Dear eBay Queen: How Can I Get My Final Value Fees Back?

Dear eBay Queen:

I sold a Wedgewood tea service to a buyer who emailed when it was delivered that some of it was broken but she would offer me $25 for things that were not broken. The item was insured, and I asked the buyer to wait until the adjuster had called and examined it. In the meantime the buyer got more and more agitated the longer things took and called eBay for advice. I was asked by the representative to refund the $100 cost. I refused telling the rep I was waiting for the insurance company. The rep then asked me to give the buyer a partial refund as eBay’s policy was to keep their buyers happy at all costs. I told the rep I was waiting for the tea service to be returned, as eBay had sent the buyer a return label.

When the item arrived there was no shipping damage on the box, but everything was smashed up inside – even items the buyer said were unbroken. I suspect the buyer dropped some of the tea set and smashed up the rest to get a refund.  I received the refund from the insurance company and not having this experience before, I asked the dispute team should I now refund the buyer. Without another email, they sent the buyer her $100 payment, but because I asked them the question, eBay refused to return my final value fee. As a seller, I did nothing wrong. I followed protocol in every way yet it has cost me over $11 for the return shipping label and $10 final value fee – over $20 for a little Mom and Pop seller. I can no longer afford to risk selling on eBay if sellers are penalized like this.  I wonder what I can do about the return of my out of pocket costs.


Patricia Denney

Dear Patricia:

I am confused as to why your final value fees were not refunded.  Did the buyer escalate the claim?  Did you escalate the claim?  I would call eBay back and speak to someone in the refunds department.  I would explain your case again, and if that doesn’t work, ask to speak to a supervisor.  I can’t imagine why they would not refund your final value fees


Dear eBay Queen:

I bought a nice, but damaged sheet set at a garage sale.  I listed the set as a “cutter” meaning that it had damages and someone could use the fabric for something besides sheets. I even listed it in the eBay ad as damaged, Cutter, with no flaws or holes. I sold the queen set for 19.99 with free shipping. I did my research and perfect ones sell for $75.00 To 100.00.

My item sold and I shipped out the same day.  The buyer received it, and she sends this message: “I received the sheet set.  The top sheet unusable.. I can only use 2/3rd of the sheet. I know you said cutter and damaged, but you didn’t specifically say this. I have washed and bleached the sheets because WHO KNOWS where it has been.  I am extremely unhappy.  I know you don’t want me to leave feedback when I am unhappy. What ideas do you have to make this better?”

I don’t know what to do.  I don’t want to give the buyer $20.00, so what should I do?  I said “Cutter “ and “Damaged” in the title and description.  She bleached it, and it wasn’t a white sheet set! What should I do?

J Burns

Dear J:

Your buyer is using feedback extortion, and has altered the item by washing it.  I would ask the buyer to open a return request.  Once the request is opened, call eBay and ask them to review the messages between you and the buyer so that they will see your buyer has bleached your sheets (altered,) and that they are also using feedback extortion.

If the first person does not help you, request a supervisor.  The case should be closed out in your favor.



Strange eBay item of the Week: Item #322100852728. Wedgewood China can be highly collectible depending on the pattern. In my eBay selling career, I’ve come across Jasperware (blue and white), but had never seen Caneware (yellow and white.) Caneware is a tan-colored, unglazed stoneware that was first developed by Josiah Wedgwood about 1770. Wedgewood Caneware Tea Set Yellow White Wedgewood Only Mark SOLD: $399.00.



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