very big seller means it should have worked out all the tricky stuff and have good controls, and if they still have a mediocre or the same % rating as a small seller, you know something is wrong. I think there should be more space for the feedback comments than what is provided now, or maybe some indication of the type of negative issues. Otherwise, it would be similar to trying rein in a huge seller who bends the rules and who can afford the little bit of penalty or poor rating.
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 3:32 AM   #16
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I am starting a new Topic about general Ebay Buying Risks and Tips, so that what I have learned in these specific cases could be more useful as a general advice. I will continue to post here with the outcome of these specific cases and provide update and posting new information and discoveries, which will be used in the other Topic for general assistance to others.

The other topic is here:

http://forums.steves-digicams.com/fo...amp;forum_id=2

I think it may take a while for something to happen to my PayPal Claim about X1387 sending me a camera in an openedbox with a broken manufacturer's seal. In the meantime, I am waiting for the arrival of the Fujifilm Finepix F30, which should be here in 3 days or so. With this case, the seller, a smaller one with only about 100 transactions, responded immediately when I raised the PayPal Dispute and replied to promise me he would ship. Then after a day and half, he told me that he had shipped the item. See the difference?

At this time, I still have not heard from X1387. The last time I heard from them was when they told me that I had to pay for the return shipping even if the item was defective. It was silence afterwards, even after I raised the Paypal Dispute, even after I escalated it, and even after I gave them a negative feedback. Why don't I just follow their instruction and send it back for inspection? I worry abt what would happen if the item is sent out, or the contents should be found to be damaged, or not working 100%, or whether I would have to pay more shipping cost to have it sent back to me if they should maintain that it was not their fault, or whether I can trust that it would be returned in the same condition or something else may be broken the next time, or even if I should get an exchange, whether I would have to pay extra shipping cost..... I simply do not know these answers as I was not able to obtain any info at all about this "inspection" and I do not feel comfortable trusting them again.

Stay tuned if you are interested in how both both cases unfold.

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Old Nov 16, 2007, 8:16 AM   #17
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My experience with ebay is very limited, and will probably remain that way. I prefer to purchase from known vendors with good reputations. In the cases I have had to return merchandise, I always get a delivery confirmation, and, if the item is fairly expensive, I insure it and require that it be signed for. If you have doubts about someone you have purchased from, this provides necessary protection in case the returned merchandise is 'lost'.

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Old Nov 16, 2007, 3:25 PM   #18
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Thanks, Brian. I know I can get good courier service with delivery confirmation etc. I am however worried that the camera is in some way imperfect (could be returned goods before it was shipped to me from Hong Kong). Then the seller in US could find out and reject the camera thinking I have used it or damaged it. It is very hard once you lose faith and cannot trust a seller in these dealings.

I have seen many times Ebay sellers advertise the fact that they are US sellers and not Asian ones, but that does not necessarily mean they are more reliable if my case can be any guide at all.

Another interesting thing I noted. In the consignment note of FedEx, the item description said it was a "Digital Camera (Made in Japan)......" Also, the Country Mfg was "JP". These are information from the seller. The box that the camera came in however has "Made in Indonesia" clearly printed on it. This is why I asked about the country of manufacturing from those who have this Sanyo HD700. Please tell me where yours are made in.

There are all these little things that simply made me lose confidence and continuing with the seller's process, returning the camera to them, ... I could lose a lot more. What do you think?

Another day now, and another day with no news, nothing from Paypal or from X1387 about my Claim I lodged. Paypal allows 10 days for the seller to respond to a Claim, i.e. by Nov 25.
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Old Nov 16, 2007, 3:40 PM   #19
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Grandmelody wrote:
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What do you think?
I think that if I were the vendor and someone starting filing complaints with EBay, Paypal, etc., and made posts in public forums before giving me a chance to rectify any problem, I'd just ignore you and explain to Paypal that you were being unreasonable, since any damage to my reputation would already have been done. I would also make sure to file negative feedback indicating that they were willing to allow the return if you paid shipping, to help make sure other vendors would not sell to you (since vendors often reserve the right not to sell to buyers with negative feedback).

Personally, I think you're making a "mountain out of a molehill", especially if the only thing you saw wrong was as broken seal.

Anytime you deal with international orders, you deal with higher shipping costs, and more. From a vendor's perspective, why should they take your word for it that something is wrong and incur shipping costs? Could they have opened it? Maybe. But, I've seen this kind of thing happen with very reputable vendors, too (getting them that way from their distributors or manufacturers). Unless there was other evidence that a product had been previously used and something was actually wrong with it, I'd personally ignore it and not get so upset.

Again, it's your time and money. But, I wouldn't expect a vendor to be very cooperative with a customer taking your approach to resolving an issue.


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Old Nov 16, 2007, 4:23 PM   #20
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Thank you for your comment, JimC.

I suppose I could just accept the camera in an opened box, and if there is something wrong with the camera, just accept that too. I suspect many people have done just that and not go through the hassle. I am trying to warn others of the potential risks and I hope it isOK with this forum. Some of the things I have learnt are certainly not what one would expect, e.g. that the huge size of a seller could be a problem.

Personal opinion - I had however thought that thereis consumer law to protect usso thatwhat is sold matches product descriptions (like "New, Never Opened") especially when there is no chance to check the items before payment as in Internet buying, and that there is a good reason for the manufacturer's QA to put a seal on the box that says, "DO NOT ACCEPT IF SEAL IS BROKEN."
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