Unhappy Buyer / What's The Right Thing To Do?


April 24, 2007, 09:26 AM
I have bought and sold numerous guns on this and other forums. I am not a dealer just someone who enjoys shooting like many here. I have now run into my first incident and want to do the right thing but I am a little unsure so I ask for advice. I sold a gun on another forum and the transaction went smoothly until the gun arrived at the other end. My description stated that the gun was in excellent condition and came with it's blue box, lock, manual, and 2 hicap mags (where legal). I offered a 3 day no fire inspection period on the gun so that condition and description could be confirmed first hand. I also had several brand new in the package additional mags which I offered to the buyer at $20 each to which he bought 4 of them.

When the gun arrives to his FFL I receive an email that the gun is everything I said it was, but that since the mags are Mecgar and not stamped Sig Sauer on the body he would like to be refunded $20 per mag for the 6 mags plus $5 to ship them back to me or for me to provide him with 6 of the mags he is requesting. Mecgar is in fact the maker of Sigs mags which I inform him of and which he later confirms to be true but still wants the ones that are stamped Sig Sauer on the body. That same day I make contact with a local friend and FFL who has a large supply of guns and accessories and subsequently agrees to sell me 6 brand new unused Sig Sauer stamped hicap mags. I buy them and send an email to the purchaser the same day telling him to just return the 6 mags he has and I will send him the 6 I just acquired ( I have another Sig so I can use the mags anyway). I receive no reply so I send another email the next day asking him if he got my previous email to which his simple reply is "Gun has been shipped back to your FFL".

Here is my dilema. Do I have my FFL accept the gun when the shipment arrives or refuse it? I feel that since I have gone the extra mile to acquire him the mags he wanted (at my expense) that it's a done deal. What do you do when you offer an inspection period to confirm condition and the buyer agrees with it (the condition of the gun) but still wants to return it for other reasons? Just looking for options as he is not communicating very well with me (not responding to my emails).

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April 24, 2007, 09:38 AM
Just get the gun back and sell it to someone else that really wants it. You did do a 3 day inspection period and it sounds like this falls within that time frame.

April 24, 2007, 09:39 AM
Wow, that is a bad situation that you are in my friend. I would have emailed him to tell him that you were planning on purchasing the Sig marked mags before you made the purchase. To me, it sounds like the buyer wanted to back out of the deal and made excuses to you. Many people know that Mec Gar makes mags for a bunch of companies, so that shows that the buyer wasn't very knowledgable.

You sound like a stand up guy for going the extra mile. I am the same way when I sell a firearm. I want to make sure that the buyer is happy, but I"m not going to bend over backwards. If the person doesn't know what they are buying and you were honest with him/her...that's all anyone can expect. I never offered a 3 day inspection period, but then again I never had an issue (knock on wood).

I hope you get this issue resolved in your favor.

April 24, 2007, 09:39 AM
Cut your losses and let it die. That sucks...

April 24, 2007, 09:40 AM
What do you do when you offer an inspection period to confirm condition and the buyer agrees with it but still wants to return it for other reasons?

Which is why from now on you should not offer inspections unless it's face to face.

April 24, 2007, 09:42 AM
Get everything back, refund the money, and call it a learning experience. In my experience anyone that fussy will find other stuff to grouse about as well.

April 24, 2007, 09:45 AM
In his email he did in fact ask me to either refund the money for the mags or provide the ones he was asking for. This all took place over a short 24 hour period from when the gun arrived at his FFL.

April 24, 2007, 09:56 AM
Get the gun back, inspect it and make sure nothing was done and it's in same condition as it was sent, and resell it with all the mags, or re-sell the gun as you did and put the mags up on a seperate sale. Sucks that you had to go through it and that you went the extra mile but it's not a lost operation just yet.

April 24, 2007, 10:02 AM
TXRifleman is correct - F2F gets inspection rights and long distance deals are sold 'as-is'. I've had hundreds of transactions on AuctionArms and hundreds on eBay, and I have 100% feedback on both. That's because I leave no room for waffling or foolin' around. Here's how I phrase my approach in my online for-sale ads:
All sales are final. I make every effort to describe each item to the best of my ability, but in the end the decision to purchase an item rests solely with you. Please do not buy if you're unsure or uncomfortable about the state of the item, but also please be willing to ask any/all questions needed to make up your mind. I'd like for the purchasing process to be as painless and as straightforward as possible.

Also - exchange pictures of EVERYTHING included in the deal. It's hard for someone to claim to have been bushwhacked by a product substitution when the product was clearly identified in a picture that they received.

In this specific case - take the pistol back and be done with it. You take excellent care of your firearms, they're always in great shape, and I'm sure that it'll sell again quickly. You cannot force a buyer to be happy, so I wouldn't bother to try.

Matt - every deal we've ever had has been exemplary. I think you just need to categorize this buyer as a weenie and get on with things.

April 24, 2007, 10:32 AM
Holy crap did you hit the a-hole jackpot. Your solution was absolutely fair and the buyer should have communicated his intentions. You might get more selling on the net but one of these experiences, will ruin your day. Like others have said, FTF or I'm keeping it. Joe

April 24, 2007, 10:51 AM
YOu did you best and held up your end,but now it's time to move on.
Some people can't be satisfied,and those people are not who you want to deal with any longer than necessary

April 24, 2007, 10:54 AM
Maybe, he really needed the money back and used that as an excuse to return it. Especially if he never emailed you back after you got the stamped mags. Sounds fishy.

April 24, 2007, 11:08 AM
I don't need an inspection period when buying from Matt or rbernie. Unfortunately other sellers have different views of veracity and integrity.

If an on-line seller does not offer an inspection period, my feeling is that he can keep his product and I'll keep my money.

Recently I bought a mid 60s Commander that was as advertised. What was missing in the advert was the fact that the mag release and the recoil system had been changed. Seller was notified within the inspection period...no response. That is, 'till I posted a negative comment, then I heard from the seller. A stainless steel mag release and a std length recoil assy were shortly rec'd in the mail. Neither of which was compatable with a mid 60s Commander. We finally got it worked out.

My opinion of the predicament is that the buyer is looking for an excuse to crawfish outta the agreement. You need to weigh the consequences of a negative feedback vs. the letter of the agreement.


PS...Matt, those mags wouldn't happen to be hi-cap for a 228 would they?:D


April 24, 2007, 11:15 AM
from what mwp describes he did everything possible to satisfy. too bad the buyer didn't post. sorry about your headache mwp

April 24, 2007, 11:47 AM
Some people make it their life's mission to be unhappy. It sounds like the OP found one of those.

April 24, 2007, 12:47 PM
another way would be to see if your FFL would sell it for you on consignment. That way, you get your cash, avoid the headaches, and the shop makes a little something as well. I HATE selling over the Internet, too many uncertainties.

lee n. field
April 24, 2007, 01:28 PM
Do I have my FFL accept the gun when the shipment arrives or refuse it?

Accept it back and be done with it. He sounds like a customer who might be more trouble than he's worth.

April 24, 2007, 01:32 PM
I am going to take the groups advice and take the gun back. I'll refund his money and just be done with it.

April 24, 2007, 01:38 PM
Just out of curiosity, on which forum did all this take place?

I have had really good luck on THR and TFL, both buying and selling.
Doesn't mean that there are no bad eggs here but I think the caliber of people on this board is above average.

TexasCHLforum is another good option for finding local FTF buyers.
(If my mention of another board is inappropriate, I apologise.)

April 24, 2007, 04:42 PM
Honestly, I think you were TOO nice. I wouldn't have offered to replace the mags simply because they were stamped Sig on the sides if my selling description did specifically say that.

April 24, 2007, 06:58 PM
Sounds like a real PITA. Cut your losses take your gun back and block the idiot from bidding on your stuff again.

April 24, 2007, 07:18 PM
Take the gun back and be rid of the jerk.

April 24, 2007, 08:42 PM
Take the gun back and chalk it up to doing business on the internet. Have never done anything online with firearms but I have bought and sold a lot of antiques on Ebay and I know exactly what your talking about! :mad: I think it's the nature of the beast. If I had to guess, I'll bet there is more to this than the gun! Good luck to you.

April 24, 2007, 08:57 PM
I did a gun swap over the internet , the gun came in pristine condition but came with low cap mags. Turns out I misread the info , since the gun was what I wanted I just chalked it up to exprience learned and didn't go whining like a baby to the other guy .... . The consignment thing sounds like a good idea , otherwise get the whole packeage pack and resell as 'AS-IS' .

April 24, 2007, 08:58 PM
You are doing the right thing by refunding his money, but I think you would be justified in refunding only the purchase price and not shipping. You were doing what he asked (getting SIG marked mags) but he decided not to wait.

Don't let this discourage you from offering a three day inspection period. An inspection period is standard practice and failing to offer one is a big red flag to potential buyers. GunBroker and Auction Arms even require three day inspection periods to sell on their sites.

ken w.
April 24, 2007, 11:47 PM
I think this guy is a jerk and nothing would make him happy.Being that he didn't answer your email is a bad sign.He should have emailed you and told you he was sending it back before he returned it.Don't let this stop you from doing online buiness again.These things happen.

April 25, 2007, 08:32 PM
PA State Constable's are always right ;)

Send me an email on the P228, I may know of a buyer.


April 25, 2007, 10:32 PM
send me an email as well if you can't sell it.

personally, i would accept the gun, deduct shipping costs, and send the money back. sometimes buying and selling dumps you on your butt. it happens but dont' worry tomorrow you will sell a ton.

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