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cosmicray



Posts: 6991

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:14 am    Post subject: Reading comprehension Reply with quote

When the listing says ...
Quote:
New. Some copies may have failed seals due to age & handling.
and then the buyer says ...
Quote:
I expect this to have not been opened as described "Brand New".
what is a seller supposed to do ?

If they do not respond within 24 hours, I'm dumping this order into the recycle bin.
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FoxAndFish



Posts: 1543

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 9:25 am    Post subject: Re: Reading comprehension Reply with quote

cosmicray wrote:
When the listing says ...
Quote:
New. Some copies may have failed seals due to age & handling.
and then the buyer says ...
Quote:
I expect this to have not been opened as described "Brand New".
what is a seller supposed to do ?

A seller is supposed to respond politely and professionally, as I'm sure you always do, addressing the issue raised after thanking the customer for their inquiry.

Your text says "some" copies may have failed seals. That suggests there are "other" copies that may not have failed seals. If there are, in fact, copies without failed seals that will satisfy this customer's expectation of the box not having been opened, you can tell the customer. If, contrary to your text, all the boxes have failed seals, you can repeat the explanation: the product has not been opened but the box seal has failed due to age. Then, if there is no rational response, you can decline the order.
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school-yearbooks



Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:45 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

.
I don't know what your item actually was but as an example I'll use books ...

EB has 5 different item conditions for books ... BRAND NEW, LIKE NEW, VERY GOOD, GOOD, and ACCEPTABLE

Brand New

A new, unread, unused book in perfect condition with no missing or damaged pages. See the seller's listing for full details.

Like New

A book that looks new but has been read. Cover has no visible wear, and the dust jacket (if applicable) is included for hard covers. No missing or damaged pages, no creases or tears, and no underlining/highlighting of text or writing in the margins. May have very minimal identifying marks on the inside cover. Very minimal wear and tear. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.

Many buyers confuse the LIKE NEW and BRAND NEW descriptions. It's always better to describe slightly iffy items as 'like new' as opposed to 'brand new'. Otherwise you're open for some buyers to want a refund.

We discussed a similar item and item description here recently .. a pair of red suede boots that the seller insisted to list as new but the boots had a stain of some sort.

.
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cosmicray



Posts: 6991

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 10:53 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

@FoxAndFish

The buyer already placed the order (I should have been more clear about this). They put the above requirement in the notes section of the order. There was no communication prior to placing the order.

The notation I have on the listing is to communicate to the buyers not to expect a sealed box.

About a month back, I had an order for one of these. The listing used to say "New & sealed". When I filled that order, I had to look thru several to find a sealed copy. Following that order, and knowing that I have some with failed seals, I changed the listing to reflect this.

From my perspective, the customer is trying to upgrade from what was offered to best possible condition (i.e. cherry picking the remaining inventory). I have an FAQ item that speaks to this situation.

@school-yearbooks

The item is a LEGO set, about 15 years since it was issued. The more years that pass (since issued) the more buyers seem to think they need perfect condition boxes.

ETA: unlike books, LEGO set boxes do not necessarily age well. The factory never envisioned that they would be held this long. Some of the older ones have a plastic seal over the flap. The seals deteriorate with age and handling. In some cases, the adhesive on the seal stops sticking. Other sets had a glued seal. I have seen those fail as well.
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school-yearbooks



Posts: 2477

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 12:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

.

Maybe sellers can minimize item description errors and customer cherry-picking if they do not elude to a quantity of more than one item availble for sale in the listing? I suppose the problem with that tactic has a flaw as a buyer may want more than one set/box of same Legos.

When creating item descriptions sometimes it's best to gear them to the buyers that only scan the descriptions. By placing the description of the condition in more place in the ad seems to help reduce the amount of misunderstood buyers. Maybe you do that already.

Selling online is a real pain.

.
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FoxAndFish



Posts: 1543

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 1:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cosmicray wrote:
The notation I have on the listing is to communicate to the buyers not to expect a sealed box.

But it doesn't convey that. The note says "some" copies. That means "other" copies do have a sealed box. If I were a customer, I would want the sealed box...and the customer's note reflects the desire for the "other" box, the one that is still sealed. Completely rational to me.

cosmicray wrote:
About a month back, I had an order for one of these. The listing used to say "New & sealed". When I filled that order, I had to look thru several to find a sealed copy. Following that order, and knowing that I have some with failed seals, I changed the listing to reflect this.

Then that leaves you open to a customer expecting a box that is sealed, since only "some" have failed seals.

So to prevent a repeat, is it possible to have 2 listings for that product? One listing with boxes that are sealed. One listing for boxes with failed seals. They can even be priced differently to further differentiate.

In any event, for this customer, if you have a product with a sealed box, this customer should get it. B/c your listing can reasonably be interpreted to mean that there are sealed boxes. If there are no products of this type with still sealed boxes, then the listing is misleading, which I'm sure is not your intention.

cosmicray wrote:
From my perspective, the customer is trying to upgrade from what was offered to best possible condition (i.e. cherry picking the remaining inventory). I have an FAQ item that speaks to this situation.

If I were a customer reading that "some" products have failed seals...which suggests that "others" do not...I'd want the product with the non-failed seal. And as a customer, I'm not going to go off and read FAQs to see if every eventuality for the product is covered. It's hard enough to get customers just to read the listing let alone the Terms, etc.

So if your original question was what to do with this particular order, then I think the customer should get a product in a sealed box, since the listing suggests such is available. And if the box is not sealed, it might be appropriate to knock a little $ off. But that's just me.
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MaggietheCatsMeows



Posts: 2799

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 2:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I would take a photo of the seal and send it to the buyer for approval. That way you do not have to worry about future aggravation. That also gives the buyer the option to back out of the deal if the seal does not meet their criteria.

Otherwise I agree with other posters that you indicate in the listing that you have some perfectly sealed boxes. They have requested a perfectly sealed box and if you have it you should send it.

I really don't understand the collector mentality of buying mint in sealed box items and stacking them on a shelf and the only satisfaction they get from ownership is knowing they have it. It's sort of akin to getting a large perfect diamond as an engagement ring and putting it in a safe deposit box in the bank or people who buy stolen old masters and hide them so no one else can ever see them or even know they have them.
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AtMemoryLane



Posts: 510

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Some people that collect xyz, actually value the box of the xyz more than the actual item. It is crazy...but everyone collects something. I know of people that ONLY collect the boxes of xyz. In fact, they have no desire for the actual item whatsoever.

Each to his own, I guess.

Either way, Cosmic. I think you got yourself in a bit of sticky situation....and like others have said, you may have created the problem yourself. I am sorry, you find yourself in this predicament. It kind of stinks.

Good Luck!
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16461

PostPosted: Mon Jun 22, 2015 8:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I find myself in this type of situation since I source inventory from many places including the factory to a yard sale/thrift stores. At times that means I may have several of the same items in the same size but perhaps different envelope conditions. As I only sell new, unused patterns as most of my customers are wanting the pattern for what is inside the envelope, not the envelope itself. So I have taken to saying (don't have the exact script in front of me right now) that my items comes from many sources and the while most are in pristine condition, some envelopes may have tears, marks, etc. but I will send the BEST condition item when they buy. Since I'm the only one that is into my inventory I can arrange that, but if I notice that the last remaining pattern has a really messy envelope I will change the listing to indicate what condition it is in. But in the meantime I always cherry pick the BEST pattern for a current buyer.

I would think all of us would or would want to do that when we have duplicate items. It is hard to know how to handle having the same thing in multiple different conditions that affect the value of what you are selling such as books. If nothing else and you don't want two listings for sealed and not sealed, then if possible list the sealed until they are gone and then change the listing to unsealed. If you have a database of your products, you should be able to leave yourself a note so you can relist items when you are out of the sealed (or whatever condition problem) are gone and the others can now be listed. Or Post it notes might work.
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dccollectibles



Posts: 2527

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 2:40 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are all the non-sealed boxes in the same condition as the sealed? If so and they're asking for sealed, i would honor the request. if not, i would inform them of the diff. What they say next will tell you if they're a box collector or just want to be the first to open. Don't get me started on the AFA grading madness.
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theartsandlettersofmaggiethecat



Posts: 2097

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 12:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Moonwishes I've been told that some people who buy vintage patterns don't even want the pattern. They just want the envelopes.
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MoonwishesStore



Posts: 16461

PostPosted: Fri Jun 26, 2015 1:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Never heard of anyone collecting envelopes, but if they do I suspect it would be for the much older ones (vintage) than what I usually sell. Those vintage patterns that came cut, to be sure they haven't been used and are all there means you have to take everything out and then do a piece count and then manage to get them all folded back up looking like it is still in factory folds. In the amount of time it takes me to do that, I can list several other patterns. I have a box of vintage ones to list for when I finish listing all my 1000's of patterns in my backlog. That being said all my listings say (or should say, I might have missed some) that there might be wear and tear on the envelope. Plus I might get even more specific. I've yet to have anyone ask about an envelope or complain about them. I do hear from them if a piece or they think a piece is missing! See the giggle thread.
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Zonkers-Collection



Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How about:
"New, Unopened. But due to age, box seals are drying-out, or brittle"
This would imply they may fail at any time, or may during shipment.

I would cancel this transaction as this customer sounds like a problem... er.. i mean "high maintainence".
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Zonkers-Collection



Posts: 25

PostPosted: Mon Jun 29, 2015 1:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I know of some cerial box collecters who prefer flat, empty boxes, rather than the posability of rotting cerial degrading the box,

I collected a few for the holograms.
I got bitched at by a few potential buyers for having kept them unopened for 20+ years. But they got bought by folks who appreciated the MINT condition.
Go figure.
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tigercreekgifts



Posts: 6293

PostPosted: Tue Jun 30, 2015 11:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

MaggietheCatsMeows wrote:

I really don't understand the collector mentality of buying mint in sealed box items and stacking them on a shelf and the only satisfaction they get from ownership is knowing they have it.


I don't understand it either, but items like that sell very well. I get most of my collectible items like that from my dad. He is one of those that stocks up on collectible new in box items and keeps them for years on end, still in the box, in a locked closet none the less so he never sees them or uses them in any way. He just collects for the heck of it but he went thru and cleaned out that closet a few months ago and gave the items to me to sell. I cannot wait until he decides to part with those NIB matchbox cars he has from the 50's or 60's, somewhere around that time frame.

I thought I'd never sell any of his collectibles but now that I am almost completely sold out of them in just a 5 month period, I stand corrected, and now I want to find more of those items to sell.

I thought the statement about the seals was clear as day. I would not have asked for the best one, I would have assumed that although some seals were still in good condition that the box I end up with will be chosen at random by the seller or I will be given whatever box the seller has left in stock when I order. I sold a vintage 1973 Star Wars puzzle this past christmas and I not only stated that the box was broken and scratched in more than one spot, I took close up photos of the damage and pointed to it with arrows like

<--- This is the corner that is broken
This edge has color fading --->

It helps to show the damage in the photos and even go as far as to describe the damage using text over the photos with arrows pointing to it, for the buyers who are known to skip past the important details in the description. I don't care what google says about using text over photos, as long as your default main photo does not include text and the ones that do contain text are only used to point out damage, they won't penalize you in GS for this because it's not boilerplate or promotional text, it's informative text that can make the difference between a happy satisfied customer or an unhappy disgruntled customer. With that Star Wars puzzle I thought for sure my buyer was still gonna be unhappy, find one tiny spec of damage I forgot to point out or something like that. I was expecting the worst when I shipped it out but they left POS+ feedback stating condition was as described.

Then again, I have shipped a $2.19 order and the customer complained because the outer plastic wrap had a tiny little knick in it which is supposed to be removed anyway as this was not a collectible put it on the shelf and leave it item, this was a usable functional item. The item was in no way damaged neither was the box, this was the plastic wrap keeping people from opening the box while in the store, to prevent people from peeking inside or removing contents, and it had a 2mm wide knick in the plastic that I missed because it was only 2mm so I did not see it. The buyer wanted a 50% refund. She even sent me a photo of the nick. I was like it's so small, it's not hurting anything, and you are going to remove that plastic and toss it in the trash anyway, I'm not giving you a refund for that. Her item was only $2.19 so I wasn't making enough on that order to even care about a miniscule complaint like that. She was rather rude and ugly over it too. As angry as she got over that, which made it obvious she was trying to get something for nothing, you would have thought I sent her a $1,300 ring with a missing diamond.
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