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Fri Nov 27 2015 10:13:19

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
The eBay return policy is extremely unfair to the sellers. I sent a new place setting of dinnerware to a customer. I took it out of the original box and double wrapped each piece. Then I put it back in the box and put it in a bigger box and padded it all around.

The buyer did not contact me to tell me the plate had broken, but instead filed a claim to eBay. I had insured it so I told the lady and eBay that I double wrapped and boxed it and insured it so we would have to file a claim with the PO. 

She did not want to go to the trouble of taking the package down so she said she just wanted to send it back. There were 5 pieces in the set and only one piece was broken. I called eBay because in the 16 yrs I had been on eBay I had never had anyone file a claim on me and never had a negative feedback. I was really confused as to why the lady would not work with me.

eBay told me to give the lady all the dinnerware and refund her money back. In fact they had frozen the money she had sent me. I could not believe it. I even started to tear up because the set was expensive for me and I didn't make much money off it anyway. Plus the postage to mail was very high. 

eBay did not support me at all. 

Their guarantee is that the seller gives the item to the buyer and also their money back too even though the seller did nothing wrong. The lady at eBay told me if I didn't let her have it she could destroy me with feedback. 

I hung up the phone in total disbelief and am now afraid to list on eBay after all these years. 

Thank you for listening. 
BD




Comments (34) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 27 10:45:01 2015

No surprise....This happens all the time to great sellers and no so great sellers and really bad sellers.

Its the ebay way now.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 27 11:03:29 2015

Following in the pattern, my story of ''The Day I Lost All Faith in eBay.''

Two years ago I sold a $12 comic. I looked and the buyer gave out 85+% negative feedback, and many of the positives contained references to having received refunds upon demand.

I called eBay, as I had on a couple of past similar occasions, and talked with a US based agent about the transaction. He agreed that the buyer was almost certainly dishonest. I told him I wanted to do a cancel/refund and he agreed that was a reasonable course of action. He said as long as I was honest in my communication with the seller any negative feedback I would receive would be removed, as had been the case on two previous similar transactions.

I sent through the cancel/refund and wrote to the buyer I was uncomfortable completing the transaction given their feedback history.

The buyer left a negative feedback.

Over the next week I spent about two hours on the phone with three separate Filipino customer service agents, including one manager who I could barely understand. They all agreed that I had followed the instructions of the original agent, that the buyer was in all probability dishonest, but that they would not remove the negative feedback.

I asked them what course could I have possibly followed, as it was a near certainty that if I sent the product I would receive a refund demand from the buyer for no valid reason. I was told by an agent and the supervisor that I should have sent the comic and ''hoped for the best.'' And when I received the inevitable refund demand, I should have paid it as, in the end, he would have received it in the claims process and would leave a negative feedback. By simply giving him the money I could at least avoid the negative feedback.

I explained what they were telling me to do amounted to their participation in organized theft. I was told I could report the buyer on the site, and that someone at eBay would look into the situation, maybe, at some point in the future, and that this might have his buying ID shut down. I did so. Over the next year or so I checked in and the buyer was still active.

After this transaction I came to understand that eBay in no way provides sellers with any meaningful protection, even in the most obvious of cases, and that they actually actively prevent sellers from even taking reasonable steps such as cancel/refunds in those cases to protect themselves from theft.

When you run into one of these petty thieves, best to simply do the cancel/refund and accept the negative as the cost of doing business. Ebay will do nothing for you. They will instead expend their efforts enabling the thief to continue his or her scams. You are on your own.  

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Nov 27 12:22:48 2015


Sounds like seller did a good job packaging with padded box in box.  Perhaps buyer is substituting a plate the buyer broke for seller's newly arrived plate?  Unfortunately a way to nab a ''free'' replacement is a possibility here.  


Sad to say... Don't sell anything on eBay (prolly other venues, too) that you can't afford to take a loss on.  The pricier/ heavier the item, the larger the potential loss.

With heavier items - like the OP found, you stand the risk of losing the original shipping cost, in addition to any return shipping costs.  A nice sale on a heavy item you no longer need, like the OP's dishes, can turn into a biting loss.  


The only sellers who can sell this type item on eBay are the ones that are large enough to absorb this type loss on a regular basis.  


Like OP ran into, in the past I've had a buyer just keep a heavy item (a coat)  instead of returning it due to not wanting to DOUBLE the shipping cost loss, which would outweigh the value of the coat.  I asked buyer to donate the coat - then I stopped selling heavy coats.  I did get positive FB tho.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Fri Nov 27 12:34:12 2015

Do NOT give in to their demands!!!  This is nothing but theft, and by letting them get away with it, eBay and PayPal (which are still tied at the hip) are helping to participate in the theft.  I don't know when, but eBay and PayPal will both eventually be called on the carpet for this and be found to be a participant of mail fraud and overall theft.  That is, if they don't go under before it happens.  Given the choice of refunding or getting bad feedback, take the bad feedback.  One thing about bad feedback, there is a spot where you can "respond" to it in the feedback section and give your side of the story... and people who check feedback will be able to see your response.  I also tell bad buyers up front that I will be filing reports at their local police department and the postal service, and that will require them to answer questions of both and there will be possible court time involved.  At that point, the bad buyer usually just drops everything and tells me they are reporting me to eBay and will never buy from eBay again.  I had one bad buyer tell me that he was working with eBay so that the terms of service would be changed where to be a seller on eBay would mean that the seller agrees to never file police reports against buyers or try to take them to court.  While that has not happened yet, it wouldn't surprise me to see it added to the TOS in the future.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: JQ This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 27 13:07:14 2015

@Winsor
"I had one bad buyer tell me that he was working with eBay so that the terms of service would be changed where to be a seller on eBay would mean that the seller agrees to never file police reports against buyers or try to take them to court.  While that has not happened yet, it wouldn't surprise me to see it added to the TOS in the future."

I would not be shocked to see eBay/Paypal attempt something like the above, but I do not think it would get through immediate legal scrutiny. It would be struck down in a similar manner as their attempt to make everyone who used Paypal agree to accept solicitation and marketing calls on their mobile phones. When they put that into their TOS earlier this year they had to back down (while lying about their intentions in very comical ways) when two Attorney Generals almost immediately hit them with injunctions.

I also have some memory of eBay attempting to make cash and money orders no longer an acceptable method of payment several years ago, another scheme that got them an immediate smack down.  

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: MS Vintage This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 27 22:41:16 2015

Ebay did something similar to me last month.

An item shipped late; the buyer demanded I resend one, and insisted that (I was out of town) I hadn't sent it because I couldn't put my hands on the tracking #.  Filed an item not received case (before the end of the allowed delivery period) sent me more snotty msgs - and then left negative feedback about the item being late.

Ebay gave them the item, took my money.  So I donated a vintage item to a doctor in Missouri.  Sourced it for him, wrapped and shipped it for him, and paid for the postage.

It cost me money - and Ebay ignored my appeal.

They don't care.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Nov 27 22:59:26 2015

@BD (OP) - Sorry that you've had to experience what so many other eBay sellers face every day: the New eBay, where liar buyers run rampant and sellers have no protection whatsoever. As Basset stated, it's not wise to list anything for sale that you can't afford to have ripped off. Because eBay thinks that sellers getting items stolen from them is just the cost of doing business on their precious site.

And it's ridiculous that your buyer wouldn't want to file for the insurance, which would seem to be infinitely easier that re-packing everything and hauling the box to the post office to mail back.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 28 10:03:31 2015

ebay is now completely automated to refund buyers, in most cases, they point the buyer to open and file a case, and not contact the seller directly,

It works well for  buyers, scammers and ebay, unfortunately the seller is the only one that get's burned.

You have to remember when you list ANY item on ebay, the minute it sells, you have lost ALL control and rights to that item, ebay then becomes the true owner of the item and money, they decide if you get your money, and what happens to the item.

Don't be fooled by anything they want you to believe, about seller protection, it's a lie.

Selling on ebay today is basically like throwing your items to the curb, with the hope someone will pay for them and not steal them,

Getting worst every day as more and more scammers learn the system, quite shocking, and ebay does not care, it's great for business, and they profit from it,

 

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 28 14:31:33 2015

I would have told eBay that if I let the buyer keep the damaged item, I would not be able to file a claim with the USPS. While I am happy to refund the buyer's payment under the circumstance, I must insist that the item first be returned in order to protect myself from loss. At least, that has worked for me.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 28 14:38:30 2015

PS You said yourself: She just wanted to send it back. Why ever did you not allow that?? Just curious.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: troglites This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 28 14:45:34 2015

Ebay is now touting that they are going to have more objective, fairer standards for sellers starting Feb 16. If they can't do the right thing now, I'm just not that naive to think they will then. Ebay could had done something now to protect this seller - any action would not had been dependent on their cutthroat algorithms. Never heard of any person or organization promise to start operating with ethics or fairness, and schedule it for some self-appointed date in the future. Basically, we know that we have been unfair to our sellers, and we are going to keep being unfair to our sellers until Feb 16. No, I really have no hopes that things will change.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 28 16:24:31 2015

@MSvintage

If you tried handling that claim just through the claim system, that is most likely why it turned out the way it did.  Or if you called Ebay, then you got a bad CSR and should have called again.

This was a winnable case for you.  If it is as you say and it was delivered within the timeframe Ebay stipulated on the purchase, then the case should have been closed in your favor.  

Also the FB is removable because it was delivered inside the ETA on the purchase yet they said otherwise in the FB.

By the way, buyers are NOT suppose to be able to open an INR before the ETA stated in the purchase has passed.  I know it happens, it has happened to me, but it is a glitch they have yet to fix and it has been going on for at least a year if not more.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 29 01:58:50 2015

Agree with Marie. You got a clueless CSR. Also you can't "destroy" someone with one feedback - that's absurd and that CSR needs retraining (or training to begin with).  

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: BargainzBabylon This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 29 02:03:28 2015

Sorry - I forgot to break my paragraph: Try again lol.

Agree with Marie. You got a clueless CSR (MSVintage).

Also, BD, you can't "destroy" someone with one feedback - that's absurd and that CSR needs retraining (or training to begin with).  

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Nov 29 11:44:57 2015

RCL, did you note that OP state that it cost a lot to ship the package?  I would think that you of all people would know who would have to absorb the return shipping AND refund the outbound shipping.  Lazy buyer, didn't even have the decency to contact the seller first. The fact that she would not work with the seller is a big red flag for me.

As someone who has a no return policy due to the fact that I have been taken advantage of far too many times on eBay I totally get where the OP is coming from.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Nov 30 00:22:19 2015

These stories are so dispiriting—especially coupled with all the hoops one must jump through to salvage one's reputation and investment.  

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 00:34:37 2015

I never sell breakables unless it is HIGH profit. It's not worth the trouble and time otherwise.

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 01:56:19 2015

I have found that calling the BUYER is sometimes worth while--email and the absurd "Messages" system on ebay--which half the time doesn't even work---is not the best way to conduct business. I have used the CONTACT A BUYER on both Unpaid Items and also any crabby people with good success.  

That said this is also why I have a lovely pile of jewelry here that I have decided I might have to list on ETSY--have never done business there as a seller---but I do not want to risk ebay after the last  crabby person I had who was furious that every link on a vintage Sterling necklace was not stamped.  And tried to get me to GIVE her the item--which of course I refused to DO!  

On ETSY as I understand the SELLER has pretty much ALL of the "power"  and the buyer really has to fight if there is a problem.  I don't want to sound confrontational here but---I don't want to be screwed either.  

AS to the OP--have YOU contacted the Post Office on this?  If you purchased insurance--then you should be able to work with them.  

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: salukisal This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 02:59:08 2015

C'mon, people.  I DO fell for the ripped-off seller, but we all know this has been going on a long time at EBay.  We are we going to learn?  Everyone needs to toughen up, dump EBay, and find other sites to sell from. I can be done if everyone moves.  There's some pretty good alternatives out there if they just get enough traffic there to sustain business. Getting cheated and scammed at EBay is not unusual these days.  You all know that.  BAIL OUT!!!

Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment   Longtime Seller Devastated at eBay's Treatment

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 30 07:39:30 2015

I stopped reselling glassware, clayware, pottery, stuff like that for the simple reason of shipment.  If they want breakable items, they can go to AMZ or BedBathBeyond.  Not me.  I've had one too many delicate items broken in transit.  Even a DVD in a set was damaged according to the buyer and I did a partial refund.  I learned to tape down the dvds so they don't come loose.

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