EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com 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.
Sun Nov 21 2021 16:38:55

eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial Refund

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
I've been selling on eBay for 22 years and recently ran into a situation that you might find interesting enough to share with your readers.

We sell a wide range of fully assembled diecast models that include aircraft display models. These models are 98% assembled and the buyer need only attach certain parts to it to make it complete such as missiles, landing gear. etc. One such item we recently sold is eBay's item #(redacted). Up until today, we had 100% positive feedback, which fell to 99.6% because of one inane buyer who just doesn't get it no matter how many times I tried to explain to him that he is wrong. In any event, neither does eBay.

The customer contacted us on Friday evening claiming that a second set of canopies, the plexiglass cover that goes over the cockpit, wasn't included with the item. We indicated that we would check with our supplier on Monday morning to see if the item was supposed to contain a second set. We've never heard of a situation like this whereby the model was supposed to contain a second set of canopies but maybe the customer knew something that we had no knowledge of so we just wanted to make sure. 

He then sent us a follow-up message on eBay indicating that he is fine with the item provided we issue him a $10-$15 refund for his trouble since, as he claimed, it was incomplete. This is basically extortion. He was looking for a discount by claiming the item was supposed to contain something that he knew wasn't included with the model. 

We again indicated that we would have to wait until Monday morning to get clarification from our distributor regarding the "omitted" part. He then sends us another message indicating he needs immediate resolution because he is "headed out of the country." A bit suspicious, yes. Finally, late yesterday, he says he wants to return the item for a full refund. Mind you, this item was shipped to him free-of-charge and now he wanted us to foot the bill for return shipping too.

To make a long story short, we heard back from our distributor this morning who indicated that the item did not come with a second set of canopies. The images included in the listing show the canopies in both the open and closed position so I'm not sure how the buyer reached the conclusion that a second set was supposed to be supplied. As an analogy, if I was selling a car on eBay Motors and showed the car with the doors closed and then another image showing it with the doors open, does that mean I'm supposed to include a second set of doors with the automobile? Of course not.

Needless to say we indicated to the buyer that we could not supply him with a second set of canopies and that if he wanted to return the model it would be at his expense. Within five minutes time, he left us negative feedback again claiming that a second set of canopies was supposed to be included and that the model was therefore incomplete and not as advertised.

But here's the part that really gets me mad. I spoke to eBay today on four separate occasions and even included a copy of the email we received from our supplier indicating that the model did not come with a second set of canopies. 

What was eBay's response? They refused to remove the negative feedback and are choosing to do so at the height of the holiday season. So right now, I have to live with the unwarranted negative feedback at least until I receive the returned item, at which time eBay will "re-investigate" my request to remove this feedback. Mind you when I spoke to the first CSR he indicated the feedback would be removed within 24-48 hours. Others agreed with my stance but still they refuse to do anything.

I'm not expecting that this letter to the editor will change eBay's stance. What I am hoping to achieve is to alert sellers that eBay will look for any excuse to mollify their buyers and keep them on their platform when they are losing sales daily to Amazon. Why they couldn't remove this feedback is beyond me when it clearly was left to damage our business by an unscrupulous buyer looking to get a discount after the fact.

Cordially,
Marc

Comments (29) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 13:39:27 2021

In over 20 years we've sold on eBay, we've watched it decline every year since 2008, when the feedback system was mucked up by Donahoe.

Extorion now is common, even encouraged by eBay's reps.  The offshore reps cannot seem to listen to an explanation or read the listing, much less read or comprehend the typical threats of extortion.  When the rep interrupts your explanation, you KNOW she's now listening to you.  When the rep leaves silence when you stop explaining, you KNOW she's not heard a thing.  When the rep repeats the same thing over and over - the "eBay script line", as it were - you KNOW she's not going to help at all.

And a "supervisor" is really just a "hold button" away, as ANY other rep can suddenly be a "supervisor" and give a false name as there is no honesty in eBay's reps.

Because of what we sell, we stopped allowing returns in 2008 with the Donahoe changes to feedback, as we had this same problem - someone finds something WE MAKE for less - ANYWHERE - even on OUR OWN WEBSITE, and eBay reps will ignore you.

So eBay now is really only there to get exposure, because they'll end up seeking "CHEAP" later anyway.

However, the reps lie all the time, telling us "You need to accept the return and receive the item back to inspect it", even when the buyer sends photos of the item HE ADMITS BREAKING - but when we get it back and follow the rep's "instructions", eBay declines the refund and states, "Well, YOU accepted the return!", as if to say, "Why did you accept the return if the item was broken?".

The only thing BROKEN is eBay, and management is too stupid to see that despite published reports of a 5% loss in buyers and other signs of decay.

Will the last eBay employee to leave turn out the lights?

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: DRA This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 13:58:03 2021

Yet another example of how the eBay Shopping environment is filled with Fraudulent Buyers...Why!  Because they can get a way with it.  It really is sad...so sorry you had this experience, too.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: BackOff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 17:28:32 2021

I’ve dealt with a few of these petty extortionists on eBay for sales under $50. Never give in. If it’s my fault, I might send a small refund or I’ll do a full refund upon return of the item. I have a page of blocked buyers if anyone wants to share.

ALWAYS HAVE A LINE IN YOUR DESCRIPTION THAT READS:
Any Return or refund is subject to a 25% (or 50%) restocking fee.

This will cut down on scammers and time-wasters. I’ve successfully used it a few times this year; A comic book sold for $700. Buyer paid me then sent me an email several minutes later stating that he wanted a refund because he spent too much. I told him about restocking fee and the comic and kept $150 for my time and work sending the refund.

Another time a buyer bought 1970s NOS Levis 501 jeans for over $500. After he received them, he told me he wanted a refund because they didn’t have double or single stitching on the rear pockets (can’t recall). I pointed out the pictures showing the stitching clearly and there would be a restocking fee. He kept the jeans because he didn’t want to lose $100+ for his mistake.

Had another guy this summer who accepted an offer for a $550 surfboard + shipping. He told me he would pay next month. I told him, I require a non-refundable deposit to be sure he would pay (since I would miss out on the sale to someone else if he didn’t pay). After many long convoluted stories from the deadbeat buyer which had nothing to do with the sale, he wanted to extend his non-payment another month. I could see that he was buying other items and receiving feedback from sellers, so I told him he needs to send the $200 deposit. He sent the deposit and a month later had another BS story. I cancelled the sale and kept the deposit as we agreed to. The buyer wanted me to send the surfboard to an address that turned out to be a homeless men’s shelter in Anderson, Indiana. He said he received his mail there. I was able to find a phone number for the place and the operator said they had no record of the individual.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: BackOff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 17:54:18 2021

Where can we sellers publish accounts of these bad buyers? I want to publish usernames, real names, city and state (not address) and the back and forth messages that detail their fraud, attempted extortion and unethical behavior. If all details are published and verified, there should be a place where we can warn other sellers to block these buyers before they cause problems.

2 years ago, a big-time reseller in Michigan, who likes to “Collect-4-fun” bought a small lot of old maps and brochures from me for $40 with shipping. They all appeared to be in excellent / like new condition and I only posted a few photos. Two of the items could be resold for more than the cost of the entire purchase. When the buyer received them, he complained about some toning and alleged water damage on one of the bonus pieces I included (which wasn’t worth more than $4). Here’s the buyer’s exact words:

——- My solution is simple. The items can be replaced to match the description in the listing or you can refund me my total cost of $10.64.
How this was calculated. Total cost was $40. Divide this by the total number of items in the listing, (15) and this is $2.66 per item. 4 x $2.66 = $10.64.
As noted in previous communication the four items have little or of no value at this point from being damaged. ——-

The buyer wanted a partial refund for the items and tried to factor in the shipping and taxes collected for the entire lot but refused to return them. I told him I would only send a refund if he returned the items because I don’t do partial refunds. The stubborn buyer wouldn’t budge, he said he was going to send a certified letter to ebay and wanted me removed from the site because I called him a petty extortionist (but really because he was a competitor). He left me negative feedback after I told him I only do full refunds upon the return of all items. So I left him a positive / negative calling him a “ petty extortionist”. After ebay reviewed our messages and confirmed that he tried to extort me prior to leaving the feedback, the neg feedback on my account was removed and ebay sent me a funny message about not getting into squabbles like this.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: BackOff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 18:03:38 2021

One last note. The buyer I mentioned above, used a previous negative feedback on my account as a premise for his attempted extortion. This is why accurate feedback is so important.

“Collect-4-Fun” guy tried to extort me because he saw one recent negative feedback on my account out of thousands of transactions. He even mentioned this in messages to me and claimed this was a pattern (1 out of 3,000 isn’t a pattern) without knowing anything about that transaction. That buyer left a false negative feedback after buying an antique book from me. In that case, the buyer claimed the book had mold (it did not). I offered a full refund to the buyer but she said she wanted to get it repaired after realizing it was just chipping on the back of the book which was shown in photos. Ebay removed that negative feedback from my account to after I showed them the messages sent by the buyer.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: ThebigR This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 18:35:39 2021

There is a porcelain sign seller on ebay 1000s of transactions and 100s of negs for all being fake merchandise and all those warnings are ignored the suckers just keep taking the bait so in reality feedback is meaningless...  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: AddyUp This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 23 13:53:26 2021

A neg resulting from a buyer expecting an item that wasn't offered or part of the sale or expecting an item to do something it's not designed to do should be easy to get removed. I've had a couple like that. It all depends on talking to the right ebay people. That is ones that listen to what you are saying.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 23 20:00:21 2021

The best way to get the neg removed its to contact eBay on Twitter. As noted in a prior article, the social media team provides better CS than the phone overseas team. While you could contact them through Facebook, eBay can remove posts to their FB account, while Tweets last forever and tweets making them look bad get better responses from them.

Asking for something not in the listing is one of the eBay given reasons for feedback removal, please note that in your tweet.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuck

Wed Nov 24 10:54:24 2021

"Where can we sellers publish accounts of these bad buyers?"

Also Twitter.

If you keep the hyperbole meter on "low" and stick to facts (and opinions/observations based on your experience) you could achieve good results reporting scammers.

Beware though, you can get into some serious hot water (on any platform) if you start posting PII - just DON"T DO IT.

Plus, it seems eBay has a problem with compromised accounts, and it would suck to 'expose' some innocent ol' gramma who used the same password and AOL email address for the past 25 years and had their account hacked.

FYI - Twitter doesn't technically consider 'names' to be PII, but personally I'd avoid it unless it's already public info (make sure to carefully review Twitter's "private information policy").

Click to view more comments
1 2 


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, 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.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 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.