Author Topic: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?  (Read 7719 times)

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Offline poodyp

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So I'm sure most everyone here's bought some piece of old test gear on ebay or some other site, we all know the lines sellers use, as-is,  unable to test, only comes with what is in picture. But, when do you complain when it's not what was pictured?

I recently bought an isolation transformer on ebay, and in the auction it looked brand new, but the unit I got is banged up a bit. I'm not sure if it happened in shipping (it was packed poorly for something that weighs 5 kilos) or what, but it looks like it was dropped, and the transformer actually hit the end panel and bent it, chipping the paint, the mounting tabs are bent, the rivets were popped off and replaced with only 3 screws, and it's not even the exact model pictured (R is missing from the end of the model number, whatever that means).

I'm just wondering would anyone complain about this, or just not sweat it?
 

Offline Psi

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #1 on: November 13, 2012, 01:00:50 pm »
You can always email him a picture of it and word the email as if you believe it was just a simple mistake of him sending you the wrong unit. 

People don't like to be the one to break bad news directly, they prefer to let you discover it yourself without them involved.

If you put the seller in an unconformable position like that it forces them to confront the problem and they're more likely to do the right thing. At least in my experience
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 01:05:07 pm by Psi »
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Offline 8086

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #2 on: November 13, 2012, 01:18:11 pm »
It depends how badly it's damaged. If there was no mention of damage on the picture, and no mention in the description, either the seller is doing this deliberately or it has happened suring shipping. I would assume the latter, firstly, in which case you should complain about it and the seller may be able to claim some compensation from the company he used to send it to you. He can then pass this on to you as a part refund because it's damaged.
 

Offline kripton2035

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2012, 01:37:13 pm »
I always complain for such a thing. it is not what you intend to buy anyway, so ask for a refund.or a partial one
ask the seller what he thinks about it, and estimate what refund you want for that .
then if he refuses all, then paypal claim is the only issue.

Offline ptricks

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2012, 02:25:38 pm »
Bought a used scope where the ad showed everything worked and when I received it , everything did mostly. The only thing that didn't was the scale illumination. I let that go though as most don't check for that anyway and I really don't use it much.

If the person says 100% functional then that is what I expect, if they say something like appears to be fully functional I understand that they haven't really tested it completely and more than likely just powered it on and turned a few knobs.  I do require that what is sent is exactly what is pictured. I do not buy from people that do not post pictures of the actual item.


 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2012, 02:41:48 pm »
I have found that the pictures on some of the eBay postings can be deceiving. Just the other day, I found that a posting was using a picture from my website.

So I think the rule is to ask the seller whether the picture was indeed the actual picture of the product you are going to get. And in cases where the seller says the item is sold as is, then your options are pretty limited.

Does the isolation transformer work?
 

Offline T4P

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2012, 05:14:09 pm »
I have found that the pictures on some of the eBay postings can be deceiving. Just the other day, I found that a posting was using a picture from my website.

So I think the rule is to ask the seller whether the picture was indeed the actual picture of the product you are going to get. And in cases where the seller says the item is sold as is, then your options are pretty limited.
That's frightening! Put a watermark next time  :-\
If buying from ebay next time try to copy the image url into google search and search by image, you might find that it's from somewhere else  :-DD
 

Offline 8086

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2012, 06:40:11 pm »

If buying from ebay next time try to copy the image url into google search and search by image, you might find that it's from somewhere else  :-DD

Also http://www.tineye.com
 

jucole

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2012, 08:40:41 pm »
So I'm sure most everyone here's bought some piece of old test gear on ebay or some other site, we all know the lines sellers use, as-is,  unable to test, only comes with what is in picture. But, when do you complain when it's not what was pictured?

I recently bought an isolation transformer on ebay, and in the auction it looked brand new, but the unit I got is banged up a bit. I'm not sure if it happened in shipping (it was packed poorly for something that weighs 5 kilos) or what, but it looks like it was dropped, and the transformer actually hit the end panel and bent it, chipping the paint, the mounting tabs are bent, the rivets were popped off and replaced with only 3 screws, and it's not even the exact model pictured (R is missing from the end of the model number, whatever that means).

I'm just wondering would anyone complain about this, or just not sweat it?

If it's not as the picture or not as described or very poorly packaged then complain!  If you buy delicate used goods, or untested and they arrive not working then it's just bad luck!
 

Offline poodyp

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #9 on: November 13, 2012, 10:08:10 pm »
Well here's a side by side of their picture vs what I got:

The pink sticker is just an asset tag, it matches the name for the pictures, But you can see the bent tabs, dirt under the stickers, and gashes in the paint.



One screw and a broken rivet instead of rivets. There's a similar screw on the other side, but the third one is galvanized with a star washer.

Then in
picture (linked because it's big), it's hard to see, but the front panel is dented outward slightly, and there's a crack in the paint.

But most obviously the part number and serial number doesn't even match. 73049-50R in the pictures, 73049-50 on mine.

I unfortunately can't test it properly, it uses C13 sockets, and I could swear I had a C13 to NEMA 5 adapter around, but can't seem to find it. Not even a C13/C14 coupler.
 

Offline 8086

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #10 on: November 13, 2012, 10:20:35 pm »
It's obviously not the item in the picture. You should complain until you get satisfaction.

Looking at the metalwork, and the position of the bends, it's apparent that this is not from shipping. The seller sent it that way.
 

Offline Prizmatic

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #11 on: November 13, 2012, 10:37:48 pm »
I'd wager he's selling a batch of them and picked the best one for the pic. eBay's guidelines are clear on this, as is advertising goods as 'for parts or not working' if unsure of functionality. I'd push for a reduction or send it back.
 

Offline Psi

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #12 on: November 13, 2012, 10:38:58 pm »
If it was dropped during shipping you might get the dents but that isn't going to magically create that pink sticker on top, or make the blue 2.0 sticker get dirt on the corner.

It's obviously not the same unit.

Check the ebay rules, as said above, he may have broken them by providing a picture of a different unit without saying so??
« Last Edit: November 13, 2012, 10:40:47 pm by Psi »
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Online Mechatrommer

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #13 on: November 14, 2012, 03:56:01 am »
dude thats just cosmetics, how much did you pay for it? if its a bargain maybe you should just deal with it, easily fixed. now the most important part is the functionality. maybe you can post some pic of the inside maybe someone can help you with the testing. if it doesnt work, ask for refund (from seller or paypal). if it works, then the least (or most?) you can do is leave the seller negative feedback (for item not as in pic), forget about it and start with you project without any further wasting your time. edit: fyi some sellers stock/collect a huge number of this same unit (slightly varying or such), taking picture for each unit and post ad for each one of them specially is not that feasible for them, so they just take one picture of the unit (highly probably the best looking one) post ad at one time, meant for all of them in the stock. ymmv.
« Last Edit: November 14, 2012, 04:01:22 am by Mechatrommer »
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Offline poodyp

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #14 on: November 14, 2012, 10:06:32 am »
Here's an album of all the pictures. I don't want to fill the page with them. When I turn it on there's a pretty loud buzzing, but without the proper cables I'm not sure how to test it without just poking wires around.

I understand sometimes sellers do that, but when they do they usually say "item condition may differ from pictures" and they'll have the auction set up for it (the whole 3 sold/10 available thing).
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #15 on: November 14, 2012, 10:34:47 am »
I recently sold a 30" 2560x1600 monitor on ebay, which the buyer claimed it did not meet the terms stated in the auction (0 dead pixels, which i thoroughly checked prior to listing, the buyer said it had several), i had taken pictures prior to shipping but regardless paypal stated I was responsible and that i was to offer refund/swap/partial refund, the buyer took the partial refund approach :(

As a buyer on ebay you have very good freedom, but as a result, sellers are very open to fraud.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #16 on: November 14, 2012, 12:19:33 pm »
its still hard to see where the wires are going from your gallery, and you still missed the important angle, the back side where all the ports are mounted. the transformer shows significant usage from the burnt enamel coil, try to move the transformer away from the wall, maybe it will reduce the buzzing. i leave the decision to you, whether to keep it or return it, as its still not clear how to check it. if you are too concern with cosmetics i suggest you get a new item, not used.

i've got a rusted yellowish cracked everywhere housing UPS bought online many years ago, a bit of dissapointment if i remember it, but the magic is the UPS works flawlessly until now, even the new cheapo unit i bought cannot beat it functionally. the brand is Patriot 420 UPS, i believe its old since it got serial port backside, i'm not sure if its a good brand, but it behaves like one. so who knows, dissapointment can be a good thing for you? YMMV.
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Offline SLJ

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #17 on: November 14, 2012, 12:59:12 pm »
I've had the "bait and switch" pulled on me a couple of times.  If it's obviously not as described or not the item or in the condition advertised I would contact the seller.

On top of that I am constantly finding scam auctions that are using photos from my web sites.  That gets an immediate report to eBay.  I don't even contact the seller.  I just request the auction be removed immediately.

Online mariush

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #18 on: November 14, 2012, 01:08:46 pm »
My rule is when they say "it came without battery, unable to test" or something like that, 95% of the time there's another flaw and they just removed the battery for the sale.

I paid 5 uk pounds just for fun for a SD camcorder that said no battery, unable to test... and naturally, the lcd screen is not working, only the small viewfinder lcd is.

Eh, it was probably dropped and it's probably an inductor or capacitor loose on the 15v rail (for backlight) so an easy fix, but still, I was sure there's something more than just no battery.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #19 on: November 14, 2012, 01:36:28 pm »
"unable to test, sold as is"
my simple rule is, "the thing is broken need to fix".
if something can select, how cant it be intelligent? if something is intelligent, how cant it exist?
 

Offline McMonster

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #20 on: November 14, 2012, 11:06:00 pm »
"unable to test, sold as is"
my simple rule is, "the thing is broken need to fix".

I must be lucky then, I've bought a few things described this way, including my Wavetek 172B function gen and they always worked. The function gen was less than half the price of a working unit.
 

Offline TorqueRanger

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #21 on: November 14, 2012, 11:34:26 pm »
It really depends on the person and if they really want it or not... I bought a Hakko 939 off ebay for less than $40 bucks used but when I received the item all busted up and defiantly was not the one  in the picture .. The item worked perfectly and was my first real solder iron instead of the crap radio shacks I was using before .. But anyways I asked for a partial refund and the guy refused and said take it or leave it so I took it as is and Absolutely love it ... But needs a new case which I don't know if I am going to use a project ,rebuild ,or just buy brand new..
But do what you want as long it makes you happy..
 

Offline poodyp

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #22 on: November 15, 2012, 02:17:59 am »
I must be lucky then, I've bought a few things described this way, including my Wavetek 172B function gen and they always worked. The function gen was less than half the price of a working unit.

Same here. My thoughts are, if it works, I got a killer deal, if I can fix it, I got a killer deal and learned a little, if I can't fix it, I learned a little. I've never spent more than would make me upset if it were just completely busted. and make sure there's at least indicator lights or a display on.

I took some more pictures, I'm not sure how to best show how it's wired. Live is brown and black, neutral is blue and white. Input connects to breakers, then connect to the primary. Secondary connects to the fuses, then goes to the output.

The buzzing seems to be coming from the breakers, I don't think I've ever seen that in a junction box. Is that normal?

I managed to test it out with a cheapo LED lightbulb and a socket with wires. If I short isolated live to neutral or ground, the LEDs faintly glow, and isolated neutral to live gets the same thing. Is that just capacitive coupling?
 

Online Monkeh

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #23 on: November 15, 2012, 03:43:52 am »
The buzzing seems to be coming from the breakers, I don't think I've ever seen that in a junction box. Is that normal?

It's more likely to be from the transformer itself. They do tend to make a racket.

Quote
I managed to test it out with a cheapo LED lightbulb and a socket with wires. If I short isolated live to neutral or ground, the LEDs faintly glow, and isolated neutral to live gets the same thing. Is that just capacitive coupling?

Probably. It's not uncommon to see a few volts from capacitive coupling.
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #24 on: November 15, 2012, 09:46:05 am »
Quote
the buyer took the partial refund approach
So, it sounds as though they were just fishing in that case for a cheaper deal.

As a buyer I tend to expect ebay items to be a bit on the disappointing side, though I will send stuff back if I've bought it to use and it turns out to be faulty in a way I can't fix trivially. I have asked for partial refunds on occasion where I thought that was reasonable. I too bought a "new" isolation transformer (not the one the OP bought - a bare transformer bought in the UK) which arrived in much the same state. Not really packed well enough for a heavy item and looking like it had been dropped - bent base plate, powder coating flaking off. I did ask for a partial refund there.

As a seller I try to make sure things are in decent condition, well described and have all faults fixed (where reasonable). I have a default "full refund only" policy, unless the buyer asks sensibly and can provide evidence of a problem which genuine makes the item less than 100% useful, but still useful enough not to send back. That said I wish some buyers would make allowances for the fact that I'm often selling a 30-year old piece of test equipment and it probably isn't going to be perfect :-/

I know one ebay seller who has everything described as "for parts or not working". I'm not sure that's the answer. In fact I doubt it actually solves the problem for him as he then usually describes the item as working in the description.
 

Offline poodyp

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #25 on: November 15, 2012, 11:25:24 am »
I know one ebay seller who has everything described as "for parts or not working". I'm not sure that's the answer. In fact I doubt it actually solves the problem for him as he then usually describes the item as working in the description.
Could be he just copies and pastes everything in. I once saw someone describe a microscope as "item powers up, display responsive" or something like that, and it didn't have a light or anything.

It's more likely to be from the transformer itself. They do tend to make a racket.
You're right, the transformer was vibrating the case, causing the breakers to vibrate and rattle. I should have some adapter cables tomorrow so I'll be able to actually use it properly.
 

Online Mechatrommer

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #26 on: November 15, 2012, 11:32:10 am »
"unable to test, sold as is"
my simple rule is, "the thing is broken need to fix".
I must be lucky then, I've bought a few things described this way, including my Wavetek 172B function gen and they always worked. The function gen was less than half the price of a working unit.
by thinking this way, it will avoid dissapointment in case if its really broken, and you also already prepared to fix it. but if you get a working unit, than thats a joy. +1 to your longevity ;)
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Offline grumpydoc

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #27 on: November 15, 2012, 11:51:42 am »
Quote
Quote
I know one ebay seller who has everything described as "for parts or not working". I'm not sure that's the answer. In fact I doubt it actually solves the problem for him as he then usually describes the item as working in the description.

Could be he just copies and pastes everything in. I once saw someone describe a microscope as "item powers up, display responsive" or something like that, and it didn't have a light or anything.

I know what you mean but, no he seems to take more than average care over testing. I suspect that, from the legal perspective his text description of a "working" item would override the "parts or not working" label, especially when he actually says it's to stop people sending items back.

That said it's not totally clear how much the EU/UK distance selling regulations apply to ebay auctions and therefore whether he would have to. In theory DSR doesn't apply to auctions but there has to be "competitive bidding" to satisfy the definition. Starting something at a highish price and selling with just one bid possibly would be deemed not to be an auction. To add to the confusion Ebay then applies the rules in its own idiosyncratic way.

Whatever - it looks as though buying from him would cause grief, so I don't.
 

Offline peter.mitchell

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #28 on: November 15, 2012, 12:41:25 pm »
Quote
the buyer took the partial refund approach
So, it sounds as though they were just fishing in that case for a cheaper deal.

Indeed, which i was disappointed about because he bought it in an auction style listing and thus, someone would have happily paid the 2nd highest bid price, much higher than what i ended up getting.

As a seller I try to make sure things are in decent condition, well described and have all faults fixed (where reasonable). I have a default "full refund only" policy, unless the buyer asks sensibly and can provide evidence of a problem which genuine makes the item less than 100% useful, but still useful enough not to send back

The buyer did send some pictures as evidence, but TBH they looked a lot like someone had opened up photoshop, used the spill tool and put that black and then got the brush and just clicked a few times with the white. https://dl.dropbox.com/u/677635/pixels.jpg
The buyer was a "3d effects artist" and needed it for work and that the "dead pixels" made it very hard for him to use it, if the person was local I would have driven there and checked it out, but they're half way across the country, he paid $1200 for the monitor and got a $400 refund for "3 dead pixels", 3 in 4096000 isn't too bad... plus the monitor was still under warranty ( 3 year) so I felt pretty mad.
 

Offline grumpydoc

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #29 on: November 15, 2012, 01:24:15 pm »
Quote
so I felt pretty mad.

I'll bet!
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #30 on: November 15, 2012, 01:55:29 pm »
I have found that the pictures on some of the eBay postings can be deceiving. Just the other day, I found that a posting was using a picture from my website.

So I think the rule is to ask the seller whether the picture was indeed the actual picture of the product you are going to get. And in cases where the seller says the item is sold as is, then your options are pretty limited.
That's frightening! Put a watermark next time  :-\
If buying from ebay next time try to copy the image url into google search and search by image, you might find that it's from somewhere else  :-DD

Ok, found the page I was looking for now. Take a look at this auction on ebay: http://www.ebay.com/itm/Intel-Core-2-Quad-Q9450-2-66-GHz-Quad-Core-BX80569Q9450-CPU-/271035545699?pt=CPUs&hash=item3f1afa3863 and check against this post back in 2008 on my site (the third picture down): http://www.kerrywong.com/2008/04/12/some-pictures-of-my-new-rig/.


 

Offline T4P

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #31 on: November 15, 2012, 03:26:34 pm »
Oh dear kerry, that was .. i'll bet you were quite furious  :P
 

Offline AlphZeta

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Re: What's your threshold for complaining about a used equipment purchase?
« Reply #32 on: November 15, 2012, 03:35:33 pm »
Oh dear kerry, that was .. i'll bet you were quite furious  :P

Na... I was actually quite perplexed since that wasn't a particularly good picture anyway.... Just hoping that the potential buyers won't be judging based solely on the picture as it's for sure not what they are going to get.
 


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