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Fish Auction Shenanigans - advice needed


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Posted (edited)

I won an auction yesterday for fish I had been wanting a long time! The seller had 3 auctions of these juvenile fish this week that went for much more - $17 and $37 per fish. My auction closed with a winning price just under $10, so I was thrilled! 

This morning I find my order cancelled and refunded and a curious message from the seller, claiming that as they "were preparing to ship my fish this morning(!) they noticed a few swimming sideways in the tank" and to be cautious wouldn't risk shipping and having issues. This normally would be the forthright thing to do, except:

- another auction for more of the same fish is still running, closing in several days from now. 

- they were going to ship live fish halfway across the US... on a Saturday. For $25.

- the language of the message was very vague about more coming up next month - are they expecting me to bid again (and likely pay more) or are they going to honor the auction price, which did meet the reserve?

I did write back to say that I would be happy to wait a couple of weeks or accept a prorated lesser number of fish in order to complete the auction as executed, only to receive a vague "don't worry, there will be plenty more in 4 weeks".

My spidey sense tells me this auction was cancelled because they didn't get the price they wanted.

Am I just being a cynical GenXer? The only other time I have tried to get something through a fish auction recently, I got nothing and the seller was suspended, so I am admittedly frustrated (for people that follow my sidebyside journal - these were my spouse's "fun" fish).

Which is why I am risking posting and hoping this breeder isn't also here. They have good reviews and gorgeous fish, so if I'm in the wrong here, I'd hate to burn a bridge. I can get the same fish elsewhere for a bit less, but not the same quality.

I have no issues paying good $$ for good fish at all - but I also believe in the honor of a fair deal and the auction was fairly executed.

Thanks for any advice....

 

 

Edited by Jawjagrrl
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On 5/14/2022 at 12:39 PM, Wrencher_Scott said:

Cynical is my middle name but..... I would let whoever is running this auction know about this in a heartbeat. 

For example, Ebay has gone through this kind of stuff and they put a stop to it, it's the only way they survive the long haul.  

I always do whatever I can to not let this kind of BS happen. 

 

This is actually on Ebay. Because I am pretty cynical by nature, I try to really go to considerable lengths to see a positive possibility in situations like this, but I can't get past the fact that another lot of these fish is still in a live auction right now.

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On 5/14/2022 at 8:38 AM, Jawjagrrl said:

This morning I find my order cancelled and refunded and a curious message from the seller, claiming that as they "were preparing to ship my fish this morning(!) they noticed a few swimming sideways in the tank" and to be cautious wouldn't risk shipping and having issues. This normally would be the forthright thing to do, except:

- another auction for more of the same fish is still running, closing in several days from now. 

- they were going to ship live fish halfway across the US... on a Saturday. For $25.

- the language of the message was very vague about more coming up next month - are they expecting me to bid again (and likely pay more) or are they going to honor the auction price, which did meet the reserve?

I did write back to say that I would be happy to wait a couple of weeks or accept a prorated lesser number of fish in order to complete the auction as executed, only to receive a vague "don't worry, there will be plenty more in 4 weeks".

My spidey sense tells me this auction was cancelled because they didn't get the price they wanted.

Depending how the person runs their shop there's a few things that could be in play.

Sometimes people separate out fish and do the WYSIWYG auctions. Others won't.  If this is the first situation, then it makes sense that you actually had an issue with the fish you purchased and not the entire stock in question.

I would keep an eye on the seller, take your notes, and try to find the correct contact someone from the website support team in the case you do have an issue.  You have X amount of weeks and honestly a lot of sellers care more about the review than the price they got when it's "above reserve".

There is a variety of ways to analyze this, but I would hold on and just watch, wait, and see what happens.  A simple, "Please let me know what happens with the fish I purchased or how we can resolve this situation moving forward."  This isn't just an issue for them as well as it is an issue for you.  You had plans based on those fish arriving and now those plans have to change. Just part of the process with some specialty type items.  The seller is going to want to make it right if they are a good seller. If not, I'm sure the review will explain as such when you do get some fish.

On 5/14/2022 at 10:39 AM, Jawjagrrl said:

This is actually on Ebay. Because I am pretty cynical by nature, I try to really go to considerable lengths to see a positive possibility in situations like this, but I can't get past the fact that another lot of these fish is still in a live auction right now.

may or may not be able to actually stop the auction depending on the website.  If it's a major website, probably can. If it's something smaller and "less advanced" it might not actually let them.  I would ask if you can have those fish or what the situation is with the stock in house. (you need that information to even know if you bid on the next auction anyways and health of the stock / facilities)

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2022 at 2:42 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

Depending how the person runs their shop there's a few things that could be in play.

Sometimes people separate out fish and do the WYSIWYG auctions. Others won't.  If this is the first situation, then it makes sense that you actually had an issue with the fish you purchased and not the entire stock in question.

I would keep an eye on the seller, take your notes, and try to find the correct contact someone from the website support team in the case you do have an issue.  You have X amount of weeks and honestly a lot of sellers care more about the review than the price they got when it's "above reserve".

There is a variety of ways to analyze this, but I would hold on and just watch, wait, and see what happens.  A simple, "Please let me know what happens with the fish I purchased or how we can resolve this situation moving forward."  This isn't just an issue for them as well as it is an issue for you.  You had plans based on those fish arriving and now those plans have to change. Just part of the process with some specialty type items.  The seller is going to want to make it right if they are a good seller. If not, I'm sure the review will explain as such when you do get some fish.

may or may not be able to actually stop the auction depending on the website.  If it's a major website, probably can. If it's something smaller and "less advanced" it might not actually let them.  I would ask if you can have those fish or what the situation is with the stock in house. (you need that information to even know if you bid on the next auction anyways and health of the stock / facilities)

Given that he refunded my money and basically told me to try again next month I don't think there is any intent to honor the auction I spent time researching and bidding on. It was not a WYSIWYG auction, but pea size juvies with pictures of the parents shown). We're talking about a small number of fish for sale total between 4 lots (6/6/9/4=25 total fish), so while it might be possible that they were separated out. I find it unlikely. I debated messaging him again through the current auction to ask why I can't have these (it's the main reason I think he cancelled over a low winning bid), but I don't see anything positive coming out of it. 

I did report the seller to Ebay.

It's a shame because these were exactly what I was looking for and the tank was ready for them to join the tankmates already in place as the centerpiece next week. Got to shake off the bummed feelings about the whole thing and decide what plan B is - get the almost as nice ones from another seller? Get ones equally as good but more $$ from a professional breeder I found in FL? (mail out of Miami scares me lately - a plant order from there took 9 days to arrive priority mail to GA in February. Meanwhile plants from Cory got here from WA in 2 days).

 

Edited by Jawjagrrl
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On 5/14/2022 at 3:06 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

See if you can find them on aquadbid

I went there first and located the pro breeder through them that is a backup option, doesn't seem to be the traffic there that there was in my cichlid days though. 

I did decide to write back one more time and the seller is telling me that he will sell to me from the next batch for the auction price, which is fine. As for the other auction currently running, I was told that he can't cancel the auction prior to the end, which I was unaware of. I'm normally a "buy it now" person, but I presume this is true, haven't had a chance to check. It may still work out and the tank will be that much more seasoned, just not as lively for awhile.

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On 5/14/2022 at 4:48 PM, nabokovfan87 said:

Good to hear. Hopefully things work out for you.

Definitely agree with you about aquabid. It's such an.... outdated resource.

I was last on AB in.... '00? Was amazed to see it exactly the same. My one auction there never shipped and that person is now banned there and on FB marketplace. I seem to be auction cursed!

Patient Spouse was so excited this week when he saw his first fish surprises, roseline sharks, SAEs and Dwarf Chain Loaches, and I couldn't wait for him to get the "fun angels". I hope it will be worth the wait. In the meantime I have two 75s to stock. So many more opportunities for online shopping stress 😉 I dearly miss the days of a good LFS... or any LFS.

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Posted (edited)
On 5/14/2022 at 10:39 AM, Jawjagrrl said:

This is actually on Ebay. Because I am pretty cynical by nature, I try to really go to considerable lengths to see a positive possibility in situations like this, but I can't get past the fact that another lot of these fish is still in a live auction right now.

Ebay is very helpful with problems, I would report it and just get your money back. Then also give them a bad review and don't buy from them again. 

There are other fish in the sea. 

Edit, I just saw you did that already. 

Good luck. 

Edited by Wrencher_Scott
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On 5/14/2022 at 3:46 PM, Jawjagrrl said:

I went there first and located the pro breeder through them that is a backup option, doesn't seem to be the traffic there that there was in my cichlid days though. 

I did decide to write back one more time and the seller is telling me that he will sell to me from the next batch for the auction price, which is fine. As for the other auction currently running, I was told that he can't cancel the auction prior to the end, which I was unaware of. I'm normally a "buy it now" person, but I presume this is true, haven't had a chance to check. It may still work out and the tank will be that much more seasoned, just not as lively for awhile.

 

That sounds like maybe there was something wrong with some of the original fish, and he or she is on the up and up after all.

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On 5/16/2022 at 11:27 AM, JettsPapa said:

 

That sounds like maybe there was something wrong with some of the original fish, and he or she is on the up and up after all.

I think so. It was the other live auction for the same fish still running that really threw me. They plan to set up a "buy it now" listing at the price I had gotten when his next batch is ready in a few weeks. It works out in the end as I made a good find for fish that I have been wanting for my 75s that I can get now and let them grow up a bit in the 55 to give the other lively fish some buddies until they get these guys next month.

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On 5/16/2022 at 1:08 PM, Jawjagrrl said:

I think so. It was the other live auction for the same fish still running that really threw me. They plan to set up a "buy it now" listing at the price I had gotten when his next batch is ready in a few weeks. It works out in the end as I made a good find for fish that I have been wanting for my 75s that I can get now and let them grow up a bit in the 55 to give the other lively fish some buddies until they get these guys next month.

Looking forward to seeing them 🙂

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