Anyone Use Ebay? I Wont Be Again!

Last Update: June 04, 2020

I thought I was onto a winner when I discovered Ebay... I know that it has been around a long time but what could be more altruistic than selling what you dont want to someone that does want it? A really positive step in our environment. Well it is when it all goes to plan...

So my son and I, now we are in the UK for an enforced period, decided to take advantage of upgrading our phones and getting better deails with our respective service providers. We both had phones that were still current models and thought it would be a great idea to sell on Ebay..

I havent done this before, mainly because the last 6 years have not been in the UK long enough to work out what you do... But lockdown... well plenty of time on my hands, thought this would be a great way pass on what we dont want and get some funds for them.

Both phones sold quickly. Sent them both off, had them on special delivery tracking, both delivered successfully, heard nothing for two days.... Then one of the sellers decides that they dont want it..... hmmmmm... well unfortunately there is no return for items purchased that are unwanted... But they keep emailing me, saying that there is no point them having it if they dont want it and want to return it..... I am quite reasonable and understand their predicament but there is no return for this.

3 hours later I get an email from Ebay saying the buyer has requested a refund as the phone is not the product they purchased !!! Oh my! Now that was a shock !

What I hadnt calculated into my considerations in wanting to get some funds for these two phones is that I am dealing with people who dont think the same way as me and have the same values as me. They dont care how they get what they want, and if it involves lying about something, then they are happy to just do that, to get what they want.

However that was not the intent of this blog. The intent was to demonstrate that whilst I thought Ebay was a safe and responsible platform to sell products on, it really isnt.

They have no regard for the seller. As far as I can see sellers rights are almost non existent. I put in a report about the sale and what had happened, they were not interested in anything I said, and took what the buyer had said on face vaule, that I had sent the wrong product. They are not interested in the photos and video I took of the phone. It was a simple and straightforward email telling me to accept the return and refund.

I also noticed that as a seller, I cannot leave negative feedback about a buyer. When I looked up the buyer to see if others had had a problem, I thought they were 100% a good buyer as they have 100% positive feedback... until I read some of the comments.... they were nearly all negative but with a green+ because Ebay doesnt allow me as the seller to pass on my feelings about the buyer in the sale. Now how is that representative of that person as as member of Ebay? They can leave negative feedback for me as the seller.

Im frustrated about this but not going to let it bother me. Way too much else to do, so I will await Ebays reply to my latest message and probably just accept the return but will not be refunding until I get the phone back in my possession and make sure it is the phone I sent in the first place.

Frustrating... but the moral of this tale is, nothing is as sparkly as it looks. I will not be using Ebay again.

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Stanleycmng Premium
As more and more people go online, there will be more of this. Some are intentional while other don’t want to accept they made a mistake and create a problem for the seller.

I agree with Jeff that there are such people everywhere. I am sure these are the same people that abuse return policies at retailers. I have my fair share of such experience too, I am just glad they are the exception rather than the norm.

I agree that sellers need to be treated fairly. You are right that the reality is not the case. The reason is often, the platform wants to avoid consumer complaints against them and in cases where there are insurance or banks involved, to manage these cases below 1%. Therefore buyers get away with these behavior. As an example, if you buy online and decide to cancel, you will call your bank credit card, the bank will suspend the transaction and the merchant won’t get paid and will be investigated.

Therefore, the reality is consumer, that is the buyer does have more protection than a seller. We are not both sides so we are more mindful of both personas but not all understand the situation.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
I wouldn't let an idiot buyer detract from eBay, Helen! You'll have these sorts in every single business you get into at one point or another. As a rule, you CAN leave negative feedback for a buyer. I've been a seller for 18 years, and have had my share of the scam artists! I usually refund money when it's a low dollar sale because it comes out in the wash. all I'm saying is don't let one unscrupulous buyer ruin your life long experience! Of course, as a rule I don't deal in tech items (selling anyway) because of their competitive markets and quick obsolescence! Also you can dispute giving a refund or open a case yourself stating your side of the facts.

Jeff
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Helen123 Premium
Ive tried Jeff, but I can't open a case as such.. Ive sent complaint that they are being fraudulent in claiming the phone they have is not the one in the photos. It most certainly is. But it is me that has to go through all this time wasting process. But all Ebay did was say that because they say its not the right phone, I have to refund !! And there is NO WAY of leaving negative feedback for a buyer., This buyer has negative feedback but with green+ because you cant leave a red-ve ! If I had seen that, I would have cancelled the sale.

I wish now I had sent it to one of those websites that buys straight off.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
I guess a few things have changed, Helen, but have you looked into filing a fraudulent practice report against them? Probably Mickey's advice above would be best. i know it's a headache, but what business doesn't have one? For instance, just when you thing everything is rolling along here and you're gaining traffic and maybe even some sales . Google does one of their "updates" and knocks you right back down again!

I hope you and your son are well!

Jeff
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Helen123 Premium
thanks Jeff, we are well, getting on as best we can under the circumstances. Its not what we want but have no choice. I have had a reply from Ebay after I put in a fraudulent report and all they said was that I have to send a returns label and refund once the phone gets back to me. God knows what I do if they send back the wrong phone... I am just sick of the time I have spent having to email back and forth with Ebay to get any response from them.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Just make sure you check that everything is in order and that the sims card and everything is as it should be. also if you have a serial number for the phone, you can make sure it is the same as well! Hope there is a silver lining in this somewhere!

Jeff
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annezarra Premium
So sorry that happened to you Helen. Selling phones can be risky on eBay or even locally to be sure. I have sold on eBay since July 1998 and successfully sold over $350,000 in stuff and only 1 phone for that reason you discovered first time out. eBay was based on the basic premise that people are basically good. I know that to be true on eBay and everywhere else, yet there are always are few rotten apples that can spoil the whole bunch. I just reached over 10,000 ( now (10,049) positive feedbacks from buyers who thought I did a good job selling to them. It can be done and it took tons of hard work! The learning curve will always include mistakes learned along the way. I made so many ones myself: accidentally sending wrong item or not charging correctly for shipping, etc. I also teach eBay to folks and let them know that at the beginning it best to sell non valuable items to get the hang of how it all works. Unfortunately for you, it was not a good experience. I completely hear your frustration! Please don’t let that be your only way to judge eBay. We are made up of all kinds of individuals- mostly good ones. I do like 99% of the eBay community. And like “moving stuff around the universe” instead of just discarding it. That’s my perspective. Hope that helps. Best to you. Anne Z
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Helen123 Premium
Thankyou for your comment Anne, I appreciate you taking the time to tell me about your experience. I do agree that accepting most people are honest is a much better way of seeing the world than those that cloud the lemonade. I am frustrated because I sold the phone in good faith and it been thrown back in my face with no single shred of understanding or appreciation from my side of the fence from Ebay.
I am really pleased it works for you, but I dont think I have the staying power to put up with the bias.
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annezarra Premium
Thanks for your reply Helen. I get it about eBay too. I am on a seller panel that get's invited to the eBay campus regularily and have had MANY suggestions for them directly over the years about supporting sellers. It has been an ongoing battle, but I just stay the course and do the best I can. You will and should do what's best for you. Best regards, ANNE Z
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annezarra Premium
One thing that I would add, it that when people say "I bought something from eBay", they are actually buying from real people. eBay themselves doesn't sell anything. Amazon does both, they sell and third party people sell for them too.

Over my 21+ years, I've had my share of complaints to the way eBay operates and have called them directly and moved up the chain when needed. Sometimes heard, sometimes not.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Very well said, Anne!

Jeff
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Helen123 Premium
I dont know that i have the energy to waste on ringing them up. The finality of their email back to me was quite telling,.... There was no discussion or explanation just a simple refund and that was it because the person said the phone was not the one in the photos... when it was!!
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MikeAdkins Premium
Hi Helen.

I sell a lot on eBay. I am a business seller and have an eBay shop.
A lot of people don't understand the returns policy.

Even if you declare that you don't accept returns you are actually obliged to do so if the buyer takes a certain line.

If the buyer asks for a return as they "do not want it or like it" then they have to return it at their cost to you for a refund, you have time to check the item then are obliged to make the refund and can then relist the item.

If you decline the refund then the buyer can take the line that the item is faulty or not as described, then eBay will allow them to return it and you will have no say in the matter.

There is a degree of seller protection built in and I have always been treated fairly by eBay.

There have always been and will always be buyers who are there to take advantage of the great buyer protection offered by eBay BUT these have been gradually weeded out over the years and they are nowhere as near as common as they used to be.

Non of this really helps you in this instance but I would not write eBay off as it is a good way of turning unwanted items into cash and a way to supplement an income.

When new eBay users ask me for advice I always tell them to start small with low value items that they are happy to lose out on, this gives them a chance to get used to the system and to investigate the pitfalls.

Kind Regards
Mike
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Helen123 Premium
Thanks Mike. I dont think I have the stamina for the bias of Ebay, I will have no choice but to accept the return but I feel very disappointed that some buyer can lie about the phone and get their own way. No security for the seller.
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JeffreyBrown Premium
Very well said, Mike! PM your store info to me, I'd like to take a look when you have time!

Jeff
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Joes946 Premium
Sorry to hear. Have not dealt with them.
Joe
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