I recently sold an Olds Ambassador with case and mouthpiece on Ebay. I listed it as working and in good playable condition, gave it's serial number, threw up a handful of nice view-able pictures and started it out at $1 with a 14 day return policy (buyer responsible for shipping), as-is, and contact me if you have ANY questions.
I've been experimenting with ebay auctions... I've learned sometime TOO much of a description seems to cripple a sale. People seem to WANT a little mystery when they buy. I don't understand this, but I've seen it time and time again. So this time out I kept is short and sweet.
I put the shipping rate at a flat $30. I don't usually have box dimensions and weight prepared before an ebay sale, so I try to figure out all my costs associated with the box and packing materials, then I assume it will be going to the other side of the USA (I've been burned on this before too, when I loose money in shipping) - but either way, I put out $30 as the cost of shipping for this particular trumpet.
A guy wins it, I ship it.
He receives the trumpet and starts to complain to me about some bad soldering done on the braces and that if he is going to keep it he wants $30 refunded to him. I double checked my pictures and sure enough I DID NOT include one of the braces (stupid me!). I felt $30 was a bit high to refund, so I retorted with "how about $25 off".
He replies the next day by basically ripping me a new one in the following manner
1) he said he was a long term ebayer and KNEW that ebay would stand behind him as I misrepresented the trumpet and I would loose all money including shipping costs if he challenged the sale
2) he complained that it ONLY cost me $20 to ship the trumpet to him and that I OVERCHARGED in shipping, thus ripping him off
3) he complained that the case it was in was "garbage" and would need to be thrown away (it was actually in decent shape, I have MUCH worse and it protected the trumpet JUST fine)
4) he tells me I'm just flipping trumpets and trying to make money (since I have sold 4 other trumpets in the last month on my user feedback)
5) he tells me that he absolutely will not take less then $30 refunded back to him.
I sat back and wanted to reply back and "rip him a new one" , but I calmed down and decided that I just wanted to make this problem go away. Sad thing is, if he would have just replied "I don't think $25 is enough, I really think $30 is fair", I would have said ok and been done with it.
So I refunded the $30 and replied to him, "I have refunded the $30, I hope this makes everything ok"
Then I get to thinking about it... and I look up the buyers REAL NAME on google. I learn that he is a guy that buys, refinished, and resells trumpets on Ebay all the time! He buys under ONE ebay name and sells under another. Then I began to wonder, "Does he challenge ALL the trumpets he buys on Ebay? Strong arming and threatening his sellers to LOWER the agreed upon price so he can save a few bucks."
I don't know, but now I see why some sellers include 5 paragraphs of disclaimers and warnings on each of their ebay auctions.
In retrospect, I probably should have pushed the issue and made him send it back to me under the 14 day return policy, but I felt bad that I didn't specifically show pictures of the soldering job. I've purchased many trumpets over the years and I've always felt that so long as the trumpet isn't damaged in shipment, then I (as the buyer) am the one responsible for NOT asking about trumpet, especially if they have put in a vague description.