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eBay Sellers Rights


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In 2008 I purchased a top of the range Sharp Plasma Flat screen television. With the deal I was give a FREE Sharp Blu-ray Player with Built in Wireless (WLAN) connection. I didn’t want the player but accepted it as it was part of the bundle deal. I have never opened the unit and it remained in my garage until recently.

 

I recently sold this unit on eBay and I was delighted! The buyer paid on time and I dispatched the item via myHermes. This is where my problems have started.

 

The person I who brought the item is in the media production and broadcast profession. He apparently connected the Sharp Blu-ray Player up and it did not perform as it should have done. Over the next 3 days I received the following message from him:

 

On Day 1, I received this message
:::: “Hi, not very happy, have tried this unit and not all functions work properly, I have taken it to a broadcast engineer to have it checked and he has noticed two cracks in the power board, it looks like poor manufacture---one crack has dislodged the current feedback IC and now will never work properly again. Under these circumstances I will want my money back and the return postage to you”

 

On Day 2, I received this message
:::: “I have sent you two e mails regarding the Blu-ray Player you sent, but so far no response and now not happy, this item was faulty before you sent it and I have proof from a broadcast engineer of the fact. If you feel no returns covers you, I have to tell you it does not as the item was (not fit for purpose) the legal term”

 

On Day 3, I received this message
:::: “When your unit arrived you stated it was brand new, however it was in an open box not sealed as it would have been if new! this unit had been opened so not new in unopened box as stated. When I put this unit on test the scaling was unstable after about 1 hour and got worse when left on, I have an independent engineer who does work for me, I asked him to have a look at the unit, he took the top cover off to see if there was anything loose, he found part of the power supply printed board broken, this was a manufacturing fault from new or the unit has been played about with. In law I do not have to prove the unit was brand new, you have to prove it was ! as per your description, sale of good act states, brand new is as if purchased from the retailer, this clearly was not the case, as well as it being faulty”

 

Do I have to give this man a refund? Before you answer that let me give you an example. Let’s assume I purchased the same item from John Lewis. I take this unit home and discover it wasn’t functioning in the manner I expected it to function. I get my screw driver and open it up to see if I can see anything obvious. I can’t so I take it back to John Lewis and tell them I opened it up and took the cover off. Do you think it is acceptable for John Lewis to give me a refund?

 

I feel I do not need to give this man a refund because he opened up the unit, in fact the term I prefer to use is he has “tampered” with it. How do I know he hasn’t created more problems than might have existed Note from his messages, it took him 3 whole days to bring to my attention about the unit not begin as described, “Brand New”, a visual observation not a technical one. Personally I find this a little odd, like he’s found a sure definite route in order to demand a refund.

 

I would happily give this man a refund if he received the Blu-ray Player, plugged it, discovered it wasn’t functioning as he expected, put it back in the box and then simply got in touch with me requesting a refund. But this is not the case, he has tampered with it!

 

I would welcome some advice from my fellow members on this site.

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Initially I'd say yes..You owe him a refund,you sold it as New and therefore this implies that it is in full working order. Its not really fair for someone to buy what they think is item in perfect working condition but doesnt work at all, having said that, he really should of just said it was not working and left it at that, clearly if he had bought it new from a shop and started messing around and opening it up then this may invalidate any warranty.

 

If I were you I'd just reply saying it was in perfect working order and that you believe any damage was caused by his tampering with it and then let him pursue an ebay/paypal case where there are 3 outcomes, they side with you or him or occasionally in grey areas they dont side with either and refund the money (strange but true, Ive had this happen and you both are winners :) )

 

Andy

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It depends on whether you are a private seller or not. If you are, then it depends on how you described the unit in your listing. The goods have to be "as described" and that's all. Please post either a copy of the listing (screenshot) or a link to the listing and we should be able to advise a bit more precisely.

 

Odds are that yes he has considerably weakened his case by interfering with the goods, he should have contacted you in the 1st instance, but that's kind of irrelevant if your listing isn't up to scratch, that's why we need to see the listing.

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It depends on whether you are a private seller or not. If you are, then it depends on how you described the unit in your listing. The goods have to be "as described" and that's all. Please post either a copy of the listing (screenshot) or a link to the listing and we should be able to advise a bit more precisely.

 

Odds are that yes he has considerably weakened his case by interfering with the goods, he should have contacted you in the 1st instance, but that's kind of irrelevant if your listing isn't up to scratch, that's why we need to see the listing.

 

Although when it comes to electronic goods the above may be irrelevant, the seller says its perfect working order but the buyer says it dont work, one persons word against another.

 

It is rather odd the person started to tamper with it, best bet would of been to leave it well alone.

 

Andy

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The main issue is that, now he's opened it up, you can no longer make a claim under any warranty from the place where you purchased it. More than likely there was some kind of label or seal on the unit which has been broken when he opened it, and there's almost certainly some kind of marking on the unit or in the documentation stating "Warranty void if opened".

I would advise him that, whilst you would have been happy to accept a return and refund were the unit in a condition you could claim under the warranty for, now that he has tampered with the unit and invalidated any retailer/manufacturer warranty, you are unfortunately unable to accept a return and refund his money. Perhaps provide him with a copy of the purchase receipt and invite him to take it to his local branch of the retailer for a repair or replacement, however they will likely advise him that he has voided the warranty by opening the unit.

 

Unfortunately, you're likely to get Negative feedback from this. To be honest, even if you refunded his money it sounds like he'll leave negative feedback anyway.

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Which is why we need the description. ;-)

 

Well.we have to assume the description said new and working order, theres no way to prove whether it was or wasnt working when it arrived at the buyer.

 

Andy

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You know what they say about ASSUMING, it makes an ASS of U and Me... :razz: Thing is, in the case of private seller, the description is everything, so assuming is not a good idea.

 

I once bought a laptop off e-bay. Because it was a laptop, I "assumed" it would be able to connect to the Internet... it didn't. Turned out the seller hadn't said anything about that, so I was stuck with what amounted to basically an expensive typewriter. Expensive lesson, thoroughly learnt.

 

Until OP provides actual content of the listing, I'm withholding judgment and advice, as we could all be wasting our time otherwise. :)

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You know what they say about ASSUMING, it makes an ASS of U and Me... :razz: Thing is, in the case of private seller, the description is everything, so assuming is not a good idea.

 

I once bought a laptop off e-bay. Because it was a laptop, I "assumed" it would be able to connect to the Internet... it didn't. Turned out the seller hadn't said anything about that, so I was stuck with what amounted to basically an expensive typewriter. Expensive lesson, thoroughly learnt.

 

Until OP provides actual content of the listing, I'm withholding judgment and advice, as we could all be wasting our time otherwise. :)

Well..it is rather irrelevant, I can put an ebay ad that says "Brand New Blu ray palyer, works perfectly", when I know full well that it doesnt work so ultimately it comes down to my word against the buyers (as do most ebay/paypal disputes).

 

Anything sold on ebay is assumed to be working perfectly (the same as an item bought in a shop) UNLESS the descriptiopn says something like spares and repairs or unchecked which I guess the seller could of put but its rather unlikely because if so then why is the buyer complaining.

 

Andy

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You're looking at it the wrong way round: if you say "works perfectly" and it doesn't, then the balance of probabilities will go against you. If you didn't say anything of the kind and it doesn't work, then the onus was on the buyer to check beforehand.

 

Let's be clear on this: if the seller is a private seller, then ALL he has to do is list accurately about the goods. He can, I'm afraid to say, lie by omission.

 

Anything sold on ebay is assumed to be working perfectly (the same as an item bought in a shop) UNLESS the descriptiopn says something like spares and repairs or unchecked
"assumed" again. That is simply not true when it comes to private sales. Assumed has no place in law. There is nothing in SOGA that covers assumptions, simple as that.

 

Put it this way: say our seller here (who's gone very quiet btw) indeed never opened the box, goods still sealed. He advertises in good faith, says "never opened". True. Buyers buys, opens box, tries out machine (in a more conventional manner than he has so far!), nada. Can he claim the seller lied to him, misdescribed the goods? No. If he had contacted the seller and said: "does it work?" all the seller could have said is: "i don't know, it's never been opened" and the buyer then takes his chances.

 

All this, I repeat, is solely in the course of a private sale, it's very different in the case of a business to private sale. But on e-bay, "new" is not the same as "brand new", and something can be new and defective.

 

In practice, of course, and all of the above set aside, I don't think our OP has much of a chance, as e-bay will more than likely side with the buyer anyway and refund him, whichever the rights or wrongs of the matter. :-(

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The main issue is that, now he's opened it up, you can no longer make a claim under any warranty from the place where you purchased it. More than likely there was some kind of label or seal on the unit which has been broken when he opened it, and there's almost certainly some kind of marking on the unit or in the documentation stating "Warranty void if opened".

I would advise him that, whilst you would have been happy to accept a return and refund were the unit in a condition you could claim under the warranty for, now that he has tampered with the unit and invalidated any retailer/manufacturer warranty, you are unfortunately unable to accept a return and refund his money. Perhaps provide him with a copy of the purchase receipt and invite him to take it to his local branch of the retailer for a repair or replacement, however they will likely advise him that he has voided the warranty by opening the unit.

 

Unfortunately, you're likely to get Negative feedback from this. To be honest, even if you refunded his money it sounds like he'll leave negative feedback anyway.

 

Personally I would tend to agree with this.

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In practice, of course, and all of the above set aside, I don't think our OP has much of a chance, as e-bay will more than likely side with the buyer anyway and refund him, whichever the rights or wrongs of the matter. :-(

 

I also tend to agree with this too..

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You also must be aware that it is a common trick to buy something on Ebay via PayPal in a private sale, falsely claim it was broken and swap out your good machine for their broken one (or not return it at all and still claim they have)

 

I've heard of similar happen with quite expensive goods and the returned item is clearly not the one sent out, being bashed about and even having different serial numbers to the one sent out.

 

It's always a "Broadcast Engineer" too that looks at it, as if to add weight to their story.

 

Be cautious with this one - see if you can glean the serial numbers of your original from your original invoice or supplier so you have something to check against should it be returned.

 

Do they live far? Can you try to arrange personal collection of the goods and so inspect them before they are returned?

 

This becomes a bit of a game to suss out the buyer without inducing a full claim and PayPal's lack of checks on claims.

 

Maybe a tactic is to offer the item to be collected and taken for repair?

 

I'd also speak to PayPal and ask their advice about this - tell them you are concerned that the item will not be returned as supplied and ask them to make sure any refunds are only given after they've been checked. Also, make sure you have no money in the account so it is only PayPal who risks loosing money here should it be fraudulent.

 

I think the "fault" of decent people is to think too much about buyer/seller rights assuming (ASS of U and ME) that the claim itself is genuine. Don't assume anything...

 

All sounds very iffy to me - the buyer first throws you some information to make him sound knowledgable and then is VERY quick to push a claim and rush it through, almost as if he is trying to generate material to show he has tried everything and a PayPal claim is the last resort.

 

Have you emailed back in a resonable and calm manor?

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Let's be clear on this: if the seller is a private seller, then ALL he has to do is list accurately about the goods. He can, I'm afraid to say, lie by omission.

 

 

To be perfectly clear, a misleading omission is a criminal offence because of The Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008 except for a limited number of defences allowed by Section 17.

 

Section 26 of the 2008 Regulations applies Part 8 of the Enterprise Act so a remarkably exact definition of a consumer is therefore provided:

 

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

 

Really, you wonder? eBay's advice would not be allowed to get away with misleading, would it?

 

The legislation is there to see for yourself if you go the extra mile.

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  • 2 weeks later...
You also must be aware that it is a common trick to buy something on Ebay via PayPal in a private sale, falsely claim it was broken and swap out your good machine for their broken one (or not return it at all and still claim they have)

 

I've heard of similar happen with quite expensive goods and the returned item is clearly not the one sent out, being bashed about and even having different serial numbers to the one sent out.

 

It's always a "Broadcast Engineer" too that looks at it, as if to add weight to their story.

 

Be cautious with this one - see if you can glean the serial numbers of your original from your original invoice or supplier so you have something to check against should it be returned.

 

Do they live far? Can you try to arrange personal collection of the goods and so inspect them before they are returned?

 

This becomes a bit of a game to suss out the buyer without inducing a full claim and PayPal's lack of checks on claims.

 

Maybe a tactic is to offer the item to be collected and taken for repair?

 

I'd also speak to PayPal and ask their advice about this - tell them you are concerned that the item will not be returned as supplied and ask them to make sure any refunds are only given after they've been checked. Also, make sure you have no money in the account so it is only PayPal who risks loosing money here should it be fraudulent.

 

I think the "fault" of decent people is to think too much about buyer/seller rights assuming (ASS of U and ME) that the claim itself is genuine. Don't assume anything...

 

All sounds very iffy to me - the buyer first throws you some information to make him sound knowledgable and then is VERY quick to push a claim and rush it through, almost as if he is trying to generate material to show he has tried everything and a PayPal claim is the last resort.

 

Have you emailed back in a resonable and calm manor?

 

This works, I done it

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