Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Is new eBay defect program is defective?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 7/11/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I’ve been thinking a lot about this new defect rate. I guess it is designed to keep buyers coming back by hiding the “problem sellers.” Here’s a prime example of how this doesn’t work.

An order of ours showed delivered, but the buyer stated he never received it, and opened a case. The buyer could be dishonest, but let’s presume he’s not. In the past, we would have shipped a replacement to the buyer, at our expense, in an effort to maintain goodwill. The buyer would have been surprised and pleased, and left positive feedback. If we do that today, the buyer will be surprised and pleased, but we would have a defect.

So instead, we escalated the case and won. We have no defect, no negative feedback, and (again,) presuming buyer honesty, buyer has paid for an order he has never received. Will this buyer come back to eBay? Heck no! What do you think about this solution? — Judy

Dear Judy: I’ve thought many times that this defect rate thing could have the reverse effect eBay wants to achieve. I had a case opened for a buyer that had the wrong address listed, and their item was sent back. I had emailed the buyer several times asking for their correct address, they never responded, but opened a case. I contacted eBay and customer service closed the case! They didn’t help me get a new address, tell me to give a refund, just closed the case.

I can see this defect thing as a way for sellers to be pitted against buyers, rather than for sellers to have good customer service. I hope that eBay will scrap this defect rating system and start over. I believe it is going to end up with the opposite outcome from what they were wanting.

Dear eBay Queen: I just had an insane buyer open a case against me.

I’ve been reading your column for a while now, and I know to check the feedback the buyer leaves for other sellers. It looks like this buyer who opened the case against me just left a negative for another seller. Matter of fact, she’s left eight negatives out of the total 25 total feedback she left. The last negative she left is complaining about the size/inches not being correct, which is the same thing she is saying in the case she opened against me tonight.

Here’s what she wrote in the case: “You advertised the necklace as being adjustable and there is nothing adjustable about you. You say you’ll adjust it mailed back. If I have to mail it back, I want a refund. I’m a small person and it’s so tight it chokes me. If you are going to advertise it as adjustable, then it should come adjustable.”

It does have about an inch of adjustable chain and I advertise that I will shorten or lengthen per customer’s request free of charge. She made no such request. What should I do? — Deb

Dear Deb: In a situation like this, I would respond to the case asking the buyer to send the item back for a refund. Make sure you check the little box that says to return the item. I would also put in the message box: “I’m so sorry this does not fit you. I would be happy to add more chain to the links so that you can have more room and the necklace will fit you. If you do not want me to do that, please send it back for a full refund.”

I also would contact eBay’s customer support and report this buyer. It seems she leaves an inordinate amount of negatives, and is a bit difficult to please. I hope you come out of this without a negative.

Strange eBay item of the week: Item No. 261499432009. Sometimes, you just can’t beat the classics. Super NES games are easily found on eBay. Here’s a lot of 45! “Lot 45 Games Super Nintendo SNES The Tick Star Fox Zelda Wayne’s World.” It sold for $385 at

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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