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Need Advice

(6 Posts)
luckylavender Tue 09-Aug-11 20:49:25

This will probably be a long post while I give you all the the information and I really need some advice.

My teenage son has been having a clear out of some equipment recently and I offered to help him by putting some of it on ebay so that he would have some money towards gym equipment that he wants.

Nearly everything sold the first time and made him a fair bit of money, except one item which I re-listed after we returned from holiday. I won't say what it is exactly so that I am not "outed". A few watchers like the last listing and then a lady who wanted a buy it now price. As we had had no bids I gave her a price which was £25 higher than the start price, she agreed and needed it straightaway for her son's birthday. She asked no questions about it, so I assumed she knew what she was buying (it's a piece of musical equipment) and it was listed as used, I noted that it had hardly been used and was in good working order, which it was. My husband packed it meticulously in the original box and off it went.

The day after the birthday we received an email saying she couldn't get it to work, so we emailed her and sent her a link and also posted her a USB cable to help her out. She emailed the company and also admitted to us that she is no computer wizard. A few days have gone by and nothing and today she has emailed and said that as she has not heard from the company in a week that she must insist on sending it back as she can't get it to work and can she have our address.

So my question is - do I have to accept this? The kit was working when I sent it to her and she has been quite rude and short with us and we have done everything we can think of to help her. I don't want to upset anyone but equally I don't think I have done anything wrong. I also don't want negative feedback.

WWYD? Thanks

80sbabe Tue 09-Aug-11 21:09:15

Well if the buyer opens a case with Ebay and requests to return the item, then yes I am afraid you do have to accept it back and refund them. Technically you don't have to also refund the return postage but many sellers do to protect their feedback and ratings and to give good customer service.

I can see exactly where you are coming from with regards to how unfair it may seem. The buyer may not have asked questions, they may not have a computer that is compatible with the equipment, they may not be able to work it, however they do have 45 days in which they can open a case and request to return the goods.

Ebay only see things in black and white - there are no grey shades and they will in all probability side with the buyer and ask that you accept the return and refund. It would probably be better if you offered this yourself rather than waiting for it to be demanded of you.

Did you have a returns policy on your listing ?

Also just as a thought - did you send the original instructions with whatever the item is ? If you didn't and you still have them can you forward them on ?

I always work on the basis of do as you would be done by. Put yourself in the buyer's shoes - and think about what you'd want the seller to do for you.

luckylavender Tue 09-Aug-11 22:11:22

Thank you.

I have put myself in their shoes I think and if this had happened to me I would not ask for the money back as it would be my fault.

I sent the full manual with the goods and my listing says that I will not accept returns.

80sbabe Tue 09-Aug-11 22:26:22

I think it will come down to whether your buyer opens a "Not as described case" then.

I appreciate that sounds unfair as you know it works and is as described but Ebay have very vague categories when it come to opening cases.

The fact that they have the manual and instructions probably does point to them not having compatible equipment.
Not your fault and I totally sympathise with you - it is so frustrating to be in this situation.
However you may have to sit tight and see what the buyer does if you don't want to offer a refund for the return.

I know it's no consolation but I've been in similar situations myself, as have most regular sellers on Ebay. Sometimes you just have to accept that Ebay sees all buyers as innocent and blameless and sellers as having horns and carrying three pronged forks hmm

It's never great to have a blanket "no returns" policy as if an item was damaged in transit (though not in this case), or a buyer does claim not as described you don't in the event have much choice.

I once had someone buy an item off me - use what they needed from it and then openly say in their "not as described" case what they had done and that it was no longer required. I still had to accept the return and refund them in full and I could not sell it again as used.
That one still smarts but I have had many more nice and appreciative buyers that outweigh the awkward ones.

fergoose Tue 09-Aug-11 23:05:35

no returns means nothing - you have to accept returns if you sell on ebay.

Tell them to return, refund and relist

Otherwise they will open a case and you will get a strike against you, and probably negative too

luckylavender Fri 26-Aug-11 08:48:23

I thought I would give you an update as you had all taken the time to give me such good advice.

In the end I took a chance and let the buyer open a case - I put my side of the story, I contacted the manufacturer and I gave the buyer my phone number so we could talk her through how to get the item to work using the link they sent. She did not contact me and escalated the case and ebay has found in my favour! Am quite pleased.

Thank you everyone who replied. I feel vindicated as I knew it was a very good item and I was worried that if she sent it back it would be damaged in some way or she would not return all the little pieces.

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