As some of you may know, I’ve been in the process of selling off my single issue comics for the past few months. It’s been a slow process, but I put up about 2-3 auctions each week on eBay consisting of groups of comics that go together. Basically I put storylines in one bunch so that a buyer can come in and pick up an entire run of a series without missing something. Throughout this whole time I haven’t had a single problem with any of the auctions. The transactions were smooth and occasionally some books would sell for less than I’d like them to, but I was getting rid of them. At this time I’ve already cleaned out 2 or 3 long boxes worth of comics. I’m also taking my winnings and buying the comics I’d like to read again in trades so I’ll actually read them instead of letting them sit in a box.

So with all this going well, it was only a matter of time before I had some sort of problem. I sold a batch of comics to a guy in Canada. I don’t normally ship to Canada but he asked and I figured I’d do it. I packaged the comics like I do every other batch that I put through and sent them out. A week or so goes by and I totally forget about them until I get a message from the guy out of the blue. He received the comics and claims that they’re all bent and he wants, no DEMANDS, a refund. Buh? I’m shocked by this. I don’t understand how this could have happened at all. I respond as polite as I can asking for more information and explaining that this has never happened to me before.

Eventually he sends me pictures of the comics and the “damage.” I put that word in quotes because if you didn’t know where the “damage” was you wouldn’t notice it.

If you look real hard, the right hand corner of the book is slightly dented, as if someone dropped the box on it’s corner. The buyer said himself that the box was “slightly torn” when he received it. I’m totally taken aback by this. Are you serious? This is what’s wrong with the books? He even went so far as to say he was really irritated because he was looking forward to reading these. I ask him what is stopping him from reading the books as clearly there is no pages missing or anything like that. His response confirms my suspicions about him. He said that it didn’t matter anymore because he had just bought the hardcover collections of the books and that these would just be added to the collection anyway (which amassed 40+ boxes of all near mint books as that is the standard of his collection). I really wish I was making this up.

I asked eBay what I should do and they said that the buyer should open up a case regarding this if the items were damaged. I asked the guy to do that and then escalated the case for a decision from eBay. My auction stated that I do not accept returns and this guy didn’t offer to buy insurance for the package even though he said this has happened to him before. Within a few hours, eBay had made its decision. They sided with the buyer. What will happen now is as follows: The buyer returns the comics to me but does so with a shipping confirmation. Once eBay confirms that the comics have been received (by using the shipping confirmation), they’ll refund the amount paid for the auction and take the balance out of my PayPal account. Then I can re-list the comics on eBay and hopefully sell them to a less picky buyer.

This whole experience has left me rather disgruntled. I was on a good run with getting these comics out and now there’s a small part of me that doesn’t want to bother. That part will disappear once I remember that the next time I move I’ll have to lug these comic boxes down all those stairs. I’m sure I’ll be back on the eBay wagon again. Also, I’m a little disappointed that this guy got all rude and stuff. I could have probably sold him more comics.

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