Wednesday, July 23, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Is eBay buyer trying to rip me off?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 4/24/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I got a bad message from a buyer today and it is making me a bit nervous. I had communications with this buyer previously — she asked if she could use “Buy It Now” and pay later. Here are her messages:

• “Hi there. Does your item come from a smoke-free home and can I purchase it now and pay on Friday when I get paid?”

• “By any chance do you have the box that says immediate payment if Buy It Now is used? If so, can you revise your item and remove that check? You are awesome!”

By all appearances, she’s friendly, and I’m happy to work with her. I couldn’t find the check box she mentioned, and told her so, but said I would be willing to work with her and hold the item if necessary. She bid, got it for the lowest bid price — $35 (the Buy It Now price was $55 for a $120 purse new) and I shipped it. All was well, then I get this message:

“I will have to turn this over to eBay. ... You stated the item as new with the tag removed, but never used. ... Tthe leather is worn on the handles, the strap, and on the bottom piping. It has pieces of particles left inside, so you can tell this bag has been used.”

The bag really had never been used and I checked it very carefully, otherwise I wouldn’t have posted “New Without Tags.” I only have 39 feedbacks, so one bad one will be detrimental to my reputation. I did a little research on the buyer; she’s actually a seller that deals a lot in jewelry and purses, and I feel like she’s trying to get this purse super cheap to resell in her own store. Fine by me, that’s a legitimate way to do things, but now I feel like she is trying to rip me off to increase her own profits. How would you handle this? — Ronnie

Dear Ronnie: There is really only one way to handle this: Ask her to send the purse back for a refund. Everything you say might be true, but in eBay’s eyes, the buyer is unhappy, and it is important for you to make her happy. I would send her the following email:

“I am so sorry the purse was not what you wanted. Please send it back to [your address] and I will refund your money via PayPal.”

Once the item is returned, refund her money and move on. If you still think she is trying to rip you off, or asks for an additional discount, I would report her to eBay.

Dear eBay Queen: I’ve been doing a little unofficial testing to see if I give people positive feedback first, if they will give me positive feedback. I really think this is working, except I got one negative. I’ve noticed an uptick in feedback since I started putting good energy out there and doing an immediate feedback for my buyers. Unfortunately, I think buyers still don’t understand that anything less than 5 stars puts a tiny ding on us — I know I didn’t know for a long time. I hope the new defects system that is coming in August is easier to figure out for them. Nonetheless, it still feels good to have happy buyers. I did receive a negative, and the buyer did not contact me, is there anything I can do about that?

Here is some of my feedback, including the negative:

• “I cannot tell you how pleased. We gave it as a gift and he put it on the mantel.”

• “My favorite stuffed animal. Prominent in my room display.”

• “Super product, great price and fast shipping — Who could ask for more? 5 stars!”

• “Stuffed animal sent fast; tags were not attached.”

What I don’t understand, is the listing on the last item stated that the tags were not attached! Is there anything I can do? Should I contact the buyer? — Chic-Stuff

Dear Chic: I leave all my feedback in batches with a program on my computer. I know there are lots of people that have fantastic success with leaving feedback first.  

When it comes to the negative feedback left for you, I would contact eBay immediately. I’m pretty sure that negative will be removed since your listing stated the tags were not attached. To contact eBay, go to the top of your “My eBay” page, click on “Customer Support,” and then click on questions about feedback.

Strange eBay item of the week: eBay item No. 300796999788. The movie “Back to the Future” is a favorite in our home. This is what I found when I searched eBay: “Limited Edition 2011 Nike Mag 7, 8, or 9 Back to the Future McFly Air Shoes Boots.” They are listed for $7,300 at http://www.ebay.com/itm/LIMITED-EDITION-2011-NIKE-MAG-7-8-or-9-BACK-FUTURE-MCFLY-AIR-SHOES-BOOTS-/300796999788?

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

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