Sunday, December 21, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: How do I handle angry eBay buyer with cancer?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 7/18/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I had a beautiful Laurel Burch finished quilt that I sold a couple of weeks ago. About 30 minutes after the buyer’s payment went through, I received this email from her: 

“Hi, I just bought the quilt, but realized its smaller than I thought. Do you think it will fit on a single bed? I still want it regardless though, it’s beautiful!”

I replied with the measurements, but I became a little curious about her, so I checked out her eBay “About Me” page. This is what I found out: “I’m a retired jazz musician and I adore horses ... also I am a classical pianist. I adore Mozart, Miles Davis and all jazz and classical music. I have Stage IV breast cancer now, but I am a boots enthusiast, especially riding.”

I’m so deeply touched that the quilt I received and never used is going to someone who will truly appreciate it. The fact that her Stage IV breast cancer will cut her time here way too short truly breaks my heart. I even sent her a special card with the quilt.

Today I received a message from her:

“I received this so-called ‘handmade’ quilt. First, the colors are nowhere near the shown colors of the quilt on eBay. The purples are not vivid and the red is dingy. My friend is a quilter, and she is highly suspicious of your claim that it is ‘handmade.’ I got it for my daughter, so I will show it to her. If she accepts it as it is, I’ll keep it — otherwise, that was much too much money to pay for a fake ‘handmade’ quilt and it doesn’t remotely resemble the bright colors shown on the photo. I’m very disappointed. As a Stage IV breast cancer patient, I was looking forward to giving a lovely gift to my daughter before leaving this mortal coil. This is not it. Again, no invoice ... no proof that it is remotely ‘handmade.’ Doesn’t look it at all. I’ll see my daughter tomorrow and see what she says. If she wants it, OK. But I’ll never deal with you again. P.S. I have bought real handmade quilts on eBay before, and for far less money. I bought this one because my daughter has five cats and loves cats.”

What should I do? The quilt is brand new! It has sat in a box, and was a gift that I received several years ago. — Tracy

Dear Tracy: I reviewed your listing, description and photos. I also checked out the feedback your buyer has left other sellers. She seems like a person that easily gives neutral and negative feedback.

I would message your buyer back, and say the following: “I am so sorry this item is not what you expected. I would be happy to refund your money once the item is sent back, if your daughter is not happy with it.”

After that email she sent, I would be tempted to say some not-so-nice things to her, but resist doing this. It’s difficult sometimes, but I think it’s important to remain professional. I cannot believe she used her illness to try to make you feel bad! I also would contact eBay customer support and let them know about how this buyer is trying to bully you. It is one thing to be unhappy with a product. It is another to bully a seller into giving you a free product.

I completely understand why you are upset, and you seem more upset because of who you thought this woman was in your head, based on the very little information she had written about herself. Take a deep breath, realize that being a cancer victim doesn’t always translate to being a kind person.

Strange eBay item of the week: Item No. 161283441123. There has been a lot of talk about bulldogs in my home lately. Look what I found on eBay: “Original 1940s Porcelain Mack Bulldog Sign Green Back Left Facing.” It sold for $3,383 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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