ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Oops! I shipped the wrong items — What do I do?
By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 5/24/2013
Dear eBay Queen: I have a huge problem I hope you can help me with. I cannot believe this is happening to me. I had a really good week on eBay a week or so ago. I sell men’s accessories, dress shirts and ties. A customer in the United Kingdom bought four different items from me, including a Tom Ford Blue neck tie, a Tom Ford Red stripe neck tie, a Ralph Lauren Purple label dress shirtand vintage cuff links.
When I packed this up to ship it out, I would have sworn I shipped the correct items. The next thing I know, the buyer emailed me four different emails — all of which saying I sent the wrong items, but in each email, it was a different thing! These emails came one right after the other. Before I could respond, the buyer opened a PayPal claim. When I log on to PayPal, my choices are to:
• Allow the buyer to keep the item and receive a refund
• Have the buyer send everything back and get a refund.
Notice there is not a choice for the buyer to send the wrong thing back and receive the correct item.
As it turns out, the Tom Ford neckties are fine, but the vintage cuff links are the wrong ones, and the shirt is the wrong size. I figured out I switched the shirts and cuff links with someone else’s items. I emailed the customer to let her know what happened, and asked if she would send the two wrong items back (I would pay shipping) and I would send her the correct items. Her response:
“Hello, I’ll keep the incorrect Ralph Lauren dress shirt and cuff links for the inconvenience, plus the cost of returning them is not worth my expense or time at the moment. I’d like to receive a proper refund, a credit to my PayPal account, for the price difference between the vintage cuff links I received and the ones I ordered. Thank you for your prompt attention.”
I emailed the customer back and let her know that the wrong items she has belong to someone else, and I needed them back. Her response:
“Good evening. First issue: I am asking you to ship the correct cuff links and the correct size shirt to me. Second issue: I will return the items to you when/after you mail my items I purchased from you. I have paid for these items and expect them to be shipped to my attention promptly, as my husband requests.
And today I received this message from the customer:
“When I receive the Ralph Lauren shirt and correct vintage cuff links, I’ll then mail the wrong items back to you. The Ralph Lauren shirt no longer has any sales/retail tags attached to it. The Ralph Lauren tags inside the shirt are still intact. It has not been washed. I would very much appreciate an enclosure of, a self-addressed, shipping envelope. I will then go to the post office, pay for and mail the items back to you. Will advise the shipping cost so that you’ll then give me a PayPal credit (refund) for my shipment costs back to you. Looking forward to receiving your package with shipping envelope enclosed. Or, if you want to make it easier on yourself, I’m willing to keep the incorrect items. Then, all you need to ship tomorrow is the correct items tomorrow. It’s your choice. Please let me know what you decide.”
This Ralph Lauren purple label shirt is a $400 men’s dress shirt! I’m guessing her husband just wanted to keep it so he took the tags off? I can’t sell it for what it is worth now. What do I do about this? How should I handle it? How do I ensure I get my item back? — Linda, Omaha
Dear Linda: In a situation like this, I would contact PayPal immediately and ask the company for your best option. I would hope that PayPal would stand behind you if the buyer did not send the shirt back to you, but PayPal’s agenda here is to get the items you sent back to you and give the buyer a refund. If the buyer communicated with you the messages above in the PayPal dispute, I believe that will give PayPal resolutions a good idea of what is going on in the mind of your buyer.
I wish I had a great solution for you, but in a situation like this, you are pretty much at the mercy of PayPal.
Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 290912019779. These cuff links belonged to a famous film star, William Hart. They have a cute dog painting on them. Check them out at http://www.ebay.com/itm/Men-Vintage-Cuff-Links-Made-for-William-S-Hart-Silent-Film-Star-/290912019779 where they sold for $4,300.
Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen