Problems, Problems, Problems!


Each day, Judy and I are sure to receive at least one e-mail which would make the hair on one’s neck stand up.  “I received my order today, and thank you for the speedy shipping, however, the item came broken, or it was “not as described”…etc.”   Some of these e-mails are written with good intentions and are reasonable, but every so often watch out and head for the hills.

Our standard operating procedure is for me to call the buyer and start the process of negotiation or reconciliation.  This could be a real experience depending on the tone of the original e-mail, but is a necessary step if you are to succeed selling on the internet.  Most buyers really appreciate the call and as a result, more often than not, it will be easier to reach a settlement with them.

We sell most of our items with insurance, so the broken piece is usually very easy to settle as all that is needed are some required information and pictures.  A refund or credit will be forthcoming rather quickly.  The “item was not as described” issue is one that can be very taxing to settle.  The buyer probably was caught up in the excitement of the auction and probably didn’t want the item to begin with.  So what are we to do?  In most instances, we simply ask the buyer to return the piece for a full refund, case closed.  However, there is the rare customer who just wants blood and will write nasty e-mails or be pretty terse when I speak with them on the phone.  Under these circumstances, Judy will usually contact eBay and discuss our options with the customer service representative, sometimes resulting in a dispute claim being opened.  After considerable time and effort, eBay will rule as to which party is correct (whether right or wrong eBay usually sides with the buyer) and we are forced to eat crow and issue a refund after the item is returned in the condition it was sent.

We recently received an e-mail from Japan stating that some WWII memorabilia the buyer paid $71.00 for was not authentic.  We told him the circumstances surrounding the item and that it was 100% the real deal.  We also asked him to return it for a full refund which he refused to do.  Judy then contacted eBay and we have so far not heard back from this buyer who threatened to sue us even though he is in Japan.  We surmise that he is trying to scam us (not the first time that has happened) by keeping the item and getting the refund.

So you think you have problems and that selling on eBay is a piece of cake, think again.

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Published in: on July 29, 2010 at 4:50 am  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Amen to this. I’ll give you the item to sell and you can deal with all the work and complications. I am happy to pay your fee.


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