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ebay item descriptions

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Malcolm_Stewart, Jan 21, 2021.

  1. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    I do a fair amount of surfing the ebay listings, and those for cameras and lenses seem to be quite acceptable - i.e. generally accurate, and similar to the descriptions from reputable photo shops / dealers. It's very different when I check out the listings for builders' levels, and surveying equipment such as theodolites. Here, the descriptor "theodolite" gets attached to a wide range of gear, much of which is nothing more than a "level". There's a huge difference in value - theodolites (viewing telescopes capable of measuring both vertical angles, as well as horizontal angles) cost much more than a mere builders' "level" which are basically telescopes provided with cross-wires and a means of ensuring the viewing axis is horizontal. I think the range of common descriptions could give rise to people making purchasing errors, and I wonder how ebay would resolve the dispute.
    Any ideas, or bad experiences? Is there a similar problem in other technical fields?

    (Photographically - yesterday I saw a used lens offered with the adjective silver used for the mount, rather than the colour "silver" for the colour of the mount. We know what was meant, but legally...?)
  2. Learning

    Learning Ethelred the Ill-Named

    Is surfing ebay listings good for insomnia?:rolleyes:
    Danno likes this.
  3. John Farrell

    John Farrell Well-Known Member

    I wonder if you get to hang ten...
  4. Footloose

    Footloose Well-Known Member

    Having never sold anything on E-bay or online, I'm wondering if sellers are limited in how much info they can provide, or, sellers think that 'The less info they give, the fewer chances they are giving buyers to dispute what they have bought, on the basis that, "Well, the buyer didn't ask me to clarify xxx"
  5. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    That's my position too; I've never sold anything but I've bought lots of low cost stuff over the years, including just one camera - a Zeiss Ikon Contaflex Super, in superb condition - and several surveyors' levels. These have all been low or very low cost, and have all been as described. One with good optics is missing its balance weight, so is no more than a paper weight, but it was sold as "for parts etc..."
    Back to my original query, I wonder if I did buy a "theodolite" for very little, (hoping to get a bargain) and got sent a mere level, how ebay would decide on a complaint. I guess they would hide behind the parts description, or simply refund my cash and finish there...? As I wrote in my opening, camera descriptions were fine, surveying gear is generally vague. Weird.

    My old website covers some of my interests which are relevant: http://www.users.waitrose.com/~emes1938/
  6. TimHeath

    TimHeath Well-Known Member

    As someone who has sold many hundreds of items on eBay I am of the opinion that it pays the seller to provide the most accurate description of the item being sold, in terms of words and pictures. This means describing the item honestly including any faults and providing clear photos. There is ample opportunity when listing an item to be comprehensive in your description.

    Anything less is often down to laziness, apathy or possibly designed to mislead but will be noticed by the buyers and eBay themselves when determining how high a listing appears on the site when searched for. Good sellers are promoted by eBay plus customers have the benefit of being able to get a refund if any item is faulty or misdescribed etc.
  7. Ascu75 AKA Don Wood

    Ascu75 AKA Don Wood Well-Known Member

    I love eBay and have bought several cameras and lenses via the listings. Buyer beware or caveat emptor as the saying goes, I have been pleased with the bargains but I never mention the mistakes. Most days I browse eBay but
    Caveat emptor
  8. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    I've bought a lot off ebay .
    The current trend seems to be listings items with not much more of a description than " condition is used " .
    Used is not a condition , it's a state of ownership .
    Of course a 30 year camera or lens is used and not new , but what condition is it in ?!
    Idiots .

    While I do sometimes ask questions if something on the pictures don't look right , it's still up to the seller to state any faults .

    Ebays definition of used is ;

    "Used: An item that has been previously used. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or an item that has been returned to the seller after a period of use. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections"

    So if it's got any faults other than insignificant flaws like scratches to the body , then it's not as described .
    Because of the amount of idiots out there that try to pull this scam , I don't bother emailing them , I just raise a claim on ebay as "not as described" and a returns postage docket is automatically issued and I get a full refund as soon as they receive it . ( or rather within 48 hours )

    If they can't be arsed stating any issues with the item , that's their problem .
    You get your money back no problems .

    Also , if it's listed as "untested" , that generally means it's broke !
    However , if it's category is " sold for spares/repairs " their declaring it's sold as faulty .
    If it's listed as "Used " , then it is still required to be in full working order .
    Even if it's listed as " no returns " if it was sold as "used" , it's them that's in the wrong , raise a claim and send it back .
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2021
  9. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Some sellers seem to be too lazy to provide decent pictures or any helpful description, which tends to impact on the final sale price of the item.

    Untested does indeed usually mean broken. "I don't know much/anything about..." is a bit of a warning sign as well.
  10. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Yes - I've noticed quite a few out-of-focus images in the last few days.

    Thanks guys, for all the comments and feedback.
    Am still wondering whether to purchase a low cost builder's level in "sold for spares/repairs" condition so that I can have some fun trying to repair it! I do have a fully working version as a comparison. Beats watching some of the TV, during our confined to house lock-down!
  11. RovingMike

    RovingMike Crucifixion's a doddle...

    Not the camera and golf equipment I mostly look for. Descriptions are very accurate and complete. Maybe you are not scrolling down far enough? They moved all the details down below other gumph.
  12. SqueamishOssifrage

    SqueamishOssifrage Well-Known Member

    ... a thing that pissed me right off!
  13. David Loxley

    David Loxley Well-Known Member

    Should this be in this thread or in 'What grinds your gears?'
    "No returns accepted" --- Is this a big hint of dodgy kit?
    The stuff still sells!.
  14. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Well, what a difference two days makes!
    I've used the same search terms as before, and tonight the ebay search results are coming in, and without the misleading "theodolite" descriptor. And, I didn't contact ebay to complain.
  15. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    No it isn't actually. Many who sell on Ebay do this, myself included, if you accept returns items can be returned (at the seller's expense). This means a buyer could use the item (or wear it if clothing) and then simply return it, simply to look at an item or use it for a purpose. If an item has been incorrectly described it can be returned anyway-regardless of the no returns accepted condition.
  16. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    Those really crappy , out of focus camera phone shots are a warning in themselves .
    ie. what are they trying to hide ?

    No , a lot of the used camera gear I'm looking at just says "Condition is Used" and little or nothing else .
    On a PC I'm scrolling down , and on the ebay app on my phone I'm clicking on the "sellers description" to open the box with the description in .
    With a feedback of over 4000 I'm not exactly new to ebay ;) .

    There perfectly welcome to say "no returns " on their listing .
    But if it's not as described , their having it back and they can't refuse .

    I've bought things sold as " Condition "used" , see pictures for description , no returns " .

    Some have arrived faulty , so I've just raised a claim via ebay as " not as described " .

    Stating it was "used" , not "faulty , spares or repair" .

    Again , ebays definition of used is ;
    "Used: An item that has been previously used. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or an item that has been returned to the seller after a period of use. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections"

    Don't take any crap from a dodgy seller who claims it's up to you to ask if it has any faults .
    It's up to them to state them .
    And if it was sold as "used" and not "faulty" , it has to function 100% . If not , then it has faults that they didn't declare .
    Minor blemishes that don't effect function are fine , ie , scuffs to a camera body or lenses body .

    Don't be scammed by fraudsters !
  17. neilt3

    neilt3 Well-Known Member

    Provided adequate written descriptions and photo's are provided , I don't have an issue with a seller not accepting returns .
    Some clearly state " returns not accepted unless item doesn't work or match description ".

    But some clearly know when they list something that it doesn't work right and add this to try get out of having it back .
    That's called fraud .
  18. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    Not read the whole thread
    I stopped buying off eBay last year due to scammers (£2.5K in 12mths!!)
    However, I do check everyday for scam listings to report (bastards) easily spotted now
    But current eBay prices are now off the charts, what I paid pre-COVID I could easily now relist and make a minimum....A MINIMUM!! 50% profit. The prices are insane, fuelled by lockdown, free money (furloughed) and too much bloody spare time I guess.

    still, I won’t buy...or sell
    Will never trust eBay again.
  19. pixelpuffin

    pixelpuffin Well-Known Member

    That’s a good point
    What truly truly pi$$es me off is the two eBay sellers who use the same backdrop for every shot..
    Window sill in a flat
    Black/white tiled background

    if you check their other listings it is clear as day they are dealers masquerading as private sellers thus avoiding comeback and fees
    Neither of these sellers offer returns, yet are wanting dealer prices

    I’ve reported both several times to eBay - but eBay doesn’t care, it’s just a online platform now for dodgy geezers to sell or scam stolen, knocked off gear or damaged goods.

    ebay - the worlds biggest market place that doesn’t answer to no one - it’s not regulated- WOW!!
  20. TimHeath

    TimHeath Well-Known Member

    My understanding is that eBay ‘business sellers' pay lower selling fees than private sellers.

    I am classed as a 'private seller' on eBay, please tell me how I can 'avoid comeback'?

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