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Sun Nov 21 2021 16:38:55

eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial Refund

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I've been selling on eBay for 22 years and recently ran into a situation that you might find interesting enough to share with your readers.

We sell a wide range of fully assembled diecast models that include aircraft display models. These models are 98% assembled and the buyer need only attach certain parts to it to make it complete such as missiles, landing gear. etc. One such item we recently sold is eBay's item #(redacted). Up until today, we had 100% positive feedback, which fell to 99.6% because of one inane buyer who just doesn't get it no matter how many times I tried to explain to him that he is wrong. In any event, neither does eBay.

The customer contacted us on Friday evening claiming that a second set of canopies, the plexiglass cover that goes over the cockpit, wasn't included with the item. We indicated that we would check with our supplier on Monday morning to see if the item was supposed to contain a second set. We've never heard of a situation like this whereby the model was supposed to contain a second set of canopies but maybe the customer knew something that we had no knowledge of so we just wanted to make sure. 

He then sent us a follow-up message on eBay indicating that he is fine with the item provided we issue him a $10-$15 refund for his trouble since, as he claimed, it was incomplete. This is basically extortion. He was looking for a discount by claiming the item was supposed to contain something that he knew wasn't included with the model. 

We again indicated that we would have to wait until Monday morning to get clarification from our distributor regarding the "omitted" part. He then sends us another message indicating he needs immediate resolution because he is "headed out of the country." A bit suspicious, yes. Finally, late yesterday, he says he wants to return the item for a full refund. Mind you, this item was shipped to him free-of-charge and now he wanted us to foot the bill for return shipping too.

To make a long story short, we heard back from our distributor this morning who indicated that the item did not come with a second set of canopies. The images included in the listing show the canopies in both the open and closed position so I'm not sure how the buyer reached the conclusion that a second set was supposed to be supplied. As an analogy, if I was selling a car on eBay Motors and showed the car with the doors closed and then another image showing it with the doors open, does that mean I'm supposed to include a second set of doors with the automobile? Of course not.

Needless to say we indicated to the buyer that we could not supply him with a second set of canopies and that if he wanted to return the model it would be at his expense. Within five minutes time, he left us negative feedback again claiming that a second set of canopies was supposed to be included and that the model was therefore incomplete and not as advertised.

But here's the part that really gets me mad. I spoke to eBay today on four separate occasions and even included a copy of the email we received from our supplier indicating that the model did not come with a second set of canopies. 

What was eBay's response? They refused to remove the negative feedback and are choosing to do so at the height of the holiday season. So right now, I have to live with the unwarranted negative feedback at least until I receive the returned item, at which time eBay will "re-investigate" my request to remove this feedback. Mind you when I spoke to the first CSR he indicated the feedback would be removed within 24-48 hours. Others agreed with my stance but still they refuse to do anything.

I'm not expecting that this letter to the editor will change eBay's stance. What I am hoping to achieve is to alert sellers that eBay will look for any excuse to mollify their buyers and keep them on their platform when they are losing sales daily to Amazon. Why they couldn't remove this feedback is beyond me when it clearly was left to damage our business by an unscrupulous buyer looking to get a discount after the fact.

Cordially,
Marc



Comments (29) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: redcyclone02 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 21 18:16:36 2021

eBay will claim if there's an open return nothing they can do to remove the negative feedback - it isnt allowed in their case workflow is what I was told. We had it happen last fall & had to wait for return to close out before get the negative removed.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 21 20:23:14 2021

1) eBay doesnt care - they dont care who you are, they dont care what you do, who you know, how long you have been with them or what they item is - they simply - just dont care

2) getting any help from the "customer service" people overseas is useless. They read off a printed manual/script and are NOT allowed to deviate

3) even if they could do something, their systems are designed to make it impossible ie the buttons for certain actions are greyed out

4) the item you sold should have come with a parts list - and that list SHOULD be enough to convince eBay (though they are criminals so they cant read or think properly)

5) eBay worships at the alter of feedback aka anything left is a buyer "opinion" and it holds the same value as the 10 commandments (1 thou shall only steal from sellers 2) thou shall cheat local and state governments out of taxes ... stuff like that)

Tell the buyer "no problem you can keep the eBay feedback there - we will pursue what ever legal options we have available to us for slander and misrepresentation etc"

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: plcombs This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 21 20:46:23 2021

eBay will do nothing, we once fully refunded for an item that was lost in transit, and he Negged us for not giving him the refund, even though eBay could see we had.

The eBay Rep actually said.."in his opinion he wasn't refunded"...even though the rep said he was.

Scratch it up to an experience.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Nov 21 23:10:54 2021

As eBay says, "It's the cost of doing business"

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Fek This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 06:05:03 2021

This happens to me entirely too often on Etsy, too.  I will get a message from a buyer that starts, "I love the item, but if you don't give me a 50% refund, I will leave a 1-star review."  Then they follow through.  With Etsy's "star seller" program, it makes it easier for bad buyers to see who to extort.  I hate star seller and wish I could remove it from my shop.  It's like shooting fish in a barrel for extortionists.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 06:56:58 2021

Short of a well-edited class action suit I don't see this changing for any of the high-end selling platforms. Sellers are getting squeezed between these companies & the government, with no where to go.

And it seems pervasive in our country, in most, if not all areas of the middle-class segment's lives.

So sad.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 07:08:30 2021

OP, don 't argue.  Just ask for the complete kit back and give him a full refund.  See what he does.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 07:11:53 2021

Obviously, these buyers after getting the product feel they paid TOO MUCH for it and want to pay what they want to pay.  Just demand the product back, give the refund, and forget about the neg.  It's only ONE rating, move on.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: SharonY. This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 07:34:19 2021

Be sure to block him.  Like the others have said:  E-Bay does not care about sellers.  Period.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: JWsax This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 08:19:38 2021

In the rare instances where I have gotten undeserved negative feedback it always has seemed to be followed by a burst of increased sales. I know that I check negs and very often discount them as coming from bad buyers and they do not deter me from buying.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 08:26:22 2021

Having 100% positive feedback is not a realistic goal, as you have discovered. However, it all depends on the mood of the CS agent you talk to. One thing about eBay CS: it's not like a court of law. If you don't like the ruling, just call again and start a new trial with a new judge.  Also if you can get them to return the item and are allowed to deduct part of the refund, do it, and when they escalate, there's a good chance ebay will pay them the difference out of their funds, tell you there is no defects to your account, and will remove any negative feedback they give you.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Duper2019 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 08:34:42 2021

I had it happen to me recently after a buyer received an item and then shipped it to China where in transport it broke. They told me they were shipping to China. 3 weeks after it was delivered to them, they let me know it arrived broken. I contacted eBay, the rep told me to contact the feedback removal team, and they would remove it. Nope. They said it was the buyers experience and they were allowed to state it. eBay does not care.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 08:36:39 2021

I hear you. I have had three such cases of feedback extortion in the past month. ALL of which ended up leaving me negative feedback and is clearly effecting my holiday sales. The first one was last month, I phoned Ebay and talked to a CS rep who said it would be removed in 24-48 hrs. And I was also told I could not actually speak to the trust and safety dept as they do not take phone calls but would write back to me. That evening I got an email from eBay that stated they denied the feedback removal simply because I did not like the feedback left for me. Which was clearly NOT the case. Ebay trust and safety obviously NEVER read the messages from the buyer, so I copied and pasted the messages and responded to that email from Ebay with all of this. The next evening again, they sent the same form letter from Ebay stating they would not remove it simply becuase I did not like the feedback I got, which STILL is not the case. The buyer threatened me with negative feedback if I did not give them all their money back. The second negative was they wanted a partial refund or else I would get negative feedback. The third and most recent one is for an item that a buyer thought was a certain brand but clearly stated the brand of the item right in the listing description which I pointed out several times going back and forth with emails. The buyer was very ignorant and refused to understand that I do not sell and never sold the brand they assumed my item was. EBay sucks for sellers and when you are not allowed to speak with the trust and safety team, even though the CS reps state that it is feedback extortion and would be removed. Ebay lied and continues to lie. LIARS cannot be trusted.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: kevindsm This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 09:29:12 2021

It is time for eBay to remove the Feedback function entirely.  eBay broke it years ago by not allowing sellers to leave feedback on buyers.  Sellers feedback ratings are now at the mercy of the buyer's honesty now.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Nov 22 09:44:25 2021

I call this the after sale coupon.  I always say, "I am sorry that you are not pleased, please send the item back for a full refund."  I NEVER capitulate to these types of buyers.  As for the negative feedback that it might generate, I take one for the team under these circumstances but I do report them, although I doubt if reporting them has any impact at all.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Ronn This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 10:09:58 2021

I do believe that some buyers think sellers can read minds.  A few weeks ago, a buyer asked me to hold off on shipping his purchase because he was having trouble with his bank. He would let me know that it would be resolved within a couple of days and when to ship. (eBay indicated that the lot was paid for)

Over several days, I sent the buyer at least THREE messages inquiring when to ship? Crickets. Finally, I stated that if I did not hear from him, I would cancel the sale and issue a refund. Again, crickets. UNTIL...I followed through and canceled the sale. THEN I heard from him...why the refund? He was not happy with my resolution, whining he really wanted the lot and threatened to challenge the action with eBay. I responded please go right ahead with that; I have documented every step I took. Told him to read your messages and not ignore them.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Gumball This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 11:28:21 2021

You could respond to the negative by apologizing like this.
"Sorry you thought you were getting spare parts with the kit & a partial refund when you stated you would leave negative feedback."
That way you are polite and yet said nothing but the truth.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 11:55:22 2021

The feedback system is meaningless. Unless a particular seller has a repeated pattern of offense, I don't think most buyers care. The problem is, that feedback calculation is baked into eBay's dumb dumb Cassini platform. The result is your items can be bumped down in search.

Feedback extortion has become all too common. So has feedback sabotage from competitor sellers. As the fight over fewer buyers drags on, this will become an even bigger problem.

My opinion is that negative feedback needs to EARNED. If the seller does not make an effort, then the buyer can leave the negative rating. Meaning that a buyer must make a real effort to work out and accept a resolution from a seller. Communication should be mandatory, and once a refund is given, the option of ''negative'' should be grayed out.

I currently have 2 negatives. Neither my fault. I did not receive any communication from one buyer, who ordered the wrong part for his car. The other received a full refund after ordering the item be shipped to the wrong address! Now that's dumb. He gave me a negative. Sure I can spend time having it removed, maybe. It is a waste of time.

Both items sold for under $20.00. Guess what I am doing? Evaluating closely the value of selling small, inexpensive items on eBay. It is looking more like I will pull those. The margins are thin, and now they allow for a cheap way to damage feedback

Once you know the feedback will stand, you should use every one of the 500 characters in the feedback remarks to explain that the buyer is a crook, idiot, whatever. I did that in my two cases.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 13:24:51 2021

“ It's only ONE rating, move on.”

Right.  BOHICA.  Until the NEXT one happens because this was ‘taken’ without protest or defense.  And the next.  And the next.  And the next. And then hers. And his. And their neighbors, friends, peers.  One. At. A. Time.  

That’s how galaxies are created too.  One star at a time.  

But also, how ‘your universe’ will eventually go dark.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial   eBay Buyer Leaves Neg after Seller Denies Partial

by: zeek6228 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 22 13:32:40 2021

Send a generic apology and instruct buyer to open return case. Approve return. When you get it back refund (or refund with restocking fee) and you can get neg removed. If they don't send it back you can get new removed

If they close return case neg will stick.

A negative here or there is no big deal. You are 99.9%. If eBay had feedback it would be around 40%

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