eBay Shenanigans

The two CRT monitors I had on eBay sold this afternoon, and it got messy. I listed them with a quantity of two, and as a result the rules for multiple-item-auctions applied. These are a little complicated, and it took me a few read-throughs to figure it out. What happened with my monitors was the following:

Person A bid £50 for 1 monitor, Person B then bid £100 for both monitors. Because Person A was first to bid £50 on Monitor 1, they won it when the auction ended. Person B only won Monitor 2, despite bidding for both. Person B then got confused, wondering why they hadn’t won both, but after an email or two we figured it out. Under the rules, Person B is entitled to back out of the auction entirely if they didn’t get the items they wanted, although they can still choose to go ahead. Person B didn’t want just the one, so we agreed to cancel.

I expected Person B’s confirmation email to contain some sort of link they could use to cancel their bid, but this couldn’t be found. I wanted to offer Monitor 2 as a second-chance offer to one of the unsuccessful bidders, but this can only happen if the item is either sold or unsold – not in the process of being sold. So after reading through the help I initiated an ‘Unpaid Item Dispute’. This allows both buyer and seller to back out of the auction by mutual consent, so neither receive any kind of penalty. I entered the details, and an email was dispatched to Person B asking if they wanted to accept the transaction withdrawal. Unfortunately they made a mistake and selected ‘decline the transaction withdrawal’ instead of ‘decline the transaction’. The dispute was then, in eBay’s eyes, resolved, and another cannot be initiated.

So I gave up, relisted Monitor 2, and went to email the unsuccessful bidders. When I clicked on their name, however, it said ‘Do you wish to give xxxx a Second Chance on an item?’. Yes, I did. But I’d just re-listed! So I cancelled the auction, returned to the second-chance page, entered the auction number and promptly received ‘Second Chance Offers cannot be applied on multiple item auctions’.

It’s all sorted now, Monitor 2 is back online, and my admiration for people who make money from eBay has increased enormously.