Dear eBay Queen: What Do I Do With a Counterfeit Item I was Sold

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve bought over 200 items on eBay, and I’ve never received a counterfeit item, until now. I purchased a cord for my older Sony camera. I was told that this was authentic. When I received it, I could tell it was a fake. I messaged the seller and then opened an Item not as Described case against him. I also included photos of why I know it to be fake and attached them to the case. He has not approved the return in 4 days, so I left him a negative feedback. I have received a threatening email from him:

“Thank you for the negative. It’s really a shame that you couldn’t wait for Labor Day to be over for us to respond to your case. I always find it ironic when a buyer that is also a seller and a Top Rated one at that, acts the way you’ve acted. Perhaps you’ll learn your lesson one day. I’m sorry that this item doesn’t work with your camera or computer, or whatever. There was no need to try to ruin my reputation.”

I don’t know what to do! Is he threatening me? Should I report him? Was I hasty in pulling the negative trigger?


Dear Ritter:

I probably would have given him until Labor Day was over to respond, but that is only because I know that some people take vacations during this time. Is he threatening you with the “you are a seller too” comment? Maybe, or he may just be saying you are a seller, and you should know better.

How do you feel about it now? Do you think he was threatening? Do you feel like you were quick to leave a negative? If you do, you can always alter the negative AFTER you return the item. If you feel he was threatening, I would report him, and let the negative stand.

Dear eBay Queen:

I absolutely cannot stand customers like this. I’ve had some weird customers lately. I

think it’s so unfair when a customer gives a negative or gives me a defect, and I can do nothing about it.

This last week I had a buyer open a return request on Quacker Factory t-shirt I sold. She opened under “wrong size, didn’t fit”. I responded to her claim, and approved the return. Three days later the case was change from a “wrong size or didn’t fit” to a “Item not as described” Because I had responded to the case and told her to send it back instead of her paying the return shipping I am supposed to pay it. I called eBay and the first customer service person basically told me “too bad.” I messaged the buyer in the case and asked her what was wrong. She responds:

“It doesn’t fit, but I’m not paying to ship this defective piece of junk back. I called eBay and told them that I should not have to pay shipping when every other Quacker Factory item fits in this size, and yours is obviously defective.”

I respond to the buyer and let them know I’m sorry it didn’t fit, and let them know that by doing this they gave me a defect that I would have to live with because they didn’t want to pay return shipping. She responded with:

“I guess that’s the cost of doing business on eBay with a savvy eBay buyer.”

I’ve read your article for years, and asked myself “what would the eBay Queen do?” I called customer support, and got a representative that saw through what the buyer was doing. She cancelled the request, removed the negative the buyer left AND the defect associated with this transaction. I am so glad I called. Do you think that they removed

this buyer from eBay?

The Victor!


Dear Victor:

I’m so glad this worked out in your favor!

I don’t know if eBay did anything to the buyer, but I hope they did. I’ve heard that eBay reprimands buyers on their first and second offense, on their third they are given the boot permanently or for 30 days depending upon the severity of their offense.


Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #251664172680. Looking for a kite? eBay might have one you’re searching for. Most of them aren’t this pricey though. Premier Jumbo Rieleit Foil Parafoil Lifting Platform Kite SOLD: $1895.00.

Dear eBay Queen: Can We Talk about Top Rated Sellers?

Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling on eBay for the last 10 years.  I do this mostly to make up for the child support that my deadbeat, ex-husband does not pay.  I have a job that allows me to work from home, so after I put in the hours for that job, I do eBay.  I have heard so much talk about this defect system, and so many people are obsessed with it.  Without really knowing how it works, I have grown to hate this defect system.  The thought of looking at my dashboard freaks me out.  I finally broke down today and looked at my ratings. I have 2.1 defect rating, it says I’m above standard, but not top rated.  Are you a top rated seller?  Do you think that being a top rated seller make a big difference in your sales and profits?  I have spent my years on eBay worrying about selling… now I have to worry about this.  What advice can you give me?



Dear Callie:

I have been both a Top Rated Seller and Above Standard.  It has been my opinion that I sell more stuff when I am above standard.  That being said, I really like the benefits and the discount I receive as a top rated seller.

I truly believe that eBay’s search algorithms are messed up.  When I shop on eBay I always search by “time ending soonest” as opposed to “best match”.  I don’t want eBay to tell me what I’m looking for, and with Best Match that’s what I feel like they are doing.  When I search for “Nike size 6,” I  want to see ALL the Nike tennis shoes in a size 6.  Not just what eBay wants me to see.


Dear eBay Queen:

I really need your help! I am primarily a buyer on eBay and the last couple of items I bought have arrived “Not as Described”.  I messaged the seller and explained to them that the shoes may say they are an 8.5, but they do not fit like and an 8.5, and I wanted my money back.  The seller sent me a message, and is acting like I just want to keep this wrong item. They said I could keep it & offered me a 50% refund. Here is the message they sent me:

“I’m so sorry the shoes do not fit you.  I don’t believe they are not as described, since the shoes say they are an 8.5 and I took photos and measurement of the bottom and inside of the shoes, so that you, the buyer, could better judge if these shoes will fit or not. I would be happy to offer you a refund of 50% and you can keep the shoes, or you can send them back and I will refund your money less shipping and a 10% restocking fee.”

What? The shoes aren’t as described! Why I should have to pay for it?   I called eBay. The last  time this happened they told me I had to pay return shipping because those were the sellers terms. This time they said I needed to pay return shipping, or I could open a not as described case and say that they were not as described.  What do you think I should do?

Angry Buyer

Dear Angry:

I don’t think your seller was unreasonable.  If what you are saying is true, you ordered size 8.5 shoes, and that is what you received, then they are as described.  The seller went above and beyond by measuring the shoe.  Now it is up to you to decide what to do.   If you open a case, eBay is going to require you to return the shoes, pay return shipping and restocking fee.  If you take the 50% you could turn around and sell the shoes yourself. 

The only way for these to be considered “not as described” is for them to be a different size, color or different shoe all together. I understand you are upset that the shoe doesn’t fit you, but, unfortunately, that is one of the drawbacks to buying things on the internet.

I hope that you can work this out with the seller.

Strange eBay Item of the Week: Item #:261734034423  Ironstone is highly collectible, especially rare pieces like this cake pedestal. Rare Ironstone Pedestal Cake Stand with Scalloped Edge Pankhurst and Hanley SOLD: $595.00.