NewsChannel 11 Investigates Business Leaving Consumers High and Dry - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

4/14/08

NewsChannel 11 Investigates Business Leaving Consumers High and Dry

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This investigation started when people called to tell us they were out thousands of dollars. We checked it out and found lawsuits and consumer complaints against the "Sell It On eBay" store in Lubbock.  We investigated and got results.

Bill Stewart wanted money fast to finance his new business venture.  So, on January 29th, he took the 1967 Gibson guitar his father left him to the "Sell It On eBay" store at Quaker and 82nd Street.

"They put it on eBay and told me they were going to give me the money 30 days after it sold," said Bill.  That's what it also says on his contract.  And when his guitar sold February 7th for $3,300, he waited to get his check in the mail. But it never came. 

"So, I've contacted him several times and the manager says he's waiting on the owner. He can't contact the owner - he just brings the checks whenever. I finally gave up," said Bill.

Here is Tira Holcomb's story.  "They are over six months overdue for my payment," she said.

After Tira's brother passed away in August, she took thousands of dollars worth of her brother's high end video and audio equipment to the "Sell It On eBay" store.  "They said don't worry about it.  We want to help you," explained Tira.

All 19 items sold but she says the company failed to stick to their promise of paying her in a timely fashion.  "This store has in their own literature, and what they promised me, that you get paid within 14-20 days of when they sell the item," she said.

These are just two of the handful of people who have had a problem with this store.  NewsChannel 11 discovered four lawsuits filed in small claims court claiming they were owed money.  Two of which were dropped after the complainants got paid. 

We also tracked down information at the Better Business Bureau.  The Sell It On eBay store, uses the assumed name of C&J Trading.  It is owned by Jonathan Givens. His standing with the BBB is "unsatisfactory" and the store has nine complaints on record.

Bill and Tira contacted NewsChannel 11 after weeks went by and no money and after several failed attempts of contacting Mr. Givens. "I just feel like they're stonewalling me," said Bill. "I have sent a formal legal letter to the owner which under any circumstances, any prudent business person would respond to that, the person in charge.  That person has not contacted me," said Tira.

We were able to get Mr. Givens to call us back. He didn't want to answer our questions on camera but instead, sent us the following statement:

"We are sorry for any inconveniences caused by the delay of payment. I can assure you I have personally gotten involved with every claim. Please understand our store has seen plenty of adversity over the last three (3) to four (4) months. Experiencing both large PayPal claims as well as slowed store traffic. Although in some cases a payment may be delayed as much as six (6) weeks given the buyer has delayed payment or paid with money order/cashier check."

Mr. Givens says he plans to get out of the eBay business in a couple of months but promises to pay the customers he owes. He's already moved out of his store and is even auctioning his big, yellow eBay sign on the eBay web site.

Since NewsChannel 11 contacted Givens, Bill was paid his money and Tira was given a check.  But she called us Monday night before our broadcast to let us know the check she got bounced and that Givens promised to pay her cash Tuesday.

If you ever have any doubts about a business, do your homework. The BBB has reports on nearly every business in Lubbock. (Click here) to check out a business or charity.

Consumer Product Safety Commission
Looking for the latest news on consumer recalls check out the Consumer Product Safety Commission's web site.

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