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Sun May 1 2016 19:18:40

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I really am leaving eBay as soon as my store subscription is up. I received the following letter below from eBay after a buyer who didn't read the description of an item and tried in my view to extort me. 

He wrote in no uncertain terms (paraphrasing) that he received his item and was unhappy that I was dishonest and that I could pay $31.50 immediately and he wouldn't file a case with eBay. 

He further went on to tell me I had 48 hours to comply or he would open a case and eBay would make me pay for return shipping and since he was an international buyer it would be cheaper for me to pay him (yes he said that last part). Fifteen minutes or so later he opens a case. Guess he meant less than 48 minutes or something before opening a case but I digress.

I took this as extortion 101; so I let him file a case which he did and I received the following response from eBay which is below. 

I thought I was on solid ground as I had in writing, where he in my view extorted me and it was in the messages but guess what? I received the following form letter, please see the part where I highlighted it. It sounds at first the letter like they really care about me and me being a seller until I get to the highlighted parts. Isn't it interesting nowhere in eBay's letter do they indicate they will side with me whatsoever.

I interpret this as pay the ransom and pay it now, I can even give a refund without taking the product back and taking a whole loss completely. If you don't pay the ransom you will be charged the fees, you will possibly lose your item and the buyer will get to keep it. Also, if I pay the ransom I do not receive a defect. 

Perhaps I am reading it wrong, but I wanted to share that in my view we sellers subsidize eBay's Money Back Guarantee by paying for customer relationship management. eBay has little if no skin in the game (sure I get my commission back I pay eBay), they lose that but I pay for them to keep a customer and make THEIR CUSTOMER HAPPY. That is their version in my view of the "cost of doing business." You lose, they get more fees it is a wonderful world. 

eBay will turn around and pocket future fees from the buyer and keep it all, they will hide my listings and others and when there is another liar buyer or someone who doesn't read the description the seller gets to pay again. 

This is why eBay is so hated in my view, they make it like they have your backs but they have only their own. Furthermore, when is the last time with their billions in sales have you seen any advertising on television (Amazon is number one and uses television but they must be idiots or something?). 

As most Amazon sellers are happy with the volume, not so much eBay sellers but I am sure the advertising is all wasted just ask them.

Look at the recent fee updates, they make it sound like they are doing you a favor by increasing your store price. They give you a coupon THAT YOU PAY FOR, AND make it think that you are getting something free. All the while forcing a captive audience to purchase shipping supplies so they can make more money. 

This is their pattern of behavior in my view, take advantage, hide listings, sell advertising right next to your listing, make all the money and act like were friends. They do this to buyers as well, if you end an auction early as a seller, eBay gets their fee. Why not share some of that fee with the buyer who is disappointed in not getting the item? Even if it was a lousy 2% of whatever the item was at when the auction was ended and provide it as credit for purchasing items on eBay, this would help build customer loyalty and help sellers with sales, but I don't think you will see that anytime soon.

Mayou Angelou may she rest in peace once said, "If people show you who they are believe them." I like to modify that, "If eBay, including Mr. Wenig shows you who they as business partners or affiliates believe them." 

Invest in other venues, get your own website and let them die a slow death. Put no UPC codes in the listings help them as little as possible, and don't let them control your destiny. In the end they have shown time and again in my view that they only care about themselves and pocketing fees. 

I received an email not too long ago that indicated they were selling upwards of 30,000 Lego sets an hour, but they can't front the money to do a return? They can't pay for advertising on television as it is too costly? Now I have to pay the ransom to the buyer who didn't read the description? I have to take the loss, so they can get the gain? 

This is a perfect system eBay executives must be rolling on the floor at night. Let's go Amazon, Bonanza, Etsy, Ebid and whatever else works for your items such as New Egg, Rakuten and others. 

I pay eBay on average let's say $1500 a month or so, I can take $600.00 of that and create some good SEO with Google products and still have a $1000 left over and not deal with this stupidity anymore in my view.

Dear ...,
In this case, I see that you are required to pay for the shipping charges associated with returning this item. We want you to be successful seller on eBay. So as part of an effort to build trust and engagement with potential buyers, sellers are required to pay for return shipping any time an item is not as described.

To allow you and your buyer to find a return shipping solution that is satisfactory for you both, I put this case on hold for 5 days (-).

 The options I recommend are to send your buyer a prepaid return shipping label or to send your buyer money through PayPal to cover the cost of return shipping. You can also issue a full refund to the buyer without requiring a return, which will close the case; this can be done from the Resolution Center.

There are several benefits to you resolving this case on your own:

- You will provide a better buyer experience, which may result in better Feedback and detailed seller ratings.

- This will not count as a "case closed without seller resolution" towards your seller performance standards.

- PayPal funds for the sale, which are placed on hold when a case is opened, will be released and applied to the refund. 

- Your eBay and PayPal fees will be automatically credited to your account when you issue a refund.

If the issue has not been resolved after the hold is released, the case will be closed in the buyer's favor and will not require them to return the item. The buyer will be refunded and seek reimbursement from you. eBay and PayPal fees will not be eligible for a credit. 

I trust this information is helpful.

Thank you for doing business with eBay and we wish you all the best!
Sincerely,
eBay Customer Service




Comments (30) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun May 1 20:30:53 2016

@OP - While you are waiting to close your store, I think you should immediately stop selling to any country not called the U.S.A. If you should run into this situation again, at least you wouldn't be stuck with whatever outrageous postage amount the buyer will force you to pay.

I would also like you to consider moving your store to eCrater. It's a great place to sell and you won't be forced into the situations detailed in your letter.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 1 21:17:27 2016

1) call back and get a senior advisor on the phone

2) call eBay and get Trust & Safety on the phone and ask them to explain why the buyers email ISNT extortion

3) Get an attorney to write you a lawyers letter

Dont take this lying down just because idiots like TOOK think eBay is some pie in the sky, super cool palce to sell on - read ALL of the responses you see here - realize the dirt bags who run eBay and what they will do (stop at nothing) to screw smaller sellers.

Be strong - its only eBay (go list stuff on Amazon - the sales rolling in will calm you blood pressure)

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun May 1 22:26:48 2016

@ pace306

"3) Get an attorney to write you a lawyers letter"

Will that cost more then $31.50?

The OP is going to throw away $10,000-$15,000 a month in sales over $31.50?

Is that a smart business move?

The better solution is to stop selling to other countries like iheartjacksparrow says.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: psykick This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 01:26:17 2016

I cant recommend eBay as safe place to sell much of anything anymore.You are better to leave to eCrater like Jack says. Stop dropping acid in your stomach and make the change.
My boss wants me to sell some musical items for him  but I told him its not safe and he could lose his things to a crook so better to craigs list or Kijiji or eCrater.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

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

Mon May 2 01:55:47 2016

First I would put all internationals sales on hold. Next I would call Ebay again and even again, if that is what it takes to get someone to read the messages sent to you. A logical person that takes the time to read the message will undoubtedly, see the blatant attempt to get free merchandise and will move to help you.
I personally cannot see how a problem buyer who brings a few dollars per year to Ebay, can out weigh the thousands of dollars per year that a good seller pays to Ebay in fees.
And yes, there are other places to sell. Once you decide where to move, get on Twitter and Facebook and start marketing yourself. It take time to build of social media followers. Best to start ASAP. Business in no longer as usual. You have to do the Bull##$ stomp with everybody and their uncle to survive in this new GOOGLE world.  

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 2 02:18:48 2016

@ psykick

How is eCrater any safer then eBay?

Any unhappy customer on any platform can do a credit card chargeback.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon May 2 02:48:27 2016

Selling internationally is risky business on Ebay.  I do sell some things internationally, but only on things I've been selling for years that I typically have no issues with.  My higher dollar value items however I would not even entertain selling internationally on Ebay.

What the OP got is just the canned message sent after a buyer opens a SNAD.  Under the new and improved rules, at this point the case does not count against the seller in any of their stats.  

If this were a case I was handling for myself, I'd simply respond to the buyer inside the claim to return for refund.  Yep I know I'd have to pay return shipping, but I don't like being extorted.  I know international shipping is expensive.  But I still would stick to return for refund.  I would then state for the buyer to let me know how they'd like to proceed.  If they want to return it we can make arrangements for that.

Then wait and see how they respond.  Honestly it sounds to me that this buyer really does not want to return the item, they just want it for a reduced amount or for free.  They are probably thinking that by opening the case, the seller would just agree to let them keep it and refund.  Not something I'd do with the extortion demands this buyer has made.

Then while I was waiting for the buyer to respond, I'd be on the phone with Ebay and have them review ALL the emails.  

But remember do NOT escalate the claim.  Don't do that.  Once you do that it does count against you and you run the risk of them just ruling in the favor of the buyer.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon May 2 06:51:14 2016

We stopped selling internationally. Our sales were always good internationally, but eBay had to start sticking their nose even further into our business and once they started forcing sellers to pay for international returns we stopped.  Yes, we gave up sales, but we have more than made up for those sales selling on other sites. We never even had an international return, but I expect that would have changed with eBay's new "enabling" policy.

eBay is not a platform. eBay micro-manages their sellers and year by year the micro-managing increases. If you don't play their game, they punish you with poor visibility.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: VV

Mon May 2 08:50:09 2016

This is why I no longer sell international.  Had been using the ebay GSP for many months with no issues until I had similar experiences as OP the past few months.  Just not worth the pain.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 09:30:28 2016

you say nothing about the transaction itself? it makes me think the buyer may have had a legitimate issue. Recently I won an eBay auction for a silver bowl the seller listed as sterling. When it arrived I found it to be silver-plate. I informed the seller but he said he does not take returns. eBay trust issues exist due to sellers like him. Place is still filled with scammers and thieves on BOTH sides - seller and buyer

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 09:49:34 2016

DO NOT ESCALATE - That is a bot that just looks at the tracking - you will lose automatically!
CALL SOMEONE in trust and safety or about the return IMMEDIATELY! I am usually satisfied if I take the time (a lot of time) to complain. You will probably have to be insistent to prevail, despite the proof, they will first attempt to dismiss.
Good luck!

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: Jus_e This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 09:52:46 2016

Yup, what they said. I am in the process of moving to ecrater. I only had six things up and made a sale....felt great! I can't wait to list more stuff...I've been sort of busy, it seems ebay has my items showing up in California, at the moment, so as soon as they delist me again, and they will, it will be slow...I will continue with my moving process.
I have met some players and con artist in my time, but ebay has got to be the biggest ever, then Amazon. However, Amazon is up front about their game, no shade.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon May 2 10:41:41 2016

@toolguy - eCrater is better than eBay because they truly are just a venue and they do not micromanage every aspect of a seller's business.

You're correct that anyone buying on any marketplace can do a credit card charge back, but when dealing with a bank the buyer would have to provide actual evidence, not just their word that something is SNAD. On eBay, and PayPal, it's SNAD 99.99% of the time no matter what evidence to the contrary a seller has.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Mon May 2 10:51:05 2016

$31.50??? that's chump change.
I have refunded $150 before to avoid a costly International return... Sometimes you just need to take your lumps and move on....

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 13:46:02 2016

Tool - ur "smart" enough to know how to grow weed (420 dude!) but apparently not smart enough to figure out how to obtain low cost law representation :)

Score +1 for us non gateway drug users

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon May 2 13:51:08 2016

@ pace306

I've NEVER needed a lawyer.

But I do need Ebay. . .

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: rover This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 14:26:55 2016

Google the buyers local free paper and send them the story with all correspondance. Small local papers love juicy human relations stories. Buyer has a debt with you. see of there is a debt collection agency in the buyers country you can send it to. They will make buyers life a misery and trash their credit rating, Dont get mad - get revenge.

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 15:03:43 2016

Bought a house - needed a lawyer

Signed an employment contract - needed a lawyer

Got married (Prenup) - needed a lawyer

In business - invented a converter between to game systems - needed a lawyer

BUT the BIGGEST reason I ever needed a lawyer for - was to deal with the criminal element at eBay. I'm well known at Trust & Safety as well as VERO (who like scared little girls hide and dont speak on the phone). They know that I dont get pushes around easily. Make up your own trade laws, VERO me for no reason, accuse me of a crime with no cause - and YOU WILL hear from me .... I have no reason to back down - Im not "scared" of them.

Funny though, with Amazon, I never needed a lawyer ..... funny huh?

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: eBay Cares This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 15:32:53 2016

Hello Reader,

We are sorry to hear your recent eBay transaction has caused you so much frustration. It is especially upsetting considering you are questioning whether you will continue selling on our site after this experience. We would appreciate the opportunity to assist you further.

In order for us to adequately address your concerns, we would prefer to speak with you directly regarding this matter. If you would please send an email to eBaycares_official@ebay.com containing your username and a valid number to reach you, we will gladly review the transaction in question and follow up with you.

We look forward to your response.
eBay

eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase   eBay Seller Says Buyer Extorted Him over Purchase

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon May 2 16:46:53 2016

DARN IT! HAL CARES! SEE! LMAO

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