Dear eBay Queen: I Don’t Want to Accept Returns!

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve sold off and on for a few years.  This year, because I needed a bit more money, I sold through the Christmas Holiday Season.  My goodness – it’s like the crazy people have come out of the wood work!

Do you think people are more difficult in January than they are the rest of the year?  I sold products this year from March to December.  Do you know how many questions I received in that time period? I had four, and one return. I have -0- items listed in January and I wake up every morning with a problem or two!

The two issues I have that are making me nuts right now are:

  • Buyer says that they did not receive their package. When I check the tracking they HAVE received it.  What should I do?
  • The buyer lives in Canada and says the item that they received is not “pink enough”. What does that mean?  I have it listed that I do not accept returns on international orders.  Am I going to have to accept the return?  They opened the return request stating that the item was not described and then in the spot where you can leave message it says “You say this item is pink, but it is not pink enough.”

I also have two people that want to return the item because it doesn’t fit. I want to yell “I DON’T ACCEPT RETURNS!”  Do you think that people are figuring out that they overspent for Christmas? And now they need their money back?




Dear Monica:

I know I have more issues in January than I do any other time of year.  They actually have a term for this called “Blue January”.  Every third Monday in January is now considered Blue Monday.  It’s the day most people start getting their credit card bills from all that overspending they did in December.  I like to think of it as Regretful January instead of Blue January.

I completely understand saying you do not accept returns.  The issue with that is that eBay doesn’t care.  They will force you to accept them, so you might as well accept them on your terms with a smile on your face.  Here’s how I would handle those issues you have mentioned above:

  • I am assuming the buyer opened an item not received case. Make sure you go to the case and put your tracking information into the case.  Then at the top of the page, click on “help and contact” follow the instructions and you’ll be given a phone number to contact eBay.  The eBay Customer Service Rep should close the case because it shows the item arrived.
  • While you have eBay on the phone, I would ask them to look at this case also. While you will have to accept the return, the buyer opened the case stating it was described correctly, when they didn’t like the color.  By asking eBay to step in with this, the buyer will have to pay for the return shipping

If you are going to sell on eBay I think it would be a good idea for you to re-think your return policy.


Dear eBay Queen:

I sold a bracelet, and shipped it out within 24 hours.  The buyer gave me a negative feedback for slow shipping time.  The item was purchased on the 2nd, I shipped it on the 3rd and they received it on the 5th.  Is that really show shipping time?

Is there anything I can do about the negative?



Dear Katie:

I would call customer support and ask if this qualifies for removal.  I have seen them remove feedback like this before, and since you followed the rules and the shipping provider backed you up, it should be removed.

Good Luck!


Strange eBay item of the Week: Item #152330968599. This is an unusual piece. If you were a fan of D&D and happen to have one of these lying around, it could be worth some money! TSR Dungeons and Dragons Solid Brass or Solid Bronze Belt Buckle Very Rare SOLD: $600.00.


Dear eBay Queen: I’ve Got a Buyer Making Crazy Demands and Feedback Extortion. What Do I Do?

Dear eBay Queen:

I sell Fat Heads and Foam Heads on eBay and my web store.  I rarely have any issues.  I received a message from the buyer saying at about 1:00 AM on Sunday morning saying this isn’t what his son wanted – can I cancel?

Around 3:30AM on Sunday morning I receive a second message that says:  “Don’t worry about cancelling.  My son has decided that HE IS going to University of Florida and he does need not only one, but two foam heads.

I packed the items up to ship on Tuesday July 5th, and I receive a third message this morning saying that this was supposed to be shipped yesterday! (The day he told me to cancel.)

I sent a message to the buyer and told him it is Sunday evening and tomorrow is the 4th. I also let him know I sent him an additional invoice, (which he has not paid) and packed the one foam head he did pay for to ship out.

I then receive his 4th message: “What are you talking about lady?  It’s buy one get one on the gator heads!  Why should I have to pay for a second one?”

5th message “Ok so I’ve thought about this. I won’t adding to you feedback percentage.  I will be taking away from it. This is quite possibly the worst transaction I’ve ever had on eBay!  Go ahead and send out the *1* gator head.  I will be returning it as soon as it arrives.  I will also be tearing it up. It will be unrecognizable when you get it back. I can’t stand idiot sellers like yourself you think you can take advantage of people like me.  You won’t even live up to the standards that are in your own listings. I will be returning your product and I will never do business with you again. You give me no other option but to return the item and give you very bad feedback thanks for wasting my time.”

I know I shouldn’t have done it, but I responded.  I tried to be nice.

I am sorry there must be some kind of misunderstanding; I have reviewed my listing, and nowhere does it say buy one get one free.  I will refund your money immediately. I am very sorry for the confusion.”

He responds.   “Please send it to me anyway.  I must have confused you with another seller.”

What should I do?  He’s threatened to give me negative feedback AND tear up my product.

Dear CLA:

WHOA! Talk about someone that can’t make up their mind!  Here is how I look at it.

If you send it to him:

  • He could be happy with it and leave you positive feedback.  He may have confused your item with another seller.
  • He could be unhappy with the product, and do exactly what he said.  Tear it up and send it back, and don’t forget the negative feedback.

You could refund his money:

  • He might leave negative feedback
  • Turn you in as a non-selling seller

I am pretty sure no matter what happens, the negative feedback will be removed, because he did clearly use feedback extortion.  Normally I would say to call in and report this to eBay, which wouldn’t hurt, but I don’t think they will be able to do anything until your buyer does something. I think I would probably send the buyer’s item out and wait to see what happens.  You have enough crazy emails from this guy to show you did nothing wrong.  If the worst happens, and he tears the foam head up and returns it, you have proof in his messages he said he would do this


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #252402698841. It is hot outside! Old advertising thermometers are highly collectible. Ace High Gasoline Wil Flo Motor Oil Thermometer Porcelain Very Rare Advertising SOLD: $2716.00.

To Catch an eBay Thief

 WAY Back in January I sold a really pretty and versatile high end candle holder/decorative piece. Here’s a few of my photos from the listing showing it can be a candle holder, vase or crudités holder.




The buyer purchased the item, and we sent it to her via UPS.  She messaged me telling me telling me the item broke.


“Hi, I just received my order today.  Unfortunately the metal base and 1 of the glass cups are broken.  I would like to get a refund on this order ASAP.  Please see pictures for your reference.  Thank You”

We responded and told her we would contact UPS, and that they would pick up the item from her.  To please have all the packing material, original box and the item ready for them, and that the would call her and arrange a time to pick it up.

Three days went by and she sent me another message:


Then almost every other day she would send me a message.  Most of those messages had some kind of threat or foul verbiage.  I called UPS, and they verified that she would not allow them to pick up the box.  I passed this information on to the buyer.  I received more threats.  Finally she left negative feedback.  I called eBay and it was removed. I sent her one final message asking her to please get in contact with UPS so that she could give them the broken item, and I could refund her money.   She filed a chargeback with PayPal.  While on hold with PayPal, I realized this chick live in Beverly Hills, and she has a unusual name.  I googled her name, and found her Facebook page.  You’ll never believe what she was selling on her Facebook page…


She’s selling my item!


Plus.. she has her own “Design page”  Where she has my item again!


I sent all of this proof to PayPal.  They told me they would add this to my claim, but it was really her credit card company that would make the final decision.  As you can imagine.  The credit card company sided with their cardholder…

 Look what I got today in an email:


Dear eBay Queen: Is this feedback extortion?

Dear eBay Queen;

A while back you were in Keim Bakery and I talked to you at length about eBay’s issues and the problems I was having with eBay.   When I read this article from Time Magazine it had a pretty depressing article on eBay I was reminded of some of the things we talked about.

I have thought of some ways that maybe eBay could fix its self.

  • Do something with search!  The first thing eBay needs to do, is to get rid of Best Match.  It is the WORST.  When I search for something I don’t want to see what eBay thinks I want, I want to see what I searched for.
  • eBay’s traffic is DOWN. How can we bring it back up?  I think bringing back the small sellers will make traffic go up.  Just like this article from Time, it basically told eBay where their traffic went…. Away because they drove all the people that loved them away.
  • Stop trying to be Amazon.  Be eBay, and be good at that.
  • Detailed seller ratings are a joke.
  • Defect system, I could go on and on about defects.  I think part of the defect system is fair, because buyers deserve to have their items sent to them when promised, but to force a seller to take a return outside of their return policy OR to give a defect simply because there is a return is ridiculous. Returns happen in ecommerce.
  • eBay spent all their time and energy getting Vera Bradley, Sears, Kmart, Target, Eddie Bauer and every other retailer to come sell their wares on eBay, and they did it at the expense of all of the mom & pop sellers.
  • When John Donahoe shut down the community boards, the community left and so did the sellers/buyers that loved it.

eBay needs to hire some people that “get it”.  These people need to understand what eBay is and what it meant to its community, and its community will come back in droves.


Dear CH:

I couldn’t agree more. Perhaps you should send this along to some eBay Board Members and executives. I think it might be something they need to see.


Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve sold on eBay for around 2 years. I started selling clothing 5 months ago.  I’ve looked at my numbers, and I’m averaging 8 returns a month because the item doesn’t fit.  I list all the measurement in my listing, and when I can have a model wear the item in my photos, and say stuff like “model is a size 12” etc.  I realize that you never know if something is right for you until it is tried on, but seriously! I feel like this is a lot of returns.   I had a buyer contact me yesterday with a nasty message.  I’m not sure how to respond.

“So I received the pants, and they are seriously not fitting right.  Flat front pants never make me look as hippy as these do!  I just cannot wear them.  I would like to return them, but I see that I am going to have to pay for return shipping?  I’m not very happy about that, when I read on eBay it said that you were responsible for the return shipping. What are we going to do about this?   Also I did remove the tags, but will be including them in the package after you pay the return shipping.  Thanks for leaving me feedback on this transaction.  I hope that I can leave you as positive feedback as you left me.”

How should I handle this?


Dear Dottie:

Your buyer was a bit shifty in her message to you.  There seems to be a bit of feedback extortion in there. I think before I would respond I would call eBay and ask them if this is feedback extortion.  I would also ask them if she opens a case for item not described (so that she gets you to pay for return shipping) and in her own words to you it doesn’t fit, will you get a the defect removed?  Once you have those answers, I would message the buyer and say something like this.  “I’m so sorry the pants did not fit you the way you wanted. I put the measurements in my listing for this very reason to help buyers discern if the item will fit or not.  I will be happy to refund your money once the item is sent back.  Thank you for your purchase, I’m sorry it didn’t work out.”

I hope that eBay comes through for you and this buyer doesn’t take advantage of you.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #: 271764428918. Valentine’s Day is coming up! eBay is a perfect place to find a gift. Stunning Chopard Valentine Charm Bracelet SOLD: $9500.00.