When I started using eBay, it was all so new and different, like an online yard sale. I can’t remember what my first purchases was, but after that initial transaction, I was hooked.
I bought. I sold. I loved it. That was 15 years ago. Today, I’ll never shop or sell there again.
I have a weakness: handbags. I love them. I buy them new, use them for a few years (or a few months), and sell them on eBay. I take meticulous care of my bags, which I change with each outfit I wear. Some, I only use a handful of times. All are babied: dust bags, leather conditioner, etc.
I’ve had over 65 transactions on eBay, both buying and selling. In all that time, I’ve never had a bad experience. I follow the rules, and it always seemed to work. Until it didn’t.
Two weeks ago, I set up 25 or so auctions for my pre-owned handbags. It was hard letting go of my babies, but I had my sights set higher. I wanted a Prada. So, I created auctions for my collection of Coach and Dooney handbags. I took two photos of each bag but offered to provide more upon request. I also wrote in each auction that bidders should absolutely ask questions before bidding because I would not accept returns. What a joke that was.
Almost immediately, my bags started selling via eBay’s handy Buy It Now feature. As soon as one sold, I’d box it up and ship it right out. On the final day of the auctions, I was a boxing maniac. My entire dining room looked like a Coach stockroom. But I boxed up each one, lovingly said goodbye, and sent them to their new homes.
eBay runs on feedback. Next to each Member ID are a number and a percentage. The number shows how much feedback the member has; the percentage shows how much of that feedback is positive. Members are also encouraged to leave comments about the transaction.
My feedback is 100% positive. Some of the comments include:
“Wow i got two beautiful bags from this seller, love them both, excellent service!” – Buyer: Member id dcs1964937
“Love it! Perfect experience. Great seller. 5 stars! Thanks!” – Buyer: Member id havetohavenow
“Fabulous bag just as described, super fast shipN2! Seller highly recommended ” – Buyer: Member id koolbree
I could go on, but that would be bragging. The bottom line is that I’m a kick-@ss seller. I set my prices low and let the bidding take over.
On Saturday morning, I received notification that a member had created a “Resolution Center” case against me. Since I can’t do her communications justice, I’ve included them:
“ok i got the bag and it was not all decribed has tears and stains all over the place! i want the price reduced!”
Right away, I was pissed off. Not only for her inaccurate description of the item, but also for her “I want” comment. It reminded me of a four-year-old. Moreover, her abuse of the English language was enough to send me over the edge. I responded with:
“This bag had absolutely NO tears or stains when it was shipped. I do not provide inaccurate descriptions of my items for sale, as evidenced by my 100% positive feedback. The photograph in the listing (not the stock photo, but the one of the actual handbag) clearly shows the excellent condition. I also offered to provide additional photos, upon request. I purchased this bag for $358.00 and used it approximately three times. At $105.00, you got an amazing deal for a beautiful bag.”
I hoped this was the end of it, but alas, I was disappointed. She fired back with:
“ok yes it did even in your pics u can see all the stains, you know it and i know it.. it has 2 scapes on the back/.. this is bs and im mad cuz u said nothign was wrong with it!”
I bumped my age estimate down to three-years-old instead of four. But, calmly, I replied:
“I know no such thing. I as wrote in my previous message, there were no stains or scrapes (or tears) when the bag left my home. Moreover:
1. If you can see stains in my photo (which clearly you can’t because there are none), why did you bid?
2. I find it interesting that in your nine transactions on eBay, two have been negative. I’ve been on this site for 15 years, and I’ve had zero negative feedback in over 65 transactions.
3. Even if there were stains and tears “all over the place” as you wrote (which there aren’t – you know it and I know it), I sold this bag as used, not new. Now, this is a matter of principle.
I will NOT issue a refund or “discount” as you demanded. I clearly wrote in the auction, NO RETURNS. If you are unhappy with that, I suggest you escalate this to eBay Customer Support for resolution.”
She just had to get one more in:
“I will cause you’re a dam liar who can’ the am truth.. I hve taken pics of all of it and contacted you right away when I recieved the bag. it’s a pity and u got to lie and cheat to get some $$$.. so bag must of got dirty it self.. yes u can see the stains in your pics. I will be getting my money back.”
But she didn’t escalate the case. Oh, and what I didn’t mention was that as soon as she opened the case, the funds that paid for the bag were placed “on hold” in PayPal. That’s right, she has the bag, but I can’t access the money.
Not liking the idea of being held hostage by a bratty buyer, I called eBay. I had every confidence that based on my feedback, length of time on the site, and the integrity of the auction’s listing, they’d decide in my favor. It was a no-brainer, right? Wrong.
Unwilling to “take sides,” eBay’s policy is to have the buyer return the item and issue her a refund. End of story. It doesn’t matter that she’s got two negative comments in her feedback. It doesn’t matter that the auction was accurate. It doesn’t matter that I’ve got 65+ other happy customers. Their policy is to protect the buyer not the seller.
I was, frankly, shocked that I would lose this battle. She can return the bag damaged, and I can’t do a thing about it. Oh, and did I mention that I lose the shipping costs, too? Yep, she gets a refund of her purchase price and shipping costs. I get screwed.
So, after a 15-year affair, I’m dumping eBay. After nearly 70 transactions, it’s over. I hope they enjoy their new relationship with their young, immature, irresponsible buyer. I hope it was worth losing a loyal, respected, and devoted member.