I have been a top rated seller with well over 3,000 feedback at 100% for almost 12 years now on eBay. However, I have just now experienced the "sting" of a fraudulent buyer under eBay's new so-called "We want the buyer to have a happy experience in every situation" and if they express displeasure or negativity, that means that you, as the seller are at fault...no matter what and no questions asked of the buyer!"
I recently had an eBay buyer first ask me to send her close up photos of the hallmarks on my necklace. I did so, plus I added the photo, for my own protection, to my listing. After she received it, she then asked me if I would accept a price that was 25% less ($120 less) than my fixed Buy it Now listing that did not allow for any offers whatsoever.
When I told her no, she came back begging for me to at least knock off $60 from my price. Again I said no.
Just as I was heading over to block this person, she hit my BIN price and had to pay immediately. Due to her previous behavior, I had grave misgivings about sending out my necklace but was forced to do so else I be considered to be a "non-selling seller" with a strike against my account.
My misgivings proved to be "dead on" because one day after she received my like brand new necklace, its pouch, and cleaning cloth, she requested to return it for a full refund with me paying shipping both ways. My listings clearly state that I do not accept returns...but the next thing I knew, without me checking off anything or replying, it appeared on my computer screen that I had "agreed to accept the return"!
You can well imagine that I freaked out seeing this appear suddenly through no action of my own!
I immediately called eBay who claimed that there must be some sort of "glitch" occurring because they said maybe someone came over and used my computer to "accept the return"...which I find extremely disturbingly interesting since no one uses or has access to my computer and I have also learned from 3 other seller friends that they too have had this suddenly happen through no control or actions of their own also!
I also was hit with a "DEFECT" by eBay because the Buyer expressed that she wished to return...and that eBay states the defect remains on my account no matter what...even if I told her she could keep the necklace AND that I would refund her $495!!
eBay told me that while they could not do anything about the "accepted return glitch" that they would email the buyer within 24 hours and copy me on this to explain that no, I did not agree to the return...blah blah blah!
Of course, no such email ever occurred as they had promised! I took it upon myself to email the buyer and to reiterate that no I would not accept a return and that the necklace she had received was in perfect condition with no defects. She had claimed that while the necklace was beautiful….she found that the "clasp was tricky" and said that sometimes she felt it worked fine but other times she felt it slipped open.
She later reversed herself and stated that the clasp was too HARD to open and that she had to push really hard to get the clasp to release...just the dead opposite of what she claimed at first. When I still refused the return, she threatened me with filing against me in BOTH eBay and Paypal at the same exact time.
I told her that was her choice but that she would have to choose one or the other because she couldn't have two claims for the same purchase with two different venues. After waiting about 3 hours, she evidently decided not to file against me but instead, knowing that I was leaving the state for my Christmas vacation, she wrote saying: "I will take very good care of the necklace. It will be put back in wrappers and left that way until this is resolved. As you know, I am a Seller on ebay also, and my customers satisfaction is always key. Have a great vacation over the Holidays. Best,"
She then, without my knowledge or consent, printed out a return label and sent back A necklace (certainly not MY necklace!). The first I found out about this was when I received an email while on vacation that a return had been sent with a tracking number. I, of course, freaked out because this was 180 degrees from what she had emailed me.
I called eBay and spoke to an agent who told me that he would open a case for me and then put that same case on a 5 day "hold" while he requested that the buyer provide proof of her claim that my necklace was defective. Yesterday was the final day for her to provide said proof...but now, eBay's Resolution Department has once again totally reversed themselves by saying that the eBay Resolution Specialist who opened the case and put it on hold, had no right to do so and that unless the buyer claims "counterfeit" that eBay does not care whatsoever what or why the buyer wishes to return the item...all eBay cares about is that the buyer has a "HAPPY buying experience" and if they feel unhappy or sad, no matter what...it is the seller's fault because eBay wishes to "Drive more buyers to the website"!
The idiot with whom I spoke even stated that it was us, as Sellers who demanded these changes this past August. She also said that this will hold true now for all buyers wishing to return our items any time within 6 months from the date that they purchase...for any reason or no reason at all! Again...eBay and PayPal just want the little darlings to be happy...at our expense!
This eBay representative, supposedly a Supervisor in the eBay Resolution Department, told me that now eBay does not require the buyer to prove ANYTHING...just to return our items for a full refund and that their new policy since August, "trumps" our individual "no returns" policies.
She further stated that IF I do not refund the buyer, I will have a "Strike" recorded against my account as eBay having to settle the buyer's claim without resolution on my part! When I asked "What if the buyer returns something entirely different, or worse, sends back an empty box? What then?"
I was told "We are not responsible to cover the cost of Sellers' items...that is just a cost you must consider for doing business. You can report the buyer and we will 'watch' to see if the buyer makes a habit of doing this to sellers, but no, on an individual basis? If you get back a broken item or items are missing? Too bad…we will not cover you - you will just be out your item as your own cost of doing business!" This is a clear and out and out signal to invite buyers to be thieves and liars!
Sure enough, when we got home from vacation, my husband went to our post office and got the box that my buyer had sent back. When I opened it, I found, wadded up in tape and gooey bubble wrap, a totally different necklace that has almost obliterated hallmarks and wear...far different than the like brand new one I had sent out to this buyer.
I also found that the buyer had not included the designer brand new pouch nor the brand new designer cleaning cloth that had been sent with the perfect, as brand new, necklace that I had mailed out! I hit the roof and called eBay about this total miscarriage of justice that is out and out fraud and theft!
I also emailed the buyer telling her that the necklace I received back, not only has nothing wrong with the clasp (because it's certainly not mine!) and that it is not the necklace I sent to her nor were the accessories I sent to her, sent back to me.
She did acknowledge that she didn't send the accessories because she said she neglected to send them due to eBay's instructions to her but that the necklace she sent back is the same one I sent to her! I find this to be incredulous since I have extremely clear photos of my necklace in my listing along with close ups of the necklace's hallmarks on the clasp!
The necklace she sent back is a far older version with hallmarks worn off and a different configuration of the clasp! The necklace she sent back also weighs 3 grams less than the one in my listing. The ONLY way she could have "neglected" to send back my pouch and cleaning cloth was that she left MY necklace in its pouch etc. and grabbed her old worn out necklace out of her drawer to wad up in a ball of bubble wrap and tape!
Out and out Fraud and Theft has been committed...but, as usual, eBay doesn't care and there is no protection for us as sellers - blatantly stated by eBay's supervisors!
I then called my local law enforcement who advised me that along with my report of fraud and theft to them, a report sent to the buyer's local law enforcement, and other internet fraud protection agencies, that I need to include a written letter of complaint sent to eBay, included with my claims to the police. I called eBay asking for complaint forms (they said they don't have any!) and to whom to send my written letter of complaint as advised by my law enforcement personnel.
As usual, I got "danced around the hokey pokey" for well over an hour with various eBay agents telling me that they do not know of any sort of complaint procedures...until I finally forced a supervisor to provide me with the eBay "Legal Counsel" address on Hamilton Avenue, in San Jose, CA.
You can better believe that I will be also addressing my written complaint of fraud to both the current CEO Donohoe and the new upcoming CEO too...not that anyone will care...but I will provide this information to all agencies and law enforcement personnel, along with any potential court venues possible.
Just call me "another seasoned seller" who will be leaving eBay!