EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Tue Mar 1 2011 23:17:36

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina:
I'm writing to tell you about an admitted "glitch" caused by eBay but for which they refuse to correct their own error!

Recently, I had yet another nonpaying bidder for one of my auctions. The buyer emailed that they wanted out of their winning bid and did not intend to pay, immediately after they won the auction...even though they'd been bidding every day for the whole 7 days. They used the excuse that they couldn't afford my item and called it a fake without any proof that it was or was not authentic because they just didn't want to pay for their multiple bids that caused them to win my item.

I take multiple bidding over the course of the whole 7 days of the listing, as a serious intent to win my item, so as the days went by, when I did not just cave and release the buyer from her winning obligation - especially when I learned from another seller that she'd just done the same thing to them after winning their auction, the buyer became more and more belligerent with threatening and harassing emails.

I called Ebay about this situation and they told me to immediately block her (I already had blocked her, but she still wouldn't stop with the harassing emails) so eBay told me to make sure that I filed an Unpaid item claim against her.

I told eBay that due to her constant harassment, that I was worried that she might turn around & pay me just for the sole purpose of being able to leave me negative feedback. I was assured that if she did so, with the original email from her stating that she did not intend to pay & the subsequent emails, that I had nothing to worry about and that eBay would remove any negative feedback if she tried this.

However, after filing the UIC per eBay's explicit instructions, the buyer, without ever paying for my item, let alone ever receiving it, was allowed by eBay (due to what they have told me was an "Ebay security breach") to counter file against ME for "Item not as described" in which said buyer blatantly called my item a fake that she'd never even seen nor received, and even she even admitted in two places in her claim, that she had not even paid for the item in her filing against me.

Some 13 minutes later, however, either this nonpaying bidder must have had someone advise her how bad she looked when she filed against me saying that my item was a fake but then admitted twice in her claim that she had not paid for it, or a "light bulb" finally fired in her brain... because she then went into Paypal and paid me AFTER the fact of filing against me for "NAD".

I of course, immediately refunded the money because I knew what she was trying to do: Get the UIC canceled against her, try to validate her "Item not as described" case gaff where she'd admitted she had never paid for the item, and most importantly, to be able to strike back at me with negative feedback....which she most certainly did today...thus ruining my 100% feedback score of almost 2,300 feedbacks for the past 8 years!

Meanwhile, to add total insult to injury, eBay has now hit ME with an "open case" infraction which, even though they admit was unlawfully allowed, because of Ebay's own "security breach", and that she should never have been able to file against me since she'd not paid nor received any item, they state that they cannot remove or "de-score" this "open case" against me on my Seller Dashboard and that I will have to wait 12 months to have them look to remove it!

I have spent so many hours of frustration with these people that it would be hilarious if it wasn't so insane!

They also tell me that even though it is quite clear from the buyer's original email stating that she did not intend to pay for her win, after 6 repeated bids and never a question to me, her increasingly harassing emails, her vindictive untrue filing of an item not as described and calling something fake that she admitted right in her own claim that she'd never paid for, let alone received, and the fact that she paid only AFTER she filed the case against me in retaliation for my UIC, and for the SOLE and express purpose to be able to leave me negative feedback (she even alluded to what she planned to do in an email but since she used the words that she would make sure that Karma would bite me in my A** for her, ebay said that's not feedback extortion), that eBay says that no, they cannot and will not remove her negative feedback! And of course, I as a seller, am not allowed to leave her any type of negative comments!

This is nuts! This is the most insane and unjust thing I've run across yet with the group at "Ebats"!
Respectfully submitted,
Ready to bail out of eBay

Comments (40) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Rick1313

Wed Mar 2 00:51:40 2011

To OP...

It was a incident with a buyer wanting out of a purchase, back in August of 2009, and eBay's subsequent handling of the affair that started the full downward spiral that resulted in my opening a small claims court case (the first one of two) against eBay,inc.

I am seeking to have them pay damages for their liability in the matter (which is just one component of my lawsuit) and that damage figure is part of the whole account mismanagement lawsuit and its associated damage figure (which keeps on growing until case is heard).

I'll post my incident later on today.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Kate

Wed Mar 2 03:25:50 2011

Although the above article is entitled "Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller," it is really eBay itself that is responsible for the Seller's damages in this case! This Seller did exactly as eBay instructed her
when she began receiving
harrassing messages from her
deadbeat bidder--a bidder who was
refusing to pay and claiming the item
was a fake even though she had admittedly never received it! eBay
admitted that its own negligent
"security breach" enabled this deadbeat to break the rules and
enter negative feeback against the
Seller, yet eBay refuses to lift a
finger to fix its own eggregious mistake! EBay is treating this 100%
positive Top Seller as if SHE is the
one at fault, even though her behavior has been impeccable. This
Seller has an excellent lawsuit
against eBay--not only for the losses
she has suffered on this transaction
but for knowingly and intentionally damaging her valuable
reputation as a top-rated seller and thereby injuring her business relationships with her eBay clients.
EBay will not stay in business if it continues rewarding the fraudulent deadbeats now infesting its auctions while punishing the highly reputable sellers who have made it a success.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Ebays Slow Death

Wed Mar 2 03:32:30 2011

There are too many unstable personalities out there, and they love to buy from vulnerable Ebay Sellers.

Most of us have been whacked by at least one of these mentally ill people. And, for the Sellers who haven't been yet, they are coming for you!

We all have war stories, and Ebay just laughs at us. All they care about is the money! Fairness means nothing to them. Remember, we are just ''Noise''.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Unfare

Wed Mar 2 05:51:57 2011

you have to learn to develop a thick skin if you sell on ebay.i learned to let these things not worry me and its better.You give yourself stress and waste your precious time dealing with the madness of ebay,best way is to grin and bear it or leave if you have alternatives
good luck

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: coconut

Wed Mar 2 06:23:10 2011

One question. " Why would one think that Ebay would really do anything about it"

Ebay is known for siding with the buyer = seller gets the shaft.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: lucky

Wed Mar 2 07:18:27 2011

youre lucky you only had one all this time!

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: eBuyer Feedback This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Wed Mar 2 08:14:35 2011

The best advice I can give is that any time a buyer says the word ''fake'', just walk away.  There is nothing that can be done short of that which doesn't end very badly.  Don't insist on payment or file to get your final value fees back.  Don't do anything that encourages that buyer to complete the transaction in any way.  Just walk away.  If you had actually shipped the item they would have received a full refund without having to return it because that's how fakes work on PayPal.  All the buyer would have had to do is ''destroy'' the item.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Kevin

Wed Mar 2 08:42:36 2011

Sorry this happened to you. I've been through this too.....more than a few times.

First rule of thumb - no matter what happens, this will not end well for you.  Best case scenario, they just never pay and don't leave feedback.  You are better off just letting them out of it.  If you press them you are either going to get bad feedback, a claim, or both if they follow through with it.  It sucks, I know but it's the least amount of hassle in the short and long term.  Let them out and move on

Second rule of thumb - DON'T expect Ebay to help.  They may be sympathetic over the phone (if you can actually get to a live person) but when the rubber hits the road, they will not do anything despite all their promises to help sellers and acting on "bad buyer behavior".  I quit reporting buyers for extortion, etc.  I'd send them the emails from the buyer demanding I change shipping costs or ask for freebies and they would never do anything about it.  Don't expect ebay to help you or side with you in any way.  It will not happen

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Angela
Web Site

Wed Mar 2 10:05:27 2011

I have to agree with the person who suggested having a thick skin.  It isn't fair, but when a buyer tells me that he/she isn't going to pay, I just cancel the sale and list it again or offer it to the back up bidder.   Yes, it is irritating, but there's no way to make the buyer pay for the purchase, and all other approaches just end up being a power struggle.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Vitreous This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 2 10:22:42 2011

I know the seller had expectations that eBay would have supported her/him and/or fixed this issue but in future cases I would recommend you do what is best for your business and not have expectations of eBay.

As others have said, we have or will have our turn with erratic, unstable buyers.  EBay is littered with them.  The best you can do is get rid of them expeditiously.

Were it me, I would have gotten this recalcitrant buyer off me as quickly as I could and cancelled her bids immediately.  Then I would have offered the item as a 2nd Chance offer to the next highest bidder.

Even if this buyer paid, the sometimes insidious behavior of some deem them to not only leave Negative feedback but also DSR ratings of 1s and 2s, which we can without.

I had a similar experience with a buyer from Australia who I think needs some serious anger management.

I am sorry that we sometimes have to go through these types of situations only to learn how to better manage them in the future.

Just understand, eBay provides the platform to sell.  The rest is up to you.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: former seller now only buyer

Wed Mar 2 10:43:23 2011

i am only commenting due to the one sidedness of the commenters.

i used to sell - 4000+ fb 100% but as a buyer only now i am disgusted by the high percentage off low quality sellers left.

i have had to return 5 items in the past year. i never returned an item ever before. 17th century stuff that is 18th century, poorly researched and poorly listed items like never before.

most of the sellers don't give a you-know-what until you press the ebay buttons.

i have never seen such shortsightedness in sellers ever and in any form of retail. i know that ebay is 99% to blame for driving the good guys off but really - sellers do you want to succeed? or just gripe? if you are going to stay on ebay you have to provide quality service and quality listings.

people don't mind buying crap if they know it is crap up front.

of course there are low life buyers but i believe that while ebay has created this slippery slope the sellers are only helping create this atmosphere.

lastly i offer a solution to all of this - ebay - let the sellers give negative feedback - IF warranted and i believe 90% of the baddies will disappear.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Rick

Wed Mar 2 10:51:40 2011


Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: John From NH

Wed Mar 2 11:01:29 2011

Each case is different and you must learn from each one.
Not knowing all the details about the item (how many bids, how many bidders, final price, etc) this my opinion on how I would have handled the situation. You still have the item which is a good thing.

From the minute I received their 1st email I would have blocked them from bidding on any other of my listings. From the tone of their letter I would have canceled the transaction by mutual agreement. No sense arguing with a rock. Then I would have offered the item to the next highest bidder or relisted it.

Move on. There are bad creatures everywhere. Without nutriment and attention sooner or later they rot into the ground or are devoured by larger stronger creatures, either way they are gone. Feed them and they get stronger and might even multiply.

Yes the Ebay feedback sytem is seriously flawed but you must work with it as it stands if you intend to sell on the site. It will not be changed overnight. Don't roll over and play dead. Send emails, make calls, voice your opinion on how it should be changed. Until it is changed you must learn how to play the system to your advantage and lower any risk factors if you intend to use it.

Lots of good comments on this topic so far!!!

John From NH

Note to former seller now buyer: I totally agree with you. There are now more sellers that are not qualified to sell pencils on a street corner. And they have the nerve to complain about bad buyers!!! Go to any discussion board and you would not have to search long to find questions like: I just sold a ton of bricks. How do I ship them and do you think they will fit in a flat rate box.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Scotty

Wed Mar 2 12:31:31 2011

Freaking amazing....
There was just some activity similar to this blatent intent to discredit you in Philly recently (not an on-line activity, but similar none-the-less).  Guess what, the Police filed a complaint for Criminal Mischief against this person.  That is what you must do....and make them take your complaint.  This is a clear case of malicious intent.  Ebay is not going to want this type of publicity and my remove your hits after you go after the buyer via the authorities.  It will be really funny to see how this buyer will expect Ebay to come to her defense, and they will be has helpful to her as they were to you.  Only when they fear bad PR, will they ''help themselves'' and clear up your record.  One caviat though, you may mysteriously see your account being limited or cancelled as they do not play nice.  It is simply amazing to me ebay will quickly shoot you dead if you do something they do not like, but you have absolutely zero recourse if a buyer does such a thing to you as described.  The one that really keeps me up at night is the Positive FB with a ''1'' DSR.  Not only can you not determine who left this.....SO YOU CAN BLOCK THEM....they can keep coming back and doing it to you over and over as YOU CANNOT BLOCK THEM....  This is the great irony of ebay, if you get on their bad side, they will kill you off immediately but do not allow you the same courtesy with regards to bad customers.  How on earth can they make you continue to sell to buyers that are out to hurt you??  There has got to be some law out there that prevents this....anyone?
Wow....this story made my blood pressure shoot up....time to go cool off.

On a more humorous it me or does the actor in those stupid Esurance commercials (the guy that plays the ''Saver'') that Donuthole?

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Kate

Wed Mar 2 12:52:46 2011

Scotty (above) sure got it right! My blood is boiling too! Every other comment confirms this persecuted Seller's abominable treatment by eBay, but Scotty and I seem to be the only ones with the courage to DO anything about it. If Egypt can overthrow Mubarak, can't eBay Sellers demand their right to fair treatment by eBay? Remember: David beat Goliath--because he was good guy and had the courage of his convictions. How about it, eBay Sellers?

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Shark Bait

Wed Mar 2 13:22:53 2011

eBay only cares about the buyers. They use us a bait to feed the sharks. eBay has an unlimited amount of customers, and they could care less if they loose a few more. All they have to do is keep raising their fees to make up the difference.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Deb

Wed Mar 2 13:33:34 2011

You have my full sympathy. I am so tired of being bullied by bad buyers because they are protected by ebay. I got my first negative for the past year,(I have been selling on ebay 12 years)The person tried to say I sold them door stops and not bookends.  Slammed me with a negative without consulting with me and then slammed me with all 1's and 2's in my dsrs..I lost my top rated seller rating. I paid them back all the money they paid including shipping and let them keep the items just to get them to remove the negative. This was before I realized that they also ruined my 20% discount and top rated rating!! It is hard not be upset, but life goes on. Ebay protects the buyers no matter what. Last money I lost I had a person from France buy something over 3 months earlier and then claimed she never authorized payment. I had letters from her thanking me for the item and her positive feedback.  Guess how that turned out? She got to keep it and all the money Paypal took from me to reimburse her for her ''unauthorized payment''  Unbelievable..I didn't know they could do that after 3 months..and I wonder how long someone is able to make that claim and still get by with it? 3 months seems like a long time to have an unauthorized claim come in, and the seller is always the loser.
It is upsetting, life goes on..but nice to have a place to air out and know we are not alone in this crazy ebay world.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Wed Mar 2 13:46:54 2011

Ebafia is a despicable corporation run by even more despicable people who make despicable policies.

Consider filing a small claims action against your buyer, pay to have her served, have customer service served in Draoper, UT, and then ask the court when they don't show up for a default judgement that includes an order to ebay remove any negative feedback and DSRs and the restoration of any funds PayPal /ebay removed from account, your TRS status, and discounts retroactively.

Some sellers have gotten negative feedback removed through thse small claims actions.

Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

by: Don
Web Site

Wed Mar 2 14:40:39 2011

Some fights are not worth winning.

Judging from the number of feed backs you have received I assume you are operating a business. If that is the case I recommend that you set some policies regarding how you are going to deal with this sort of thing. In this particular case mine is: Start the process to mutually agree to cancel the transaction. No fuss, no stress just start the process.

I do my best not to get emotional over a transaction. It's healthier.

If you think your best policy is to force someone to pay for something they don't want. Make that your policy and go for it. Keep in mind that it's a loosing battle and if it causes you stress it may be a fight that's not worth winning.


Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller   Deadbeat Bidder Wreaks Havoc on eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Wed Mar 2 16:55:03 2011

I am a 12 year veteran on ebay and have sold over 50,000 items and this is the worse onslaught of buyer fraud I have dealt with yet. I am fighting back and I am having to fight back against bad buyers almost daily. The fact is that ebay does not care, that is why you are charged a final value fee immediately even if the buyer does not pay. Ebay hads never cared, there customer service is a joke, and they are telling sellers how to treat a customer! I SPOKE TO A EBAY CUSTOMER SERVICE REP FOR FIFTEEN MINUTES THREE DAYS AGO, AND IT IS A WASTE OF TIME. This rep actually told me that ebay  is aware of the growing problem of buyer fraud and there is something in the pipeline that is going to correct this. I was told that ebay was forced to develop the one sided buyer protection because of a survey in 2008 that listed ebay as last in buyer satisfaction, what a joke, again no responsibility for any of this taken on by ebay. They created the problem by allowing junk dealers and fraudster to run free on ebay for years and Meg Whitman had the 100's of millions of dollars in the bank to prove that point. Instead of oewning their mistake they blamed it solely on sellers and including the honest sellers who were not defrauding the buyers. This is 2011 and still ebay does not have a shopping cart, we have no way to verify a buyers address, phone number or email address. Shoplifting is being promoted and enabled by ebay on ebay. We cannot register the buyers ebay does that and they do a bad bad unacceptable job, while others in the industry our verifying their registrants ebay is still stuck in the mud. Why? It is wall street, that is all this ceo cares about manipulating the stock price and stock market, it is wrong and guess what? It does not bother him at all. The people in place are dishonesty to put in bluntly, ask yourself why does a non=-paying bidder who simply does not pay have more rights than a seller? why does a buyer who files a nas and is wrong because they simply did not read the ad have more rights than a seller? why does a buyer who is misrepresenting their identity and contact information have more rights than a seller? why is a buyer who is totally dishonest and lies to ebay, and the seller has proof and sends that to ebay have more rights and is still backed by ebay? This has reached a critical point and if ebay does not change its way immediately the fallout could be lethal. Lawsuits are being filed, their TRS program is riddled with fraud and is unfair to small and medium sellers. Sellers are paying for ads and their items are completely buried if they are not perfect. If you close down for a vacation be prepared to be screwed, ebay is not adjusting for that, if your items are seasonal ebay is not adjusting for that, and do they care that it is wrong? NO!!! My off ebay sales are going up and up, all I can say is stop taking paypal when you open a website, find somebody else to process your credit and debit cards and contact your bank and do a chargeback on any ebay fees you have paid and not received the proper customer service or visibilty. File a complaint with your state attorney general.

Click to view more comments
1 2  [Next Page]

Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.