We have made some notes to address recent issues and recent customer questions and comments.
Please click HERE
to read more of our comments from October, 2004
or HERE to read our comments from December, 2004,
or HERE to read our comments from April, 2005,
or HERE to read our SUMMER SALE comments for 2005!
Auction Feedback Info & Comments
Most of what follows is just common sense with a few tips thrown in. Some rules get re-stated along with some information. But, some sharp comments and observations are directed at the select few who enter into auctions without the maturity or common sense
to make the simple process of auction purchases go as it normally does, and hurt the overwhelming majority.
By the simple fact you're taking time to read this, you're probably not among those few, and if we say anything here that rubs the wrong way, please understand we're stuck putting some things in writing for those exceptional people just mentioned.
However, we hope you'll also take a moment and see some positive observations and comments about what some of you have done to make our jobs and lives easier, and accept our thanks for choosing to make your purchase here with us.
We really do want to leave positive feedback on every auction transaction. We hope to earn your positive feedback in return.
We ask only for information we consider important to the transaction, so we expect all the auction instructions we give in our confirmation letter to be followed and to receive payment within 10 days of auction close if you want positive feedback. It's that simple! And, that means you have made it easy for us to take care of you and all our customers properly...and as one of those customers you should demand nothing less! We look forward to giving everyone positive feedback for being a partner with us in a successful transaction, and we hope you'll agree it's a goal that's easy to reach.
Many customers use a copy of our auction confirmation letter and then they add their address to that page and send it with their payment. If you have a printer, that option usually works well, and you can always add some additional details after the auction closes if needed.
A sample of the kind of note we request with payment can be found HERE. Please be advised that while the content in the sample note is more than "complete" for our requirements, it is also completely bogus. Please remember to modify as needed for YOUR transaction if you use this, but any other format you choose that includes the information we require is absolutely fine!
Always ask questions before the auction closes when you can.
We can't be responsible for uninsured items lost or damaged in transit. If you want insurance, please ask for it with your order, and we'll quote you a price. If you do not request insurance, you are saying you will take full responsibility without condition for any loss or damage in transit, and you will make no claim upon us at any time to compensate you for that loss or damage. If any of this concerns you, or you will be unhappy with the possible consequences of lost or damaged items in an uninsured parcel, we recommend you insure all parcels when possible. Please do ask about parcel insurance!
We don't do PayPal. Ever. There are no exceptions. If you're curious about why, just ask!
At this time, we don't accept credit or debit cards on eBay transactions. There are no exceptions. If you're curious about why, just ask! If this changes, we will change this page and our auction descriptions to reflect the change.
Please don't expect to combine auctions that end more than 2 days apart into one transaction. Prompt payment is one issue, but the big concern is about violating auction house terms. If you want additional items, ask us promptly as part of any transaction or outside of auctions and we'll try to help. Also, as part of this policy, please understand we will not combine shipping charges for auction items won in separate weeks.
Prices we quote include applicable sales taxes. We hold sales tax identification in several states, and we will be happy to provide that information on request. For those of you who live in those states, it's an unadvertised discount to you. However, unfortunately, we cannot be responsible for any import tariffs you may be charged when we ship to you outside the US. So, if you're not in the US, please see what import duties you may be required to pay before you confirm an order. (Please DON'T ask us to falsify a Customs form to avoid tariffs. People who get caught doing this don't stay in business for long!)
We send out confirmation messages 48 hours or less from the time the auctions close. If you don't get that message within 48 hours from auction close, PLEASE CONTACT US!
We leave nearly as many feedback comments as we receive, and nearly all feedback we leave is positive...despite all the guidelines here. Again, we hope most of this stuff is just common sense, and easier than it sounds.
We accept want lists. Working with us after the auction to get you what you want may not impact feedback, but we want to work with our customers, and not everything you ever buy will be in auctions. And there are some items we'll never put up for bid. You should ask if there's something you still want.
If there's a problem, please talk to us! We pride ourselves on making our customers happy with their transactions. The same goes for comments or questions...and it's unfair to both sides if all you do is post negative feedback without letting us try to satisfy you.
Any club or coupon discounts that may be in effect can't be used for auction items. It's just against the auction house rules, and eBay, ePier, amazon.com, and all the others will tell you this. We have no control over this.
If you use an online payment service to send us a check or money order, please be sure all item numbers and auction descriptions are included! Essentially we're asking for the same information as above with payment. Again, this protects us both by avoiding confusion in filling your order once we receive payment.
It's nice when customers include address labels with their letters! Many of you get such labels sent to you free. If you send one, we still ask you put your address in your letter with payment as part of the requirements for positive feedback.
If you bid and expect to be on vacation when the auction closes, please tell us in advance! We still need timely payment, but hope we can work with you to make things go smoothly.
We are committed to an accurate representation of our products. Used products are marked as such. Please be aware, NOT all new CDs or UK videos are shrink-wrapped, even though we get them direct from their distribution source. If we have used copies, we will sell them as used. Lack of shrink-wrap doesn't mean a copy has been played before, or even opened!
There is a US$30.00 fee for bounced checks. The replacement check, including the fee, must be a US bank certified check or a US Postal Money Order, or must be an instrument we approve before you send that payment. If replacement payment is not received within 10 days of our first request, we reserve the right to use any means, including collection services, to recover the full amount of the bounced checks, the fee of $30.00 per bounced check, plus all collection fees. Our payment record from customers of Doctor Who merchandise has been exemplary, and we hope we don't need to refer to this line. Ever. Do we need to say a bounced check will also incur negative feedback? I didn't think so.
We do require age statements on selected items, and we will ask for those statements when they are needed. Please understand this is the law. Those few instances where we've been hassled about this are unfortunate, and deserve negative feedback. If you don't like the law, talk to your Congressman...as we have.
We don't like giving negative feedback. If you're late making payment, up to a point, communication may help us to make the feedback neutral, or we may decide not to place feedback. You can still get positive feedback the next time.
As part of an auction requirement for prompt payment, we will no longer waive or diminish postage charges when you combine auctions from sepearate weeks into a single shipment. This encouraged the prompt payment rules to be broken, and it should say how strongly we feel about this issue that it is now the only exception we've ever made to our postage and postage waiver rules. If you want more items to ship with your current auction winnings, a want list is the way to go!
There are always special circumstances that we will view and make decisions for on a case-by-case basis. In the past, nobody has ever called us an ogre for they way we've handled those. If there's a problem on your end, tell us and work with us.
We make it a point to leave positive feedback promptly for each successful transaction. If you follow the rules and work with us, we're happy to give you the positive feedback you deserve. This doesn't mean you don't give criticism we need to hear, but it should mean that you understand we'll listen to it and consider it properly as part of working with all our customers.
Don't bid if you can't pay. For your own sake! Yelling at us because of YOUR winning bid when you can't pay, or can't pay on time, will not help. Those who have done this are barred from our auctions, which lets us take time with the other 99.9% of customers who deserve our attention for their efforts.
We hope that if you've made a purchase from us, instead of from someone somewhere else, in part it is because we've offered something you want at a competitive price. We have our terms to help us stay as competitive as we are, and we'll discuss that philosophy if you want, but complaining our terms are not the same as someone else's after you've won an auction is silly. It is fair for us to assume you will abide by our terms after the auction closes. Please help us by respecting our rules. Asking questions before you bid is always a good option, too!
Please bid during the auction. Bid early. Our auction prices are competitive. They will never impact prices we quote outside the auction venue, either. In a 2005 auction for a $0.49 item, we had FIVE letters trying to argue down that $0.49 price on an item with a retail price of $6.99, or ask us to match the price outside of auction, or to convince us it was worth the risk of further auction fees to re-list this item. We applaud those who already understand the frugal alternative is simply to bid on such an inexpensive item immediately if you want it, and not to ask us in the process to possibly violate auction house rules when you specifically mention an unsold auction item as price leverage. For other items, too, if you bid up front, even if you're outbid, it gives us the chance to run a Second Chance auction that costs us no listing fees when we have items to do so. Ultimately, nobody bought that $0.49 item at auction, even when it was re-listed, but we heard from another group with the same type of letters. After hours spent in writing letters of response, we think it's worth saying here, too, that when you want something for nothing, you may get exactly what you've paid for. We hope we're offering something better than that, and ask you to bear reasonable expectations. Specifically, with someone making a demand saying this $0.49 item was unreasonably expensive at $0.49 and it was unfair not to charge much less...well, must we really say more here? Please bid early during the auction if you want an auction item.
For international customers, we will require payment by credit card or by check or money order, in US funds drawn against a US bank account. This is due to collection fees imposed by our bank. As a last resort, we will accept cash (usually US$ ONLY) in the mail, but entirely at your risk. This also means if your payment is lost, you are still responsible to send a replacement payment. If this concerns you at all, please do get a check or money order that can be re-written in case it is lost, as it is your only true protection against your payment being lost if we don't receive your letter. Sending cash in the mail is something we consider a risk, and we will not recommend this option as a safe means of payment.
If you have a problem with the transaction, especially if there is an unexpected delay in receiving an item or if there is defective merchandise, please remember we will try to take your side and work with you and for you to correct problems. If your purchase is insured, there is no reason ever to believe you will not get either replacement or refund on items. Please talk to us and work with us. We want you to be happy with the transaction as much as you do!
Prices quoted in auction description for "postage" will also include costs involved in packaging your order. Conversely, we don't feel we're trying to deceive anyone by not adding more lines of text to an already lengthy auction description to go into this detail. In cases where we claim FREE MEDIA RATE SHIPPING, that includes shipping and handling...but not insurance. In cases where we quote a price, it will include shipping and handling...but not insurance. Packaging costs over $1 per order on average. We try to estimate $1 or less for packaging costs, and usually charge less than it costs to package and ship.
On US orders up to $75.00, if composed entirely of any combination of books, videos, CDs, DVDs & cassettes, we will ship via USPS Book Rate for the amount quoted in auction descriptions, slightly adjusted for combined auction purchases, and will ship via USPS Book Rate on those US orders over $75.00 at no charge (except for violations of auction policy). If you're in the US and want USPS First Class or some other method of shipping (or insurance), we'll estimate shipping and packing costs and will quote a S&H fee based on that estimate. Orders outside the US or containing "non-media" items should expect a similar estimate, regardless of shipping method, and a fee based on that estimate.
We currently do not sell to Vermont residents. If you're curious about why, just ask! It's about the tax laws.
In our discretion, we may block bidders from further auction transactions when possible for excessive delays in payment, repeated lengthy delays in payment, failure to pay, abusive or aggressive conduct, offers to participate in illegal activity, or any other circumstance we feel requires protection of our business interests and our customers. We will attempt to do this within existing auction house policies. Attempts to circumvent such a block may be reported immediately to the auction house. This will include use of multiple accounts by a single user to circumvent a block.
We've been asked often to modify the way we post feedback on auctions. When we started, we posted feedback on every item. With multi-item transactions, that actually drew complaints. It also took time. To try to be fair and consistent, we now post a single piece of positive feedback for every parcel we ship where our auction instructions are followed and payment is made promptly. If you want to order a bunch of items with the intent of getting lots of feedback, we'll remind you the transaction is about the items, one piece of feedback counts as much towards your rating as a thousand pieces, and working that way lets us focus on getting the transaction right every time.
We reserve the right to modify these rules as needed, at any time, and to make judgments in special cases about how to apply the rules or to deal with cases not covered by the rules. If you think there's a special situation and you want our response, please write us and see what we think.
We're having lots of problems as spam filters get more aggressive. We knew this had to happen eventually. If you're expecting a confirmation message from us and it's late, please talk to your ISP, especially if it's AOL. They often block messages before your own filter has a chance to get them. Tell them WE NEVER SPAM. Heck, we don't even have mailing lists! If you still don't think you've received what you need, PLEASE CALL US! In the meantime, please also consider sending a phone number or alternate e-mail address when writing to tell us you're not getting our messages. As long as you send it from the address listed on the auction with your winning bid, we can respond to it. We may set up a complete web page just to communicate about the transaction, but, please understand, YOUR ISP needs to be told you are not getting all your mail. For more about SPAM, see our next entry!
SPAM gets you negative feedback, barred from our auctions, a $500 fee for unsolicited mail, and reports to every abuse agency we can think of. We never buy an item from SPAM ads, even if we need it. We ask you keep our addresses a SPAM-FREE ZONE so we can better serve legitimate customers. Like you. If someone wants to sell us their latest Walrus Polishing Kit, or any other nifty items or services...thanks, but no thanks. We'll treat your serious inquiries about Comics, Doctor Who, Red Dwarf, Farscape, or other selected Sci-Fi, Fan or Fantasy items...well, seriously. Please don't give out, collect, or use our contact information for any other purpose. Our customers and suppliers are important to us, and we hope not to get bogged down by the "great unwashed" of the internet as the result of having a web site. We're sure you'll understand, since you enjoy SPAM as much as we do. This helps us give you the time and respect you deserve.