Here's a new one that I'd just learned - I'd probably fallen for this trick a number of times already, but this is the first time I've been able to put it all together and it all makes perfect sense to me - now!
This one is from one of our other esteemed eBay top rated sellers that I'd just bought a LCD screen from. Okay, so I clicked buy it now and immediately paid for the LCD screen. Within a couple of hours, I was notified that this thing was shipping (or so I thought) and was given a tracking number by email, and the method of shipment was supposedly US Postal Service Priority Mail. Easy enough, right? ETA should be 2-3 days. Simple and straightforward, right? Or so I thought. This was on a Thursday morning and I'm out in Los Angeles, CA, and this seller is out in North Brunswick, NJ.
If you're a big buyer on eBay you already know who they are: this seller operates under at least 10 different names and is easily the biggest seller of LCD screens, aftermarket keyboards, aftermarket AC adapters, and aftermarket batteries on eBay (and in the world).
So ... Friday came and went (Priority Mail ain't overnight, I understand that). Saturday came and no screen arrived. The following Monday came and no screen arrived. Then Tuesday came and no screen arrived. Puzzled, I checked the status of my shipment, and, lo-and-behold, my purchase was only processed at the USPS sort facility on that very day (the following Tuesday!) Five full days AFTER I'd been given a tracking number. So what gives?
One, if you ship something five days after getting paid, you probably don't even hold inventory on it - the merchandise is, in all likelihood, in someone else's warehouse, not yours. Two, if you generate a shipping label within 24 hours of receiving payment, eBay automatically gives you 5 stars in shipping time and the buyer won't even have a say in your shipping time. And therein lies the deception, or should I say ... deceptions?
So .... I'm gonna do the next best thing: I'm gonna give these guys one star on everything else - item as described, and communications. I know, I'm stretching things a bit here, but these guys started it and gave me no recourse. This is maybe the 4th or 5th time I've bought from them, and each and every time, the product had arrived later than expected. There are several things that are ALWAYS time critical: power supplies/AC adapters, screens, and keyboards, and shipping out such an order 5 days later simply will NOT do. And if it's happening to me, it's happening to you, too. I guarantee it.
Lastly, how much do you want to bet that such deception is being done on a massive scale? I mean, so long as you know the merchandise and the size and weight of the package, you can generate a shipping label within minutes - with the actual shipping being done days later - and you would've preempted your customers' right to leave you less than 5 stars on shipping time! I would never do such a thing but this is actually being practiced. Why am I not surprised?
I ain't a picky buyer by any means: if you notify me of a shipment one day and you do the actual shipping the next day, I can totally understand that. I'll even tolerate it if a seller tells me that my shipment will be delayed for 5 days due to running out of inventory - I always appreciate an honest communication. But to do what these guys had done? Nope. Won't tolerate deception. Not like this.
eBay, you listening?