“Marks on the underside”

I sold a piece of equipment on eBay and described it as having only slight almost invisible blemishes.
The buyer requested to return it to me because of “marks on the underside.”
I granted the return without delay.
Now I’m having second thoughts.  My question is, do marks on the underside which obviously are not visible when in normal use, count as a valid reason for return?

7c67ab18 c2ce 4b45 9523 fc4a71684ce0rvpiano
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I would never complain about marks on the underside.  That's a BS move by the seller.   The seller should be embarrassed for even bringing it up, let alone requesting a return.
"Perspicacity"?     That buyer seems much more shrewlike, than shrewd!                                                                               ".....not worth the hassle."    +1
Picky picky picky.    Since when is a buyer a seller? 
Sounds like the buyer changed his mind and grasped at straws.
Who is to say the inconsequential marks weren't created during unboxing?
Sympathies to you, rv.

Ebay has many turkeys you got one.I would never deal with anything on ebay.
If you disclosed it and said "slight discount for minor scratches on the bottom". I think that would have covered it.
Along with no returns unless DOA. Put on tamper proof tape... I’ve dealt with few sleeeeez balls..

If it’s packed right, and tested before shipping.. VERY few DOAs, Like NONE... in 45 years... I did have a Schitt Freya +,  bad out of the box though... Super heated... WEIRD... It just wasn’t checked with the valves they sent... BIG bo bo. Always check. Even the cheapo PC, YUP, check it, or expect it.... What I use to tell the apprentices. LOL


Yes any marks are very bad.
Unfortunately, losers pop up on Ebay.
I sold a vintage camera lens and the buyer reported it not working.
He ended getting a working lens and I got his garbage lens in return.
I knew he was scamming me as he said it happens every time.
I reported it to Ebay.
In any case, letting him return the unit was the best thing to do. I would try reselling it on USAM or Audiogon.

When selling equipment make the best description but show any blemish, ebay has many kind of buyers.
Buyers there show less sensitiviy on cables, tubes, music but more on gear.
Never had a prob on eBay buying or selling.
oldmecs advice right on.
NO RETURNS EXCEPT DOA weeds out the users that just want rent free.
buyer remorse and a way out 
Regrettably, your stated description of as “...having only slight almost invisible blemishes...” conflicts with buyer complaint of “marks on the underside.”

my take ....

(1) Buyer has a point that seller’s description was materially incomplete on the listing without prejudice to any value judgement about buyer’s regret or pickiness. Better supporting pictures in the ad and a better narrative highlighting its pre-owned condition marks in full as to its pre-owned condition is de riguere here.

(2) E-Bay has no published standards for audio equipment condition grading . Audio forums are a different animal that most invoke a published standard of sorts . On AGON or CAM feedback is arguably the first item buyers and sellers review before sticking their toes into the water. EBay feedback is worth something but again it’s not playing in a “pickier” audio enthusiast arena IMO.

Here is CANUCKAUDIOMART’s grading scale that sellers and buyers must read and follow:

Canuck Audio Mart Grading Scale

Canuck Audio Mart (CAM) uses the Grading Scale standardised by AudioGon (known as the AGS). Even if you are familiar with that Grading Scale, please read this through carefully, especially if you are claiming your item to be New, Mint, or Excellent. It is very important that all users use the same Grading Scale, so please follow this scale carefully. The condition of an item you list on Canuck Audio Mart should be identical to what you would list it as on any other site using the AGS. We have reproduced the scale here for your convenience, and it is directly from the official AGS.

For Grading Scales on Software Records, please click here.

11/10: New: Unopened Factory shipment

When an item’s condition is called "NEW", it must be a factory sealed box, and the seller should declare what if any warranty will be provided by the manufacturer. Some manufacturers will honor warranties only if purchased from an "authorized" dealer. Other manufacturers may offer warranty to the original owner only, even if that original owner never opened the box. Thus, any item rated as NEW should be accompanied by a warranty statement within the description of the listing. Otherwise, prospective buyers should ask the seller about the warranty - do not make any assumptions other than a factory sealed box.

If an item has been opened for inspection or any other reason, it should NOT be rated "New".

10/10: Mint - Essentially never used, factory fresh appearance!

The word "mint" is used so often that it’s meaning is taken for granted. In the Audiogon Grading Scale, Mint can be used to describe an item if it meets the following criteria without exception.

The item must have been removed from its’ original packing and and must be no more than one year old since opening or first usage and must be no more than five years old from the date of manufacture. The one year or less since first usage is a must - subtle environmental contact such as finger skin oils, household chemicals, smoke, and other airborne pollutants can negatively impact equipment. The result of this kind of exposure is a discoloration of the equipment’s surfaces.

  • Electronics must have no visible scratches, nicks, or blemishes anywhere on the piece. The gold plating on input/output connectors should evidence no scratches or discoloration. Chrome should have absolutely no pitting or discoloration, especially around screwheads.
  • Speaker grilles should have absolutely no pulls or discoloration. The bottoms of speakers should not show signs of stand mounting or floor scrapes.
  • Turntables must not show any use, and their covers must have been left in the box - that’s how new they must look.
    Very few pre-owned or demo items qualify for this level, so we strongly recommend a thorough inspection of the item before rating it a 10/10.

9/10: Excellent - Perfect physical condition, light use.

The item should be a one-owner or store-demo piece to qualify for a 9/10, though some exceptions will exist. The item should appear as new unless a very close inspection is performed, as described below.

  • Electronics should look factory fresh except for dust in crevices. The plating on i/o connectors may show some use, but no discoloration or oxidation. The item should never have been rack mounted. Chrome should have no pitting and no discoloration.
  • Speakers should be perfect except for the back or bottom, which may show slight indentations from stand mounting, but the indentations do not show through the veneer. Wood finishes should not show any change in color from sunlight, especially uneven discoloration. Grill cloth should have no pulls, but maybe dusty.
  • Turntables may show slight wear where the cover is lifted, but no visible wear on the top of the cover, or the plinth. The headshell should have no scratches from cartridge mounting.

8/10: Very Good - Perfect front face, 1 minor flaw on top or side is acceptable.

This item has seen some use, but still appears perfect from the front. A perfect front face plate includes the front top edge. Be sure and check this edge since it is very easy to nick. On speakers, all four front edges should be inspected.

  • Electronics may have 1 or 2 minor scratches (max 1/2" long, very thin) on the top plate or the sides of electronics, but again, the front must be perfect. There should be no signs of rack mounting. Chrome should have no pitting, but may have some discoloration in spots less than 1/4" diameter. Silk-screening has no separations, and the lettering shows no wear.
  • Speakers may have minor discoloration along edges, but no scratches that show through the veneer, except for the bottom, which may show signs of stand mounting or floor scraping.
  • Turntables covers may be slightly hazy from record sleeves being laid on them, but should not have any highly visible scratches anywhere. The headshell may have some scratches from cartridge mounting.

7/10: Good - 1 or 2 minor scratches, looks used but well maintained.
  • Electronics should have no dents or bulges, but a few minor scratches. Perhaps a little wear on the knobs and switches, like the slightly darker or shiny coloration seen on volume knobs. If the item was rack mounted, plastic washers should have been used. Chrome may show slight pitting, but not enough to be visible without close inspection. Silk-screening on the glass is separating in at most one area of less than 1/2" diameter, and some parts of some letters may have worn off.
  • Speakers may have loose fitting covers, or the cloth may have 3-5 minor pulls or 1 small hole less than 1/2" long. The cabinet may have one minor scratch that shows through the veneer, but no bigger than 1" long. The bottoms of speakers may show many small scratches or scrapes
  • Turntable covers may be hazy, and the tonearm may show heavy scratches from repeated cartridge replacement.

6/10: Fair - 3 to 4 minor scratches, or 1 major scratch, appears used.
  • Electronics may have one major scratch (over 2" long, deep enough to show metal) or a slight dent on one of the surfaces. The item must NOT have any major scratches on the front facia, but may have some nicks along the top front edge. Chrome may show obvious pitting, but should not have any flakes. Transformer covers may have some scratches, but cannot show any rust. Silk-screening is separating from the glass in more than one area, and some lettering is worn off, but the glass must have no cracks or chips.
  • Speakers may have one major scratch that shows through the veneer, but no longer than 2", and no deeper than 1/16". Grill covers may have to be replaced to look fresh.
  • Turntables may have scratch but not cracked dust covers, or pitting in the platter surface.

5/10: Average - Multiple scratches, including some on the front face.

This piece is visibly scratched and noticeably used, any major scratches on the front face qualify for a 5/10.

  • Electronics may have several minor nicks or one major scratch on the front. Chrome is showing some pitting, maybe a flake or two has come off. Transformer covers show some rust, as do their mounting screws. Silcreening is separating from the glass in two or more areas, or the glass has one minor crack less than 1/2" long.
  • Speakers may have 2 major scratches, or more than 5 minor scratches, grill covers may not stay on the speaker any more.
  • Turntables may have cracked covers, headshell may have multiple scratches, and tonearms may have broken resting clip.

4/10: Mediocre - Rough physical condition, but all functions work perfectly.

This piece would not go in your "big rig", but is not worn out.

  • Electronics may have many small scratches, or have a broken display face, or have a bent lever. Chrome shows severe pitting, transformer covers are very rusty, glass has one or more cracks in it.
  • Speakers may have a dented corner or bent binding posts, but drivers are not physically disfigured.
  • Turntables may have missing covers, or show much discoloration on the platter, or scratches on the plinth from the platter rubbing against it.

3/10: Poor - Rather beat up, but all functions work, maybe a knob is missing.

This piece now resides in the garage.

  • Electronics have chrome that is pitted to the point of looking like a speckle finish, transformer covers are dented and rusty, and binding posts are very oxidized.
  • Speakers have major scratches or chunks gouged out, but all drivers are unmolested.
  • Turntables work, but one wouldn’t think so by looking at them.

2/10: Very Poor - Beat up, bent knobs or switch levers, some functional problems
  • Electronics have major dents, knobs are missing, but they sort of work.
  • Speakers have torn drivers or crinkled tweeters, or more than 3 major scratches, and grill covers have disintegrated.
  • Turntables have warped platters, or tonearm bearings are too tight or wobbly.

1/10: Shot - For parts use only.

My take : selling audio equipment on Ebay is a risky poker shoot at best to a wider audience, but it’s not tailored to audiophiles .... stay on AGON OR CAM ...full stop.

F that buyer. 
At least at USaudiomart.com you can block pricks like that from future hassles. 
That's like someone returning a record because of a "tick" on the leadout . . .
The only thread so far that I agree with all the posts above.

Bad luck selling to that buyer, but you saved yourself some hassle. Not worth fighting it.
That's insane...and I'm one of the OCD ones.  Almost every single piece of new gear I've bought has had a minor blemish somewhere.  In fact, I just received a Denon DCD-110A today and it's fit/finish is exceptional...yet even it has a minor scuff on the bottom.

In addition to the Denon, I can distinctly remember minor blemishes on the bottom of a brand-new Panasonic DP-UB9000 and a brand-new Matrix Audio Element X, both of which I recently received.

It's not reasonable to expect the vast, vast majority of even brand-new devices to be defect-free on the bottom.  That's the part that's, ya know, unfinished!

Your seller was just trying to back out of the purchase.  What a douche move.

I sell on eBay. An accurate description is critical and that includes marks anywhere. If I were selling an items with blemishes on the bottom which you normally can’t see I guarantee I would point that out and show it in photos. 

Surprised he returned it (he had to pay for that, right?).   I've had buyers (and I'm sure others here have as well) who will agree to a price, then will use the "there-are-scratches" routine to get you to lower price at last minute.  All you have to do is say "No thanks.  I'm not worried about selling it."  But if I read an ad like that and wanted to buy it in good faith, I would DEFINITELY ask first for a description or picture of those blemishes.
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Not sure I’ve ever even looked at the bottom of a piece of gear... seriously, who does that? I’m with the rest. Not worth the hassle. Buyer pays return shipping, get it back, refund. Be done with it. 
Overstate blemishes and detail them in photos. Let the buyer decide and cover yourself.
Always include Hi Rez pics of every surface (underside incl) & describe every mark accurately.

Yup singintheblues.  Seems obvious to us.
Hi res photos will do with just a reference to each mark - It's not easy to describe a mark accurately.
Hi rv, first let me mention that I would never return any gear for marks on the bottom, and agree with everyone it was likely a case of buyers remorse.

The only other thing I can think of is that the buyer is a reseller who works on small margins.  And perhaps his selling description would include the marks on the underside and would eliminate his profit.  Just guessing, nothing else.

Again, I would have kept it, but thanks for posting this.

Generally, things sell much quicker on ebay. Although, yes, you can sometimes have to deal with some real turds.....been selling there since 2004 and mostly have had great success. On rare occasions when there is an issue, I make it right to maintain my 100% feedback, which is important. Selling on here? A mixed bag really, limited success. Too many are looking for things other than what I'm selling usually. Oh well...
Everything has been said, but I do agree with geof3. I have never looked at the underside of any piece of equipment that I have bought on Audiogon. Who does that?
Oh yeah, I forgot the buyer who wouldn't buy an item if there wasn't any warranty from the manufacturer.
As I told him, 'Then why are you buying used'?
Thanks to all for the responses.
I appreciate the support.
I always check the bottom of all equipment I purchase used. I don't care about scratches, but I look for major issues. Like some evidence of a spilled liquid or a drop. Scratches on the bottom mean, well, that it has been used.
Some minor scratches are no biggie, but serious scratches indicate the previous owner had some gear handling issues which can't be good.
No. But in the future take pictures and mention it. Ebay sucks like that. I like to tell folks maybe you should buy a brand one.
No. But in the future take pictures and mention it. Ebay sucks like that. I like to tell folks maybe you should buy a brand one.
You shoud have mentioned it, and used photos.  But beware, he may have swapped drivers on you.
Buyer's wife saw the cost on a CC statement.....

Buyer was a reseller/flipper who realized he could not flip for a profit...

Buyer wanted to play for a few days and then return....

Reason really does not matter.  Ebay allows returns for ANY REASON STATED BY THE BUYER.

It does not matter if you list "AS-IS", No Returns etc.  If the buyer wants to return the item, Ebay will allow the return.  They want to compete with Amazon and their no questions asked return policy.

OTOH Ebay provides the largest audience, and generally results in more completed sales.  My experience is Ebay results in more sales for me than any other venue.  USAM is a distant 2nd.  With a wider audience, comes the fact you are dealing with everybody.  The chance of encountering an unethical buyer increases accordingly.

Include lots of Hi Resolution Pictures.  Include a very detailed description.  If there is a minor flaw, describe it in detail.
Good thread and reposting this as it applies here as well - I recently ly had one member here on Audiogon just a few months ago buy an expensive interconnect cable from me owned it for about 10 days and then decided that the cable was "broken'' and wanted his money back. Needless to say that this created an issue with Pay-Pal who really looked at both sides of this situation in which I had to literally defend myself and get verification from the cable manufacturer on why the cable as the buyer described it was in fact not broken but a product / result of his own equipment's shortcomings. This member / provided no information to Pay-Pal support to support his allegation ( hmmm sound familiar ) about the cable being '' broken '' and after about 6 weeks Pay-Pal ruled in my favor. He said ( lied ) that is was broken just to get his money back because he didn't like the sound. I now put ; No Returns on my adds just is case anything like this happens again. If you don't like it is your responsibility to re-sell it - not mine !        
IF you did not mention the marks your wrong.