Dear eBay Queen: Return Requests and Cell Phones don’t mix.

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling for a couple of years, and have always had a “no refund” policy.  I read on an eBay message board that buyers don’t want to buy from someone that doesn’t accept returns.  At the beginning of the year I started accepting returns.  Yesterday, I received my first return request, and I’m kind of confused. I received the following message from eBay:

You can issue a full refund or offer a partial refund.  In either case the buyer keeps the item.  If there is a problem you can ask us to step in and help on (date.)

I don't understand this. In the request details it says buyer pays return shipping. What am I missing? I don't want to accept return until I know what I am agreeing to.

The buyer selected “wrong size or didn’t fit” and left the following comment:

“I received the item and it’s a really cute dress, but it is too small for me.  Thank you for sending it so quickly.  How do I return it for a refund?  The tags are still attached.”

Why can’t I just get the item back and refund her money?  Why would I want to give the buyer a refund and let them keep it?



Dear Paula:

I am assuming you are looking at this return request on your phone.  I had a similar thing happen to me too, when I was trying to respond to a return request on my phone.  When you look at this on a computer you’ll see a different layout.  There are a couple of options when you view this from your computer you should see:

  • Accept the return. Buyer pays for shipping wait to get the item back before you refund the buyer.
  • Refund the buyer, you fully refund the buyer to close this request.  The buyer keeps the item.
  • Offer a partial refund.  You fully refund the buyer to close this request.  The buyer keeps the item.
  • Send a message.  Communicate with your buyer.
  • Ask us to step in and help. If there’s a problem, you can ask us to step in and help on  (date)

This will not give you a defect since the buyer said that it was too small. I would simply accept the return and wait for the buyer to send it back.


Dear eBay Queen:

I’m not sure what is going on here. I seem to be having a TON of grumpy or irrational customers. Is this just the way that the first of the year goes?  I’ve only been selling full time for 6 months or so, and I have been really happy with my sales on eBay and Amazon, but handling these grumpy customers is about all I can take.  Here is the worst one:

What a horrible eBay person you are!  Your customer service is the worst!  It’s like I’m shopping at Dollar General!  I ordered this dress for my daughter’s school recital and it has not arrived.  The tracking shows that it went to California, and I live in Texas!  I am leaving you a negative feedback for your poor customer service!  I also will be telling everyone I know that you can’t put the proper address on a package.  How stupid can you be to send it to California?  I’ll be waiting for your excuse to see how negative my feedback will be.”

I messaged this lady back to let her know that it was sent to the address in Texas, and that it was misrouted by the post office.  She still left me a negative.

Just yesterday I had a customer open an item not received case and it was just sent 3 days before that!  Do you have any advice for me?  What am I doing wrong?



Dear Grace:

I’ve always thought that customers were a bit grumpier in January and February than they are the rest of the year.  The best way to handle a grumpy customer is to kill them with kindness.  No matter how unfriendly they are to you, be kind to them.  It’s hard I know, but in the end when you have to call eBay, the grumpy buyer will look bad and you will be the seller that kept your cool.

I think I would contact eBay about the negative.  You just might be able to get this removed since it was not your fault the post office sent it to the wrong place first, and there is a veiled threat of feedback in her message.


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