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Ebay buyer protection can screw up honest seller


shsu
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Just sold an old restored violin with many many repairs for $250 +$20 shipping.

Buyer filed a "not as decribed item" with BS excuses against me and asked for $110 partial refund and at same time wanted to keep the violin. I offered "good will" return/refund of $250 even the listing said as it is /no refund (unless the item is grossly mis-represented). Buyer refused.

Now Paypal is holding the payment and will make final decision. Looks to me the buyer is taking advantage of buyer protection plan.

Did you have such bad experience and how do you handle this. Thanks. :):)

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In your own words the violin had many many repairs, you don't talk about the quality of those repairs, If I were selling a violin like that on ebay i would bend over backwards to detail the damage and repairs then the customer knows what they are getting, counting on pictures to reveal every thing is a joke, it just doesn't work, if you are trying to build up an ebay buisness think about youre reputation and long term feedback, how would you feel if you had bought the violin for this price etc. Ebay is not a dumping ground for youre junk, but very much like you are operating a small shop, sounds like I wouldn't put this violin on the shelf, zulu out

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In your own words the violin had many many repairs, you don't talk about the quality of those repairs, If I were selling a violin like that on ebay i would bend over backwards to detail the damage and repairs then the customer knows what they are getting, counting on pictures to reveal every thing is a joke, it just doesn't work, if you are trying to build up an ebay buisness think about youre reputation and long term feedback, how would you feel if you had bought the violin for this price etc. Ebay is not a dumping ground for youre junk, but very much like you are operating a small shop, sounds like I wouldn't put this violin on the shelf, zulu out

I agree with you Zulu to some extent, but,

If all the repairs were professionally done or halfway decent, it will not be sold for a few hundred dollars. However, the buyer is complaining on things like cheap violin, cheap wood, f holes shapes, dimensions etc.. which barely have to do with the repair quality. BTW, it is fully in playing condition with sound clip on listing. If the buyer doesn't like it, why he wants to keep it even though I offered a return/refund. I think he wants a big margain and want me to bendover.

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If your photographs showed clearly the quality and condition of the instrument, including the condition of the features your buyer objects to, then you have done your job of illustrating the condition of the instrument to the best of your ability, and your buyer has no argument. It goes without saying that these violin purchases online include an element of uncertainty, something your buyer should be fully aware of before he bids. It seems to me that you have done the honest thing in offering a full refund, the simplest and cleanest solution. In this you also have an argument for the buyer: one does not wish to engage in a transaction where the item is less than satisfactory to the buyer. As an honest seller, you need to leave the buyer with a violin that satisfies him, not an instrument that will remind him of his dissatisfaction every time he picks it up.

This example does illustrate the need to be explicit in presenting the conditions of the sale when you make up your auction listing. I've been using the latest TurboLister, Ebay's free software, which includes choices for return/refund you can pick, an easy way to support what you've done with the listing. As a footnote, I have a friend locally who has sold a couple of dozen violins over the past two months. He doesn't know violins particularly, but is a long-time Ebay seller. He sells them as found, hardly even wipes the dust off, but takes extensive and detailed photos of the instrument that do quite a good job of showing what's there. He offers refunds, but has had quite good luck as far as I know. As found may be an easier way to sel on Ebay than as repaired, since the additional questions raised by repairs you can't see in person can muddy the water and complicate the sale.

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If your photographs showed clearly the quality and condition of the instrument, including the condition of the features your buyer objects to, then you have done your job of illustrating the condition of the instrument to the best of your ability, and your buyer has no argument. It goes without saying that these violin purchases online include an element of uncertainty, something your buyer should be fully aware of before he bids. It seems to me that you have done the honest thing in offering a full refund, the simplest and cleanest solution. In this you also have an argument for the buyer: one does not wish to engage in a transaction where the item is less than satisfactory to the buyer. As an honest seller, you need to leave the buyer with a violin that satisfies him, not an instrument that will remind him of his dissatisfaction every time he picks it up.

This example does illustrate the need to be explicit in presenting the conditions of the sale when you make up your auction listing. I've been using the latest TurboLister, Ebay's free software, which includes choices for return/refund you can pick, an easy way to support what you've done with the listing. As a footnote, I have a friend locally who has sold a couple of dozen violins over the past two months. He doesn't know violins particularly, but is a long-time Ebay seller. He sells them as found, hardly even wipes the dust off, but takes extensive and detailed photos of the instrument that do quite a good job of showing what's there. He offers refunds, but has had quite good luck as far as I know. As found may be an easier way to sel on Ebay than as repaired, since the additional questions raised by repairs you can't see in person can muddy the water and complicate the sale.

I agree that the ebay buyer protection policy comined with the paypal

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I agree that the ebay buyer protection policy comined with the paypal

I agree that the ebay buyer protection policy combined with the paypal's buyer complaint policy can be very damaging to sellrs. I have nothing against the principal of protecting buyers against dishonest sellers who misrepresent theit items. But neither Ebay not Paypal is impementing this policy in a way that is fair to sellers. I think this is due to incompetence combined with what i would call cyber buraucracy. In my case a buyer complained thet the item was not "as described", which was totally bogus. He lodged a buyers complaint with Paypal, which was granted, without even hearing my side of the story. When I complained to paypal they reluctantly apologized, which of course did not help me. Moreoever, the buyer gave me negative feedback. In the end I settled with the buer and he agreed to revoke the negative feedback. I started that procedure, but he did not act, later claiming he had been out of town. I asked ebay what to do, and they told me that for legal reasons I could not repeat the procedure of reversing the feedback, but the buyer could request Eabay to change the feedback. The buyer did so, but got nowhere. In the end he added a follow up to the feedback, stating thsat it had been a mistake. When I asked paypal about the feedback they answered that it was an ebay issue over which they have no control, and ebay vice versa, although paypal is owned by ebay, and they are supposed to cooperate. Conclusion: a combination of sheer incopetence and bureaucracy can be unfiar to sellers.

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Personally I find it amazing that anyone uses Ebay for anything more than trivial items or PayPal at all. Paypal operates as a financial services business and is largely if not completely unregulated. It does not publish readily available addresses for the service of legal notices, it has no readily available telephone contact numbers and it prefers to set itself up in territories where it has no banking or financial services regulations to comply with. There is no independent monitoring, arbitration or appeals service.

In respect to PayPal Ebay operates in a managerially disingenuous way. Both organisations have a vast track record of complaints.

Both are very insecure in a world where internet fraud is increasing.

With the dreadful reputation it has among properly regulated financial services providers, I would not dream of using PayPal for anything. You have no meaningful recourse when things go wrong. And they often do.

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Personally I find it amazing that anyone uses Ebay for anything more than trivial items or PayPal at all. Paypal operates as a financial services business and is largely if not completely unregulated. It does not publish readily available addresses for the service of legal notices, it has no readily available telephone contact numbers and it prefers to set itself up in territories where it has no banking or financial services regulations to comply with. There is no independent monitoring, arbitration or appeals service.

In respect to PayPal Ebay operates in a managerially disingenuous way. Both organisations have a vast track record of complaints.

Both are very insecure in a world where internet fraud is increasing.

With the dreadful reputation it has among properly regulated financial services providers, I would not dream of using PayPal for anything. You have no meaningful recourse when things go wrong. And they often do.

Howdy,

I used PayPal about ninety seconds ago to purchase an electronic item on eBay as a Buy-It-Now.

Perhaps I am misinterpreting something, but, in my situation, it would appear that PayPal is little more than an intermediary between my credit card company, and the seller.

In the event that I were not satisfied with aspects of the transaction, and could not work things out with the seller, I would just put the matter in dispute with the card company.

With that, it would seem that I am protected just as I would be had I paid for the item in a store using the same credit card.

In what ways might the fact that I paid using the card through PayPal prove to be a problem?

Sincere thanks for any further clarification on this,

A.C.

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A.C. The ways in which it can be a "problem" are many and varied.

For example, very many people have discovered that PayPal and Ebay are not the most secure websites in the world for protecting all of your personal details. They hold your address, credit card number and various other details. Identity theft via these organisations is a distinct risk - and when it does happen (as it often does) and you are trying to sort it out, you will discover that you are dealing with a faceless organisation, who will ignore your emails or send unhelpful standardised responses, and who will not provide you with easily usable telephone or even postal contact details.

And seriously beware if PayPal is holding your money - such as when you sell something on eBay and they operate their "free float" policy, i.e. you lend them money free of interest for 30 days whilst they "protect the buyer". When a potentially or actually disreputable buyer objects, PayPal acts as judge, jury and executioner. And as they have the free float they don't exactly rush to deal with your complaint.

There is a reason why organisations like this register their businesses in offshore largely unregulated countries such as Luxembourg - and you may be sure that this reason has nothing to do with protecting YOUR interests. In Europe, Ebay and Paypal use third party letter boxes for post handling, and they make even these addresses difficult to obtain. They filter complaints through these third party handling systems resulting in obfuscation, delay and lack of accountability. Check it out for yourself.

I am a legal financial services professional in my day job, and this is a violin forum and not the place for a detailed dissertation on largely unregulated financial services activities. But if you do a web search on problems with both eBay and especially PayPal you will see that there are vast numbers of disgruntled people out there who have struggled to deal with these organisations.

It is all smiles when things are going well - but a very different story when consumers have a problem that requires intervention from someone who does not have an axe to grind. Most transactions are small ticket so people do not bother pursuing many of the disputes. I would never transact anything costly on ebay as a purchaser where I cannot pick the item up in person and pay for it on collection. I would not use PayPal period.

I agree, by the way, that using your credit card for purchases affords the transactional protection under the law that credit card companies must abide by. They are properly regulated.

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I had a similar situation on eBay, but it wasn't with a violin. It was a nutcracker.

Oddly, the buyer immediately gave me a high rating before receiving it. Then, she accused me of sending a broken item.

I think she was hinting at a partial refund, but instead I offered to take it back minus the cost of shipping.

I never heard back from her.

I think your experience and mine is a case of buyer's remorse.

CAVEAT VENDITOR

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I sold a non-violin related item to a buyer with a 100% positive feedback. He received the item (delivery confirmation). The next thing I know is that PayPal deducts the amount of the purchase from my account, saying that the buyer has put a stop payment on his credit card.

Checked his feedback again and found that he did this to 4 or 5 other sellers on the same week and now had all these negative feedbacks. I eventually got paid for the item due to the fact that I kept all the postage paperwork and such. It was a pain to get satisfaction form PayPal, but it still seems to be the only game in town for payments.

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Here is the update.

Good news. Paypal turned down buyer claim and I got my money back.

Bad news. Buyer left nasty negative feedback and I asked ebay to remove it. Ebay customer service advises me to "work it out " with buyer.

The feedback system is a joke. I have to "work it out" with extortive buyer to remove the negative feedback even his claim to Paypal was turned down. Looks to me scammer can retaliate sellers any time. With buyer's feedback "hidden in private" as in this case, buyer can scam seller with 100% positive rating as ebay policy only allows seller to give positive feedback. No way to warn future sellers as the real contexts on buyer's feedbacks can never be seen.

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