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Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 07:50:45 MDT Print View

Fellow BPL forum members,

I've been a member here for awhile and when I began as a member here I was really happy about buying used gear here. I enjoyed that it was possible to find high quality lightweight backpacking gear without paying retail.

Therefore it saddens me to write what I'm writing.

The past 2 shelter purchases I've made on here were not accurately explained in the item description. I'm not angry, I don't want my money back from either one of these people. But the first time it happened I discounted it to being my part for not doing more to determine the state of the gear. This past time I realized that most people mis-accurately represent their products in order to sell them. People will say the shelter is barely used, or not describe that it needs guylines or other smaller issues. There are other trends on here where it seems that almost everything on here has been used 1, 2, or 3 times. Which is either true (and sort of sad), or we really need to use more descriptive terms such as gently used, moderately used, etc.


Adopting this police will allow us to be better sellers and buyers here.

I'll step off my soapbox now

Chris Schmidt
(christo60) - M

Locale: Midwest (Ozarks)
Further thoughts on etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:05:24 MDT Print View

I agree with your concern. This forum only works on trust since the only real recourse is public shaming. I have had a mediocre experience so far. I am not willing to buy something both sight unseen and with no more description than "Acme camping item", for example. If I am the first to post interest and to PM interest with questions, shouldn't I be given the chance to purchase it first? The good people on this forum are very willing to line up.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:05:25 MDT Print View

Hi Martin,

That's unfortunate you had those two experiences, I would contact the sellers to talk it over.

I sell a lot of kit I am not using anymore on gear swap and always list its exact condition and put photos up, when buying I often ask a lot of questions and have passed on items that did not feel right.

Bpl Gear swap works so well because the trust members place in each other and I am sad if this is not the case.
I also only buy off people that have a posting history on other threads besides gear swap.

Have a great weekend,

Stephen

Doug I.
(idester) - MLife

Locale: MidAtlantic
Re: Further thoughts on etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:11:49 MDT Print View

"If I am the first to post interest and to PM interest with questions, shouldn't I be given the chance to purchase it first?"

Not necessarily, IMO. I can't tell you how many times someone has PM'd me with questions, I answer, and then never hear from them again. Meanwhile, I've lost the opportunity to sell it to someone who wanted to buy it because they've found another or something else while waiting.

My general rule - if you just ask questions, you're not in line to buy. If you tell me you want to buy it but have a few questions first, you're in line to buy. But if you don't respond soon after I answer your questions and I have others wanting to buy, I'll send you one last email. If that goes unanswered by the end of the day, I drop you off the list.

Long way of saying that for gear swap to work, there has to be clear communication and mutual respect.

Clayton Mauritzen
(GlacierRambler) - M

Locale: NW Montana
Re: Re: Further thoughts on etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:20:14 MDT Print View

+1 to Doug.

Jeff M.
(Catalyst)

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:21:10 MDT Print View

That's too bad you've had those experiences.

"This past time I realized that most people mis-accurately represent their products in order to sell them."

I don't really think this statement is true. I think most people tend to have good experiences with gear swap here which I believe is a credit to the type of people on BPL. While it would be nice for all sellers to include a long accurate description of the product, it's not realistic and it's really up to the buyers to do our due diligence and make sure we're getting what we want in a product. Asking a lot of questions helps to ensure that you know what you are getting. I've done this with everything I've purchased here and luckily I have never had a problem. If you take issue with a product you received not being as described, you should address it with that seller.

Also, I look at products being used/sold on here more than once not as a bad thing but as a good thing. For a lot of ultralight gear you don't really know what you're getting until you order it because you can't see, feel, and touch it in a store. Gear swap provides people the opportunity to try gear out and sell it for close to what they paid for if it turns out they didn't like it or it doesn't fit their needs. Just my 2 cents.

Stephen M
(stephenm) - MLife

Locale: The Great Lakes Bay Region
Re: Re: Further thoughts on etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:22:11 MDT Print View

Well said Doug.

John S.
(jshann) - F
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:26:16 MDT Print View

This is at least the second complaint like this.

Never buy gear without asking questions (how many owners?, all parts present?, condition of item?) and seeing pictures.

Edited by jshann on 03/16/2013 08:31:22 MDT.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:32:25 MDT Print View

I love the self policing that goes on in Gear Swap. Rat out the bad ones. I have bought and sold here for years. Never a bad experience. Too many crazy low ball offers, but hey.


But why start a new thread on this. The OP commented on this one last month. Same topic.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=73270&skip_to_post=624794#624794

Speak up and tell us who they were. Otherwise will have to detective work in your post history to figure it out.

Edited by kthompson on 03/16/2013 08:39:30 MDT.

Jeff M.
(Catalyst)

Locale: Costa Mesa, CA
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:45:02 MDT Print View

"Speak up and tell us who they were. Otherwise will have to detective work in your post history to figure it out."

While I like the self policing too, I think the OP needs to actually contact the seller to explain his displeasure and give him a chance to work it out first. (I'm assuming this hasn't happened since he mentioned he doesn't want his money back in the first post)

Edited by Catalyst on 03/16/2013 08:46:15 MDT.

Daniel Russell
(Superfluous_Grizzly)

Locale: Creation
here we go again.. on 03/16/2013 08:47:32 MDT Print View

No offense to the OP... but these threads are getting old. Do we really need another? It seems like every week a similar thread is started and it receives 100's of comments, distracting the intentions of gear swap. I come here to look at gear, not read someones bad experience.


I think this is what the Chaff section is for? See you got me sucked in and now im another contributor.

Edited by Superfluous_Grizzly on 03/16/2013 08:50:38 MDT.

Kronos Master of Fate
(kthompson) - MLife

Locale: Behind the Redwood Curtain
Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 08:48:34 MDT Print View

"I think the OP needs to actually contact the seller to explain his displeasure and give him a chance to work it out first."

+1 reasonable.

+1 for posting this in the correct forum, which is not this one.

Sorry Dan.

Edited by kthompson on 03/16/2013 08:49:44 MDT.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 12:00:44 MDT Print View

Personally, I think that if there are legitimate issues with a Gear Swap transaction, they should be posted in Gear Swap. Keeps everyone more aware of any B.S. that goes on.

Edited to include that I think the FIRST course of action is to work it out off the boards first. Often things are not much more than misunderstandings and can easily be cleared up with little harm done. If that doesn't work, then proceed to the boards. You may not be happy, but it will certainly make the community of who to possibly be aware of.

Edited by T.L. on 03/16/2013 13:16:11 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 12:55:44 MDT Print View

I hope Eugene will sell his Evernew here one day. Just for you, Travis. :)

Edited by ben2world on 03/16/2013 13:09:16 MDT.

dave e
(hipass) - F

Locale: Los Angeles
selling on 03/16/2013 13:12:22 MDT Print View

If you have issues with an item you should always contact the seller.This is how issues are resolved on ebay.Obviously,it is bothering the OP enough to post a thread about it here.I dont think thats fair to the seller nor does that do the community any good by not mentioning a bad seller in the case that he is bad.The sellers in the op's case could be honestly ignorant about selling.

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 13:13:13 MDT Print View

Aww, thanks Ben! :)

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Gear Swap Etiquette on 03/16/2013 13:19:40 MDT Print View

Really, folks...

Just be a good consumer and practice "buyer beware."

I think part of the problem (which I perceive to be the exception, not the rule) is that people are so afraid that someone will buy the item first, they don't take the time to ask the questions they need to ask.

I have made two purchases on gear swap. Both were perfect.

I have sold a few things here, and the purchasers were thrilled. All of what I sold was in response to a WTB, with one exception.

The majority of my transactions resulted in very happy recipients, as I just give away any gear I no longer want.

Edward Zwibel
(YetiEddie) - MLife

Locale: Sunny San Diego
+1 to Nick on 03/16/2013 16:01:36 MDT Print View

Seriously, I've tried, bought, sold, rebought, and kept the best things for me and my huge family on here. Which has turned me into a bit of a gear-swap whore. It has however allowed me to hike with, and try the entire marketplace of UL gear. I cannot overstate the value of this, or the ability to outfit a total of 8 people in my family through this site. All, with the exception of 1 transaction, was flawless. The one that was less than ideal was due to my not asking the right questions and being hasty, as Nick alluded to. These people have my trust. And if you look at my profile, you can see it's a ton of transactions. I've learned so much. And I love this stuff. But it's on the buyer...... And reasonability.

Warmest regards,

Ed

Martin Clark
(Marty_Mcfly) - F

Locale: Southeast US
Thank you to everyone who responded on 03/16/2013 18:36:34 MDT Print View

I didn't mean to offend anyone by bringing this up within the gear swap thread, I'm sorry if you feel this is the inappropriate place for it. But I posted it here because I feel like the problem is one WITHIN the gear swap community. Therefore i felt this the most appropriate place to handle it. The community is right that if there are disputes with transactions that it needs to be brought up between the buyer and the seller. An example i have is that I recently sold a ikea stove setup, and due to there being a problem with the buyer not being satisfied I gave a refund. I think the key here is to treat others as we want to be treated. I do love the community. Other that the few snarky people that post on these forums. I am grateful for such a wealth of information and good people. I appreciate the advice, whether it is what I want to hear it or not.

Edited by Marty_Mcfly on 03/16/2013 18:41:35 MDT.

Greg F
(GregF) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Dont get what youre asking for on 03/16/2013 20:03:26 MDT Print View

I dint think setting up categories for the condition of an item will make a difference. You are still relying on the seller to honestly evaluate his or her gear. So without adding a large beuracracy I dont think their is a solution other than buyer beware.

If you actually think you were cheated and the buyer refuses to accomodate them by all means shame them. But ensure you include pictures and the exact woring of the original post so that people can fairly evaluate if your definition of barely used or like new is too stringent.