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eBay ettiquette.

Old 07-07-20, 01:56 PM
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eBay ettiquette.

I purchased a crankset to build up a small frameset into my daughters first road bike from eBay. When it arrived from China, it was the wrong crankset (my daughter is turning 10 and is more into reading that cycling, so I was planning on giving her a ride with lower gear inches by pairing a mtb triple crankset with a more roadie 10s cassette because I had the campagnolo shifters, cassette, wheels,and brakes and a number of other parts like appropriate BB and FD already in my parts bin).

What I'd ordered was a 9/10s triple crankset and what arrived was a 6/8 speed triple with smaller rings than I'd wanted (needless to say, that also meant lower in shimano's pecking order, but that wasn't really a consideration when comparing m391 to m361 - it's all low end).

The seller has admitted his mistake and wants to know whether I want to ship it back for an exchange or keep it with a partial refund. The effort of packing it up and dealing with customs to ship it back to China (plus the wait of shipping it back and further wait of shipping the new one back to me upon receipt) has me leaning toward accepting a small cash refund, keeping the current crankset for some yet to be determined project (likely just collecting dust in my parts bin) and moving on to find a new source of the crankset I want. If I go that route, what's a reasonable request for a refund?

The difference between the prices the seller was asking for the 2 cranksets was $10, but then I'm stuck with having spent $35 on a crankset (which I get to keep) that I didn't want and don't particularly have a use for. That's not a back breaking amount of money by any means, just annoying. Anybody have any suggestions?

Or, am I wrong and is it possible to just swap out some spacers and use a 6-8 speed crankset with 10 speed chain, cassette, and derailleurs (92 gear inches is a pretty low top end for a road bike but, if it's doable would result in the cheapest option)?

And yes, I know the correct answer is to go back in time and stay away from eBay, but I need to get this bike built before I have time to work on my time machine.
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Old 07-07-20, 02:25 PM
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I'd say keep it with the partial refund and try to make it work. If it doesn't work for you, sell it for what you have out of pocket. It seems like the seller is doing what they can to make you whole again in good faith after an honest mistake.
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Old 07-07-20, 02:40 PM
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Hard to say, but I would either return it for full refund so as not to have to wait for shipment of the new one or suck it up and keep it. I don’t have any experience with using 8 speed crank in a 10 speed set up. You can probably find a used Shimano LX, Tiagra or some such lower end triple crank used for about the same cost.
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Old 07-07-20, 02:43 PM
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Never buy from China is the correct answer. Too many variables.
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Old 07-07-20, 02:45 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
I'd say keep it with the partial refund and try to make it work. If it doesn't work for you, sell it for what you have out of pocket. It seems like the seller is doing what they can to make you whole again in good faith after an honest mistake.
Yeah no, it totally seems like an honest mistake. I don't think he was trying to scam me, and that's why I don't want to ask for too much from a partial refund.
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Old 07-07-20, 03:03 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
Never buy from China is the correct answer. Too many variables.
Unfortunately, yes, I think the same. I have had good luck with a couple of purchases, but I've gone in with the understanding that it's somewhat of a crapshoot. I generally see these high volume sellers located in China as not worth the risk.

That said, with the crankset in hand and a communicative seller willing to work with you, my focus would be on minimizing the headache going forward. Even if they agree to a full refund for a return, you're then waiting to see the refund hit your account, you don't have a part in hand to sell yourself for partial recourse, and you're already (justifiably) wary of the customs snags.
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Old 07-07-20, 03:05 PM
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I wouldn't say you shouldn't have bought from China on ebay. A larger fraction of those transactions prove to be bad, but you have to build that into your risk model. Most of these people are honest but problems happen. I think the important thing here is the time it takes to get your daughter rolling. Try to make it work. You can use the 10-speed chain. What chainrings and cog sizes do you have? Better to have gears that are too low than too high. And how long are the cranks? They might be short, and that's a good thing, too.
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Old 07-07-20, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by noobinsf View Post
Unfortunately, yes, I think the same. I have had good luck with a couple of purchases, but I've gone in with the understanding that it's somewhat of a crapshoot. I generally see these high volume sellers located in China as not worth the risk.
This. I only ever take the risk for unimportant and non-time sensitive things like ferrules or cable end caps.

And can we talk about what kind of feedback you will leave? I know that most people think negative feedback should be reserved for murder cases (with witnesses), and neutral feedback for mere theft and robbery, resulting in the current ebay 'grade inflation' where anything less than 100% raises an eyebrow... Let your fellow buyers know what happened, even if it's just in the written note to a positive feedback rating.
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Old 07-07-20, 04:14 PM
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If I get an incorrect or defective item, I'll only return it if I'm compensated for my time and return shipping. I do the same as a seller.

This has happened to me a couple of times recently. One item was sold as new, but was defective and one item was incorrect.

The seller of the defective part hinted that I should send it back with no compensation for my time or postal costs. I suggested that a simple check before shipping would have caught the problem and I got a refund instantly.

The seller who shipped the wrong part sent me the correct one w/o question.

Both items were freewheels and under $15.
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Old 07-07-20, 04:27 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I wouldn't say you shouldn't have bought from China on ebay. A larger fraction of those transactions prove to be bad, but you have to build that into your risk model. Most of these people are honest but problems happen. I think the important thing here is the time it takes to get your daughter rolling. Try to make it work. You can use the 10-speed chain. What chainrings and cog sizes do you have? Better to have gears that are too low than too high. And how long are the cranks? They might be short, and that's a good thing, too.
The problem with buying from China, or Taiwan or any foreign country, isn't a question of honesty, but rather communication.. The cost to return an item is prohibitive. Between communications and shipping, I'd stick to the USA, if that's where you are. Covid has disrupted supply chains and shipping. It took over 3 weeks for a package I shipped to myself via USPS to arrive. It was a 2000 mile trip. Package was intact, labeled properly, and had no signs of abuse.

These are not normal times.
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Old 07-07-20, 04:29 PM
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Agreed. They are no less dishonest than we are. It is mostly a communications problem but also a cost of shipping problem and now a time to ship problem. When I buy from China, it's not something that absolutely has to satisfy me, and it's with money I can afford to lose. It has worked out well for me. Many makers contact me frequently to be a reviewer/influencer.
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Old 07-07-20, 05:10 PM
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Back to the question at hand. The only issue would be the 10 speed chain floating between the chainrings. I would take a 10 speed chain and see how it fits between the chainrings. If it seems to fall in between, I would not use it If it was for our daughter. You want it to complete the downshift and not float or fall between.

John
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Old 07-07-20, 05:16 PM
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Originally Posted by noglider View Post
I wouldn't say you shouldn't have bought from China on ebay. A larger fraction of those transactions prove to be bad, but you have to build that into your risk model. Most of these people are honest but problems happen. I think the important thing here is the time it takes to get your daughter rolling. Try to make it work. You can use the 10-speed chain. What chainrings and cog sizes do you have? Better to have gears that are too low than too high. And how long are the cranks? They might be short, and that's a good thing, too.
Honestly, her birthday is not until February, I just got the project started early because I wanted to take my time accumulating the last few pieces (and I had the time because my wife and I were alternating staying home watching the kids because no day care/summer camps were open).

I have a 12-25T cassette and I think the crankset is 40-30-20 (maybe 42-30-20). The one I'd ordered was 44-32-22 and with narrower spacing between the rings (and narrower rings). Going on a '95 Trek 1220 frame that was in great condition and a great deal (and rather small - also a requirement). Yeah, it's not quite vintage and it's aluminum, but it's also her favorite color (well, right now, who knows next Feb). Right now she rides a Giant mountain bike with front suspension and 24" wheels that's rather heavy. This'll be prettier, lighter, and faster.

I've actually had some decent luck with Chinese eBay sellers (or eBay buyer protection when it's a scam), it's just that, when it's not a scam, but something gets screwed up, any international shipment makes returns a pain.
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Old 07-07-20, 05:21 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
Back to the question at hand. The only issue would be the 10 speed chain floating between the chainrings. I would take a 10 speed chain and see how it fits between the chainrings. If it seems to fall in between, I would not use it If it was for our daughter. You want it to complete the downshift and not float or fall between.

John
Yeah, that's what I wondered about. Also if the rings are a little thicker so there's less room for error. And if pull ratio is different for the different spacing between gears. I am using Campy shifters, so there's multiple detents on the left, but it's the semi-crippled 10 speed Centaur (powershift?) so there aren't as many as the earlier or higher level shifters and a little less room for error there.
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Old 07-07-20, 05:34 PM
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No reason to avoid Chinese sellers. I've had far more issues with domestic sellers.
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Old 07-07-20, 05:53 PM
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Those gears are perfectly good ratios for your daughter.
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Old 07-07-20, 06:31 PM
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Originally Posted by jiangshi View Post
Never buy from China is the correct answer. Too many variables.
I've bought a lot of random consumables from China thru the years and have always been satisfied with the products.
Delivery is an unknown of 2weeks to 4weeks, but just don't buy anything that's time sensitive.

If something never delivers or is wrong, simply return it on Amazon or use PayPal protection on ebay.
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Old 07-07-20, 07:52 PM
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If it’s the wrong item, simply offer to send it back at the seller’s expense for a full refund. eBay will provide you with a return shipping label including customs information. It’s pretty pain free for you.
Likely that, given the cost to return ship (much more expensive than China-US for reasons we won’t get into) the seller will just refund your purchase price and tell you not to bother with the return.
Then donate the crank you don’t want ro your local co-op or pay it forward here. And find the crank you want from another seller.

For what it’s worth, I’ve purchased many items (usually minor) over the years from sellers in China and find them pretty much as ethical and honest as domestic sellers.
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Old 07-07-20, 08:07 PM
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I’ve bought tons of stuff on eBay, mainly computer related and more recently bike stuff. It is very safe.

Here is a question: did you use PayPal? Because if you did, you can file a complaint with them and they’ll get you your money back. If the seller wants the part back, shipping is his responsibility. I bought a video card on eBay once that never arrived. PayPal got all of my money back from the seller.
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Old 07-08-20, 09:03 AM
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I would box it back up and let the seller arrange for pickup and shipment back to him (and pay for the shipment, and deal with customs, etc). Meanwhile, flag the payment with paypal or your CC company, whichever applies. He sold to a person in a state in the United States, and in most US States, if you receive something you didn't order, you're under no obligation to accept or pay for it. This has been the case since long before eBay was a twinkle in anyone's eye.

And +1 what @noglider wrote. I wasn't aware of the higher percentage of bad transactions, but it comes as no surprise. That just piles on top of the fact that ordering from overseas complicates returns/refunds.
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Old 07-08-20, 09:10 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
...I have a 12-25T cassette and I think the crankset is 40-30-20 (maybe 42-30-20). The one I'd ordered was 44-32-22 and with narrower spacing between the rings (and narrower rings)..
Don't overthink it. You're talking less than 10% difference in the numerator of the gearing calculation. Either accept this (and do your daughter, a non-bicyclist, a favor), or compensate by decreasing the denominator by 10% as well. Bikes are rarely undergeared, but often overgeared, in my experience.
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Old 07-08-20, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by madpogue View Post
I would box it back up and let the seller arrange for pickup and shipment back to him (and pay for the shipment, and deal with customs, etc). Meanwhile, flag the payment with paypal or your CC company, whichever applies. He sold to a person in a state in the United States, and in most US States, if you receive something you didn't order, you're under no obligation to accept or pay for it. This has been the case since long before eBay was a twinkle in anyone's eye.

And +1 what @noglider wrote. I wasn't aware of the higher percentage of bad transactions, but it comes as no surprise. That just piles on top of the fact that ordering from overseas complicates returns/refunds.
Exactly right. I never buy from overseas if I can avoid it. I have had bad luck with China on the few things I ordered from them. I always check the seller feedback. For one thing, there has to be feedback or I probably won't deal with them. If there is any bad feedback, I likely don't deal with them.
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Old 07-08-20, 09:52 AM
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In this case, it was a seller with great feedback who made an honest mistake on an item I wasn't in a hurry to get (for a price that would be annoying lose but wouldn't bankrupt me if I didn't get anything at all). Sort of a fluke in my many purchases online from international sellers through a number of sites. I once had a similar fluke with one of the reputable online bike parts retailers in Europe.

If you know exactly what you want (so not clothes that you're not exactly sure of the fit) and don't expect to have to return things or need service, 99% of the time, it works great. Occasionally, it doesn't.

I just didn't want to try to gouge someone and ask for more than was fair in the odd time out where someone made a simple shipping error where I can imagine that shipping it back to him and him shipping the correct part to me will probably cost him (especially if you consider the original shipping) more than I paid for the part and not counting the time required for me to box it up and take it to the post office.
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Old 07-08-20, 10:23 AM
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Originally Posted by himespau View Post
In this case, it was a seller with great feedback who made an honest mistake on an item I wasn't in a hurry to get (for a price that would be annoying lose but wouldn't bankrupt me if I didn't get anything at all). Sort of a fluke in my many purchases online from international sellers through a number of sites. I once had a similar fluke with one of the reputable online bike parts retailers in Europe.

If you know exactly what you want (so not clothes that you're not exactly sure of the fit) and don't expect to have to return things or need service, 99% of the time, it works great. Occasionally, it doesn't.

I just didn't want to try to gouge someone and ask for more than was fair in the odd time out where someone made a simple shipping error where I can imagine that shipping it back to him and him shipping the correct part to me will probably cost him (especially if you consider the original shipping) more than I paid for the part and not counting the time required for me to box it up and take it to the post office.
Not to sound cold about it, but if he made the mistake then the cost of shipping is his problem, not yours. You made the purchase in good faith. If it isn't the part you ordered, work with eBay and the seller to get the right part. He should make good, as this is an example of how he got good feedback, by making sure what you bought is what you got.
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Old 07-08-20, 11:14 AM
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What did it say about returns on the original listing?
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