Local Ripoffs: Ebay Sales Companies

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As I explained in my last blog, Down and Out in Darien, things have been difficult lately because of my impending foreclosure and a deadbeat ex-husband. 

 

In the midst of these difficulties, many people and institutions have been understanding and generous. But I regret that I have to say that I’ve also experienced the opposite: people who have taken advantage of my vulnerable situation and ripped me off.

 

I had a terrible experience with a local company that sells people’s things on ebay for them. (Note that I am not going to actually give you the company’s name because even though I’m telling the truth about what happened to me I would still probably have to endure a libel or slander suit, albeit a spurious one, if I did – and since I’m not a reporter for the CT Post, but an independent blogger, I have no legal support from them.)

 

Here’s the story: when my ex-husband went AWOL he left me with many bills unpaid and a garage full of his furniture, electronics, oriental rugs, sofas, beds, and etc. It was stuffed to the ceiling. So I needed money and had a bunch of furnishings that were no longer needed. It was too much for me to manage a garage sale – I couldn’t move the furniture out of the garage by myself. What to do?

 

A good friend had told me about this local company that sells people’s stuff online, so I took that as a good reference (first mistake). I called the owner and he came over. He was friendly, seemed sympathetic, and I was in a bad situation. We agreed that he would move the stuff out of my garage to his warehouse and manage selling it on ebay. He said he would give me a list of the inventory he picked up after he got it to the warehouse, so I didn’t keep a list (I trusted him – second mistake). I also gave him a couple of pricier items to try to make more money; one of these was a $1,000 professional digital camera that I had ended up with. I asked him to leave one of the tables – an antique side table I wanted to keep, and he agreed.

 

Well, this guy took all my stuff, including the side table, and then I didn’t hear from him. I phoned and phoned and either got his voicemail or some assistant guy who told me that the owner was busy. This went on for SIX MONTHS!  Despite my friend’s reference, I was getting the distinct feeling that I had been ripped off.

 

I reported the company to the Better Business Bureau and ultimately I called the cops. Then I finally heard back from the guy — he sent me a few small spreadsheets that listed a few items and a check for about $140. I didn’t get any official records of any ebay sales at all. Anyone could have created the spreadsheets.

 

Since I hadn’t created a list myself or taken any photographs of the event, I was out of luck. Besides, I already have experience with Small Claims Court – from another firm that ripped me off (I’ll save it for another blog), and after paying to file the claim, proving the claim, and winning the claim I was still unable to collect any money. Small Claims Court is a bee without a stinger (or insert better metaphor here).

 

So that’s my cautionary tale for today. Do Not Let Anybody Just Pick Up Your Stuff To Sell On The Internet! But, I will remain resilient and perhaps even cheerful because writer Elissa Bassist listed me as one of her favorite women humor writers for McSweeney’s. Gather ye rosebuds. . .

Categories: General

9 Responses

  1. Kathryn Higgins says:

    I’m responding to the previous comment, because I thought the reader didn’t get the point of the story. I didn’t just let ANYONE pick up my stuff — this is an established company that is still in operation, which was recommended to me by a friend who is a real estate broker. The company ripped me off. It’s called Auctionkey.com. I wrote the article to WARN people so this wouldn’t happen to them.

    It’s true that a lot of reporting/writing is negative. I happen to be in a bad situation — ex-husband in prison, house in foreclosure, etc., so, sorry, I have a few bad things to report. But I don’t really think readers want to hear about what a great time I had baking cookies with my kids. Unless something funny happened.

    I’m not really sure who is supposed to be “defending themselves” against my articles, but they’re welcome to comment, whoever they are. As for me, I’m going to call a spade a spade.

  2. HNY says:

    I can’t believe that anyone is dumb enough to “Let Anybody Just Pick Up Your Stuff To Sell On The Internet”. How naive can you be? You have a nice writing style so I’ve read a number of your pieces. Unfortunately, the theme is almost always the same – you continually blame others for the messes in your life. I suppose it’s your way of making yourself feel superior to all of those who aren’t present to defend themselves against your accusations, name-calling, and overall point of view.

  3. phrma says:

    Your stories are a collection of “things idiots do”. Is there one thing in your life that ISN’T someone else’s fault? Maybe if you GOT A JOB instead of whinning on the internet about your life and perhaps got over the fact that you married a loser (of course, NOT YOUR FAULT… right) you and your poor kids would have a better life, and you would have less to complain about and fewer people to BLAME? You and women on Jerry Springer give women a bad name.

  4. r4 ds says:

    Sales company doing a very good job in this day.This is time of receson in this time sales is only the option to save our company.We have to search more about this companies

  5. Jeff says:

    Sorry to hear about the hassle and loss. The only bright side is that your garage is empty which was your goal – so look at it as a .500 batting average – not bad.

  6. Tom T says:

    “Do Not Let Anybody Just Pick Up Your Stuff To Sell On The Internet”

    Shouldn’t that really read something to the effect of – “Do Not Let Anyone Just Pick Up Your Stuff no matter what”? This has nothing to do with ebay or the internet, it could have been a consignment store, or your best friend’s best friend who will pay you next week when they get their pay check. There are thieves in every line of business.

    “There is a sucker born every minute” is a cliche often attributed to PT Barnum and quite frankly is quite appropriate now.

    Quite honestly what your did was, well, dumb. Please don’t blame the internet, or ebay stores, you called some one you didn’t know and told him “here, take my stuff”.

  7. Stephanie says:

    I have taken some of my items to a local ebay store with great success! I think the author paints ebay sellers with a broad brush that they will rip you off. I went to the pack and ship place on Federal Rd on Brookfield/Danbury line that sells ebay items and my item was on ebay that day and I was able to track the sale and the check was ready promptly.

  8. Aaron says:

    That’s a shame. It’s also hard to believe that your friend gave this person as a reference. I can’t imagine how your friend feels now.

    It’s not difficult to sell on eBay, you just need to understand the process and make sure that you’re covered under any liability. (Such as, buyer claim that they never receive package, what steps can you initiate to proof that you did send it..answer: tracking #)

  9. Mark S. M. says:

    Those are elementary objectives for attempting to make money/Make a PLAN(is your first)..then keep records..then get credentials..and do some Checks at the BBB/..I have been pretty successful at fighting these problems off/I once was RIPPED for $$40.00 and it cost me $$12.00 to use evidence to retrieve my money/..eBAY is not exclusively DISHONEST/..but it is fairly obvious..as is the Government SELL-Offs/you either are getting what you PAY-4/or you don’t know a “blasted” thing about anything..I’ve looked at eBAY..and many questions do arise..but in all reality–I don’t trust anybody.