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Mon Mar 14 2016 11:07:55

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Says Seller

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
Our eBay shop sells small electrical "seller refurbished" items. Beside the condition statement, we tell buyers that these are used items that are restored to 100% working order and that buyers happy to live with cosmetic marks can save on the RRP. 

We also state this in our terms and conditions and have provided picture examples of what we do, we also highlight this on every email we send to a buyer - it should be enough information so the buyer knows what they are getting, and in the majority of cases it works great.

However, eBay doesn't work on majorities, it's not happy about the 99.X % that love your goods. It listens and gives power to the small (very small) percentage of buyers who don't bother to read your listing, or have such poor English they don't understand it. I am sure that some would suggest I was racist to even think of putting pen to paper to suggest that, but that's not it at all.

Those same buyers have accused me of lying, cheating, scamming and have threatened to report me for fraud trying to pass of my items as New, they have put all of this on their returns to claim I cheated them, the item doesn't work (when its clearly never been tried and works perfectly) and have got a free return out of the process. 

They have then gone on to berate me in feedback and even when I pointed out that the listing gives all of the information, leave a neutral with nothing much on it giving me no way of getting it removed. It's getting much, much worse now eBay mobile is getting more use and there is even less incentive to bother reading the listing.

I called eBay customer support and they advised that I shouldn't worry because none of this counts against my seller performance, but that's not the point - on no other selling platform would you get such abuse. Sellers have no rights and absolutely no way of protecting themselves against these buyers. 

It's about time eBay revised its Buyer requirements, removed the useless negative feedback section and added a black mark that sellers can give buyers for problems where the buyer hasn't read the listing, or misused returns, or claimed INR repeatedly. With sellers being able to block buyers who have had "x" number of problem transactions, this would be a useful system.

Instead all I have is the option to report a buyer, which doesn't automatically give the buyer a black mark and probably just ends up in some junk mail box with auto delete on it. It's not good enough!
Yours,
A frustrated eBay seller




Comments (22) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Mar 14 11:21:56 2016

I agree that sellers need more power of weeding out bad buyers.

I don't get many but when I do get one it a pain in the rear!

I miss the old days when I was in COMPLETE control of the transaction from beginning to end. It was US Postal Money Orders Only!

It worked and worked well. . .

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Mar 14 12:03:41 2016

@Frustrated Seller - I think your solution is clear: Open your own web site. Not only would you be in complete control, but the unreasonable buyers would not be allowed to trash your reputation. Plus with the fees you pay eBay now, could could most likely pay for a web site and advertising.

You might also want to consider selling on eCrater (which I love), or perhaps Bonanza (I've had no experience selling there). There is life after eBay.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Mar 14 13:31:30 2016

Yes, I've dealt with some of these buyers who go into "lying, cheating, scamming and have threatened to report me for fraud" mode when something doesn't go their way.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Mar 14 16:43:35 2016

OP observes: "....I called eBay customer support and they advised that I shouldn't worry because none of this counts against my seller performance,...."

eBay parrots this today however, long time eBay sellers know from past experience that eBay frequently changes policy and when they do, changes are often retroactively applied.

In other words, just because these issues do not count today does not mean that a few months or so down the road another change will not come into play and bite sellers on the a$$.

These constant changes, especially retroactive changes are yet another reason sellers are displeased and do not trust eBay.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: FLIPPER This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 19:13:05 2016

Not to "argue" with the author of the letter, but I have to ask: Are you  listing your "refurbished by seller" items and/ or those with "cosmetic defects" as "NEW" or "NEW-OTHER" ? If the former, I could see where there might we confusion. We ourselves many times  sell "overstock"/"surplus stock- never opened " and "New Old Stock" but always list it as "New-Other" to avoid any possible "confusion"  

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 14 19:52:55 2016

IMHO anything that is 'refurbished' by either a manufacturer or a seller should never be listed as "new" anything.  My feeling is that anything that is renovated for any reason is NOT a new item of any kind.  As for Ebay or other sites, my opinion is it belongs listed as a used, refurbished item.  

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: gennut3 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 20:28:08 2016

I once returned a book that was water damaged which was not listed in the description. I do not buy water damaged items.  The seller accused me of buying the book, copying what I wanted out of it and then returning the book.  First, I have never done this on any book I have ever purchased and she was full of hot air to even come up with such an accusation.  I emailed her that again the water damage had not been listed in the description, that I did not believe in leaving a negative for what may have been an honest mistake, but I was willing to make an exception in her case if she ever falsely accused me again.  Surprise, Surprise I got a full refund and never heard from her again.    

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: RLS This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 14 21:16:25 2016

My company runs  into the buyer who makes accusations of these type and in the beginning I would argue back and forth with them but went to a " I am sorry you are not happy with your purchase. By all means put it back in the box and ship it back for a full refund"odd ly enough once we adopted this policy our return dropped 50%. Most of these guys want to keep the item and are fishing for a partial refund. You will lose a few bucks here and there but once the fear of taking an item back is removed the buyers back down. Just a thought.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 14 22:00:47 2016

@RLS

I did the same thing and saw the same results as you.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 00:16:12 2016

1) NEVER count on eBay to do the right thing. They never do, they never will and you will always be disappointed. That disappointment is about the ONLY thing thats %100 guaranteed on eBay.

2) eBays goal is to do as little work as possible and extract as much money as possible - that senario means eBay does NOTHING it help you - especially when one of "THEIR" customers has a complaint. They are YOUR customers right up to the point of payment - then they belong to eBay - who likes to have final say on everything.

3) being eBay is the laziest company with the most abysmal customer service (who mostly just repeat baloney they make up or just say "Im sorry take the loss its part of business") want HASSLE FREE (remember those words) transactions. ANY transaction that causes them to spend a penny on CS or makes them stop hiding listings or stop what ever other shenanigans they do when they arent running from some new problem - is one that deserves punishment. Thats where you come in.

Used items, refurbs etc all cause issues for eBay, since customers complain. eBay HATES those complaints - they wake GRIFF up from his all day nap - a scary thing I assure you.

Id go farther then Marie on this but Marie is %100 right. Id venture to say that anything thats not factory NEW is used/refurb, and NOT New other - but thats my 2 cents.

eBay whiners whine - its what they do. Geico saves you %10 on auto insurance and eBay buyers complain - its that simple. To even be remotely succesfull you have to anticipate the complaints before they happen and always - cover your posterior.

Yes eBay needs to change policies - but they wont, they dont care and they arent interested in your woes.

They are simply the BEST selling partners in ecommerce EVER ..... not (had you tooled/fooled!)

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: Jus_e This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 00:42:56 2016

@pace360 I couldn't agree with you more, dang you nailed it.  (To even be remotely successful you have to anticipate the complaints before they happen and always - cover your posterior.)

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 00:58:22 2016

Seller:  I was told that electronics and clothing have the highest return rate -- over any other goods.  I stopped selling electronics unless they were new and in the package.  When I go to rummage sales & estate sales I look for packaged/new electronics.  Cameras are an exception.  But routers, monitors, all those little devices have to be packaged.

I'm even doing the same with clothing.  I want to see the tags on the clothing before I will buy to resell.

Your only alternative to selling via EB is Ubid.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

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

Tue Mar 15 08:45:56 2016

Hello all. If you want to be back in charge of your sales and listings. You should all try the new website called Vangoe.com I am part owner and President. We stay completely out of your business. We do not hold your funds, make refunds from your funds or get involved in any way. We are simply the middleman in the transaction. Its your business and sale. We would never profess to know your business and do not get involved. We offer Free Listings, Free automatic re-listing of unsold items, and Low 5% Selling Fees. We also allow 14 payment methods including Money orders and checks. (you decide which you prefer). Fair 2-way Feedback for both seller and buyer. Plus much more. We have been fully operational for only 6 months and already have over 400,000 listings, and growing every day. We have an ebay importer and our Amazon importer is almost finished. We are the next best alternative to ebay and we are growing every day. Check us out. Thanks, Jeff Schleede. President, Vangoe Inc.  

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

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

Tue Mar 15 10:00:13 2016

>>went to a " I am sorry you are not happy with your purchase. By all means put it back in the box and ship it back for a full refund" oddly enough once we adopted this policy our return dropped 50%. Most of these guys want to keep the item and are fishing for a partial refund. You will lose a few bucks here and there but once the fear of taking an item back is removed the buyers back down. Just a thought. <<

Why would a buyer want a 50% refund on a water damaged book? Or a partial refund if they bought something that doesn't work? I would want a FULL refund including return shipping. I ran into this once with not only water damaged sewing patterns, but some were moldy, also many were cut. ALL were supposed to be NEW and oh yeah they weren't even the ones that I had ordered. The seller did not appreciate my complaining and asking for a full refund as she fell back on the old excuse, "no one else has complained about my stuff" and apparently not as she had 100% feedback. What does that have to do with anything that no one else complained. But especiously since she did acknowledge that she had sent the wrong items (it was a lot) she agreed to send the correct items on her dime. I told her that I would not accept them if they were water damaged, moldy or cut also and she should be sure to check them before sending them. Apparently convinced of her inability to make such a mistake, she just sent the box and never checked through it like I asked. I again got a box of water stained, moldy, SND patterns. Because of the mold, some were hitting the garbage can and going out to the big can outside so as to not contaminant my other patterns. Why in this instance should I be offered a 50% refund of the selling price alone? That isn't fair to a customer that has a genuine problem with what is sent.

As to the OP and his refurbished items, as long as he had plastered his listing with this info and didn't ever say that what he sold was NEW, then the buyer didn't have a complaint unless the item didn't actually work. We will always have buyers that don't or can't read and I can't figure out if they get as mad as they do because they are embarrassed that they missed it or they somehow believe after the sale the buyer changed the listing.  

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 11:03:34 2016

@Moonwishes

You're misreading what RLS was saying. He(or she) was NOT saying that he offered 50% partial refunds. What he WAS saying was that when he stopped arguing with buyers and started just telling them to return the item if they were unhappy, his RETURNS DROPPED BY 50%.  

I do the same as RLS and Marie. When a buyer contacts me about a problem with an item, my response is ALWAYS to please return for a complete refund. 2 out of 3 times, I never hear from them again as what they're really aiming for is a partial refund, NOT a return.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 15 11:13:16 2016

@Moonwishes - I believe you read RLS' letter incorrectly. He was referring to a drop, by 50%, of his rate of returns over the return requests he was previously receiving, not that he was giving a refund of 50% of the selling price.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 11:57:32 2016

It has ALWAYS been 'good business' (a relationship for Seller AND Customer), for Seller to disclose ANYTHING they can think a Customer may want to know, AND, a Buyer to ASK about things they DON'T see addressed ('Caveat Emptor'). A Buyer has 'the power'. Nobody TAKES their money. They have an OBLIGATION to order carefully. These venues have decided a Customer can act w/o any & all due diligence. Imagine you sign a legal contract, don't read, and later sue in Court. The Judge will say: Did you READ this ? Did you ask questions ? As long as Buyers act irresponsibly & venues coddle them, prices will go up.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: FLIPPER This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 15 21:40:59 2016

@ Marie You're absolutely right regarding "refurbished goods" I've never sold refurbished goods myself so I didn't realize that there was a condition code specifically for seller refurbished items. My items are all still "New" unopened overstock or New unopened surplus stock from a variety of sources but still factory sealed hence we sell it as  "New-other"

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 15 22:41:14 2016

@flipper

Some of the stuff I sell is like you describe as well.  It too call them new because they are.  Personally I see nothing wrong with that and it has served me well over the years.  Coupled with a good description, it shouldn't cause any issues, and it hasn't for me.

eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa   eBay Doesn't Support Sales of Refurbished Goods Sa

by: negativenate This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 16 13:22:22 2016

I had a similar problem recently with eBay which caused me to shut down my ebay subscription.
In my instance, the seller obviously had extremely poor english, did not read the listing or description or condition details, STATED that he did not read my email responses, made contradictory and unreasonably demands and eBay still sided with him despite me calling eBay and doing exactly as they advised.  eBay and the customer lied to me and eBay was complicit with the customers fraudulent claims despite written and picture evidence showing the customer was in the wrong.

Unless this company goes through a complete revamp of image I refuse to use them as a primary source of business and only use them as an auxiliary "necessary evil" for getting rid of stuff I can not sell else where.

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