eBay seller coach-hines sold us a copy of Super Mario RPG, stated to be in "Very Good" condition. My position in this purchase was as a middleman, purchasing the item as a collector's item for a friend. This items was shipped using 2-day priority mail. However when I received it, it became obvious the postal worker was not concerned about the condition of the item, as the end result was that it literally got shoved into my mailbox.
I left it in the package for 2 days while I waited for the buyer to make time to come pick it up & got my camera ready to record the opening when the buyer started opening it (something I started doing after the leira921 situation), however the battery went dead on my camera in the middle of recording & I only got the first 4 seconds, making the recording of the opening mostly useless in these kinds of disputes. Despite the damage to the packaging, the item itself had a good amount of bubble wrap around it & didn't appear to have any additional damage done to it. However as my buyer was examining the front label, he noticed a few flaws he wasn't happy about. As I looked at the original photos in the listing on my computer, I noticed those flaws were actually shown in the listing, however not entirely noticeable, which is proven as it wouldn't have been purchased if we had noticed those flaws to begin with:
NOTE: This photo is comparative, showing highlights of those flaws on the top & the original photo on the bottom
Pointing out to the buyer that the flaws were actually in the photo on the listing did not deter him from still wanting to seek monetary reimbursement. The seller was contacted the same day regarding this matter, choosing to do an initial form of contact by message rather than opening a return claim right off the bat. The initial contact to the seller was as follows:
There's a bit of a problem that wasn't noticed in your photo before you sent it, there's a couple of flaws on the front label that my buyer (my position being a middleman) is griping about as this was supposed to be a collector's item purchase. He's saying he's willing to accept $20 back or is willing to return it for a full refund (he's going to have to replace it with another copy in better condition regardless). The package was forced into my mailbox by the postal worker, we were worried that it might have been damaged by them, but the game appears to be working properly, it's just those flaws on the front label my buyer is having an issue with.
The seller responded within 13 minutes of the initial contact:
I understand what you're saying but the game was described accurately, in the ad that game is listed as very good condition, the game is not like new or mint condition!!!
I cannot except a return or even take $20 off.
If I stated something incorrectly or if the game did not work properly I would without a question take it back and refund your money but that game has been tested and inspected and described accurately. I did not sell that game as new, like new or mint condition.
Another response was sent within 2 minutes of the first response:
Also I do not remember there being any damage to the label. If you would have asked me before you bought the game if the game was in perfect condition like new condition?
I happened to be eating at the time & attempting to get some more household chores done, didn't respond to his response until nearly an hour later:
The damage that we found on the label I can see in the picture, so I can't blame USPS for the damage, even though the shipping box was pretty well mutilated when it got forced into my mailbox by the mail handler (I have photos of the shipping package damage before it was opened & attempted to record a video of the opening of the package, however the battery on my camera died as it was recording & only got the first 4 seconds); the damage in the photos provided on the listing was something I discussed with the buyer & he's stated he still wants to pursue one of the 2 options stated. Seeing as you're unwilling to do either, I will need to escalate the matter to eBay claims & let them decide the appropriate method of action in this matter; perhaps I should have just filed the return in the beginning, however I decided to give you a chance first to see if you were willing to make an effort on the matter before filing the claim, I can see that was an unneeded/wasted step...
I opened a return a few hours after that (4/26/2017), however with the numerous calls I was getting throughout the day, it was keeping me from getting the return started as quickly as I would have liked to... The starting statement in that return was as follows:
Front label of item has a couple of flaws on it, the item was purchased as a collector s item (higher price) & isn t worth what we thought it was based on existing damage before shipping (this can be seen in photos on the listing, however was not noticed before we received it). Buyer (my position being a middleman) has requested either $20 back or a full refund upon return (it s going to have to be replaced with one in better condition regardless; he s attempting to collect all games for the SNES in near-mint condition). Seller has already been contacted regarding matter & has refused any action on the part, so return claim is now being opened to get eBay s opinion on the situation. Game works despite damage to shipping package when we received it, seller did a good job in protecting the inner contents of said package, however existing damage before shipping is what my buyer is disputing.
I didn't get a response from the seller to the return until 4/29/2017 at 8:09 AM:
I listed and sold the game exactly as described. I also did NOT state that the game was in "mint" or "like new" condition. I listed the game as "very good" condition. There was NO damage to the label when I packaged and mailed it. It was mailed in an authorized USPS small Priority Mail box with encased in small bubble wrap.......If there had been an issue with the game performance or if I had described it inaccurately, I would have gladly refunded this buyers money. I also have a concern that the "other" buyer could have damaged the label?? I sold this game to my buyer and what happens after that with another buyer is out of my control. I cannot refund the buyer due to these circumstances.
It took me most of the day getting information together, fighting with the buyer over texts to send me additional details (confirm that the damage was where I was seeing it in the listing photo) & I started writing this article while I was waiting, I got the following response along with the photos you see at the beginning of this article submitted to the return request some time after 9 PM:
The item was opened at my house before the buyer left, this is why I started recording those openings by video to prove allegations such as this were not accurate; my battery went dead on my camera during the opening however & it only got the first 4 seconds, so what was recorded was essentially useless... I used to open these packages myself to let buyers know what had been received, however I stopped doing that when I was expecting items that they were expecting to be in collector-condition (as stated in the listing), so I could record the package being opened & statements of cosmetic damage would be recorded in the video should it be needed in a dispute.
When we received the package, I was first worried that it might have been damaged as it was clear the postal worker had forcibly shoved it into my mailbox when delivered; I have attached 5 photos of this to show the damaged package when I retrieved it.
As for the seller stating that the damage is not shown in the photo, I have downloaded the photo on the listing & highlighted the damage (highlighted in light green around the S & M of "Super Mario"; this was done pixel by pixel in Microsoft Paint while being zoomed in at about 600%, causing the top-half to be less quality than the original), then put the two photos top to bottom in a comparative fashion to point out the damage. My buyer has stated that the top-left flaw was simply a smudge & was able to clean it off, but the bottom-right flaw was an actual rip in the label & apparently the reason why he's still pursuing some kind of monetary reimbursement.
At this point the information has been provided, as well as visual proof, it's not a matter of time to see where it goes. The problem here is that the damage is actually seen in the photo, so my buyer is at a disadvantage in thinking he's going to get a refund (even partial) where it shows in the listing, but this article is going to point out the seller's disposition & if anything, show people who are considering purchasing from him what they're getting into if something goes wrong.