Quantcast

eBay

HomeBrewTalk.com - Beer, Wine, Mead, & Cider Brewing Discussion Community.

Help Support Homebrew Talk:

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
I believe I may have discovered a dishonest practice being done to buyers at eBay. More than once I’ve had a seller cancel my purchase. Why? Each time I’m told an excuse such as “Thought I had the item in stock, but I don’t”. If truly not in stock, then why listed for sale? No, I believe they didn’t like and/or didn’t want to honor the sale price.

Interesting coincidence for more than 1 seller to claim basically the same excuse.

Also, I wish eBay had a way, for me as a buyer, to block sellers. Now it’s up to me to remember whom I believe are dishonest.

Why am I posting here? I've bought homebrewing items on eBay. Also, try contacting eBay to complain. Normally get "Peggy" in Russia.
 

Beernik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
3,969
Reaction score
737
Location
Camano Island, WA
I’m guessing they are arbitrage sellers. They list hundreds of items for sale on eBay. When you place your order, they search for a cheaper price online. If they find one, they buy it and have it shipped to you direct (like a gift purchase). They pocket the difference between the prices as profit. If they don’t find a cheaper one, they cancel the order.
 

Beernik

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 26, 2009
Messages
3,969
Reaction score
737
Location
Camano Island, WA
Dishonest - yes. But arbitrage usually is not illegal and it isn’t a violation of eBay’s TOS.
 

Jmspears

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
40
Reaction score
60
It’s a pretty common thing nowadays. There is even software to help you find the best items to do this with. I spent some time researching online stores as a side source of income. This practice is one that came up pretty often. I am not against arbitrage altogether (small mom and pop shops have been doing it forever, buy from Walmart, Costco, etc and sell at a markup) but the seller should at least honor the sale price then stop offering the item if they so choose
 
OP
Tobor_8thMan

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
It’s a pretty common thing nowadays. There is even software to help you find the best items to do this with. I spent some time researching online stores as a side source of income. This practice is one that came up pretty often. I am not against arbitrage altogether (small mom and pop shops have been doing it forever, buy from Walmart, Costco, etc and sell at a markup) but the seller should at least honor the sale price then stop offering the item if they so choose
I've gotten burned more than once. Yes, I obtained a refund, but I didn't get the item for the price.
 

Jmspears

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
40
Reaction score
60
Yeah that’s no good. From what I’ve read (I’m by no means an expert) it’s more common on eBay than amazon because amazon does a better job of delivering the most relevant, often time the cheapest, result when you search for a product
 
OP
Tobor_8thMan

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
Yeah that’s no good. From what I’ve read (I’m by no means an expert) it’s more common on eBay than amazon because amazon does a better job of delivering the most relevant, often time the cheapest, result when you search for a product
Don't be so sure about Amazon. Prices at Amazon dynamically change based on your browsing, day of the week, etc.
 

Jmspears

Active Member
Joined
May 30, 2019
Messages
40
Reaction score
60
Oh for sure. That is most likely the case on all online marketplaces. But finding exactly what you’re looking for at a decent price has always been easier on amazon imo. I’ve not had much luck with eBay and I’ve heard a lot of stories like yours. I’ve also read they don’t ban sellers near as quickly as amazon
 
Joined
Apr 23, 2009
Messages
34,193
Reaction score
13,221
Location
☀️ Clearwater, FL ☀️
I’m guessing they are arbitrage sellers. They list hundreds of items for sale on eBay. When you place your order, they search for a cheaper price online. If they find one, they buy it and have it shipped to you direct (like a gift purchase). They pocket the difference between the prices as profit. If they don’t find a cheaper one, they cancel the order.
Yep, heard a Planet Money podcast on this. Eye-opening, didn't realize how widespread this was.
 

RPh_Guy

Bringing Sour Back
HBT Supporter
Joined
Jan 26, 2017
Messages
9,213
Reaction score
7,558
Location
Cleveland
Can't you get a good feel for the seller by looking at feedback? In particular, read the negative feedback comments from the last few months, and what percentage was positive vs negative/neutral.
That's pretty much a necessity when buying on eBay.

Years ago I was a high level "powerseller" on eBay but haven't been actively selling (or buying) anything lately there.
I had lots of stuff drop shipped but I always had a supplier before listing the items.
 
OP
Tobor_8thMan

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
Can't you get a good feel for the seller by looking at feedback? In particular, read the negative feedback comments from the last few months, and what percentage was positive vs negative/neutral.
That's pretty much a necessity when buying on eBay.

Years ago I was a high level "powerseller" on eBay but haven't been actively selling (or buying) anything lately there.
I had lots of stuff drop shipped but I always had a supplier before listing the items.
I always check the feedback. eBay plays games with feedback. If the buy is canceled then can't leave feedback.

Wish there was a way to block certain sellers.

What is a tip off to an eBay arbitrage seller? So I can avoid them. Lots of sales?
 

Pkrd

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Dec 27, 2012
Messages
2,784
Reaction score
2,905
Location
New Zealand
I’m guessing they are arbitrage sellers. They list hundreds of items for sale on eBay. When you place your order, they search for a cheaper price online. If they find one, they buy it and have it shipped to you direct (like a gift purchase). They pocket the difference between the prices as profit. If they don’t find a cheaper one, they cancel the order.
Returning things must work out really well...
 

kh54s10

Supporting Member
HBT Supporter
Joined
Aug 6, 2011
Messages
18,714
Reaction score
5,448
Location
Edgewater
Even on Amazon, I always look at the seller reviews and the item reviews. I also read a lot of the comments. A lot of times you can see if they seem a trustworthy seller. And item comments can tell you if what you see is what you are likely to get. I have seen good seller ratings because an item came well packaged and on time. But reading further the item was not really as described in the listing.

It would be nice to be able to block a seller, or at least to make a list of your favorite sellers.
 
OP
Tobor_8thMan

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
Also, if item is returned, for example for poor or invalid description, then also can't leave feedback. eBay fooling with the feedback ratings once again. As a prospective buyer I'd find it helpful to know whom is canceling orders and having things returned (and for what reason).

Since eBay manipulates the rating system, I don't put much faith into the feedback numbers.
 

MaxStout

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Mar 29, 2013
Messages
10,718
Reaction score
6,642
Travel sites do it, too. TripAdvisor is one of the worst with shill posts and blocking of critical reviews. Over-inflated ratings.
 
OP
Tobor_8thMan

Tobor_8thMan

Well-Known Member
Lifetime Supporter
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
3,019
Reaction score
1,618
Location
Go 97 miles and take a right...
I stopped posting on TA as they claimed a place with numerous bad reviews had recently remodeled and the reviews were no longer valid. The things people complained about still existed at the location. Nothing had actually changed, but pffft the reviews were gone. Why should I, or anyone, waste our time reviewing?
 

Latest posts

Top