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Thu Jan 4 2018 10:29:11

eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Futile

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
There's a popular rumour online that eBay is better for buyers than sellers. When as a seller I received the following reply to a detailed report I submitted on a potentially fraudulent buyer, trying to return fake goods and claim a full refund, I felt vindicated and pleased.

"I want to thank you for your detailed report. I have taken the time to read it and I have also reviewed all the information available to us in the case. After reviewing this case ... we're not holding you responsible for this case. eBay will refund the buyer in full and you will keep your funds. This case won't count against your seller performance standards. Your funds will be released back to you ... and don't need to do anything else."

I was a little disappointed that the buyer's fraudulent claim did not lead to him being investigated or punished in any way though I actually thought they'd be on the case based on long conversations with "eBay customer support".

A month later I found that the case had been closed in the buyer's favour and I was expected to refund eBay in full for the amount. The only way to recover my money would be using a small claims court or engaging with a small time crook. The basis of the buyer winning was that there was a tracking number when he returned the items and therefore it was collected - nothing to do with him returning a load of rubbish back. Furthermore I'd have to authenticate my items with proof before selling them, even though I was selling them so cheap.

In the process I spent 3-4 days trying to compile a defence such as being a detective, writing a report, paying for the return of fake goods as well as other costs such as eBay listing fees. 

In the end, even after the letter above, I felt that my status both as a buyer and seller is being abused and eBay is exposing others to a crook who knows how to manipulate the eBay system (he has a very high feedback score). There was so much circumstantial evidence about what he did as I put on my report. I produced receipts and detailed weights and measures of the items sold with copious photographs. In the end I was the criminal.

Whereas I'm sympathetic to eBay and its bargains, it treats sellers and buyers as unequal parties and only seems to rate people based on feedback, a very dubious way to judge people. Even when a seller goes to the trouble of writing a report - eBay ultimately only looked at its bottom line and superficial features of the case. The constant calls to customer support (at least they have real humans) proved ultimately futile.

So if their share price is stagnant and most of their sellers seem to be from China, it is hardly surprising as both (mostly Western) sellers and buyers attack them. eBay is big for clothes and shoes as opposed to quality electronic items that I prefer to buy from Amazon. 

Quality sellers (and I make no claims as such) are effectively ignored when they become the victims of fraud and there seem to be few brains and little co-ordination in how to approach investigations of fraud. 

The letter I got above was implied to be fabricated as they didn't have it on their system. Without quality sellers with classy goods at bargain prices, I'm afraid the platform is very creaky and smart buyers will avoid casting their pearls before swine.
Sarakani, PhD (pseudonym)



Comments (27) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 4 11:09:14 2018

eBay doesnt like telling "its" buyers NO.

1) they believe that buyers not sellers are their customers
2) they are deathly afraid of chargebacks (I suspect its in the agreement they signed with Paypal)
3) they believe/feel that sellers are expendable
4) the TOS was created to make the playing field UNeven
5) eBay uses the TOS to play good cop/bad cop as it sees fit
6) %90 of eBays higher management has never run an ecommerce company - they have NO idea (including that idiot GRIFF) of how it all works
7) eBay brass gets paid regardless of who wins or looses - they have no skin in the game so they dont care about any issues outcome

theres more of course - but eBay has transitioned long ago from being an ecommerce platform into it being a Sopranos episode - who can they lean on and use (until the money runs dry) and who can they knock off with out impunity.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

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

Thu Jan 4 11:44:17 2018

This happens quite often. eBay wants a 100% unconditional return policy for at least 14 days  But eBay isn't the one selling Merchandise. How about if eBay has a return policy if your item does not sell.  No sale no listing fees.  Then let's see how fast they change there return policy.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 4 15:02:18 2018

I completely understand and respect the OPs position in this matter.  Over the years I have unfortunately found myself in similar positions as I'm sure many other readers/posters here have.

There is no excuse for the lack of support for sellers when there is clear proof that the buyer is misbehaving, yet Ebay all to often completely dismisses us. But Ebay has done this for years.

There isn't a lot we can do about this except continue to voice our distaste and uproar over this type of behavior.  Posting here and on Ebay.  Writing letters, telling the press, etc.  The pressure of bad press  seems to get Ebay's attention.

As for your buyer, if you used USPS as your carrier, notify your buyer that you are going to file a complain with USPS for Mail Fraud.  Which is a Federal crime.  You aren't allowed to use a federal agency as an unwilling participate in conducting fraudulent transactions.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 4 15:39:58 2018

eBay doesnt care (1) iota about a sellers threats to "tell the Feds, State or local authorities" about its behaviors.

I know since Ive been in direct contact with (2) State Attorneys General and NEITHER care. One was CA and the other NY.

There are no great headlines - its easier to "fight Trump" on his choice of food for dinner, or some Hollywood actors vacation choices.

Fighting eBay - who gives lots of money to candidates is "bad for business".

Fighting Amazon is even harder since 1/2 these states GIVE Amazon tax breaks and other perks - so they are the LAST people on the planet will go after them for ANYTHING.

The best offense is good defense and thats all smaller sellers can do.

Fight every fight as if its your last. Call eBay and give them holy hell each time a liar buyer steals from you, tell every person you meet to NEVER buy on eBay - and of course - make as many OFF eBay sales as possible (with out getting caught) - thats the best revenge you can get.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Jan 4 15:42:47 2018

Filing with USPS, if they were the carrier used, has nothing to do with getting Ebay's attention, but that of the buyers.  It is a Federal Crime to use USPS in a scam.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jan 4 16:33:00 2018

I had someone that didn't return the item and was refunded. I wrote and had all the paperwork and pictures. Still nothing. I told her it will bite her in the butt.
SOOOOO.. I have a website and I wrote about this. I used their name, city and state and had copies ( crossing out certain items )
Out of the blue, I was contacted by this person and was asked about my posting and she did admit to "stealing" and that she wants this off the website. I asked her why, you and I know it's the truth. She told her that she was applying for a job and the company saw my posting. I told her, pay for the item you stole, I will post and update and then after 6 months, remove the posting.
I GOT MY MONEY.
I wouldn't recommend this unless you have all your ducks in order. I still have the copies of this incident, just in case.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Jan 4 18:46:24 2018

@DingDong - I applaud your actions. Maybe this buyer will realize dishonesty is not the best policy and find a moral compass which she was clearly lacking previously.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 5 00:07:52 2018

@pace306 "...tell every person you meet to NEVER buy on eBay"  Amen.  It is incredible to me that none of the MBAs in San Jose have never heard that the most effective form of advertising (good and bad) is word of mouth.

Once I was a proud ebay seller telling anyone who would listen to come to the site.  Now I drop my packages in the wall bin at the post office at midnight under cloak of darkness...LOL

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 5 03:19:40 2018

The hollow shell that constitutes eBay seller support is onerous enough.  But in this case, as in so so many similar past (ask around), eBay actually declared such support was warranted and would be provided.  Then they not only ignored that, but denied ever taking that position, and (presumably) the traceable correspondence in evidence.

Trust, ala eBay.

Incidentally, from the fighting futility department, there's this: before ending any conversation with one of eBay's minions, one should ask for and obtain a "conversation number", after asking the rep's name, and that the germaine elements of the conversation be written into their record of the call.  And do keep time and date tagged notes, accordingly.

Then when they go all weasel again - and they will - you can read them YOUR 'scripted response'.  While making another record.  That you might need again.

Ethics, ala eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 5 12:16:52 2018

Turn ebay in for fraud.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 5 13:32:04 2018

The saddest part is that they will look at you and tell you "to your face" how they are your PARTNER ..... how stupid to they think we are?

I know (as does everyone else here) that Amazon ISNT your partner. They do things that make eBay look like choir boys - but at least they are "honest about their theft and their policies" ..... which is why (I think)  people get so mad at eBay as apposed to Amazon.

It seems that most times - eBay does things "just for spite" - and thats what makes most people crazy.

Like my story with the earbuds, or the other post where the buyer said the LP doesnt fit - there are no arguments about eBays treatment to its sellers  ... the question is WHY do they continue to treat sellers so bad then claim they are your partners.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 6 11:55:22 2018

ebay is the Venus Fly Trap of e-commerce for sellers.

"Come to us...we will protect (read: smother) you."

Stock is on the rise with 4th quarter results in a couple weeks.
Some brokers may be getting an earful afterwards.

ebay is all cash and concepts (acquisitions)...how long can they ride that pony in the face of falling market share vis-a-vis Amazon and the emerging start-ups?
The universe is infinite...can't say the same about demand for Chinese junk and used clothing

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 01:07:50 2018

They just gave a full refund (supposedly from ebay funds) to my latest fraudulent buyer who even admitted he was claiming the wrong return reason right there on the return messages. So he gets rewarded for it. Great, thanks ebay! That will teach him!
I guess now I will have to check and make sure it did not get funded from my account. Fabulous!

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: cash4clothesbozeman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 01:23:20 2018

When I was returned a $40 dollar item for the $1500 dollar item sold.  I was told I would need to prove what was shipped and returned.  LOL  many aggravated hours later.  I filed a police report for stolen goods and made my stand in PayPal.  I did get a 1100.00 settlement.  At the end of the day if I did this as a person who is a buyer and seller I would be kicked off eBay.

I recently had a negative from a competitor that routinely buys on eBay and resells on eBay.  This person has left over 25% negative feedback for the things purchased.  The buyer has the balls to try and get you to discount the purchase price.  Who knows how many people he is exchanging/extorting feedback revision for price discounting.  
The old saying "if it can be exploited it will be"
My sales are up and so are my returns!
Best to you all!
Bruce Wendt
 

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

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

Mon Jan 8 01:29:21 2018

If more of your great sellers would move on over to eCRATER, you would be treated like adults with a business that YOU are running. Ecrater's website doesn't consist of hundreds of pages of the does and don'ts for selling there. Yes, they need more traffic, but as you transfer to eCRATER, let your customers know why you are leaving and where they can find you. As seller's amounts grow, so with the traffic.  

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: onedolphins This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 02:05:54 2018

Hi 2cash4clothesbozeman, what you did with PayPal to receive the money back? We lost $4000 in the buyer is already in jail but not luck with eBay and PayPal. I have USPS proof that the buyer shipped a light package (using eBay return label I paid) and nobody cares. @DingDong what is the website you wrote about this buyer? Thanks.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 05:21:52 2018

I don't sell to overseas exception is Canada.  I don't trust buyers in EU and Asia, sorry.  Also didn't Germany just block some Asian sellers or confiscate their accounts; seems I read something on this site about Germany taking action against bad sellers.
@ Moonwishes, you keep praising Ecrater, but like 99% of other sellers, that site is weak for sellers.  I've been on EC for as long as I've been on EB and can count the number of sales I've made -- less than 20 in about 10-15 years.  EC never shows up in Google shopping, it never shows up in searches PERIOD.  I don't know who owns EC but they can't be serious about the site.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: skl3255 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 09:27:14 2018

Ding Dong
I applaud your actions in posting the actions of your buyer thief on your website.  There are a couple of other websites that I have used to post information of bad buyers.  Badbuyers.org and ebuyersreviewed.  I suppose you could also use social media as many of these people are on Facebook too.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 09:29:20 2018

Off topic maybe, but I'll chime in and speak up for Griff as I think it's unfair to class him alongside the eBay execs who have no clue what it's like to be dependent upon their platform.

Yes, he's a hobby seller but he sets the gold standard for customer care and while I don't necessarily always agree with him or follow the same policies, I do find that his perspective is worth considering as there many aspects of his approach that I think do make sound business sense.

Also he puts his email address out there and will use his extensive network in the company to resolve seller issues that official channels have failed to understand or have mis-adjudicated.

He's one of the (few?) good guys who's on the side of sellers at eBay.  You may not agree with him (and he's on the payroll so I'm not sure what else you expect him to say publicly) but I find him to be a decent guy who cares passionately about selling in eBay.

He's saved my TRS status in the past when the JD regime was trying to cause everyone to lose their discount by coming up with false defects.

Perminate Link for eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut   eBay Seller Says Winning against Bad Buyers Is Fut

by: JWsax This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 8 10:27:07 2018

It was another kind of situation but I was assured by ebay that a retaliatory feedback would be removed right up until the moment it was not. The whole process was insulting and deceptive.
It inspired me to increase my selling efforts outside of ebay and to make them a platform of last resort. In the end they did me a favor and lost access to the bulk of my inventory.

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