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DarrenTeesside

Ebay Powerseller threatening me with court

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Hi each & all, I am wondering if anyone can help me, a power seller is threatning me with court unless I honour a transaction I made by mistake on E-Bay, or pay him £50.00 for his troubles, where do I stand, I am sure I am not obliged to attend any county court, it is not criminal court after all, can anyone point me in the right direction, I am not working at the moment and certainly can not and will not pay him £50.00 for nothing, any help would be greatly appreciated in advance :confused:

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You have a problem.

 

An ebay auction purchase is a legally binding agreement. Its also pretty hard to buy something by mistake since you have to confirm your intention to bid twice.

 

Whether the seller can take you to court for his costs I dont know, but regrettably, mistake or not, you bought the goods.

 

I would appeal to the sellers better nature if you can demonstrate that you genuinely made a mistake - long standing ebayer, good feedback etc.and see how you get on.

 

You wouldn't in any event be paying him for nothing - he would be seeking to recover his costs incurred by you not keeping to your part of the deal.

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If this is indeed an ebay PS

They should know that all fees are refundable in the event that an unpaid item or cancelled transaction occurs

Receiving a Final Value Fee Credit

 

They have up to 45 days to start the process

 

http://pages.ebay.co.uk/help/sell/unpaid-items.html

Edited by goodbadrum
add info

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If this is indeed an ebay PS

They should know that all fees are refundable in the event that an unpaid item or cancelled transaction occurs

Receiving a Final Value Fee Credit

 

They have up to 45 days to start the process

 

What to do when a buyer doesn?t pay (unpaid item process)

 

Costs are not the same as listing fees, which of course are refundable to the seller in the event that a buyer does not keep to his side of the deal.

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Listing fees (which are quite small) are not refunded, final value fees (the cut ebay take of the selling price) are refunded. He would have to show a court that he was £50 out of pocket which is unlikely.

 

Was this an auction or a 'buy it'now'? Powersellers are usually business sellers and subject to DSRs on fixed price sales.

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An ebay auction purchase is a legally binding agreement.
Oh no, it's not. Under the DSR, (assuming seller is a trader), buyer can cancel at any time within 7 working days and doesn't have to give a reason.

 

Its also pretty hard to buy something by mistake since you have to confirm your intention to bid twice.

Totally besides the point, 2 wrongs don't do a right.

Whether the seller can take you to court for his costs I dont know, but regrettably, mistake or not, you bought the goods.

and then cancelled, as his his statutory right.

 

You wouldn't in any event be paying him for nothing - he would be seeking to recover his costs incurred by you not keeping to your part of the deal.

Which he then would have to justify how he came to £50, and I think he might find hard a tad tricky, since in reality, at most he has lost the sale (but he can sell again), some fees (but aren't they all refundable these days?) so without knowing the actual value of the goods it's hard to estimate of course, but it's unlikely to be anywhere £50.

 

To OP: You can use pretty much anything in my post to reply to the guy, quoting DSR, actual costs etc and tell him that if he thinks any court is going to award him anything, go ahead and you'll see him there. :-D Also mention that you will be reporting him to Trading Standards and E-bay for what amounts to little more than trying to extort money under threats.

 

That should do it. :-D

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Bookworm, DSRs only apply to fixed price sales. If this was an auction they won't be of any use. If it was a fixed price then the seller would end up further out of pocket by having to send the goods and arrange for them to be returned - all for nothing.

 

I doubt very much will come of this anyway. Someone who picks a figure like £50 out of the air and then sends a ranting message to the buyer is unlikely to be the sort to go through with their threats.

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That's a common misconception, Hightail. The DSRs in fact apply to any long-distance purchase from a trader.

 

People (and unfortunately, official sites have confused things even further in their recent updates) think that e-bay comes under the same rules as a proper auction site, but they are not in fact an auction site at all. They used to call themselves a "facilitator" between sellers and buyers. Now they simply call themselves an "online marketplace".

 

I repeat: any goods purchased on e-bay from a trader, whether by auction-style purchase or buy it now, come under the DSR and carry with them the right to cancel.

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In fact, these are the exceptions to the right to cancel under the DSR:

 

The UK's Distance Selling Regulations

 

Exceptions to the right to cancel

 

Unless the parties have agreed otherwise, the consumer will not have the right to cancel in respect of certain distance contracts. This applies to the following contracts:

  • for the provision of services, if the performance of the contract has begun with the consumer's consent before the end of the usual cancellation period and the supplier has provided the written confirmation and additional information before commencing performance of the services (including information that the cancellation rights will end as soon as performance of the contract begins);
  • for the supply of goods or services which are priced according to fluctuations in the financial market and cannot be controlled by the supplier;
  • for the supply of goods which by means of their nature cannot be returned (e.g. personalised goods) or are likely to deteriorate or expire rapidly (e.g. dairy products);
  • for the supply of audio or video recordings or computer software which were unsealed by the consumer;
  • for the supply of newspapers, periodicals or magazines; or
  • for gaming, betting or lottery services.
  • Note that the guidance issued by the BERR (previously DTI) states that preparatory work to providing a service (such as setting up an account) cannot be equated to the carrying out of a service. This may impact on the right of businesses to say that the provision of a service has begun and therefore cannot be cancelled.

 

It's a real shame that the OFT in their new guidance has specified this BIN practice, I think because they expect a lot of the auction-style format to be carried out by private sellers and BIN by traders, but all they did is confuse the issues further. :mad:

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We don't know yet whether this is a business seller or if the goods are even new. It is possible, though very unusual, to be a powerseller without being in business. I have known people sell off the contents of their house through ebay before emigrating and therefore become powersellers over the course of a few months.

 

For the benefit of the OP I'll repeat - this is unlikely to come to anything.

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No, I agree, I did give the proviso in my first post. ;-)

 

And I also agree that it is unlikely to come to anything, but I still think that someone who behaves likes this should get their knuckles rapped to stop them doing it again. :-)

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All the seller has done so far is react in an immature and inappropriate fashion to the disappointment at losing a sale. In ebay's world he is the wronged party and I have to agree that it's fairly difficult to bid on something by mistake.

 

It's not rocket science to realise you shouldn't bid if you don't intend to buy. That said, genuine mistakes are made and people do change their minds (buyers remorse). A good trader expects this and would expend as little time as possible dealing with such things so they can get on with business of selling. The problem with some ebay traders is that they have very little knowledge of the world outside and exist solely within an online community which has developed a set of 'rules' and accepted practice which they mistakenly believe matter to the rest of us.

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To be a Powerseller you have to be registered on ebay as a business.

 

This seller is being petty and pathetic and deserves to be ignored.

 

If you also sell on ebay then place this 'seller' on your 'Blocked Bidders List' as there is the possibility that this fool will bid on your items as an 'Auction Wrecker' to cause you grief.

 

As do most sellers on ebay,I have the occasional non paying bidder--most of whom have a genuine reason for not completing the sale--and it's just a case of cancelling the sale,requesting return of selling fees from ebay and moving on.

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In reply to Hightail: You're absolutely right. I remember following a thread on the e-bay community forum and my goodness, the amount of tripe that was being stated as law was quite scary!

 

The problem is of course compounded by e-bay themselves, who want all the money they can get with none of the responsability. In so doing, they will quite happily skirt around the law (who pays for P&P in case of faulty goods, for example) and it is hardly a surprise that so many people get caught by it. The whole "auction" thing for example, had caused so many problems... They are not an auction, they are not ruled by auction rules, and yet, a lot of the issues derive from that misunderstanding as people see "auction" and think (understandably) "ah, it's an auction!". :-|

 

As for the seller, we'll have to agree to disagree, we don't know whether this is a one-off or something he does as a matter of course. As a powerseller, one would expect him to have had this happening to him a few times before, and it isn't beyond the realms of imagination to think that he does actually does this regularly, hence my comment. Either way, his reaction is just more than immature and inappropriate, it is in fact unlawful (no better than the "restocking fees", if you think about it) and I do believe that something like that has to be stopped dead in its tracks. :-(

 

Whether it is difficult to bid on something by mistake is a moot point, tbh. It happens, whether by mistake, impulse buy, whatever...

 

Since we're on a more generalised chat about e-bay, I didn't mention this to start with so as not to muddy the waters further, but how many people realise that the "your bid is a legally binding contract" is in fact not binding at all? Not a lot, I bet. Yet, the law on when a contract is formed is quite clear, you know, the whole offering, acceptance, consideration stuff.

 

Are online contracts legally binding?

 

 

 

Contracts that are formed via the internet are legally binding and enforceable providing that the following conditions are satisfied:

  • offer - one party must contract with the other, eg offer to buy goods
  • acceptance - the other party must expressly accept the offer
  • intention to create legal relations - both parties to the contract must intend the contract to be legally binding
  • consideration - in England and Northern Ireland there should be some consideration being exchanged between the parties, eg money paid for goods

E-bay bids fail systematically under the "consideration". Until the bidder has paid, there is actually no contract formed. That is why some sellers demand immediate payment and can sell the goods elsewhere if you don't pay straightaway: These are the only ones which properly comply with the law. Edited by Bookworm
clarifying who I was replying to, as Midenmess replied before me. :-D

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"your bid is a legally binding contract"

 

Love that phrase. What contract isn't? :)

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Well, anything that contains terms which are unlawful under the UTCCR, for starters... :-D

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Fair 'nuff:) but I still laugh whenever people tell me I'm entering into a 'legally binding' contract. I'm entering into a contract, the word means an agreement subject to contract law.

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I acknowledge that I was mistaken in my understanding of the legal status of the ebay site. My apologies for passing on mistaken information.

 

There is however another issue here, and one that sellers, myself included on the few occasions I have sold things, is the proliferation of idiots who spoil auctions (word used advisedly) and thereby make what can be a useful trading facility a potential nightmare.

 

I still contend its very difficult to buy something by mistake - you might change your mind, see it cheaper elsewhere, have an unexpected bill to pay. These are not mistakes, they are reasons why a transaction cannot be completed. Some buyers reasons may well be very genuine, some may be feckless with a string of negative feedback.

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Oh, not disagreeing you there!!! I quite agree there are a lot of idiots about... but as I have argued elsewhere on this forum, that doesn't give anyone the right to take them for a ride because of their idiocy. ;-)

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UPDATE HE HAS A ( ME ) BESIDES HIS NAME ON EBAY NOT SURE IF THIS MAKES HIM A POWERSELLER, BUT THIS IS HIS REPLY TO MY REFUSAL TO PAY HIM ANYTHING

 

If you call a payment of £50 greedy? I am sorry I think we have been more than fair if you wish us to proceed with court action then fine so be it. you have 5 further days to collect and pay for the van, if this part of the contract you entered into is not met then a claim will be filed which will cost you a further £30 if this is not resolved a court date will be set at the Local County Court in Huntingdon to which you will be required to attend. You have made your intentions clear that you will not be paying however we will honour our side of the contract. when the time allowed for collection has expired you will be billed £25 a day for storage costs until the van is sold we will also claim for the difference in the final sale price of the van from the under bidder to you ie if it sells for £645 we will bill you £175. I am well with in my rights not to sell the van untill after the matter is resolved in court. However the sales space is urgently needed so I will be selling the van. The van will be relisted on sunday 12th July.( IT IS RELISTED NOW ) Your account has been blocked from bidding on any of our auctions now or in the future.

I will also point out to you that using "without prejudice" does not cover you for personal remarks only possible actions or intentions.

No further emails will be sent you are aware of our offer £50 paid towards our wasted time, our extra storage costs and the listing fees if the van is not collected with in the next 5 days.

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Ahhh - a vehicle. I take it this was going to be cash on collection as no powerseller would be stupid enough to accept any other form of payment.

 

If so, the buyer turns up, checks the goods and only pays if he's happy. Yes, a classified ad is just like any such ad you'd put in the local paper. Would you take someone to court for the cost of the ad if you listed something in the paper, got the phone call, promised to give the caller first refusal and then they didn't turn up?

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must admit like most sellers on ebay i have had numerous people bid and not pay, but not once have i even thought about taking someone to court, especially not for £50, it wouldnt be worth your time or effort, this looks like a desperate last attempt to try and get the money out of you, now while i agree that they shouldnt try and force you to pay, i would be as peeved as they are that you haven't, if i was you i would just resend your original email mentioning the fact you have so many days to cancel any purchase

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I think we are unable to give much more advie without better information.

 

What was the auction format?

 

Did you retract the bid before the auction finished?

 

Did you have any contact with the seller after the auction ended?

 

How long was it before you let the seller know of your mistake in making the purchase?

 

When did the seller start making threats?

 

If we kbnow the background we can give some sensible advice. The seller might file a court claim, and you will need all of thiws information to defend yourself against it.

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The seller might file a court claim

 

In which case his claim will be for £8. That's the cost of listing a vehicle on ebay. A classified ad with them costs £12.99 and runs for a set time so any number of prospective buyers can respond.

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