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.


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Dear eBay Queen: This Buyer Opened a Bogus Return Request!

Dear eBay Queen:

I think I really messed up.  I have lot of 8 different decks of playing cards.  They are all made by the same manufacturer, but are different in color.  I took a photo of them in a group, and also have individual photos of each deck of cards.  I listed the cards with a multi-listing where they buyer could choose how many they wanted of each item.   I did not write in the description that this was a multiple listing. I thought since there was a drop down box that the buyer had to choose quantity and color, they would know what they were doing.  The buyer chose 1deck, and in green.  Fast forward to present day, and the buyer has opened a return request as “something was wrong with my item,” because they only received one item!

I plan to call eBay, before I go in and respond to this dumb request from the buyer. Am I going to get a defect for this?  Do I have any course of action to win this request?

Playing Card Problem


Dear Problem:

I would think in this situation, eBay would side with you since you used the multi-listing tool. In the past, I have had a similar issue, and have asked eBay to step in. They closed the case in my favor.  If you happen to speak to someone that does not seem to want to side in your favor, I would ask how you could have done this differently so the buyer would have understood.

I have a pretty strict rule that I follow to never have anything other than what I am selling in the photo.  Buyers tend to only look at pictures, and not at the description.  I hope that eBay finds this case in your favor, and your defect is removed.


Dear eBay Queen:

I purchased a fantastic pair of red leather pants for a photo shoot I am going to be doing.  When I check the item, it still has not been shipped!  I’ve contacted the seller three times asking for an update with no response.   I’ve been checking the seller’s feedback and they have a couple of negatives for non-receipt, one from just a few days ago!

I really want the pants.  Should I message again? Call him? Should I go ahead and open a case, or should I just request a refund and leave negative FB. I’ve never had a problem with a seller.  I’ve got 1654 positive feedback, and in all those transactions, I’ve never had a seller not send me something. I’m really ticked off.  What do you think I should do?


Dear OLG:

In a situation like this, I would message the seller one more time, and say something like: “I have not received my leather pants yet, and I need them for an event that is quickly approaching.  Could you tell me if they have been sent? Thank you.”

If they do not respond in the next 48 hours, I would open a case.  Make sure you state that you want the pants, more than the refund.  If they don’t respond to the case, you can have it escalated.  eBay will give you your money back.  I’m not one to leave negatives, but if this seller does not respond, I would leave a negative.

I hope you receive your pants, and that the seller just hasn’t uploaded the tracking.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #:321714913883. Looking for something fun to do on the lake? How about a jetpack backpack? 2012 JetLev R200 Water Backpack More fun than a Flyboard. SOLD: $14,300.00.


eBay Queen: What are your eBay Resolutions?

Dear eBay Queen,

What are your eBay New Year’s Resolutions?

Baby New Year

Dear Baby:
My eBay resolutions are pretty simple this year as I approach my 17th year selling full time on eBay.

  • Get my online store running smoother.
  •  eBay inventory done (because it never seems to be accurate.
  • Clean out my piles of stuff that I thought I would eventually write up.
  • Find a new product that will go with my existing product line
  • Stop stressing about defects.

Dear eBay Queen:

I have a question about a return I received. I sold a pair of Ralph Lauren equestrian style pants to a customer, who claimed that the zipper didn't zip up smoothly, and she wanted to return them. I modeled these pants in the photos, and I never noticed and issue with the zipper, or I would have said something. I truly believe that I do a good job when I am checking for defects like that, but once in awhile, I do miss something.  I took the buyer at her at her word, and sent her a return shipping label that I paid for. I received the pants back, and, as I’m sure you guessed, there was absolutely nothing wrong with them. I'm would imagine that they didn't fit and she didn't want to have to pay for the shipping involved in purchasing and returning them.

I don’t feel like I should have received a defect for this return, and I am pretty angry that I was bamboozled by this customer. I contacted eBay and asked them to rule on this through the returns process. In my messaging to eBay, I explained the situation, and even pointed them to the YouTube video where I demonstrate how the zipper works eBay sided with the customer, and automatically refunded her the entire amount. What could I do differently? How can I get eBay to be on my side?

I have a return policy, and I don’t have an issue accepting a return. I DO have an issue with getting a defect for a buyer that is not truthful. I don't think it should be at my expense unless the item is defective. Is there anything I can do about this? Is this a common occurrence on eBay? eBay customer Service says that it is the cost of doing business. What do you do to prevent this from happening to you?


Dear TGA:

This issue has been plaguing me for most of 2014. I rarely have a buyer that has a true “not as described” case, but I seem to have quite a few buyers that have what they call not as described, a fit issue. Instead of saying it doesn’t fit me, they say it’s “defective and doesn’t fit me”.

I’ve spent most of 2014 fighting this ridiculous defect system. This means HOURS on the phone waiting to talk to an eBay customer service rep, only to be told, “It’s just part of doing business on eBay.” I have given this a lot of thought over the last few months, and because the time I spent on the phone was starting to bother my children, I have not made a single call to eBay in over 30 days. It was not worth the aggravation. One of my last phone calls to eBay, I really tried to prove my point that a return should not result in a defect. The only sense of hope I received from that conversation is the person (a manager) assured me that the defect system is evolving, and that this type of defect was going to be discussed and looked into.

I have thought about different ways I can prevent a buyer from opening a return request, and I have only had one idea, but I am not even sure if it will work. I have decided to start the New Year with business cards with return information on the front, and a “Thank You” on the back. I was thinking my return portion will include my phone number and my email address so the buyer can message me directly. Once they message me it is my plan to offer them a shipping label, (at my cost,) and ask for the item to be sent back.

When it comes to your buyer, I believe that they did have buyers remorse. You would probably be able to prove that, you would just need to get the right eBay customer service person.


Strange eBay Item of the Week:161475802699. This beautiful, rare watch by Ralph Lauren retailed for $25,100. It sold on eBay for $8999.00. Ralph Lauren 18k RG Stirrup Men's Watch with Piaget Movement Stunning. SOLD: $8999.00.