Friday, October 31, 2014

The eBay Queen: Negative feedback irks seller

7/19/2013

Dear eBay Queen: I sold a Burberry trench coat, and the buyer messages me and says the coat is very nice but it doesn’t fit him, and he doesn’t want to spend the money to have it altered. I tell him that I’m very sorry it doesn’t fit, but I do not accept returns for sizing. I inform him that the auction had several reminders to look at the measurements and terms before purchasing. In the same message, I offered him a discount on a trench coat that I plan to list tomorrow because it’s a bit smaller and probably a better fit.

He never responded, and immediately opened a case. I escalate it to eBay, and they rule in my favor. After all, he opened the case in an attempt to say that I misrepresented the size, which he never claimed when he originally messaged me.

Dear eBay Queen: I sold a Burberry trench coat, and the buyer messages me and says the coat is very nice but it doesn’t fit him, and he doesn’t want to spend the money to have it altered. I tell him that I’m very sorry it doesn’t fit, but I do not accept returns for sizing. I inform him that the auction had several reminders to look at the measurements and terms before purchasing. In the same message, I offered him a discount on a trench coat that I plan to list tomorrow because it’s a bit smaller and probably a better fit.

He never responded, and immediately opened a case. I escalate it to eBay, and they rule in my favor. After all, he opened the case in an attempt to say that I misrepresented the size, which he never claimed when he originally messaged me.

Yesterday, he ended up leaving a negative feedback, changing his story for the third time. In the feedback he said that the item “was not first quality and bad customer service,” or something like that. The person can barely speak English — which probably explains how he missed the three reminders in my auction to check the measurements.

I called eBay, they reviewed the messages between us and the lady says that she can clearly see that the person was lying about the quality issue, because his original claim was that it didn’t fit, and his first change of story was when he opened the case and claimed that I misrepresented the item. The lady from eBay goes on and on about how I’m right and he’s wrong and how she also runs an eBay business so she understands, but basically says there’s nothing they can do. And of course, I can’t leave him negative feedback, so there’s nothing to warn future sellers about this buyer’s dishonesty. Is there anything I can do about it? — K. Green

Dear Green: I would contact eBay again, and ask to speak with a supervisor. I would explain to them that you did not sell him seconds, but first quality stuff, and everyone at eBay should be able to tell by reading the feedback left, communication and the eBay case that this buyer is lying. Explain that it is easy for them to see who is right, but the buyers will think you sell seconds. I really don’t believe you can get them to change the feedback, but it never hurts to try. I would also try a couple of other things:

• Send an email to griff@eBay.com, and explain your problem to him, maybe he can help.

• Contact the buyer and ask if he’ll remove feedback if you accept the return.

I know that you don’t want to accept the return, but that might be the only way to get your negative removed.

Dear eBay Queen: I sold this person a NWT, unworn BCBG swimsuit for $160 with free shipping back in April. This last Tuesday, (a whole three months later), I began receiving messages complaining of “closet fragrances” and odors on the swimsuit, along with requests for a refund. I denied the refund.

The buyer then sent a series of messages requesting my address to send the suit back to me, even though I would not issue a refund. As this makes no sense, I denied this request as well.

Buyer then posted negative feedback for me this morning, first time in nine years of selling I ever received negative feedback. This seems totally ridiculous to me for a $160 sale. I guess I should have just given them a refund, but I just couldn’t do it on principle. Someone has to take a stand from time to time.

So what recourse do I have? I reported the buyer twice, I messaged the guy to ask for a revision in feedback, even opened the door for an eventual refund. I got a bit angry and decided I should leave negative feedback for the buyer, but eBay only allows positive feedback for buyers. What’s that about? Only sellers deserve negative feedback? What about when buyers are illiterate, morons and cheats? I’m not even a volume seller — maybe five to 10 sales a year.

If anyone else has experienced this, does eBay ever remove negative feedback? Not that it matters much I guess, since this absurd experience has soured me on eBay selling for the foreseeable future (even more so than their fees, which should have stopped me from selling in the first place ... what robbery to send you a bill once a month for 10 percent of your sales). Can you help me? —— Simmering Swimmer

Dear Simmering: Buyers have up to 60 days after the date of the sale to leave feedback. In this particular situation, there is not much else you can do. I have heard of sellers taking buyers to small claims court to have negatives removed, and if you are willing to spend the money you could do that, otherwise it drops off after a year.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item: 130900322836. Crochet is making a comeback. I searched “crochet” on eBay and found this beautiful handmade piece: Handmade crocheted afghan — Siesta in the Pines — queen size. It sold for $849.99 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/HANDMADE-CROCHETED-AFGHAN-SIESTA-IN-THE-PINES-100-WOOL-QUEEN-SIZE-/130900322836?pt=Home_Decor_Afghans_Throws&hash=item1e7a446a14&nma=true&si=HSVqfpQhr%252BhfdJBzZj71rwiQwzs%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc&_trksid=p2047675.l2557

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 071213eads

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