Ebay item damaged in transit due to sellers poor packaging?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales
17 replies 11K views
Emma285Emma285 Forumite
63 Posts
Bought a laptop off ebay last week - it arrived on wed and i signed for it as the outer packaging looked fine. When i opened the box, there was a dent on the underside of the laptop and the DVD drive didn't work. We were also a little concerned about a blue security type mark on the bottom that wasn't mentioned in the listing.

Contacted seller saying item was not as described and they offered a refund straight away, apologising and stating the laptop worked fine before listing, didn't have any dents and they thought the blue mark was standard on all laptops.

Shortly after we noticed that the dent was the exact match for the plug which had been packaged underneath and let the seller know, but also asked if they would be prepared to negotiate as we still wanted the laptop just working. We never refused the refund... just asked another question.

Anyway, at that point the sellers emails got a little 'abrupt' and they started saying how 'ridiculos' (spelt wrong everytime) it was that we expected them to pay for it to be fixed. (We suggested sending back to apple as the laptop is still under warranty and any other work would invalidate this.)

The seller has contacted the couriers who have said as i accepted the parcel, there's no comeback for them and even so the max claim is £50 and estimated damage is £200+.

Since then, i've opened a case with ebay and we're currently waiting for it to be escalated to them as we've been exchanging messages with the seller who feels they have done everything they can to help us and that as we refused her offer of a refund there is nothing more they can do. We have clearly stated that we never refused the offer and just want to send the item back for a full refund, but the seller has not responded to this. We just get more 'i've done everything i can' and 'how ridiculos'...

The plug clearly wasn't designed to go underneath the laptop as the plastic packaging is not deep enough to accomodate it. The seller believes this is how it came from the shop, but i'd question whether they really bought it from a shop, and there's no way apple package them this way. Incidentally, the box the plug would usually be packaged in was missing - but then it was never detailed anyway.

Does anyone have any ideas of what to do from here? Or even any experience of how ebay handle this type of situation? Any help greatly appreciated.
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Replies

  • martindowmartindow Forumite
    9.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    The seller is responsible for delivering your item safely. Ebay/Paypal will ask you to return it tracked for a full refund. They do not have any system for partial refunds. In this case the buyer is being foolish not to negotiate a partial refund but his attitude could be because there is a well known scam where buyers claim 'damage' to get something cheaper.

    The fact that the seller sent it under insured is not your problem, but do be sure it is tracked and insured up to its full value when you return it.
  • Thanks for this. The seller is trying to blame us for the lack of insurance as they thought the listing stated no insurance, however i've just double checked the listing and there's no mention of this. So it's interesting it seems like their fault after all. Also noticed that the postage was supposed to be RM 1st class standard, yet it was sent with parcels2go.

    I may try and contact the seller again and state that i can provide proof of the damage and offer to email photo's or mini video clip and see if that changes things.
  • cyberbobcyberbob Forumite
    9.5K Posts
    Emma285 wrote: »
    Thanks for this. The seller is trying to blame us for the lack of insurance as they thought the listing stated no insurance, however i've just double checked the listing and there's no mention of this. So it's interesting it seems like their fault after all. Also noticed that the postage was supposed to be RM 1st class standard, yet it was sent with parcels2go.

    I may try and contact the seller again and state that i can provide proof of the damage and offer to email photo's or mini video clip and see if that changes things.
    Personally they have already shown they are unwilling to co-operate. I would just open a paypal not as described dispute. (Open a Paypal one not an ebay one as they are more straightforward).

    Postal insurance is for the sellers benefit not the buyers. A buyer has all the cover they need via Paypal and it's the sellers responsibility to get it to you in one piece.
  • CrowqueenCrowqueen Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    cyberbob wrote: »
    Personally they have already shown they are unwilling to co-operate. I would just open a paypal not as described dispute. (Open a Paypal one not an ebay one as they are more straightforward).

    Postal insurance is for the sellers benefit not the buyers. A buyer has all the cover they need via Paypal and it's the sellers responsibility to get it to you in one piece.
    They've already gone for an eBay dispute.

    Good luck, OP, let us know any outcome.
    "Well, it's election year, Bill, we'd rather people didn't exercise common sense..." - Jed Bartlet, The West Wing, season 4

    Am now Crowqueen, MRes (Law) - on to the PhD!
  • Emma285Emma285 Forumite
    63 Posts
    Unfortunately i've already started a dispute with ebay. Wish i'd known about paypal over ebay beforehand as i've since read a bit about paypal being quicker and more efficient. I gather you can't do both or change once it's started.

    Just find it odd that they were willing to cooperate and now they're not. They have 400+ 100% feedback so i'd have thought they would've been keen to keep it that way. What do people do about feedback in cases like this? I think it's clear i'd like to leave neg, but do i wait until dispute's resolved or do it now? Don't really want to make things worse, but equally feedback is there for a reason.
  • CrowqueenCrowqueen Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    Personally if someone makes me open a dispute, I will probably end up negging them.

    I know it sounds harsh, but since I always contact the seller with a problem and give them a chance to respond (and I've never encountered the supposed glitch in the message system), I very rarely ever touch the dispute process. I've had a good run of luck with my purchases, and if I have a problem that I don't think is worth taking to a dispute I avoid buying things like that on eBay and get them from Amazon instead. I've only ever left one neg because the seller stonewalled me for two weeks, even when I had opened a dispute for INR and escalated it to a claim, all with no response. I bend over backwards for my customers and don't want people giving eBay a bad name - we all suffer in the end, buyers and sellers alike. So I'm firm but fair with my feedback.

    Wait until the dispute is resolved so you can rate the whole transaction, but if the seller acted like she had in your OP, I'd feel tempted to do it now.
    "Well, it's election year, Bill, we'd rather people didn't exercise common sense..." - Jed Bartlet, The West Wing, season 4

    Am now Crowqueen, MRes (Law) - on to the PhD!
  • George666George666 Forumite
    527 Posts
    Hi OP I think the seller you are dealing with has not understood that the partial refund you suggested was just that a suggestion and that you would be happy to return the laptop for a full refund.
    Your seller could have handled this alot better and just sent you an email back asking you to return the laptop for a full refund as they would then repair it themselves.
    Making you open a dispute for some sellers is just getting everything on the record but I find this to be a dangerous game to play as a buyer is more likely to leave negative feedback if they have had to open a dispute to get refunded and soon disputes will also count against you as a seller.
    I would not leave them negative feedback or any feedback untill the dispute is settled as depending on what you say in the feedback can sometimes give the seller grounds to have the feedback removed by ebay if the dispute is not settled.
  • martindowmartindow Forumite
    9.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper
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    We have had several threads here from sellers saying they are being scammed by buyers claiming a problem and wanting a partial refund. These sellers suspected this was a ruse to get the item cheaper and were sceptical that was any damage.

    Maybe this is why the OP's seller changed and reacted so badly.
  • lee636lee636 Forumite
    460 Posts
    martindow wrote: »
    We have had several threads here from sellers saying they are being scammed by buyers claiming a problem and wanting a partial refund. These sellers suspected this was a ruse to get the item cheaper and were sceptical that was any damage.

    Maybe this is why the OP's seller changed and reacted so badly.

    Makes sense; if something’s broke and its not an extremely rare item then you would just say refund me and ill go elsewhere, they may have got suspicious.
  • CrowqueenCrowqueen Forumite
    5.7K Posts
    martindow wrote: »
    We have had several threads here from sellers saying they are being scammed by buyers claiming a problem and wanting a partial refund. These sellers suspected this was a ruse to get the item cheaper and were sceptical that was any damage.

    Maybe this is why the OP's seller changed and reacted so badly.
    I would be careful saying that in a buyer's thread to be honest, it's not very diplomatic and could be taken the wrong way.

    Also a significant proportion of those partial refund claimants may also be genuine because they feel they could get the item fixed but the seller is responsible for the item they sold. This is debatable but sellers should be prepared to negotiate. Not condoning it where it isn't genuine but I would ask for some sort of proof of damage from the buyer before entering into negotiations and I wouldn't just hope that the buyer is awkward enough for me to be able to weasel out of refunding altogether.
    "Well, it's election year, Bill, we'd rather people didn't exercise common sense..." - Jed Bartlet, The West Wing, season 4

    Am now Crowqueen, MRes (Law) - on to the PhD!
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