A word to the wise about posting gear on Ebay. The following is a description of my recent experience that was attached to my complaint sent to Santa Clara County District Attorney and the BBB. Ebay has since responded with the same company line as customer service gave to me and consequently both cases have been closed with no resolution. I have no intention of reimbursing Ebay for their decision nor ever using them again.
To begin, I've been an Ebay member since July 5, 2002 and, until this incident, had score of 100%.
The middle of November 2015 I listed a professional tripod that I've owned for years. Before listing I personally made sure all functions were working as described. Also, as I was to be out of the country, under "Return Policy Details" I clearly stated " No returns or exchanges, contact seller with questions."
The tripod sold on Nov.17, checked out by myself and shipped on Nov.19. The buyer signed for on Nov. 23 and soon after the PayPal funds were released. A couple days shy of the 30 day max for returns, on Dec.20 I received a notice the buyer requested a return because "the tilt does not lock down" as described in the ad. I immediately responded with a question why he didn't communicate with me in the previous month and followed up with instructions from the mfr. as to how to adjust the lock down. As I didn't receive any response, on Dec. 27 I sent the buyer a message that because of his lack of communications since day one I would not allow the tripod to be returned. Also, as I wanted this resolved quickly, I opened the Ebay Case.
The following are my conclusions of Ebay business practices that I've learned the last couple months of this ordeal
* Don't bother with Return Policy Details when you sell, it's useless. From the mouths of "Customer Service": "Our sellers return policies are for buyers remorse returns and requests can be made but not mandated by, you, the seller to your buyer." Ok then, why even have the option? Or at least make if very clear the uselessness of the option.
* Don't bother to try to "work it out" with the buyer. Even though Ebay encourages it from the beginning, the buyer has no responsibility to communicate or "work it out” nor does Ebay take that into consideration when making their decisions. My buyer never responded to numerous good faith requests to communicate and provide proof of the problem.
Of course, it turns out, neither would Ebay ....
* Don't bother requesting documentation or proof of the complaint. Neither Ebay or the buyer are required to provided it. Again from the mouth of "Customer Service"; "We cannot provide information to you that was given to us by your buyer because this is considered private information." My question? So what's a guy to do if neither the accuser or the judge are required to provide the defendant with evidence?
*Ebay has no interest in helping the seller. What Ebay was repeatedly demanding from the start and long before any final decision, was that I issue a return shipping, no questions asked. Bottom line; if I paid for the tripod return 1) I would be admitting there was an issue which there wasn’t, 2) it would have cost me shipping both ways, Ebay and PayPal fees, a little less that $200 and 3) I still would have to refund either the buyer or Ebay the cost of the tripod. All without proof of the defect and any accountability from either Ebay or the buyer. I didn't respond to the threat so Ebay reimbursed the buyer AND the buyer has no further responsibility to return the tripod. Win-win buyer, lose-lose for seller.
On Feb.19, 2016, the day I received an invoice for $910, I called Ebay customer service to file an appeal as it said on website I could do. The "customer service" guy was just as scripted and unhelpful to the point of being rude as the previous discussions and, regardless of what it says on the website, I could not file an appeal.
All detailed documents of the events and discussions that led to this post are available upon request.