Thursday, May 30, 2013

My Week as Nancy Drew

It was a dark and stormy really was, rain, rain, and more rain all week long.  Definite Pacific Northwest spring stormy weather.  I was unable to get out to my garden much at all, although, I will say I noticed yesterday tiny little spring onion shoots popping out of the soil as well as the radishes starting to pop up as well.  Since I was stuck inside, I got a bunch of organizing done, and found quite a few things to add to our summer garage sale pile, and some of the collectibles I have decided to thin out, I listed on eBay.

I have always enjoyed eBay-ing, it is a wonderful way to turn things you no longer want into cash, as well as  to find the occasional new additions to my various little collections or an out of print book I've been seeking.  All in all a fun little hobby of mine.  My son also found out his choir will be touring in Hawaii next spring, so I have been helping sell some of his old action figures to save up for the trip.  All was going along pretty well.

One of the items I had up for sale was a very pretty pair of earrings, I am not big on fancy jewelry, and it seemed pointless to have it sitting around not being used, so off it went to my sale.  All week I was excited watching it being bid on, many interested customers, how wonderful I thought.  The buyer who won promptly paid, and I sent the item off the next day.   A few days later the buyer informed me she wanted to return the item, knowing there are many scams of switching out gems for fakes, I sold this auction as no return, so I politely reminded her of our agreement, and at first I suspected it was a case of buyers remorse, and hoped it would blow over.

It didn't, the buyer continued to write mean-hearted e-mails with all sorts of threats, so I had to report her to eBay.  The lady at the call center seemed to be sure everything would be fine, but it is awfully hard to communicate with call center operators.  A few days later, and more harassing, I started to suspect something a bit more fishy than buyers remorse.  That's when I put on my sleuthing hat.  Hmm, what would Nancy Drew do, how about Miss Marple, or Jessica Fletcher?

Her feedback was marked private, but with the aid of various computer searches I found she had left multiple other negative feedback for other jewelry auctions.  I decided to write these other sellers and ask them their experience in dealing with this buyer, and started to put together quite a pattern of rather hinky looking behavior. Some  sellers were even from other countries, thanks to Google translator I was able to even hear from an Italian seller.  Very interesting.

Anyway, back to the call center with my new found info, they say they are "investigating" but I find it quite hard to believe they haven't shut down the buyer yet.  I have found that this is a pretty common scheme on eBay, where the scam artist either buys and pays for an item, then gets a refund then returns the wrong item or no item, or they get the item and ask for a partial refund under threat of charge backs etc. You can see many videos about this sort of thing on YouTube, where others have been similarly scammed.  Sigh.

I suspect I will have a long wait, and I have heard the reason this scam works is because eBay always sides with the buyer, I hope this isn't true with this particular buyer's record, but we'll see.  In the mean time it has been quite an interesting week as an internet gumshoe.  But I think I prefer to enjoy my mysteries in books, old re-runs of Murder She Wrote on Netflix, and PBS Mystery!

I am glad to hear sun is in the forecast for this weekend, my garden needs warming up so the seeds won't be so sluggish in sprouting.  And one more week until my daughter's graduation from high school, an exciting week ahead for sure!

Hope everyone has a nice weekend.

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