Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

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Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by ajax87 »

I've sold about 5 watches on Chrono24 over the last year, and so far I've loved the platform. The fees are reasonable, and it reaches a fairly large audience. The use of their escrow service makes it a relatively worry free experience for everyone. All of my transactions have been amicable, due in part to the platform and the fact that I feel like I represent my watches well.

However, I'm in the middle of an issue on my most recent sale. I think it's partly my fault, and I'm looking for some suggestions from the forum brain trust.

I sold my Tissot Le Locle earlier this month. The buyer asked a ton of questions before hand, which I answered with patience. I sent him more pics by message, and told him what I observed the timekeeping to be (roughly -6/-10spd). He haggled harder than anyone I've encountered on the site before, but I held firm on my bottom end for the watch. He eventually gave in and bought it. He seemed kind of sour about it, and hindsight tells me I should have just declined to sell to him.

Just before I sold it, I double checked that everything was running fine. As soon as he received the watch, he complained that the date wasn't changing. He complained that the strap was too short (accused me of selling him a "ladies watch made for people with broomsticks for arms"; mind you this is the OEM Tissot strap that comes with this gents watch). He complained it was losing several minutes per day. He complained the power reserve was only 20 hours (this is the powermatic 80 movement).

Chrono24 had a mediator assigned immediately. On the very first day when the buyer said he wasn't happy, I offered to take the watch back. He ignored me and the mediator for 2 weeks, while he continued to make complaints. He has ignored requests to send photos or videos or anything else to support his complaints. He only demanded to take it to his watchmaker for a service and send me the bill, which I declined.

Now 2 weeks later he says he wants to send it back. This guy has been pretty aggressive, and I feel like there's a chance my watch will come back damaged. I want to take back my offer to send it back. This was an as-is private sale on the site, no warranty offered and no return was guaranteed. I technically don't have to take it back. Should I just turn my back on it, or should I honor my initial request to take it back?
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by watchaholic »

Sounds like you have found a particularly strange strain of human who is much more interested in picking a fight than acquiring a watch. They are a sorry lot, but they are out there. Sorry, that doesn’t help much with your delima. You have a clear conscious, that is important. Has your mediator been helpful? They are the ones who deal with these situations on a regular basis, is there any way to present your case to Crono 24 as you have done here and get a recommendation?
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by missF »

Sounds to me like your man was angling to get the watch serviced for free - by lying and being obstructive. Or at least getting every last squeeze out of the deal that he could. If he really didn’t want the watch (if it was really damaged and running poorly) he would have accepted your offer to return it.
What an awful buyer.
I agree that you should get back to the mediator just to make sure your back is covered, and then decide what you want to do and go ahead. The buyer has no leg to stand on as far as I can see.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by NationOfLaws »

I agree. I think the ship has sailed on your generosity.

As a side note, I sold a watch on Chrono24 and encountered some of the weirdest haggling I've seen. Started off with an insanely lowball offer, I countered with a token price reduction because it was already priced to sell (essentially threw in shipping), then received a bunch of messages in a row wringing his hands about how he wanted the watch so badly but I was really screwing him on the price. I went silent for a couple hours and then received a notification he'd purchased the watch, followed by a complaint that I hadn't notified him tax would also be applied. Shipped the watch off the next morning and ignored his next email asking if I had anything else for sale.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by thomcat00 »

I’m sorry you’ve found yourself in a deal with an unpleasant buyer. Haggling hard comes with the territory but the follow on you describe sounds beyond the pale. Unless the Chrono24 mediator offers different advice and a resolution, I’d stick the buyer with the watch and hold to the original “as is” terms and feel no obligation to refund.

Has Chrono24 stepped in at all? I haven’t been in this situation to know how they work between parties. I’ve bought and sold a few times with the platform and I generally do like it. Some buyers, though, I find too aggressive. I’ve also had offers to buy declined.

I hope you’re free of this buyer soon.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by ajax87 »

Thanks for the replies so far! Part of posting this was to make sure I wasn't missing anything and possibly being unreasonable myself. I think of myself as a realist and a reasonable person, but always try to keep my mind open to other's points of view. However I do think this guy is bat s*** crazy. It's not often we encounter people like this, but it's shocking when we do.

To answer your question @thomcat00 and @watchaholic, The mediator has been working the case, but mediation only really works when all parties participate, and the buyer hasn't really been working with us until now.

The mediator was really very nice when I spoke to her on the phone. I made my case at that time, about a week ago. They have access to all of our messages and she agreed he was exhibiting strange and aggressive behavior. He would make a complaint, then when asked to expound upon it or support it, would ignore that and move on to another complaint. She noted that as a red flag. As far as her being helpful, well... as a mediator, the best she can do is make sure everyone abides by the terms of the sale, and try to suggest paths to mutual satisfaction. If the buyer has evidence that the watch isn't as I had presented it, then I wouldn't get the money from the sale. The seller would have to send it back to get the money back. But since there's no evidence... she still tries to make everyone happy, but she has no power to force me to take the watch back.

As I understand it, if he can't support his claims, and I decline to accept the return, they'll release the sale funds to me from escrow. By the sounds of it he has another 2 weeks before they close mediation and send the payout.

At least it's a fairly small sale, only $250. Once it's over, I'll be grateful for the lesson learned.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by watchaholic »

All this haggling and nonsense over $250?? :kopfwand:
What a putz.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by missF »

I totally understand why you wanted to run this by some other folk just to make sure you weren’t missing anything. This buyer is a crazy-maker and would have anyone scratching their head over this. As he has ignored or disrupted every move you made, and as the feedback from the mediator is so clear cut, I would tell him you won’t be accepting the watch back and then just ignore him for two weeks until your money comes through. So many red flags - you don’t need to engage with this game any more :thumbup:
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by tikkathree »

It's easy to try to second guess the buyer's motives: buyer's remorse, chqnged his mind, angling for a discount or just is one of these kids who brags to their friends (probably his internet friends) about how he's got a sure-fire technique as a hard dealer.

You're in contact with the mediator and she's not suggesting you've been negligent or inaccurate in any way. You might want to check with her that you doing nothing from this point forward won't jeopardise your position and then I'd do just that. You don't need to engage with him just for the sake of it.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by ajax87 »

watchaholic wrote: Tue Jun 27, 2023 7:09 pm All this haggling and nonsense over $250?? :kopfwand:
What a putz.
My thoughts exactly :lol:
missF wrote: Tue Jun 27, 2023 7:29 pm So many red flags - you don’t need to engage with this game any more :thumbup:
Good advice! The mediator said the same thing, to not engage with him anymore. It seems like that's what he wants, and engaging is amping him up.


Well this is the push I needed, thanks all! I just emailed the mediator back advising that It's been over a week since I offered a return, and that he's had the watch for 2 weeks, and I no longer feel like a return is warranted due to the timeline, his lack of support for his complaints, and because of his aggressive demeanor. We'll see how it shakes out?
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by Timishere »

Hi,

For what it's worth - I would give the refund provided Chrono24 refund their commission so you aren't left out of pocket.

If the buyer really believes he has been mislead his next strategy will likely be a chargeback on his credit card and you may end up without a watch or the money. I'd also advise you to somewhat disregard what the mediator says and take a careful look through the terms and conditions, those will govern the basis of the dispute (remember the mediator by definition isn't "on your side", and her personal views and sympathy are nice to hear but not that relevant).

Suggestions provided based on an experience with eBay for a 3k watch transaction that went south and predicated on Chrono24 having similar policies.

Hopefully a useful counterpoint rather than being irritating!
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by ajax87 »

Thanks @Timishere. Very good advice, borne out of unfortunate experience. Thank you.

I just had a look through all the T&Cs, and it seems to all be about the terms for listing, between the seller and Chrono24. It seems to indicate terms of sale are completely between the buyer and seller. It does note in big bold words that private sellers are under no legal obligations to accept returns. I can't find any T&Cs that outline after-purchase/sale experience, or anything that mentions or outlines the mediation process.

I do feel like I protected myself well in my wording to the mediator. I didn't exactly put my foot down firmly, instead saying I don't feel a return is warranted because of (valid reasons).

I still don't want to take the return and give the refund. Based on this guys craziness, I have it in my mind that he'll spitefully/purposefully damage the watch before sending it back to me. So If I'm not obligated to accept the return, I won't. I might think differently about it if the watch was more expensive, but if I end up without the watch and the $250, it's not a huge deal.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by rkovars »

Also @Timishere the money is in escrow with Chrono24. I would think that there are safeguards against a chargeback. That is what escrow is for. This is one of the features of Chrono that make it different from eBay.
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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by scooter »

It appears to me that the mediator will be on your side at the end of the day.

If you refund on the sale, I would be concerned about the condition the watch may possibly be in should it be returned to you.

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Re: Strange Experience on Chrono24 - Advice requested

Post by Timishere »

rkovars wrote: Tue Jun 27, 2023 8:44 pm Also @Timishere the money is in escrow with Chrono24. I would think that there are safeguards against a chargeback. That is what escrow is for. This is one of the features of Chrono that make it different from eBay.
The escrow thing is a bit of a red herring isn't it when considering a chargeback? The buyer's card has still been charged (by Chrono24 irrespective of whether the seller has received cleared funds) and his claim would be 'goods not as described' which is pretty hard to disprove for the mechanical issues he is citing.

I would be looking in the terms and conditions for the rules on releasing funds in escrow - I assume this is at the discretion of Chrono24 so if a chargeback happens i'd be amazed in chrono24 took the hit. Once funds have been released I think the seller is probably good to go (ie what might be different vs eBay is the right for the marketplace to use direct debit mandate to unilaterally take funds from a users account (this is deep in the eBay terms and conditions and pretty scary)).

Anyways, there is no right answer - it's a judgment call as is so often the case.
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