Dear eBay Queen: How Should I Handle a eBay Buyer that Doesn’t Tell the Truth?

Dear eBay Queen:

I need help! I have a customer that is down-right mean! This customer from hell purchased one of my hand made baby blankets. I’ve been making and selling these on eBay, Etsy and Amazon for the last couple of years. I do sell new housewares to supplement my little craft business. I received the following message from my buyer:

I received my baby blanket. It is a lovely weave, but it is not new. I don’t even believe you made it! The blanket has some issues. There is food splatter on it, and it isn’t exactly 36×36, it’s 36.25 x 36. What do you plan on doing about this?

I responded to her:

Could you send me a photo of the food splatter? I did indeed make this, and it does say approximately 36×36 in my listing. I make these and place them in a Tyvek/plastic shipping bag. They are never around food.

She responds:

No I can’t send a photo, I’ve washed the blanket! Just give me my money back, and I’ll send it back to you. I can’t believe with all the problems you’ve caused me, and with that perfect feedback, you’d demand me to send it back.

I responded back:

I don’t want you to be unhappy with your item – it truly is my pattern, and my work. It is hand made. Usually in a situation like this, I would offer a full refund once the item is sent back. Since you washed the item, and now cannot send me a photo of your complaint I do not know what to do. I’ve read the feedback you’ve left for other sellers, and I feel compelled to tell you that eBay might not be the place for you to buy. You seem to have an issue with every seller you purchase from, and they are all similar. It seems there is food, blood, dirt etc on every item you buy. I’m sorry you are unhappy, but in order for me to refund your money, you’ll need to send it back in its unused condition. Since you’ve washed the item, it’s been used.

She responds:

You obviously don’t have the sense God gave a 4 year old. If you’ve seen my feedback you know what’s going to happen to you. PLUS just for you I’m opening up a PayPal case and an eBay case. You’ll get 2 defects and with my negative feedback I’m giving it will be 3. This is how I will single handedly get rid of all of the bad sellers on eBay. So this is your last chance. Are you going to give me my money back or not?

I didn’t respond to her message, and she has opened a case with eBay, but not one with PayPal yet. I have called eBay and they told me it was my choice to do whatever I wanted. Really? What do you think I should do?

The Worst Seller Ever.


Dear Worst:

Your buyer is a bit wacko, “she is going to single handled get rid of bad sellers?” That just leaves me shaking my head.

I checked out your blankets, and read your return policy. I really think your baby blankets and afghans are cute, and reasonably priced. I don’t believe for a second that you sold a blanket with food splatter on it, based on the feedback this woman leaves, which unbelievably, she has said in 12 negative and 8 positive that there was “food spatter” on an item. I’ve been selling and buying for 18 years and have never had that complaint. It is obvious to me she is trying to get something for nothing. I hope when you call eBay that they will see that too.

Your return policy is 30 days. It doesn’t say that the items have to be returned in the same condition or with the tags attached. I don’t know if you will win the Not As Described case because of this. Here’s what I think I would do. I would send a message to the case and say, “I would be happy to refund your money if the item is returned in its unwashed unused condition with my tags attached.” I would then call eBay and ask them if they think her messages are feedback extortion. If they say YES, make sure you get that person’s name and note the time you spoke with them. I would also ask what you should do about the case. If they do not offer any other help, I would wait for the buyer to respond. If she doesn’t respond within 24 hours, I would call eBay again to ask if you have any other options other than accepting the return since your buyer has washed/altered the item. If they do not offer to close the return in you favor, I would accept the return, and wait to get the item back.

If your buyer does not send it back in the 7 day time period call eBay and have the case closed. If they send it back and there is something wrong with it, I would call eBay. I don’t think they will do anything, but you will at least have it on record what she did. The last thing I would do is report this buyer. Report them for feedback extortion; report them for inappropriate returns, and seller abuse.   If she does leave the negative call into eBay to have it removed.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #: 221923581696. Over Christmas break, my family has done several puzzles. We’re kind of addicted. I thought it’d be neat to see what puzzles are going for on eBay. While you can find a wide range of prices, this spectacular puzzle was the most expensive!  Ravensburger 17837 New York City Jigsaw Puzzle 32000 Piece NEW Free Shipping SOLD: $1019.00


Dear eBay Queen: What is an APO/FPO and How DO I Ship Stuff to Them?

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling 2 years, and never had this happen!  I sold four handmade tutus I made, on eBay.  When I go to print my shipping label, I receive a message that says it is going to a APO/FPO or military address.  The PayPal label wants to print a customs form.  Is that what I am suppose to do?  The address still says USA on it. Am I doing this right?  Do I have to wait in line at the post office and give them the customs label, or just attach it to my package along with the regular shipping label? I’m so confused!


Dear TTS:

It sounds like you are doing it right! Just fill out the forms, and give them to your mail carrier (if that’s how you normally do it.)  They will scan it, and it will be on its merry way.

APO/FPO is a military address.  APO is Army Post Office, FPO is Fleet Post Office.  You can learn more about military addresses HERE.
Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling on eBay for about 3 months. I have 92 feedback points with 100% positive.  I feel like I’ve been pretty lucky up until now.  In February I had a buyer purchase a very cute lot of little girl’s shoes.  Within a few days, she messaged me and told me that the shoes were not as described. I asked them to clarify, and they told me they didn’t feel that was necessary since I was a newbie seller, and they just wanted a refund.   I didn’t know what to do, so I sent them the money via PayPal.  My friend, who also sells, told me that I should not have done that, and the buyer was probably just taking advantage of me.

In March, a buyer contacted me stating that she wants her money back.  I asked what was wrong and they replied that the item didn’t come in the original box.  I messaged the buyer back and said that the listed stated it was new, out of the package, and there was not a photo in my listing showing the item was new in the box.  The buyer responded saying they want their money back, and they want to KEEP the product because I keep messaging them.  Uh.. I don’t think so!  I did describe it correctly!  I contacted eBay, and after about 1hour and 20 minutes on the phone, eBay decided to refund the buyer out their own pocket and let the buyer keep the item. The eBay guy said that it wouldn’t count against my seller account and that this way both the buyer and the seller would be happy.   I am happy it is over, but don’t you think it is weird that they did this?

I do not have a return policy, because my friend told me it was better to not have one because eBay would not make me take a return.  Is this true? In my LONG winded phone call with eBay, they told me that they could and would still force a return.  Do you have any advice about this?



Dear Stephanie:

I always make the buyer return the item when they are unhappy with it.  I believe allowing a buyer to keep the item, teaches buyers it’s ok to complain and then keep the item for free.  When it comes to your March buyer, you did everything right.  For some reason eBay thought it would be best to give the buyer their money back.  I’ve had this happen and I just shake my head and keep listing things.

I also think it is important to have a return policy.  This way buyers will feel confident in purchasing from you AND if someone tries to pull a fast one, they can’t because  your return policy says all items must be returned.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #: 221705816062. Handmade, boutique children’s clothing sells well on eBay, if you have the right piece. This adorable little dress is part of a small line of handmade children’s clothing you can find. It is so highly sought after, customers must pre-order before the next batch of clothing comes out. No wonder it sold for such a high price! Girl’s WD Wolf Apron Pinafore not smocked Dress Size 6 & M2M Bow Beautiful! SOLD: $197.50.