eBay want me to break the law to keep scammer happy.

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UK United Kingdom
webacc001
Kudos: 92
Joined: Sep 17, 2016
eBay want me to break the law to keep scammer happy.
17 Jul 2017
We all know how near impossible it is to win a "Not as described" case against a buyer, but eBay sink to a new low - if that's possible.

New buyer based in the USA, with zero feedback, buys a mobile phone from us here in the UK. After a couple of weeks he opens a "Not Received" case. Tracking shows that he has received it, so with no further comment from him he closes the case a couple of days later.

He then opens a "Not as described" case with the comment, "Royal Mail opened it and repackaged. Item has been damaged!!"

I ask for photos and a full description of the damage. No response. So I wait the allotted time and escalate the case, explaining the following to ebay:

1. Royal Mail would not send on a damaged item in most cases, and definitely would not send on a damaged item containing a lithium battery to America by air as it would contravene safety regulations.

2. Buyer has tried to scam us once with a "Not received" case.

3. Buyer has not responded to request for photos and/or details of the damage.

4. If the item is damaged it can not be transported back by air, if at all, it's illegal.

5. We need details of the damage so we can fil a claim with Royal Mail.

Needless to say, ebay asked me to send him a prepaid return label. I advised that I could not do that until I knew the extent of the damage, and if I was to do so, by asking him to return a damaged item containing a lithium battery then I would be committing a criminal offence.

Three messages back and forth to ebay with the same message, then they said "Buyer is claiming the package was damaged. The item is fine to send".

Er. no he didn't, he specifically said the item was damaged.

No further response from ebay. 5 days later, case closed in favour of the buyer because I didn't send a return label, this despite there has been no communication whatsoever from the buyer, the fact that he has already tried to scam me once, and the fact that I can't legally ask the buyer to return it as I would be committing an offence.

Two appeals later, no change in eBay's stance. It's always been bad but now ebay are actively helping a scammer to scam me. How low do they have to sink?

Luckily it's not a very expensive item but despite my seven years' experience on ebay and having seen most of it before, if I could afford to walk way now I would do. But then ebay know that, don't they.
United States United States
px3ie
Kudos: 50
Joined: Jul 18, 2017
Re: eBay want me to break the law to keep scammer happy.
18 Jul 2017
I recently won a SNAD against a buyer, unfortunately the victory is bittersweet as ebay refunded the buyer out of their own pockets (and like it or not but ultimately sellers fund ebay's pockets).

Let me say this...
I've become rather methodical after 5,000 transactions, it all becomes mechanical. I can still get emotional but online I use all form letters and canned answers all pre-written so it's just copy and paste, point and click.

[Last edited: 18 Jul 2017]
UK United Kingdom
webacc001
Kudos: 92
Joined: Sep 17, 2016
Re: eBay want me to break the law to keep scammer happy.
18 Jul 2017
Yes, that's great advice. It's essential to try to detach yourself from the emotional side of things with ebay. There is no benefit from it and it is counterproductive, not only because of the time wasted with these cases but because you can't think clearly or work as efficiently which ultimately means you potentially lose even more.

For example, in the time I wasted on this case I could have listed at least two more items so it is essential to have a "machine mentality".
But there are times when eBay's decisions and the way they operate is so absurd that it drives you completely crazy at least for a few hours, quite apart from the money you lose, so it's important to be able to sound off and hopefully warn others of the potential pitfalls of "ebaying".

Like probably every other seller I have been ripped off many times of course, with the transaction unit now well into 5 figures. In fact almost every day I get customers returning items in a used condition then claiming they are new, and of course falsely claiming that there is something wrong with the item in order to obtain free postage, with almost no means of appealing successfully on ebay.

However I believe there are changes coming to the appalling Managed Returns system, a classic example if ever there was one was needed that ebay understand very little about retail selling from the seller's point of view.

The main change I believe will be that people claiming that items are damaged will have to provide photographs to validate their claim. Something that should have been done from the beginning and would have probably avoided a lot of aggravation in this case.

Incidentally I agree with your "bittersweet" comment, it's even worse when the scammers has been handed over the cash and ebay can't/won't reclaim it. I believe it's because of situations Iike this that the problem is so rife. A lot would be put off if it wasn't made so easy for them.

On a transaction I would have only made around (the equivalent of) $8 on, and have had to buy in, list, sell, package and ship the item apart from all the other time wasted, all the scammer has had to do is click a couple of buttons to open a claim and enter three words to gain $50 worth of goods. Gotta beat working for a living hasn't it?

[Last edited: 18 Jul 2017]
United States United States
px3ie
Kudos: 50
Joined: Jul 18, 2017
Re: eBay want me to break the law to keep scammer happy.
18 Jul 2017
@webacc001 That is very true, however I have also found over time we win some and we lose some, just there's no rhyme or reason to it... I've won cases I should have lost, and lost others I should have won, time after time this repeats itself.
I've simply learned to accept that, doesn't make it easy on high dollar items and 'used' items returns and all sorts of other "doesn't work" when in fact it does work even after I get it back...
But I've also learned policy, and how it works, and which options to chose and when to chose them... Again it won't always result in the best outcome but at least some of the time it results in an outcome I can live with, and with time I have found more and more little tweaks and ways to do things, all of these help, none fix the problem permanently thou.
I do feel you, you can believe me that.

[Last edited: 18 Jul 2017]
UK United Kingdom
webacc001
Kudos: 92
Joined: Sep 17, 2016
Re: eBay want me to break the law to keep scammer happy.
18 Jul 2017
Yes I totally agree and I have a similar approach. For me thought it's the "eBay way" that I find frustrating. As you say, we win some, we lose some but it should not be a lottery.

I have always considered eBay's rules to be "unsocial" and by that I mean they do not follow what would generally be accepted in real life.

For example, if a buyer and a seller went to court, the buyer alleged the item was damaged he would almost certainly have his case thrown out because he could not prove it. This is all I asked of eBay in this case; for the buyer to provide proof. Had he done that, everybody is happy. We then know he is telling the truth.

It's the same scenario with feedback. A buyer can make a comment, true or not, and depending on your luck on the day it may or may not be removed. But again, if he cannot prove what he is saying then it should not be allowed to stand. It is often libel - it's a criminal offence! But we have to accept it as the norm on ebay and that's not right.

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