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I see a lot of cool train stuff for sale on Ebay, but you are swimming with the sharks shopping there.
 
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I have to disagree with the negative statements, I have had extremely great experiences. If you see the pix from my thread for cheap storage, over 75% of those trains and scenery items are all from Ebay. My mow collection would be impossible to have without Ebay. I only buy from highly rated sellers with at least a couple hundred sales under their belt. These are some of the items:


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Railhead, I need some more info on those cars! If love to get some 1:87 cars but most of pretty cheap generic models.

I have to agree with your eBay experience. I've done well with it.

Sent from my Moto Z (2) using Tapatalk
 

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Not a train purchase but still a funny eBay story: bought a computer monitor. Seller had one excuse after another for shipping delay. Somehow I got the seller's address; called the police department in the seller's town. Spoke with a detective and gave him my story. He says, "Wait a second; what was the address again ?" I give it again and he starts to laugh. He says, "I apologize for laughing but . . . that's across the street from us. I can go to the window and see their shop !" He tells me to give him a few minutes. About ten minutes later, the seller calls me with the tracking #.....
 

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We all get burned by e-bay. But a lot of times we can avoid most disappointments. My suggestions:
1. Calm down and take a big breath.
2. Examine all the photos very carefully. Then ask yourself, what is not shown? Some are sneaky enough to not give a full shot or crop the pic altogether. Ask for further photos if you are not sure. If things look nice and shiny, suspect they have been sprayed down with a wax furniture spray. If the shots are all blurry, move on to the next item.
3. Examine the seller. The number of transactions, the positive feedback.
4. Read the description contents completely. If it is short with no further details, again suspect.
5. See what other items the seller is offering. True and honest will have multiple items of just one genre.
6. Usually there will be the same item up for bid/sale the next week. If something draws a lot of interest, others will be digging through what they have and put it up as well.
7. Before getting upset, go through the process of opening a case with e-bay. Take pictures to compare with the listing photos. E-bay sides with the buyer most times.
8. Insist the seller uses USPS as a shipper. The refund process for damaged goods is very easy and money sent directly to the buyer. It is based on your appraisal of the value of the items, not the cost you paid. UPS is another story and one to avoid.
 

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The only things I buy on eBay are new items, from companies located in the US whenever possible. I quit buying from private individuals long ago. eBay is my second to last preferred place to shop, Amazon being the bottom of the barrel.
 

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Thanks John, I've never had any issues like this with a seller before, I didn't know eBay would do that. Guess I need to read through the eBay "Help and Contact" section again😂. Overall I'm happy enough with my partial refund, but I'll keep that in mind for any future problems with other purchases.
i've been buying and selling on e-bay since 1998. It has certainly become much more favorable to buyers. With respect to returns, there is no question. If the item is not as described, and especially if you send a picture, e-bay will force the seller to accept a return. It's part of the seller's agreement. e-bay wants happy customers who keep coming back. They don't care so much about the sellers, especially when there is so much unsold stuff on there. The seller can say they don't accept returns, but that doesn't really mean anything since e-bay policy trumps that, and their "30 day money back guarantee" is advertiesed all over the site so that buyers feel confident they won't get ripped off.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Its interesting to see all the mixed opinions here. I'm not anti-eBay or anything, but as I said above, I'll usually try to buy from my LHS or an online retailer before turning to eBay. Great deals can be found, and its even good for a laugh when you see one of those clueless guys trying to sell an old split chassis junker for $200...
 

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Not ebay but a hobby shop in Illinois. I bought the 2 BLI Merry Christmas Pacific engines, the red-green and the blue in 2 separate orders at very good prices.. Got a notice of pre shipment at the post office, then the second one finally started moving about 7 days later but from a different town. I found their facebook page which they were blaming the post office for holding the shipments. One guy said his was supposed to be shipped and had called their post office and the PO had shipped all the train store had sent them. There were also about 10 other complaints against them on FB about extremely slow shipping and not answering emails or getting nowhere on phone calls. There is a better business complaint not finalised from 2017 against them also.
After waiting 30 days I explained to them in an email as an owner operator truck driver I had been through their town countless times and that I knew exactly where they were at. The next day the first one shows up moving from the town 25 miles away where the my other one entered the mail.
 

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Why didn't you just send it back? It certainly wasn't as represented, eBay is very buyer-centric, and you should have had no problem getting a refund.
I agree! E-bay stands behind the buyer 99 percent of the time! The sellers get charged more for their listings with every negative feedback! And I also agree with the post regarding don't buy from someone with 99.7 or less feedback as they do not really care about what they are selling except the "bottom" line their profit from yard sale finds! Most are truthful when saying "found in estate sale" and the seller lists it as such. But as always buyer beware research seller's feedback ask questions LOTS OF THEM if the seller is good they WILL answer all questions if they are really a good seller!
My buck 2 98's worth!
 

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I've been buying and selling on Ebay for 21 years, I have 100% feedback rating, I've hit some bumps in the road along the way but was able to work things out, communication is key, I've gotten some excellent deals on there, but I always look at the feedback rating, and if they have any negatives I go read them to see what the issue was, sometimes its a vindictive buyer who just wants to bash someone, my biggest pet peeve on there are the people who list an item for a super great price, but charge $30 flat rate shipping, ask the price you want and charge real shipping, or the ones who refuse to combine shipping, I bought 3 Athearn RTR cars from a seller when I requested combined shipping I was refused, ended up paying $7 shipping per car, all 3 showed up in the same box , or even better they charge you $10 for shipping, item shows up and they paid $3 something to ship, you just have to be diligent overall I've had a good experience and managed to track down a lot of hard to find items I wanted that would have been nearly impossible otherwise
 

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While we're on the subject of eBay subjectivity . . . one thing that I do is look at the seller's other items to see if they are a 'train person'. If it's just something from an estate sale that a seller has no idea what it is, "in great condition" might not exactly mean great condition. The same goes for "shows some use". I think another poster mentioned that if there's only one or two photos (or they're dark or out of focus), that's a red flag. I bought a passenger car recently and when it arrived, one side had a noticeable manufacturer molding defect. It was a car that I really wanted and got it at a great price so I kept it; but I wondered that if in my haste, I'd overlooked this blemish. I went back and looked at the posting photos and the one that would have shown the blemish was taken so the light was dim at the spot. On purpose ? I don't know. But I do look closer at the photos now. . .
 

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Yes i had that happen to me once with buying a locomotive, Back in 2012.
It was a 4-8-4 bachmann. It was listed new. Upon receiving and taking it out of the box. Instantly i seen it was very used. It had scuffs, smoke oil all over it. The wheels were very dirty where they run on the track. And worst of all, the wheels were all bound up do to the famous cracked bachmann plastic wheel centers. I did send it back for a refund.
 

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I don't remember his exact reply, but it was something along the lines that he didn't think it would be a problem. Nothing honest about that idiot, just turning the unit over in your hand is enough to see that the open fluid lines are going to start dripping.

[EDIT] Oops, didn't realize there was another page of replies since my last post, otherwise I would have included a quote to what I was talking about. :)
 

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I have bought & sold a lot on ebay
I sold a bli 4-8-2 to a gentleman he had all kinds of issues with it .so i didn't argue with him i just refunded & took it back.
sold it 20 minutes later after receiving it.
the man who bought it loves it & we became friends
on the buying end i have had no issues since 2000
 

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I've sold some train items on Ebay. I try to take good pictures and tell of any issues. And if I have an issue (like a coupler that fell off in shipping recently), I try to handle it in a way that makes the buyer satisfied.
 

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OK since this is an eBay thread, I need some advice : I have to send something back for a refund and obviously have to pay the shipping back to the seller; and I've already paid to have it shipped to me. Do I ask for my return shipping cost also ? I bought an Athearn engine after I SPECIFICALLY messaged the seller and asked if it were a powered unit, as it wasn't clear in the listing. He told me that it was indeed a powered unit and he'd forgotten to mention that in the description; and subsequently amended the description to say 'engine runs'. I get the engine today and it's a dummy. Even says 'dummy' on the box. I messaged the seller saying "hey this engine is non-powered" and he replies that "The box it's in is wrong; I tested it for 20 minutes pulling cars prior to packing & shipping it. Send it back if you're not satisfied and I'll refund." I went back and really, really scrutinized the photos and I just can't tell if it's the same engine; but I think it is. There's NO WAY he tested this engine; it has no motor and all plastic wheels ! I want to believe that this guy just got his A & B units mixed up - I mean if I ask you if it's powered, you tell me yes, I get it and it doesn't even have a motor . . . don't you think I'll figure that out ? I hope this won't happen but I really hope he won't get it back and then claim that I swapped engines on him. . . . advice, all ?
 
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