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eBay Buyer requesting refund despite damaging item

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Hi all,


I sold a very expensive figurine on eBay and sent the item to the seller very well packed first class next day.


Two days later the seller requested a full refund stating the item had been damaged in transit.



I requested photos of the damage which showed the packing box (shipper) squashed on one corner,



the box inside with the figurine inside appeared to have a cut along the corner running up the side of the box.


When I received the item back the damage to the box of the figurine appeared inconsistent with the damage shown to the box that housed the figurine.



What I mean bear with me on this,

The shipping box was squashed on one corner,

however the figurines box had no sign of being squashed and looked like it had been cut.



The figurine box was wrapped in bubble wrap at least 5 or 6 times and I am guessing when the buyer tried to remove the bubble wrap say with scissors he has cut the box.


Do I have any right to claim the buyer has damaged the item and will eBay see the obvious inconsistency?



I have the photos he originally sent as do eBay!

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agree with you

how can the box be cut

the bubble wrap would of had to have been cut in the damage too

and that doesn't happen with a crush incident

its very difficult to spit bubble wrap



unless the box popped under crushing?



do the edges look cut or pulled apart [frayed]

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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IMHO that's not a cut

the box has popped

the internal plastic housing prob cased it when it was dropped

bubblewrap wouldn't protect against that

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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That does not explain why there are no signs whatsoever of depression to the box,

there would be some kind of creasing ripple or depression on the box.



Furthermore the box has not been dropped,

the item is very light and the depression on the outer box could not have been caused by dropping unless this was from a significant height.



A scratch from scissors is not going to be a clean cut it is likely to be jagged and ripped effect in my view.

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what about them trying to open it wrongly.



but as if you say this was a bubblewrapped box within a box?

just doesn't seem possible does it without it being man caused shal we say.



not swapped boxes or something dodgy have they?

you'd know better than me

but isn't the packaging being intact, to a collector, worth as much as the item/

please don't hit Quote...just type we know what we said earlier..


if everyone stopped blindly paying DCA's tomorrow

the biggest financial industry in the UK, DCA;s would collapse overnight.



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trouble is ebay will tell you to refund once they start a SNAD so you will be better off just asking them to return the item for a full refund or they may well trash the thing and then send it back.

Yes, people are stupid in the way they open packages and you have to swallow on this as it being part of ebay life..

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I've just had this issue with ebay and it's been a steep learning curve.

Won't help you here, but will for future and you might still be able to salvage something:


I) you should send any items that are of high value with the appropriate postage costs which means if it is damaged in transit, then you can legitimately raise a case with Royal Mail and ask buyer to return it to Freepost Royal Mail Customer Services with your reference number and not back to you.



Ebay rules are: the buyer has to send the item to where you tell them

- which means they do not have to send it back to you.



put in writing to the buyer to send it to the address Royal mail gives you,

quote reference and ask for a photo of Proof of Posting / certificate of posting to be sent back via ebay before you will refund.



(check out your rights of compensation with Royal Mail as long as you have some form of proof of posting with them - ie the receipt - you could still start the claim although they don't like it being sent back to you first....)


2) Inform ebay about the buyer reporting the item as damaged as soon as the buyer informs you.

Do this via the 'chat online help' as they will send you a transcript of your conversation

- comes in handy when they contradict themselves later on ;)



( always talk to ebay even in follow up and voice your concern that the damage looks like it was done on opening if you suspect that was the case. They will advise what to do as it could be that buyer has done this before and is therefore in breach of behaviour)


3) When in the chat online help,

confirm that ebay won't pay the refund to the buyer until the item is with Royal Mail and ask what if Royal Mail confirm that damage was done on opening / post delivery?



If they confirm they won't pay if Royal Mail confirms item is damaged post delivery, you will then need to pop this on a message to the buyer too - nicely of course.


In your case,

if Royal Mail confirms post delivery damage then you can let ebay know as you should be covered by 'their money back guarantee' which means they've allowed a buyer to return an item and forced "payment under protest" from the seller.



Ebay' T&Cs means its your responsibility until the item is in the buyers hands

- so if damaged in post, they expect you to have adequate insurance and to seek compensation from the courier.



If the courier confirms and proves beyond doubt that it was done post delivery, then you have kept to your description and therefore the buyer must pay.


Another little interesting info I picked up but haven't used myself yet:

Their T&Cs do not trump the Consumer Rights Act 2015 when you are a private seller

- which is basically 'buyer beware'

- unless you sell an item as 'Buy Now', in which case the item will be treated as if you are a trader masquerading as a private seller.



even if you have a person who wants to buy an item at a knock down price,

or you want to end the sale,

never go for the 'buy it now ' option and just have the buyer at the ready to make first bid before you close the sale after their bid, which means you are still protected more ;)


Ebay and the law try to assume that neither side will be left out of pocket, but assumes that you will take all reasonable steps to protect yourself too - hence why they advise you use the correct posting method which will cover your costs.


1) find your receipt and check what you can claim up to, - if you can't find it but know when&where you bought it and it was on your bank card, ask the Post office for Freedom Of Information to supply you with copy of the info for proof of purchase (costs about £10)


2) open a claim immediately with the Royal Mail.


3) inform ebay that you are opening a claim and what to do if they say it's post delivery damage as you believe from the photo's this is the case


4) fingers crossed Royal Mail says yes it is damage while with them and they will pay up or they say it's provable post delivery damage and inform ebay accordingly - via the chat online help and quote earlier transcribes if required. ;)


Good luck - not all is lost.

Edited by Fienderella

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