Thursday, June 4, 2020

Orioles Victory Card Number 23: Not all eBay transactions go horribly wrong

Baltimore Orioles Victory #23: 4-3 over the Oakland Athletics

1967 Topps Stu Miller

With the sporting world on hold due to the novel coronavirus shutting down the world for a few months we here at The Hopeful Chase are going to our rain delay programming. For the last two seasons we've posted a baseball card following every Baltimore Orioles victory (I know, talk about the minimum commitment required). It's fun and keeps us writing about baseball and collecting. Rather than sit back and stare forlornly at the outside world we've decided to continue the series with a season from the past.  The season of choice - 1987. Please enjoy.

One of the worst parts of social media, a means of communications that has a long and detailed list of faults, is that far more negative experiences are generated than positive.  To be fair (TO BE FAAAAIIIRR) that is a symptom more of human nature than social media itself. One of the few things I remember from orientation training at my currently furloughed place of employment is the stat that customers are 8 times more likely to share a negative experience than a positive one. What can we say, human beings love to bitch about stuff regardless of the platform.

So, as part of my desire to live a better, less negative life, I feel I should share some of the positives. An experience that started off rocky, but was resolved to a satisfactory way without the use of threats, curse words, or vague threats of negative feedback posting. 

Thanks to the sudden interest in Project 2020, my Paypal account is a little more flush than usual. With the financial windfall I've made a few donations and decided to tackle at least two cards off of my undisclosed, double-secret Top 10 list. Never published in any form (or at least that I can remember, who know maybe I did mention it on this space, or my previous blog - R.I.P to The Wasteland) the Top 10 has been around since at least 2009. I base that date on some of the cards that appeared on the original list, because that has to be the only reason they are on there. Even I'm not so random in my collecting habits to have some of the cards on there unless it's based on a product that was recent at the time.  I digress.

I put in a couple of "Best offer" bids on two cards that I wanted and waited for a response. They were both accepted and soon I received "Your item has shipped" notifications. Huzzah! (throws shot glass to the floor) Then, following my usual routine I promptly forgot about them. 

So it was a bit of a surprise when I was checking my eBay notifications to see a message pop up from one of the sellers that basically stated, "I'm so sorry, I've searched high and low and can't find the card you ordered."

"Ah-ha," I thought instantly, "We have ourselves a case of seller's remorse. This vile, no-good, beatnik has had second thoughts about the way I masterfully negotiated an amazing price and now want's to back out of the deal so that he may proceed to gouge some poor misguided, less-informed soul."

Because, after all, aren't we now preconditioned to find the devious in all things that don't go according to plan. There lie only con men and ne'er-do-wells on the dangerous open seas that is eBay. It can't be that a human being, susceptible to the facilities of their less-than-flawless origins could have made a simple mistake, right? So transgressions must be dealt with harshly and spare no quarter.

Luckily, I read the rest of his email before replying and saw that he was offering a full refund, or a credit at  higher amount for anything else that he had for sale. The credit he was offering was at a higher price than his original listing that he had on the card that I was buying, so if he was trying to put the squeeze on me his grifting skills were a little off. 

I checked his inventory and saw some cards that would look nice in the collection of an Orioles fan and took him up on his offer. He agreed, apologized again, and said that he would get them out right away. Again, me being me, forgot about them and went about my life.

Then the other day I received his shipment in the mail. Not only were the cards I ordered in there, he had through in a couple of more, including this Stu Miller that's older than me, because he felt bad about the condition of a couple of the cards that I had taken in exchange. 

I thanked him and added him as a seller to keep updated on with new listings and will most likely buy from again should he have something that catches my eye. In our communications he stated that he was a collector first and a seller second and I got the sense that he was sincere about the mistake.

It's so easy to get upset about things these days. Could I have ranted and raved about it? Could I have drawn him up against the eBay tribunal and had him arrested (that's how it works right). Sure, but in the end it's a freaking piece of cardboard. What's the point in getting upset? At the same time he could have just cancelled the order, or claimed it was lost in the mail and not had to have offered me anything. Acknowledgement and understanding go a long way to compromise and happy resolutions.

 ). On the same day we came to an agreement I found the original card from a different seller for about what I offered originally and with a $5 eBay coupon it ended up being less than what I would have paid. Coincidence? Most likely, but also a nice way to button up the whole situation. I've found that if you put out positive energy more likely than not you get it back (if you're dealing with people that have a conscience or an ounce of humanity

It may seem a bit pollyanna in these increasingly cynical times, but at the same token it does make life a little less stressful. It's hard, god-damn hard, work carrying around anger all the time and taking offense at the smallest, most insignificant, sometimes only perceived slights. Save that rage and anger for shit that matters.

Sorry to get off on a moral tangent there for a bit, I just wanted to share a little positivity in this sometimes negative hobby. There are more good people than bad out there, folks.  

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