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Thu May 9 2013 22:12:19

eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
It's gotten crazy, about 5-10% of our buyers are asking for/demanding partial refunds after they get items!! They don't want to return an it, but items always have a problem, or a stain, or some minute issue and they want a refund of $10, $20 or more.

Many file claims w/ eBay but never return the item. There must be some site telling folks how to game eBay sellers!

I've done eBay for 16 yrs. and am starting to feel that the end is near for us!!
ClassEutax




Comments (65) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Thu May 9 23:23:39 2013

The OP writes: "There must be some site telling folks how to game eBay sellers!"

Absolutely correct... that site is eBay!!!

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: Bebe This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 9 23:42:34 2013

I have been selling since 1999, I went from about $20 - $40 a month in refunds to $300 to $700 a month!! Same stuff, actually better than what I sold a few tears ago. I sell designer clothes and shoes and feel like I have turned into a rental thanks to the Ebay 14 day return policy.  Many buyers have caught on that they can actually keep the item for 45 days due to the liberal Buyer protection policy.  Someone opened a case on an item they had for 90 days! Said it had rhinestones missing. Ebay said it would close in my favor in 3 days. I have tried 3 times to get Ebay to close the case, yet it is still there after a month.  Unbelieveable!

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 00:10:20 2013

When ebay decides to follow it's OWN policy about buyers not being able to RETURN items "Just because" when we post on OUR listings that we do NOT ACCEPT RETURNS--and when sellers adopt thjis and enforce it--

Then MAYBE we will see this change.

Until then--not so much.  Is that ever shaky discount worht the hassle of all these returns and false complaints?  And IF the things we have heard just how here---about how everytime a buyer contacts a seller AFTER the sale for whatever reason (even to say Thanks!) it opens a COMPLAINT CASE---just how long to you think it will BE before ebay takes away that discount BECAUSE too many buyers contacted you?

I will report tho that I had two buyers contact me (NOT for any complaint reasons) and this does NOT show as having opened any sort of "case" so mayhap these poor souls were just being used as guinea pigs.  If so--BEWARE!  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 00:45:12 2013

ALWAYS add

Buyer pays return shipping.

I have over 500 in my BBL

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Fri May 10 01:19:58 2013

Wow, 5-10% requesting refunds is a lot!!  It has to be in the clothing category. Seems that's the absolute worst category to sell on eBay.

I just got my first return request in over 1000 transactions from a buyer of a brand new polo shirt who complained the item ''runs large''. She was acting like I manufactured the shirt and giving me serious attitude, despite the fact I had given her no problem about the return. She just wanted to argue and be mean to someone but I wouldn't stoop to her  level.

I called eBay and they said she was out of line, credited my account for the full price of the item and said just give her a refund and let her keep it. Next day, I tried to refund but her Paypal account was no longer active, so I looked and her eBay account was NARU'ed. Funniest part, is the shirt arrived in the mail today !!! Oh well.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Fri May 10 01:25:29 2013

On another note, what some of these buyers are pulling by using feedback to leverage partial refunds amounts to nothing more than criminal extortion.

That's why it's always best to respond to scammers polite and matter of fact, then call eBay until you get a decent CS rep.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: nothingnew This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Fri May 10 06:29:20 2013

Why of course there is a rise in returns. Ever since ebay started their automatic reimbersment policy it
woke the refund monster.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri May 10 07:57:01 2013

Forestt - '' It has to be in the clothing category. Seems that's the absolute worst category to sell on eBay.''


I've sold clothing (used) for several years & am quite happy with my customers & business.  I have several repeat buyers & to put a plug in for them - most are just plain fantastic to deal with!

Part of it is, IMO, most of my buyers are the type of people who recycle (clothing), mid years adult to older, earth friendly and laid back. I also have good customer service in place that has evolved over the years.

Yet, I can understand your opinion on the clothing category:  I mostly buy pre-owned clothing for myself - some leaning toward mid to high prices. At times every SINGLE clothing item I buy in a row has undisclosed stains, fabric flaws, things I NEVER would have listed myself. Or at least would have put the issue in the description - (and yes, sellers do occasionally miss a flaw - I know I do)  

But to have it happen so many times in a row is either extreme bad luck on my part or some sellers are not on their best game.  This is frustrating,  because it gives clothing sellers a bad reputation and people tend to generalize.  



I don't know if the OP has a return policy or not?  For the first several years of business I had a ''no return'' policy.  I did have some experiences like OP describes.

I WAS skeptical of returns, thinking it may be more of a ''rental'' scenario. But after research of what fellow eBay clothing sellers offered on a return policy, I gave 14 day returns with buyers paying ALL shipping costs a try last year.

I do maybe 1-2 returns a month in spurts. Then it will go awhile before another. Knock on wood, they have all been on a friendly basis - even gaining some repeat customers.  Some thank me for being able to return items that don't fit right, color, or just changed their mind. So far only one item has had to be de-smoked, but I'm prepared for that. In my case, I'm having a better experience than when I had a ''no returns'' policy.  Of course that may not be the case for everyone.

For  used clothing, ''rental'' is not as big of an issue as it is for NEW clothing. My return items are used to start with, so when I re-list them they are still used. NEW clothing is a horse of a different color and if it gets returned to the seller as used, you have to sell it as a return or a used item.  Big difference!

If you sell anything, returns will likely be part of your life at one point or another. A clearly worded  return/refund policy MAY be a good option to put yourself in front of the issue.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: beverly This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 08:18:55 2013

again complaining sellers

I won 4 items over the weekend form 2 different sellers

after I purchased, I send message asking why the shipping was so high

one seller cancelled sale immediately AFTER I PAID.I never said that I did not want the items

2nd seller said she could not find the 2 items and cancelled the sale

I left negative feedback for both sellers..(I had paid, did not ask for lower shipping)

one seller still has not refunded my money and told me to 'grow up' when I asked where my refund was

other seller got really nasty about negative feedback, tried to get feedback removed

As a buyer I am tired of nasty non-professional sellers

I always pay immediately and I thnk I have a right to ask why shipping is so high (over $11.00 for shipping 2 small pieces f jewelry) when I know that it only costs about $1.75 to ship through ebay shipping

highway robbery

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: TAK This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 09:04:41 2013

Beverly - you didn't check shipping before you bid? It's not right to subsequently protest it after the purchase by leaving negative FB. That's harsh.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri May 10 09:27:52 2013

Off subject but I'm with Tak:

If shipping is clearly displayed - buyers can agree to pay it and enter into a contract with the seller to buy the item, or not agree to pay it and vote with your feet.

To deliberately purchase an item that clearly displayed shipping cost, then take negative action against a seller because of that same cost that you were aware of BEFORE you purchased,  is IMO, unethical & worse behavior than a seller who overcharges, but has the right to set their shipping cost for their business.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri May 10 09:44:52 2013

@beverly

I agree with "TAK". I assume the shipping was stated in the listing, and if the seller didn't state there would be discounted shipping for multiple items purchased, then I don't know why you complained since you knew prior to the purchase what the shipping cost would be. A better approach would have been to contact the sellers prior to committing to buy. And I doubt that two pieces of jewelry could have shipped for $1.75 unless the sellers just threw the pieces in a regular business envelope.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: Victoria This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 10:08:32 2013

Really Beverly?!  The time to ask about shipping charges is BEFORE you purchase.  If you thought they were too high DON'T purchase.  As a seller I'm sure they were worried you would ding their DSR's which I'm sure you would have, so they cancelled the sale...it doesn't take much to have an account restricted these days :{

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: whybuy/freerental This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 11:15:54 2013

All Beverly did was confirm what the OP wrote in about.

She waited to ask about the shipping cost until AFTER she had purchased because she was counting on SCARING the sellers with her shipping cost email into giving her a partial refund.

Buyers like this know that most sellers are not looking for trouble, negatives, or low DSR's. with that in mind the buyer knows just what to do and say to spook the seller into doing what they did....refund and run. It is unfortunate that they still could not get away from this buyer without getting what she planned on giving all along...negs and I am sure low DSR's.

Why else would you question a seller about shipping cost AFTER you purchased the items.

She also showed her hand when she said ''I never said I did not want the items''. Well of course you wanted the item you just wanted them to give you a partial refund/discount otherwise why did you send them the email. Sounds to me like you wanted the items but wanted a refund of 9.25.

Since you seem to think 1.75 was all the shipping should have been.

Thanks for confirming the OP's post

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 11:31:30 2013

Beverly, $1.75 to ship 2 pieces of jewelry? Have you ever shipped a package? What did that package weigh? How did they ship it? How much was the jewelry worth? Did the seller ship it insured? If so, the insurance cost is more than $1.75.

The cheapest parcel shipping at USPS is $1.69 for a package up to 3 ounces, including the weight of the items and packaging materials. If it is 3.1 ounces, then it jumps to $1.86. These prices don't include insurance. It takes a box and packing material, tape, a label, and a trip to the post office to ship the package. You can check on the actual shipping cost at usps.com if you know the package weight and size. If the seller doesn't insure the package, then if it is lost or damaged, the seller has to give the buyer a full refund (self-insured). Plus, ebay and paypal charge their fees on the shipping cost, too, so either the seller adds a handling fee to cover those costs, or loses money on shipping. If the seller gives the package to their mail carrier (and happens to be there when the carrier shows up), you don't get a receipt proving that you shipped it. If you take it to the post office, you have to stand in line to bring the package to the counter after waiting in line, which could be 15 to 20 minutes (at least at our local post office), then ask for a receipt proving that the weight is correct (so the buyer doesn't receive the package with postage due) and to prove that you shipped the package when you said you did.

The seller should always get a receipt showing when they brought the package to the post office. I have heard of ebay sellers getting negative feedback where the buyer claims the package didn't arrive on time because the seller didn't ship it when they said they did. In one particular case that I know of, the seller did ship it on time, but it arrived a day late for a gift because the post office took 4 days to deliver a Priority Mail package. They say the delivery time for Priority Mail is 2 to 3 days on average, but they don't guaranty it. Yet, if it takes longer, but buyer blames the seller and might leave negative feedback! This is totally unfair to the seller, because the seller cannot control the shipping time, and the post office doesn't guaranty shipping time for anything other than Express Mail.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Fri May 10 11:34:40 2013

If I get a troublesome buyer (negative feedback, squawks about shipping costs when they are reasonable, makes fraudulent claims, etc.), they get put on my blocked bidder list. I will NOT do business with them again. Fortunately, this is only a small percentage of buyers. There are many reasonable buyers out there.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Fri May 10 11:55:11 2013

--- ''...one seller cancelled sale immediately AFTER I PAID. I never said that I did not want the items''

Based on what you've told us, Beverly, it appears that this seller made a very smart decision. I think your anger and frustration has little to do with how the seller actually responded... instead, you're probably more upset that this seller was able to figure you out so easily and quickly.

--- ''As a buyer I am tired of nasty non-professional sellers''

So... I wonder: Why are you still shopping at eBay? If things are as horrible as you describe, what's the attraction?

Another thing I wonder about... what is it about this blog that attracts ''buyers'' who have gripes about sellers? Considering the nature of this website (specifically: its topics, and its primary target audience) it strikes me as unusual when a non-sellers drive-by to shout at sellers.

I'm not complaining... I'm just noting how odd it seems to me.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: TFG

Fri May 10 12:00:02 2013

@Beverly

Please give me your eBay name so I can add it to my BBL.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Fri May 10 12:03:37 2013

Beverly is the kind of buyer all sellers have nightmares about. I only wish I had her eBay ID so I could add her to my blocked buyers list.

When a normal person looks at an item for sale, they factor in shipping cost to the total item price and decide to make a purchase. Harassing a seller about clearly defined shipping costs after purchase is just wrong. eBay should get rid of buyers like this once and for all.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise   eBay Buyers Seeking Refunds Are on the Rise

This user has validated their user name. by: Forestt

Fri May 10 12:06:50 2013

@TFG - Look at Beverly's name here. It's a link to an email address. Google that and you can find her business.  

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