October 2 this year marked my first year of buying at Ebay.ph. It was quite a learning experience for me. I learned how some ebay buyers "snipe" at an item on bid in the last few minutes (and thereby winning it instead of me who bid for it earlier and waited for the bid to end in a week's time) and this is considered "legal" at ebay. A Smart subscriber, I also learned to pay through Globe's gcash (aside from making bank deposits to pay other ebay sellers). I have saved myself quite a bundle of cash because of the l-o-o-o-w prices at ebay.ph.As a buyer, I learned to start small. Since ebay transactions are based on trust between the buyer and the seller, I had to establish that with the sellers because I began with a 0 (zero) feedback. At first, I bought a book (The Global Soul by Pico Iyer) whose price was less than the shipment cost. Then a comic book (Superman). Coincidentally, I also bought Wisdom of St. Francis (of Assisi) on his birthmonth.
Slowly, I built up my feedback positive rating. The first 10 sellers who gave me their trust are the following:
A toast to the above sellers, many of whom have become my good friends. Alana trusted me enough to sell me Oprah Winfrey Show DVDs and books Oprah endorsed. Rolf would tip me off whenever he has interesting books and Shakespeareana for sale. Cthulhu has the most stimulating books (and heaviest too, if I may add :) ) Shoshoink is one bookseller friend who went out of her way to buy the Star Wars Vault book for me. The others had books for which I had been looking for years and promptly bought from them to add to my collections. They are most accommodating and understanding. Whenever payment had to be done before payday (in ebay, payment has to be made 3 days after the bid is awarded to you), I would ask them if I could make the payment on payday or the next day and invariably, they would allow me.
As a buyer, I am surprised (delightfully) when a buyer encloses a freebie (bookmark, another book, etc) with my ebay purchase. I have read though that one pet peeve of ebay sellers is buyers who are in the habit of asking for freebies. I did ask once my suki-ebay sellers for freebies when I made some purchases last December and they did play Santa Claus to me.
I did have some skirmishes with anally-retentive and Alzheimer's diseased sellers. This one seller had some books I really coveted to have. After several purchases from her, I had to ask her if I could make a late payment (since it had to be made a week before payday) to which she agreed. But after 3 days, she reported me to ebay.ph for non-payment of the item. When I asked her why, inspite of the agreement, she just said it was in the ebay rules and had no bearing on my feedback rating. Why she would subject me to this hassle, only she knew. Needless to say, I deleted her from my list of favorite sellers and hasn't bought any book from her since.
Since I am based in Gensan, I have to include the shipment cost in my payments to ebay sellers based elsewhere in the country. Of the couriers here, Air21 is the most prompt and accessible to me. Well, there is one nearest to my place of work, but it takes its sweet time to deliver packages (48 hrs after they receive them). Another courier delivered a package addressed in Makati to me! It took them more than a week to find my package and retrieve the misdelivered package.
In one of my recent purchases, the item description of the seller specified shipment through Air21. After paying her through gcash 2 days after (still within the 3-days allowed by ebay), I texted her about it and reminded her to ship the books through Air21. In the next hour, she texted me that she shipped the books through another courier (which charges lower rates). When I asked why she did so inspite the specified courier and told her my bad experiences with the courier she used, she crankily sent me a barrage of texts that I paid late (!) and she shipped promptly (!). She also added that I had no respect for her despite her age (I didn't even know how old she is!). She also said she did me a favor because of the savings I had from her courier's low rates. Anyway, she said she would follow up her shipment and got the courier to promise to deliver it within 24 hours. Even if the package was delivered promptly, I couldn't give her an honest-to-goodness positive rating, so I decided to give her a neutral one instead of a negative one. And she went postal! This from a self-confessed 60+ year-old grandma! Whew! Such unpleasantness! Luckily for me, her rants were published by ebay in HER ratings page only.
And here I am, with 111 positive feedbacks and an enriched library (I added two bookshelves to house my burgeoning collection). But I feel richer knowing and having friends who also love books and reading. My one year in ebay.ph, I am sure, has been mutually beneficial to me and my seller-friends. So here's a toast to another year!