A week ago, I purchased a phone on ebay. My office phone decided that line one would only work when it felt like it — and I realized if I left it be — likely I would loose business. So after I researched which phone I wanted, I went out to see if ebay had a better buy and I found one.
On ebay I found substantial savings. The lister of the product said in the listing it was new, in perfect shape and had a full warranty. He even said he would “repack the phone” for better shipping (hello, in hindsight that was a BIG CLUE something was fishy!!).
Everything sounded good. The only concern I had was he had hidden his feedback — a feature I didn’t know that ebay allowed. All you could see what that he had positive feedback and how many people gave feedback but you couldn’t read the comments by people. It was a little odd, but I thought what the heck, the feedback is positive so who cares… (Mistake!)
Low and behold after I paid for the item with Buy It Now, I realized that without a valid receipt for this product, how could I get my warranty honored with this phone? So I e-mailed the guy. I just got a little concerned.
The lister wrote me back and told me that he bought this phone wholesale so he wasn’t able to give me the receipt, but in the event the phone didn’t operate right, he would exchange it out for another. He had 20 of these phone on hand.
I still didn’t feel better but I decided to wait until the phone came to see it. It came this weekend. When I opened up the box, there was no product-box. Each piece was separately wrapped in bubble wrap and loosely placed in the brown shipping box. There were instructions and everything appeared to be there but there was NO WARRANTY CARD.
I was annoyed. I wondered if the product was hot.
I e-mail the guy and tell him that he isn’t advertising honestly — and if he doesn’t rectify my situation, I am going to leave negative feedback. I question if the product is hot. Then I tell him that he doesn’t tell the consumer that the phone will not come with the original box as shown in the picture. I made the mistake of thinking he’d include it – even if it was folded up! I tell him that while he says there is a warranty, he doesn’t give you proper documentation to get that warranty honored.
Strangely, the ebay lister e-mails me back stating that he told me I could refuse the phone and he would give me $10 for my hassles — which he clearly didn’t — but since I accepted the phone, that option was gone. Then I get an e-mail from ebay that he inquired to get my contact information. In the process, I got his. I see his name, phone number and a PO box. That hit me a little odd — a PO Box? I had not seen that before.
Finally, with all the talk back and forth, he picked up the phone and called me.
By his voice, I would guess his age to be around 35-40. He was polished, and professional — like a true businessman. He was very well-mannered. He sounded Asian-American.
First he told me that ebay was only a hobby for him and that so far he has sold over 190 items with 100% positive feedback. Then he told me that he bought 20 of these phone for $79.99 because the packaging was damaged. He went on to say that when the plastic wrap around the crate was removed, some tape stuck to the boxes and removed the printed information on each telephone package — rending that package unfit for retail sale. That is how he could buy them for less.
He continued in a very calm manner: He told me that he is sorry he got me confused with someone else as he had gotten several details of our transaction wrong. He said that someone else bought the same phone when I did, but his shipment was late — and so for that person, he actually ran out and bought the product at full retail price which for him was around $100 more just to honor his agreement before his new shipment came.
He finally concludes and tells me he will send me a copy of that receipt so I can get a proper warranty. He says he understands what I want because, he too, is a consumer.
After I hang-up the phone, I thought through the conversation. The pieces didn’t add up…do you know why?
Well, if his story is true that he got 20 phones because the packages were damaged, then why was he waiting for ANOTHER SHIPMENT? Do they continually damage the same model phone?
Also, why does he have a PO Box? Most people on ebay give their real address — unless he has something to hide?
Furthermore, why doesn’t he give me the damaged retail box? Or, is it not damaged but perhaps will reveal some retail specific information — which could lead back to him?
Why not include the warranty card?
These behaviors all indicate he is hiding something.
Also, why did he give me such a long-winded story that touts his supposed honesty in which he boasts he is even willing to pay full-retail price for a phone just to honor his sales agreement with another e-bayer? And oh-by-the-way, I can give you a legitimate receipt… This is a classic sign and story of a liar.
And last, why does he hide his comments? I can only speculate his comments look something like this: “Great phone, but why not retail packaging and/or warranty card?” It would look suspicious to people buying the product if they read this — wouldn’t it? But since people all got new phones for a fraction of the price they all leave positive feedback and he can continue to operate without question.
This guy is a liar — a classic smooth operator.