Girl! You Got Problems.. Smokin’ eBay Problems

The last couple of weeks have been a little frustrating when it comes to eBay.  I had several buyers (less than 1% of my sales) send me messages that the item they received smelled like smoke… if you know me, you'd know I do not smoke, and have quite an aversion to the smell of cigarette smoke. I could not figure out why these people were complaining about this.  Here's some of their emails to me:

"I received your item you sent, and it smells. The interesting thing is that I have been using eBay for years, and had another item shipped to me only very recently that had the same (yes) funky smell of smoke and chemicals together. Thanks for your concern and your response."

"I received the bra just fine but it had a strong cigarette smell to it. I was disappointed as I am not a smoker. I'm really tempted to put this in my review."

"i'm super bummed! got the item today but it stinks of cigarette smoke!"

"Hi, I'm returning this fabric as it reeks of smoke and I can't use it."

Apparently people thought we were doing this…. while we were wrapping packages.

#1 and I wrapping packages…

We offered a full refund once the buyer sent the item back, and of course apologized all over ourselves.  I could not figure out what was causing this stuff to smell like smoke.  My first inclination was that a postal service employee was smoking around the packages…


There wasn't anything new in the way we were wrapping or sending things out, except that we bought new poly-mailers.

They had a faint plastic bag smell when they were empty at room temperature.


bags4We then decided to leave them in the sun for a day…

After being in the sun all day….

My super cute "smeller" said this really STINKS!

So.. I guess we'll be buying new mailers!

Here's something that really ticked me off… this buyer purchased some vintage fabric from me.  They sent me an email saying the item smelled like smoke and they were sending it back.  I apologized and offered a refund once it was sent back. Did she send it back?  NOPE.. The buyer opened a case.. 2 days later. (apparently they wanted me to say again for them to send it back for a refund?)

Case message from buyer:

"This fabric reeks of smoke and is unusable. On the listing it stated smoke free. I have contacted the buyer the day I opened it about returning it with no response."

Case message from ME

"I'm so sorry the item did not meet your standards. The problem is in the bag it was sent in. The packaging (polyvinyl) when it gets warm smells. I did not know this, as it is brand new packaging for me. Please send the item back, once I receive it I will refund the your money. "

Case message from buyer

"We are a small business that sends out hundreds of fabric products using polybags and know for a fact they don't smell when they get hot. We have never had a customer complain about our products smelling of any odor for that matter. We purchased the fabric intending to use it in a custom dress but it wreaked so bad."

Case message from ME

What I said….

"These are new bags from a new one in my household smokes. I cant stand the smell of it. I grew up with a father who smoked, and to say I hate it us putting it mildly I tested the bags myself this last week when I had 5 people complain that their item smells like smoke. I'm very sorry you're unhappy I know that if you will wash the fabric the smell will come out if you don't want to do that I'll be more than happy to refund your money I thought based upon your email to me that you were sending the item back that day. I don't want you to be unhappy with your product"

What I wanted to say:

"Dear lady, while I'm sure your business is rockin' way more dollars than my little business ever could.. I don't appreciate being called a liar. I hope one day you get a customer as understanding and kind as you are. 🙂