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Listing the condition of an item accurately, and preparing an item for sale in this forum
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David Lang

Locale: Northwest U.S.
Listing the condition of an item accurately, and preparing an item for sale in this forum on 02/08/2013 17:32:51 MST Print View

In light of recent back to back transactions in which major flaws in items that I bought here were not mentioned in the ad, I felt like posting a reminder here. I'm not sure if this was the proper place for it, but it pertains to gear swapping.

The first item was a shirt I purchased, in which the ad stated it was in "excellent condition". I receive the shirt and find two large stains on the side, as well as a main zipper that is on its last legs. There is literally a one inch section where the teeth do not even lock together. Needless to say, this shirt was not in "excellent condition"

Second, a recent tent purchase in which, once again, the tent is listed as being in "excellent condition" as we'll as having "no rips or tears". The tent arrives, and to my surprise, the first thing I notice on the rain fly is a half dollar sized patch. Can you guess why that was there? To repair a tear! Next, I notice the huge black sharpie X on the rain fly, tent, and bag. I don't necessarily care that an item came from a REI garage sale, but it would be really nice to know that there are huge permanent marker X's on the tent. And to top it all off, I set up the tent and find a whole bunch of dried grass, sand, and other material inside the tent.

I shared this to shed light on the importance of accurately and correctly listing the condition of a piece of gear. Nobody likes nasty surprises like that. I can understand missing a minor flaw, a pinhole, whatever. Nobody is perfect, everybody makes mistakes. But on the other hand, not mentioning major flaws can get somebody fired up.

Listing an item as "like new" or "excellent condition" means just that. It should look like it just rolled off of a store shelf, or it should show very little wear and tear. There are terms such as "good" or "fair" condition as well. Last but not least, please be courteous enough to not ship somebody dirty gear. Although it took me all of 5 minutes to clean out the tent I bought, it's the principle of it.

Edited by idahobackpacker on 02/08/2013 17:34:46 MST.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Listing the condition of an item accurately, and preparing an item for sale in this forum on 02/08/2013 17:41:16 MST Print View

I think the very best way to encourage folks to be on the up and up -- is that the moment you see something wrong or inaccurate -- to PM the seller for clarification and/or redress. If after that, you remain unsatisfied and it is something serious, then please post on Gear -- either phrasing it as a scenario, asking for opinions (this can be very effective in guilting sellers to making corrective action) -- or post as a warning outright, if warranted.

The longer the delay, the less useful...

Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
consequences on 02/08/2013 18:06:19 MST Print View

Agree with Ben, if someone shafts you like that and won't make things right, the only effective response is to out them publicly on the forum. That's the backbone of Ebay and Amazon: seller ratings from buyers.

Martin Van Laarhoven

Locale: NorthEast
send a PM... on 02/08/2013 18:21:21 MST Print View

I agree, send a PM first and see if they are willing to remedy the situation. If they are not, let people know what happened and who they should avoid dealing with in the future.

Konrad .
(Konrad1013) - MLife
Re: Listing the condition of an item accurately, and preparing an item for sale in this forum on 02/08/2013 18:26:03 MST Print View


I agree with Ben. Try to work it out with the seller first. But if you can't settle the dispute in a favorable manner (either a partial refund to account for the damage, or returning the item for original cost+postage) then consider posing a the question to forums or giving a general warning about particular seller (public shaming should always be a last resort).

Gearswap is only 1 step above ebay because we can put a face to the names here and it tends to keep people honest. I would think that most sellers would acknowledge a mistake and prefer to keep their reputation intact rather than to squander it over a few bucks.

On other forums, I've seen a "wall of shame" where bad sellers have been outted and I used to think BPL was making a mistake by not having one. After reconsideration, I think it's a good sign that we haven't found a "wall of shame" necessary--the majority of us aren't out to get anyone.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Listing the condition of a item accurately, and preparing an item for sale in this forum on 02/08/2013 18:27:43 MST Print View

I think another good way to avoid getting not in(Excellent Condition)gear is to always ask for a few photos of the item. I have sold a few tarps and tents in gear swap and I like to show some photos of the shelters so the end buyer knows exactly what they are getting. Asking for a few photos can take a lot of pressure off the person who in paying for the goods.

Harris Goldstein
(hmgolds) - F

Locale: Minnesota
Specifics on 02/08/2013 18:49:17 MST Print View

It shouldn't have to be this way, but I've found that if you ask specific questions (i.e. any repairs, any stains) you tend to get more honest answers. It's amazing how often people will overstate condition in general yet honestly answer specific questions.

Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
Accurate Information/reporting of condition on 02/08/2013 20:27:25 MST Print View

I actually had an experience where the buyer of an item failed to read the ad correctly where I reported the item to be used, but he somehow expected the item to be in new condition, because the only photos I had where from new. Needless to say I think it's important to report the actual condition of the item.

I also purchased a Golite Shangrila 2 fly and custom bug tent, and i expected the items to be in much better condition than they came in, and was disappointed.

Lets all be open and honest with eachother about the condition. Everyone wants a deal, and to make a good sale, but both of those things depend on us working together in the foruM!

Mark Cashmere
(tinkrtoy) - M

Locale: NEOH
Mine on 02/09/2013 05:56:09 MST Print View

The shirt David is referring to was from me. He did PM me and I was not aware of the problems he has identified. As I stated in my for sale listing the item was new and I had never wore it besides trying it on at the store when I bought it. I pulled it out of my gear drawer, took a pic, posted it and packed it up to ship without noticing any issues. I have asked David to send it back and I will provide a refund as well as run the item through the manufacturer's warranty process as I find the issues David related to me as unacceptable from them.

Reggie Garrett
(regarrett) - M

Locale: Lost in the mountains
Re: Mine on 02/09/2013 06:23:03 MST Print View

Good for you Mark.