I don’t use eBay that much, mostly to sell unwanted (but pristine) comics, and to buy some cheap electronics. I managed to get a lovely Barnes & Noble HD+ 9″ tablet for under £100, which I was very pleased with, although I got stung on p&p charges 😦 But those fade in the memory over time and I am able to enjoy the tablet.
You may have noticed by now that I love a bit of technology. I was counting up the number of electronic devices I own the other day, or actually that exist in the house, and we arrived at the following answer:

HP Laptop – 15″ running Vista, due for replacement
Samsung Netbook – 10.1″ running Linux Mint
Samsung Chromebook – 10.1″
Barnes & Noble HD+ 9″
CnM 7″ tablet
Nexus 7 tablet
Samsung Tab Original 7″
Barnes & Noble Simple Touch e-reader
HTC One X

I did buy a ‘broken’ Samsung Tab 2 cheaply off eBay, all it needed was a factory reset, then I decided that I didn’t need it so I sold it on eBay, again, and made a few pounds. The trouble is, though, that eBay and PayPal fees eat into any small profits, and in the end it ends up costing money rather than being a benefit.

The one tablet I’d not tried was an Amazon Fire. So I bought one which was again sold as ‘not working’. It switched on, but didn’t get past the initial power-up screen. I thought that maybe I could do something following an XDA script, and possibly recover it? So unfortunately I didn’t get it to work, and relisted it on eBay as ‘spares or repair’, and that’s where the disputes bit comes in.

I was quite pleased with the price that the device sold for, but then the buyer started asking questions about the device. I had described my attempt to replace the bootloader, and I had also included the fact that I had taken the back off and tried to repair it. Admittedly, the focus of that was that I had damaged the edges of the Fire, but the information was there. I had also advised that returns would not be accepted as the device was described as not working.

So, the buyer’s first gambit was that it wasn’t the type of Kindle Fire he was looking for. I asked what his intentions were, and he advised he was thinking of returning it, which came as a surprise to me, as this was the first I’d heard. Then he claimed that I’d interfered with the tablet and it was not as described. At no point did he actually ask for a refund, and I think he was hoping that I would offer one. Unfortunately I had listed the item as ‘no returns’, so I wasn’t going to offer voluntarily. And now there is a case open against me, because apparently the item is ‘not as described’.

I think he was hoping that he would be able to plug the device in and get it to work, in a similar manner to the method I had employed with the Samsung tablet earlier. Unfortunately that wasn’t the case; as I’d described in the sale, the device was completely unresponsive. And now the buyer is trying to back out of the sale, claiming it was not as described. And that’s just part of the problem with culture today, in my opinion; no-one is willing to take responsibility for their actions.

If the buyer had asked for a refund, I would have considered it, which is the strange thing. If he’d said that actually he hadn’t read the description, that he had made a mistake, I would probably have (reluctantly) refunded him. After all, I would then have to relist the device, or contact the 2nd highest bidder and offer the tablet to them. But I cannot accept that the device was ‘not as described’, I spent a lot of time ensuring that the description gave any reader fair warning of what to expect. And so we have come to an impasse. I rejected his claim, because in my opinion it is as described, and the buyer hasn’t actually asked directly for a refund. Of course, we are now past the point where that kind of request might be accepted. So it is now ‘sub judice’ with eBay and we are waiting for their adjudication. We’ll see how that goes.

This is all of course the turn of events from my point of view, and actual facts and happenings may have occurred differently in reality.

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