Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Open Case Automatic Defect UNFAIR

On Sunday, I had a case opened against me for item not as described. I sold some color paddles at auction and the buyer claimed I only sent 11 instead of 12. I realize how easy it is for a buyer to open a case in the Ebay messaging system even if they did not intend too. If you select any of the first 3 topics (or something like that) it will automatically open a case. The only way to avoid this is by choosing OTHER. I had been writing on the back on my business cards for the buyer to choose other if there is a problem with their purchase. My business cards also have my email address on them to contact me as well. I was hoping to avoid a defect by having unnecessary cases opened against me.

Luckily, I had another paddle to send to my buyer. She received it today and left positive feedback. Unfortunately, she has not closed the case.

cheap auction that gave me a defect

Even though the buyer is happy, this case still counts as a defect against me. These defects can add up quickly and I don't think it is fair for Ebay to count it against you if you worked with your buyer and they are happy. Right now, I am at 4 defects because of Item Not as Described cases. Two are the result of one buyer claiming the art work I sent them was not a water color. I refunded half their purchase price and they left positive feedback. The other defect was for a flour container that the post office carelessly broke. Again, I refunded the buyer and they left positive feedback.

I decided I need to be more proactive in preventing these cases. I went to Vistaprint and created these stickers to put on the outside of my packages. If buyers are not going to read my business card and follow my instructions, hopefully they will see this sticker and contact me by choosing other. I'm a good seller and will take care of my buyer and I feel there is no reason at all for cases to be opened.

Do you feel Ebay's defect system is unfair? What proactive measures are you taking to prevent defects?


  1. I have a similar insert I put in every package that instructs the buyer to choose "other" and it also includes my direct email address. I figure that by the time Black Friday rolls around, there will be a lot less sellers on ebay. Here's a letter where someone tried to find out from ebay what exactly happens when you drop below standard:

  2. I hope that helps....
    It's getting to where I'm almost afraid to sell something!..And the idea that Ebay is encouraging buyers to bring NAD if the item arrives late in shipping is absurd! As someone pointed out, even Amazon couldn't control that last Christmas when Millions of packages arrived too late!! SO if a big giant like Amazon cant control how can you or I?

  3. I am emailing the buyer after I send the package. I give them the tracking number and thank them again. My theory is they would be more likely to respond to my message then go the open case route.

  4. Becky, Could you escalate the case and let them know that you have already received positive feedback from that purchase? It is my understanding that the seller needs to escalate the case and that way you will not have a defect. If the buyer closes the case, you will still have a defect. If you know differently, please let me know!

    D Kay emailing the buyer lets people rate you in the communication section. If you don't email, you will automatically get 5 stars. I purchase my postage from eBay and they automatically send the tracking info to the buyer. There is a spot to put a small message on what eBay sends them and I always thank them for their business in that spot.

    1. The buyer already closed the case. I don't know what counts as a defect but it pretty much seems once a case is opened for not as described, you are stuck with a defect unless you escalate and you win.

  5. This new system terrifies me. I had one yesterday open a case as not described. It looks to me like the packaging may have arrived damaged with 1/2 of the items missing if my buyer is being honest. I am likely to end up out the $400 plus a defect. I have been on eBay 12 years. These unintentional defects are going to cost many a good seller their ebay account.

  6. CindyLou, I agree w/you in the advice you gave D Kay. I feel the less unnecessary communication w/the buyer the better. Anything else is just ASKING for a defect. Sad, but true.