Buyer Beware…

We have been stung, for the second time this year, with an E-Bay purchase.

The first time was with my first attempt at a ‘new’ pair of boots.
It is really hard to tell from a picture the quality of things, and had I seen the boots in a shop, I wouldn’t have bought them.
But once they arrived, and I had reconciled myself to their lack of any real leather, and generally cheap appearance, I Made Do and wore them.
Until the fell apart about 3 weeks later.
Lesson learned.

Or so we thought.

Hubby, like most men I would imagine, is a bit of a Lego fan.
And is now really quite excited that BigSmall is getting big enough to play with “Big Lego” (Rather confusingly, in our house, Big Lego, is the little lego, for bigger boys, to distinguish it from the other Lego, Duplo, that we still call Lego-following?!)
Because of some kind of mental scars of feeling like he never had enough Lego bricks as a child, hubby is on a mission to make sure that the boys do not grow up suffering similar mental anguish, and has been trawling E-Bay for secondhand Lego bargains. He very excitedly came to tell me that he had found 9.5kg (I kid you not) of Lego, listed, in nearby Frome.
He justified bidding some ludicrous amount of money for it by assuring me that he had a complete model in a box that was highly desirable that he could sell, that would pretty much cover the cost of this Lego.
This Lego, apparently had all kinds of wonderful Lego things, like Star Wars bits, and Indiana Jones bits and Batman bits. As well as being 9.5kg. A LOT of bricks.
Well, he won the auction, and came home with 2 large boxes full of Lego.
And sat down that very evening to ‘sort through it’ (play with it).
And then we found we had a bit of a problem.
Quite a bit of it was not real Lego (I know this because I eventually went into help and was instructed to check all the pieces for the words “LEGO” on top…), some of it had been drawn on and painted on, much of it was really grubby and chipped, and nearly all of the men had been pulled to bits (more bits than a Lego man should have) and been defaced.
It did say in the description that it had been played with, so some pieces may be marked or chipped, but this wasn’t really “As Described” at all.

I was not happy.
Hubby was not happy.
BUT he had paid cash. So we stood the very real risk of the buyer just saying No, we couldn’t have a refund, and then having no recourse via PayPal.
I am reliably informed by hubby, that if you pay by Paypal and have a dispute with a seller, Paypal can take the money from the seller’s account it they need to.

So it was a very worried and nervous hubby who left for work on Monday morning, and went back round to the seller’s house to explain his disappointment with the Lego and ask for his money back.
To our huge relief, they gave him the money back without too much fuss, so no harm done.
BUT a BIG lesson learned and I think we will both be more cautious in future (and make sure we pay with Paypal!) if we buy again.

13 thoughts on “Buyer Beware…

  1. So are you left ‘Lego-less’ after all that?
    I’ve spent the past few weekends sorting through crate after crate of my Bigger Boy’s Lego- removing any lookalikeys, elastic bands, broken pens, sweet wrappers etc etc. I have sorted out the mini-figures and component-parts, wheels and instructions.
    And I hope to make a handsome price to reward my efforts at a car boot sale soon.
    Hopefully I shall have enough to replace the stylus for Bigger Boy’s ‘tablet’, which I think I might have mistaken for a broken pen!

  2. As I’ve probably mentioned before, we picked up a huge bag of lego in a charity shop last year. Best £20 I’ve ever spent. And yes, I did wash it before I let the boys (junior and adult) play worth it. Hubbie was well chuffed as there was lots of lego space bits that he remembered playing with as a boy. Keep your eyes peeled 😉

  3. What is it about non Legoism! I got caught at a charity shop…big carrier bag of Lego for £7.50! Bag all sealed up but what i could make out….looked like Lego…that was my 1st mistake! Yes a few pieces of Lego, plus bits of pretend Lego, wooden bricks, cement like playdoh, couple of chunky beads, and a few items which I would not describe on a family website! When I mentioned it next time I was in, the lady didn’t bat an eyelid and merely said “oh we get all sorts in here my darling!” Obviously no sorting through bags goes on there! Good luck with the Lego hunting.

    • Oh crikey, I assumed they checked it all before putting it for sale. Mind you, we did buy a jigsaw or game once that was missing a lot of pieces-we took it back, and swapped it for some marbles!

  4. As an ebay seller I always ask for cash on collection for a “buyer collects” item. If they’ve already paid by PayPal they could claim they’d never received/collected the goods and get the payment reversed. It has happened!

    • Wow, that’s really awful. I can’t believe people would actually do that. Maybe you should ask if you can take a picture of them holding their new purchase before they leave!!!

  5. It’s actually recommended on eBay that if you pick up you pay cash as lots of people have been scammed – saying they never received the item and then getting a paypal refund – but they do have the item! (So seller gets screwed.) So don’t be too harsh on ‘cash on collection’ sellers! I you go to collect, just take time to check you’re buying what you think you’re buying. I generally find that if you’re not happy with something and you email the seller they will sort it out for you. I’ve messaged people if I find the item arrives with a 60p stamp and I’ve paid £10 for ‘first class recorded’ to ask for a partial postage refund and every time I’ve had a partial refund. With stuff that’s not as described most people will offer a discount if it’s going to be too much hassle to send back. Just don’t be afraid to ask, even after you’ve paid and received the item! Most people genuinely want a happy customer : )
    Don’t get scared off, eBay and Gumtree are such great services for people trying to buy second hand!

    • I wasn’t intending it to come across that I was having a go at the seller, or sellers in general. More just trying to make the point that if you pay in cash, you don’t really have any chance of getting your money back if the seller refuses to refund you. Hadn’t occurred to me that people could be so devious as to scam people with Paypal-must be less naive 😦
      We have had some good experiences selling on E-bat although the high postal costs are now quite off putting.
      Will persevere!

      • You wanna try selling in Australia! Postage here is ridiculous! Cheapest price for anything thicker than a letter is $6.95 (£5)! Which means it’s cheaper to buy stuff in the UK and ship it over. Not exactly great for the environment…!

        PS You weren’t coming across like that, don’t worry! I just thought I’d let you know in case you found any sellers didn’t want to accept Paypal for local pickup – there’s a reason is all I meant!

  6. Pingback: Lovely Hubby Guest Post… | My Make Do and Mend Year

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