Friday, April 22, 2016

Breaking Up and Getting Back Together: musings

Second and final Update 4/29/16:
I have just won my case against this awful buyer!  Sure, they froze my account for a week and it took several calls and forms, but Ebay ruled in my favor that the woman was abusing the returns guarantee.  A small dose of justice in this silly world.
Update 4/21/16:
Sometimes I really hate being right.  A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about my experiences as a seller on Ebay.  I mainly focused on the negative experiences since they were the reason I decided to stop selling.  But, with a few things in my closet needing to find good homes I decided to give it another try.  Of the dozen items I ended up listing six of them sold.  Of those six I've only heard from two of the buyers.  One was glowing and positive.  The other is demanding a refund because she doesn't like the fabric of the dress.  I apologized that she's unhappy with the dress and suggested a slip might help.  No, she wants a refund.  I told her once again that I'm sorry, but it was clearly stated at two different places in the listing that all sales are final and I do not accept returns.  And now, I wait.  Ebay covers returns if an item was incorrectly described, but being unhappy with the material of an item isn't really the seller's fault.  I don't think it matters.  All she has to do is say that it "wasn't as described"  and it doesn't matter if I gave accurate sizing, condition, and provided material info.  She is most likely going to open a case against me and I'll most likely be forced to give her a refund.  Either way, I've made up my mind.  That's it, Ebay.  This time we are broken up for good!! 

I have a love-hate relationship with Ebay.  Last July, I finally decided to call it quits for good.  And I meant it.  I was tired of all the fees, tired of all their standards, tired of the customs forms and the long lines at the post office, and mostly tired of customers who had all the rights to rant and rave and I was powerless to defend myself.  Once I received neutral feedback from someone who was upset that the shirt didn't fit her well.  I had listed the size and measurements, but she hadn't bothered to check them and took it out on me.  I tried to I shrug it off.  The very last transaction went like this:  I sold a dress which was too big for me, so I had never worn it.  It was beautiful and still had the tags on it.  After a month of being in the buyer's possession, she claimed that the dress was full of holes and stains and that I had lied in the description when I said it was new.  
    Instead of coming to me directly, she opened a case against me, which can have serious effects on a seller's account.  I immediately wrote to tell her I was sorry that the dress wasn't what she expected and would be more than willing to give her a full refund as soon as I had tracking number confirmation that the dress was on its way back to me.  No response.  After several days she posted more vicious words in the case notes about how she was shocked at the dress' condition and had photos (which she never produced) to prove all the defects.  I wrote to her again and said the exact same thing, this time sending the message through Ebay and to her personal e-mail address.  No response.  Then I got a notification saying that she had escalated the case and a refund would be issued if I didn't respond within five days.  
    As a last ditch effort I sent an e-mail directly to the case resolution center with a copy of the messages I had sent her and a note saying I was perfectly willing to give her a refund as soon as the dress was returned.  I'm a reasonable person; if she had bought a $5 shirt with a defect that I had missed, I wouldn't make her return it.  I would just issue a refund.  But this was rather an expensive dress and I knew there were no flaws as she was claiming, so if I was going to issue a refund, I wanted it back.  I fully expected for Ebay to give her the refund she was screaming for without making her return the dress, but they didn't.  They actually ruled in my favor and informed the customer that if she wanted a refund, the dress had to be returned at her expense.  Silence.  After several weeks with no attempt to return the dress, Ebay closed the case.  I kept the money, she kept the dress, and I've never heard from her again.  
    That was my last transaction on Ebay.  I had already decided to close my seller account, but that final, mother-of-all-horrible-transactions was the last straw.  In my five years of selling on Ebay I have had possibly hundreds of transactions and maybe five instances like this, but they were so awful and cumbersome that they sullied the entire experience.  So, why would I go back?  The answer is, I'm really not sure.  
    I've held off on cleaning out my closet for long enough.  It's spring, the time for cleaning and most of what I'm getting rid of will be donated to charity.  But, there are a few items I would like to make my money back on since they're in nearly perfect condition and cost me quite a bit.  I wish I could send them all to ThredUp to sell for me, but unfortunately, I have to be in the continental US for that to happen.  So, this morning, I did it.  After nine blissful months of  break-up, I'm getting back together with Ebay and listing a half dozen items for sale.  I hate to do it, but it's time to part with these things and I need the space.  I'll give it a few weeks as a trial period.  Hopefully, it will all be smooth sailing and satisfied customers...but I'm not holding my breath.


  1. I'm sorry to hear about your experience, it really pained me to read this; to think that people like that exist, I suppose in this technological age, the anonymity that the internet provides can bring out the very worst in people. I hope this time round you won't have to deal with such obnoxious customers.

  2. There are a few bloggers that sell items through their blogs (such as southern California belle) is it possible for you to do something like that?

  3. I would love to do that eventually. I just need to get a little more tech savvy about how blogger works. I've thought of just moving my blog to .com site so I can also go back to selling my jewelry too.

  4. I've been selling on eBay for over a year now and it's been a nightmare. So many fees and you are powerless and have zero rights as a seller. I've been through everything you've written down. It's the worst isn't it? I've even had horrible messages because I wouldn't accept an extremely (nearly rude) low offer on an item that was "or best offer", the person called me every offensive name in the book. Of course I couldn't do a thing about it. Ebay is getting on my last nerve. Good luck with your selling endeavors! I think you'll find there are several new selling fees since you last were on eBay.
    By the way, I'm sorry you had to go through the eBay nightmare but it did me good to read that someone else had the same experience I did. So, thanks :)

  5. That's awful Arielle! I'm glad I'm not alone in this, but then again, it's sad that this is so common. Thanks for sharing and hang in there :)

  6. I have to say, while I love shopping from ThredUp, I did not have nearly as positive an experience with my cleanout bag. I received less than 20% of the items they received, in addition to that I paid $12.50 so that they would return the items they did not take, and ended up with even less. I still love to shop there but now I take things to a local consignment store. Thank you for all your posts - I really enjoy your style :) Also - very sorry about your negative ebay experiences,

  7. I don't know if you are on Facebook but you should join the MODCLOTH BST page. It's the most amazing community of people buying/selling/trading Modcloth and modcloth-like clothing (asos, anthropologie, unique cintage, etc...). I have had nothing but amazing experiences buying and selling on the page.

  8. I'm so sorry your experience was so bad with ThredUp, Tracey, but I'm glad you shared it with us. Now I can stop considering that as an option for when we're back in the States.

  9. I haven't heard of the MODCLOTH BST page, but I'll definitely check it out. Thanks so much for recommending it.


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