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Sold my bike and the guy is giving me a fit?

Old 04-02-11, 12:23 PM
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traction
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Sold my bike and the guy is giving me a fit?

So I had a bike that has sat in my basement without being ridden for about 2 years. I sold it to a guy on ebay and stated that it needed some work here and there. Just some simple stuff, a tune up, new derailleur pulleys, brakes re-bled. He drove an hour to pick the bike up, no problems.

He emailed me yesterday and said that the item was not as described. As it turns out I forgot (2 years ago) that there was a broken spoke on the rear wheel. He also claims the rear wheel is bent.

The conversation went as follows:

Him--->
After examining the bike I noticed the rear wheel is bent and a spoke on the rear wheel is broken and missing. This information was missing in your item description. While I accept the brake and cog issue noted in your description, you failed to note the problem with the rear wheel. I suggest that I take the wheel to a bike shop and have them replace the spoke and true the wheel at your expense. Please let me know ASAP. If I do not hear from you, I will contact e-bay and pursue my options there.
Thanks,
------

Me---->
The wheel is not bent. It may need to be re-true'ed, such is maintenance on an 8 year old bike. The broken spoke I forgot about as I have not used the bike in a while as explicitly stated in the description. I'll refund $20 just because I forgot to mention the spoke. I'll stay in contact and work out the issue with you.


Him---->
Hard to believe "You forgot" when you explicitly mention in the listing that you never had a problem with the wheel set. I would not have bid had you mentioned any damage to the wheel set. Be that as it may, the bike shop says it will cost $40 to repair the wheel. At this point I am due a refund on the shipping (the bike was picked up at the local address you stipulated) of $60 which you promised to credit to my PayPal acct. If you want to settle this matter deposit a total of $100 ($60 shipping, $40 wheel) to my PayPal acct now. That will bring to bike up to the description in the listing. Should you not wish to do this, negative feedback and I will open a case with ebay. Your choice. Ebay notified me that this auction is covered under ebay's buyer protection plan. Please don't send me another email. Just make the deposit or not. I will act accordingly.


Me---->
I don't appreciate the accusation. I noticed the spoke about 2 years ago, my mistake; however, $20 is more than reasonable to have one spoke replaced.
I will not refund the price to re-true the wheelset. If you wish to have the wheels perfectly true then it is your responsibility as it does not affect the ride. I said that they have not given me a problem and they have not.

I held off on sending the shipping refund last night until we resolved this issue and I could send it in one amount.




Am i in the right? I mean there's no reason I have to re-true the wheel because one spoke was broken? Appreciate any input, but I thought $20 was fair to replace a single spoke?
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Old 04-02-11, 12:35 PM
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Tough on him. He picked it up - he could, and should, have checked that it met the description when he picked it up. You said it needed work, and it does. He knew what he was bidding on. I say don't refund him anything.
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Old 04-02-11, 12:37 PM
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I figure I gotta kick him some cash in an effort to keep from getting a bad ebay rating
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Old 04-02-11, 12:57 PM
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anyone else? I've gotta email me again and just was hoping for some more input :/
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Old 04-02-11, 01:00 PM
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...me, I'd give him the $100 and be done with the drama...
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Old 04-02-11, 01:03 PM
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traction
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screw him though. $20 is a week of food and gas for me as a college student...
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Old 04-02-11, 01:08 PM
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Sellers are at the mercy of bidders unfortunately. I think it depends on how important your feedback is. I for one wouldn't budge on this. I think $20 is more than fair for a single spoke. Personally, something like this is as is. He had an opportunity to examine the bike and it's his bad luck if he didn't see the spoke. If you would have shipped it that way, then as a buyer, I would expect some sort of compensation for the issue (for a spoke I wouldn't bother). I'd stand my ground.
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Old 04-02-11, 01:16 PM
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Thanks, that is what I shall do. It's ridiculous as it is, I spent probably 2000 piecing the bike together 3 years ago. I sell it to him for 640, it needs about 100 in work and he's nickle and dime'ing me for a spoke.
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Old 04-02-11, 01:25 PM
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Don't pay him. Let it go through eBay. They will contact you and you can explain the situation. In my interactions with eBay, they are very fair for the most part and if you show (as either buyer or seller) that you're trying to work out the problem fairly and equitably for both parties, they appreciate that. He can't ding your feedback while there's an open case. If he does, that's violation of the rules. And remember, you can ding him back so tell him that. Just be polite and tell him you'd like him to file a case and you'd prefer to let eBay work it out for the both of you.
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Old 04-02-11, 01:26 PM
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Sounds like a great deal to me -- for him I mean. Been looking for a new bike on eBay -- if it was a road bike in my size, I'd be bummed I didn't get it.:-D
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Old 04-02-11, 01:33 PM
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And one more thing (I deal with eBay a lot). You can't hurt yourself by contacting eBay ahead of him. What I mean is go to google and search for "ebay live help" (sounds dumb but it's easier to find searching this way than going all over the eBay site for it). This will give you a link to their live help. When you get connected, explain the situation and how you are trying to help and ask them what they think the best way of dealing with the situation. Explain you want to do the right thing but also, you feel you're being taken advantage of, etc.

This situation highlights something I've learned on eBay and that's to over describe things especially the bad things. When I sold a water-damaged iPhone that worked perfectly, I used the title "water-damaged iphone" and then proceeded to describe the condition, that it was working fine but that water damage was unpredictable and I made no guarantees it would continue to work without problems. I sold it (made a profit on what I paid for it believe it or not) and fully protected myself. I always thing to myself when I list something "what's wrong with this thing?" and then add that to the description as clearly as I can. Then it's not my problem if someone can't or doesn't read the fine print. Good luck with this. FWIW, I think you've handled it well. I would be satisfied if I was the buyer.
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Old 04-02-11, 06:23 PM
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The fact that you didn't refund the $60 shipping fee already might be in favour of the buyer right now. Why didn't you do that when he picked up the bike?

Apart from that , you sold it as is, where is, which to me is as much implied as stated. shyonelung is right -- be proactive on this and contact eBay before he does. The fact that the guy picked up the bike means he had ample opportunity to inspect it and then negotiate there and then if he had an issue with the wheel. The thing is, now it is out of your sight, the broken spoke issue may have been made worse by manhandling of the bike into and out of the buyer's vehicle.

I picked up an MTB frame several years ago that looked OK, and I left it in a corner for a month or two while I collected the parts together to build it up. When I finally did the build, I found the right chainstay had been badly gouged and the derailleur hanger bent. I straightened the hanger and built the bike and it's been OK, but it likely will become a SS (the hanger is part of the frame and not replaceable). But my bad for not checking the frame on pick-up.

You also do have a little recourse if the buyer eventually posts negative feedback -- you can respond to it, and often your response -- the content and the tone -- can tell other buyers whether the person in this case is gouging you or not.

From other threads on BFs, there seems to be a trend with buyers to try to screw over legitimate sellers after the deal.

But like I say. if you withholding the shipping cost for no good reason, you might be pushing **it uphill with eBay.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:24 PM
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You need to pay him the $60 shipping right now. You should have done it as soon as it was clear he was picking up the bike. As to the wheel, you are correct that $20 is probably enough to replace a spoke. However, you failed to disclose the damaged wheel and apparently $40 is what it takes to make it right. I expect ebay will side with the buyer. You may as well just pay him and avoid the negative feedback.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:36 PM
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IMO, he bought a used bike after having an opportunity to inspect it, and he can KMA. if he can't replace a spoke himself, a bike shop will do it for $12-$15 (local price, anyway), but I'd be pretty reluctant even to send that. It might be different if I'd shipped the bike without him seeing it, but he looked it over before he picked it up.
I don't buy much on ebay and I've never had a problem, but they must have an appeals procedure. Otherwise every seller would be at the mercy of the buyers: "You told me it was perfect, but it has a lot wrong with it and if you don't give me $500, I'll ruin you."
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Old 04-02-11, 07:50 PM
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i would just refund him the shipping. like others have said about. he came and picked the bike up and had an opportunity to test ride and inspect it before he took it into his possession. refund him the shipping and if he files a claim then you can say he had no problem with it when he came to pick it up. its not like you shipped it to him and it got broken in transportation.
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Old 04-02-11, 07:58 PM
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Never dealt with eBay, but it sounds like there was a freight charge included in the price of the bid? If so, since the eventual winning bidder/buyer picked it up, then he is entitled to a refund of the freight charge.... and not a penny more.

He had a chance to visually inspect the bike at the time of pick-up. He didn't catch it. He was buying a used bike in 'as-is' condition, took your word for what the known issues were, and probably failed to listen to the little voice in the head that whispers "what ain't this guy telling me?".
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Old 04-02-11, 11:05 PM
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It's your fault that you didn't mention the broken spoke and that entitles the buyer to refund/return if he's not happy with your offer.

So refund $60 +$20 today and tell the buyer if he's not satisfied with that then he can return for a full refund.
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Old 04-02-11, 11:37 PM
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Full refund? I don't think so, this has cost me considerable time and some expense already. I'm not playing customer service, just the seller. I'll work with him to make it fair. In all honesty I just didn't want to screw anyone over or be taken advantage of.
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Old 04-03-11, 02:05 AM
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Originally Posted by traction View Post
Him---->
Hard to believe "You forgot" when you explicitly mention in the listing that you never had a problem with the wheel set. I would not have bid had you mentioned any damage to the wheel set.
You explicitly said you had never had a problem, and it's bent or out of true and has a broken spoke. Now, you're saying he didn't catch it when he viewed the bike, so Sorry Charley. You might pull that on oral statements, but your advertisement is a matter of record. I think you owe him repairs to get it up to advertised condition, or buy the bike back at full price.
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Old 04-03-11, 02:23 AM
  #20  
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Originally Posted by chucky View Post
It's your fault that you didn't mention the broken spoke and that entitles the buyer to refund/return if he's not happy with your offer.

So refund $60 +$20 today and tell the buyer if he's not satisfied with that then he can return for a full refund.
Either of these options is fair. You definitely should refund the shipping. The broken spoke is contradictory to your ad and should be replaced.

On the other hand...he drove an hour to pick up the bike (and would have to do so again if he decides to return it); he may push for gas money as well. Under the circumstances, offer $80 if you still want to attempt a compromise-or $100 to "stop the insanity" and be done with it. If he returns the bike you'll be spending even more time on the sale.
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Old 04-03-11, 02:35 AM
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Originally Posted by traction View Post
So I had a bike that has sat in my basement without being ridden for about 2 years. I sold it to a guy on ebay and stated that it needed some work here and there. Just some simple stuff, a tune up, new derailleur pulleys, brakes re-bled. He drove an hour to pick the bike up, no problems.

He emailed me yesterday and said that the item was not as described. As it turns out I forgot (2 years ago) that there was a broken spoke on the rear wheel. He also claims the rear wheel is bent.

The conversation went as follows:

Him--->
After examining the bike I noticed the rear wheel is bent and a spoke on the rear wheel is broken and missing. This information was missing in your item description. While I accept the brake and cog issue noted in your description, you failed to note the problem with the rear wheel. I suggest that I take the wheel to a bike shop and have them replace the spoke and true the wheel at your expense. Please let me know ASAP. If I do not hear from you, I will contact e-bay and pursue my options there.
Thanks,
------

Me---->
The wheel is not bent. It may need to be re-true'ed, such is maintenance on an 8 year old bike. The broken spoke I forgot about as I have not used the bike in a while as explicitly stated in the description. I'll refund $20 just because I forgot to mention the spoke. I'll stay in contact and work out the issue with you.


Him---->
Hard to believe "You forgot" when you explicitly mention in the listing that you never had a problem with the wheel set. I would not have bid had you mentioned any damage to the wheel set. Be that as it may, the bike shop says it will cost $40 to repair the wheel. At this point I am due a refund on the shipping (the bike was picked up at the local address you stipulated) of $60 which you promised to credit to my PayPal acct. If you want to settle this matter deposit a total of $100 ($60 shipping, $40 wheel) to my PayPal acct now. That will bring to bike up to the description in the listing. Should you not wish to do this, negative feedback and I will open a case with ebay. Your choice. Ebay notified me that this auction is covered under ebay's buyer protection plan. Please don't send me another email. Just make the deposit or not. I will act accordingly.


Me---->
I don't appreciate the accusation. I noticed the spoke about 2 years ago, my mistake; however, $20 is more than reasonable to have one spoke replaced.
I will not refund the price to re-true the wheelset. If you wish to have the wheels perfectly true then it is your responsibility as it does not affect the ride. I said that they have not given me a problem and they have not.

I held off on sending the shipping refund last night until we resolved this issue and I could send it in one amount.




Am i in the right? I mean there's no reason I have to re-true the wheel because one spoke was broken? Appreciate any input, but I thought $20 was fair to replace a single spoke?
Ebay rules says a buyer can't threaten to leave negative feedback. You got ammo against him. But that's the only thing that I don't agree with on his position. He is right that the auction description did not match the item. If he produced some kind of note from his LBS quoting the $40. Maybe you can just call the shop and ask to speak to a manager just to make sure he isn't trying to squeeze more money from you.

That said, I'd say you should pay $40 and reimburse him the $60 and be done with it. You goofed by forgetting about the broken spoke so you have to make things right. Replacing a spoke can be a very simple procedure but sometimes good shops like to be thorough especially since their reputation is on line. Chances are the spoke broke because the wheel was not evenly tensioned to begin with. Re-tensioning, truing laterally/radially and making sure the dish is correct takes time so $40 sound more than reasonable for a job done right. I agree with the other poster, I'd be pissed too if the auction description says that the owner never had any problems with the wheelset and then it turned out to have a broken spoke. Do the right thing brah...Partial Refund this Dood.

If he paid through Paypal and his address is confirmed, he is at an even more powerful position than you. It is clear that the item was not as presented so he is entitled to a full refund though Paypal's buyer protection program. Again. Just paid the Dood $100 and be done with it. If don't want a negative feedback, Be apologetic and maybe he'll only leave a Neutral feedback or even a positive if you play your cards right...i.e. give him $120 and be very very sorry that you goofed.

Last edited by 531phile; 04-03-11 at 02:48 AM.
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Old 04-03-11, 07:22 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by traction View Post
Full refund? I don't think so, this has cost me considerable time and some expense already. I'm not playing customer service, just the seller. I'll work with him to make it fair. In all honesty I just didn't want to screw anyone over or be taken advantage of.
What did you put for your return policy? That's the only other way out because you didn't provide the bike as described and the buyer isn't happy with what you are offering.

Sorry buddy, but whether you like it or not it's your responsibility as a seller to service your customers. You don't have to bend over backwards chanting "the customer is always right", but you do have to fulfill your obligation to whatever contract you made.

It doesn't matter if your offer is fair...maybe the buyer only shops what he perceives at rock bottom deals and he thought it was a steal with a good wheel, but not with a broken spoke? Maybe he thinks broken spokes are bad voodoo which bring disgrace to his family and he normally avoids them at all costs?

Doesn't ebay let you relist for free in the case of a return? Shouldn't cost you anything other than your time...but that's what happens when we goof even when no one else is involved.

Originally Posted by Fern53 View Post
Either of these options is fair. You definitely should refund the shipping. The broken spoke is contradictory to your ad and should be replaced.

On the other hand...he drove an hour to pick up the bike (and would have to do so again if he decides to return it); he may push for gas money as well. Under the circumstances, offer $80 if you still want to attempt a compromise-or $100 to "stop the insanity" and be done with it. If he returns the bike you'll be spending even more time on the sale.
I wouldn't give any gas money because there's nothing about that in the item description either. It works both ways.

Last edited by chucky; 04-03-11 at 07:33 AM.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:54 AM
  #23  
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Originally Posted by daven1986 View Post
Tough on him. He picked it up - he could, and should, have checked that it met the description when he picked it up. You said it needed work, and it does. He knew what he was bidding on. I say don't refund him anything.
Agreed. Though you do need to refund the shipping right away, since that seems to be part of the agreement.

Your offer of $20 is very fair since when he picked up the item, he was responsible to verify what he purchased before completing the transaction. If you had shipped the bike and he bought it sight unseen, he'd have a case. Because he picked it up, it was his responsibility to inspect the item before handing over the money.
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Old 04-03-11, 09:57 AM
  #24  
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It'd be different if it was something like a hairline fracture in the frame where it's hard to see, but a broken spoke and an out of true wheel? That's something he should have seen. If it went to small claims court, you'd win because all 3rd party sales like this are "as is" sales unless otherwise stated.
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Old 04-03-11, 10:14 AM
  #25  
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Without seeing the ad, pictures etc it's hard to come to a definitive conclusion.

On one hand the guy picked up the bike in person. If I was buying something listed as needing some attention I'd want to check it over to make sure it had been described sufficiently accurately that I knew what I was getting into, and if someone does collect in person it's reasonable to expect that they will notice flaws that are clearly visible. Likewise if the pictures were of sufficient detail and quality that the broken spoke was visible and could reasonably be expected to be seen then I'd say you've got a good case to say it was shown in the pictures even if not explicitly mentioned in the text.

On the other hand if you said the wheels where fine (or made statements that reasonably led the buyer to believe they were fine) and then handed over a bike with a problem with the wheels, I'd say the buyer has a case to either reject the bike as being not as described or make their own suggestions of what to do about the situation. I would be inclined to say the buyer might have a case to ask for a replacement spoke, the only question is where to draw the line between returning the bike to the condition as advertised and giving the buyer something significantly better than what was advertised.

It may be that he's trying his luck hoping to get a bike that's been unused for years and has known issues at a price consistent with that, but then getting you to pay to make sure some part of it is pristine; it may be he genuinely wouldn't have bought it if he'd known it had a broken spoke (personally I find that hard to believe, but you never know). If you want to flush him out if he is just trying his chances why not just say (assuming it's true - again I don't know what the listing said) that the bike was advertised as needing attention, it needs attention, and you're not going to pay for the bike to be repaired and if he doesn't like it then return it for a full refund. If he's truly dissatisfied then he'll return it and you can then do with it as you will; if he's trying his chances hoping for a freebie he'll probably shut up. Either way if you've made it clear you're willing to give a full refund if he's not satisfied with it I'd have thought you'd be in the clear as far as ebay is concerned (I've never sold on ebay, so can't comment from a position of experience)

If he does try to return it then, from what you've said, it would seem like a pretty clear case that you sold something you hadn't used in a while, forgot to mention one defect among others you did mention, but then refunded the money of the guy who bought it not noticing the extra defect. I'd say the offer of a full refund was an entirely reasonable option.

Last edited by contango; 04-05-11 at 05:37 AM. Reason: removed doubled expression
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