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do Ebay sellers really have any rights ?

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I have been a memebr on Ebay and Paypal for years and have been buying and selling fine with good praise.

Recently I had a few buyers being difficult, one even trying to extort thigns out of me or threatening to get a refund.


Now my seller rights have been withdrawn due to the DSR system, and naturally I was shocked. As I was actually the one being bullied here and suffering lost time, returned damaged goods expenses as well as money being held by Paypal whenever one of these buyers decided to open a case.


A lady in Top Customer Support (hmm) explained it is because 4 low scores on deliveries. I explained it was during the bad weather period and also MyHermes was the courier I was using, who ended up having internal problems and tons of people suffered delays. And I can substantiate this via MyHermes. But she said she wasn’t interested as I chose the courier and its my responsibility no matter what.

The real biter is that I had to refund on two items in exactly the same way you have said. they told me to refund and then later appeal. I did and weeks later I have had no reply.


Just before they closed my selling ability, they held an item to the sum of £930 from my paypal account for weeks ! Even though it was past the 45 day period of a buyers submitting a claim. Even though the buyer contradicted them self and back tacked. Eventually after hours on the phone with Ebay I got the case ruled in my favour. But even then they told me it is held against me, as the case was opened in the first place is a negative on my ratings.


Now the last PC system I sold, which was throughly tested and safely packed, is receiving a complaint form the buyer, who has already twice changed there story about what the problem is and also has not followed my advice and on top of that has lied in the resolution response saying I am not responding to them. Even though I have proof of sending them replies as well as personal emails. I even sent them a pre-paid return postage label. Which they have not bothered to use.

Yet again £240 is deducted from my paypal, I am left wandering what is going on and if they will once again just side with the buyer and demand I refund them at my expense.


If they bother to take into account my feedback which is full of praise from good buyers, including for systems. And even recently where the courier damaged the system I sent out a new replacement system. In fact even the buyer who tried it on for £930 later retracted there negative feedback and put in feedback full of praise, and apologized over the matter.


Yet Ebay say they don’t care, and they wont budge an inch or even look at my case.

Iv even had to refund where the buyer has had a laptop I sent opened and looked at by someone else. Even though I specifically asked to send it back to me. Thats cost me over a hundred pounds alone, as they have damaged it internally. But Ebay are not doing anything about it.


I even had a buyer open a case where I sent them the wrogn spec of the laptop. Thing was it was a high spec of the same model. But they still won it and I had to refund them !


How on earth are sellers meant to be protected ? Where is the equality in this ?

You can see it where ‘Buyer Protection’ is plastered everywhere but no such thing is there for Sellers, other than promises that never seem to be fulfilled.


Am so disappointed and feel victimised by Ebay right now.

Is there any hope, or can that nothing can be done about this, and Ebay can get away with it ?


Iv done thousands of pounds of successful sales and earned Ebay a nice tidy sum. Are sellers that cheap in Ebays eyes ?

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Lots of similar posts on ebay sellers forum. Most end in conclusion of maybe ebay is not for us anymore. It seems ebay doesn't listen.


I changed user id on ebay due to them trying to repeatedly refund me on a case where seller had already refunded eventually albeit. I rang them and said hey this money is not mine please dont take it from the seller, but they didnt listen, so I changed paypal and ebay account so they couldnt pay it in, if that makes sense. Found out last week they money was returned to ebay on old email, so hope that means the seller got it back. Only about 19.00 but they wouldnt listen insisted on refunding it to me, so I closed the old ebay account to stop them. They seem confused often when have to ring them, so a nightmare for seller and buyer at times.


ps. I am a buyer not seller, but read the seller boards anyhow :)

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Hi there =)


Thank you for the reply. Its interesting to see how they even manage to muck things up like that.

Its a good thing you are a good honest buyer. I am sure many would have taken the money, leaving the poor seller none the wiser to worse still unable to get Ebay to listen.


I realised too laye that my problem is I have been selling high value goods, which also carry a fair risk of users tampering/corrupting or simply mis understanding how to use them. I foolishly/niavley thought Ebay would treat cases with due concern and attention. Little did I realise they side with the buyer 9 / 10 as its easier and simpler to do. Or worse still (as your case) mess things up.


For example if I sell a fully set up system and the user manages to corrupt the Operating System and then blames me for 'goods not as described'. Ebay just turn around and say 'we recommend you refund the buyer'.


Iv always been hoenst in every walk of life, and that includs selling. I tried to go above and beyond call of duty, but that surely has to have its limits. There has to be some sort of balance.


I wish there was good decent alternatives to Ebay, but they have monopolised that market and that probably explains there arrogant / buuly approach to treating sellers. As they count on you not being able to go elsewhere.

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I'm of the opinion that eBay now only want businesses selling through them, rather than those of us just trying to get rid of our old bits and pieces. By doing this they can use laws designed for traders/businesses and absolve themselves of any involvement wherever possible. They dictate all the terms, tell you that you will be protected as a seller if you do this, that and the other, yet even if you follow everything to the letter they still go in the buyers favour.


I also find that buyers now expect to deal with you as if you are a business. I recently sold some toner from an old printer that I have long since got rid of. It was obviously bought by someone who deals with such things and was probably hoping to sell it in their shop for a profit, and that I can live with. However, I received an email from them telling me how it should be packed to be sent to them and to include a VAT invoice. I sent a reply telling them that brown paper was my packing of choice, that I did not have the original packaging (which was clearly stated in the item description) and I was just someone getting rid of their old junk, did not run a business and therefore couldn't provide them with a VAT invoice.


I'm thinking of either using another auction site or simply just leaving all my unwanted goods in a box until I have enough to do the dreaded car boot sale! I'm tired now of eBay's attitudes towards its non-business sellers, but I don't suppose they could care less whether or not I continue to sell my stuff through them as the few pence they make from me hardly counts.

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Your so right, and in fact when I spoke to Ebay CS about resolving difficult cusomter issues. They would turn round and say to me "well if you were the buyer and purchasing online what would you expect from the seller". And also insisting that I provide complete and comprehensive support for my sales, just liek an online store. But the fact is your not!

And make matters worse when I raised these issues on the forums, I always got jumped on sellers trying to tell me I deserve it because I am not a business and why should Ebay take me seriously. Even had some say I have to comply withbusiness like trading rules or denying peoples rights.

Thing is Ebay can become a business seller only place if it wants, but its monopolising the space and thus not allowed anything else that caters for the alternative.

I wouldnt be suprised if many of the [problematic] / cheats on Ebay are actually disgruntled sellers.

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Agree completely eBay and paypal are a law to themselves, I now do not waste my time trying to sell anything as it does now usually end up with someone shunting about something and paypal giving them their money back!!!

As rightly pointed out it's not for casual sellers anymore.

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I stopped selling on eBay after I received a condescending message that my "seller performance" rating had dropped below required standards. Read up online to find out why. Turns out a few buyers had rated me poorly because they thought my P&P costs were too high. This really hacked me off since I had only ever charged my exact costs for shipping, namely the exact postage amount plus a small nominal fee of 50p for the materials used (brown paper, bubble wrap, parcel tape etc). It said on the sellers information page that "buyers nowadays expect free postage". They can expect all they want as far as I'm concerned. I have never sold on eBay as a business, just selling a load of unwanted clothes and I shouldn't have to lose money on postage and packing which isn't cheap these days. For someone who got a bargain of a nearly brand new rugby shirt (worth £45) for a tenner to complain that my postage was too expensive at £2.50, that was enough to make me cancel my seller's account. I'll just buy & sell at car boot sales now, it's much easier.

Edited by Cardiff Devil

Please note;


I am not a legally qualified solicitor and all my advice is based on my past experiences in the relevant field. Although my advice will always be sincere, it should be used as guidance only.

I would always recommend to seek professional advice for clarification prior to taking any action.

Please click my reputation 'star' button at the bottom of my profile window on the left if you found my advice useful.

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The eBay User Agreement equally applies to all who subscribe to it, not just some but not to others, and always did. If you take the trouble to read the thing, the terms entitle eBay, from the start, to do more or less whatever they will. If you don't like that, don't subscribe. Simple.


The distinction between a so called "business seller" and any other is bogus anyway.


Section 210 of the Enterprise Act provides the definition according to which the consumer protection legislation must be construed.


A "business" includes


any undertaking in the course of which goods or services are supplied otherwise than free of charge.


Since Meg Whitman quit it was never so much of a secret that eBay would rather be rid of the "private" sellers because the cost to eBay is more than the fees they pay, with too many complaints and disputes to resolve.


If you want to make a difference to that, purchase a majority share of the company. In the mean time they're that much more concerned to avoid going under (which they almost did already) nor should this be so much of a surprise. eBay is a commercial market, a business not a boot sale, run by a vicar.

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I also agree with op relating to some posters on the ebay forums jumping down peoples throats. I still read to learn as was fairly new to ebay, but it did become noticeable to me how one poster could ask the same question as another, maybe a short while apart, and the same well known posters would answer the same question differently. I put it down to a lot of bitterness with some sellers/buyers taking a dislike to a poster, as it became obvious they would use tools to have a looksie, and then prefered to give their opinion of the persons feedback.


Put simply if you dare to leave a seller a neg, then your dead to them.


I have seen some posters ripped apart and experienced it:!:


There are some nice posters too I add:-D

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I could really use some advice regarding eBay sellers rights. Less than a month ago I sold an item on eBay, in the add I stated the item would be sent within one working day AFTER payment had cleared. The day after the buyer bought the item she emailed demanding to know where the item was. I emailed back explaining once the payment was cleared her item would be sent. Sure enough the payment cleared and I sent the item but in this time she opened a case with eBay for non receipt of goods and wanted a refund(less than two weeks after she bought it!). Now she claims she hasnt received the goods so less than a month after purchase eBay have issued her a refund and demand payment off me saying basically the buyer has all the rights. I refused to pay as I did not clear any payment and I believe the person is lying. What can I do about this?



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Do you have any proof of postage? If it was sent by a trackable means then you can check whether or not it has been signed for. I had this when a buyer said that they hadn't received the goods, but I could prove that they were signed for by someone with the same name as her!


If you have no proof of postage or anything that can be tracked then it is your word against theirs, and probably not very much you can do. Check the buyers feedback and see if any sellers have left any messages relating to this person claiming not to have received their parcel. I know it is more difficult now that you can't spot obvious negative feedback, but it might be there somewhere. Perhaps this buyer has made a claim like this before. I will now only send anything by a trackable means of delivery, and now that eBay have put a little box for you to put the tracking number in I have found that queries regarding when an item was sent and non-delivery have reduced to almost zero.


Knowing eBay's love of siding with the buyer whatever happens, you might just have to put this one down to experience and only send things by a trackable means in the future.

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  • 1 year later...

I placed my shop counter on eBay for 'Buy It Now' for £40 with the clearly identified condition that the buyer must collect the item.


An eBay buyer trudyshabbychic1, won the item and duly paid for it. However, in the end, the buyer decided that collecting it was too much trouble for her and she opened a complaint against me to eBay that she hadn't received her item.


The item remains here and has been waiting to be collected for 3 months. I made every effort to assist her to collect or have the item delivered for her item but she was too lazy to be bothered.


eBay, in their wisdom, have decided that because the buyer hasn't collected the item, then she hasn't 'received it' and found in her favour, they themselves refunding the buyers £40. I am refusing to reimburse the £40 to eBay out of principle and as a result have had my buying and selling priviledges withdrawn until I reimburse eBay the £40.


We are still storing this item and insist that eBay have transgressed their own regulations and contract conditions as a sale is a legal contract and I have done everything I was contracted to do.


I submit that as eBay have 'paid' the buyer her £40 without my permission or accepting any remaining liability in any way for this item, they are now the owners and I am pursuing them to collect the item from me and settle the 50p per day storage charges they have incurred. They in return continue to regurgitate the same incorrect 'facts' and send steriotyped 'DEMAND' emails every day!


eBay. consider. that because they hold the ability to suspend the trading powers of members who they don't agree with, can bully those members into surrendering and agreeing with their 'judgements' no matter how illogical, unfair and nonsensical those judjments are.


Wendy Lewis.

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