Opinion on seller behaviour

So I had this interaction with a seller and it really set me off. It felt completely dishonest to me, and like they were acting in bad faith. It’s someone reasonably large and I’d like to get opinions on it.

Seller had an item (set) listed for quite a bit above anything recent (about 10x+ last sold from ~3 months ago). Pictures were quite bad so it was tough to tell exact quality of the cards

I made an offer to seller, he made me a counter higher

I figured if I was going to pay the higher price, I should ask to see the quality just to confirm 100%.

I ask, he tells me no problem he will look through and get back to me on the quality and to remind him tomorrow.

I follow up, and end up needing to continue to chase him down for an entire week of back and forth before he finally gets to it.

(to me this is us being sort of mid transaction and just confirming the quality before I accept his higher counter)

When he finally gets to it he promptly pulls the listing, and gets back to me and says “the quality is good, I won’t sell here now”

To me this feels like extremely bad form from an established seller for multiple reasons.

  1. He isn’t an amateur, he’s sold many thousands of things on ebay and is a specialist in pokemon / cards
  2. Considering the poor picture quality, if I had accepted the high bid he could have put almost anything in there, swapped out with trashy versions of the cards / etc.
  3. He had this item up (WAY over past pricing) and had no buyers, and then used me to gauge buying interest and is going to pull it and re-list higher? This seems like abuse

It feels like I was being entirely freerolled in the transaction. The example I gave of what it’s akin to is posting a high value charizard with a bright glare in one corner of the picture so you can’t see 25% of the card.

If a dumb buyer buys, he gets a charizard with a scratch in the glare-covered area
If they ask for pictures and are serious about buying, pull and relist higher

Am I overreacting? Is this actually considered fine on the seller’s end? Again this was an entire week of back and forth just for me to get pictures, which absolutely felt to me like we are mid transaction. All of this secondary and follow up was done off of ebay / over instagram.

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I understand your frustration but will provide a seller’s perspective. Buyers who ask multiple times for additional photos are almost always more likely to return cards. This is not to say you are not entitled to more photos before purchasing something; you can request whatever will put your mind at ease. And most buyers, myself included, have asked for additional photos at some point or another. However, purely from a business standpoint learned over a history of established selling, what you considered “following up mid-sale”, the seller likely considered “troublesome buyer not worth the hassle.”


I get that for sure in general, but he requested for me to remind him/follow up with him. I’ve had a few sellers do this now, where they just seem absurdly busy and say “hey, remind me in X time and I’ll make sure to get back to you”. That doesn’t seem to be his motivation though, he says he has other competing offers and is going to now hold on to them to sell higher later

Yeah, he wasn’t the best seller based on this information, but in the end he can do what he wants with his card. It can take a while for some sellers to get extra photos of cards if they keep inventory in a separate location, but he definitely should have had good pictures in the initial listing if it’s a high value card and he should have at least messaged you to let you know when he could get extra pics. Having a card up for such a high amount over past sold listings doesn’t really matter if he has the only one listed and there are people that want the card. He can ask whatever he wants for his items. I know I have something up way more than others and that’s because I don’t really want to sell. It’s possible he learned that he didn’t actually want to sell the card after it was almost sold to you, which is fine as it appears there was no transaction here.

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I don’t see anything wrong about how they acted. Maybe better pictures or more punctual responses could have avoided some issues you had but really the seller has no obligation to do this especially for someone who did not fully commit to buying.

Any malicious wrongdoing you have suggested the seller could be doing is an assumption on your part. It’s their item so they get to choose how to sell it and at what price- a buyer is not entitled to anything until they commit to buying the item or win an auction


I know this wasn’t about me but it could have been because I have been asked about condition of cards and then checked recent sales and decided to grade the cards myself. I’ve also got questions or offers on old listings with outdated below market prices that prompted me to correct pricing and hurt someone’s feelings in the process. If a buyer clicks BIN and pays on a listing that over time became a below market price, but if they offer me 5% below to try and get a better deal I don’t feel back declining and doubling the listing price. Nor do I feel bad pulling listings upon further review when a question turns my attention to it. I did this a couple months back with a few sets when a single card contained in that set scoring a 10 could have paid for the set.


I guess I’m in the wrong here, which is pretty shocking to me. Almost all of my prior experiences before this in other similar situations are – if you are mid transaction (confirming the details) it’s anathema to reneg on that if you are of good standing and reputable – Basically like where do you draw the line. You say “you want to buy this for $10k”, I say “yes consider it booked just let me come verify there are no weird scratches on it” *assumption being if there are not I am buying* and then while I’m driving somebody offers you $10.1k, fine to reneg? You’d be ex-communicated soooo fast from those if you did that, or anything similar. Numbers were a lot bigger though, min 5 and often 6 and 7 figures so community was smaller and I guess reputation mattered more. Again I’m really surprised, but good to know I guess

You were never a buyer though. You were an inquirer. Potentially just a tire kicker. A person isn’t a buyer until they click that button and pay and even then they can cancel or return.

At best 5% of my inquiries actually lead to sales and those that do are at least 5x more likely to result in a defective transaction (negative feedback, forced return, etc.) so my motivation to offer any more information is near nil.

This is just my opinion though and there are times admittedly that I act as a buyer that I myself as a seller would not like e.g. asking questions or for more photos.


There is nothing wrong with him deciding not to sell to you. You never bought the card, so he was free to do what he wants with it.
Also, your example is a bit different as you agreed to buy it for the sellers price. It might be equal to accepting an offer or committing to buy a BIN item on eBay. If you had accepted the offer and paid, then it would be wrong for the seller to say he doesn’t want to sell to you anymore. It appears that didn’t happen and there was no transaction or mid transaction as you were still simply negotiating with the seller.

I don’t think you’re in the wrong here, just more so that the seller is not exactly in the wrong either.

Frankly I’ve done a lot of local deals selling stuff I do not need anymore (not Pokemon cards). I’m not even joking 99% of the people who sends me dozens of messages about conditions, having special requests and basically only buys something with a big “IF” wastes my time and usually ends up not buying.

However, you’re not in the wrong, there are definitely some sellers that are more patient, willing to get better pictures or would provide better customer service. Just that in your case, your buyer preferences probably did not meet his seller preferences so the seller rather not do business with you. It happens sometimes! There are definite times when I asked for better pictures for a card because either the wrong picture was listed, or the condition was extremely vague. Sometimes the seller would answer me promptly with better pictures in which I would immediately purchase if it’s what I’m looking for, and sometimes they simply choose to ignore me. I feel no ill-intent from the sellers that ignore me. Simply put, we just weren’t a good match as a buyer/seller.


yea again apparently I was just wrong here. I have not been a seller on ebay so I have NO idea what you guys go through. From my perspective every time I make an offer I follow through so I expected the counterparties to act similarly. It also seems EXTREMELY exploitable… I guess it’s good to corner a rare pop and be a seller, infinite positions for manipulation in these markets :shrug:

I think something else you have pointed out is that at the moment, it’s definitely more of a seller’s market than a buyer’s market. Sellers don’t really have to work that much harder to get sales so they do not have to work as hard on customer service. If you’re the only seller of that specific card, it does not matter if you have crappy pictures or bad service; buyers don’t have a choice but to accept or otherwise they cannot get the card.

It doesn’t seem to me that anybody did anything “wrong”. It was just a fruitless, or time wasting, communication.


This seems to be the consensus. Thanks everybody.
Moving forward I guess I will reevaluate my dealings with seller, I guess it’s better to be the guy who buys it now and then returns if the quality is disappointing. Wanted to make sure we were on the same page pre transaction but I guess buyers have more recourse in the returns/refunding and that’s to balance out sellers having the ability to do this sort of this. Of course I would never be manipulative about this because I DO think it’s terrible form, but I guess when I see something I like buy it now is better than miss out


Taking pictures does not mean mid transaction. Also what is your IG and ebay?

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You were smart to ask for pictures and I would have also been annoyed if I felt like we were near a deal and they didn’t follow up, but that doesn’t mean they were doing anything particularly shady. Just sounds like what others said, they didn’t want to go through the hassle of sending you the pictures and or decided to hold the item because they decided they could get more for it now or in the future. What would have been shady IMO is if they sold the item to you and then you paid for it and then they got a higher offer or had second thoughts and cancelled the order(This has happened to me many times as a buyer). Annoyingly for sellers though this type of behavior is far more common from buyers. Where they buy something or win an auction and then they have sellers remorse or find it cheaper somewhere else and make up some excuse to get out of paying for it with ebay almost always being on the side of the buyer.

Sellers can definitely lose customers by not being friendly or getting back to you quickly, but at the end of the day if people want the items that the seller has most people will put up with a variety of annoying interactions to get it. That also goes for sellers though, if they really want to sell an item they will put up with a variety of annoying buyer behaviors. In a sellers market like this one sellers don’t have to put up with as much as they have in the past and that might also be what happened here.


The only question I hate more than “what is the lowest you are willing to take for this?” is “Can you please provide more pictures/is there any damage?” Of course I have done it but to the same extent I try and show clear pictures and accurately describe condition. I have almost 1000 positive feedback so if that is not enough for the buyer, most times nothing is. When I get that message I know the buyer is going to be a pain in the ass and if they buy it i’ll have to eat the shipping on the return cause it’s not PSA 10 quality even though I didn’t advertise it as such.
And not saying you did anything wrong as a buyer. You are entitled to ask for more pictures if that is what makes you comfortable but that is essentially it. Until you buy the item, the seller owes you nothing.

It’s always fun to have enough pics on a listing, get pm’d by a buyer asking for even more pics, show them the pics and keep conversing over the course of a week, only for them to go ghost and not buy the listing.

Speaking of etiquette and requesting/evaluating photos of cards as a buyer, would it be considered rude to politely provide a reason that one is best offering below the buy it now? For example, say a raw card in moderately played condition is being sold at a price reflective of minty versions of that raw card according to recent price data. Is it more polite to simply offer below their listed price without an explanation of this, or would it be better to be transparent and to politely say that the condition of the card is the reason one is offering the price one is as a buyer? I realize this is maybe a sensitive topic, but I’ve been curious, as I want to be as transparent as possible with buyers when I can, but also I realize that it might come off as rude to say anything negative about a card to a seller, is if I were trying to degrade their item as a seedy psychological tactic (I would of course want to avoid doing this or giving the impression of doing this at all costs).

From my experience, the most amicable way to do it is either:

  1. Simply offer the lower amount and thank them for their time.

  2. Privately message them, say “hey I am interested in your item, but are you okay if I offered X amount? Reason being is because I noticed there’s damage on the card so I felt this was the price I am comfortable at. Thanks for taking your time in considering this!”

Usually either one the seller would respond to, and then its up to them to accept or deny.

There’s not enough space in the best offer box to write a nice explanation, so making a succinct one makes it feel rude every time I sent one, and it usually resulted in not receiving any replies back.