Tuesday, November 20, 2007

eBay on my mind. like a rash

I thought I'd do some early seasonal shopping on eBay. I found the sort of thing I wanted. It stated a flat rate rather than staging an "auction," but allowed me to make an offer. This was new to me, unpracticed in the way of th'eBay, but I did, and two days later, got an excited email informing me that my offer was accepted.

Congratulations! You committed to buy the following item:
I went to pay, and learned that the actual payment would require my going to an external site.
Payment details: Please be sure to use our Marketworks Checkout


Before taking that step, I asked for shipping costs. Got an email back from "Kris" - an associate with the vendor. The shipping seemed a bit high. I clicked the link on Kris' email to the seller's site, and found no sign of a geographical location. Geezerly of me, I guess, to want to actually know where in space the seller to whom I'm sending money in expectation of receiving the very product advertised is located.

But I asked Kris, who replied:

Dear Valued Customer,

We ship out of KY.




This does not answer my question. I will not send money in payment until I have your complete address. I tried calling your customer service number and was unable to reach a live representative.

To which:

Dear Valued Customer,

You have to pay using our checkout method, we do not accept mailed in payments..

We accept either paying with a credit card or using paypal.



I am aware that I will use a credit card for payment. My reason for requiring your business address is that I am unwilling to pay for something to a seller whose physical location is unknown to me. It has to do with having recourse in case anything goes wrong. All I have is email and a telephone number that does not bring me a live person.

If you are unwilling to provide a full address of your headquarters and the name of the president of your firm, then please cancel this transaction.



Dear Valued Customer,

I understand.

Well Michael Rubin is the CEO/president.


I should mention, somewhere in the original confirmation I was informed:

  • Your purchase is a contract and you have committed to buy this item. Please contact the seller to arrange payment.

In all, there were 13 emails and one useless phone call, giving the Valued Customer, in the end, the alleged name of the ceo, but withholding any physical address.

If you're doing business in the world, selling stuff and receiving money, don't you need to actually BE somewhere?

Well apparently not. Not even virtually, it seems. I went back just now to find their "presence" on eBay:

From collectibles to cars, buy and sell all kinds of items on eBay

Sorry, this store does not exist.

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Blogger Jon said...

So .. if eBay tries to enforce the contract, can you not pretend that someone else, a virtual Tom or a Tom-Bot, actually pretended to be you and that your supposed purchase of said item does not exist either ?

11/22/2007 9:06 AM  
Anonymous virtual tom said...

Yep, or suggest that I have paid, with tender as legal and valid as the destination it was directed to, and where is my item?

11/22/2007 9:48 AM  
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12/10/2007 3:31 AM  

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