Friday, January 22, 2016

Beware of Ebay Bucks

Toward the end of last year I made a couple of extra purchases that I normally would not have made. I had finally accrued more than the $5.00 Ebay Bucks minimum and every purchase afterwards would net me more credit for future purchases. By the time the month was over I had earned a little over ten dollars to spend on Ebay in any fashion.

Naturally, that meant baseball cards!  I wanted to bolster my Karl Olson collection a little bit by filling in the gaps, and I found three sellers to purchase cards from.
You'll notice that this seller has shipped the cards, as evident by the darkened package, but the payment is being processed. How can that be?

Well, there's a story to be told.
 I committed to buy the items back on the January 12th, and the transaction was in limbo because of the Ebay Bucks.  My Paypal account showed that the three sellers had been paid, but the "My Ebay" page would not confirm that I had indeed paid. I visited the Ebay Community and posed a couple questions. Soon after I found I was NOT the only person who to have a transaction pending indefinitely. I took one of the responders' suggestions and on January 20th I decided to ask the sellers if their Paypal account showed my payment.  Two of the sellers said "yes" and they promptly shipped the cards even though the "My Ebay" page still had not updated the status of my payment. The other one said "no" and opened a claim on our transaction demanding payment.  Argh.

How would my payment register with two of the sellers and not the third? After much deliberation about actually needing the card and not wanting to tarnish my 100% feedback rating I relented and paid the seller for what I believe to be a second time. (It was seven dollars.)

There is probably some protection Ebay offers in these cases and I probably should have looked further into it, but I was frustrated.  I had Ebay Bucks and should have had an easy transaction with the three sellers. Instead, I wound up posting on community boards trying to resolve a problem with Ebay's imperfect system while being accused of not paying.  I had spent far too much time dealing with this situation and just wanted it resolved. So, I paid the third seller rather than fighting back.

In summary, I found four new cards for my collection for a little over $12.  I spent my $10+ Ebay Bucks and the other $2 came from my Papal account. Two bucks from my bank account for four cards I wanted isn't a bad deal, especially when they are from three sellers and four different auctions. But because the Ebay Bucks never registered as a payment on the "My Ebay" page I ended up paying about $9 dollars for the aforementioned cards. To be honest, l never would have bought those cards for $9.  Two dollars, yes; nine dollars, nope. The Ebay Bucks were the difference maker in committing to the purchases AND it backfired on me.
 I called Ebay yesterday and actually got a live person. I told them their system was broken and there were other unhappy customers out there who also ahd transactions in limbo. I also said I did not want to be compensated for my time, frustration, or the extra $7 I had to spend to finish a transaction. I complimented them on the concept of the Ebay Bucks, because it did get me to purchase a few more auctions that months than I would normally have done. But, I made sure they knew I felt their execution SUCKED and I will never attempt to benefit from the Ebay Bucks system again.

Since then, the hour glass on the "My Ebay" page has updated the date and now the transaction has been changed to read "Your 01/21/16 payment is being processed." I suppose that is an improvement over 01/12/16. Woo.

I wonder if the stinking hour glass will ever turn into a dollar.


  1. That's quite a tale. I almost never buy enough things on eBay to reach the eBay bucks rewards but at least now I know that I'm potentially saving myself a lot of trouble.

    1. I wish it were a tall tale. C'est la vie.
      Onwards and upwards.

  2. Hmm.. that sucks! I've been a happy eBucks user for a while now and never had any problems.

  3. I think I remember something like that happening to one of my payments, but it's been so long that I don't recall how it shook out in the end. I always get enough eBay Bucks to get a certificate. I always buy something stupid with them on the first day the certificate is available and then kick myself when I realize I wanted something else more.