Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Tell Someone Who Can Do Something About it.

Shipping is expensive. It makes sense... Fuel is expensive and shipping takes fuel... lots of fuel. I can't fix that. It is affecting eBay businesses worse than local stores because we HAVE TO SHIP every product. Because of the shipping expense, shrewd buyers are willing to pay us less for products and thus, our margins are lower. So before you start accusing me of freight gouging (eBay and 25% of the people buying on eBay) read about our CODBAG of the WEEK. We got this e-mail this morning:
Q: I am at 33418. [Palm Beach, FL] If you gave me the A/C for free it is too much for shipping. It would be worth your whail to find reasonabl shipping for your coustomers. Other people ship this in the $25 to $50 range. If you can do this I will bid.

I could tell by the spelling that this was a man of great intellect, so I chose not to speak below him by mincing words.

Our Response:

Great observation. Did you take into account that you are 3300 miles away from us in the opposite corner of the country?

Here’s a little Algebra for you and anyone else who wants to become a freight broker: 3300 miles at 6 MPG will take a carrier 550 gallons of fuel. At today’s market price that will cost him about $3000. This 200-lb unit will account for 0.6% of an average 30,000-lb load, thus it will directly cost $18 in fuel alone. Now the travel time is about 50 hours behind the wheel at $27 per hour extended cost is an additional $1350 for the load or $8.10 for this small unit. The carrier’s direct cost is now $26.00 before meals and lodging. Of coarse this will not magically go onto the rear of a 29,800-lb trailer. It will need to be cross-docked up to 5 times en route to you, so factor in labor and overhead at each location. Then there are admin expenses that must be considered. No carrier can operate without insurance, so we have to throw that in as well. Trust me, neither me or the trucking company is getting rich at the quoted price.

Here's an idea. Write your governor, Jeb, a letter and have him tell his piece of sh*t brother to do something about the rapist oil companies that are single-handedly killing our economy. In the meantime, go down to Wal*Mart and buy yourself a nice Chinese air conditioner. Tell them Tom sent you. I want Hu Jintao to know that I support the collective.

Congratulations sail4steve, you're our CODBAG of the WEEK!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

How to Block Cod-Bag Bidders in eBay

Apparently eBay doesn't want to make it easy to block bidders. It makes sense, given eBay's obvious contempt for sellers, the people who pay their bills and put bread on their tables. Blocking bad buyers is one of the few defenses we sellers have left.

Make sure you are logged into your eBay account in another tab and then Click the link below to add blocked bidders.

Block Bidders

Use a comma between each entry. Click the blocked bidder link on the right to view other peoples blocked bidder lists or to add your own Cod-Bags to the list.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

A New Breed of Cod-Bag

Alright Cod-Bags, knock it off! Freakin' fucktard eBay buyers that ask for, beg, demand, and threaten for positive feedback are pissing me off. Here's the standard e-mail: "Dear seller, I have left you positive feedback, please do the same for me." to which I respond, "Who the hell do you think you are?" Here's the deal: I would never expect positive feedback from a buyer just because I left it for them. What gives buyers the right to demand it from me? I'll do what I want. I'll do what I want.

OK, so here is my Cod-Bag of the week. This douche sent me a request, then a beg and most recently an empty threat. I'll spare you the first messages because they follow the standard formula all eBay sellers are accustomed to by now, but here's the one I got this morning:
Hello, We have asked numerous times for you to leave us positive feedback as we have already done for you and received no response. If Pos. feedback is not left within 24 hrs we will leave a very Negative Follow up comment on your feedback profile. We thought you would have the courtesy to leave pos. once it was left for you. Hopefully you will. thank you
Yep... Not just a threat; an ultimatum. You have 24 hours to comply...

So pushed to it, here was our response:
What makes you think you deserve Pos. Feedback? Are you simply entitled to it because you left it for me? Maybe it wasn't a pleasant experience for me. This most recent attempt at extortion is definitely not pleasant. I now have NO intention of leaving you positive, but I can GUARANTEE NEGATIVE if you execute your threat.
Sufficed to say, we'll be leaving this douche negative feedback. What a Cod-Bag!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Where Have all the Cod Bags Gone?

Thank God!

I was afraid maybe we had been too effective and had already rid the world of Cod-Bags. This week was rolling along relatively douche-free until Wednesday when we got an irate e-mail from some guy who had won an item and then asked for it to be shipped to an unconfirmed address. Now, a week later, he's pissed because we shipped it to him. (Mind you, we shipped it the day he paid for it.)

His e-mail:
"I have sent one message a few days ago informing that you sent this item to the wrong address - an address requested different from the buyers. I had to resend today at my expense of $11.44. I am requesting a refund of the $15. which was paid promptly to you at the end of auction. If this does not seem reasonable to you, and refund not posted within 2 days, I will discuss this situation with eBay."

Wah, Wah, Wah, I'm telling!
He sounds like my little sister did when I taped her Barbie doll to a bottle rocket and got it stuck on the roof.

First of all, Note to all Cod-Bags: Seriously, if your gonna buy someone a present, buy it from a retail store. If your too f#*king cheap to do that, then at least give yourself a couple weeks buffer. EBay is not Many sellers are doing this part-time from their homes. If you expect immediate shipping and all sorts of logistical contortions you're smoking grass (and not that good BC Hydroponic stuff either).

Second, if shit doesn't go your way don't bother threatening to tattle to eBay. I do $5-10K a month through eBay and they don't give a crap about me. Do you really think they are going to take your e-mail serious about a $14 item.

Anyway, I digress.

Our response was short, sweet, and to the point, albeit probably not what he was looking for.

"We will not be refunding your money. What you asked us to do violates EBay and Paypal policies which require items only be shipped to a buyer's confirmed address. This policy protects sellers from fraud. You are encouraged to read through eBay's community forum where you will find numerous accounts of rip-off scams where buyers request items be shipped to unconfirmed addresses. We are sorry if you feel slighted, but this is our final opinion on the matter. "

Congratulations to our CODBAG of the WEEK, your dirty diaper should arrive in the mail shortly.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

EBay Extortion

This is a peach.

Today I'm listing an enormous truck part on eBay and want to offer flat rate shipping. The thing is huge and will go oversize-3. Being that I am located in the absolute NW corner of the country I charge $79 because without fail, the buyer will end up being from New Jersey and it will cost me a fortune to ship it. I click the submit button and this pops up:

Attention Seller!

We noticed your shipping cost looks high compared to other listings in your category with similar shipping services. .

We've found that buyers are sensitive to shipping costs. Items with high shipping costs may be less likely to sell and may get less visibility in search results. Listings that violate the eBay Excessive Shipping Charges policy may be removed from the site.

Please review your shipping costs and make changes if necessary. For help, click the Research rates link in the shipping section.

Its like the eBay Nazis were watching the Sopranos when they wrote this little gem.

"We're not sayin' you're cheatin'. It just seems a little high is all... You ain't cheatin' are ya' Tony? Right. Good. 'Cause we'd hate to have to come back here if we found out you was cheatin'."

How the hell do they know what this thing will cost to ship? Better yet, do they send out a helpful notice when someone doesn't charge enough for shipping? "Uh, excuse us sir, but are you sure you only want to charge $25 to ship that car engine? You know it's probably gonna cost a lot more than that. We're just sayin..."

Hell No they don't.

This is just good old fashioned mob-style extortion. They want you to lower your freight charges so they can get a bigger piece of the final value.

Well eBay, guess what. I've seen some gangster movies too...

Sleep well.

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Sniper, No Sniping!

Snipers are an elite form of Cod-Bag.

I have a modest respect for these guys, though because at least they are legitimate buyers. They know what they are willing to pay for an item, plug it into their automated program and walk away. They win a lot of auctions at the expense of sellers and inexperienced buyers who would have been willing to pay more. Snipers take advantage of a primary weakness of eBay: It is not really an auction.

If you go to an auction and raise your paddle you are agreeing to price that is just above the next guy, true. But if you shout out a much higher number, the auctioneer doesn't round it down to just barely outbid the previous bidder. Your high number becomes the new price to beat and the auction continues until the guy up front is satisfied that no one else is willing to pay more.

There is a website out there that has an awesome technology that really captures the spirit of an auction. It is Bidz weakness is the narrow scope of products, but the technology is brilliant. Your screen refreshes constantly and there is this adrenalin-inducing countdown for each item. Once the end time gets below 10 seconds the clock will reset to ten seconds every time a bid is placed, allowing the other person to bid again. That ten seconds is just enough time to act, but not think. As you watch, you can see bidders playing psychological games with each other. One guy may wait until the very last instant, getting the other fellows hopes up, while another guy may rebut instantly as if to say, "I can go lots higher, you might as well give up now." Its easy to get caught up in the action. Even if you don't like jewelry, you can find yourself wanting to bid.

And there lies the beauty. Bidz is a seller's market. They are getting fair market value for their goods because they've taken out the sniper.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

Ebay Shill Bidding Appeal Process

Shill Bidding is when you, or someone you know, bids on your items on eBay. EBay assumes you are purposefully running up your bids to get a higher price. The problem is, their software is very sensitive to e-mail addresses, IP addresses, and trends. In addition, the punishment for this crime can be lifelong banishment from eBay for everyone associated with an incident and there is no formal appeals process to speak of.

So what do you do?

Here are your options: You could go on all the bulletin boards and give your “My dog ate my homework,” story along with everyone else or you can wait the designated suspension time and appeal the finding.

Admittedly, eBay Safe Harbor department doesn’t do a great job of telling you the process. You get an e-mail that says this:

This email is to notify you that your account has been suspended for a minimum of XX days due to violation of our Shill Bidding Policy.

Shill Bidding is bidding that artificially increases an item's price or apparent desirability. Shill Bidding is prohibited on eBay. Bla, bla, bla.

Best regards,

Your friends at eBay

And suddenly your business has been shut down and someone has changed the locks.

Now what?

1) Get over the idea that you didn’t do anything wrong. No one cares. The fact is, its eBay’s party, they can do what they want to.

2) Do the time. As tempting as it is, don’t try to sneak back onto eBay. Big Brother is watching and, as smart as you think you are about IP addresses and banking and whatever else, consider this: EBay’s Safe Harbor department has a team of people that have been doing this full time for years. You just decided ten minutes ago to take them on at their own game. That’s like putting your kid’s soccer team up against Brazil’s national team on a whim?

3) Have faith. After your sentence is served. Reply to the original e-mail by stating, “My XX-day suspension is over, I would like my eBay account, (account name), reinstated.” EBay’s system will see your e-mail address and attach it to your file. Here’s the catch. Make sure you reply (not a new e-mail) from the same e-mail account eBay sent the message to. If it is not the same address, their system doesn’t know what to do with it and it gets round-filed.

4) Pick up the phone. If you are a Power Seller, call the power seller help line (866) 515-3229 and beg and plead for help. EBay is huge. These folks probably don’t even eat lunch in the same cafeteria at the Safe Harbor Secret Police. Their job is to help power sellers, so help them do their job by NOT being an A-Hole.

5) Soon, you’ll get an e-mail that says this:

Before we can consider your account for reinstatement, I need to ask you to take the following steps (see the complete details below):

1. Review important eBay policy information.

2. Contact Safe Harbor with any questions.

3. Reply to this email.

Bla, bla, bla…

Once you complete steps 1 and 2, please reply to this email. Your email should contain the following statement:

***I acknowledge and understand eBay's Shill Bidding policy, and agree

to comply with that policy as a condition of my reinstatement as an eBay


It must also include all relevant contact information in this format:

Name: (Insert your name here.)

User ID: (Insert your eBay User ID here.)

Email Address: (Insert your Email address here.)

Address: (Insert your mailing address here.)

Phone Number: (Insert your telephone number here.)

6) Jump through the hoops. Hit the links and read the policy. Remember, big brother is watching. You are now on the SS most wanted list so it might not be a bad idea to brush up on the rules anyway. Once you are done, reply back to the e-mail with the required information.

7) Be patient. You should be reinstated shortly.

Now that you know what to expect, hopefully you can sleep a little easier at night. I recommend using your brief eBay vacation to institute some internal policies to avoid a repeat occurrence. You also may want to plan some damage control as all of the customers you were doing business with are now raging mad at you. Remember, from the outside looking in, it appears that you packed up shop and fled the country without notice. “You have a lot of ‘splainin’ to do!”

Good Luck!

Saturday, March 29, 2008

You Might be a Cod-Bag

You might be a COD-BAG if...
  • You've waited until a seller filed an unpaid item dispute before telling them you have a problem with your paypal account
  • You've ever asked someone to deliver a Craigslist item that is selling for under $100
  • You ping sellers for positive feedback because you feel entitled after leaving it for them
  • You've asked a technical question about an eBay item that you could/should have Googled for yourself.
  • You think "Cash Today" is somehow worth a 50% discount.
  • You've ever claimed you accidentally bid on an eBay item... Really? You accidently clicked "Place Bid", then accidentally typed in a dollar amount, clicked Continue, and finally, accidentally clicked the CONFIRM BID button which is conspicuously placed under the phrase "By clicking on the button below, you commit to buy this item from the seller if you're the winning bidder."... Really?
  • You e-mail three word questions to craigslist sellers that will take them an hour to research and respond to and then you never follow-up.
  • You think that your bogus garage business qualifies you as a commercial address for trucking companies, then get pissed when a 53-foot tractor trailer crushes your petunias.

Cod Bag of the Week

Now granted, this has been a slow week, but here's a typical cod bag. This is a real e-mail sent to us from a guy looking to buy a Fondue Set.

"There is a mix up with a seller and I with regards to payment for an item. They subsquentially sent me an unpaid strike for that which was paid thru Paypal but the never got it. This is preventing me from bidding on this item that I want. Can you allow me to bid on it by lifting your restrictin?"

Here's what he failed to mention:
  • He has 87.1% positive feedback (Total score of 26)
  • 9 negatives in the last 6 months (all non-payment)
  • 1 Neutral for slow payment
  • 1 mutually withdrawn
I attached my response to the auction. It was "Not no, but Hell No!"

What a COD BAG!

Known eBay Cod Bags

Here is our blocked bidder list.

Please add your list so we can create a comprehensive list of known Cod Bags.
Please don't give individual details. Leave those for other rants. This is just a place for the factual posting of individuals you have blocked from bidding on your eBay items. What others do with these lists in order to protect themselves is completely up to the individual user. (wink, wink)

2_da_rnk, 450bill233, 5621sam, aditrolio, akonabum, brandin1987, buzzbait700, hotwheeljc, isohakki, jacohen1, jenesnow, jenniferlynn_palomino, jerryraiber, jewelgrandma, jimayoung_2003, joshhigg, khabibu35, kougar1994, ldelgado90, masterwoodfinisher, mijit66, mj1679pink, oterkongen, pentad5, rain1916, sabres37ryan, sager1985, strobel2112, thewoodsinusa

NOTE: If you have added friends and family to your Blocked Bidder list to prevent shill bidding (something we highly recommend), make sure you remove them from the list before you publish it.