Is it worth it?
Two weeks ago, I put my old dual G5 computer, 20″ Sony monitor, and a bunch of other odds and ends on eBay. The idea was to get rid of them and make a few bucks in the process. As I whined in my post, “The High Cost of Writing Tech Books,” it’s costly for me to buy the up-to-date computer hardware and software I need to work. I was hoping to get some of that hard-earned money returned by selling some equipment that was still in good shape.
The headaches started almost as soon as the auctions ended:
- The Sony monitor was listed with free pickup in Wickenburg (where I live) or Tempe (where my husband works) or $62.50 UPS Ground Shipping. Well, the moron who bought it, who lives in Indiana, didn’t read about the UPS ground shipping. He read “free shipping” and thought I was going to send a 50-pound monitor to Indiana for free. What a deal for only $20.50, which is what he paid. He won’t pay shipping and now he won’t answer my e-mails. So I’m stuck in the middle of a transaction with no end in immediate sight.
- The dual G5 sold for a surprising $700. Retail on this used machine is around $1,000, but I would have taken half of that, so I’m very pleased. The problem here is that the buyer didn’t pay for it. He had someone else pay for it on PayPal with a check. Then he demanded immediate shipment. PayPal clearly instructed me not to ship anything until the check cleared. It’s been 5 days and the check has not cleared. I’m wondering how this transaction will go sour. I figure that either the check won’t clear at all or the buyer will get POed when I ship to the person who paid, which is the only way I can be protected by PayPal.
- I sold a used 7-port Iogear hub. It has 4 USB 2.0 ports and 3 Firewire ports. I sold it because I wanted it to use with my iSight camera and the damn thing never worked right. I figured it was the camera, but since I never tried it with any other Firewire device, I didn’t know for sure. The USB hubs seemed to work fine. I summarized all this in the listing. I sold it for pretty darn close to the cost of a brand new identical hub. (See my post, “Is eBay for Suckers?“) The buyer paid, I shipped it out. Yesterday, I get an e-mail message from the buyer saying that the USB ports won’t run at 2.0 speeds and that the Firewire ports won’t work at all. Hello? Didn’t I say I was having problems with the Firewire ports? And how the hell am I supposed to know what speeds the USB ports actually run at? If the buyer wanted a brand new device with a warranty, he should have bought it from a computer dealer, not someone unloading junk on eBay. And here’s a word of advice to anyone reading this: Don’t buy anything made by Iogear. It’s crap.
So now I have a bunch of other items here I’d like to unload. But I’m starting to think that eBay is bigger hassle than the few dollars I get back for my efforts. (The computer being the exception; if that transaction doesn’t go bad, it will be worth the trouble.) The only ones making real money on this are eBay and PayPal. So I’m wondering if I should just throw out this stuff and be done with it.
Any experiences with ebay that you’d like to share? Use the comments link or form for this post to speak your mind.