Dear eBay Queen:
I sell refurbished Video Cassette Recorders or VCRS. I’ve been in the business of doing this for quite some time. I inadvertently purchased an old storage locker owned by an electronics dealer, or some guy that collected the stuff. I have more parts and belts that you can imagine! I sold a very nice VCR to yet another dis-satisfied customer! The VCR had a missing front cover. This was pictured and listed in the description. I did find a replacement cover for the opening and put it on the VCR, and sent it to my buyer, and sent them the following email:
“Good News! I found a part for your VCR and it now has a cover. I have attached it and I am sending it to you. Thank you for your purchase!”
I received this message from him:
“I received the VCR, and it does not have a front cover! I wish I knew before buying it. I paid a lot of money for this as a gift for my kids so they can watch all of the old movies I have. I can’t believe I was hustled like this! I want a partial refund!”
I messaged him back:
“I am confused. My listings and pictures stated it did not have the front cover, but I found one, and put it on for you. I even sent you a message that I was going to put it on for you. Have you opened the package to see that? Please advise how you’d like to proceed.”
He responds back.
“Well, I guess you advertised this incorrectly. What are you going to do to rectify this?”
I message him back:
“I don’t understand. Do you want the VCR with the cover or do you want a partial refund, no matter the condition of the item?”
“I paid too much and I want a partial refund. DUH! Either figure out how to rectify this problem or I will need to report this. To PayPal and eBay.”
So, eBay Queen – how do I handle this buyer? I reviewed his feedback and he leaves about 12% negative feedback for the items he buys.
It almost sounds like this guy does this kind of thing all the time; buys and item and then demands a partial refund. It in this situation, I would message the buyer a message similar to this:
“I am so sorry this item is not what you expected. I do not give partial refunds, however I would be happy to refund your money once the item is sent back. Please send it back in the original packaging with insurance to: YOUR NAME and ADDRESS HERE.”
If the buyer tries to engage you in any other conversation or threats, contact eBay. I would also go ahead and report the buyer through the “report buyer” link and contact eBay via phone to let them know what is going on. Unfortunately I don’t think they can actually do anything to this buyer until after he makes good on his threat.
If you have not already done it, I would add a little blurb to your refund policy that you do not give partial refunds, only full refunds once the item is sent back. Selling electronics on eBay is a tricky business to be in. Most buyers are honest and good, but sometimes you’ll find a few that might take advantage of you. I have a friend that sells electronics, and he puts stickers on his items that say ‘once removed returns not accepted.’
I am sure that this buyer has a bit of feedback extortion in their message, and if they leave feedback that says the item is not described, it will be removed because you did describe it correctly. You even improved the item!
Strange eBay item of the Week: Item #182072707410. We’ve been looking into purchasing a VCR to watch all of our old VHS’s. They seem to be selling for varying prices on eBay. This one is one of the most expensive listings I noticed in my search. Sony SVO 5800 VCR VHS SVHS Industrial Works Great SOLD: $699.00.