Bad Traders

Bad Trader Reports on teca98

teca98 BTRs28-Feb-2008
Status: active
Address: Unsure - I made a purchase and was never given the mailing address.
Reporter: Forgotten_Freshness

Tami approached me through eBay around Christmas time about an item she had for sale. At the time I had lost a bid on a complete Castlevania Legends in excellent condition for the Nintendo Game Boy. Tami came to me shortly after, offering hers for sale.

She claimed the item to be in excellent complete condition, with pictures to prove it. I took a look at the pictures of the item and knew it wasn't "Excellent" as I could see some wear to the box edges, however she assured me it was minor and it was excellent otherwise. The pictures were very poor, with little detail, but I took her word for it as her eBay rating was relatively good. We agreed on $117 shipped for the item.

I pay her through paypal, and the item arrives later that week. I open the box up and am disgusted. First thing I find weird is the edge of the box, the label. It's not there and the back of the box is in 4 different languages. It's a PAL import. The wear to the top, which was much less visible in the picture is very apparent. The manual is creased and dog-eared, and smells of smoke or incense. The cartridge is in "Very Good" condition but it is not excellent.

After talking to some people from overseas I come to find out this game, in this condition is still valuable, but not nearly as much as I paid. I had overpaid by almost $50. I tried to discuss this with Tami, and proposed the idea of a full refund and I return the item. Instead, she told me she'd only refund part of my money. She was going to keep the initial shipping money, and keep MORE money for paypal fees. Then keep MORE money for a "refund fee" through paypal, which doesn't exist. On top of all that, I was going to have to eat return shipping. This was unacceptable, so I approached her about a partial refund (somewhere around the proposed difference in item value) which she absolutely refused, so I took this to paypal. I told her if she'd send me $30 back I'd eat the rest, and we'd call it a day.

Even though the box was technically damaged, she called paypal and told them how I was upset that it was of the wrong region and how she believed that "we have different opinions on excellent condition", and she immediately won the dispute. Paypal doesn't issue refunds for item discrepancies like that. She basically made them think it was a matter of personal opinion rather than fact.

To this day she refuses to remedy this by issuing a full refund or giving me the partial refund I asked for. I suggest not dealing with this user, as she clearly is unaware of how items are to be rated and unaware of how to appropriately handle a dispute like this. Had I been issued all my money back, I would of eaten return shipping and it would of all been said and done, but she refused.

Unless she issues me the $30 asked for, or the full refund, this bad trader report will stay up to warn other users not to deal with this person.

EDIT: A refund for $117 minus $7 for shipping, minus $5 for fees, and then having to eat another $7 for shipment back would of put me $19 in the hole, which is unacceptable. I also do not see how it's even possible for a person to think a game in this condition is "excellent". No matter what reference guide you used, it's just not possible. You're uneducated in a field you're trying to move products in. You should stay away from selling items on eBay if you're such a poor judge of condition.

UPDATE: Just because I have a Brick & Mortar store doesn't mean I didn't want this for my personal collection. Yes, I was going to have to sell games to get this item - but my birthday was coming up and I managed to get money from my mother instead. I have a flawless track record with a single bad transaction rating (from a 14 year old kid who wouldn't pay for a gaming card), so why would I start lying to people now? This is over regardless, and this BTR will remain up.
Response from Accused "Bad Trader": (29-Feb-2008)
Allow me to present the facts as they ACTUALLY happened. Yes, I approached Frank on Dec 2, 2007 through Ebay after he failed to provide the winning bid for a complete Castlevania Legends game, offering him my game for sale.

Using the reference guide I found online I determined the game to be in excellent condition. Those guidelines allowed for minor edge wear (shelf wear) on the box, no obvious rips or tears to flaps, no creases, etc. These same guidelines allowed for the usual wear on the booklet & loss of glossiness from handling as well as usual wear of the cartridge from being inserted into the Gameboy, i.e. scuffs from insertion, label intact with no rips or tears. Had Frank provided me the reference guide he used BEFORE the sale, I would have graded it at very good.

The photos sent to Frank on 12-3-07 were shots taken up close & in focus. One can plainly read the writing on the box & see the edge wear as described. I'll add here that the photos had been taken with an Olympus 6.0 mp camera. Shots were taken from all 4 sides along with front & back, top & bottom of the box, which were the shots Frank was most interested in. A photo of the manual & cartridge was also included. After seeing the photos, a final price of $110 with $7 Priority shipping with insurance & delivery confirmation was agreed upon. Frank sent that payment on 12-6-07 & the game shipped to him next day, which he received on 12-11-07.

Frank notified me of his displeasure with the game that same day. I'm confused by his statement "First thing I find weird is the edge of the box, the label. It's not there" . There are no blank spots on the box, so is this something fabricated? As for being a PAL release, I was not aware of that until he told me. I'm an average person who likes to play video games, not an expert. The game played on my Gameboy, so how was I supposed to know what country it had been released in? He admitted to me that a friend had informed him of this, so I guess Frank isn't the expert either. Regardless, as stated above, one can plainly read the writing on the box in the photo, so if release country was an issue, why didn't he bring it up after viewing the photos & before payment was made?

As for the manual being "creased and dog-eared, and smells of smoke or incense", again the photo clearly showed the minor dogeared crease in the upper right hand corner & he mentioned that in a subsequent email but stated it wasn't an issue. As for the odor, no one in my house smokes or burns incense, but we do have a wood burning stove & do burn scented candles. Had the odor been apparent to me at the time of our many communications before the sale complete, it would have been relayed to Frank.

I'll interject here that my current Ebay rating is 100% with 244 feedback which reflects my experience as both a buyer & seller. Can't get any better than that, but perspective is everything & all things are "relative". I fail to see how a perfect score can be deemed as "her eBay rating was relatively good". Perhaps this gives one an idea of how Frank perceives excellent vs good!

I had offered Frank a complete refund of the sale price if he would send the game back to me under the same conditions I had shipped it to him, i.e. Priority shipping with insurance & delivery confirmation. I felt that since it is common practice on Ebay & other sites to not refund shipping costs as they are a fixed cost which the buyer is responsible for, Frank would not have the $7 shipping costs refunded. Also, because I have a business account with Paypal I am charged a 2.9% + 30 cents fee to recieve funds and a 1% fee to give refunds. I told Frank the fees I had incurred with Paypal would also not be refunded. We are talking about less than $5 folks!

Frank then countered with he wanted to keep the game & would accept a $50 refund, which later was lowered to $30. I refused, reoffered the total refund as per my terms which HE refused. He then opened a dispute with Paypal saying the item was not as described. After ruminating for several days on how to respond, I decided to contact Paypal directly for advise.

I explained to the Paypal representative what had happened & read to her the communications exchanged. Her first response was to say it was her opinion that my buyer was trying to rip me off! I couldn't agree more & after she advised me to not respond & do nothing & assured me that even though he had filed a dispute, there was nothing Paypal could or would do as they didn't get into a buyer's dissatisfaction with an item & the dispute process was to rectify issues with non-receipt of an item. No I didn't immediately win the dispute as Frank stated above, I won simply because he was in error to have filed it in the 1st place.

As things stand today, I was totally honest in my descriptions to Frank, the photos alone should have clued him into any issues he had with the game. The PAL issue was never brought up during our negotiations even though what ever differences between a US & PAL release were glaringly apparent on the photos provided to him.

As for my refusal to remedy this problem, it is my opinion that he should have accepted my 1st offer for a refund of the sale price excluding shipping costs. Now too much time has elapsed, he waited nearly 2 months to revisit this problem once the Paypal dispute was closed. I'm sorry he wasn't satisfied with his purchase, it wasn't due to my lack of diligence. He is the supposed "expert" on all types of video games not I. He could easily mitigate his loss by reselling the game either in his brick & mortar store or on an online auction site. His admitted embarrassment of his lack of knowledge concerning this game is not going to be left on my shoulders. Perhaps in the future he should make sure all parties are on the same page before a sale is complete. How difficult is it to send a copy of the reference guide to a seller so that differences in a grading system could be negotiated?

As for the warning from Frank to the good people on GTZ, I could care less if others choose not to trade with me using this forum as the only reason I signed up here was to gather info on Frank. It was here that I found out about his store in New York. Thanks GTZ (and Google) for providing me all the information I needed to make an informed decision as how to appropriately handle this situation. I will not now or ever refund any money to him. It is regretful he isn't pleased with his purchase, but it is not my fault.

Oh and by the way Frank, my return address was on the package & it is unfair for you to state that it was never given to you. It would have been more truthful to say you didn't copy it down.

I am an honest respectful person with integrity & consider this matter closed.

I never claimed to be "educated" in the field of grading video games Frank! Apparently you aren't either, at least not as much as you think, else you would have seen the alleged defects of the game on the photos! Least of which what country it was released in! You never once asked me where I had obtained the game, had you I would have gladly told you it was from an Ebay seller in the UK. I remember telling you to search overseas Ebay listings for the other Castlevania games you are wanting! Hello!

Had you been totally honest with me this may have turned out differently for you. First you claimed to have gotten the funds to purchase my game by selling other games, then that changed to it was birthday money from your mom. Surely you can understand my position - when a simple thing such as the source of the money morphs into a story intended to illicit my sympathy because you weren't happy - well how could I not feel like you were trying to take advantage of me? Especially when you didn't want to return the game & wanted a partial refund. Put yourself in my place ... wouldn't you feel that the buyer was wanting something for nothing & was trying to rip you off?

Then you bellyache that Paypal sided with me because I made a phone call. Geez man...clue in will you! I neither won or lost that dispute... Paypal simply doesn't get into a buyer's remorse .... your claim was dismissed for lack of merit.

Second, our differences in grading the game could have been resolved. I told you where I was getting my references, you never once offered to send me yours. Don't you think that maybe the outcome would be different had you taken the time? Yes. I agree with you - under your guidelines the game would rate an overall VG to G. Did I have that information BEFORE the sale was complete? NO So don't blame me for your shortcomings.

Third once I found out that you weren't an "average gamer" who wanted a copy of Casltlevania Legends because you were a fan of the title but instead a person who makes their living by buying & selling video games, with a brick & mortar store no less, that cinched it for me that you were indeed trying to take advantage.

Whether or not I sell on Ebay is really none of your business. It is your choice to bid or not, but not yours to tell me what I should or shouldn't do. As stated above, for all the world to read...... I AM NOT AN EXPERT ON VIDEO GAMES, NEVER CLAIMED TO BE! I owned a rare game, had watched other listings on Ebay for nearly 3 years & saw how the supply was under matched for the demand & decided to sell mine. I didn't know any difference between US & PAL, still don't. It played on my Gameboy & that was all I cared about. When I offered the game to you there was no agenda other than for me to raise funds for my grandkids Christmas.

Again, I'm sorry that you are embarrassed & disappointed with your purchase, Frank. Surely somewhere down the line there have been others you've dealt with who feel the same, guess it is now your turn. I wasn't trying to rip you off & gave you every opportunity for you to make an informed decision about this purchase. Ultimately it was your decision to make, no one held a gun to your head. As they say - caveat emptor. This is a dead issue to me.

Frank, you just don't get it do you? This was never about whether or not you have a brick & mortar store, nor was it about where the money actually came from, nor was it about your flawless record here as a trader. This is about perceptions & expectations. Perception on your part that for whatever reason you decided to purchase the game after viewing the photos & my written description of the game along with my perception that you were a regular gamer like myself who enjoyed the title & the expectation that you would own a complete copy of the game for less than the going price on Ebay & my expectation you would be pleased with your purchase. I'm truly sorry you feel the way you do & that you are so unhappy. That said, I still consider myself to be an honest & respectable person & never intended to mislead you in any way.

At the time of sale I had no idea about your store, you negotiated the price based on your recent sale of games, at least that's what you told me before you made payment. I offered you the choice of an Ebay or a private sale, you opted for the latter. I had no idea you were a member in this community until after you filed the Paypal dispute, so your nearly flawless reputation had absolutely no bearing on the sale. It did, however, have a lot to do with my decision to leave things as is once you filed the Paypal dispute.

This has become a series of unfortunate events for the both of us, I don't want to get into a pissing match with you over a stupid game. What is done is done. We both feel justified in our actions. You are several levels above me as far as knowledge of what the market value of a game is, the grading of its condition, its rarity & its worth as a collectible, so in my opinion (as well as others) the onus was on you, both legally & morally. Consider yourself to be the proud owner of a complete, albeit expensive, European Castlevania Legends. You now have a story to tell & are a member of the exclusive club of others like you.

Unlike you, I'm not out to tarnish your reputation here or to portray you as a liar or a cheat. You seem to enjoy a respectable rating here & in no way am I trying to destroy that for you. I'm only trying to present the facts from my point of view & how those facts determined my subsequent actions. I felt like you were trying to take advantage of my admitted lack of knowledge regarding this game. I had attempted to do the right thing, you convoluted the issue only to have it escalate into this.

Our transaction didn't even take place in this forum, yet you attack me here. Does that seem realistic or fair to you? Do you really think the good people of GTZ actually give a rip what occurred between us IN A PRIVATE TRANSACTION? Your frustration is understandable, perhaps you feel that a subordinate uninformed species ( & a female to add insult to injury) pulled one over on the mighty all knowing trader or maybe you are attempting to assuage your embarrassment at having purchased a rare game only to be informed by a friend that "you overpaid for a PAL import", I don't know, but this lame attempt to threaten me only goes to show where the bitterness really stems. You are surely doing more to harm your reputation here than I ever could! Intelligent people can judge for themselves if my character is questionable, you are leaving them no doubt as to yours!

Your feeble threat "this BTR will remain up" makes absolutely no difference to me. Leave it up for all the world to see, please.... I beg you!! Our exchanges could be a valuable lesson to those who take the time to read the rhetoric! Take notes people! A quiz follows! Glossary terms available upon request! This forum was a means to an end for me, I never anticipated buying or selling here simply because there is no safety net for me as in other places online. This community is yours to keep, Frank, no offense to the members here, but this was only a research tool for me.

Now please...... stop trying to drink my milkshake & I will damn sure not drink yours! Stick a fork in me....I'm done! Insert whatever euphemisms you care to here, this is finished. Have a nice weekend.