What is the worst deal you've ever made on eBay?

United States
February 19, 2007 4:05pm CST
For me, it was during the time I was selling with flat rate shipping, for example, all items priced $.99 to $9.99 would be shipped for $5.00 US, with the rest going up from there. I bought an old outdoor portable stove, quite heavy but intact for use with my Girl Scout troop. We never used it and it was still in perfect condition. I found it one day and since it was winter, I threw it on eBay (suggestions of ice fishing, outdoor winter camping, etc came to mind) starting at $2 above what I paid for it. Towards the end of the auction there was some interest, and it finally went for 10X what I bought it for (keep 'yer panties on, it was a whopping $19.99!) and it cost me twice as much to ship it as was the winning bid! I've learned from that experience--weigh everything WITH packing materials using the zip code furthest from you and state the shipping in your listing!
4 people like this
14 responses
@7nicole1 (1634)
• Canada
20 Feb 07
Although I have no story like that to share about ebay I do want to say I think its all a big scam with the shipping there or something. Just recently I bid on a dirt bike and won (great) but had no idea what the shipping was going to cost. I figured if I bidded on an item here in Canada that shipping wouldnt be that much since where it was being sold was only a day away from me. I was really wrong. Your not allowed to do local pick up even if you live just down the street. Meaning even if I lived next door to the place that was selling it, it was still going to cost me about $400 to get it delievered. Ever since this I dont really see the point in buying on ebay because after shipping expenses you dont really profit or get a deal.
3 people like this
• United States
20 Feb 07
You should have asked for a shipping quote BEFORE bidding--things cost a lot for packing as well and if you want a quality job, you're going to pay a lot more. I've never heard of not being allowed to do a local pick up--as a single woman living alone, I'd probably not allow it (safety reasons). I believe that it's up to the seller to decide, and if it's that close, all you have to do it ask. Some sellers scam on shipping costs, but the vast majority try to do it for exact shipping plus a small handling charge (to cover time and materials)--I mean, if they don't we (as buyers) are asking for something basically free.
1 person likes this
@Grandmaof2 (7604)
• Canada
20 Feb 07
Thank You for asking scorpiobabes one more chance to vent. My handicapped brother-in-law came to live with us because he was no longer able to care for himself and I said I would stay home to be here for him, my husband still works. Anyway for all his life he has used what I call a truckers wallet, you know the kind with the chain. Well I looked everywhere to no avail, then BINGO there it was on E-Bay. I bid, I was happy. I also saw a few other little items that I thought appropriate for gifts, so I E-Mailed the seller asking what the S&H charges were for Canada. I asked twice and got no answer, time was about to run out and I didn't get an answer. Because my items only totalled 33.86 I thought well less than 40.00 can't be too bad so I bought the items. Then I went in to issue an invoice. Well let me tell you the seller was sure quick to issue an invoice because as fast as I could request the invoice it was already there. Here are the details items cost 33.86 the actual S&H charges were 8.05 and I was charged 55.00 for shipping and handling and I got 3 neg. feedbacks besides because I complained. Up to that point I had 100% feedback. I'm SSOOO Not impressed, but I'm done now. Thanks scorpiobabes. Take Care. OH and by the way my 76 year old brother-in-law was happier than a 2 year old, so guess I shouldn't be so upset, Right?
@sunnypub (2131)
• United States
20 Feb 07
I haven't really had any bad deals when I was buying because I alwasy email the seller if the shipping isn't listed in the auction. If I don't hear back from the seller then I don't buy from them. I have underquoted shipping before for items that I was selling but that is my fault. I just didn't put the corect weight in. I bought a scale, off of eBay, and now I package everything, weigh it and then input the weight into TurboLister and it allows the buyer to see what the cost of shipping will be to ther zip code. For International shipping I always state in my auctions that they can email me with the postal code for a quote or we will figure it out after the auction ends. I am not one of those people who pad their shipping. I ship for what is actaully costs plus $.45 for confirmation. Really it is up to the buyer to ensure that they know and are okay with the shpping costs. By putting in a bid you are agreeing that youhave read all the terms and you agree to them. As a seller I find that it is best to weigh the items and if you weigh it unpacked be sure to add a couple of ounces to that weight to get a good estimate. I think that all seller should be required to clearly state the shipping charges in the auction. I always do.
@jwan11 (25)
20 Feb 07
i found a book i wanted for 50p kept getting outbid and in the ebd i got it, ............. for £13.50 arghhhhhh i couldn't undo it because i didn't know how hope this helps
2 people like this
@Ocean56 (18)
• United States
20 Feb 07
Oh, I made HORRENDOUS mistakes regarding shipping, ESPECIALLY for overseas shipments! I'm not doing much with Ebay any more, though. I sell used books, and they're doing MUCH better on Amazon.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
Were you using media mail when you were on eBay? I learned a lot by joining several online groups for sellers--I burned myself more than once on books! I'll keep Amazon in mind when I start selling my text books again after my trip.
@sunnypub (2131)
• United States
20 Feb 07
You might want to try Half.com for selling the textbooks. I have listed textbooks on there and they usually sold within 2 days and they sold for way more than the bookstore would have given me. Since Half.com is owned by eBay, the sales and feedback go towards your eBay account. The only problem is that you only get paid once a month, not as each sell is made. Plus they have a set amount that they charge for shipping so you need to take that into account when pricing your books. I had one textbook that cost more than Half.com allowed so I ended up losing on theshipping part, of course the book sold for a great amount so in the end I actaully made a pretty good profit. Plus you have to pay for the shipping upfront and then Half.com includes a reimbursement with your monthly pay. As long as you keep the other costs in your mind when setting the price for the books you should do okay.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
Thanks, that's what I'm usually doing, but lately I haven't had ANY sales on half.com and in fact just discounted a lot of books (I'm trying to declutter my home). Have any tips for me--I'd appreciate it! Thanks!
1 person likes this
20 Feb 07
I made some truly dreadful mistakes when I first stated with eBay. I saw a gorgeous gothic mirror and fell in love with it instantly. I bid, and bid again and finally won the mirror for way more than I should have paid, and eagerly awaited the delivery. It finally arrived after a couple of weeks of anticipation, and it was the most horrible thing I have ever seen. It looked nothing like the photograph on the auction site, but it was definitely the same mirror. It was battered and damaged, inadequately packaged and tarnished. No amount of restoration would ever be enough to make this a thing of beauty. I learnt my lesson the hard way, now I am very careful with my purchases.
• United States
20 Feb 07
What a shame--I've made purchases that way too and now I am VERY cautious. I watched and waited for this beautiful cobalt glass vase (deep blue) to add to my collection, paid more than I could afford and then it arrived. I was shocked--it was more of a translucent blue and lighter than the cobalt glass I usually seek out. The bottom was rough (I didn't even know about blown glass and how the bottom will have a rough spot from where the end of the blow pipe was attached). I learned from that lesson and now I prefer to purchase in person!
2 people like this
• United States
22 Feb 07
It is always dangerous to buy glass through the mail. I have a lot of depression glass I would like to sell, but am reluctant to sell through the mail becaause of the possibility of breakage.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
If it's packed well, it should be ok. I will stuff a piece of glass with styrofoam peanuts (or tissue paper), then wrap it 3 to 4 times (or more, depending on how thin the glass is) with bubble wrap and tape it multiple times. I then place it in a box with 3 inches or more on EACH side of peanuts and insure it for mailing. HTH!
• United States
24 Feb 07
I personally haven't made any really bad deals, but yesterday I saw that someone was selling an empty plastic Wal-Mart shopping bag, and someone had placed a bit for $30. I was shocked as heck!
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
That auction was probably booted--it was a shill (a type of fake bidding used to jack up prices). Ebay does not allow them and will remove auctions and users when they find them. I wouldn't be surprised if Walmart bid on it--they've gotten so much bad publicity of late they need something to bolster their sagging rep!
@onabreak2 (1162)
• United States
21 Feb 07
LOL, Thanks for the laugh. I have made some under calculations in shipping too . But we learn by our mistakes. Thanks for the giggle.
1 person likes this
• United States
26 Feb 07
You're quite welcome--it took a while to see the humor in it!
@bonbon664 (3480)
• Canada
20 Feb 07
I charge actual shipping, so, I pack it , weigh it, measure it, then email the prospective buyer with the price. I put in the listing what I think the approximate price will be, then if they ask for any exact amount, I send that.
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
Have you ever had a customer that came back after the shipping cost was sent to them and refused to pay? Do you combine shipping for multiple wins and limit it to say purchases made within 2 days?
@Sasselle (698)
• Australia
19 Feb 07
I've had mistakes regarding postage before but usually it's to overseas destinations and i've either misweighed the item or by the item i've added protective packaging it's jumped into the next size bracket. I've found the easiest thing to do is to list the most expensive price for postage on my auctions - when it ends, if it's a real big difference in price i can always refund them the extra money. It's easier to refund then to ask people for more money because that rarely happens. Can't you have one of those postage caculators on your auctions if you live in the US? That way people can just work out their own postage without having to bother you regarding it. [Not sure on this - i've just seen it on a lot of auctions in the past]
• United States
19 Feb 07
You can but I'm not real good with the coding for it (and it's easier to just make a rate up front -- many people weasel out of paying because of postage). I do the same thing that you do--if it's a real big difference, I'll refund them the difference. If they whine about it after the auction ends, I'll block them from bidding again. I rarely neg someone (unless they've got me first and are totally unreasonable!) and rarely give someone a neutral.
1 person likes this
• Philippines
23 Feb 07
oh my god, LOL yeah be careful next time, and try not to forget to weigh your commodity. well lessons learned this time... good day
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
Shipping has gotten me in the past as well. I learned from experience to be more careful and weigh everything, sometimes weigh it twice. If I have the right weight and measurements I just put the shipping calculator on the auction which allows the buyer to put in their information and gives them the right shipping amount. Good Luck with your future endeavors on EBay!
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
So many to count since I have been on eBay for since inception but the worst to date is selling one of my white fox coats that I paid $600 for and sold it for $200, never again
1 person likes this
• United States
20 Feb 07
I would say not charging the right amount for postage. So I joined stamps.com and got a digital postage weight machine for nothing. It's only good up to 5 lbs., but most of the stuff I sell is under that, so it worked out fine for me. I am so careful about what I buy on ebay, I love a lot of what I see so I ask a lot of questions. The answers usually stop me from making a bad mistake.
1 person likes this