Been a while since I've posted here. I hope your all as helpful as I've found it in the past.
I recently bought an item on Ebay for £79.99 plus £12.66 postage + insurance.
Item was arguably not as described, and certainly would've been unacceptable to me if I were buying it from a shop, but being a kind soul I decided to 'change my mind' and request a refund under the terms of the distance selling regulations cooling off period (in this case, the period allowed for this would've been three months as the seller hasn't specified anything returns policy wise that I could find) rather than going through an 'item not as described' paypal buyer protection claim.
I specified consistently throughout correspondence that I'm unhappy with the state of the item as received etc, and requested that the seller agree to cover the costs of my returning the item.
This request was ignored as you can imagine, and since I wasn't greatly fussed about the return postage I returned the item as 'a gesture of goodwill' (as opposed to making them collect it), still harping on about how I should be refunded for the cost of the postage etc.
I've now received a refund of the £79.99 original payment, but the seller is under the impression he doesn't have to refund the original postage amount either...Specifically...
"Item dispatched by request via express courier so postage cannot be refunded under distant selling regulation. Item returned unwanted,"
I've found an approximately equal amount of support and derision of this stance online, though how my agreement to accept dispatch via courier absolves the seller of refunding me the costs of said courier is completely beyond me. Sellers seem to draw the distinction between services and goods when referring to postage etc.
This is not the impression that consumers are given by Ebay, or indeed by a number of government sources online.
Can anybody clarify the position I'm in before I escalate the dispute?
Internet auction sites are excempt from the distance selling regulations, however if it was from a trader then your are covered under statutory rights and SOGA applies. If a private sale then you are not covered unless it was misrepresented in some way. Postage is not normally refundable.
raydetinu is partially correct. auction sites are not covered by DSR's, and in my experience even 'Buy It Now' on eBay is a grey area. BUT if item is not as described - then whether Auction or not - the seller is responsible for postage.
The only time seller is not responsible for postage is if the buyer just changes his mind.
If the seller is a business trader, then I would get his exact details, write him an lba, demanding cost of postage for the LBA, and sue him for the postage plus interest at 8% per annum.
------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- All the information I impart is my advice based on my experience. It does not constitute professional advice. If in doubt, always consult with a professional.
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Thanks for this everyone, I think this one will have to go unchallenged. The faults with the item are too unsubstantial for me to start getting heavy about it, and if Buy It Now on Ebay is a grey area too then we're talking serious holes in the argument.
However, Ebay claim that Buy It Now is definitely covered -
"The Distance Selling Regulations apply to items purchased via Buy It Now listings and Second Chance Offers on eBay.co.uk. However, they don't apply to auction format listings on eBay.co.uk,".
I should've approached this as a defective item etc, and I didn't because I assumed any costs related to the transaction were also covered under DSR return rights. This was stupid, but this information is not made clear in the Ebay help for consumers quoted above, or in the other government sourced information I accessed.
Might write something complaining in this respect to those it may concern.
All I can say is, I thought that the seller is liable for both sets of postage if I chose to change my mind and I was doing them a favour not getting heavy about my return postage - Quoth Ebay's guidance for businesses on the matter ;
"Under the Distance Selling Regulations, buyers have a period of 7 working days after the date of delivery within which they can cancel the contract (often referred to as the "cooling off" period) and get their money back, including the original postage and packing charges. You must refund the original delivery charges. However, you are permitted to require the buyer to pay for the cost of returning the item, but only if you clearly inform the buyer of this before the contract is made.," -
I'm now out both, and it seems from a lot of the internet information that buyers are not as well covered as it at first seems.