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seller has opened a case against me

(15 Posts)
ebaygirl Mon 23-Jun-14 23:03:55


Started selling some of my and my children's clothes (some new, some worn; mostly Boden) on eBay recently. Being quite new to eBay, I have been meticulous about describing each item correctly, showing lots of photos, etc. If there has been any flaw, however minor, I have described it and taken photos. I have washed and ironed things first. I have even included £2 in cash in one parcel as I discovered it would cost me less to post than I had charged. As a result, I have 100% feedback, and several buyers have said "best ever purchase", "would definitely buy again", etc.

So, last week I sold a Boden dress which I'd worn a few times but sadly could no longer fit into due to having put on a bit of weight recently. Before listing, I checked it over and it looked in great condition. I also took lots of photos. I listed it as used, described it in detail, and included 6 photos. It sold, and I posted it to the buyer the next day.

A couple of days later, the buyer messaged me to say that it was "lovely" but that there was a 1cm hole in the dress. I was very surprised to hear this, as I certainly hadn't seen any such hole, however, I replied very apologetically, saying I could offer a partial or full refund (even though I had stated no refunds on my listing), and asked for a photo of the hole, showing where it was and how big it was, so I could decide how big a partial refund to offer.

The buyer sent me a close-up photo of the hole. Although this meant I couldn't work out where on the dress it was (and so couldn't find it on my photos), it was clear from the size of the hole in relation to the pattern, that the hole was tiny - perhaps 2mm?

Although I was surprised I hadn't noticed this, and even though the hole was tiny and I'm still unsure where on the dress it is (so perhaps somewhere completely hidden?), in a bid to maintain my 100% feedback, I offered £5 partial refund or a full refund of the £15 paid.

The buyer said they didn't want a partial refund as they would never wear something with a hole (even one so tiny?). I therefore said they could post it back to me and I would refund them, although I said I'd never had to do a refund before, so didn't know how it worked, and did they know my name and address so they could return it?

That was yesterday morning, and I didn't hear back from them until today when they opened a case against me for selling something not as described!

Before I explain what's since happened, please could someone more experienced on eBay than me, please let me know if what I offered was reasonable, and how serious "cases" are on eBay? Can other people on eBay see this case against me? Will they be able to once it's resolved? Is it usual to open a case against a seller even when they've offered to give a partial or full refund? I really feel I've behaved very fairly and generously, especially given the hole must be absolutely tiny for me not to have noticed it before listing, and that I had said no refunds, so I'm really upset about this.

Thanks smile

Butterflyspring Mon 23-Jun-14 23:11:47

just ask them to return for a refund - you cannot refuse a return so is pointless saying that in your listing and will just put her back up even more. Why didn't you give your address when she asked to return it? Others will see it if the buyer leaves neg feedback. And when a buyer contacts to say item not as described a case is opened automatically. And really you should give them their return postage costs too as well as a full refund of their original payment. But not until you receive it back.

ebaygirl Mon 23-Jun-14 23:19:08

Thanks, but my concern is that the hole wasn't there when I posted it, and that perhaps the buyer has simply had a change of mind. I thought it was quite normal for personal sellers to state no refunds for changes of mind. Given that, I think I'm being very kind in offering both a partial or a full refund, so she could decide which one she preferred. I asked her if she needed my name and address, or could already see them? I don't know how much people can see on ebay.

ebaygirl Mon 23-Jun-14 23:21:16

So do you have to open a case to get a refund? I presumed as she had messaged me about it and I had said I would refund her when I received the dress back, that would be how we would progress. Having a case opened against me feels very litigious and aggressive. Is it not then?

TeamEdward Mon 23-Jun-14 23:25:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MissMilbanke Mon 23-Jun-14 23:30:19

You know ebay is a minefield these days and selling used clothes is probably the worst category unfortunately.

You sound as if you are doing everything right - you've just met an awkward one who probably doesn't fit of it doesn't suit or even they have worn the dress for an occasion and think they can get it for free - it happens I kid you not.

Opening a case is routine these days. If you get too many your ratings will suffer. The rules are changing all the time on ebay - the small time sellers are being squeezed all the time.

I personally don't entertain partial refunds. As them to send back to you and when you receive it and only then you have to return all the money they paid. It's unfair that you are out of pocket for postage but that's how it goes. Some sellers then refund their return postage but that's entirely up to

I think you've been unlucky. Don't take it to heart. Block this buyer from bidding on any future auctions if yours and move on.

Butterflyspring Tue 24-Jun-14 08:46:11

no opening a case is not aggressive or litigious - you are taking this far too personally! Just because lots of sellers refuse a refund doesn't make it right.

You will never know if the buyer caused the hole or if it was already there. Just get it back and refund.

millymae Tue 24-Jun-14 09:13:07

Sadly as I've learned to my cost not all ebayers honest. I had the same issue with something I sold. The first time it happened I refunded straight away. The second I wasn't so soft.

I knew absolutely (as I did the first time) that the item was in perfect condition because I had checked every button, every seam, zips etc, so I replied and told her that this was the case, and that I hadn't deleted all the photographs I still had on my computer and could prove that it was undamaged when it was posted

I didn't hear anything more (other than she gave me a positive feedback, which I did think was a bit odd) until my friend emailed a link which showed that my buyer had re-listed the item describing it as being in perfect condition.

NotCitrus Tue 24-Jun-14 09:22:04

You can respond to the case by saying you are awaitingthe item's return and will then refund, but do tell the buyer that you will compare the item to your full set of photos taken before dispatch - 99% of buyers are trying it on and won't bother returning it.

I don't bother selling clothes on EBay - too much hassle for a few pence.

EhricLovesTheBhrothers Tue 24-Jun-14 09:32:33

It's quite normal to open a case if you want a refund. It means that PayPal can freeze the funds and will arbitrate if the seller refuses to cooperate.
The buyer usually has to pay return postage and has to return before you issue refund, then you just go I to PayPal and click 'refund' or 'return payment' I'm not sure.

nauticant Tue 24-Jun-14 11:05:16

There's no need to take the case being opened personally.

Don't quibble, repeat (and probably repeat again) your offer of a full refund of payments made in the transaction once the item has been satisfactorily returned to you.

Remember that messages exchanged in the case might be read by ebay staff so be polite and helpful all the way through.

I don't offer to pay return postage. If I'd made a clear mistake I might be inclined to.

smoothieooo Tue 24-Jun-14 11:08:41

I had this happen to me (and also have 100% feedback) on a dress I sold but which the buyer thought was a bit too 'worn' (was sold as a used dress). Based on that rather vague complaint I refused to refund so she promptly opened a case against me and, of course, eBay always come down on the side of the purchaser. I had to refund her and she returned the dress.

ebaygirl Tue 24-Jun-14 12:36:56

Thanks for all your advice smile

glammanana Tue 24-Jun-14 17:22:49

ebaygirl, make sure your buyer sends the item back to you + tracked the delivery and as others have said don't take it to heart too much,I sold a fab bag (well used) and discribed as such and when the buyer received it she said it had a funny smell ??? the smell was the kid leather it was made of so I made her return it,she wanted a partial refund but no way if she wasn't happy I said I refund only,it came back and resold straight away to a lady who was delighted with it and her feedback was amazing,so it just goes to show there are a few out there trying it on and they will with new buyers believe me. Best of luck with your sales. xx

nickstmoritz Wed 25-Jun-14 00:29:31

I don't think anyone can be 100% sure that they didn't miss a tiny hole or some such minor fault - it can happen. It's best to just say sorry and ask for a return then refund and if you really want to protect your feedback and have plenty more you want to sell - refund return postage. Buyer is then not out of pocket, you have done all you can and deserve good feedback as a seller.
Have a look at the buyers feedback - left for others as well as received and see if there are any clues to buyer being difficult. It wouldn't probably change what I did but it does give a picture of whether the buyer is ok. My policy as a seller is (mostly) don't argue, sort it, protect feedback & move on. I don't generally give partial refunds - best just to get the item returned.

I have had a few bad buyers over the years but generally most people are fine and if there was a little hole then tbh it is ok that they wanted a refund/return. A case can open automatically now so they may have opened one by mistake. You possibly made a small mistake in the listing. I wouldn't worry about it. Things like that can happen. Once dress is returned put a little stitch in the hole if tiny and re list as having a tiny flaw but nothing serious and the dress will sell again I'm sure. If they do neg (hopefully they won't) then add something like "full refund offered" under their comment.

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