if you don't have the cash, don't bid on the item
I am not financial wiz-kid here. Infact, ever since my girl friend moved in, I have pushed all financial responsibility off on to her. Hey it's what she does for a living, and she's pretty good at it. That aside, I can still tell you at any given point, what I can afford; infact, I'm willing to bet I could give you an accurate guess plus or minus a hundred dollars of exactly what I can afford at any time.
I'm not talking about groceries or something, I'm talking about big stuff.. Like several hundred or several thousand dollar items. Big dollar items, trips, vehicles, guns..etc..
We recently put our Toyota MR2 Turbo up for sale on eBay. It's a good car, and we figured it would fetch ~$5k or so, our target price was $5,500. We listed the initial price of the vehicle at $5000, with that target in mind.
The final bid winner had managed to get it for $6k. Great, we thought. We made more than we wanted, and yet its still a good price as there are others on there (worse versions of the car) that go for more.
Two days later, which already told me something was up, I get a call from him saying that he can't pay for the car. Not only can he not afford the $6000 price that HE BID FOR, he couldn't even afford the OPENING BID of $5000.
"I talked to my bank and the most I could get was $4900".
Why the hell did he bid on the car in the first place?!
If you can't afford something, then don't bid on it. I mean its okay to dream. There are lots of cool toys and things out there that I would love to own, but I know I couldn't possibly afford.. But I don't go bid on them just because I want them.. If I know I can't afford something, I'm not going to place my name in the hat as a possible buyer. All that does is screw up the entire auction system.
He initiated the conversation by saying "We have a bit of a problem"... A bit?! You, by bidding, signed a promissory agreement in good faith to pay the amount you bid. Now you're going back on that promise. Infact, you had no business making that promise in the first place. "WE" don't have a bit of a problem, YOU have a problem as you're financially a moron, and I have a problem with you bidding on things you can't afford.
First of all, this tells me that you didn't even think about this you mindless simpleton. You should know based on your income alone, how much you can afford. I mean if you can't foot half the bill out of pocket why did you bid at all? The car is a 13 year old vehicle and you expected a bank to give you 100% of the loan?! Why on Earth would they do that? Have you no idea how money works at all?
Secondly, because of the way eBay works, I was charged to list the vehicle in the first place. So not only are you not paying me the money that you promised to pay, but you just cost me money and wasted my time. Not only do you have so much debt that $6k is evidently way out of reach for you, but you also managed to cost me $50.
I may not be a financial wiz, but clearly some people are much much worse...
The winning bidder, who's email address and phone number I have so nicely left off of here, has promised to pay the $50 listing fee. Now, the question is, should I leave negative feedback on him via eBays feedback system or should I let this one slide.
My thoughts on the matter are that I should not only leave the negative feedback, but report him to eBay. To me this is an abuse of the system. He bid an amount that he knew he didn't have. He didn't have the opening bid amount, and couldn't even get financed for the opening bid amount, not even mentioning the final bid amount that he won.
Personally, I feel it is my duty as a seller on eBay to report this guy, this way it might save someone else from the hassle.