Dear eBay Queen: Will Disclaimers Help My eBay Business?

Dear eBay Queen:

Maybe it’s the heat of the summer here in Arizona, or maybe it’s just I’ve had all I can take with eBay.  It seems like lately all I get are complaints from buyers.  I receive one negative and one neutral feedback.  One states: “Didn’t ship fast enough” the other states:  “I didn’t know this was used.”  I responded to both of them, and I did ship the item same day, and the other item was clearly marked as vintage/used.  I received a message the other day from a buyer that had NO IDEA the “Depression Glass dishes I sent her were USED.”  And no, that was not from the person that left negative or neutral feedback.  I am on a Facebook eBay group, and one guy was talking about putting a disclaimer in his listings.  I’m thinking of doing the same thing, except update it to fit me.  This person KNOWS exactly how I feel.

Here is my disclaimer for my listings it is a mixture of the Facebook guy and mine.  I want to know what you think of it.

“Hi! I want you to be so happy with your purchase.  Here recently, I have had a rash of people leaving bad feedback.  I have this eBay business because I want to make a little money to help my family.  I’m not really a professional at this business, but I’m not a slouch either.  I learned from my parents and grandparents about antiques and collectibles.  Almost everything I sell is USED.  Buy USED it’s good for the environment!

Since the items are 20 to 100 years old, they are probably not in new condition. I am not an expert, but I do know a thing or two about antiques.  Sometimes I may miss something, but I do stand behind my products.  Keep in mind that it may not look like you want it when you are holding it in your hand.
Recently I had a buyer complain that her item had dust on it.  REALLY?  Wipe it off! I live in Arizona, the great Southwest! We have wind here and desert- like dirt.

When I buy these items at auctions, estate sales, flea markets or garage sales, I don’t ask the history behind the piece.  All I know is where I purchased it, and sometimes I do not know that!

I’ve had people ask if my items come from a non-smoking home.  I do not smoke, but my roommate smokes outside, and my attached garage (where the items are stored) is not only attached to my duplex, it’s attached to the neighbors.  That idiot smokes.  So sometimes my stuff might smell like smoke.  And again I don’t know the history of the stuff that I pick for all I know, they could have come from Joe Camel’s personal man-cave.

What I can promise is that if you have any questions or would like a picture at a different angle please feel free to ask questions BEFORE bidding and I will do everything in my power to help you.”

Do you think I should correct anything?  I thought it was nice enough. What are your disclaimers?



Dear CTG:

I think you can get those negative and neutral feedback removed. Call into eBay immediately and ask for the feedback to be reviewed.  Explain how you shipped the same day, and how you stated in your title, item specifics and description that the item is vintage/used.  I bet they will be removed for you.

I think it is best to have simple service disclaimers.  Such as: “I ship Monday through Friday!” Or: “We have the best question response time on eBay!”  Try to avoid the negative.   Although the smoking comment was witty, I think it would be best to say something like.  “I do not smoke, but my neighbor that I share storage space with does. Sometimes, that smell may be attached to the items I sell.”

I have found that long disclaimers turn buyers off. I would avoid those at any cost.


Strange eBay item of the Week: Item #:201594230454. It’s been quite a while since I looked for a book on eBay. It’s a book full of facts about pirates! Pirates Exquemelin Alexadre Olivier Bucaniers of America or A Lot 247 SOLD$5800.00.



Dear eBay Queen: What Do I Do with A Demanding Buyer?

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling for 4 years.  I have over 5,000 unique feedback on eBay I thought I had seen just about everything, until now. I have a buyer that has 18 feedback. I thought they were a newbie eBay buyer.

I sent them a NWOT (new without tags) pair of 32×36 jeans.  They received them on a Saturday, and opened a Not as Described claim from me on the Saturday after that. In their claim they state the jeans are very worn and used. She would like at least half of her money refunded for half of the purchase amount.

eBay stated I had 5 days  to respond, and since I have had more pressing issues I decided to just wait to respond. On the 5th day I get a eBay message email from her DEMANDING a response a return label, and a refund, or she would “stop” payment from her bank.

I told her that since she had opened a NAD with eBay, I was now playing by their rules. Had she given me an opportunity, I would have issued her a return label the very day she had notified me of her dissatisfaction. I also informed her that I did not give partial refunds and that I would gladly issue her a refund once the item was returned and that I could verify it was mine by the UV mark…and that it was in the same condition as which it was sold.

She messaged me and stated I was being difficult, rude etc. She then stated that she purchased another pair of jeans from Goodwill for her husband and they were in better condition than the pair I sent.  She would rather not send the item back and would prefer to donate the jeans. I told her that was her choice, but the only way she would be getting her money back was to return the item I sent her with the UV mark on it.

I went ahead and accepted her return request; it is past the 10 days for her to have mailed the item.  What do I do now?  I don’t see that I can just close the request.

Thank you for talking about purchasing an ultra violet light marker in one of your articles. I think this marker has saved me from bogus returns on several occasions. I use it to mark the size tags on jeans, or if there is no white size tag, I use it on the white of the pockets.

Thank you for helping me out.


Dear STC:

You can contact eBay and they will close the case for you since your buyer has not sent the item back in the time allotted.  This is usually a painless experience, the only downside being a sometimes longer than usual hold time.

It is always good business to answer your return requests as soon as possible.  If you did not answer it in that time period, eBay could have closed the case in the buyers favor, and that would have meant a defect for you.  Having eBay close a case because you did not respond, is a heavy defect to have on your account.  I’m not sure if you know this, but sellers no longer receive defects for having opened cases for returns or not as described cases.

I’m glad that the UV light pen has worked for you!  It’s an inexpensive way to protect your business from a buyer that might not be returning your item.



Strange eBay item of the Week: Item #111880269439   How much money would you be willing to pay for your favorite perfume? How about a SAMPLE of your favorite perfume? This 2ml sample must smell like heaven! Harvey Prince Sincerely Perfume Spray Sample 2ml Great Price Must Look SOLD: $5555.45.


Dear eBay Queen: I have an International Shipping Problem


eBay Queen:

I have an international shipping problem with a costume jewelry necklace earring, bracelet and ring set I sold on eBay. I’m hoping you can me with this. The set is by a famous maker, and I sold it for $450.00.

I sold the jewelry on September 16th, and shipped it using eBay/PayPal international shipping with tracking. The buyer has opened and WON the claim saying they never received the item. I have called and gone into my local post office, and I have called USPS help line. They have told me to NEVER ship things through eBay and PayPal.

I am really upset. I thought PayPal always supplied tracking and protection through the transaction for both buyer and seller, but I guess not for international sales.   My postmaster has told me that the tracking number is just a number for the customs form. My postmaster says the number DOES get updated, but the USPS help line says NEVER will it be updated.

I called eBay, and they were very sympathetic to my issue, but they said they have to side with the buyer because the buyer says that it was not received AND that I have no tracking to prove it. They told me I should be enrolled into the global shipping program and I WOULD be protected. I have no control over the tracking being updated and now it cannot be tracked at all. What can I do? The buyer has been refunded for the jewelry but I don’t have the jewelry back!

I have called PayPal, they told me if I could prove the buyer had the item, that they would refund my money. I have messaged the buyer, but they say it has not been received. Do you know of anything else I can do to get my money or the item? Am I just out this money?

Sadie T

Dear Sadie:

I think you just might be out the money. PayPal should come with some kind of warning when it comes to international shipping. When I need to ship something high dollar to another country, I always bring the package to the post office. I make sure I can add signature confirmation and insurance to the package. The only real way to do that is at the post office.

Just because the post office and I both said you are out the item and the money, doesn’t mean you should give up. If the country you sent this too is an English speaking country, I would call their postal system/customs and try to locate it that way also. It would not hurt to call USPS once a week and see if they have an update. This was an expensive lesson to learn. I am so sorry that you had to learn it this way.


Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling for 4 years, and have always had a “no returns” policy. I guess I’ve just been lucky, because I’ve never had someone that needed to return their item. Last week I had a buyer tell me their North Face jacket that they purchased 29 days ago did not fit, and they wanted to return it. I sent them a message and told them that I do not accept returns. They didn’t message me back, but this week they opened a return request. Now what do I do?


Dear AGB:


I don’t think you’re “no return policy” is going to help you get out of this return, or any return. If the buyer wants to return something, all they have to do is open a return request. The one thing that might help is the fact that they didn’t open the return request for 30 days after they received the item. I would contact eBay and see if they will close it because it was not opened within the 30 day time period.



Strange eBay item of the week: Item #281794747271. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Time to start thinking about entertaining guests – and there’s no better place to look than eBay! I found some nice pieces, but these are definitely out of my price range. Pr Paul Storr Sterling Silver Dessert Stands Lot 184 SOLD: $55,000.00.