Mar 16, 2013 at 6:50 am #1300525
Martin ClarkBPL Member
@marty_mcflyLocale: Southeast US
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 nowMar 16, 2013 at 7:05 am #1966215
Chris SchmidtBPL Member
@christo60Locale: Midwest (Ozarks)
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:05 am #1966216
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,
StephenMar 16, 2013 at 7:11 am #1966218
"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.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:20 am #1966220
@glacierramblerLocale: NW Montana
+1 to Doug.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:21 am #1966221
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:22 am #1966222
Well said Doug.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:26 am #1966224
John S.BPL Member
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:32 am #1966225
Ken T.BPL Member
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.
Speak up and tell us who they were. Otherwise will have to detective work in your post history to figure it out.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:45 am #1966228
"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)Mar 16, 2013 at 7:47 am #1966230
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:48 am #1966231
Ken T.BPL Member
"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 for posting this in the correct forum, which is not this one.
Sorry Dan.Mar 16, 2013 at 11:00 am #1966271
Travis LeannaBPL Member
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 11:55 am #1966318
Ben 2 WorldBPL Member
@ben2worldLocale: So Cal
I hope Eugene will sell his Evernew here one day. Just for you, Travis. :)Mar 16, 2013 at 12:12 pm #1966340
@hipassLocale: Los Angeles
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 12:13 pm #1966341
Travis LeannaBPL Member
Aww, thanks Ben! :)Mar 16, 2013 at 12:19 pm #1966349
Nick GatelBPL Member
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 3:01 pm #1966409
Edward ZBPL Member
@fuzzLocale: Sunny San Diego
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.
EdMar 16, 2013 at 5:36 pm #1966460
Martin ClarkBPL Member
@marty_mcflyLocale: Southeast US
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.Mar 16, 2013 at 7:03 pm #1966497
@gregfLocale: Canadian Rockies
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.Mar 18, 2013 at 7:54 am #1966941
J Dos AntosBPL Member
@damagerLocale: Redwoods of Santa Cruz Mts
Though I'm new to BPL, I've been a UL backpacker for years, and I'm so grateful I've found this site and the Gear Swap section. Like other posters have previously stated, I now finally have the opportunity to experiment with gear at a fraction of the cost of buying brand new gear. I've landed a couple pieces at a discounted rate.
The OP also mentioned that sellers say items are used 1, 2, or 3 nights, and it's a frequent occurrence, maybe too frequent. Actually, doesn't it make perfect sense that most of us have to buy our UL gear sight unseen from cottage companies, then test it on an initial trip and see if it works for us?
For instance, I bought a SMD Lunar Duo 2 for my GF and I, then we broke up after we used it for one trip. So I sold it on here for a great price. I didn't want to return it to SMD, since it was a brilliant piece of gear with no defects. It's not SMDs fault I'm lousy at relationships.
It's up to us to ask questions, and ask for detailed photos. That's what I did. For the most part nowadays, if you're savvy enough to buy and sell gear on forums, you probably have a camera of some sort. I post plenty of photos, and ask for photos from all angles. Problem mostly solved.
Oh, and I also think it's up to us to make sure if a seller is consistently posting misleading ads or selling bad gear, that we make sure the BPL community is aware of that fact.
Anyway, I'm glad to be a part of the BPL community after all these years, and I thank all of the posters who post accurate, honest info. This is the type of site that makes the internet such an incredible resource.Mar 18, 2013 at 11:03 am #1967004
Kurt LammersBPL Member
@smackpackerLocale: Pacific Northwest
I think the occasional caveat emptor is appropriate in this space; for me I think it's really important that first time sellers take note that many of us won't bother even PMing about an item that isn't well represented w/actual photography. For example there's an item FS today that I might have been interested in, that's posted w/stock photography.
Assume that your educated BPL audience knows what the item in question is: what we'd like to see is precisely what condition yours is in. I don't think that's unreasonable, your idea of "like new" and mine may differ. The items I've carefully purchased from the swap were always well represented, and have always been received meeting 100% of set expectations.Mar 18, 2013 at 11:09 am #1967009
Dena KelleyBPL Member
@eagleriverdeeLocale: Eagle River, Alaska
This is one of the reasons that on gear like tents, jackets or backpacks I won't consider an ad that doesn't post photos of the actual item. For one, it's just good practice to show a buyer what they're getting and not expect them to google it. And the photo needs to be the item being sold, not a stock photo off the seller's website. Tents should be set up when the photo is taken.
One thing I wish people would do is not delete the sale price after they sell it. I often search gear swap to find out what an item has recently sold for to determine if a price is good or not, and it's getting more and more common for the sellers to delete that information.Mar 18, 2013 at 11:12 am #1967010
I think the reason folk delete the price is they often may have accepted a low ball offer.Mar 18, 2013 at 11:23 am #1967015
I can understand posting Photo's of a fairly used item that has some wear and tear but if something is in new or near new condition what more will you get from the owners photos? (I have items up now with stock photos)
If you have done your research on an item and know about what you are buying and can get it in great shape for less than buying from the retailer I have never needed photo's of the original item. I often get a much better idea of what it looks like off the manufacturers site than from photos any a seller here has posted.
There are times of the year and weather conditions when I am not setting up gear outside to take pictures : )
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