Saturday, July 9, 2011

Item not as described

If you sell on Ebay eventually you will get the dreaded "Item I received is not as described" email. It's unavoidable. There is always that one buyer who (I swear) must have a black light and goes over all his purchases with it, or the buyer whose definition of preowned differs greatly from yours or the buyer who simply does not read your description. Whatever the case is, your job is to make them happy. So how does one respond to these emails?

Your first response may be to simply refund the buyer his money. But wait! You don't want to hand over your hard earned money to a possible scam artist. Be especially wary if they want to keep the item but get their money back. If it is truely damaged, why would they want to keep it? In your response, you want to do the following 3 things.

First: apologize
Second: acknowledge error
Third: Solve the problem

Be sure to take the emotion out of it and treat your business as it is: A Business. Be professional.

Before refunding any money, have your item returned. You can pay for return shipping but Ebay does not require you to do so. Once you get your item, be sure to refund through paypal. Also make sure you send the buyer a cancel transaction request. This will insure you get your final evaluation fees back and the item will not show up as unpaid on the buyer's end.

If the item is still sellable, simply relist and wait for that right buyer to come along.


  1. Hi Becky
    I am a seller and a buyer on eBay. I have experienced a not as described item as a buyer. A heave electric juicer arrived in poly envelope wrapped around original box. No protection what so ever. Parts of juicer were broken rendering it unusable. I found out after opening original box and getting juicer out of wrapping that came inside the box. Seller!s return policy was that I pay return shipping and that item cannot be open. I took pictures of broken juicer but I refused to ship it back. Why does she need a broken product on her hands? And why do I need to pay shipping for something that is not usable and broken? And then gave to be out of shipping money?
    She offers ne a replacement without asking to send original back, so I was happy. Replacement arrived in similar poly mailer instead of sturdy box, but at least she bubble wrapped the juicer inside this time. It was not broken. I was finally happy with my purchase but I will not likely to come back to her.
    As a seller I dread similar kind of emails but I always am satisfied with pictures as long as I can identify that it is my product in a picture. And if I did not insure it I refund. If I insure I file claim

  2. Liz Yes I agree If the buyer can show me that the item is damaged by sending me a picture, I will let them keep the item. When I was writing this, I was thinking about the message I got that day. The buyer claimed a sheet I sold her was stained. If in fact it was, I can still resell it as fabric and list the stain if its not too bad. What made me suscipious was she had already left positive feedback for the item. Why would you leave feedback if you were not happy? Doesn't make sense to me. And she had already asked to return it so I didnt even think to ask for a picture. I just told her fine return it.

  3. Yes, that makes sense to me.