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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I was browsing ebay the other day and found a watch from a reputable seller with a buy it now of a few grand. Ive seen similar models go for up to double that amount. Given the fact that the seller is well known and has 100% positive feedback (in the thousands), I jumped on it. I paid for the watch, and that was that.

A day later I get an email claiming that they made a mistake, and that they wanted to refund my money, or sell me the watch for significantly more than I won the auction for.

What should I do? I understand that ebay is a binding contract, and I realize that fact every single time I list something for sale, whether it be a buy it now or auction style listing. What exactly is the point if a seller can just back out after its over?

Do I 'force' them to sell me the item? Should I take the refund and shut up?

And then what about feedback? They are currently at 100% positive, so a negative would be pretty bad. Ive never given one before. Obviously if the deal goes through they would get a positive, but what if I were to take the refund?

Is the answer obvious, and im just being stupid?

Thanks

EDIT:
The seller sells only watches, so they know what they are selling.

The auction was up for almost a year (!) according to the revision log, with maybe 30 revisions during this time, with the last revision being a change to the buy it now price about a day before I bid.

As far as morals: Let me first say that I have high moral values (I think :-d)..
I think if morals played a role here, I wouldnt be in this situation since the seller should accept the change of heart or the mistake (whichever it may be) and sell the item. When I list an item, I check it, double check it, triple check it... Why? Because I know that regarless of whether the outcome is to my liking or not, I am obligated to sell to the winner.

I dont know whether the seller made a mistake or not--but does it even matter?
 

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I would try and get it for the price you paid. It's not your fault the seller put the wrong price up. What have you got to loose, at worst he will refuse to sell you the watch and refund your money.
 

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I was browsing ebay the other day and found a watch from a reputable seller with a buy it now of a few grand. Ive seen similar models go for up to double that amount. Given the fact that the seller is well known and has 100% positive feedback (in the thousands), I jumped on it. I paid for the watch, and that was that.

A day later I get an email claiming that they made a mistake, and that they wanted to refund my money, or sell me the watch for significantly more than I won the auction for.

What should I do? I understand that ebay is a binding contract, and I realize that fact every single time I list something for sale, whether it be a buy it now or auction style listing. What exactly is the point if a seller can just back out after its over?

Do I 'force' them to sell me the item? Should I take the refund and shut up?

And then what about feedback? They are currently at 100% positive, so a negative would be pretty bad. Ive never given one before. Obviously if the deal goes through they would get a positive, but what if I were to take the refund?

Is the answer obvious, and im just being stupid?

Thanks
Being on the buying end of this transaction plays much to your advantage I'd imagine. Might be worth a call to eBay customer service (yes, they do exist) to see what they think.

Either way, the seller would have to open a case and get you to agree to cancel the transaction.

What watch was it if you don't mind?
 

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So your saying they're calling the ollie ollie oxen free clause to cancel your winning bid? Another prime example of why 'not to use ebay'. There is never a good deal on ebay ever.
 

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follow your own morals. you know the answer to this already, but you posted here hoping to be talked out of doing the right thing.

mistakes happen.
 

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Had a situation a while back similar to yours seller had 1000s of feedback.....giving them one negative will bring their 100% to maybe 99.9... so if they stand to lose a lot of $$$ just concede, One negative won't hurt them...They may have made an honest error. You may try to negotiate with them. If not, just move on, ain't worth stressing over.
 

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mistakes happen.
Yes they do, and if the mistake was in the favour of the Seller, do you believe for one millisecond that his morals would outweight his insistance that a binding contract is a binding contract? Just Curious.
 

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Yes they do, and if the mistake was in the favour of the Seller, do you believe for one millisecond that his morals would outweight his insistance that a binding contract is a binding contract? Just Curious.
other people's morals don't change mine.

edit: well now the op has added information which may make my posts seem a little self righteous. :) i have to be honest, 'something doesn't add up' is my gut feeling. i'm not saying the problem is being inaccurately described, but it doesn't make complete sense to me. i would like to point one thing out that i feel has been missed. there is a "typo" clause that is available to buyers. read the rules carefully about retracting a bid, and ebay does provide a measured and regulated bid 'pull out' meant for mistakes such as typos. that is the kind of mistake i thought the op meant when he said the seller described the auction price as a 'mistake'.
 

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To quote a line from an iconic movie:

"You must do what you feel is right, of course."

In my opinion, the seller has to abide by the eBay rules just as much as the buyer. If you had "mistakenly" bid on the item and won, what would the seller do?

Based on this seller's feedback and recent items sold, does it look like a genuine mistake? Also, how long was the item listed? It it was up for more than a day, that should have been plenty of time for them to adjust the price. I know when I list something on eBay I make sure to do research before so I get an idea of what similar items are selling for.

At face value, however, it does seem like a bait-and-switch type of situation. Yet, if the seller does seem honest, I would probably agree to cancel the transaction, or at least I would see what can be worked out with the seller and try to find a solution both can live with.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
The seller sells only watches, so they know what they are selling.

The auction was up for almost a year (!) according to the revision log, with maybe 30 revisions during this time, with the last revision being a change to the buy it now price about a day before I bid.

As far as morals: Let me first say that I have high moral values (I think :-d)..
I think if morals played a role here, I wouldnt be in this situation since the seller should accept the change of heart or the mistake (whichever it may be) and sell the item. When I list an item, I check it, double check it, triple check it... Why? Because I know that regarless of whether the outcome is to my liking or not, I am obligated to sell to the winner.

I dont know whether the seller made a mistake or not--but does it even matter?
 

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Okay okay what was it already? Send over the link :-d Whatever it was, you paid the price they were asking. It's not your fault they mistakenly changed the price.
 

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The seller sells only watches, so they know what they are selling.

The auction was up for almost a year (!) according to the revision log, with maybe 30 revisions during this time, with the last revision being a change to the buy it now price about a day before I bid.

As far as morals: Let me first say that I have high moral values (I think :-d)..
I think if morals played a role here, I wouldnt be in this situation since the seller should accept the change of heart or the mistake (whichever it may be) and sell the item. When I list an item, I check it, double check it, triple check it... Why? Because I know that regarless of whether the outcome is to my liking or not, I am obligated to sell to the winner.

I dont know whether the seller made a mistake or not--but does it even matter?
Well...based on this, I wouldn't feel bad about making them honor their eBay (and moral) obligation to sell to the winner.

If it was really up for a year(!) then they had plenty of time to research the price. Seems like they may have had it listed for too high, so they lowered it but now that it's sold they want more money. Even if they have 100% feedback, this seems shady.

The only problem I might still have is worrying about what they may end up actually sending, given the situation. Perhaps it may ultimately lead to more headaches, anyway....

Good luck and keep us posted.
 

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You always justify it but in the end, would you want someone to give you an "out" if you made a mistake?
 

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This is hardly a 'moral issue' at all. The seller had every opportunity - a YEAR! - to make sure the price was 'right'. They didn't. They advertised this accordingly, and someone agreed to enter into a binding purchase contract. The deal is done. This isn't a careless mistake you're taking advantage of. This isn't some poor old lady selling a treasure for a pittance. This is a seller with plenty of experience - both in Ebay and in the world of watches being negligent and now...NOW, after everything is said and done, trying to back out of it.

Forget it. Make sure they uphold their contractual obligations the way they'd make sure you upheld yours.
 
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What should I do? I understand that ebay is a binding contract, and I realize that fact every single time I list something for sale, whether it be a buy it now or auction style listing. What exactly is the point if a seller can just back out after its over?
Report them to EBAY. You may not get the item but at least you will alert EBAY to a possible scammer
 

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I've been on the other side of the coin as it were. I hadn't read the item description carefully, and bid on an item and won. I explained my mistake and respectfully asked the seller to cancel my bid which he did.
I would try to negotiate a more agreeable price. Do some research, find the best price on the net and try to get them to beat it. They should, just out of decency. That's my 2 cents.
 

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Technically it's a binding contract. Had it been an honest mistake that was only there for a short period of time I would give the seller the benefit of the doubt and agree to back out of the deal. However, from the sound of it, it seems that the seller knew full well what the watch was worth and what he had it listed for - but was probably hoping for a higher price.

I'd notify eBay and PayPal about this, but I wouldn't expect them to do anything. And even if they did force the seller to send you something, who knows how it would be treated. It's probably best to simply walk away from this (although do make sure that you get every penny you sent refunded.)
 

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Normally, I would give people the benefit of the doubt, but in this situation, it doesn't sound like the seller really deserves it. I don't know what the demeanor of your communications have been, but if you haven't already paid for it, I would report them to eBay (since this is most likely in violation anyway) and just walk away. Who knows what they'd ultimately send you (if they ever would) and what condition it would be in.

I had a similar situation a few weeks ago...I was selling an older Canon flash and I had stated in the listing for potential buys to check that it would work for them before bidding. The auction was going well, and it was going to sell, but at the last minute, another buyer jumped in and bid and won. Great, however, soon after the winning buyer sent me a message saying that he bid on impulse and realized that it wouldn't work. So, we agreed to cancel the sale and I did a "second chance offer" to the next guy. He took it, but it was for about 15-20% less than what the orignal price ended at (because that was his highest bid).

I don't know how this story helps...
 
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