Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Monday, 12 December 2016
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I have been using eBay for years now and have had around 2000 transactions through it, both buying and selling. Up until last week, I had 100% positive feedback, but then I incurred the wrath of a female antiques dealer who bought a decorative garden chair from me, then tried to arrange collection by a stroppy courier who sent me an abusive text because I woke him up at 11.00pm at night to make sure he didn't have a wasted journey.
The sale was made right in the middle of H.I.'s exhibition (which was right in the middle of the Christmas Market), so to arrange collection of it from my workshop 4 miles out of town was a bit of a logistical problem in the 2 hour windows when I could leave it.
When I had to change arrangements one night, I seem to have woken up his entire family, who all had to get up with him at 5.00am and drive to Bath from West Sussex, and he shouted at me in SMS.
I complained to the buyer, who said she would arrange another courier, but he had pissed me off to such an extent that I gave her a full refund and told her the chair was no longer for sale. She said she had to have it, as it was a birthday present for her husband, and said that in over 1500 collections made by the same courier, she had never had any problems with him.
I said (and this is where the 'hell hath no fury' factor came into play) that I knew she was an antique dealer, and 1500 birthdays for one man was quite a lot. I added that most people who do not want to be woken up by a late-night text message or phone call, turn their phones off when they go to bed.
Without any further discussion, she sent me a little red, negative feedback, bring my previous unblemished rating down to 97% positive. I have had many occasions to give somebody a negative, but I never have. This is why my ratings only show up as 1200 and something - I am not trigger-happy with negatives. I would rather say nothing, and have only once left someone a neutral feedback, and this was for quite a serious misdemeanor.
Now, every time I look at my eBay pages, I become angry with both her and eBay in general for denying me the right of reply as they used to. I think they withdrew this opportunity for the seller to give a response to a buyer who leaves negative feedback, because some of them became quite offensive and personal in the heat of the moment, as in: 'This silly cow lied to me, blah blah blah.' INTERMISSION: I just looked out f the window and Ken Loach is striding down the street on a shopping mission. Right. Carry on.
I have had a Gumtree account for a couple of years and have never used it. Yesterday I dragged out my passwords and opened it up. I put the same garden chair onto it, using the photos I took for eBay, and listed it with text. So easy, and completely free, plus it doesn't seem to contain any advertising either. It also automatically advertises to people who are roughly in your area, so any monkey-business to do with collection is hopefully avoided.
I went into the pub and told someone I was experimenting with Gumtree as opposed to eBay. He informed me that Gumtree is owned by eBay.
If you go onto Wikipedia right now, you will be confronted with an appeal for donations from its founder, who says that when he first set it up, everyone told him he would regret not taking on advertising or sponsorship. Looks as though they were right.
My advice to Wikipedia's founder: Sell it to eBay and retire before the Monopolies Commission finds out.