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Aaargh! I'm going to end up losing money here, aren't I?

(17 Posts)
FranticBanana Mon 05-Nov-12 22:54:12

Sorry - this is a bit long winded but if I don't type I will go and bang my head against a wall!

Someone brought some small sized industrial Doc Martens to donate to a Bring & Buy Sale to raise funds for a local community project. We decided to give it a go putting them on Ebay in the hope it might raise more than a couple of quid - they were like new except the box. Took photos and measurements, weighed them for postage and got them listed.

I had left them with someone else who was more available to post quickly than I was, so didn't have them with me as I was listing, which was why I deliberately didn't give too much detail, just lots of photos including of all the labels on the inside and base (which described the safety specs of the shoes). The listing just stated Dr Martens Air Wair Industrial Shoes.

The day they were listed someone emailed me to ask if they were steel toe caps. I checked with the person who had the shoes, confirmed that they were and posted the question and answer to the listing.

A week later someone bid on the shoes and ended up winning them for £35 plus £5 postage (they weighed over 1.5 kg!). The shoes were delivered on 25th October. A week later, I handed the money over, assuming there was no problem.

Of course today the buyer has opened a case, stating they tried to contact me and I didn't respond, and asking to return for a full refund as the shoes were not as described - she didn't realise they had steel toe caps and they are not suitable for her handicapped daughter.

The first bit isn't too much of a problem as Ebay can easily check my messages to see that isn't true and no contact was made. I guess I will have to give a refund as a gesture of goodwill, and because I obviously have sympathy for her, but given that I'm having to flog my kids' outgrown Primark pyjamas to raise a bit of cash for Christmas (I'm a single mum) £40 out of my budget is going to really hurt. I've offered to refund the £35 but would really prefer not to have to cover postage as well.

OK, so more of a rant really, but does anyone have any suggestions as to what I can / should do?

fergoose Mon 05-Nov-12 22:58:46

all I can say is do not refund until they are received back in the condition in which they were sent - you will check your security marks then refund. Then you can cancel the transaction to get your fees back and relist them - saying they are steel toe capped in the description. You will have to refund the whole £40 too, and if they are not as described the buyer will prob ask for return costs too

jimswifein1964 Mon 05-Nov-12 23:02:10

But I dont see how you're in the wrong op?You didnt specify in the listing, & when asked you told the buyer that they were capped. Unless you missed a word out of your email?! Check it!!

FranticBanana Mon 05-Nov-12 23:02:51

Thanks fergoose - wouldn't consider refunding unless I've got them back and checked them carefully. Can the buyer still get me for not as described if it says quite clearly in the Q & A's at the bottom that they do have steel toe caps? It was posted a week before the buyer made her first bid.

BumpsDad Mon 05-Nov-12 23:03:39

Short answer... probably.

Ebay don't care about the seller, I know that sounds harsh but it's true, they are on the buyers side.

I know this because this exact thing happened to me.

We sold a piece of furniture to a lady, had it delivered for about £60 and she refused delivery saying she had changed her mind.

She sent us an email saying sorry and that she would pay for the delivery/return, so we sent her the copy of the invoices to which she replied with the word "uh oh.. no way am I paying that, I've checked with ebay and it's your problem so I suggest you look up the ebay terms and conditions, now give me my money back".

Needless to say I was pretty shocked at her attitude and complained to ebay that we were £120 out of pocket.

Ebay replied saying it's not their problem, and that in their terms and conditions the buyer has the right to return the goods and get a full refund. Any delivery charges are our responsibility unless compensation is agreed in full in advance of the sale.

Ouch. I went off ebay a lot after that!

FranticBanana Mon 05-Nov-12 23:05:34

Jimswife, it wasn't the buyer who asked, but the question and answer were posted on the listing before the buyer started bidding.

Normally I'd just refund for a quiet life, but I've already handed the cash over to the collection so if they do claw it back out of my bank account that's the food bills stuffed for this month. sad

fergoose Mon 05-Nov-12 23:11:34

if they open a case with ebay they will get a full refund after they prove they have returned them - so up to you, refund voluntarily or wait for a case to be opened.

KatharineClifton Mon 05-Nov-12 23:17:19

Do not refund. Industrial boots have steel toe caps. The information was on the listing. The buyer does not have a case. Let her know exactly that.

On the remote chance that the buyer does wrangle a refund then why wouldn't the community centre fund will give you your money back when you return the boots?

FranticBanana Mon 05-Nov-12 23:18:32

They already have opened a not as described case, but will they win it if their claim is "I did not know they had steel toe caps" and the Q & As on the listing state "Yes, they do have steel toe caps"?

I know there are much more important things to stress about in the scheme of things, but it's only the second problem I've had in 9 years, 3000+ 100% feedback. It's certainly the last time I offer to sell anything as a favour!

jimswifein1964 Mon 05-Nov-12 23:19:10

Ah, I see. Sorry, I misread.
Well, yes you're going to have to repay it sad. I know it sounds harsh because its for charity, but you'll have to ask them for it back - print out the ebay/paypal as proof. You were helping them sell, not donating money, so no moralreason why you can't ask for it back - esp if you need it for basic food...

KatharineClifton Mon 05-Nov-12 23:21:40

Respond and copy and paste the relevant part of the listing. There is a phone number for ebay somewhere buried deep.

Ilovemydogandmydoglovesme Mon 05-Nov-12 23:22:07

If the information was already on the listing, whether in the description or the Q&A it isn't really your problem if the buyer didn't bloody read it properly!

I would be tempted to say sorry, the information was there, I'm not responsible, sell them on if you don't like it!

eBay is becoming a bit of a joke. The seller has no protection now from being utterly ripped off.

FranticBanana Mon 05-Nov-12 23:22:59

KatharineClifton, thanks for confirming what I thought - that industrial boots could be expected to have steel toe caps.

I'm sure the fund would give it back if I asked - but the £35 was quite a big chunk of the profits from the sale (think second hand McD's plastic toys and ancient crockery for the most part grin ) so I'd really prefer not to!

KatharineClifton Mon 05-Nov-12 23:24:51

Yw. Can't see how they can possibly have a case.

Prefer selling on Amazon nowadays where I can. Fees are higher, but con artists can't abuse it in the same way they do ebay.

fergoose Tue 06-Nov-12 08:33:47

the chances are the buyer will win the case, and once they prove they have returned them - they will get their money back. It is very rare for ebay to find a case like this in favour of the seller in my experience.

Havingkitties Tue 06-Nov-12 12:51:08

You haven't really got anything to lose by just letting the eBay dispute procedure take its course and let eBay decide.if you win it, that's great and if you don't the buyer returns it, you refund, then you resell and you may even get a better price closer to christmas. Yes, it's a faff, but you never know, stranger things have happened on eBay and occasionally someone with half a brain at eBay will read the dispute and see the buyer has been a numpty. Just make sure in the dispute process replies you have clearly set out that the item was significantly as described as industrial boots and that that you clearly put steal toe caps in the question area. Also mention that the buyer could of asked any questions to clarify anything about the item and you have not misled anyone. It's worked for me in the past, though this was a while ago!

KatharineClifton Wed 14-Nov-12 17:05:02

How was it resolved FranticBanana?

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