But time-wasters is what we are talking about today. They are not a big hassle, but they can throw you off your game if you let them get to you. These are folks that have no intention of buying your item - at auction - and thus waste your time.
As I noted in an earlier posting:
"The other gambit I see a lot is the endless e-mailer - he sends endless e-mails with questions about the item (often questions that are answered if you read the listing). He also wants 100 pictures of the car/boat/motorcycle, e-mailed directly to him. He bothers you, he nags you, he runs down your item. He offers to "take it off your hands" for $500 less than the minimum bid.
But one thing he never does is actually bid on an item or buy it. In fact, there is an inverse relationship between the number of pesky e-mails and the likelihood of bidding. If someone sends you one e-mail asking a simple question, they might bid. 2-3 e-mails, probably not. 5 or more, requesting pix and more information - definitely not."There is a pattern here.
How do you spot the time-waster? To begin with, they pepper you with questions using the eBay "contact the seller" feature. I have no problem answering questions from real prospective buyers. The problem is, these folks never bid and never buy. And they aren't hard to spot:
1. They ask a question that is clearly answered in the listing: because they never bothered to read the listing. But they don't, likely because they are using a smart phone, or they are just lazy and don't like to read. So they skim the listing and then fire off a list of questions. Today I had to "answer" a question from a time-waster. The answer to his question was in the second sentence of the listing. He never bothered to read, he will never bid. He is a time-waster. Note that these are often real questions, as opposed to the "is the car in good condition?" generic questions that the Nigerian scammers send. They are real questions - but already answered in the posting.
2. They keep going back and forth with more and more e-mails about the item: After you've answered their question, they keep pestering you with more questions and more demands. They want to waste your time and make you feel insecure about the item. We're talking 5, 10, even 15 e-mails here. Really uncalled for.
3. They ask you to "send them more pix": (always "pix" not "pictures") even though you have posted 24 pictures in the listing and provided a link to more pictures in an online photo album. The pictures they ask you for are already in the listing. Plus, there is no way to "send" them "pix" through eBay's "ask the seller a question" e-mail system. So it is an idiotic question. Often con artists (Nigerian scammers) ask for pix or more information like this, in an introductory e-mail to the scam.4. They ask you to end the auction early: This falls into line with #1 above, as in my listing, I clearly stated I would be happy to answer any questions except one: Will you end the auction early? Again, Nigerian scammers do this all the time - to try to send you a phony cashier's check for more than the purchase price and then get you to wire the excess overseas. But these time-wasters are not interested in even that - they just want to waste your time by asking you "what would you take to end the auction early?" I usually answer, "A Billion dollars" which pisses them off.5. They run down your item: Often they will state or imply that you are trying to conceal something or hide defects, even when you list them item-by-item and show pictures. They will claim that your vehicle or product is "prone to defects" and should be "inspected" or whatever. I have had this happen several times. They are trying to spread fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) and get you to think your item is worth less - or worthless.