Need Ebay purchase advice!

Discussion in 'Community Discussion' started by acer, Apr 6, 2017.

  1. acer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    #1
    Recently I sold a new smartphone on eBay to a buyer with excellent feedback (600+ 100%) and thought everything went smoothly. Then suddenly the buyer initiates a return claiming the earphone jack on the phone is broken. Obviously I am suspicious that he's either making it up cause he doesn't like the phone or maybe dropped it and broke it himself. eBay is basically threatening to intervene if I don't accept the return and issue a refund. The problem is that I'd be out a lot of money if I accept the return. I'd be out shipping costs both ways ($30) and since the phone is now used, I can no longer sell it as new ($170 lost in value). So I'd be out $200.

    So I am planning on rejecting the return on the grounds that I did state in my listing that I do not accept returns and that if it's really broken he should contact the manufacturer. Not sure if it's covered under manufacturer warranty since I bought it on eBay. But if they don't require a receipt he should be able to fix it under warranty.

    Anyways, anyone have any tips or advice on how I should go about building my case? Currently, eBay is asking me to respond to the return request with: 1. Approve return 2. Refund money 3. Offer partial refund 4. Send the buyer a message.

    I guess I'll be choosing option 4 but what should I say to him?
     
  2. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

    Joined:
    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #2
    I've sold 4 Mac laptops on eBay and look back on this as being extremely lucky I did not suffer at the hands of a dishonest buyer. I have not run into this myself, but I've heard of it, and It's why I've stopped using eBay to sell about 5 years ago, eBay became very buyer centric. However when I sold my items, they were as-is and still had a transferable warranty on them. Not that this was a full proof way to overcome a dishonest buyer.

    I assume the phone the worked perfectly when you sent it, but there is no warranty? Even when you say no returns, the loop hole is exactly what is happening to you, and I have no idea what eBay would do to protect the seller, if the buyer did something drastic, like break the phone to facilitate a return.

    You could try to send him a message, asking him to try another earpiece, or accept the return as a lessened learned. Based on my impression (from 5 years ago) is that if the buyer insists, eBay will refund his money and assume you are in the wrong whatever that entails, (debit your account?)

    I'm curious directed at any current eBay experts here, are there any procedures eBay recognizes that would protect the seller when a dishonest buyer breaks an item to facilitate a return?
     
  3. AgataYanzak macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2017
    #3
    I learnt from you thread here. Even I don't have much more experience about this. Thanks for sharing!
     
  4. curmudgeonette macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2016
    Location:
    California
    #4
    In that case, eBay will refund the buyer and take the money from you, ... and let the buyer keep the phone.
     
  5. acer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    #5
    Thanks for all your responses!

    I contacted the buyer and asked him to describe the problem. He says the headset volume is low and sounds a little garbled. So isn't that an admission that he was lying when he claimed the jack was broken? Few months ago, I had a chance to try out the same make/model and recall the headset volume being low and kinda garbled. So I googled this problem and found many owners complaining about the same thing, which means this is a design issue with this phone and not a faulty/broken issue. So how is it my fault that he failed to do due diligence and research the pros/cons of the phone he was buying? It's like buying a new car and complaining about high road noise then demanding a refund because you failed to research the vehicle. So isn't this proof that he has Buyer's Remorse?

    As I understand the eBay Guarantee, it protects the buyer under only 2 conditions.... 1. If the item never arrives, which doesn't apply here... 2. If the item is significantly different from the description. I said the phone was brand new and he received brand new. I don't think I'm under the obligation to describe every single feature of the phone and if buyer doesn't love all the features I have to refund. I mean what's next, refund if the screen isn't bright enough or the phone doesn't match with their outfit?

    He again demanded a refund but I told him I'm sticking to my guns of no returns accepted as outlined in my listing. He says he'll immediately notify eBay that I refuse to refund him.

    So do you think I have a stronger case now? And should I provide all the reviews I found of the low volume issue to eBay as proof that it is a normal feature of this phone?
     
  6. C DM macrumors Westmere

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2011
    #6
    Ultimately it doesn't really matter what anyone here might think, it's more about what about eBay will think.
     
  7. mscriv macrumors 601

    mscriv

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Dallas, Texas
    #7
    Please let us know how it works out for you. I agree with your stance on the issue based on what you have described. I'm interested in how eBay sees the matter.
     
  8. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Location:
    In the middle of several books.
    #8
    It doesn't really matter if you don't accept returns. The fact that you accepted PayPal means that most of the time, you, as a seller, have to accept a return, unless you can provide clear evidence that the buyer is engaged in fraudulent activity, which you can't prove.
     
  9. Huntn macrumors G5

    Huntn

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    May 5, 2008
    Location:
    The Misty Mountains
    #9
    No refunds is no refunds. Of course the loophole is if the buyer claims it's not as described. eBay could go either way on this, but it's their decision and they tend to lean towards the buyer, although I know a case where a friend bought a computer that did not have the graphic card it described, and when she protested, eBay decided with the seller, saying it was not a significant difference... although it was. :(
     
  10. AgataYanzak macrumors newbie

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    Mar 30, 2017
    #10
    Fantastic rule. If there is a chance for getting money refund.
     
  11. ActionableMango, Apr 10, 2017
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2017

    ActionableMango macrumors 604

    ActionableMango

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2010
    #11
    In my experience, Ebay sides with the buyer and does not care about evidence.

    I sold a Buffalo Terastation Pro on Ebay. The silkscreen on both the Terastation and Terastation Pro both simply say "Terastation".

    Buyer wanted to return it because he said I misrepresented a Terastation as a Terastation Pro, based on the silkscreen on the front saying just "Terastation". I told him he was wrong.

    Buyer's evidence:
    • He had a bunch of Terastation Pros that were all silkscreened "Terastation Pro". (The Terastation Pro II is silkscreened "Terastation Pro"), so what he really had were Terastation Pro II's.
    Evidence on my side was overwhelming:
    • I included the original box, which shows it as a Terastation Pro.
    • If you look up the model number, it is a Terastation Pro.
    • If you look at the manual, it is a Terastation Pro.
    • I called Buffalo customer support and verified that the model that I was selling was a Terastation Pro. I gave this number to the buyer, but he never called of course. Why would he take time to prove himself wrong?
    • All of the pictures I provided were pictures of the actual device I was selling. The main picture I provided in the listing showed the front of the device including the silkscreen branding that says "Terastation". So the buyer was ignoring the box, the model number, the manual, and Buffalo customer support, but was bothered by the silkscreen label, which he couldn't have avoided seeing a picture of when he bought it from my listing in the first place?
    Ebay took the buyer's side.

    This is a very large and heavy device so I would have absolutely eaten it on shipping and return shipping--so I ended up offering a very large partial refund and lost money in order to avoid a return that would have cost me even more money, and time too.

    As someone who was with Ebay in the very early days before there was even a payment system, with 100% feedback as buyer and seller, and who had overwhelming evidence that I did not misrepresent anything, I was pretty pissed. Ebay does not care about sellers.

    I still buy on Ebay, because obviously they care about me when I'm a buyer. But now for selling big-ticket items like that, I sell on Amazon or Craigslist.
     
  12. acer thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    #12
    Well it's been several days yet no word from eBay or the buyer. What is he waiting for? Maybe he realizes he has no case and was just hoping for an offer to go away. He does have nearly 700 feedback so probably good at working the eBay system. I hope this doesn't drag on since I can use the money (put on hold by Paypal) but I'm sure I won't be so lucky.

    Just crazy how many deranged buyers I've been getting lately. One wins but admits she doesn't have any money. Another won't pay or answer emails even though I offered to cancel. And this nutjob who thinks I should be responsible for how the phone was designed.
     
  13. acer thread starter macrumors member

    Joined:
    Apr 6, 2017
    #13
    Buyer finally escalated the case and eBay will now have 48 hours to hand down a ruling. Have a bad feeling I'll lose because I didn't get a chance to explain that the low volume is a characteristic of this phone and not broken. I guess I can appeal the decision. This guy is def a pro at this... every comment is "please" "thank you" and repeating the same lies over and over again like he's done it plenty of times before. Just hope I get my phone back.

    Never selling a new phone ever again on eBay.... just seems to attracts scammers and aholes who think they can try it before buying it.
     
  14. acer thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    #14
    Well, eBay made their ruling and big shock.... it's in the buyer's favor! So I guess I'm out $200 because the idiot had buyer's remorse due to one feature that he didn't like. And I gotta pay for return shipping too. What a crock of BS. I'm not even sure I should appeal the case, since eBay obviously cares more about buyers than sellers, even dishonest aholes like this guy. I just hope I get my phone back in working condition with all the accessories and extras, who knows what this jackass did to it.
     
  15. Plutonius macrumors 603

    Plutonius

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    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #15
    Like others have stated, buying items on eBay is worth it but I would never sell anything there.
     
  16. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    Jan 17, 2013
    Location:
    United Kingdom
    #16
    I've learned eBay is a terrible place to sell. It's great for the buyer but i'll never sell through them again. It's just too easy to be ripped off and eBay couldn't give a toss.

    Make sure this person is returning the same phone they bought and not switched it for a broken device they already owned. A friend of mine sold an iPhone and that trick was pulled on him. He went to the police in the end because eBay were useless.
     
  17. acer thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    #17
    Well I finally understand why you guys quit selling on eBay... this has been the most frustrating experience ever. I wish I could quit but I have a particular item that only sells on there so unfortunately I can't. But I will no longer sell any expensive new phones because it seems to attract all the scammers, thieves and the crazies.

    I've actually been selling for a few years and never had a problem like this except one time where a buyer thought he was entitled to a refund and the item because USPS lost his package and delivered a week late. He was pretty adamant about this and even left a scathing feedback when I refused and asked him to return the item. Ended up letting the scumbag keep both cause it wasn't worth the headache and wasn't much money.
     
  18. bopajuice macrumors 6502a

    bopajuice

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    Mar 22, 2016
    #18
    Happened to me a few times. I have had luck calling their customer service in India and talking to someone with passable English.... I learned that what the buyer was telling me and what he was telling eBay were two different things. Once I explained to them what had happened they sided with me. Worth a try.
     
  19. acer thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    #19
    Buyer has already shipped the phone so I doubt they would change their minds. Plus I want to put this ugly experience behind me as it has consumed my life for the past week. I'll probably just keep it since current phone is being a dick.

    But anyone know if I have any recourse if the phone is damaged, parted out or box is empty? I'm guessing a big fat no.
     
  20. acer thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    #20
    I think I got scammed. The buyer claims to have returned the item (no tracking # provided) but I never received it. eBay/Paypal already refunded the scammer. Not sure what I'm suppose to do next.

    I guess I'm out an expensive phone and the $$$$!!!!!! Thanks eBay, you crooks!
     
  21. ucfgrad93 macrumors P6

    ucfgrad93

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    Location:
    Colorado
    #21
    Stories like this are why I avoid ebay like the plague. Sorry this has happened to you, @acer.
     
  22. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    Jan 17, 2013
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    #22
    Really sorry to hear that outcome OP. eBay really doesn't support sellers and I feel it's been replaced as a good place to sell.

    I have had a recent dispute as a buyer when I bought some Ray Ban sunglasses. The seller advertised as 'virtually brand new' and claimed they'd been worn briefly twice. They arrived and it was clear they'd been worn hundreds of times and had obvious signs of wear and abuse. I actioned a refund and the seller stupidly thought by not issuing a shipping label as part of it, I would simply have to foot the bill for postage. I contacted them to explain they were obliged to pay it and they accused me of being a scammer and deliberately damaging the glasses?!

    I phoned eBay and they told me the seller had not actioned a return shipping label so the glasses were mine. I would imagine the seller is quite annoyed but I would have happily returned them had they not been an unscrupulous so and so. lol
     
  23. acer thread starter macrumors member

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    Apr 6, 2017
    #23
    Get this... ebay is also charging me the final value fee for the phone they FORCED me to accept back and threatening to close my account if I don't pay!

    Keeps getting better and better. Unbelievable.
     
  24. BasicGreatGuy Contributor

    BasicGreatGuy

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    In the middle of several books.
    #24
    Like it or not, Ebay is not the proverbial "bad person" in this situation. Ebay is simply exercising rights under its agreement that you (of your own volition) agreed to before selling items with its service.

    Ebay provided a service in good faith to you. You are bound by its Terms of Service, so long as Ebay provides the service(s) that are outlined in the Terms of Use.
     
  25. The-Real-Deal82 macrumors 601

    The-Real-Deal82

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    #25
    That may be true, but it also gives the impression they are perhaps no longer a worthwhile place to sell anything if its value is over £10. Their terms are excellent for buyers but it so good for sellers.
     

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