Dear eBay Queen: I Gave a Good Seller a Defect! Help!

Dear eBay Queen:

I am a buyer, and I thought a pretty good one at that. I’ve never left negative feedback, and I really have never had any problems with any of the items I purchased until now.

I bought a new case for my phone, and when it arrived it did not fit my phone. I tried to contact the seller, but it gave me a list of options, and since it didn’t fit, I wanted to return it. I opened what I believe is called a return request. The seller while being very nice, I can tell she is miffed at me. She told me in a message that I could send it back, BUT that I have hurt her eBay account. After much back and forth as it turns out I selected DEFECTIVE and I should have selected did not fit. It truly is my fault because I did not order the right size model for my phone. What should I do?

Eating Humble Pie

Dear Humble:

I think if I were you I would message the seller and apologize. Let them know this is the first time you’ve returned something and you were confused by the options. Let her know that you will make it right by calling eBay and telling them what you did. I don’t know that eBay can correct the situation right then, but I know they can do it after the return is done.

To contact eBay go to the top of any eBay page and click on “Help and Contact” then go to the bottom of the page and click on the blue “contact us” button. You will be taken to another page where you click on “buying”, “after the purchase” and then “leaving/receiving feedback.” Then a “CALL” option will appear. Tell the representative everything you told me. Then let the seller know what you did, and return your item.

eBay returns system isn’t perfect, and it really can be confusing for someone that has never used it before.


Dear eBay Queen:

I’m a little frustrated. I accepted and offer on an item that I really just wanted gone. I should have known by looking at this chick’s PRIVATE feedback that there was a problem. She has left me SHIPPING instructions on how to ship her Starbucks mug. Here’s what she wrote:

“READ***READ***SHIPPING INSTRUCTIONS*** 1. You must PRINT all the letters of my street address. It cannot say APT it must say APARTMENT. This means you are going to need to HAND print the label and take it into the post office. If you print the label online, you’ll get the abbreviation for apartment. 2. Since the Starbucks Mug comes in its original retail packaging, wrap all of that in bubble wrap 2 times. 3. Place bubble wrapped mug and packaging inside a #4 Priority Mail box with packing peanuts all around the item. 4. Place the #4 inside a Priority Mail #7 box with packing peanuts all around the #4 shipping box. Make sure both boxes are safe and secure with no rattling. 5. Seal the box and place the handmade label on the package. 6. Take the package to the post office and purchase postage and add a delivery confirmation. Any deviation from this can and will result in negative feedback.”

I woke up the next day with the following message: “I sent you a message last night attached to the PayPal payment. You have not replied. Please advise why you are not handling my issue promptly.”

What should I do about this? Your prompt help handling my issue is appreciated. 🙂

Stella A.

Dear Stella:

The first thing that strikes me about this, (other than she has lost her mind) is that the buyer is asking you to send an item to an address that is not authorized with eBay. DO NOT change the address. I would respond to her and let her know that you can’t change her address, but she can go into eBay and spell out APARTMENT on her address form, so that it will print that way on ALL sellers labels. I would tell her that by you changing the label you will be breaking eBay’s policy for you as a seller.

Your other option would be to offer to cancel the transaction because there is something wrong with her posted eBay address.

I would then immediately call eBay, ask them how to handle this, and ask them if you hand write the label if you will be protected under the selling policy. I would also point out that this buyer had threatened feedback extortion.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #: 310781360852. Halloween will be here soon. A search on eBay for “Halloween Costumes” yields some pretty interesting results. Basset Hound Dog Mascot Costume Suit Halloween Animals New and Ready to Ship SOLD: $750.00.

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