Selling Through Amazon Marketplace for Aggravation and Losses – Or, how to borrow stuff from idiots who sell through Amazon

Amazon encourages you to sell your stuff through them.  “Have one to sell?” They ask, with a lovely button directing you to “Sell it on Amazon”. They make it nice and easy. Then they encourage buyers to borrow your stuff and make you pay for it.

The smarter financial thing to do is not sell things on Amazon, but instead buy things from individuals on Amazon, and then screw them over. You can use Amazon to hurt people and make their lives shittier, all from the comfort of your living room, or church, as the case may be.

It’s awesome, right?

8/7/2011 A buyer ordered a new in box projector bulb from me.

8/8/2011 I shipped the item in a timely matter.

8/19/2011 The buyer messaged me through Amazon asking about a return policy, because it turned out there was something else wrong with the projector. Replacing the light bulb did not help.

I agreed to accept the return and provide a refund minus the original shipping fee and minus a 15% restocking  fee (as allowed by Amazon’s marketplace rules), as the item was sold and shipped to them new in box, and was no longer new in box. Honestly, it is no longer a salable item at all, because it is a light bulb and nobody buys a used light bulb and I can’t really guarantee what the buyer did with it. The 15% restocking fee is just a you get to have a little bit of money and give the bulb away to avoid it going straight to a landfill. Still, I was willing to accept the return. I also sent them some troubleshooting tips in case they could figure out what was wrong with the projector. I asked them to email me when they returned the bulb, and provide me with tracking information, so I could keep an eye out for it.
9/8/2011 The buyer messaged me through Amazon, a full month after I shipped a consumable good (light bulb) and acknowledged the terms of the return and said they were shipping it that day. Sure. Keep a light bulb for a month, possibly using it that whole time, and then return it. That seems totally fair and legitimate. Oh, wait, I am lying. It seems to me like it sucks. Whatever. They told me they would send me the tracking  information. They did not send me tracking information, but I kept an eye out for the shipment for the next week. It never arrived.

10/18/2011 The buyer messaged me asking if I got the light bulb and told me it should have arrived by the 13th.  I told them I had not gotten the package. I assumed they meant it was supposed to have arrived on 9/13, so I was concerned and confused. I asked for tracking information and got no reply.

12/9/2011 They messaged me again in December asking about their refund and provided me their phone number. I tried to call but didn’t  reach them. As it was a busy weekend, I did not have other chances to try to contact them.

12/13/2011 They messaged again finally providing a tracking number and said UPS delivered it on October 6th dropped at the front door. They said the item was insured and they would contact UPS if I had not gotten it. UPS said the shipment didn’t exist.

12/14/2011 I replied to let them know I had not gotten it and that the tracking number did not work. I asked them to please contact UPS.

12/15/2011 They replied with a corrected UPS number and said they would file a claim with UPS. Instead they immediately filed a claim with Amazon stating that the item was “NOT AS DESCRIBED”.

I responded to the claim with all that information.

If they had provided the tracking information in a timely fashion, I could have contacted UPS to ask what was happening with a package that was marked as delivered, but which I didn’t have. This happens sometimes, and they call the driver and ask where it exactly the package is. Sometimes it is just hidden from view, other times it was dropped off at the wrong house by mistake and it is realized as soon as the layout of the front step is described. I have no idea what the driver could possibly be expected to remember 2 months later. Still, they could have filed with UPS and been told, hell no, you need to file sooner, and then contacted me, to see what we could work out. Instead, they lied and said they would contact UPS, and then they immediate falsely accused me of selling and shipping items that were not as described.

12/21/2011 Without ever once contacting me for any further information, or to warn me that I’d better refund the amount minus shipping and minus the restocking fee that the the two of us had agreed to, back when it was being returned in a reasonable time and with proper tracking, Amazon just took all the money back from me, and gave it back to them. All of it. Including what I had to pay to ship it to them to start with.

It cost me money to let them have a light bulb for 2 months, and then never get it back.

Amazon has quite the nice setup for buyers.

I’m not a business that can absorb costs like this. I’m just a person, and Amazon customer myself, who got suckered into the idea that Amazon would be a better way to sell things I no longer need than using ebay, craigslist, or just having a garage sale. I’d have been better off just throwing the item away than using Amazon.

To top it off, every message sent by this buyer (a church) had the signature “HE IS , HE WAS, And IS TO COME”. I got scammed AND proselytized to. Thanks Amazon.

Shop Amazon Marketplace and screw over the sellers. They should have been advertising that heavier for the holidays. Still, plenty of people can take advantage of it in 2012. I’m working on a jingle for the commercials.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer, had a very shiny nose
(like a light bulb that you use for two months then demand your money back)
And if you ever saw it
(but you can’t track it )
You would even say it glowed
(like a light bulb that you use for two months then demand your money back)
All of the other reindeer
Used to laugh and call him names
(like “You fucking moron who sold through Amazon”)
They never let poor Rudolph
Join in any reindeer games
(like screwing people over because you’re a church, so you must be right and good)

pop the champagne
A Turkey of a Holiday

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