I met some people at MODM recently who told me they had never – EVER!! – bought anything via Ebay. WTF? Who are you people? Even Nicole, who is currently cutting my hair, has bought something from Ebay (although she said it wasn’t very successful – it wasn’t what she thought it would be like… she assures me it wasn’t a sex toy. It was a dress.).

Anyway… a couple of weeks ago I bought a remote control for my old XBOX from someone in Hong Kong. It turned up okay but doesn’t work very well. I mean, it works if I’m no further away than a meter or two from the box – but if I’m lying in bed (the old XBOX is the bedroom media center) it’s a pain in the ass.

So I gave the seller a neutral review on Ebay – not negative, because she shipped it quickly and it was as described… it just doesn’t work very well. The next day, I got an email from the seller saying she was very sorry that I wasn’t happy with the item and asking me if I would reconsider my review if she gave me a $5 refund. I asked the folks on Twitter what I should do, and the unanimous response was that I should leave my review as it is and that the seller was trying to buy a positive review.

So I ignored the first email. Then, yesterday, I got a message from Paypal saying I had received a full refund on the product from the seller! Now I’m feeling torn. On one hand, the product isn’t very well made – but that isn’t the seller’s fault. She has been very responsive to my review and has, of her own volition, given me a full refund and not even asked for the product back. To be fair, I didn’t complain about the quality of the product when I received it and, if I had, she might have been willing to give me the refund and under those circumstances I probably WOULD have given her a positive review. When we buy something off of Ebay (or anywhere else for that matter), isn’t that all we ask for? Good service? Obviously we hope the product will always be first class but, when it isn’t, we just want good service?

So I’m torn. I don’t want to have my review “bought” but, on the other hand, i want to be fair to a seller who is trying hard to do the right thing. Or is she?