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Item clearly said 'collect in person' but buyer wants to send a courier.

(26 Posts)
Merrylegs Wed 19-Oct-11 21:41:19

So I sold a bulky item on ebay for under £20.

I stated 'collect in person' as it's a heavy item and would be really awkward and expensive to post.

I have had a message from the winning bidder (who lives 200 miles away) to say they are going to send a courier to collect it.

I want to say, sorry, I did state collect in person and my location is clearly shown. I also want to say I'm sorry they didn't communicate with me before bidding to ask if was OK to use a courier. I want to add that I can see it would be difficult for them to pick it up so if they like we can just forget the whole transaction.

Does this sound fair?

(As an aside I did have a potentinal bidder email while the auction was still live to ask if I would consider using a courier and I said no - in this case, the person didn't bid, which was absolutely fair enough.)

(My reason for not using a courier is that the item is really tricky to pack and I don't want the hassle of waiting in for a courier when the item is worth so little. I am happy to arrange a time for pick up with a person or even take it to their house if they are local).

fergoose Wed 19-Oct-11 21:43:13

no - you mustn't as you have no proof of delivery if they decide to do a chargeback. Cash on collection is the only way.

also you stated collection only - and you don't want to be sat around waiting for their courier to turn up. Also you would have cost of the packaging too.

bananafrosting Wed 19-Oct-11 21:46:42

Sorry I think sending a courier to collect is fine, unless you made clear that a courier wouldn't be acceptable.

"Collect in person" to me means "I won't post it".

If you meant the actual buyer, not their paid representative, you should have made this clearer IMHO.

pinkappleby Wed 19-Oct-11 21:50:06

"Collect in person" to me also means "I won't pack it and I don't want a load of hassle for a cheap item".

I think the buyer was cheeky and you should suggest they forget it.

fergoose Wed 19-Oct-11 21:53:34

but the courier won't give you a tracking number, buyer pays by paypal, receives their item, but you have no proof so they can claw back their dosh. It is quite a common scam apparently.

plus the waiting in and packaging costs. if you stated collection only then stick to your guns, you are not wrong.

Bossybritches22 Wed 19-Oct-11 21:58:23

If the buyer had asked beforehand fine- you would have had a chance to clarify.

"Buyer to collect" is an accpetable Ebay term that means what it says.

I have done this before but added..
(or arrange own courier once payment has cleared)

...but I take your point about fiddly packaging etc

I don't think a buyer should ever presume anything other than what is stated, only takes a minute to ask, but the vendor can't cover every alternative in the description.

Send a polite but firm email to the buyer & then go to second highest bidder.

If you're worried about it contact ebay for advice.

Merrylegs Wed 19-Oct-11 22:04:31

Thank you so much for all your views. Is interesting.

I am now wondering if the 'collect in person' was ambiguous.

I have sold a few bigger items recently which couldn't be posted and I have always had communication from potential buyers before they bid. All have been local buyers and all have offered cash on collection. I have never had a buyer bid and then mention a courier after the event - literally out of the blue.

Hmm. I am inclined to say forget it. Even if it means my first negative feedback.

I just wanted someone local to pick it up - it's really not worth a great deal. (probably should have freecycled it!)

starfishmummy Wed 19-Oct-11 22:05:32

To me it means someone has to collect it as it is too big to post. A courier fits that bill

thisisyesterday Wed 19-Oct-11 22:09:13

yes, you can absolutely say no to the courier. aside from anything else it means you have to packzge it up

someone did this to me once, and I said yes, but I did charge them extra for the packaging materials and the trip I had to make to the shops to get the stuff to pack it in.

if it says collect in person that means collect in person... not sending it via a courier

Peachy Wed 19-Oct-11 22:09:56

We sell a lot of ebay stuff as Dh ahs a shop on therre, and couriers would be fine: often wrapping and taping within a bin bag suffices for a couurier anyway 9not what we sell, but other stuff) which isn't that ahrd (obv. don't know what your item is)

We always get a collection note when picked up as well, whch is fine.

thisisyesterday Wed 19-Oct-11 22:10:19

a courier IS a postal service isn't it though?

nothing ambiguous in what you put at all OP. collect in person means just that.

naturalbaby Wed 19-Oct-11 22:12:12

tell them it'll cost you extra to package it for a courier and a courier may not collect it.
we recently sent a double buggy via courier and dh had to re-package it after realising it was too big for all the couriers - he couldn't book any to collect. the packaging was then damaged in transit and it arrived with a big rip in the buggy so the buyer then complained. dh bent over backwards to avoid negative feedback but it was worth a lot more money. the whole thing was a nightmare and put us off ebay for a while!

GoodAndBluts Wed 19-Oct-11 22:17:31

Collection in person to me says seller can't be bothered with pakcaging something up, so would have asked beforehand about courier.

I would decline sale if I were you.

What did you sell? If it was a pram, they are pretty easy to package up, few sturdy black bags and masking tape.

queenebay Wed 19-Oct-11 22:33:41

Say yes that is fine if you send all the packaging for it and pay me for a days wage to wait in for the courier.
tell them to bogg off-collection in person means collection in person!!

Merrylegs Wed 19-Oct-11 22:46:52

I've been ebayng for ages and I've not had a bad experience yet, so perhaps this will be my first!

The item is something that could potentially be broken in transit and I think if you take payment by paypal and it is then damaged in transit the buyer can claim their money back? I just didn't want to get into a situation where someone could try that one on.

I should have stated cash on pick up only. Lesson learnt (learned?)

I did feel it was a bit sneaky mentioning the courier after the event, and it was a last minute bid, so I couldn't nip in and re-iterate that I was 200 MILES AWAY!

I shall wait and see what the reaction is to my 'let's call the whole thing off' email.

I am not emotionally involved with ebay - it's just a business transaction - so I will take any negative f/b on the chin and put it down to experience.

Really good to chew it over though. Thank you all! Never been on this section of MN before. Good, isn't it!

LoveInAColdGrave Wed 19-Oct-11 22:52:37

TBH I would also have read "collect in person" as meaning ok to send a courier, but having read this I totally see why that wouldn't necessarily be the case and would avoid making that assumption in future. So thanks for potentially saving me a load of hassle down the line!

Mammonite Wed 19-Oct-11 23:00:15

I have started putting "please don't ask for courier" on my collection-only items. People are welcome to ask before bidding but there is a world of difference between arranging a mutually convenient time for a buyer to collect an item, and having to package, address and wait around for a day for a courier. I think I'd make it very clear I was not responsible for the item being damaged (or allegedly damaged) in transit.

DH has been stung this way and got a negative FB for something damaged in the post that should really never have been trusted to commercial delivery.

I have an unpaid item at the moment from a buyer who is apparently 150 miles away - why on earth did they bid if they can't collect, I wonder?

Merrylegs Thu 20-Oct-11 22:34:18

Quick update - buyer has just responded to apologise for any inconvenience caused and we have agreed to forget the whole thing, so a decent ebayer in the end and all resolved amicably. Thank you all!

Bossybritches22 Thu 20-Oct-11 22:37:01

Phew- good for you !

southeastastra Thu 20-Oct-11 22:39:12

fgs a courier to collect an item is the same as 'in person' more or less

what the hell is wrong with sending a courier to collect an item?

if they won it who cares who collects it?

EndoplasmicReticulum Thu 20-Oct-11 22:46:14

Someone asked me if I'd do this when I recently sold a cheapish bulky item. I looked at the courier site, realised I'd have to a) package the item and b) wait in all day for the courier to collect it. Completely not worth the hassle, so I said no.

Glad you got a sensible result, OP - courier is not the same as collecting in person.

naturalbaby Thu 20-Oct-11 23:53:32

the problem with sending a courier is you have to package the item and deal with any potential damage southeastastra as described above. think about it!

aswellasyou Fri 21-Oct-11 11:27:35

I can't believe how many people on this thread think 'collection is person' is the same as 'collection by a courier'. There are loads of reasons why you wouldn't accept a buyer arranging a courier. You have to buy packaging, pack it up, wait all day for collection. Then you have no knowledge of its whereabouts at all. A collection receipt wouldn't stop the buyer getting their money back-you need a tracking number. The worst case scenario as the seller is that you've paid for packaging, stayed in all day (perhaps losing wages/a day of holiday), the buyer gets all their money back and you've got no item. If you were willing to accept a courier, you'd have arranged it yourself.

claracluck71 Fri 21-Oct-11 11:36:22

I sold a large item on ebay the other week, and the buyer arranged for a freight forwarding company to pick it up. The buyer paid by Paypal, the forwarding company gave me 30 minutes notice of collection and a signed receipt to say they had picked it up. I didn't have to do anything other than show them which piece of furniture it was!

It was all very pain free.

fergoose Fri 21-Oct-11 11:45:36

Aswellasyou - I did mention the lack of proof of delivery - I think that is the most important reason for not accepting a buyers' courier, you have no online proof of delivery.

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