Ebay. Do 'buyers' often use 'not as described' to get free items?

Jules

Well-known Member
I just used ebay for only the second time in my life. The first time I got shafted buying broken speakers that I had to repair. Ebay were useless and I decided never to buy from ebay again.

10 years later I try to sell something....A practically brand new Follow Focus for my camera... used once and boxed back up as new. The exact make and model was clearly in the advert.
I pay for first class post and seller immediately claims 'item not as decribed'.

Unfortunately I took a picture of the box which shows the item with parts that are not included in the box... they are optional accessories. The buyer used that to make his claim.

The product is still sold buy Amazon, yet buyer said he wanted to return it so he could buy from somewhere else.... and get EXACTLY the same contents.

Meanwhile, Ebay keep the selling fees and make me pay return postage. It all stinks!!

I've got a lot on at the moment, and very conscious that the buyer could ruin my reputation by leaving bad feedback, so I make points politely and offer to let the buyer keep the item with a full refund if they still feel its not as described. I may be a fool, but I'm also a decent person and hoped the buyer might turn around and say ... "hey its ok" lets split it.

Nope... they just said pretty much "great thanks".

Needless to say I won't be using Ebay as a buyer or seller again. 2 transactions and 2 terrible experiences.

Is this common... buyers exploiting ebay rules which heavily favour the buyer (unless it seams you're an honest buyer) to obtain products for free?
 

lowmans100

Well-known Member
I think your expectation of complete strangers, or anyone to act the same way you do is just naive.

The buyer showed their true colours when they reported the problem with the item, but you then offered them the item for free, gambling they would act the way you would.

Admittedly, you have been very unlucky to be 'taken' both times you have used Ebay.
 

Spendy26

Well-known Member
They dont keep any sellers fee. Once returned and ebay has refunded all Ebay and Paypal fees are refunded you dont pay fees on returns. They may charge you for the cost of shipping it back though. Also if you had refunded them and they left negative feedback its something Ebay would remove they have done it for me many times when people have messed me around.
 

Jules

Well-known Member
They dont keep any sellers fee. Once returned and ebay has refunded all Ebay and Paypal fees are refunded you dont pay fees on returns.
ok.. didn't know that. Thanks.

It just looked to me like I received 10% less than the sale price in my Paypal account, then when I hit refund in Ebay, it refunded the full sale price to the buyer.
 

Desmo

Distinguished Member
You offered a complete stranger an item for free and expected them no to take it?

OK, if somebody offered me that I'd feel obliged to decline and come to a fair deal...but that's one hell of a gamble you took.
 

Fergal82

Well-known Member
Rule 1 of eBay - treat everyone as if they are a scam artist unless you get evidence to prove otherwise.

Most people aren’t by the way but you have no idea who you’re dealing with so need to have your scam radar in boost mode.

I’ve no idea what a follow focus is so not sure what money we’re talking but anything electrical I sell I make sure it’s well photographed and I always make note of the serial number.

I’ve had a couple of people try to scam me on brand new sealed items (I’m guessing they wanted to swap their broken product X with my brand new product X for free) As soon as I mentioned that I’d be cross referencing the serial numbers I never heard from them again - funny that!
 

Jules

Well-known Member
You offered a complete stranger an item for free and expected them no to take it?
To be fair, I offered it in the context of countering their erroneous claim and asking if they still felt it was 'not as described'. They just ignored that part.

Clearly this wasn't a mistaken buyer, but someone taking advantage of someones good nature.

I don't believe most people are that dishonest, but Ebay seams to have more than their fair share of them.
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I agree with the OP's general point, but I must say that some Sellers are disingenuous with their listings to put it mildly.

I recently bought a used Pioneer CD recorder. Seller described it as in "excellent condition" and showed it pictured with its original box, remote and instruction manuals.

Item turns up and it's filthy with a noticeable (apart from in his photos) dent in the top panel. Underneath is coated in hair (probably from being sited on carpet) and there are indeed five instruction manuals, but none of them are in English!

I know that there are free downloads for instruction manuals, but it's just so much easier to have a paper copy to hand when you're sat next to the unit compared to scrolling through multiple pages on a PC monitor. I had to spend an extra £6 for a printed laser copy from another Ebay Seller.

If I had listed the CD recorder, I would not have described it as "excellent condition". I would have mentioned the ding in the top panel. I would have cleaned it before sending it. And I would definitely say that there was no instruction manual in English!
 

shoestring25

Well-known Member
I always ask the buyer to return the item and you'd be amazed at the number of people who suddenly dont want to return it but just wanted a discount.

Dont be afraid of getting negative feedback from someone whos trying to rip you off. not getting ripped off is more important
 

shoestring25

Well-known Member
I agree with the OP's general point, but I must say that some Sellers are disingenuous with their listings to put it mildly.

I recently bought a used Pioneer CD recorder. Seller described it as in "excellent condition" and showed it pictured with its original box, remote and instruction manuals.

Item turns up and it's filthy with a noticeable (apart from in his photos) dent in the top panel. Underneath is coated in hair (probably from being sited on carpet) and there are indeed five instruction manuals, but none of them are in English!

I know that there are free downloads for instruction manuals, but it's just so much easier to have a paper copy to hand when you're sat next to the unit compared to scrolling through multiple pages on a PC monitor. I had to spend an extra £6 for a printed laser copy from another Ebay Seller.

If I had listed the CD recorder, I would not have described it as "excellent condition". I would have mentioned the ding in the top panel. I would have cleaned it before sending it. And I would definitely say that there was no instruction manual in English!
yes some sellers just list everything "as new" even when bits are missing or its got damage
 

Derek S-H

Distinguished Member
I must say that I still use Ebay for Music and Films on disc and, generally speaking, they're in good condition at a competitive price.

I try not to buy anything electrical unless it's from a shop rather than an individual, new and comes with a warranty. Unfortunately, CD recorders are a bit of a specialist item and only TEAC do new ones now (and even then they're not great according to the reviews).

Anyone want an Alesis ML-9600 Hard Disc Recorder?! Far too complicated for me and I never got to grips with it. At least this guy is honest about the condition:


Look at that price! And it doesn't even work properly, mine does!
 

Indiana Jones

Moderator
I have been using eBay for over a decade as both a buyer and seller and in all that time I can only think of two problems, one was from someone claiming the DVD I sent them was broken as it wouldn’t play in their player, I then pointed out the bit in my listing where it said it was a US Region 1 title and compatible equipment was required but instead of just admitting his mistake he doubled down on the ‘its broken’ line and finally I agreed to refund him after I received it back, never heard from him again.

The second issue was someone reporting the item not as described and they were right as I had accidentally put two controllers in the listing when it only came with one so offered a full refund once I had the item back or partial refund so he could buy another controller from elsewhere and he went with the partial refund route and seemed quite understanding about the whole thing.

As in life you will come across people that are just not very pleasant but in my experience only two issues out of 1000+ isn’t too bad however my first port of call is normally the classifieds here.
 

Reyreyrey

Active Member
I've used ebay for a very long time and even worked for a company which traded on behalf of private individuals on there. Sold 1000s of items on there.

If I'm selling a high value item for myself. Lets say something with a resale value of £400, I'd put a buy it now value of say £450 and add the Best offer option. I'd then wait for a sensible offer and look carfeully at that persons feedback before accepting.

I'd rather accept an offer of £390 from someone with a long buying history and perfect feedback than take the risk with someone offering £410 without any feedback history.
 

Fergal82

Well-known Member
I've used ebay for a very long time and even worked for a company which traded on behalf of private individuals on there. Sold 1000s of items on there.

If I'm selling a high value item for myself. Lets say something with a resale value of £400, I'd put a buy it now value of say £450 and add the Best offer option. I'd then wait for a sensible offer and look carfeully at that persons feedback before accepting.

I'd rather accept an offer of £390 from someone with a long buying history and perfect feedback than take the risk with someone offering £410 without any feedback history.
I’ve mentioned this before in the eBay rant thread but why oh why do people still send messages asking “what’s your best price mate?” when the item has best offer on it!!?? Drives me bonkers
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
I’ve mentioned this before in the eBay rant thread but why oh why do people still send messages asking “what’s your best price mate?” when the item has best offer on it!!?? Drives me bonkers
The best offer thing does annoy me as a buyer as I feel it's like grasping in the dark.

First, I don't know if the seller is thinking the best offer is for more or less than the starting or current price.
Say it's starting at £100, do I think I'll offer £80 and see what they say, or are they setting £100 as their lowest start and expecting more, so an offer would need to be £130 before they might be interested.
I have no idea.
And all you get back is the offer has been refused, and two more chances to make offers.

At least give me a clue before I start offering you something, in person you would get feedback from any offer so you knew where you stood.
 

Wahreo

Distinguished Member
The majority of eBay buyers are fine. It’s the people who use petty excuses that spoil it for everyone which is why I don’t sell on there anymore. I just bin the items, put them on Facebook marketplace or just keep things hoping someday I’ll need them.

People are so dishonest about things on eBay. Every excuse under the sun. The bottom line is that they weren’t brought up the way I and other good people were and don’t have a conscience.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
The best offer thing does annoy me as a buyer as I feel it's like grasping in the dark.

First, I don't know if the seller is thinking the best offer is for more or less than the starting or current price.
Say it's starting at £100, do I think I'll offer £80 and see what they say, or are they setting £100 as their lowest start and expecting more, so an offer would need to be £130 before they might be interested.
I have no idea.
And all you get back is the offer has been refused, and two more chances to make offers.

At least give me a clue before I start offering you something, in person you would get feedback from any offer so you knew where you stood.
I've never considered that the buy it now was a minimum price with an invitation to offer more.
 

IronGiant

Moderator
Ah, thanks, yes in an auction that could be an invitation either way.
 

Tempest

Distinguished Member
Indeed.

Is the offer meant to say, offer me a bit less and you never know I might accept.
Or, offer me a bit more, and I'll accept this price right now, and complete the sale.

Personally, I see this button as a offer less and see if the seller will take it.
I would still however like more feedback than just "my offer was rejected"

If it's £100, they won't take less than £90, I offer £70 and get's rejected
So I try £80 and it's rejected, so last chance I try £85 and it's rejected that's it. I'm out of offers.

If after my 1st offer of £75 I got a message back saying the minimum acceptable offer has been set at £90 at least I'd know. Not waste my time, and perhaps allow me to offer the £90 rather than miss out on the item.
 

blue max

Distinguished Member
Indeed.

Is the offer meant to say, offer me a bit less and you never know I might accept.
Or, offer me a bit more, and I'll accept this price right now, and complete the sale.

Personally, I see this button as a offer less and see if the seller will take it.
I would still however like more feedback than just "my offer was rejected"

If it's £100, they won't take less than £90, I offer £70 and get's rejected
So I try £80 and it's rejected, so last chance I try £85 and it's rejected that's it. I'm out of offers.

If after my 1st offer of £75 I got a message back saying the minimum acceptable offer has been set at £90 at least I'd know. Not waste my time, and perhaps allow me to offer the £90 rather than miss out on the item.
I think you can set the auction to automatically reject any offer below a certain discount amount. The seller probably didn't even see it.
 

Reyreyrey

Active Member
Indeed.

Is the offer meant to say, offer me a bit less and you never know I might accept.
Or, offer me a bit more, and I'll accept this price right now, and complete the sale.

Personally, I see this button as a offer less and see if the seller will take it.
I would still however like more feedback than just "my offer was rejected"

If it's £100, they won't take less than £90, I offer £70 and get's rejected
So I try £80 and it's rejected, so last chance I try £85 and it's rejected that's it. I'm out of offers.

If after my 1st offer of £75 I got a message back saying the minimum acceptable offer has been set at £90 at least I'd know. Not waste my time, and perhaps allow me to offer the £90 rather than miss out on the item.
Why would you make a £70 starting offer when the seller is looking for a price close to £100? You presumably already know the item is worth far more than £70 as you'd be willing to offer £90 for it.
 

Reyreyrey

Active Member
I’ve mentioned this before in the eBay rant thread but why oh why do people still send messages asking “what’s your best price mate?” when the item has best offer on it!!?? Drives me bonkers
In the item description you can state no direct offers via message and you can give sellers a rough idea of how low you'd be willing to go price wise. Eg All resonable offers within 90% of buy it now price will be considered.

If you still get these questions, you'll know to avoid those buyers as they don't read item descriptions. Ebay is a good place to trade if you know how to weed out those who are likely to give you a headache.
 

Greg Hook

Moderator & Reviewer
Indeed.

Is the offer meant to say, offer me a bit less and you never know I might accept.
Or, offer me a bit more, and I'll accept this price right now, and complete the sale.

Personally, I see this button as a offer less and see if the seller will take it.
I would still however like more feedback than just "my offer was rejected"

If it's £100, they won't take less than £90, I offer £70 and get's rejected
So I try £80 and it's rejected, so last chance I try £85 and it's rejected that's it. I'm out of offers.

If after my 1st offer of £75 I got a message back saying the minimum acceptable offer has been set at £90 at least I'd know. Not waste my time, and perhaps allow me to offer the £90 rather than miss out on the item.
It doesn’t work like that. When you create a buy it now listing you can set the best offer settings. You set a minimum amount where offers below are automatically rejected, above and you get sent a message and a second amount which would see an offer automatically accepted.
 

hippo99

Distinguished Member
Indeed.

Is the offer meant to say, offer me a bit less and you never know I might accept.
Or, offer me a bit more, and I'll accept this price right now, and complete the sale.

Personally, I see this button as a offer less and see if the seller will take it.
I would still however like more feedback than just "my offer was rejected"

If it's £100, they won't take less than £90, I offer £70 and get's rejected
So I try £80 and it's rejected, so last chance I try £85 and it's rejected that's it. I'm out of offers.

If after my 1st offer of £75 I got a message back saying the minimum acceptable offer has been set at £90 at least I'd know. Not waste my time, and perhaps allow me to offer the £90 rather than miss out on the item.
I thought with a ‘Make an offer’ auction, the seller can send you back a counter offer? At least that’s what I’ve had when I’ve made someone an offer.

Eg I’ve offered £70, & seller rejects but counter offers £80. If I accept the counter offer I pay £80. If not I can make another offer.
 

Fergal82

Well-known Member
You’re better going the auction route anyway I find, items usually go for what they’re worth (unless you’ve misspelt the listing and no one sees it)
 

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