Internet commerce is a wild web

by Peggy on January 14, 2019

If Sam wrote up his tips for how to avoid getting scammed, it would read something like this.

  • Don’t read email
  • Don’t respond to texts
  • Don’t answer the phone
  • Open snail mail only after your mom nags you for a week that it’s important

And still things happen to him. I try not to hover. He’s a grown-ass man. He managed to handle something this week that would make Dave Lieber and his Watchdog Nation proud: he got a refund from a seller on eBay.

Sam is working on backing up his computers cloudlessly. It means he needs some external hard drives, and some redundancy. It’s a good project for him. One of the devices he bought for the project wasn’t the right device. He sent it back to the seller. He got proof that he sent it back and the seller received it. But the seller was very slow in refunding his money. It was a lot of money–$120 or so. He complained to eBay and then he went over to his bank to see what they could do. This is where I give a big shout-out for the power of local banks who get to know their customers, because they helped turn up the heat with PayPal. Sam announced this morning that eBay is refunding his money.

Sam said, “I was starting to think that the seller wanted to sell me the wrong item and keep my money.”

That’s an excellent demonstration of being able to take the perspective of another and act accordingly.

I told him that eBay and other e-commerce platforms need sellers to be honest or their platform becomes irrelevant. I used to not tell Sam things like that. But, he’s getting the hang of this seeing-situations-from-another-person’s-perspective thing.

He still wants a better consumer tip sheet, and he’s got a point. When he was at the bank, he learned about “verified sellers.” In the 23 years eBay’s been around, I think I’ve bought two things on that platform. I really have no idea. I’ve got my homework for the week.

And, if anyone has good consumer tips about eBay, please leave them in the comments below.

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Overheard in the Wolfe House #314

by Peggy on January 7, 2019

Peggy: That box on the front seat of your car is all your old ribbons to take to Mary’s office next time you ride at Born2Be. They can reuse them.

Sam: Yeah, Mom, it takes more than a ribbon to prove your success.

#RealMillennial

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A year to be more open and connected

December 30, 2018

Two years ago, after writing a news story about a few of our clever readers and what they learned achieving their New Year’s resolutions, I did mine differently. A year into my own experiment, I had learned so much that I shared it in a column. That first goal to not buy anything (with reasonable exceptions […]

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Stupid fear

October 23, 2018

Sam almost didn’t get to go to the State Fair of Texas this year. I enjoy the fair but, honestly, I wouldn’t miss it if a year or two went by without a trip. I think Sam likes that every time we go we check out something new, but we also do some of the […]

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No going back

September 30, 2018

Sam lost his sunglasses in Germany. There wasn’t anything remarkable about the sunglasses themselves. They were a pair of sunglasses that had been lying around the house for years, a little scratched, but durable both in their purpose and their terrific ability to avoid getting lost the way most sunglasses do. The loss, though, became […]

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Ok, Germany, alles klar

September 22, 2018

The kids and I just finished a week of bicycling in the Bodensee region of Germany, Austria and Switzerland Saturday, arriving home Sunday night. We had a wonderful time. There was good wine, great cheese, and lots of beer, too. This is the second time I’ve explored another country by pedaling the backroads with a small […]

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Gentlemen, start your engines

June 10, 2018

Sam has had a lot of car trouble lately. He has been driving a 2001 Toyota Corolla that he bought used 10 years ago. This little car’s early life was in Corpus Christi, which probably means some hard miles in salt air. (We made sure it wasn’t ever flooded before we bought it.) The plastic […]

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Overheard in the Wolfe House #313

April 6, 2018

Peggy: You’ve got to keep your boundaries. Sam (talking about girl trouble): I have really strong boundaries, but she’s put a chink in all of them.

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Overheard in the Wolfe House #312

March 17, 2018

Sam (admiring the new dishwasher): It counts down the time left on the cycle. Peggy: Yes, that’s a nice feature. Sam: It’s a good thing it doesn’t have a spin cycle. (pauses) Because that would break all your dishes.

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Overheard in the Wolfe House #311

November 8, 2017

County clerk (assisting with passport application): Raise your right hand. Sam (raises right hand) Clerk: Do you swear, attest and affirm that everything contained on this application is true and correct to the best of your knowledge? Sam (grinning): I solemnly swear that I’m up to no good.  

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