eBay Seller Protection: Does It Exist?
eBay Sellers Are the Bread and Butter of the Company
What's a good way to make money online? Sell goods on eBay and become an e-commerce seller. That question and action happened 18 years ago, and I have been an eBay seller ever since.
I have had many transactions along the way and made quite a few memories. It's interesting what buyers are looking for on eBay, and it's even more interesting what they are willing to pay for an item.
As an eBay seller, I was never bullied or conned—until now. This makes me mad, not only for myself, but on behalf other eBay sellers also. In e-commerce, you never know who you are truly dealing with. Online transactions are based on an honor system, and not everyone is as honest as we would hope.
Sellers Need Protection
eBay is the middleman. They try their best to protect the seller and the buyer, but sometimes even the middleman has glitches. Sellers need to be protected just as much as buyers do. Sellers are the heart and soul of eBay, for without them, there wouldn't be an eBay.
The eBay Buyer Who Continued to Harass the Seller
In all my years as an eBay seller, I rarely had problems. Sure, a customer might not have been pleased with an item, but we always professionally worked things out. Both seller and buyer were happy. I think that is a very good record.
Until recently . . .
My Story of Dealing With an eBay Bully and Scammer
- It all started when a buyer won an auction.
- Within 5 minutes of winning the auction, he decided he really didn't want it so I could sell it to the next highest bidder. Huh? Who does that? If you really didn't want the item, then why did you bid? Whatever.
- I offered the item to the next highest bidder, but they never responded. I relisted the item and sold it. Little did I know that original buyer was still stalking my items.
- A week went by. My stalker won two items.
- A feature that eBay has that is very useful is the Unpaid Assistant: If a buyer doesn't pay within a certain amount of time that you designate, the Unpaid Assistant sends an automatic reminder. So the Assistant did its job three days after those two auctions ended. Within minutes, I receive an email: "What did you do that for?!?"
- I was baffled by his rudeness. "Do what, remind you that you haven't paid for your items yet?"
- He then requested that I turn off the assistant and give him more time to pay. "Why?"
- He proceeded to tell me that other sellers have waited 3–4 weeks for payment.
- I'm calling bullshit on that! There is no way a seller would wait 3–4 weeks for a buyer with less than 20 feedbacks to pay. But, since I was juggling multiple things in my life, I gave him two weeks to pay. I didn't have time for bullies.
- Thirteen days later, he emailed me. "How much more time do I have?" I responded, "One day." He paid in 5 days.
- I mailed his comics. Securely. Like I have mailed multiple other comics. Packed tight.
- Three days later, he is back, saying the comics are damaged. Oh my gosh, will this bully ever go away! Nope, not yet.
The Buyer's Demands
He demanded a refund or a partial refund. Why was I not surprised?
He claimed that the books arrived damaged. How was this possible? I packed them like Fort Knox. But since he was trying to bargain his way through each transaction, I was not shocked at the complaint.
As a person who does not like bullies or being conned, I was not about to just give him a refund or a partial refund for a collectible comic book.
Why? Because, as I was well aware, as a comic book reseller he could very well have been trying to return a damaged book that he had previously owned but upgraded with my comic. That is not going to happen on my watch.
- I called eBay. As a seller, I figured they would protect me since I have invested 18 years in their company.
- eBay suggested I continue communicating with him in a professional and civil manner. OK, I could do that. eBay will be monitoring our communications and will base their decision as to how to handle the case via our messages. OK, sounds fair.
- So, we communicated back and forth. He explained how the comic was damaged. He supposedly shared photos of the package I sent him, but it wasn't the package I sent him! Idiot. (That's me being civil.)
- I explained that my standing in the community spoke volumes, along with the buyer feedback that I have received.
- This went back and forth until I had enough. Surely, I thought, eBay would follow through and stand by their rules of no bullying and no conning of sellers or buyers.
- It was at this time that I asked eBay to intervene on my behalf and make a decision.
The eBay Battle Continues
I received an email response from eBay. They had received my request to intervene on my behalf; please allow 48 hours for them to evaluate the situation and make a decision. OK.
Within 15 minutes, the bully emailed me: "Told you I would win!" WTF?
I then read an email from eBay saying they had sided with the buyer and the buyer would be returning the books for a full refund in addition to shipping. WTF?
An Unacceptable Response From eBay
I phoned eBay. How dare you suggest to me 4 days ago during our telephone conversation that I continue to communicate with the buyer and try to come to a conclusion on our own and if that's not possible that you can intervene. How dare you ask me to allow 48 hours for an eBay specialist to approve the case and make a decision and yet 15 minutes later you kick me to the curb. How the hell do I know a robot didn't give their stamp of approval? How could it only take 15 minutes for a specialist to review the days of communication and the attached photo? How could eBay allow me to be conned? I thought eBay was against fraudulent activity?
I was told to, "Please remain calm, ma'am." Are you kidding me? This is unacceptable!
I have never ever been so disappointed in eBay as I was at this time.
They advised me to allow the buyer to return the comic books, and then when I receive them phone eBay to start an appeals process.
Are you serious? I do not have time for this crap! Just protect your damn sellers like you should have been doing all along.
Proceed as follows, eBay:
- View my history.
- View their history.
- View my photos.
- View their photos.
- View the previous messages he was sending me prior to receiving the package.
- View our communications.
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know when a scam is in occurrence.
eBay Protects the Buyer, Not the Seller
In a nutshell:
- eBay protects the buyer so that the buyer has a pleasant experience and continues to return and shop.
- eBay could not care less about the seller who is their bread and butter. Makes no sense to me either.
- Will I stop selling on eBay? No. One bad apple doesn't ruin the whole bunch for me.
- I will no longer be so accommodating to buyers. One bad apple did ruin that whole bunch.
The Final Results of the Ordeal
I received the comics books back. They were both damaged, and there was no way in hell that damage occurred during the shipping process. Absolutely no way.
The buyer sent me back the comics in different comic bags and no boards. He never returned the original mailer that I shipped the books in, which would have allowed me to verify whether the damage happened during shipping.
I phoned eBay; they said there was nothing I could do but accept the fact that I was scammed. Really? Since when has fraud been legal?
Obviously, as long as the buyer is satisfied, it doesn't matter to eBay that a seller was ripped off.
We live and learn.
Do You Buy or Sell on eBay?
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. Content is for informational or entertainment purposes only and does not substitute for personal counsel or professional advice in business, financial, legal, or technical matters.
© 2016 Linda Bilyeu