Thursday, November 21, 2013

Ebay: Let the seller beware I

This is a warning to folks who sell expensive, delicate items -- like saddles -- on Ebay  

See also parts Two (II), Three (III), Four (IV), and Five (V) for the whole saga!

I am in the midst of a dispute regarding an Ebay transaction, on a saddle I sold in October.  After ten years of successful transactions on Ebay, I'm learning a hard lesson. At the moment, it seems like sellers are not well protected on Ebay.

Would you send your saddle out on a 45-day trial to a stranger? Me neither. And I didn't understand that this is a possibility with an Ebay sale...

Saddle Junkie and wheeler-dealer
Most of you know I'm a saddle junkie, and I buy and sell a lot of them on Ebay. I have 500 transactions in Ebay, probably 15 or so were saddles in various price ranges -- I have a 100% satisfaction rate.  I post detailed photos, I answer questions, I measure, I try to be honest about whether I think a saddle will work based on what prospective buyers tell me. I do not take returns, though. Or at least, I didn't think I did.

I have three saddles  -- and that is too much money tied up in saddles -- so I put one up for sale. The saddle was in perfect condition. I took over a dozen photos and fielded many questions and requests from potential buyers.

What just happened?
Usually, buyers ask a ton of questions before making an offer. But in early October, a new Ebay buyer, with no transactions, just clicked Buy It Now and bought it, no questions asked. I had a bad feeling -- was this a scam? It's hard to imagine someone shelling out $2,200 without asking any questions. But they paid, so I I sold the saddle and shipped it.

Stay Tuned for Part Two (II).


  1. It happened to me. Sold a saddle on eBay -- lots of photos, descriptions, answered questions, but had a no-return on it. Two weeks later I got an email that the saddle tree was "broken" and thus "defective" and thus she was returning it (eBay makes you take back defective merchandise). Nothing I could do, eBay would just take my money. At least I got the saddle back -- then I had to pay to send it to the saddle manufacturer's rep, who took the saddle apart to establish (with photos) that there was absolutely nothing wrong with the saddle. Then I had to resell it. Cost me a ton of money, not including time and hassle. I will look for non-eBay options next time I have to sell a saddle!

  2. Ugh, this doesn't sound like it ends well for you. The last two times I have sold saddles on eBay something bad has happened. I will never sell on eBay again. I got caught in the "they can return for up to 45 days" scam (because that is what it really is, IMO) too, even though I specified in the description of my listing as well as the options on the listing that I would not accept returns. Saddle came back to me scuffed up and smelling like mold. Buyer said that was how the saddle came to them. eBay, come to find out seems to have a policy of always agreeing with the buyer and screwing the seller. They sided with the seller and I then had to try to resell a saddle for the fraction of what it had been worth when I originally shipped it. Yeah, for sure not ever using eBay to sell anything ever again.

  3. Oh no, I just know this isn't going to be good. My hope is that IF you did take the saddle back, it was in good condition!

  4. Last year I sold a jumping saddle on Ebay. I shipped the saddle and it seemed all was well. The buyer them filed a claim with Ebay saying she never got the saddle. I produced proof that the saddle had arrived at the address she gave me - had a signiture, time it arrived, etc. from UPS. Buyer then emailed me to say she did get it, but she never closed that Ebay claim. So Ebay ended up refunding her money, AND she had my saddle. She did not send either back after I emailed her. EBay sided with the buyer. NEVER again will I sell anything expensive on Ebay.

  5. I've always been wary of eBay...especially for high dollar items.

  6. I was really fortunate that I actually bought a saddle from a nice lady in NJ via ebay. I explained I had tried oodles of saddles and she kindly let me have a 10 day trial. The saddle fit like a dream, so I kept it. However, she was genuinely candid and pleasent through the whole conversation. We commiserated through multiple messages how hard it is to find a saddle!

    By the way, I love the saddle pad in the picture! Would you mind sharing where you found it or the brand? Thanks!

  7. I was lucky enough to sell a low end saddle on Ebay about ten years ago. Corresponded with buyer, supplied measurements, photos, etc. Explained saddle selling as is, no returns. Just sold a County Competitor in pristine condition. This was handled by a local (well respected) tack shop that handled all transactions. This included listing the saddle on stores website, holding buyers credit card # during trial period. Process took less than three months. Actually netted out with almost exactly what I paid for the saddle after store's commission.
    Think I'd actually think twice about selling through the internet....too much of a headache for honest sellers.

  8. Regrettably, eBay Inc. is demonstrably (still) the greatest calculated facilitator of fraud on consumers that the world is ever likely to know ...
    The ugly reality of eBay Inc.:
    eBay's crooked auctions marketplace ...
    eBay Motors: Auction Fraud Galore …
    eBay's clunky, unscrupulous "PreyPal" ...
    The ongoing joke of eBay Inc. ...
    Fun quotes from the eBay executive suite ...

  9. Oh man. I sold one saddle on Ebay years ago. I had no idea that return policy existed.

  10. Let me guess...the purchaser told ebay the saddle was damaged/did not receive and they refunded her money? She gets the saddle and her money back!!! This happened to me last year with a $1300 saddle AND I had a signed tracking number...

  11. I have bought and sold many saddles on eBay but I won't sell any longer. The new policies put all the power with the buyer -- sellers can't even leave negative feedback anymore. There are way too many people reporting bad experiences which result in either the saddle coming back damaged or the saddle not coming back at all.


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