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Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?(20 posts)

Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?Tri-State Cycler
Mar 2, 2003 2:56 PM
Just got the shaft. Seller refuses to refund payment on damaged frame.
re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?Fez
Mar 2, 2003 3:00 PM
Maybe post some details, like:

Was it sold as-is?

How was it damaged? Shipping? Do you think seller knowingly misrepresented the condition?

Have you tried negotiating, like meeting part way as far as the refund?

Is seller a business or a private party?

Those details could affect which way you want to go.
re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?DeadGame
Mar 2, 2003 3:01 PM
That sucks!!! Can you reveal the seller so at least we can steer clear of him. What part of Florida?
Did you use a credit card to pay for the item?ridingthegyro
Mar 2, 2003 3:53 PM
You can dispute a payment (usually within 60 days) with the credit card company. The credit company will usually refund the money to you if you are right.
need more inforussw19
Mar 2, 2003 4:18 PM
A few things that you need to explain and I could help some more...
Was the frame shipped UPS, and was there noticable damage to the box? Was the box beaten up in anyway? Was the auction itself misleading? Did the frame come from out of state? How did you pay? And did you mail a check or use some online payment like paypal? If you used paypal, did the funds come from your bank account or credit card?

And again, what was the wording of the auction. Did they ellude to any problems, or more importantly, did they go to any lengths to hide or conceal them?

There are several ways you can go at this point to getting your money back, but a lot depends on how you paid, and how the auction was listed, and how the box was shipped.

Give me a little more info to work with and I may have some advice for you.

re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?Tri-State Cycler
Mar 2, 2003 4:39 PM
Ok here's what happened. Got the frame Thursday and I didn't get to check it out till Friday. I was cleaning the bike up as it was pretty dirty and I was rubbing the area around the seat lug/collar when I noticed a small crack at the weld on the underside of the left seatstay. I looked at the otherside and the stay weld was cracked about halfway around. I checked the rest of the bike and find a raisin size dent on the braking surface of the front wheel. Other than the paint being worse off than expected, the rest of the bike is as advertised. I email this guy up and tell him that the frame is damaged and ask for a refund and he tells me that all "sales are final". Which he did say in the auction.
He also tells me that he sold the bike for a "friend" and he
can't refund my money. Now if you read the auction in no way shape or form did he mention the frame or the wheel was damaged. On top of that he failed to mention that he was selling the bike for a friend. The guy refuses to refund my money and keeps asking for pictures of the damage. I told him he already knows what it looks like. For those who ask(ed) I didn't pay by credit card (used Paypal bank transfer and I'm sure you've heard the stories about them). A UPS inspector is coming out this week to check out the claim, but the box is near pristine which tells me the frame and wheel were damaged before being boxed. I've taken pictures but won't get them till tomorrow. I'll post then. Sorry for the long post. What do you guys and gals think?
you've been shafted by the sellerridingthegyro
Mar 2, 2003 4:58 PM
The bike is described as being in great looking and working condition. What you got is definitely not in that condition so you deserve your money back; however, your chance of getting your money back is not good because you didn't use your credit card.
re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?russw19
Mar 2, 2003 5:14 PM
OK here are a few things...
You are in Florida, right, and the seller is in Florida and you didn't mail a check across state lines... so that rules out possibly claiming mail fraud. And that's a shame because USPS takes that seriously and would do most of the work... but you still have hope.
Are you a Verified user of Paypal and was this guy? Check the acounts, they will tell you. If so, you CAN get paypal involved. They have some limited protection for transactions thru verified members.
The best thing you can do for yourself right now is to take a trip to your bank. Explain it all to them and see if they are willing to charge back your account thru paypal if you refuse to keep the item. Sometimes smaller banks and credit unions will help you there. If they will take care of it with paypal, let them do it, and stay out of dealing with paypal yourself. Ask your bank to handle it before you approach paypal. If your bank won't get involved, you can try to negotiate yourself.
As for the auction listing.. I just read it. If the frame is indeed damaged, then the auction is misleading. No matter what the "all sales final" clause that guy throws in. It's not binding. If the frame is non-functional, then the transaction is void according to ebay. You need to look that up specifically and get ebay involved too. If ebay rules the auction broke their rules, you would have every right to have your bank pull money from paypal back to your account. It would then be up to paypal to get the money back from the seller, but that's not your problem so don't worry about it. If that happens you would be obligated to return the bike to the seller, and you can only charge them actual shipping to send it back. But ebay has very specific rules that most people don't read. They are an online auction hosting service and if transactions don't follow the rules, they are void. If a transaction is void, your bank will be able to get your money back for you. If all this fails, take a drive down to your State Attorney's Office. They are going to help you as this could still be classfied under interstate mail fraud. It will be easy for them since you and the seller are both in Florida.

Good luck and I hope this helps you some.... I am not an attorney by the way, so double check all my advice before you act on it.

But start contacing Ebay, your bank, Paypal, and the State Attorney for your county as your first steps. And take picture of the bike and the box and don't throw it out. Document everything you can. Also, save the pictures from the guys auction to referrence your own pictures to. Print the entire auction listing if you can.

re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?Tri-State Cycler
Mar 2, 2003 5:24 PM
I actually live in Maryland. I didn't mention that in my post earlier. I don't know if that changes anything. Russ, Thanks for your time and info. It's greatly appreciated.
re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?russw19
Mar 2, 2003 6:09 PM
I think about the only thing that changes is that this could be Intrastate Wire Fraud. Contact your State Attorney's Office and ask them. They are paid by the taxpayers, so they work for you. They can tell you what your options are, but I would start there and with your bank.

re: Bad eBay deal --- Suggestionslc21998
Mar 2, 2003 7:43 PM
Actually, mail fraud, which is a federal crime only requires that the US mail was used. You can mail something across the street and it's covered by the mail fraud statute. The statute is 18 U.S.C. 1341 and you can link to it here:

Wire fraud works the same way: use a telephone that's connected to an interstate network and you've committed wire fraud even with a local call. That's 18 U.S.C 1343, which you can find by poking around at the above web site.

Two further points:

1) A comment like "All Sales Final" should not protect the seller because he failed to disclose the true condition of the bike. He can't get you to waive something he's hiding from you.

2) I wouldn't put too much faith in the authorities' willingness to go after this. Though they do work for you the tax payer, they've got bigger fish to fry.

Here's what I would do: Call the seller. Tell him that you want to work something out. Start off nice and reasonable. If he's nasty, tell him he's committed a federal crime, etc. Finally, tell him you're going to sue him in court near YOUR home. You've got jurisdiction because he sent the item to you. Tell him that it will be cheaper for him to settle rather than come to YOU to fight it. Tell him that as a matter of principle, you WILL execute any judgment you get against him. Judgments can be enforced by filing a lien against property the debtor owns, garnishing wages, and other nasty stuff.

Hopefully, he'll back down. If he doesn't you may still sue him but don't expect it to be fun or even worthwhile. (Executing a judgment is harder than you might think).

I hope this helps and while I am a lawyer, I'm not from Florida. (If you do sue, your small claims court should have forms, etc. so that you can do it yourself.)

Finally, if you have a friend who is an attorney, have him or her make the call to the seller. It's sad but true that it can make all the difference in the world.

Disclaimer: I'm not licensed to give legal advice anywhere but CA. Check any and all suggestions with your local attorney. Your mileage may vary.
Was the bike dirtier when you received it than in the pictures?Kristin
Mar 3, 2003 7:12 AM
If so then it was for sure ridden AFTER the pictures were taken. Just more proof that this guy falsly advertised. Not sure what good it will do you. For 1-2 years EBay seemed to be a great place to find a deal. But now all the crooks seem to have figured out about it. And EBay seems ill equipped to police this. That's just unacceptable. Its too easy to get screwed over by people who have no concept of ethics, sales, customer service or laws. I'm closing me EBay and PayPal accounts.
Send him a picturelaffeaux
Mar 3, 2003 2:07 PM
You said, "The guy refuses to refund my money and keeps asking for pictures of the damage. I told him he already knows what it looks like."

Send him a picture. Maybe he does not know that there was a crack. Give him the benefit of the doubt. If he did not know about the crack, he might think that you are trying to steal the bike from him. Work with him.
re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?simonwc
Mar 2, 2003 6:10 PM
Actually, since you paid by paypal, you can complain to paypal regarding the damaged frame. Then paypal will act as a mediator of this matter and will promptly give 10 days to the seller to response to this matter. If the seller didn't response within the time frame or the response is irrevlant, you can then get the refund within 30 days after the case is closed. To do that, simply login into your account, click the help buttom at the top right corner, then select "Protection Policy", then click on "What is Buyer Complaint Process?", and then finally click on "Buyer Complain Form" and fill out the neccessary infomation.

Hope this help.

re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?moabbiker
Mar 3, 2003 3:46 AM
They won't do anything, they just make it seem like they are helping, but in reality, paypal will not help you. The only time paypal will refund your money is if no proof of shipment has been made.

Even if you used a credit card for the payment on paypal, and dispute and win the charges with your CC company, your paypal account WILL be locked. This means any balance in your paypal account (if any) is frozen. But guess what, other people can still send funds to you even if your account is locked!
not in my caseridingthegyro
Mar 3, 2003 5:03 PM
When I used a credit card for the Ebay auction payment on paypal, disputed and won the charges with my CC company, I got my money back (via CC credit) and my paypal account was NOT locked. What are you basing your statements on?
Thanks for help everyone! nmTri-State Cycler
Mar 2, 2003 6:45 PM
There's another lesson to learn here . . .superdog
Mar 2, 2003 9:00 PM
Don't sell stuff on eBay for other people! Twice I've seen people at work bitten in the behind from doing this. (figuratively speaking)
There's also another lesson to learn here , IMHO. . .DL Lawrence
Mar 3, 2003 6:49 AM
I wouldn't ever do business with someone with 3 (now 4) negatives in thier feedback rating, even if they are a very small percentage of the total number of transactions. IMO, I just don't need something bad enough to take that chance. There's plenty of sellers with perfect feedback profiles.
re: Bad eBay deal, any attorneys here fromFlorida?mmaggi
Mar 3, 2003 12:11 PM
You got the shaft alright. If he was an honest person he would refund you.

I know you don't want to hear this, but next time be sure to ask specifically if there are any cracks in the frame, or any other visible dents and if you could return the product for a full refund should you find anything wrong with it.

I purchased my last frame from an ebay seller after the auction ended. I asked all the right questions and he gave me all the right answers. I received what I paid for and what I expected. I got lucky I guess.