Tuesday, April 01, 2008

beware the train nerds of ebay.....

I'm getting out of the model railroad business. Over the past couple of years, I've run out of space in the bonus room. I thought about moving my layout to the garage and working on it there. But since the PigDog inhabits that space and we're not the best of friends, I decided to just try and sell everything.
I started disassembling my layout last week. Little by little I removed the buildings, then the trees, then the lights. I spent Saturday afternoon cataloging all the stuff and putting it into different lots. I came up with 18 lots, then narrowed that down to 12 different lots. I got all 12 of them posted to sell on ebay late Saturday afternoon. An hour later I starting seeing some bidding activity.

Later that night I received an email from a potential buyer who wanted to buy several lots together, but he wanted me to cut him a deal on shipping since I could combine everything into one box. I emailed him back and told him to let me know what he was interested in and that I'd work with him on the shipping.

I didn't check my email again until after church and softball practice Sunday afternoon, probably around 4:00. I noticed that I had 4 more emails from this person. They were scathing. To summarize them all, he was upset that I wasn't sitting in front of my computer responding to his emails as soon as he sent them. He said that people like me who ignored customers gave ebay a bad name. To make things worse, he was even more upset because someone else had bought a couple of the lots while he tried to save a couple of bucks on shipping. I apologized for the delay in getting back to him and suggested that he look at my 100% ebay rating for customer satisfaction before he suggested that I die a slow and painful death for not allowing him to save $2 on shipping. I wanted to suggest that I actually lived a very full life away from the computer screen, but I decided that might be a bit rude.

A similar person wanted to combine shipping on 4 of the lots. I responded to him what the shipping cost would be, and he chastized me for charging too much. He quoted me what he felt the rate should be. I assumed because my shipping rates were too high that he wasn't interested, so I didn't respond.

The thing I like about ebay is that I can put an item up for sale and let the bidding begin. I don't have to be awake to sell things. I don't have to sit in a store and wait for people to walk up and buy what I selling. This is the first time I've ever experienced comments like this from buyers. Hey, if you don't want to pay the price, don't buy my stuff. Obviously someone else didn't mind paying.

The last time I had to deal with anything like this from model railroad hobbyists was back in 1986. It was just after Christmas and Michael's had all their N scale stuff 50% off. As I stood there with 4 other people, one lady suggested that I not reach for a certain item unless I wanted to "draw back a nub." I decided to keep my right hand and let her save the $4.99.

After dealing with train nerds like these, I'm sort of glad I'm getting out of the hobby.....

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