Dear eBay Queen:
I have read your article for years. I have taken a class you have given and even spoke to you at Wal-Mart for about selling stuff on eBay. I know you have said that you don’t let buyers pick up stuff from your house. I did not follow your directions, so my story will start out this way: I let this buyer picked up the item she purchased on eBay from my house. She bought a large vintage glass punch bowl, stand and ladle. Get this, she even came to my house and inspected it before she bid!
She ended up being the high bidder, paid with PayPal, came over and got the item, and took it home. About 2 hours after she came to my house, she emailed me thru the eBay message system stating that she broke the base while cleaning it and “please don’t take offense,” but she was going to open a case that the item was significantly not as described, if I didn’t issue her a refund or at least a discount. I really thought she was joking. I sent her a very nice email and explained that I was not able to accept a return or give her a refund since she stated she BROKE the item.
Afterwards, I did my homework and contacted both PayPal and eBay. Both parties advised me that I did nothing wrong and to recommend that the buyer file a dispute. I asked how the dispute process works with both PayPal AND eBay. BOTH parties stated that if the case was decided in MY favor, she would be refused a refund and get to keep the item. If the case was decided in HER favor, she would have to return the item to me. After I received the item, I would have to issue her a full refund.
She filed a dispute with eBay this morning. I responded that I was not able to issue a refund for an item that she broke once she got it to her home. Now what do I do? Do you think eBay will issue her a full refund, allow her to keep the item, AND she will still be able to leave me negative feedback? How is that fair to a seller that did absolutely nothing wrong?? I will be so ticked if she wins this claim. The message that is being sent to the buyer is that they can buy whatever they want, file a claim, get a full refund, get to keep the perfectly good item, and get to leave negative feedback
Here’s the funny thing, we discussed you before she left my house! So maybe she’s reading this article! Do you have any advice for us?
Sad Seller; Wellsville, KS
Holy Smokes! This is a horrible thing for this buyer to do! I can’t believe she broke the item and thinks she can blackmail you to get you to refund her money! I would immediately contact eBay’s customer support, and have them review the email she sent where she said she broke the base and was going to file a claim. If they don’t give you advice on what to do with the claim, I would escalate it. Make sure before you escalate the claim you refer to the eBay message where she made the threat. I’m sure her claim will be denied. When it comes to feedback, I’m not sure what they will do about that. I would ask the eBay rep what they can do to help you if she leaves negative feedback.
My advice for your buyer is this: eBay is not Nordstrom’s, Wal-Mart or Macy’s. No matter how hard eBay tries to make it that way, behind each sale is a REAL person: A real person that is trying to support a family, or raise extra money to pay for braces, or school supplies. You are not returning something to a huge corporation; you are returning it to an individual that is paying for your mistake. While we are on the subject of your mistake: you broke this base, the seller did not. Do the right thing, the honest thing. Admit you are at fault for breaking the base and cancel the dispute. I hope you realize that I would not condone this if you were returning this to a big name department store. Either way it is dishonest. You broke the item and want the seller to pay for your mistake. Once you cancel the dispute, call some of the local antique shops and see if you can find a matching base for your new punch bowl.
I hope this works out for both of you.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item: 170865128191 Do you love the Olympics as much as I do? Would you like to own a piece of Olympic history? Check out this 1948 Olympic Games Original Torch SOLD 10,308.25 http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&_trksid=p4340.l2557&hash=item27c85af2ff&item=170865128191
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained Education Specialist. She lives in Rantoul, Kansas.