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eugh, buyer says watch is broken, what do i do?

(66 Posts)
tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 09:23:51

A few weeks ago I listed and sold my husbands watch (waterproof to 200m), which was in good working order and was listed as such. It sold for just under £100 to the buyer who asks if he can pick it up as he doesn't live far away. I agree, he picks up the watch a few days later, and a few days after that leaves me positive feedback and messages me to say he is happy with the watch, do i have any extra links for the strap. I didn't have extra links but he was happy with this answer.

All goes quiet until last night when i receive a message saying he has worn the watch in a swimming pool, it has fogged up and now stopped working. He asks what can be done??

I send a polite reply saying that it was in good working order when sold, it has never fogged up before, and to say i am a good ebayer (100% fb) but that I am not sure what to do, because i don't want him to be £100 out of pocket with a broken watch, and I don't want to be £100 out of pocket when i sold a watch that worked and that he was happy with.

What do we do to resolve this? If i have to refund the money then of course i will, and he said he would send me back the broken watch, but that means I have lost £100, on a watch which worked perfectly here (no fogging etc). How do i know he didn't accidentally damage it etc etc.

He is really pressing me for an answer this morning, so any advice would be really helpful. Thanks

PinkFizzz Mon 14-Jan-19 09:28:55

I'd say he's either damaged it himself or he's trying to pull a fast one. Are there pictures of it fogging up? When was the last time you used it underwater, could something have happened to it since then?

If you are certain it was fine when it left you, you don't need to offer him anything but if you feel he is genuine maybe offering partial refund would be a good compromise?

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 09:37:38

Thanks PinkFizz. I don't know for sure, but my instincts tell me he isn't lying about it. He seemed like a really nice chap when he came over to pick up the watch, and he has since bought a new strap for the watch, which suggests he wouldn't simply damage it to make money.

It was absolutely fine when it as sold, i cleaned it up perfectly, tested it etc, so there was nothing wrong. And because he picked up from our house, it couldn't have been damaged in the post.

I don't think he would be happy with anything except a full refund (he has eluded to this in his email this morning). And of course, he bought a watch and now its not working, so i think he is entitled to one. But at the same time, i feel that i am entitled not to offer a refund, because it was working fine, his initial feedback was positive, and i know that I'm honest.

If i refund, I will been paid £100 for a perfectly good watch, and will then lose £100 and receive a broken worthless watch back.

keepingbees Mon 14-Jan-19 09:47:07

If you sold it fully working and he's had it a few weeks then it's not your problem, for want of a nicer way of putting it. It's one of the risks of buying second hand, you don't get the guarantee or comeback of buying from a shop.
If you want to help out of goodwill then obviously that's up to you. You could offer a partial refund, although you say he wants a full refund.
I would want the watch back and get photos of the damage first. Has it been used in water before so you know if it normally fogs up? Could you contact the manufacturer for advice? I once had a water resistant watch that fogged up if it got wet and it used to dry out after a couple of days.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 09:54:45

keepingbees Thanks for this. I think i would be happy to offer a partial refund, but I think he will only be happy with the majority of his money back. Id feel like a sucker if i did this. It has been used in water before, its an older model, my husband bought it a few years ago, and has worn it in the bath, shower and on holiday for example. It has never fogged up, it has always worked perfectly.

I could ask him to take photos of the watch to prove it is broken, but im not sure that would solve anything - even if it is broken then I am not happy about refunding.

Should I ask him to raise a dispute through eBay, where they can look into this and make a decision on what to do? Could this be fairer than me simply back down.

Goldangel Mon 14-Jan-19 09:54:46

Had you tested the watch under water?

If you didn't, it might have fogged up then resulting in you not selling it all so no big money lost if you refund, just wasted time.

IceRebel Mon 14-Jan-19 09:55:48

Did he pay cash on collection? If so you don't need to refund. He has no way to get a refund so although it's frustrating that his watch is broken it's not your fault and you won't be out of pocket.

If he paid via paypal and collected in person you could be in trouble here as you don't have proof of delivery.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 09:56:45

Goldangel cross post! Yes, my husband has owned it for a good few years (old model) and it has been worn under water lots of times without any fogging. And the buyer has said it fogged up, and a few days later has now stopped working completely.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 09:59:19

IceRebel He paid via PayPal, and picked it up in person because he wanted to save on postage costs, so no i don't have proof of postage. But i have an eBay massage from him saying something like "the watch is great, thank you, do you have an extra links" and I also have positive feedback from him saying 'great, thank you, no problems'

Goldangel Mon 14-Jan-19 10:00:47

Yes sorry Tiger we did, sounds like the watch is faulty allowing water in hence the fogging. If it's an old well used watch it can happen. Has it ever been serviced?

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 10:04:05

No, it has never been serviced.

This was the description i wrote on the listing:
Good used condition, no scratches on face, only light scratches on back of strap, sold as seen (ie no box)

Can he and I ask eBay to intervene to find a resolution?

Herja Mon 14-Jan-19 10:06:00

If he wore it swimming, I wonder if he went in to a hot tub. I destroyed an otherwise seemingly indestructible waterproof watch that way. I completely understand you not wanting to refund when he'd had it a little while. I'd not want to offer more than a partial refund.

ChrisjenAvasarala Mon 14-Jan-19 10:06:50

Could he have somehow broken it when he changed the strap over? I think that because he has altered the watch since receiving it, and it is now broken then he’s done something wrong, cracked something or forced something when changing the strap.

IceRebel Mon 14-Jan-19 10:07:40

Oh dear paypal for a collection in person is a big no no. Even if you have positive feedback, if he opens an item not received case then you have no way of proving he actually has the item and he will be refunded. shock

Hopefully he isn't the sort to try this, but if he's unhappy with the item and wants his money back then it's a route he may take.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 10:10:16

Thanks Herja

Should I say something like this:
Hi buyer, As the watch was working fine when you received it, i would only be happy to offer a partial refund, which i don't think you would be satisfied with. I would suggest raising a dispute with eBay, where we can both out our cases across, and receive an impartial judgement.

CookPassBabtridge Mon 14-Jan-19 10:12:36

It's tricky, if you were a professional seller selling new items then yes it needs refunding, second hand from a non professional then I'd say it's sold as seen. I wouldn't refund.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 10:12:40

IceRebel Oh dear, i hope he doesn't try and make a case for it not arriving. Id hope that if he did then I could show eBay messages he had sent which show he received the item and was initially satisfied with it.

It would have been so much easier to post it! I had to wait in for him to pick it up, and only did this because it was easier for him. You live and learn....

TeacupDrama Mon 14-Jan-19 10:14:56

I think he would lose a not received case as his subsequent emails ie complaining of fogging are not possible with an item you don't' have (assuming these emails are on ebay)
NEVER EVER EVER take paypal for collection items, when you collect you are deemed to have inspected the goods, there is no guarantee he would win a not as described case but neither is it a forgone conclusion he would win; EBAY never decide partial refund
however ebay can use paypal to refund if he had paid in cash ebay can't force refund

IceRebel Mon 14-Jan-19 10:16:48

Unfortunately even messages don't count as proof, they will only be interested in a tracking number which shows it was delivered to his address. sad

I really hope he doesn't go down that route, but it's a possibility given the amount he has spent for an item that doesn't work.

In future for collection in person only accept cash, as a buyer is deemed to have inspected the item in person, and is happy with it at the time of purchase so isn't entitled to a refund.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 10:17:29

Thanks everyone for helping me out with this.

I think that unless anyone recommends differently I am going to message him back later today and suggest he uses the resolution centre, and we both out our cases forward impartially.

If eBay did then ask me to refund him the £100, then at least I will have done things officially, and will feel like less of a push over.

Alanamackree Mon 14-Jan-19 10:18:11

Did you put a new battery in before selling it? My dh’s diving watch has to be sent to a specialist of some sort to have the batteries changed in order to re-seal it correctly. Jeweller charges me about €5 for a new battery in my watch but won’t touch dh’s and it ends up costing about €30 to replace battery, reseal and test it.

RedPandaFluff Mon 14-Jan-19 10:18:15

Hi @tigerpug - I had a high-end waterproof-to-200m watch and the seal failed when I wore it snorkelling on holiday. The watch face fogged up and I had to have the mechanism replaced. I'd had the seal checked the last time I had the battery changed which was about eighteen months prior. It's just one of those things - bad luck. As PPs said, you don't get the same guarantees when you buy second-hand and you don't know if the buyer did something that would affect the integrity of the seal (wearing it in chlorinated water etc.)

PineappleTart Mon 14-Jan-19 10:19:56

No refund. He sounds like a chancer. This is part of the risk when buying second hand, it's not like it was damaged when he got it, he's been using it

Newdad19 Mon 14-Jan-19 10:21:08

You have been honest here and unfortunately it is one of this things buying second hand.

I would tell him to open a dispute and let it be taken care of by ebay. Be prepared that it may not be the outcome you want though.

tigerpug Mon 14-Jan-19 10:21:20

Hi there, no, it didn't require a new battery in the time my husband owned it. It was more of a casual, occasional weekend/holiday watch, so he didn't wear it regularly.

Also, this sort of watch, bought new, would cost around £200, so it isn't a high end watch. Im not sure if that's relevant at all, but thought id mention.

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