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Item not as described. Return requested but I'm not actually sure what I'm doing (long, sorry!)

(11 Posts)
cluelessebayer Mon 06-Jul-15 18:55:47

I've used eBay for just over a year but I've never returned anything, so this situation is new to me.

I bought a bag over a week ago from a seller with 100% positive rating. It arrived today and the smell of smoke hit me as soon as I tore open the packaging. The bag stinks. The item itself looks lovely from the outside, but inside it is stained with what looks like pen ink. To be quite honest, this wouldn't be a huge issue to me as it can't be seen from the outside. However the bag really stinks and it's not something I could wash. If I were to use it, I would end up smelling too. It's been sitting in my kitchen and I can smell it when I walk in!

So these two problems mean the item is not as described. The listing states "excellent condition" and has no mention of the stains or the smell of smoke.

I messaged the seller straight away. It was a polite message saying how lovely the item looked but it smelled strongly of smoke and I attached a picture of the stains.

Her reply was rather curt. She said she would like to make two points, that a) it's from the 1950s (^btw the bag has no labels in it so I've no idea how old it actually is or the material, if I were able to clean it^) so while she hasn't used the item herself it's been used in the past and she didn't notice the stain, and b) regarding the smoke smell, she would like me to refer to point a) and she also states that nowhere in her listing did she say the item came from a smoke-free home. She said she would refund me the original purchase price if I sent the item back.

Her message annoyed me as it comes across quite rude. I replied that it isn't my job as the buyer to spot stains and that she should have noticed these before listing so that her description would be accurate (^just to add, I noticed them the moment I opened the bag, so they're really obvious!^) and I said that just because she doesn't say whether her home is smoke-free or not, doesn't mean it's ok to sell items that absolutely stink of smoke without mentioning that fact. As it is, sending the bag back would cost me almost the price I paid for it, so I said it looks like I'm stuck with it.

After searching through the help section on eBay, it says that if the item is not as described then the seller is responsible for the return postage. So I have requested a return and selected "item does not match the listing" or something to that effect. Ebay will then email me once the seller has responded to them.

I've no idea if requesting a return is the correct procedure. The amount on the return page just says the original price I paid plus the P&P I paid. Nothing about return costs. So I'm not sure if that will be sorted out once eBay get back to me or if they'll know the seller is meant to pay because I've selected "item doesn't match the listing"

Have I done things correctly? Or as the item was pretty cheap should I just suck it up and avoid the hassle? I'm annoyed that I have a lovely-looking (from the outside) bag I can't use but at the same time it didn't cost much and I know it's going to be one big faff.

Sorry that was seriously long winded but I've just no idea about these sorts of things.

larkspurr Mon 06-Jul-15 19:54:16

You are in the right here; when opening your case you should ideally give the reason that the item is not as described and is damaged/defective, is that the option you selected? The seller should cover both outward and return postage because the bag is not as described. If they are rude, don't bother about exchanging emails anymore, just go through the ebay resolution centre. It won't be much hassle now you've opened the case; in my experience ebay always side with the buyer when an item arrives damaged. You may just have to wait a few days. Make sure you return by a tracked service because that is how ebay will check that it's arrived (otherwise the seller can claim it didn't).

cluelessebayer Tue 07-Jul-15 10:41:00

The option I selected was "it doesn't match the listing"

The seller hasn't responded since my last message nor has she responded to my return claim, so if she doesn't respond by the 14th then I can get eBay to take over.

I haven't left any feedback. Should I do that once the situation is resolved?

robin64 Tue 07-Jul-15 23:56:24

Yes wait and when it's resolved leave fb. And yes the seller should pay for the return of a Not As Described item. They will get a defect for the return if that is the option you selected for the return.

It is very hard to remove smoke smell so you are in the right. Ebay will support your return request.

While investigating vintage clothing and bags I have read that lots of airing can help and putting item in a sealed box or bag with cat litter can work but I have not tried that one.

YeOldTrout Thu 09-Jul-15 10:47:04

My understand is that Ebay will issue you with a pre-pay returns envelope, deducting the cost from the sellers' paypal. So you do not have to negotiate with seller about who pays for postage. Just pursue your case by clicking the Ebay boxes and options as they come up.

Wait until you have your money back before leaving f/back.

cluelessebayer Tue 14-Jul-15 16:05:58

Thank you for your replies. Just thought I would update. Seller never responded to my return request so eBay took over and refunded me without me needing to return the bag. I left the seller true feedback, just saying the "item wasn't as described, seller didn't respond so eBay issued a refund." Seller has now requested the feedback be removed because I'm a liar and the feedback is "disgraceful" confused

cluelessebayer Tue 14-Jul-15 16:08:21

Oh just got an email that eBay have removed it because I referred to the refund. Had no idea this wasn't allowed. sad

DragonWithAGirlTattoo Tue 14-Jul-15 16:41:50

hang it up outside for as long as you can - the smell will go eventually

woodhill Tue 14-Jul-15 16:47:54

won't you have to return the item though if you have been refunded?

Agree she should have mentioned the stains. I have a newish bag to sell and it has a pen stain so I have photographed it and will point it out in description.

horrible when things smell of smoke

cluelessebayer Tue 14-Jul-15 17:18:08

No eBay said I don't have to return it. The customer service guy said because the bag didn't cost much it would cost just as much to return. I guess because I'd then have to wait for the seller to refund me the postage. I did open a case so I could return the bag to her, but she never responded. That's why eBay stepped in and refunded me.

wobblywindows Fri 17-Jul-15 07:00:14

Interesting point above about putting the bag in a sealed bag with cat litter to absorb smell. I might try neutradol (air-freshener spray) with that - good for neutralising smells.

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