You are here

Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Customising, building or repairing your own gear? Need help with acoustic treatment or soundproofing? Ask away…

Moderator: Moderators

Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 4:57 pm

This is a grumble masquerading as an impossible technical query.

I never used to sell stuff outside the UK on eBay, but recently the simplicity of opting into the "Global Shipping Program" has led me astray, and I sent an Eowave Persephone to Washington. (Something from Sleazy's collection.)

It doesn't like it there, apparently, and is protesting with a very low output signal. I'm scrabbling around for suggestions for the buyer to get it working again (it was fine when I posted it), but I can't find any schematics for it. eBay always protects the buyer, who get a full refund if they return a faulty item, while the seller gets hit with the return postage cost. I'm going back to my old ways, and never selling abroad again, unless it's a bag of concrete powder, or something that doesn't get airsick. Meanwhile I'm thinking this has got to be a simple fix for an electronics tech...? What's it gonna be...? Ageing capacitor in the output circuit that didn't like the change of climate...? *sigh*
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnos

Postby CS70 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:02 pm

No idea what it is that you sold, but if it’s electric.. 110V ?
User avatar
CS70
Jedi Poster
Posts: 7817
Joined: Mon Nov 26, 2012 1:00 am
Location: Oslo, Norway
Silver Spoon - Check out our latest video and the FB page

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:09 pm

...cheers, yes, I asked about the converter, they insist it's top-notch...

https://www.theguardian.com/music/2009/ ... persephone
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:15 pm

BJG145 wrote:It doesn't like it there, apparently, and is protesting with a very low output signal. I'm scrabbling around for suggestions for the buyer to get it working again (it was fine when I posted it)... What's it gonna be...? Ageing capacitor in the output circuit that didn't like the change of climate...? *sigh*

It would be very bad luck if it was a physical component failure, and the vast majority of 'does not function' reports turn out to be human cockup somewhere or other...

So I'd look to the obvious things first. The mains voltage is certainly the first thing to check, as CS70 suggests. Is it an external wall-wart power unit or something internal. Is your customer using a UK supply with a suitable step-up transformer, or maybe he's replaced it with something acquired locally? Is it the correct thing? If there are any lights on this thing, do they illuminate correctly? Does everything operate normally except the audio output level, or is the whole thing non-functional?

Another possibility is using a TRS cable to hook an unbalanced stereo output (eg, headphone output) into a mono balanced input... or simply not fully pushing the plug home at either end, or maybe plugged into the wrong socket on the instrument? All easy things to do. And is it connected to an appropriate input on something which is known to work correctly with other similar sources?

Next, are there any operational controls that could result in low or no output if miss-set?

Remote diagnosing this kind of thing is always tricky... but it's always best to start a the basics and check every assumption along the way!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 30888
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby Hugh Robjohns » Thu Feb 25, 2021 5:16 pm

BJG145 wrote:...cheers, yes, I asked about the converter, they insist it's top-notch...

...but have they actually measured it and confirmed it's the correct voltage, with the appropriate power rating, and wired up correctly? As I said, check every assumption!
User avatar
Hugh Robjohns
Moderator
Posts: 30888
Joined: Fri Jul 25, 2003 12:00 am
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Technical Editor, Sound On Sound
In my world, things get less strange when I read the manual... 

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Thu Feb 25, 2021 10:03 pm

Thanks Hugh. They're sending it back. But I might revive the thread for some help getting it working again when it arrives back in Blighty.

(It's a fun gadget that I didn't get the chance to show off yet, so, I won't be too sorry.)
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Fri Mar 12, 2021 10:02 am

The saga continues. Yesterday I received a notification from eBay that tracking had shown the returned item had now been delivered, so I needed to issue a refund. I checked the tracking, and it had indeed been delivered...in New Jersey.

I asked the buyer, who said that he'd received instructions from eBay to return it via their distribution centre, the same way it had travelled out, under the Global Shipping Program. So I called them just now to check if they had it. They were vague about this, but said that I needed to ask the buyer to send me a photo of it. I said this was unlikely (I didn't bother to mention that it was also pointless), but knowing how implacable these corporation processes are, agreed to jump through the hoops.

They offered some reassurance that I would be covered, though I was slightly concerned about the fate of the Persephone. When I asked if I'd get it back, they couldn't tell me. I hope it doesn't fall victim to big business.

Image
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby blinddrew » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:02 pm

Strewth. I'm glad I've never tried doing any international sales. :(
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14510
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby N i g e l » Fri Mar 12, 2021 12:47 pm

My international ebay sales have been by accident. I thought I posted my CD player to the Midlands but 4days later I got +ve feedback from the buyer in Australia. Another time, I messaged the buyer to see if he wanted me to drop the package off, at "his work", as the industrial estate was only 10 minutes away - he replied back that he was in Poland, the Co was just the courier.

The only bad experience Ive had was in the UK. Buyer hadnt RTFM and ordered a return with associated rant, unit "not working", 1hr after receiving the package.
I suggested he studied the manual and familiarise himself with the unit.
I heard no more from him but had to go through the hoops until the dispute timed out on his part. No apology received, so I had the rest of the 60 days to compose savory & succinct feedback.
User avatar
N i g e l
Frequent Poster
Posts: 1507
Joined: Sun Aug 12, 2018 2:40 pm
Location: British Isles

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BigRedX » Fri Mar 12, 2021 2:48 pm

The only time I've had a problem with international sales through eBay was when I had been unwittingly included in the (then new) Global shipping program.

My very first international sale after this was a bass guitar, that in its case, exceeded the physical dimensions for Global Shipping items (which were mentioned in the eBat T&Cs but tucked away in small print on a difficult to find page). Both myself and my buyer were refunded in full.

I immediately opted out of the local Shipping Programme for all future sales and have continued to hip large items to forge in countries without problem until the beginning of this year.

I discovered recently that the bass in question was sold for a fraction of its value on another auction site about a year later.
User avatar
BigRedX
Frequent Poster
Posts: 999
Joined: Fri Sep 03, 2004 12:00 am
RockinRollin' VampireMan

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Thu Mar 18, 2021 8:28 pm

BJG145 wrote:The saga continues.

I think what's happened is that the buyer posted it back to me, but uploaded a tracking number for the return which only covered the US part of the delivery. When that was complete, eBay said I needed to inspect it and issue a refund, but I didn't have it.

Their customer service has actually been pretty good. I explained that it's supposedly on the way but there's no international tracking available, can we put the case on hold and see if it turns up, which they did.

Unfortunately the buyer got bored waiting and asked their bank to reverse the payment ("temporarily"). Today eBay cited this as the reason they've closed the case and released the funds to me, with no buyer refund. Not great really, because if/when it turns up, I can't see it being easy to unwind everything to the point where the buyer will be able to reclaim the not inconsiderable cost of shipping it out to the US from eBay, as is supposed to happen AFAIK. (The joy of the Global Shipping Program is that the seller only pays UK postage, while eBay charge a small fortune to the buyer for the onward journey. All good for the seller...until the buyer wants to return the item. eBay don't cover return postage and that's when the pain starts. I had to send the buyer $150 for this which I don't get back.)

I'm surprised they were able to reverse the payment at all. At the moment it's still sitting in my Paypal account while I await Persephone's homecoming, but I'm wondering if it might disappear like a mirage.

If I do get it back, I'll love it so much. I'll never part with it. I couldn't afford to try. :-|
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Sat Apr 03, 2021 8:30 pm

...I guess it was kind of inevitable; doesn't make it any less annoying.

Still no sign of the Persephone or any tracking information, but they've just opened a Paypal dispute to reclaim the payment. I'm pretty sure they can't win that without proof of postage. I hope.
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Wed Apr 21, 2021 11:11 am

OK, here's a recap. It's a cautionary tale.

Back in January I sell a synth on eBay under the Global Shipping Program, UK to US, tested and working.

Buyer says it's not working properly on arrival, requests a return, and I agree. I confirm address, pay for postage, ask for tracking.

However, the tracking info provided is incomplete; it only shows delivery to some US address, presumed to be a post office en route, dunno. Somewhere in New Jersey.

At this point the buyer instructs his bank to reverse the payment. This causes eBay to close the case with no refund to the buyer and the money briefly lands in my Paypal account.

At this point the dispute moves to Paypal. I had an email this morning that this scenario is not covered by their seller protection, they're disputing it with the buyer's bank, and they've automatically charged me £12 for the privilege. This adds to my losses along with the £890 paid for the synth, the £25 I paid to get it shipped out, and the $150 I sent to get it shipped back. All, so far, without any evidence that it was posted back to me, or that there was anything wrong with it in the first place, except the buyer's word for it.

I've been protesting about this in chat messages with Paypal, and they say, well, it's a chargeback, we can't help, it's up to the buyer's bank to decide. Give it another 70 days and we'll see what happens.

https://www.paypal.com/us/smarthelp/art ... ne-faq2036

Unbelievable. :thumbdown:
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby blinddrew » Wed Apr 21, 2021 12:08 pm

Blimey! That sucks in a host of new and interestingly unpleasant ways. :(
Hope you get some kind of resolution out of it.
User avatar
blinddrew
Jedi Poster
Posts: 14510
Joined: Sun Jul 05, 2015 12:00 am
Location: York
Ignore the post count, I have no idea what I'm doing...

Re: Long-distance low-signal diagnosis

Postby BJG145 » Sat May 01, 2021 5:08 pm

eBay Rep
How may I assist you today?

BJG
Hi - this is about the continuing saga of an item that I sold and which was sent to a US buyer under the Global Shipping Program...

...to cut a long story short, despite the fact that there's a missing $1000 item at stake, we're both still trying to figure out what went wrong...

...basically this item (closed case, Eowave Persephone) was returned by the buyer, or, they tried, and it's lost in the mail...

eBay Rep
Please do not worry, I would definitely look into this for you and help you resolve this in all way I can.

BJG
...but there's a mystery over where it went. Feel free to look at the latest eBay correspondence between me and the buyer if it helps. As far as I can figure out, he seems to have followed some link from his Resolution control panel to obtain the Returns label, and it seems to have ended up in Edison New Jersey or something...OK, it's very confused. Are you able to access their eBay resolution panel for this case and see if there's any way he might have been directed towards a returns shipping label involving Edison New Jersey? (??)

eBay Rep
i would like to confirm that, is there any chargeback opened by bank on this?

eBay Rep
I can see that there is chargeback opened by bank on this, the money is been blocked by them, we are unable to take any action on this case. You may simply contact them and ask them to close the dispute in your favour in order to have your money back.

BJG

...OK, hang on a minute, not that simple...

Let me explain...

eBay Rep
If at any point the third party dispute is opened, the payment is blocked the payment source and we are unable to take any action on that.

BJG
Please can I speak? :-/

I understand all about the chargeback thing...

eBay Rep
Also I agree that the item was sent to a different location as the buyer used their label and has not used any of our label to return the label.

eBay Rep
Yes you may proceed.

BJG
OK, just wait a sec, I'm not a touch-typist...;-)

...yes, there's a chargeback dispute thing in Paypal. They say they returned it, but I don't have it, and there's no tracking to indicate that they posted it back to me...

...nevertheless, I have no Paypal protection, it all seems to come down to a decision by the buyer's bank, not blown away by that...

...meanwhile...I'm still on kind of friendly speaking terms with the buyer and unless he's a more cunning rogue than I imagined, we're still trying to work out where it all went wrong...

...and his latest email to me via eBay is about trying to figure out what was on the shipping label on the item he (allegedly) sent back to me. And he says it came from the Resolution Centre in eBay...

...but, does that make any sense...? :-)

eBay Rep
Thank you for explaining the situation, i will clear the situation step by step.

BJG
I doubt it but please try! :)

eBay Rep
the buyer was not issued any label by the resolution centre, they used their own label and mentioned the address, we hasn't provided them with any address.

BJG
OK! So, thanks for confirming that...there's one more thing I'd like to ask...

eBay Rep
Also as the item is not delivered to your address according to the tracking, you can appeal on the dispute opened on PayPal.

eBay Rep
Yes you may.

BJG
In previous exchanges with eBay the possibility of cover under the Global Shipping Program has come up. I'm just trying to cover myself any way I can, basically. I don't know whether the buyer's bank will take my side or not; doesn't sound all that likely to me. The the thing is, for one thing, I gather that protection under the Global Shipping Program only...

eBay Rep
I'm just checking to see if you're still with me.

BJG
(...yes I'm still typping furiously...)

...lasts for 120 days, which isn't that much longer, and this latest Paypal dispute...

...is likely to go on longer...

...so is there anything I can do about that? :-/

eBay Rep
I will assist you with that as well, The Global Shipping Programme protection comes under eBay Money Back Guarantee programme but there is any dispute opened on any other platform then the program is eliminated as the payment is block by buyer's payment source. Also you can share the tracking details as a proof to the buyer's bank that the item was not delivered to your address and not signed by you so that they can close the dispute in your favour.

BJG
I was previously advised that I would have to wait until the Paypal dispute is closed before making a claim...are you saying I can't make a claim anyway...?

eBay Rep
I am sorry but once the dispute is opened, after that even it is closed, the money will be still be blocked by buyer's bank.

BJG
...so, if the buyer's bank don't splash the cash, then there's no mileage in a damaged-in-transit claim afterwards...?

eBay Rep
In this case, the tracking is the biggest proof that the item was not delivered to you, as items above 450 GBP requires signature while delivery.

BJG
...yes, but this chargeback thing seems to blow a huge hole in seller protection as far as I can see...

What are the chances of some anonymous US bank taking my side instead of one of their customers' ?

eBay Rep
I am sorry that you feel this way.

BJG
It's not just me...I mean, Google it...:-/

eBay Rep
You have best chances to win the case as the buyer cannot proof that the item was sent to your address, so you have much better chances of winning the case.

BJG
...sorry eBay Rep, just feeling frustrated here as I tried to play everything by the book. I'll wait to hear on the Paypal dispute. Thanks for your advice; appreciated.

(...happy to close now...)

eBay Rep
I would like to let you know that we appreciate your effort in providing the best service to your buyers and we know how challenging it is to be a seller. I understand it must be very frustrating. We are here to assist you in every best possible way. It’s been a pleasure chatting with such a patient and understanding person like you. Thank you for using eBay. I hope you have a great day. Stay safe

* * *

(Doesn't fool me any more. I realise it's just a "go away" button.)
User avatar
BJG145
Jedi Poster
Posts: 5058
Joined: Sat Aug 06, 2005 12:00 am