I get non paying bidders quite often, one a week is probably low, sometimes they pay when I send them a payment reminder or a message, sometimes they ignore me. Sometimes they pay when I start the non paying bidder process, sometimes they ignore me. Sometimes they complain to me after they have received a non paying bidder strike, sometimes they ignore me. But today I had a reply from someone who didn’t ignore me and they had a cracking excuse as to why they didn’t pay. I like to think I shot that excuse down quite well, but first I like to set the scene.
I had a set of children’s coloured bricks listed for £25 and I received an offer for £18 which I was happy to accept in order to get them out the door. I packed them up ready to go but never had payment come through. I’d sent the acceptance of the offer only minutes after it arrived so I expected payment to be quite swift. A day or two later I sent a payment reminder and a little message and got no reply. Time to get tough I thought and started the non paying bidder process, which used to be automatic for me but hadn’t kicked in for some reason. That will teach them not to pay for my items I didn’t think to myself. Usually after a seller escalates it to this point the buyer either pays or gets in touch to ask if the transaction can be cancelled. This time, nothing. So after a few days I closed the case and collected my £1.80 final value fee back, I didn’t even feel bad.
A few days after that I get a message out of the blue from the buyer:
I just checked my account and realised that my 8 year old has been ordering from my account. This is not the only item she’s bought :(“
I went to reply and thought that it was actually quite impressive if that were the case, because it was a best offer. Clever kid. A few other things then fell in to place and the excuse looked more and more flimsy. I know people make purchases they regret but it’s usually just the best to tell the truth. And why did the buyer even bother sending me a message, the transaction was over and they had the strike already.
Anyway I looked a few things up to check to see if this were true, including checking the buyers purchase history and their feedback to see what else the daughter may have bought. What I found made me laugh. And I couldn’t help but write the buyer back.
This is what I wrote:
If that’s true then that’s fine, I’m sorry that the unpaid item procedure was started and that you now have a strike against you.
However I find it extremely impressive that not only did your 8 year old manage to find my item but actually managed to make an offer which was high enough for me to consider accepting!
I also find it slightly suspicious because the offer was made at 13:08 on a Wednesday when an 8 year old girl should be in school!
As for her buying other things I find it hard to believe that she also bought some ‘instant adhesive’ and a ‘groin guard’. I can almost believe that she bought an ‘automatic egg incubator’ if she is interested in chicks, it is nearly Easter after all! The item that I really don’t believe she could have bought though was the ‘Penis Enhancement Enlargement Erection Aids’ (Viagra)
If you’re being truthful I’m really sorry for being so intrusive but I feel that an 8 year old girl wouldn’t be capable of this.
Thank you for getting in touch.
I couldn’t help myself. Perhaps I was a bit childish in writing that reply, after all it didn’t benefit me in any way, it did nothing to give the non-buyer confidence in me as a seller to consider buying from me again in the future. But then I thought to myself, if I am doubting the truthfulness of this story, then do i really want someone like this to buy from me again? Not really!
You may be wondering where I got the information for my reply. It’s simple really, the buyer said her daughter had bought other things too. So I did an advanced search by bidder on completed listings which showed all the items bought in the last few months, there weren’t a great many of them. I then deduced that if the transactions had gone through then feedback probably wouldn’t have been left by the seller, but in most cases it had been, I could then tell that the items had been paid for. It also showed me what items were bought and that’s why I could see that someone from that account had bought an egg incubator!
The bit which got me though was when I saw there had been a private feedback left for the buyer and the only thing that seller sells is generic viagra, I checked his sales history and found that was all he sold. Surely the 8 year old didn’t buy and pay for this? Meaning I was pretty much 100% lied to.
So the moral(s) of the story.
Don’t leave your 8 year old on eBay
Don’t be dishonest if you make a mistake
Don’t buy viagra off ebay
This isn’t the first time a child has been blamed for buying one of my items, there are two other cases where kids apparently took to their parents accounts in order to try and spend their money.
I sold a Robocop figure sealed in the pack and afterwards got this message:
“hi there, i am sorry to say, but i didnt place this bid to you im very very sorry, but my child was using myebay account, (hes only 8) which is automatically logged in, and thought he was ordering something for his daddy that olves robocop. He doesnt get the whole ‘you have to use money to pay for it and that money is transferred electronically, he just thinks i click on things and they turn up :S . also this isnt a series of interest to my partner, so it isnt something i would have chosen myself. I am greatly apologetic, and wonder if i can infact cancel the transaction?”
I canceled the transaction. In comparison to the previous 8 year old excuse I believed this one, it just seemed much more genuine.
“Sorry by the mistake but my son try to buy dont looking the other charges.
Best regards Pablo”
This message was from someone who lived in Florida who tried to buy a game from me which was free postage in the UK. Needless to say it wasn’t free to the USA. This was his way of backing out. I think he’s trying to say that his son bought the game and hadn’t considered there would be shipping charges. I don’t know if he was 8 years old as well as the other two. For all I know Pablo’s son could be 43, needless to say i didn’t believe this one was genuine.
And touch wood I haven’t had any further issues with youngsters buying my stuff, but I’m sure it wont be long before I have another non-paying bidder. Read my article about the best ways to get non paying bidders to pay.
Why can’t people just be honest? I think it’s because even though buyers and sellers rarely if ever meet, noone wants people to dislike them or be annoyed by their actions and to so make up some excuse, some reason why it was not their fault then they think that they will be off the hook and not blamed anymore. If you can be convincing I’m sure this works. Just don’t claim that your daughter bought a load of other items in an eBay binge when it takes 30 seconds for someone to check this out.
I don’t know if you found this post helpful or not, but hopefully it gave you a chuckle if nothing else.