Back when I was starting this blog, I wrote a post about Saving money by buying razors on Ebay. (It's fun to look back to 2006 when a 150-word post could generate 17 comments.) I still use the 40+ blades I got back then.
Recently, my wife mentioned she needed new razor blades - Gillette Venus blades to be exact. I always give Amazon a first look, especially since we became prime members. However, the prices were over $2 a blade. I quickly went back to Ebay and found someone selling blades for $1.20 a piece. The catch was that I had to buy twice as many I bought before, more than I think she'll use in years and years. The other catch, since you've read title, is that they were counterfeit, but at the time I didn't know this.
I almost had a new business model. Buy something in bulk and break it into pieces to sell individually. My wife is starting to get
slightly very addicted to selling on Ebay, so this would be perfect. It would be easy for her to keep a couple of boxes for herself, and then sell the rest, likely collecting $50 in profit.
It was all going according to plan until she listed the blades. Ebay ended her auction the next day with a note that the blades were counterfeit. She had no idea because the box looked professionally done and she hasn't used any from the box she put aside. We opened up a box and compared a blade to one bought at a local CVS. Clearly they were of a lesser quality.
I registered a complaint with the seller and he said that he'd refund the money if I ship the blades back. Having now done some research, I found an Ebay Buyer's Guide, that said I shouldn't return the blades. The seller will just sell them elsewhere. So I refused to send back the counterfeit product. The seller went George Brett Crazy saying that I just wanted to get free blades. He also said that he couldn't get the money back from his supplier without the product. I had three thoughts here:
- He's right, I have nothing better to do with my time than to try to buy counterfeit blades on Ebay, so that I can use the crap product for free (Sarcasm). To prove the point, I suggested that he ship me authentic product that he bought from CVS or other reputable location and keep my money.
- It's not like people passing counterfeit bills or fake IDs should expect to get them back, right?
- If the supplier doesn't give this seller back his money, he should call the police on him for selling counterfeit products.
I offered to send the blades to a disinterested party for disposal, which he agreed to. Unfortunately Ebay didn't want to be the disinterested party. I awaited their guidance and they took the lazy way out. They said to return the counterfeit product to the seller as he's offered a refund. I had to pay the costs to return the product - $11 and that wouldn't be refunded. I guess that's my penalty for being the victim of fraud?
I really thought about writing "counterfeit" on the boxes so that they couldn't be resold to unsuspecting consumers. I mentioned it to my wife and she said, "Do you really want your money back? If you do that he'll probably complain that the product was destroyed and you won't get your money back." Since, I had no faith in Ebay customer support doing the right thing, I decided she was right and sent the product back in perfect condition, except for the one box we opened to ensure the product was indeed counterfeit.
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