The world of ecommerce can be a marvelous place to get great deals on outstanding products. It has also become a bazaar for the snake oil salesmen and greasy swindlers that cat call their wares out to online shoppers, hoping to garner some ill-gotten cash for defective, dangerous, and poorly conceived products that do not fulfill their promises. Every seller knows that a little exaggeration is to be expected. That is just good sales. It is when the technical specifications become outright lies that consumers need to be concerned.
Unfortunately, lies are precisely what some sellers trade in.
Last week EW reported about the dangers of some poorly designed battery chargers from Hong Kong and other parts of Asia. While these items were dangerous, even the rechargeable batteries that are used can become deadly hazards when put into a perfectly healthy charger that meets all the necessary design requirements. Some eBay sellers have rechargeable batteries that are not out and out dangerous but also do not perform according to the specifications they report to have.
“SCAM. These are 600mAh, not 3000mAh. Tested all on MAHA C9000 analyzer. RUN!” read one concerned eBay buyer that had been reeled in by a seller after having paid for batteries that did not live up to their promises. “Keep out of these batteries capacity is 450 mAh NOT 3000 mAh!!!!” said another, in the hopes of warning others away from these underpowered and overpriced rechargeable batteries.
The explanation of these concerns is that the batteries are being promoted as having a higher mAh value than they actually possess. MAh stands for Milliamp Hour and is a measurement of how much power a battery can hold. Batteries with higher mAh ratings can last longer, or produce more power over a sustained period of time.
When a seller lies about their batteries mAh value, they are making the rechargeable batteries sound better than they are.
It is easy to imagine how frustrating this can be for anyone. They are anticipating a battery life far longer than they actually receive, as well as paying a premium price to ensure they have top quality rechargeable batteries. The frustration does not stop simply because a battery turned out to be dodgy. Everyone has had a bad experience with a defective product. The problem is the betrayal of a contract by the seller that makes outlandish claims and then steals off into the night with your hard earned cash lining their pockets.
It gets worse though. Underpowered rechargeable batteries are an irritation, but comments like the following are what should really make you take notice of a seller’s reputation:
“DO NOT BUY! Item EXPLODED causing damage to desk and PC.”
A rechargeable battery blasting out of a charger can do more damage and harm than pouring a glass of water onto a PC. Most homes keep their electronics in the same place, because of the placement of outlets. Because you know your battery charger is safe, and has been for years, it holds a trusted place in your home beside your cellular phones, your home computer, your laptop, and many other sensitive devices.
Then a bad rechargeable battery turns your trusted charger into a hazard to the equipment around it.
All it takes is one battery going off like a roman candle to obliterate several electronics, as well as anything else that may be nearby. In addition, an exploding rechargeable battery becomes a fire danger that could damage more than a computer and a desk. You could find your house in total ruin as the result of one faulty battery from one irresponsible seller.
It hardly feels like a negative comment is enough. These companies should be punished punitively and then run out on a rail wearing tar and feathers.
Ebay attempts to regulate all sellers as best they can. They comb extensively for those that are trying to send goods under false pretenses. The two problems they run into in the market of rechargeable batteries, is the companies do so many small transactions that it hardly seems like something they can police. Ebay also relies on user comments, but with so much positive feedback being unnaturally produced by the company, they can hardly declare true fault with the company.
Besides which, eBay does get a cut from the sales.
To combat this, be sure you are reading the feedback from other customers. Do not waste your time scrolling through comments, as these sellers usually have a small army of contractors and false accounts all making bold claims of contentment. By clicking on the negative feedback in the corner of the screen, you can sort the results to only include the negative comments.
Once you have the comments sorted properly, see how much detail the negative sellers go in to. A good seller will do everything in their power to protect their ranking, because that is how they make their living. A bad seller can usually be spotted by comments about the product, and the fact they have done nothing to help the buyers.
To any ecommerce seller, black marks can ruin their business. They provide the premier both in product and customer service. Defective notes will be few and far between and will usually be removed because the seller will handle replacement for unsatisfied customers. When a seller has negative comments, make sure you know what they are. Even if you choose to roll the dice and buy the product, you will know what problems might arise in the future.
Sellers are like products. For every bad one out there, there are a dozen good ones. For every bad seller, there is a reputable merchant that stands behind every sale and is willing to go beyond expectations to assist their buyers. Beware the negative comments and you will be able to avoid the scams, the rip-off artists, and the men and women that sell potentially dangerous, underpowered, or worthless products, like these rechargeable batteries. Also, any time you have been a victim of one of these, make your voice heard. You might not be able to run them out of town or burn down their storefront, but enough drops of water will eventually build to a flood to sweep away chaff like these sellers.
Thank you for reading our article! Have you had similar problems with NiMH rechargeable batteries purchased on eBay? We’d love to hear about your story! Feel free to leave it here in a comment.
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