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Mon Sept 29 2014 13:11:38

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am writing for some advice please. Last week I ordered a collectible item on eBay and 3 days ago it arrived. The item was described as "HAS BEEN TESTED AND ALL FUNCTIONS ARE IN WORKING ORDER."

Well, unfortunately after inserting new batteries and turning on, the item does not work - at all. Also, there is a noise inside whenever it is moved, so something has to be broken.

It may have broken during shipping, which I certainly can see with the way the packages get tossed around, so I want to give the seller the benefit of the doubt. I emailed them immediately after finding out the item didn't work asking them for a refund.

I have not heard back from them. So I requested a refund through eBay and selected the item not working option.

Is this now going to open a defect case against the seller? I don't want to hurt anyone's reputation on eBay, and as I said, this may have gotten broken during shipping. I have no way of knowing.

All I really want is a refund for the non-working item. How can I get my refund without opening a defect against the seller? I don't want any bad feelings and don't want to cause any hardship for the seller.

Also, I sell on eBay too, (although am thinking about giving it up due to all the really terrible new policies, it isn't worth the stress anymore) and quite honestly am a little leery about a disgruntled seller doing a retaliatory scam on me. Both the seller and I have 100% positive feedback and I don't want to mess that up for either one of us.

What can/should I do at this point?
Thanks.
Stressed out eBayer, M.




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Mon Sep 29 14:10:17 2014

How did you initially contact the seller with direct email or through ebay's messaging? I have always wondered if ebay is censoring communication and sellers are not receiving certain messages so buyers will open a case. A way to force sellers into ebay's Hassle Returns and giving sellers defects. I know this sounds paranoid but...?

Unfortunately I think the seller will get a defect since you requested a return through ebay due to not working. I could and hope to be wrong. This whole defect, cases, communication, return policy is so convoluted and constantly changing with the wind. No wonder sellers are so confused on what to do. Ebay is getting just pointless to use anymore at least for me.

I appreciate buyers like you trying to do the right thing and being so considerate. Others on here will be able to give you better advice. As a seller moving to other sites to sell will be more stress free. Also I am sure you will get a refund from either ebay or the seller.  

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 14:15:05 2014

3 days is usually plenty of time for a seller to respond.  

That being said, if you contacted after receiving on Friday, it's conceivable that the seller was already finished for the day and doesn't work or check their account on the weekends.  

If ebay is their full time gig, I can't imagine that but, if it's someone who just sells on occasion, you might not get a response on the weekend. And then if you opened the case this morning, this potential occasional seller hasn't had the opportunity to respond to your message from Friday afternoon/night before you opened your case.

Yes, once you open a case, it's a defect.  No going back no matter how satisfied you are.  Just like leaving a Negative Feedback for something like a manufacturing flaw that is completely out of the seller's hand.  Even if the seller reaches out and more than makes up for the flaw AND you change your Feedback, it's still a defect.  But, don't worry, any CS agent will tell you great changes are coming!  I'm still waiting.........

As for avoiding giving that seller a defect but still getting a refund?  You can file a claim through PayPal but ebay is even counting refunds handled strictly through PayPal (and having no ebay involvement) a defect, in particular, a Canceled Transaction.

I had an instance where something I sold was listed as the wrong size.  I contacted the buyer, explained the situation, apologized profusely and offered to ship them any replacement item for the cost of shipping only.  There was constant communication w/the Buyer and multiple messages sent back and forth. Unfortunately, they couldn't find anything they liked so I immediately sent through a full refund and then offered them 50% off any item of their choosing through the end of the year, told them they might need an xmas gift and we'd be getting in lots of new stuff over the next couple months.

The buyer was more than happy and extremely complimentary of our honesty, communication and multiple attempts at resolving the issue for them.  They said they would take us up on our offer before the new year and left Positive Feedback.

I issued the full refund but did not send a Cancel Transaction Request knowing this would automatically ding us with a defect. I just ate the ebay fee knowing the goodwill I created would more than pay for that fee in the long run.

A week later, we get a defect anyway.  After a call to CS, they told me it was b/c of a PayPal refund.  ebay lumps it in with Cancel Transactions but, after repeated questioning of this CS rep to show me where it states in any policies or documentation on the site about this instance, he said there was none.  So they closed that loophole.  Now, you basically have to lie to customers and, if you want to send through a Cancel Transaction Request, you have to choose "Buyer purchased by mistake or...." option or it counts against you.

So, to answer your questions, no, I don't think there's a way around not giving the seller a defect in this instance.  Maybe someone else knows of a new end-around!  

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 14:45:40 2014

Seller doesn't feel its important to contact you.

Open a case. Get your money back and leave the seller a big fat red donut.

Why feel sorry for a seller who clearly doesn't care.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Mon Sep 29 15:06:42 2014

Did your seller include a telephone number? Call them up on the phone.

Sellers, you can get a Google Voice number and answer that on your smart phone.

But if I charged you $100 and made you travel to another city, this advice would mean more.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 16:05:51 2014

What a nice buyer you are! I can't honestly find an excuse as to why a seller wouldn't get back to you after 3 days, so I don't blame you at all for taking the next step. The internet is 24/7. As a seller myself I put both my Ebay store and Ruby Lane store into vacation mode if I'm not going to be answer questions in a 24 hour period. I don't honestly think you could have done any different but thank you for caring :O)  

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 19:07:26 2014

Buyer says ''So I requested a refund through eBay and selected the item not working option.''

Stressed out eBayer, M., you have already created a defect on this seller's account. After 3 days w/o a reply I'm not so sure it wasn't deserved but personally I'd have continued the attempt at making contact for quite a few days longer, who knows what their circumstances might be. I most likely would have first checked their ''Items for sale''   to see if it's possible they may be away or similar rather than avoiding.  

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: FLIPPER This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 22:45:53 2014

1.) File a SNAD 2>) LET THE SELLER  file the insurance claim (I've ended up holding the short end of the stick and the seller has actually  GOTTEN MORE NET MONIES on cases where I was nice enough to file the claim. 3. Place the seller of this item on YOUR blocked bidders list - it won't guarantee that you aren't retaliated against  but it sure cuts down on the probability (I know it seems harsh especially for a "reasonable" seller but trust me it's worth doing ;)    

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Sep 29 23:28:32 2014

100% feedback doesn't always translate into a seller willing to resolve disputes. I once purchased a porcelain creamer from a seller with a fairly long history of positive feedback. The seller shipped my food serving item in an insecticide box (her husband was an exterminator). Of course I was no longer interested and cordially and respectfully requested a refund. Denied!! After going back and forth quite a bit she finally relented, but insisted I pay for return shipping. I think you did your due diligence in waiting 3 days (I probably would have waited a bit longer). Honestly, you sound like a thoughtful, considerate, and reasonable buyer.    

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: toyspast This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 23:35:48 2014

You are a very considerate buyer. Recently, I had a buyer like you and they sent me a message which I never received. There was some sort of glitch where several messages were not received. I do not have a habit of checking messages in the eBay message center - I rely on getting them in my email. Since I did not respond, he opened a case and gave me a defect. He was very apologetic but he felt it was his only recourse. My only advice is this, which won't help in this situation, but it's important to remember. SEND MORE THEN ONE MESSAGE!!!  If he had sent me a follow-up message, I would have received and responded and wouldn't have gotten a defect. Simple logic.  Keep being a great buyer!

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: imbloated This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 29 23:37:01 2014

it doesn't matter if the seller gets a defect because most people are going to lose their top seller status anyway.  

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Tue Sep 30 00:20:12 2014

Buyer never said she waited 3 days for a response from the seller. 1beck3 stated 3 days. We don't know how long before filing with ebay to return.

Besides losing TRS status with the defect, sellers will be lowered in search and further spankings from the ebay regime.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Sep 30 01:56:15 2014

@M.

You are certainly a very considerate person.  Just know you did what you could.  You contacted the seller, they just didn't respond.  You are not responsible for that, they are.

Now you may have scared them a little if you were just asking for a refund and didn't offer to return the item, but that is still no excuse for them not contacting you.  They should have and they should have just said, return for refund, apologized to you and give you the return address.  But sadly they didn't.

So you did what you had to do to protect yourself and your money.  Yes it did cause a defect on the seller's account, but that is their fault, not yours.  If they had just worked with you, you are so reasonable, everything would have been fine.

So I really hope you don't feel bad.  You have a seller not doing their job.  That happens sometimes.  Just know that most of us aren't like that.  We would have contacted you to see what we could do to resolve the issues.  I hope all turns out well for you.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 02:41:14 2014

Any return for any reason due to not working, or it doesn't fit via Ebay or a simply a Paypal refund, will generate a defect for a seller. So no matter if the buyer had responded promptly it would not have saved them from a defect when they issued you a refund.
Every seller out there is going to have defects for one reason or another. When a seller gets too many defects,  they will experience retirement the hard way.
I expect about 30% or more of all US sellers (including me) will see retirement by next Spring for too many defects if they sell clothing, electronics, video games or any other item that folks like to return. The average clothing return is said to 12% and I imagine games and electronics are even higher.
I suspect quite a few sellers will go bankrupt at the end of January due to a flood of returns. Many people like cash better than gifts any day of the week.  

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: redheadedlady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 07:00:12 2014

I have started sending out a note stapled to my packing slip.  Yes, I print a packing slip for every transaction I conduct.  Anyway, I thank them for the purchase and ask them to contact me before leaving neutral or negative feedback.  I give them my email and my phone number.  That way they can call or email me.  This, believe it or not, has worked quite well.  People even call me to tell me how happy they are with their product.  Just makes life a little easier and helps prevent the defect ratings.  
One lady called me and told how impressed she was that I would even give my phone number and she just wanted to call me and tell me that.  I am trying very, very hard to avoid those defect ratings and so far it's working.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: Joanbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 07:39:37 2014

Oh, for heaven's sake!  I cannot believe the cruel impatience of people who think three days (over a weekend) is too long to wait!  You could at least wait three business days ...  Even eBay gives people at least that long to reply.   It is a simple process to pull a sellers contact info and just give them a call.  Sellers have lives...  Things do happen.  Sellers get sick, injured and have deaths in their families.  I am certainly glad I didn't run into any of you "give the seller a big fat red donut" people when my only son died two years ago.  I didn't even remember I was a seller, let alone look at email, for at least a week ...  Glad none of you "self centered, can't imagine why a seller wouldn't respond in three days over a weekend" people had purchased from me during that terrible time.  I just don't understand where kindness has gone..  You have a full 30 days to open a case and get your money back...  What the.heck is the rush?  Sigh..  What a "selfish, must have immediate gratification, can't stop to think about anyone else world" we live in.  When you take the grace out of life the joy soon follows.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: redheadedlady This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 08:00:49 2014

@Joanbet
3 years ago, I fell at my church and broke the ball off my hip.  I had to be transported to the hospital.  Well, before I left, my first and only thought at the time was to get ebay off.  I had my son shut down the site and contact the people who had purchased to let them know what happened and to tell them that as soon as I got out of the hospital I would be sending their merchandise out.  AND, it worked.  I did not receive one negative feedback from that.  I was in the hospital for 23 days and almost died.   I came on a Friday afternoon and opened my store Friday night and by Saturday the orders were coming back in again.  Hubby helped me get things going since I could not walk or bend over.  I just sat on the bed and did what I needed to do.  Worked out great for me.  Since ebay is my bread and butter right now, it is always upper most in my mind no matter what the situation.  I am sorry for your loss @joanbet and I'm sure it was hard.  I cannot imagine losing a child.  That would be the worst!!

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: Joanbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 08:48:17 2014

You  fall and break a hip at church and your first and only thought is freakin' eBay!   That is just the saddest thing and perfectly punctuates my point.   If it wasn't for the fact that you know there are so many impatient buyers who won't cut a seller a single break, you might have been able to give your loving spouse, your children, your pets, or even yourself that first and only thought!!!   You should never have to think about stupid eBay first when suffering.  There is just no way I could possibly have been thinking about anything but my dear son!  Honestly, we need to be treating one another with kindness.  Ebay has created, over the last several years, a ridiculous environment where simple human compassion is lost to unrealistic expectations.  I've been selling since 1996 and I can tell you that it wasn't always like this.  There was a day when Mr. Omydar,s principle of "People are basically good" prevailed and eBay was actually fun.  I long for those days.  I hate the way it is now...  All tense and unforgiving... People expecting that all sellers are out to cheat them and all buyers are scammers.  It is just horrible and it really doesn't have to be this way.  But so long as people are all so willing to jump all over sellers like this after just three days (two of them being weekend days) it won't change.  And that is just the saddest thing.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: Joanbet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 08:48:23 2014

You  fall and break a hip at church and your first and only thought is freakin' eBay!   That is just the saddest thing and perfectly punctuates my point.   If it wasn't for the fact that you know there are so many impatient buyers who won't cut a seller a single break, you might have been able to give your loving spouse, your children, your pets, or even yourself that first and only thought!!!   You should never have to think about stupid eBay first when suffering.  There is just no way I could possibly have been thinking about anything but my dear son!  Honestly, we need to be treating one another with kindness.  Ebay has created, over the last several years, a ridiculous environment where simple human compassion is lost to unrealistic expectations.  I've been selling since 1996 and I can tell you that it wasn't always like this.  There was a day when Mr. Omydar,s principle of "People are basically good" prevailed and eBay was actually fun.  I long for those days.  I hate the way it is now...  All tense and unforgiving... People expecting that all sellers are out to cheat them and all buyers are scammers.  It is just horrible and it really doesn't have to be this way.  But so long as people are all so willing to jump all over sellers like this after just three days (two of them being weekend days) it won't change.  And that is just the saddest thing.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: DebraD This user has validated their user name.

Tue Sep 30 08:50:22 2014

First, I would stop worrying about retaliation. You are a buyer on Ebay at this point and the item you received is ''Not as Described'' If you have not heard back from the seller within a reasonable amount of time, you have no alternative other than open a claim. We are all very much aware of how this defect policy works now. Customer service should be at the top of every Ebay seller's priority list. If you have requested a return for item not working, you probably inadvertently opened a case, so the defect has already occurred. If you have not heard back from the seller within a couple of days 2 maybe 3, Call Ebay. Chances are you will be given a refund and you may not be required to return the item, thus avoiding the cost of return shipping. Ebay may issue you a return shipping label otherwise. Can't say for certain, but it does happen. If the item may have been damaged in shipping and was sent by an insured service-Prioity mail- UPS-Fedex Etc. Keep all packaging. Your seller may need it to file a claim.

What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?   What Would You Tell This Stressed Out eBay Buyer?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Sep 30 09:01:49 2014

I too agree if the seller has only waited three days over a weekend to hear back from the seller as rushing somewhat but they didn'at actually say that only that they got the item 3 days prior. Some of us sellers do like to have on the weekend some days and free time where our on line sales aren't the only thing in life.

Because of the technology that many people have I find it interesting some of the advice given such as to call the seller or buyer (depending on what is going on). Some people and I am sure there are many yet who don't own cell phones with 'free' calling. We only have a landline and have to pay for every single long distance phone call that is made. Depending on the profit margin of what you sold, just how much do you want to invest in phone calls? I'm disabled and have to take frequent naps and rest breaks. The last thing I want is someone calling me whatever time of day or night that THEY think is appropriate to call about business, when I may be asleep, or upstairs away from my business paperwork, shipping log, etc. Some of us sell on line because we have reasons that we can't deal with the public other than via email. I of course, include a packing slip with my email address on it as well as a packing label with our website url, and I send a shipping notification email with our email address to the customer so there is never a reason that they don't have an off venue way of contacting me if needed.

As to not wanting to ding the seller who has 100% positive feedback. If they don't answer you within a decent business time timeframe, didn't insure or self insure an item that is breakable, etc. Maybe they deserve something other than a positive. However, now that the weekend is over and they hop to and do what they need to, you can still give a positive feedback if you care to. I don't know ebay's rules on defects but I haven't heard that getting a defect on a sale, doesn't mean that you can't still give a positive.  One of my last ebay transactions ended with me giving a 100%+ seller a negative. First she sent the wrong stuff and it was water damaged and moldy. She denied that anything was moldy or less than perfect, but she did send the right box and even though I told her not to send any moldy or water damaged sewing patterns at least half the box was filled with them. Almost all of the box contents hit the garbage can ASAP to prevent the spread of the mold. The entire time she denied that they were less than perfect. I felt compelled to give a negative. Really who wants their office and inventory damaged by incoming moldy products?

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