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Want ya'll opinion on a internet auction problem I "may" have

Discussion in 'General Gun Discussions' started by catharsis, Dec 16, 2003.

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  1. catharsis

    catharsis Member

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    So I put a gun up for auction several times without getting a sale. Each time I lowered the asking price. It had no reserve and no "buy it now" option. At one point I edited my auction to include several other guns I may take as a trade.

    After a few days I noticed a buyer bid on my auction at its starting price. He never contacted me with question, comments, nothing. Today was the end of my auction and I was preparing to send the buyer an email with instructions on how I would accept payment, etc, etc.

    Well I get an email from him before I sent mine. It read something like this:
    "I will need the address to send my FFL info. You will need you to send your FFL info to ______________ I will send the XX gun you asked for in your ad when I recieve your info."


    Am I wrong for feeling a little peeved? He never mentioned or discussed a trade with me. I was never able to ask him questions about the gun he is supposed to send me--- ie:condition of, pics of, history of, etc, etc.


    I wrote him back expressing my concern and am waiting for a reply. The gun "may" be perfectly acceptable but the way in which he went about it seems kinda' crappy. As far as I knew he "BID" a "MONEY PRICE" and not trade. If he would have corresponded with me through email and allowed me to discuss his offer then this would be a completely different situation. Had there been prior correcpondence and agreement for a trade then I would have shut my auction down and continued with the transaction.

    Whats your opinion and recommendations on this situation?
     
  2. CZ 75 BD

    CZ 75 BD Member

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    Insist on the cash...

    or pics and specs on the proposed trade for approval. The golden rule says he who has the gold makes the rules and you have the gold in this case.
     
  3. nico

    nico Member

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    I agree with CZ. It kinda sounds like the guy might be trying to scam you. Anybody with half a brain would have the common sense to know that somebody's not going to buy something used that they've never even seen pics of. I'd have him send you pics and info about the gun he wants to trade before you send your gun.
     
  4. jamz

    jamz Member

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    Either a scam, or the guy is confused about which auction he won. Hopefully the auction site will still have the auction page that you can refer to. (well, Ebay does, anyway not sure about the site you used).

    I'd just insist that the guy was mistaken, and reference the text in your auction.
     
  5. catharsis

    catharsis Member

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    I e-mailed him:


    Thank you for your bid on the XXXXXX. I do not however remember agreeing to a trade with you. I would think you would have wanted to contact me to discuss if the trade would be accepted.

    For instance, I would have wanted to know "at least" the condition and history of the gun, if it was going to be a SA or DA version, and to see pics. The gun "may" be exactly what I'm looking for but I would think it were courtesy to have prior contact with me before finalizing the deal.

    Please email back with a response.





    His response:

    Your auction stated the guns that you would trade for so I placed a bid assuming that a trade would be acceptable as payment. You did not state in your ad to contact you prior to bidding for a trade. It says you are willing to trade for one of the following... I have a XXXX double action 9mm in excellent condition that is one of the guns you noted in the ad. I never considered that a trade would not be accepted from the way your ad is written.
     
  6. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Don't confuse the issue with BS like trades during an auction.

    If you want money, then an auction or listing the gun on a trader/for sale forum is in order. If you want trades, then an auction DEFINITELY IS NOT the way to go.

    I'd give him the option to pay or just release him from his obligation and go about it in a more logical manner next try. You really confused the issue, so you bear some culpability here; the buyer doesn't know how you wanted to procede unless he's psychic.
     
  7. thumbtack

    thumbtack Member

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    You should reply to him and say "you the old saying about assuming don't you"
     
  8. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    Sounds like the entire deal got off on a bad start.

    I'd insist on payment in cash. On most auction sites the buyer would be in default because he did bid a cash price and did not follow through with the deal. Therefore you would not be penalized in the transaction and could re list the item.

    If he has trouble understanding the rules of the auction, what makes you think he understands the grading system for firearms? I'd bet his excellent isn't what you think as excellent.



    Good Shooting
    Red
     
  9. MoNsTeR

    MoNsTeR Member

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    He bid cash, he pays cash.
    I'm sure the auction site's rules stipulate that his bid is a binding contract.
     
  10. Beav

    Beav Member

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    Did you put anything in the ad stating that anyone interested in a trade must contact you instead of bidding? Otherwise, I agree with Bill Hook, you probably confused the guy.
     
  11. spenny

    spenny Member

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    plus, id get his gun in hand and check it out before sending yours.

    bottom line he bid cash, there's no check box on any auction site to change the payment to a trade, payment in chickens or anything other than money

    my .02
    spenny
     
  12. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

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    I agree with Bill Hook also. This could be a newbie's first foray into internet auctions or trades via auctions. It may never have occurred to him that he could inspect yours, and you, his, via email and pics. Before I had a paid email account, I bought guns sight unseen because there was just no way for me to receive pictures (Hotmail account storage space is too small for picture transfers). In my mind, I took a possible chance paying for the gun to inspect it, expecting that if it didn't meet my expectations, I'd send it back for a full refund less shipping. (Duh--I didn't know shipping was so expensive til I sold a gun via internet.) He may figure on a standup trade and inspection after the fact at both ends.

    The "cash" onus may be on the buyer by the auction site's rules, but your offer to trade changed all that. Perhaps the moderators should have caught it and saved the situation, but in any case, because you offered trades, "cash only" certainly wasn't a firm condition of the sale. If it were me, I'd flat let him out of the deal if he wants out.
     
  13. Nathanael_Greene

    Nathanael_Greene Member

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    This sounds like a misunderstanding on the bidder's part; it seems to me that if he wanted a trade, he should've made that clear in an email to you up front. Even if you were willing to accept his gun as a one-for-one trade, there's still the issue of auction listing fees, etc.

    If it isn't an honest misunderstanding, he's trying to scam you outright.
     
  14. Archie

    Archie Member

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    However it ends...

    Talk to the guy a little more and don't do anything hasty.

    Is the gun he offering something you want? If so, then determine the condition and features and agree on the trade.

    Or, if it is unacceptable, then explain why.

    I would never assume I could trade without some haggling. Nor would I assume I could offer a bid of $XX and then present a trade in lieu of cash.

    On the other hand, if you mentioned a trade in your ad, he seems to be following that lead.

    I bet you can work it out. Continue to talk.
     
  15. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Let me reiterate here. Since this was a misunderstanding on how to go about things, on both ends, catharsis, as the seller needs to make himself clear that he really wants cash rather than a trade. If the buyer will agree, then it is settled. However, if the buyer doesn't, then the language of the auction, which mentioned a provision for trade, makes it incumbent upon catharsis to do the honorable thing and release the buyer, no matter what he thought the buyer "should've known."

    One reason why auctions are bad for trade is they stipulate a FIXED cash value rather than a range of values, which makes Saxonpig's points all the more pertinent and the likelihood of agreement slim between parties.
     
  16. catharsis

    catharsis Member

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    Here are the last few emails we sent each other:


    > Excellent condition is relative to what "I" think. My auction has the
    >benefit of pics and a detailed description of the gun. I don't know how you
    >read the ad but several people knew well enough to email me "first" and
    >discuss the trade. As far as I knew, you "BID" a MONEY" price and not a
    >trade. HAd you contacted me previously and discussed it with me this
    >situation may be completely different. The XX gun may very well be completely
    >acceptable to me but the way you handled it was wrong IMHO. I was prepared
    >to accept the "BID" of $450.00 since you "bid" money.


    His response:


    Your thought process baffles me. You should not post items you are willing
    >to trade for and then try to back out after the fact. Your ad, as written,
    >is totally misleading compared to what you are doing now. You make a lot of
    >assumptions about accepting a "BID" as cash when your ad clearly states what
    >are acceptable trades as well. It doesn't say to contact you about trades.
    >It didn't say that you wouldn't accept a trade as payment. IMHO you are
    >trying to mislead people with the way the ad is written. I would not have
    >"BID" a cash price for this heavily altered gun. IMHO it's not worth $450
    >cash which is why I was willing to trade my XX.



    My final response:

    Well I guess we are at an impasse. Gunbroker rules basically say if you "bid" cash you "pay" cash. Although I, as well others who have e-mailed me, understood my wording of the ad I will give you the benefit of the doubt and say you "could" have misunderstood it.

    Here's how I look at it. Lets say I put an ad up for a professionally modified Vette: ie- nice after market wheels and tires, nice chromed bumpers and other odds and ends. It did happen to have a key scatch along the door but otherwise in great condition. I offer a cash price or what the blue book value is of the car, not even considering the really nice aftermarket mods and money I put into it. I also offer a "possible" trade for a Mustang or Camaro. I leave my address and phone number on the ad.

    You call me up and only say:

    "I have that much money, be at your house tommorrow".

    I expect you to show up with the cash to "pay" for the vehicle. Well you not only show up without the cash, but show up at with a purple and pink Mustang with shag carpet seats and rusted out engine. You say:

    "I said I "had" that much money but didn't say I was going to pay for the car with the money. Your ad also mentioned a trade for a Mustang and so here it is. I'd like your Vette now".


    Most would have called and said:


    "Wait, instead of cash I have this Mustang I'd like you to consider." I would then ask you about it and probably ask to see it. Hell, if you didn't call me and JUST "showed up" with a vehicle instead of cash, I would have "at least" think you'd let me take a look at it before I agree to a trade.



    XXXX, I have to say, when you bid on this item I looked at all your feedback. I noticed ALOT of negative feedback and was actually a bit worried about how this deal would end up. My fears have been founded.

    Since I have a bad taste in my mouth about this whole ordeal I think we can do it like this .

    1) You PAY me what you bid in accordance with Gunbroker rules.

    2) You back out of the deal and I send negative feedback.

    3) I release you from the bid, and you do a fair and just thing, and pay my Gunbroker fee to place the ad, and I don't give negative feedback.

    4) I release you from the deal, eat my loss, and we exchange no negative nor positive feedback.

    Those are my options to you. I am now not willing to do any "deal" or "trade" with you.

    Have a good day,
     
  17. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Option #1 or #4.

    Stop giving folks options, though, as the "option" to trade is what started this mess to begin with. My folks operated restaurants for many years and it became quite clear to me early on that too many options made many people uncomfortable, confused, and, often, angry. Options also made it difficult because it made preparations more complex/time-consuming for the vendor.
     
  18. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    You ultimately, as the seller, have the right to refuse the transaction if you're not happy with it.
     
  19. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

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    Damn, why do I bother to post?? Bill Hook speaks for me again. Bill, where do you shoot? I need a partner..;)

    Stop with the options already. You're putting yourself in a situation very similiar to critiquing a student while teaching. If you see 7 things a student's doing wrong and you list them all, they'll either forget all but one or two of them, or blow you off as hostile or 'maliciously picky' (the old "he doesn't like me" syndrome). If you give them 2 pieces of advice in the correct tone of voice, their world is small, and they'll love you for seeing their errors.

    In my opinion, you are the lead here. Reduce your choices and offer them--just tell him you've rethought this, and this is what you'd like to do--blah, blah, blah. Hopefully, you'll choose #4, because he's not gonna choose #1; he's already stated he didn't think your altered gun was worth $450. Tell him (if you agree with me) that you've reconsidered and #2 and 3 aren't right because in a fair proposal, you'd have some downside, too, and there is none for you in options 2 and 3. I'm sure he's got a bad taste in his mouth too. (As far as his already negative feedback goes, your reference to it is both a low blow and unrelated to this exchange; if you don't wanna deal with folks with any negative feedback, say so in your instructions to begin with--that would have given you a big 'out'.)

    You can't "enforce" the auction's rules and make him pay; you set a condition that he could trade, and that changed this from an auction to a side barter in an auction. Even if the auction site were to side with you and ask him to pay cash, that wouldn't be right because he went into the exchange expecting to fulfill the transaction under a condition you set; he hasn't violated any of your conditions, since you didn't specify in the instructions that it was required that he discuss a tradable item with you. I know that's a pretty obtuse view and interpretation of a trade scenario, but they were your instructions, and his conduct has been within your instructions. I'd offer to mutually drop it by agreement, no feedback from either side. I know that with this path there's a monetary loss on your end, but I'd say, look in the mirror in the morning, head up and a little wiser. It's a small fee; be happy you weren't selling a house (people do trade property).
     
  20. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Somewhere in Dixie, but not close enough to Oxford, MS.
     
  21. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

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    Well, damn...I's just hopin'. Last gasp---any chance you shoot at Pascagoula?
     
  22. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Not even close to the Gulf, unfortunately.
     
  23. Guyon

    Guyon Member

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    As one poster said, Gunbroker doesn't allow trades. No mention of a trade should have been part of the ad. Like many have mentioned here, this option just confuses the issue. catharsis, even though this guy doesn't seem to know how trading really works, I think you bear some of the culpability here.
     
  24. uglymofo

    uglymofo Member

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    Bill,

    Well, y'ever take a notion to shoot in MS holler at me. I'd be pleased to meet with ya. :)
     
  25. Bill Hook

    Bill Hook member

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    Will do. Thanks.
     
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