A Little Concerned

Discussion in 'Transformers Toy Discussion' started by Forum Shark, Jul 19, 2009.

  1. Forum Shark

    Forum Shark Well-Known Member

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    Hi, there! I am relatively new to the fandom, and to this forum, and I was looking to get some help on something I've been struggling with for quite a long time now. This is... buying on E-Bay and the internet in general. Now, you must know, I live in a rather small town, and the nearest store that sellf Transformers is 20mins away. (I live in Canada, so it's winter all the time, too!) Anyway, I was thinking it would be a good idea to just buy things online, but have a few concerns.

    1. I hear all these stories about people getting screwed and not getting an item. Hw often does this happen?
    2. Security. Is the Credit Card number safe with Pay Pal, or will my identity be stolen. (Exaggeration but you know what I mean).
    3. Cost. Will I be spending an extra $20 to get a toy with all the shipping and such?
    4. I was thinking of just buying from people on this site, or from recommended sellers by this site. (I trust you guys. Doesn't that feel great?)

    Thanks for taking the time to read this, and I look forward to your Transformers wisdom.
     
  2. Wheeljack_Prime

    Wheeljack_Prime Don't eat me

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    Do you have Walmarts up where you live in that ~20 minute range? if so, you could buy large quantities at once through their site-to-store feature and pay nothing for shipping, if you want to save money that way.

    I've done orders on Toys R Us, Walmart, Hasbro Toy shop and Ebay, and even this very board (I don't usually keep records of who I buy from, so I don't have any recommended sellers, sorry) and so far none of them have given me any security problems or issues with not-receiving-the-product.

    Hope this is helpful
     
  3. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    The "perils" of internet shopping really do get overblown, often by technophobic people. ebay and Paypal wouldn't still be in business if customers were routinely getting ripped off. And yes, you do see people posting about issues they've had with a purchase, but how many of those people stop buying online as a result? Most of the time, someone has learnt a valuable lesson (often "if it looks too good to be true, it is") and is a bit more careful in future.
     
  4. ItsStarscream

    ItsStarscream ImmortalSeekerGod

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    Hi,
    Regarding buying on the internet:

    1. Yes you can get screwed on the net but there are ways to protect yourself.

    2. Regardless of what Paypal claims you CAN get your ID/account stolen/compromised with them. It happened with me once and thank god my bank has superior safeguards or Id have been toasted. Oh I have a different paypal account now and use it all the time. But I have a second bank account just for papal so if I ever get my account compromised again, all that will be lost is the few cents I keep in that account to keep it open if Im not about to pay for something. I have yet to have my CC# compromised with them but I do keep a close on the charges on that card each month.

    Buying on eBay can be safe if you know how to find a good seller. Feedback feedback feedback. Just dont look at the # and the % rating. If the % rating is under 100% go read the feedback and find out why. A LOT of times good sellers get retaliatory feedback and you have to read it and be the judge if that person is safe or not. I have sold and bought here at 2k5 but have no idea if I ever had FB left for me, I did leave FB on at least one of the transactions.


    Also Paypal does offer buyer protection so if I pay for something and it never arrives or you get something different then what you paid for or in bad condition you have recourse with them.

    3. As for shipping. Well you are going to pay for that. It varies between seller and location. So keep it in mind for the total cost of the item.

    4. I dont even remember the one person I did a purchase from here a year or so ago so I cant really recommend anyone. I know as for other online sites, I have bought from BigBad Toystore before and they were always good. I also used to buy from Robozone a lot before Jerry sold it to someone else. I don't know how they are now. Banthatrader is good too. Ive lost the link to his site but he is on eBay as well.

    EDIT
    I think the perils of internet shopping are out there. I don't think its as bad as some would say but not as risk free as others would say. Ive been shopping on eBay and the internet in general for over 10 years now. Everything from Transformers to vintage american indian jewelry to parts for my 34 year old Fords and everything else in between. I have had sellers not send the stuff I won and paid for to me from eBay...I go through the proper channels and have always won in the end... Ive had items destroyed in shipping (Transformer movie poster once and a box of parts for my Gran Torino got busted open in transit). I had a PVC Starscream I sold that never made it to the buyer once. Stuff happens. Always remember to put insurance on something youve purchased Id recommend. Im on the losing end of that right not though sadly. I just shipped out a bass guitar I just traded off, forgot to put insurance on it and now it appears to be lost in transit....bah...but when in doubt pay for insurance.
     
  5. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    This ^ Also, in regards to how often it happens, it's very rare, but it does happen and its not always a matter of getting screwed out of something. Usually it just gets lost in the mail. I mean the US Postal Service does make mistakes and sometimes things get lost. I've had it happen both as a seller and as a buyer. If you're going through ebay, always be sure to get insurance, as that way at least you'll get refunded if something goes missing. Another thing too is, being in Canada, international shipping will sometimes cost more depending on what you're getting, how much it wheighs, and customs and whatnot. If it's large and heavy, yeah, you probably will pay about $20 more, if it's small and light, you can probably get it shipped for around 5. I've never had any security issues with paypal or ebay.
     
  6. Backscatter

    Backscatter Autobot Brainmaster TFW2005 Supporter

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    I've also dealt with BBTS, TFSourse and Tempting Toys and never had an issue.
     
  7. Optimus Sledge

    Optimus Sledge Yar har fiddle di dee

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    Yeah, if the seller wants extra for some form of recorded delivery, pay it. Always. Also, I've found Toolhaus.org to be really useful for checking out sellers. You can put someone's ebay user ID in and the website will bring you back only the negative comments. I've used it a few times to check out people who have less than perfect feedback, and found the negatives they've got have clearly been left by idiots.
     
  8. ItsStarscream

    ItsStarscream ImmortalSeekerGod

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    YES! Pay the extra for a tracking #! That way of something happens both you and the seller are protected. Some sellers on eBay will put a tracking # charge in automatically in shipping, some offer it as an extra and some dont either way (tracking and/or insurance). Ask to pay for one if they don't offer it.
     
  9. Malikon

    Malikon Well-Known Member

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    that sucks!!
     
  10. ItsStarscream

    ItsStarscream ImmortalSeekerGod

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    Yea it was a '92 Peavey Foundation 4 banger...sweet as silk with a fast neck and one of the last with the old style Super Ferrite pups...killer jazz sound to go with that killer neck too. *sigh*... I'm hoping he gets it tomorrow, it will be a week and he only lives 4 hours away...some 'priority' shipping I paid for, eh? :(  Got a nice compressor in trade for it...suppose I will have to box it up and send it back of the bass /is/ truly gone....
     
  11. Aernaroth

    Aernaroth <b><font color=blue>I voted for Super_Megatron and Veteran

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    Your other option is to buy things off other forum members on this site or others. In general, you can check to see if they have a feedback thread, or their post history, and you might end up saving some money vs. ebay.
     
  12. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Just to throw my experiences into the mix, I've been building my various toy, book and DVD collections about 85% through online sources. I'm also in Canada, so there are certain pitfalls to look out for. I've been buying online for almost 10 years now, and I've only been jacked... well... twice, by sellers who happened to pick that particular moment to suddenly collapse and disappear from Ebay. As it turns out, one of those was a Canadian seller, and the other was from New York. I've never had any issues with international sellers.

    In both of the cases where the sellers decided not to send my stuff, I was able to get full restitution... NOT through Ebay or Paypal, but through my credit card company's chargeback policy. I've head that people get mixed results going through Ebay or Paypal, but since my Paypal account is linked to my Visa card, they got my money back with surprisingly little fuss. Yay!

    Also as a Canadian buyer ordering from the States, here are a few things I've learned...

    -Canada Post adds a flat fee ON TOP of customs charges (I think it's $5-$7). However they only add this if an item is eligible for customs fees. Items under $20 value (ie: the price you paid) are customs exempt, so you don't have to pay any extra. Items under $60 are exempt IF CLASSIFIED AS "GIFTS". Some sellers are happy to mark packages as "gift" for you, some aren't due to the (admittedly peripheral) legalities involved. Anything priced over $60 has customs and handling fees applied regardless of how they're marked.

    -Go with USPS... ALWAYS... UPS and other shipping methods will ALWAYS bilk you for additional fees and customs brokerage charges for cross-border purchases. And I mean SERIOUS extra charges. Just don't go there.

    -First Class shipping, if possible, is the best. It's cheap, and it gets the job done.

    -Priority/Delivery Confirmation is a waste of money. It can add a lot of expense to smaller packages, and often it doesn't arrive any faster. USPS Tracking only goes as far as the Canadian border anyway, so the extra security is mostly useless for you, the buyer. Many sellers insist on it now because they don't trust YOU. They'll tell you it's for your benefit, but it's just so they have proof that the package was delivered to you in case of a dispute.

    Once you have a good feedback rating, sellers should be more accommodating, since the shipping charges can be much higher, but since most of their business is in the States, they often don't care much about pleasing their northern customers. Recent changes in Ebay feedback policies has made it easier for Sellers to get screwed on transactions, so they play it safe now most of the time.

    Let me add though, that with larger packages, the price difference for Priority with tracking and delivery confirmation is negligible, so you might as well go for it.

    -Obviously I can only speak for my own experiences, but I have NEVER had anything lost in shipping. Not once. I don't think it really happens that often. Sometimes shipping can be slow to Canada. I once had something I thought was lost turn up after 6 weeks, after the seller had already refunded me. I returned the refund to the seller of course. They're not to blame for the mail system's sluggishness. That was a really extreme case though.

    -Shipping from Asia, especially China is generally reliable... however, if you're getting cheap shipping, don't expect stuff to arrive with mint packaging. I find packages from China really take a beating.

    -One of the best things you can do is to find an American toy buddy who doesn't mind ordering or picking up stuff for you. It's great to have a contact for those US exclusives and stuff you can't find easily.

    -I haven't been buying from sellers on this site for as long as I have from Ebay, but so far all my dealings have been positive, and I generally prefer buying here to Ebay. It's more of a community, y'know?

    That's all I can think of at the moment... hope that helps! :) 

    zmog
     
  13. Forum Shark

    Forum Shark Well-Known Member

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    Wow! Thanks a lot, guys! Especially you, SMOG. I don't know what USPS is, so if someone could explain that to me, that'd be great. I plan only on buying a toy every once in a while, but your tips have helped. I think I'm going to set up an account and try and stick with people on this site, or those with 100% positive feedback. (Or close to). I'll let you guys know how it goes!
     
  14. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    I've got to take issue with a couple of these points, or at the very least clarify some of them.

    USPS (United States Postal Service) vs. UPS/FedEx. This is a case where you get what you pay for. Yes, USPS first class is the cheapest and while I haven't had issues with things getting to Canada I have had massive issues with other countries (Italy in particular). The USPS first class will get the item to you in whatever time frame they feel like it and no tracking, so if it gets lost, everyone's screwed. Priority is, as SMOG said, a waste of money as the USPS tracking amounts to them tracking it IF THEY FEEL LIKE IT!! Seriously, they actually told me those exact words at my post office and they actually said that that also applies to Express mail as well, so even that's not likely to help you out. UPS and FedEx are far more expensive, but they rigidly track everything the whole way. Fed Ex is the most expensive, but not only will they track it, but it'll probably arrive a mere 12 hours later.

    As for sellers requiring tracking, I don't really believe it's a matter that they don't trust you, it's that they don't trust the carrier not to lose it (especially in regards to the USPS with international shipping). Now, as a seller, I don't require it, but as a buyer I try to request it if possible because otherwise, there's little chance you get your money back if anything goes wrong. I had purchased a Chrome E-Hobby Bluestreak off of ebay. I didn't opt for insurance. To this day, I still have no Chrome Bluestreak and I was out appr. 50.00. At the end of the day, insurance protects everyone, not just the seller.
     
  15. Forum Shark

    Forum Shark Well-Known Member

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    Hey, there! Okay, so I've set up my eBay account, and want to make a purchase. (Please excuse me about sounding like an idiot, but I want to be as informed as possible). It gives me a Canadian price (it's coming from the US) and a shipping cost ($12.00). So, will I just be paying that, or will I have to choose FedEx or whoever to ship my stuff?
    Also, I am still somewhat concerned about PayPal. I just give them my credit card number and then they take the money out of my account, and then send the money to the seller?
    Thanks again for all your help. You've all been really great.

    EDIT: Damn... I accidentally bought an item (just to see what happens) and I don't have a PayPal account. I went into my "won items" section and deleted it from the list. I also contacted the seller about it. Am it still in trouble?!?
     
  16. transtrekkie

    transtrekkie On the level.

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    The shipping would be 12.00 and they should list what method that covers and that would be the amount that you would pay.

    Oh boy, with regards to the purchase... deleting it from the list doesn't delete the fact that you "won" the item and since ebay transactions are legally binding contracts you are essentially legally bound to pay for it. Having said that, you were good to contact the seller immediately and explain the situation as they may take your noobness into account and let you off the hook. I certainly would. Unless it's something that you really do want to purchase in which case I say finish setting up your paypal account, pay the seller and wait to receive your purchase.

    As for how paypal actually works: You put your credit card on there. You win an ebay auction. you use paypal to pay for it. At this point, paypal takes the money from your credit card, applies it to your paypal account, then transfers the money from your paypal account to the seller's paypal account at which point the seller can withdraw the funds from their paypal account to their bank account. If you accept paypal as a seller there are fees involved. Example: I sell something to you for say, 10.00. You pay me 10.00 via paypal. Paypal gives me about 9.50. I was initially really turned off by this as it had not been explained anywhere before I started accepting payments. All things considered, I have found it a convenient way to do business online.
     
  17. ItsStarscream

    ItsStarscream ImmortalSeekerGod

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    Deleting it off your won items page doesnt not remove the purchase. Ebay is forcing all sellers to take paypal now so unless you have a paypal account you really cant buy on eBay...As for being in trouble? It depends on the seller. If it were me, Id be a bit angry to be honest but I would also give you the chance to set up a paypal account so you could pay for the auction.

    Go to paypal and click on however they have it worded to sign up for an account and they will let you know exactly what you need to do.
     
  18. Excelsior Prime

    Excelsior Prime Autobot Leader

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    I've been buying assorted toys and collectibles from eBay for almost a decade now, and I've not had one problem that wasn't easily fixed with some communication.

    Wal-Mart's site to store is great, and TRU has the same thing.

    My mother is terrified of using online stores, but I love it. It's delivered to your door or a local store, the selection is great, and generally, the stuff you buy online hasn't been "molested" by people browsing in a brick and mortar store.

    Good hunting!
     
  19. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Yes, but Italy is NOTORIOUS for their dodgy mail system. Nobody even wants to do business with them on Ebay.

    For shipping from the States to Canada, MOST of the time USPS First Class is the best option. It gets the package to you, and doesn't make the costs prohibitive. If you're in a hurry, that's a different story, but I've never really had a problem waiting 2-3 weeks for a toy to arrive.

    Yeah... but if there's a modicum of trust between seller and buyer, and everybody's checked their feedback, it shouldn't be a big issue. I mean, out of many hundreds of transactions, I've never had anything lost with USPS First Class. Maybe it helps that all USPS has to do is get them to the border, and Canada Post handles the rest? Or maybe I've just been lucky? :) 

    I stress however that this is really for buyers for whom money is no object. For those of us who do most of our toy shopping online, and aren't rich, even if I were to lose one in every 10 packages (which of course is ludicrous), it would still be worth the money saved going with USPS. :) 

    UPS and FEDEX are maybe helpful when you're shipping something SO VALUABLE that you absolutely can't afford to lose it. But for any Canadians considering using those services, a simple internet search will turn up a limitless supply of pretty horrifying stories about how they've been screwed over by the hidden fees charged by those organizations for their cross-border shipments. I myself have been dicked by them ONCE, and that was enough!

    I understand that, and I do like it when sellers give you the option of making that decision for yourself (and accepting the risk). I have reasonably good faith in the USPS/Canada Post connection, so I don't want the extra cost of Priority or tracking.

    I think that since Ebay made it much easier for vengeful buyers to slam sellers, a lot of sellers require it because of the additional security it provides them as well.

    As someone who tends not to buy the BIG TICKET items, I'd much rather get my $20 toys for the right price, than spend $50 each time for fancy shipping, on the remote off-chance that I might lose it.

    If I lose it, I'm only out $20 after all. Considering in nearly a decade of online buying, I've never lost anything, I'd say that's a pretty acceptable risk.

    If the seller has listed a flat shipping cost t Canada, and you consider that a fair price, then you're good. You will be charged the price of the item + $12 shipping. This charge will probably in US funds though... US sellers don't like getting paid in Canadian money... so it's good to check what the exchange rate is, so you know how much it's REALLY going to set you back.

    Also, based on the info in my first post, be aware that if your item might incur customs fees on top. That depends on the marked item value on the shipping label that the seller will fill out and affix to the package.

    Don't worry about Paypal. They're on the level... they have to be, to be the #1 method for doing business online.

    They DO charge tiny fees on certain types of transactions... usually a few cents here or there, or a percentage. Usually if you have the basic account, and you only use it to pay for stuff online, you won't have many of these fees. But if you're sending a payment that needs to be converted to US funds, they will charge you a small amount to do the currency conversion. It usually works out to be about a dollar.

    If I'm not mistaken, Paypal basically charges your credit card on the seller's behalf, and then pays them the money. Your credit card bill will show the charge along with the seller's Paypal ID, the same way any other company would show a credit card transaction. Remember, while it's good to be careful with your personal info, it defeats the purpose of a credit card if you don't use it (not to say you should abuse it of course! :lol  ). Any store that you use your credit card at potentially has access to that information after all.

    Also, because credit card companies want to encourage online shopping, they are very good at rectifying security issues in instances where someone has ripped you off.

    You can also use Paypal and have it linked directly to a bank account. That's also quite secure, and that way you're not building up charges on your credit card. Also some sellers have to pay extra Paypal fees to accept Credit Card payments, so many prefer bank account payments instead.

    Thanks again for all your help. You've all been really great.

    :lol  Um... you might be in a LITTLE bit of trouble there. Deleting an item from your won list doesn't do anything. That's just a record of what you've bought for your own records. The item is still BOUGHT, and you are now obliged to pay for it.

    If your seller accepts other types of transactions, you might have another payment option. Or, if the seller is understanding, they might be willing to wait until you get that Paypal account set up.

    Normally "buying" on Ebay is basically a binding "promise" to pay for that item shortly. Then you pay through the system to complete the transaction, and the seller sends you your item.

    I advise that you apologize PROFUSELY to the seller, explain that it was a first-time mistake, and see if they can negate the transaction for you, without leaving bad feedback. If it was a buy-it-now, it might not be so bad. If you actually outbid other buyers to win it, you might have pissed off some folks. I suggest you promise to go through with the purchase, and get that Paypal account up and running ASAP!

    zmog
     
  20. SMOG

    SMOG Vocab-champion ArgueTitan

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    Oh... and since you asked...

    USPS is the UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE. It's basically the normal mail system, just like Canada Post is up here. They have several different rates and services. I find for single items and small lots (of transformers) their First Class is the cheapest service to Canada... generally under $10. It's no frills, and can take around 2-3 weeks, but for me it's always been reliable. Sometimes a package is too big or heavy to go with First Class though, and you'll have to go with Priority or something... usually around $20-$25.

    And ONE MORE THING... as a Canuck shopping on Ebay, always make sure that your seller is willing to ship to Canada. If you do your browsing through Ebay.ca, all the listed sellers should be ok to ship to Canada. If you browse on Ebay.com, you'll get more results, but many sellers don't ship out of the USA.

    If there is no clearly indicated shipping cost for Canada, always message the seller first to see what they would charge for Canada. It's kind of a drag for us Canadians, since we need to take this extra step, but it can save a lot of hassle if you confirm the shipping charges FIRST.

    If possible ask if you can get an actual shipping quote, since most sellers use the USPS Online Calculator and there's often a real discrepancy between what is charged at the post office, and what the online calculator comes up with. Sometimes the online calculator estimates, like, DOUBLE the actual charge at the post office. You can always check what you paid against the actual charge because the amount the seller paid is always clearly marked on the package itself.

    zmog
     

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