Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Ebay: Contrasting Four Buying Experiences (UPDATED)

The first house I bought on Ebay was on a slow week, so inexpensive, dusty and inclomplete and took about a week to arrive. I was thrilled because i hadnt had my hands on one since about 1983. Both parcels were very large boxes, and the packing material was high quality & packed with care. Even all the parts were labeled, which took considerable time. I made sure to leave very positive feedback for the seller. He went above and beyond the call of duy for mailing a discounted item. Alternately, the second one i bought for spare parts was the complete opposite. I had to email the seller several times to get (and pay for seperately) insurance, one box arrived a week later on a friday, the other not till the following tuesday morning. not only were they slow to communicate, neither box had any packing material whatsoever. i cannot think of any lower rent way of offending a buyer. one of the floor pieces was chipped and there were random loose screws rattling around the smaller box with a large gaping hole in the side, and there were missing screws. This last house was so dirty for so long the dirt has stained and discolored the roofs and floors. That part was ok, because it was priced accordingly and said that it was dirty in the listing. Everything that was white was a creamy beige-darker than cheesecake. Of course the screws were rusty, too. Ultimately i am still glad i bought the second house, it has 99% of the parts i needed and i expected to have to spray everything white again. so you can see one purchase can be fine and ideal, while the next can be really bad. i let the seller know that they need to use packing material especially for large items. they were new sellers and appreciative of the input. i gave them positive feedback remarks on ebay since she did go to the trouble of following up with her post office about the location of the larger box. UPDATE: I just bought my 3rd vintage Mattel red roofed house. There were no other bidders because the seller put 'dreamhouse' instead of 'dream house'. it was $71 total, less $45 shipping, meaning the house (half furnished, and had ALL the windows in GREAT shape) was $26! It did not have the front doors, closet doors, or upper flower boxes, but was still a steal. The caveat was that the seller just thru everything in a box, with NO PACKING MATERIAL. Ugh!! But, it was ok because nothing actually got damaged, and virtually all the parts I can use. None of the parts are faded, so I can use everything to upgrade my personal A Frame. FOURTH house purchased: After weeks of being outbid on great houses by $1, for some reason I was the only bidder on this great house, shipping was $65 UPS (reasonable) and $9.99 for the house itself (white walls not needing painting, a rare orange roof, okay floors, and immaculate non faded/discolored windows and doors). it was complete minus one opper flower box, two medium windows and some flowers. there was cracks in a few places, but it was well packed, and the listing disclosed the flaws. Overall a GREAT transaction. I have noticed lately on ebay that many of the sellers out there are overcharging for very incomplete houses ($100 and NO windows or doors, flower boxes, closet, etc), they refuse to lower the price in light of this, and so what ends up happening is that it sits online forever, or an uneducated buyer overpays for it, or they end up 'tossing' it as they were not able to make alot of money on it, and lowering the price makes it 'not worth their time to pack and ship it'. I know because this is what they tell me. At any rate, good luck out there future home buyers. =-)

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