Does anyone have tips on deterring dead beat bidders from auctions on eBay?

Tom-G

Screenwriter
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Lately, I've been bombarded with deadbeat bidders on eBay. At least 6 out of the last 10 auctions resulted in me leaving nasty feedback on the bidder after repeated attempts of completing the transaction.
I've resorted to putting a caveat in my auctions that tell potential bidders that "I reserve the right to retract bids by those who have negative feedback or bidders with less than 10 positive feedbacks." I would rather lose the bid than have to put up with someone who does not intend to honor their obligations.
Any tips on preventing deadbeats? I would surely appreciate them.
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Craig Chatterton

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I think you have the best approach - limit your auctions to people with feedback of 10 or greater. You should also be willing to negotiate with any buyer who says he has less than 10 feedback but wants to bid.
As a buyer I also appreciate auctions like that. I hardly ever buy from Ebay so my feedback is only 11. But when it was under 10 I'd Email a seller and sometimes one would make an exception for me (usually just because I took the time to Email him).
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Ryan Wright

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What you're doing is about all you *can* do. Put a clause in there that says "If you have less than 10 feedback but want to bid, you must email me first." Anyone who takes the time to sent me an intelligently worded message can bid all they want in my opinion.
Deadbeat bidders piss me off. I tried to sell a laptop 3 times and it finally went on the 4th try. The problem is, EBay won't refund your listing fees. Auction fees, yes, but not listing fees. This is bullshit, IMHO. I had to pay my listing fees 4 times. Worse, EBay doesn't really do anything about tracking these assholes down. They'll disable their accounts after x violations, but nothing is stopping them from simply creating another account.
I think EBay needs to be more vigilant about going after these bastards. At the very least, they should log their IP and sent a threatening letter to their ISP...
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-Ryan (http://www.ryanwright.com )
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LarryDavenport

Effects Supervisor
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When I win a bid I always immediately write the seller and tell him when to expect payment. If I don't think I'm going to be able to send a payment right away (never more than 10 days from winning) I often offer a few extra bucks for the trouble.
My problem with Ebay is that I paid for something I won and the guy wont send it to me, and wont return my email. Because the value was less than $25 (but not when you add shipping and the cost of a money order) Ebay will not help. Because they closed the guy's account, I can't even leave negative feedback, so I have no one I can complain to.
Ebay did give me the guy's phone number, but naturally it's disconnected.
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Rob Gillespie

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Bullet-point your conditions in HTML. Make them stand out. Mine go like this:
[*]My conditions as a seller:[*]Will ship to UK only (unless prior arrangement is made by email BEFORE bidding)
 

NathanP

Supporting Actor
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Aug 13, 2001
Messages
841
I always put--
"Ebay is for REAL, not a game, If you are a non-paying bidder you will be prosecuted to the highest extent of the law.."
I hate deadbeats too..
Nathan
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Eric Scott

Second Unit
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Oct 4, 2000
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I have a 38-0 positive record, although I've bought about 55-60 items. I can't understand why people are bidding if they do not want the item? Are they kids? Drunks? Assholes?
 

Tom-G

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Thomas
Gentleman, thank you all for taking the time to give me some advice. I'm going to incorporate these ideas into what I'm currently doing.
It seems to me that eBay has a "hands-off" approach. There are so many deadbeat bidders, yet this continues to happen. Why doesn't eBay have a department dedicated to these kinds of things.
The best remedy may be for eBay to implement a policy which would allow them to charge a bidder's credit card the final auction fee and shipping charges if that bidder fails to complete his obligation. This could continue until the bidder reaches X number of positive feedbacks. It seems fair to me--if that person really wants the item, he/she is going to get it no matter what.
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As for the bad rap about the characters--hey, I've seen space operas that put their emphasis on human personalities and relationships. They're called "Star Trek" movies. Give me transparent underwater cities and vast hollow senatorial spheres any day. --Roger Ebert on The Phantom Menace
 

AdrianOC

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Baseball bat??

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alan halvorson

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I must be very lucky - in over 500 auctions, both buying and selling, I have had only three non-payers. One of them I'm pretty certain was a kid, or at least very strange. Another I believe died or was incapacitated in some way as he had a long unblemished feedback record and then suddenly racked up a string of negatives. In fact, I've found that low/no feedback bidders are some of the best, contrary to everyone else's experience.
Lately, I've won a couple of auctions where the seller didn't contact me for many days, but they worked out fine in the end. I did give one recent seller neutral feedback because the actual condition of his item didn't come anywhere near matching his auction description, plus he took three weeks to ship and did an extraordinarily poor job of packing. He threatened to retaliate in kind, but he had forgotten that he had already given me positive feedback. That's about the worst experience I've had.
Maybe it's because I deal mainly in laser discs. The above makes me scared to go into other areas though.
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Ryan Wright

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The best remedy may be for eBay to implement a policy which would allow them to charge a bidder's credit card the final auction fee and shipping charges if that bidder fails to complete his obligation.
This is a GREAT idea... I wonder what it would take to persude EBay to implement something like this. They could even charge the bidder a $10 processing fee on top of the final price and make a little money themselves. Although, this could create problems: They charge him, you send the item, but then he could make whatever claims he wanted about the poor condition of the item, etc, even if it wasn't true.
How about this: First, they need to require a valid credit card to simply open an account. This would deter most people, and would keep the kids away for sure. Second, if you bid on something but refuse to follow through, you're charged 10% of the final bid or $20, whichever is greater. This money is credited to the seller. You're also charged for the item listing fees and final auction fees, and those are also credited to the seller. Finally, you're charged a $10 processing fee, which goes to EBay. And, obviously, the seller gets to keep and re-list the item.
If they don't want to buy something, don't force 'em to. Just charge them a reasonable penalty. The policy has to have bite, though. If for some reason EBay is unable to charge their card, they need to be sent a bill by registered mail, along with a threatening letter. If they refuse to pay, send it to a collections agency.
I see this as a win/win situation for everybody. EBay would likely have to hire more staff and setup another department to take care of this, but they should make more than enough money. If $10 an incident isn't enough, make the penalities higher. There may be other legal & misc issues to work out, but it could be done. People like me would use EBay to sell much more often if we were better protected...
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-Ryan ( http://www.ryanwright.com )
Before you criticize someone, walk a mile in their shoes.
That way, when you do criticize them, you'll be a mile away and you'll have their shoes.

[Edited last by Ryan Wright on September 28, 2001 at 10:34 AM]
 

JonZ

Lead Actor
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Dec 28, 1998
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I usually put "will leave negative feedback on deadbeats" is capitol letters.
But I like Robs idea above, saying you will remove bids at your disgretion.
You may also want to say after a certain amount of time, the auction goes to the next highest bidder.Contact that person adn tell them the item is theirs if theyre interested and you may not end up with a loss. Most times, they will still be interested.
Ive had quite a few people send me a email days later saying the high bidder never came through and if I still want the item its mine.
 

Brett_B

Supporting Actor
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Oct 26, 1999
Messages
886
The problem is, EBay won't refund your listing fees. Auction fees, yes, but not listing fees. This is bullshit, IMHO. I had to pay my listing fees 4 times. Worse, EBay doesn't really do anything about tracking these assholes down. They'll disable their accounts after x violations, but nothing is stopping them from simply creating another account.
Here's a question about the above quote.
I wonder if Ebay employs these "deab-beat bidders" in order for the sellers to continue to pay the listing fees?
Just a thought.
 

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