Wander aka StoneBear (wander) wrote,
Wander aka StoneBear
wander

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It finally happened

People said if I bought from Ebay for long enough, I'd eventually get screwed and today it happened. Granted I only got screwed out of $5 but it's the principal of the thing. I've been buying from Ebay for over 4 years now. I was looking for an external modem for one of the PC's I have. It's one of those disposable type computers that was essentially made to compete with the IMac when it came out. It's very compact and made to hook right up to the Internet right out of the box except it came with no modem. Hey, I got it for free so I'm not complaining. But the only thing upgradable is the memory. You couldn't stick an internal modem in if you wanted to. What I had been doing was taking a modem back and forth from the city house to the farm every time I went but that gets to be a pain unhooking things all the time.

So I'm on Ebay earlier and I narrow things down to price and the Buy It Now option. I find a US robotics modem for $1.99 Buy It Now and I jump on it expecting the shipping to be reasonable. Hell it can only weigh a couple of pounds, Even with packaging it could only be about 4 pounds right? RIGHT?

So I'm going through checkout and I put my zip code in and the shipping price (for USPS Priority Mail) comes back as $20.40...

For a $1.99 item. Methinks someone is trying to make money off the shipping cost. So I go to the Post Office website and figure the cost of a 4 pound package with the proper dimesions of a box a little bigger than a modem. Nearest I can figure, the most it would cost is $11. I mean we are not talking FedEx here. It's the Post Office.

So I write to the seller. Of course this is after I got the winning bid on the modem so I'm stuck with it no matter what. I figure maybe he made a mistake on the calculations.

Here is the note I wrote and his response:

Hi,

I was looking to purchase the modem with the buy it now option. I chose it because of the low price of $1.99 expecting the shipping to also be reasonable. However, the calculator when I go through the checkout, lists the shipping at over $20.00 for Priority mail. I went though the Post Office's website and estimated the cost for sending a 4 pound package, (even with packing, this modem should weigh less than 4 pounds) and priority mail was only $11. Can you provide some explanation of why the shipping cost is so high? Because honestly, had I known it was that high, I wouldn't have bid on it.

Thanks,

Mark
wander3

Response:

Hi,
The price of 1.99 you know is to low to be resonable for that modem. So in shipping cost is included $5 for handeling and $5 for modem price + priority mail as you said $11 = total over $20.
The item description says clear to check shipping costs before biding.
This modem sells on ebay for a total price (including S&H) for minimum $25 and w/ an average of $30. Your price is less then $25 so you got yourself a good deal.

Thank you,
Seller's name

What the fuck? Am I missing something here? $1.99 is too low to be reasonable for that modem? Of course it is! That's why I snapped it up so fast. Sounds like a little bait and switch tactic going on here. This guy ought to be a car salesman. To me, if you are going to sell on Ebay you ought to list a price as being the lowest you are willing to let it go for. That's the true spirit of an auction. Ever been to a real auction and the auctioneer starts the bidding out at a certain price? That's because either he or the owner feels that what it's worth at a minimum. Shipping should be just that, your cost for boxing something up and sending it to me. Not that cost plus an extra five bucks because you failed to start your opening bid high enough.

Moron. I wrote back to him incidentally asking why the hell he was charging me the extra $5 and I've yet to hear back from him. If I could find a way out of it without him coming back and leaving me negative feedback, I would. I know it's a buyer beware kind of world out there but for Pete's sake, telling me I should have checked out the shipping before I bid is just insulting. What, check out the shipping so I can tell before I bid what a crook you are?

Here is the note I wrote back:

I've got no problem paying it as I should have looked at the shipping before I bid. I've just never encountered a shipping cost on Ebay that high before for something that weighs so little. I understand the $5 for handling as packaging costs money. What do you mean by the $5 for the modem price? I thought the price of the modem was $1.99.

I'll be paying this later today.

Thanks,

Wander

If you want the seller's ID, drop me a comment with your email and I'll give it to you privately. I won't be buying from this one ever again.

Wander
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