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Mon Feb 17 2014 14:49:06

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I saw the story about a Top Rated eBay Seller Calling It Quits. I just had a horrific experience with eBay and wanted to share my story.

I was a Top Rated Seller, unjustly accused of mis-representing a Kate Spade dress, because I wouldn't give buyer a refund. eBay allows sellers to have a No Refund Policy, yet when I cited this, buyer was able to penalize me with unjust negative feedback and a unmeritorious claim.

The kicker - eBay made a decision on buyer's behalf - 3 minutes after it was submitted. Customer Service said it takes 24-48 hours, yet despite all my proof, this buyer gets a winning decision in 3 minutes????

I have attached my documentation and can provide more, if you are interested in my story. I may be a small fish in a big pond, but even a small fish should be allowed the right to zealously defend their good name, despite what eBay says!
Kathy




Comments (38) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Feb 17 16:12:04 2014

"eBay allows sellers to have a No Refund Policy..."

Actually, eBay allows sellers to have a no return or exchange policy.

When it comes to refunds, eBay will wrest it from you forcefully whether a seller likes it or not, as you just found out...

An eBay listing that states no returns in light of eBay's "Money Back Guarantee" is a waste of electronic 0s and 1s.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 17 18:00:07 2014

I hate it when sellers have no return policies on clothes. I understand it's to protect against the 0.1% who likely try stuff on, wear it for a few days and then return it. However, it's annoying to other people who don't know how something is going to fit until they try it on. Why would I buy a $500 dress that I don't know will fit and then not be able to return it?

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

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

Mon Feb 17 19:04:28 2014

Appeal the decision keep appealing it until you get a CSR willing to actually look at your documentation.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 17 19:06:43 2014

I agree with mjr55 when it comes to clothing, especially $$$ items; but I do think that your disappointed buyer  could have tried to work with you first. All my items say ''No return'', but I always allow them, no questions asked. eBay doesn't care about a seller. They have over 4 million sellers.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 17 23:23:18 2014

I FULLY understand the NO REURN policy issue - as I do handbags from time to time, so Im familiar with the issues. Each time you make a sale to one of eBays stellar buyers - you dread turning your PC on the next day for that "I dont like it, it wasnt as decribed etc" email.

If you are LUCKY enough you can get it back with the tags still on (in my case) and all if not most of the packaging .. so you can still resell it as new (which it is).

I stayed away from Nike and other brands - just because of the headaches I could see comming down the pike.

eBay does let you have a "no returns" policy - but since this is eBay - what it says ISNT what it means. It means in eBayspeak - that the customer doesnt have to return the item if theres an issue, NOT that you can have a no returns final sale policy.

"You can" sorta - but like in this case - you will loose the item and the money.

Its not a winning business model - thats why I only sell things I can find a home for - aka return to the vendor I got it from, ect.

eBay prizes buyers over sellers %95 of the time and it will never change. They believe that the FVFs ultimately come from the buyer and if buyers dont feel safe/happy - they wont come back (hence no jet fuel money).

Amazon FYI, is the same way - if not worse. Amazon (and Ive seen it done to people including myself) will believe a customer who tells them they didnt recieve the item, even though USPS says "delivered".

3P sellers are on the bottom rung in all marketplaces :

My appologies to the OP who wrote in - this is todays eBay ... sad state of affairs.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Feb 18 07:38:05 2014

MJR55 says: "Why would I buy a $500 dress that I don't know will fit and then not be able to return it?"

I don't know, to wear it to a fancy cocktail party and then return it smelling of smoke and with armpit stains?  THIS is why sellers have no return policies on clothing items.

Returns have turned a lot of clothing sellers into clothing renters.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: ssusannss This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 08:19:13 2014

Have you tried the Better Business Bureau? I've gone up against PayPayl twice for sizable amounts they've taken from me, and both times won. I haven't had to try yet with ebay but wouldn't hesitate. It's free and worth a shot.  

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: GypsyWitch This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 08:35:18 2014

IN RESPONE TO MJR55:  A lot of problems would be solved if sellers would put the measurements of the clothing item in their listing.  AND the actual height of heels on shoes, not just "medium heel"  Their definition of "medium heel" may be different than mine, and having back problems, I have to be careful with heel height. Many of them don't even put a good description in such as "does the skirt have a zipper, what kind of material", etc.  What do they put???   "Nice shoes" or "smoke-free and pet-free home" or "purse used one time".   Gee, THAT'S telling me if something will fit!!!!  I wouldn't buy an item either unless I knew it would fit.   Why pay postage to get the item and then have to pay it again to return the item!!!   Mailing charges are NOT refundable except for the original shipping price you paid when you open a case against a seller and eBay sides with the buyer, as they do 99% of the time, AND you still get to keep the item you're complaining about!!! I have wasted more time asking for measurements and what do I get most of them time:   "it's a large, if you wear a large it should fit you".   NEWS FLASH:   Not all "larges, etc" fit the same.   I put measurements in every one of my auctions.  If these idiot ebay sellers would follow that policy, they wouldn't have as many complaints.   And it's usually the new sellers who don't know what the heck to put in their listings!!!    Common sense tells you what to put in there, but many of them lack it!!!  And I have mentioned to eBay CSR's MANY times that eBay should make it mandatory to put measurements in the listings.  In one ear, out the other because there's nothing in the middle to stop it!!!!!!   "Feebay" has ALWAYS sided with the buyer and always will.   They can lie their butts off and say there was a stain on a top and leave a negative feedback.  It happened to me.  I asked the girl to take a pic of the top in case there was a stain that got past me, even tho I had just washed it before listing it.  Wasn't asking her to spend money and return it, but I did offer a refund.   She sends no pic, leaves bad FB and eBay WOULD NOT remove the FB.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

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

Tue Feb 18 08:44:07 2014

Its the "Walmart" policy - the customer is right at all costs as it is the "customer" that will return to buy again. The "Seller" is a disposable entity.

Remember, your probably dealing with an 18 year old with a book of scripted responses who has zero vested interest in anything but her paycheck and, thus, the support of eBay.

My advice, keep appealing till the cows come home or until you find someone who is willing to risk the ire of eBay by ruling against "their own employer" or someone who has not reached their quota of "Seller" rulings for the month.

Why on earth do people still continue to do business with eBay? Diversify....your own website and a couple of middlemen platforms.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 09:06:18 2014

Tools are the same way. It is cheaper to buy on ebay, claim the tool is not as described (even though it was exactly as described), and return it for a full refund, than it is to rent one locally. I gave a full refund on a tool that was exactly as described when the buyer became belligerent about the used tool at half the price of a new one was broken and missing parts. At least I got the tool back, and in the same condition that I sold it in, and exactly as described in my ebay listing. At least I didn't get negative FB. I issued a full refund to (hopefully) avoid having the buyer open a case. Of course, if there was a case, the seller always loses. I resold the tool on another site, and that buyer was happy, and my fees were much lower than on ebay.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 09:37:51 2014

Who would buy a $500 dress on ebay???  My wife would go shopping for a dress. Pick out her size, try it on and say NO. it puckered or whatever here or there or didn't feel right. Loved going shopping with her. :-).  Just doesn't make sense to sell an expensive clothing on ebay. Used jeans or tops are one thing BUT.....
Amazon is worse with allowing returns for any reason, including change of mind. The BIG difference is that you are allowed to charge a restocking fee for those items and you don't have to eat the shipping like you do on ebay.
What I just love is ebay will give a refund when you sell an item that is clearly marked broken and selling as is. Why refunds in those cases. are allowed is beyond me.  Must be easier and CHEAPER for ebay to issue refund than spend 5 minutes actually looking at the facts.  All about the bottom line.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: queenkim98 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 09:47:48 2014

@Gypsywitch

No, that would not solve any problems.  Not all buyers read the description, item specifics and look at all the pictures.  Ebay is fully aware of this and still lets the buyer claim snad when an item is exactly as described.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: AuctionMonkey This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 09:55:06 2014

Perhaps a $500 dress is $700 in the shops. If you want to try it on and decide for yourself, either don't buy from someone with a no return policy, or go to the shop and pay full price. Good lord.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

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

Tue Feb 18 10:48:25 2014

gypsywitch. Boy do I hear what you are saying! But as a seller I'm very happy with the nuts that try to sell my kind of inventory that don't know anything about what they are selling, nor do they list the IMPORTANT points about the product. Why, because many book sellers have also run into sewing patterns in their travels and decided it was a great item to sell. I just want to laugh when I see some of those so called descriptions that they write, assuming they write a description other than the 'first rate service blurb'. I'm knowledgeable in my niche and via my own type of continuing education keep getting more knowledge. They sell their stuff for peanuts and I sell mine for 10 times more and I end up with better feedback (100%+) than they do and with very happy customers.

So I don't care what they are doing. the only thing that has affected my business is the deluge of new sellers to this niche that 4-5 years ago had minimal sellers.

I get asked questions, which I promptly respond to (almost always it answer was in the listing more than once) but I give what is needed so for the most part no need to return items, even on Amazon.

What is frustrating is selling something that is completely described and being sold As Is since there was no way to test it or know if it is broken. A $5 item and immediately upon delivery they want their money back as 'it broke in transit' so the customer figures that isn't covered under the As Is statement and she wanted a full refund. I've always wondered how she knew it was broken? Some people have just learned to buy and demand those refunds and so they end up with so many freebies, I don't know how they can look at themselves first thing in the morning.

I try to not be influenced into bad behavior as a seller, just because the rest of the sellers are sloppy about what they do.  

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: DaveB This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 10:53:01 2014

Yes, IVE been an eBay Seller for almost 13 years and I get a chuckle when I see that a Seller Doesn't accept returns! If you sell on eBay, you WILL accept returns! The only difference that I have seen is if your description states something about the item that the Buyer completely ignored and that is the reason they want to return the item, you MIGHT win the case and not have to accept the return. In my experience, 5-30 minute decisions AGAINST SELLERS are not uncommon, and several days or weeks decisions AGAINST BUYERES are not uncommon.
 I realize that in the early days a lot of buyers were getting cheated on eBay and they got a lot of bad publicity, but now they have gone completely to the opposite extreme and Sellers are getting cheated all the time!  Ebay needs to realize that they still need sellers to keep their site viable!

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 11:14:55 2014

LOL, Rexford you are so correct. I actually know a person who did exactly that. She bought a very expensive dress from Macy's, wore it to a fancy work dinner party, then returned it for a full refund. In fact people like that prefer the more expensive clothes, and there are a lot more people like that than most people realize.

Ebay customer service is the worst. The initial customer services reps who receive the calls of sellers have way too much power and way too little knowledge or common sense. The reason this decision took only 3 minutes is because Ebay customer service reps are told that NEVER is feedback ever to be removed unless the feedback includes profanity or is completely untrue. The scammer buyers know this and they expertly word their "negative" feedback so that it complies with EBay's rules. Then the ONLY way that the negative feedback can be removed is by the BUYER, and they won't do it unless a refund is given. Feedback extortion is a huge problem on EBay and it is constantly causing sellers problems. EBay can't stay one step ahead of the criminals because they are too busy helping them. :)

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 11:21:32 2014

Why would anyone buy clothing on ebay that you are not sure will fit?  Why would anyone buy something mail order that might need to be returned?

That is just a pointless waste of time.  

The only exception is when the price is right, like a $500 item for $35 sold with no returns.  Then, the buyer is taking a risk to save a lot of money, and that's valid.  But buy a $500 item for $400 with no returns? That would be very risky, there is just no reason a buyer should take that sort of risk.  So don't buy, that's the solution.  

I would never ever sell clothing on ebay, and I wouldn't buy either. It's just too fraught with trouble.

If you buy mail order there has to be a reason to buy, and saving a heck of a lot of money is the reason. Only a fool would buy mail order if the price wasn't right.

Buying a cheap, no return item and then going back on your agreement is the problem here, and ebay is supporting that type of behavior.

That's what needs to be solved.  

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 11:36:59 2014

To Kathleen Johnson, "Why on earth do people still continue to do business with eBay? Diversify....your own website and a couple of middlemen platforms."

Um, we do business on EBay because it has the buyers. Do you realize how expensive and time consuming it is to start your own website and purchase "feelers" that go out onto the internet to try to gather in buyers? Each "feeler" costs money, and so does customer service and computer/internet problems. EBay has a constant high traffic of buyers, and that's why we sell on EBay. You wouldn't get as much buyer traffic opening a brick and mortar store in the Mall of America! And "middle-men", along with shopping carts, advertisement, and payment processing, all costs money, and it takes time to gain regular or loyal customers. It's not as easy as you say, and there's a good chance that your website will not be successful, therefore wasting all that time and money. Heck you cannot even find another site as successful as EBay, and many companies have tried to replicate EBay, so let's stay realistic. That is exactly why EBay often times takes advantage of sellers. EBay knows that they have us where they want us because they have what we need......buyers.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 11:49:24 2014

Steevo, I buy clothes mail order because I hate shopping. It takes too much time and gas driving around to all the different stores before I find something that I like, that is priced right, and that is my size. Many times I will find something that I like in a store but they don't have my size. I also will go to a store and try on a name-brand pair of jeans to find the right size and fit, and then order them online, sometimes at a cheaper price. But I would never ever pay a lot of money for something that offered no returns. That's way too risky.

eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision   eBay Sides with Buyer in 3-Minute Decision

by: trader_chris This user has validated their user name.

Tue Feb 18 12:11:16 2014

Caveat venditor - let the seller beware.

I own a consignment business and am a Power Seller / Top Rated Seller on eBay. Rarely will I take clothing on consignment, as I know the headache that comes will selling such personalized merchandise. If you make the decision to sell clothing, then you need to make the decision to accept the fact that some people will want to return the items due to poor fit, flaws, or simply to abuse a system that is rigged in the buyer's favor. If you know the rules to the game and decided to play, you can't be upset if you find yourself losing on occasion. It happens to all of us.  

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