eBay Returns Process (Faulty Item) - Advice - Chinese Seller, item listed as UK

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Ebay, Auctions, Car Boot & Jumble Sales
29 replies 2.3K views
rdp1980rdp1980 Forumite
275 Posts
Hi all, and a belated Merry Christmas. I used to lurk on the forum a few years ago when I used to sell bits and pieces, in order to keep up to date with eBay and PayPal's ever changing processes and things to watch out for. However I haven't been doing much selling for a few years so I am a bit out of the loop now, so am hoping for some advice.


I purchased an item (a computer part) on 31 October as a Christmas present. I did the usual checking of feedback and most of the neutrals and negatives were for slow delivery. As I was ordering in plenty of time this didn't phase me too much so I ordered. It arrived within eBay's estimated delivery time so no complaints from me on that score. However as Christmas Day came and the present was unwrapped I was then tasked with installing it for my son. The item was clearly faulty, which was a bit of a disappointment obviously but these things happen, the item was new and the seller is still selling the same item at the same price so figured the returns process would be fairly straightforward.


As I went through eBay's returns process I noticed the seller details listed an address in China, which immediately raised a red flag, as the item's listing had specified that the item was in the UK. I actively avoided non-UK transactions for this being a tech item in case anything did go wrong with it and I had to return it.


The seller has a 30 day returns policy but the item was listed as having a 1 year warranty (which is partly why I didn't unpackage the item to test it as soon as it arrived). Also, believing it was a UK seller as the item was listed as being located in the UK, I figured I would be covered under the various laws of our nation about goods needing to be fit for purpose etc, so in my mind the 30 day returns policy was to cover situations such as change of mind and so on, rather than a faulty item.


So, on Boxing Day I went through the returns process, and had a reply back, as follows: "Dear buyer Sorry for the trouble caused to you. How about we refund GBP 6 to you as the compensation and you keep the item to save your time and money, is it ok? After our refund, you can just let local professional person to find out what's wrong with your item Hope for your reply and say sorry again for the trouble caused for you. Best wishes."


Now, the item cost £37.18 so there is no way I am going to be happy with an offer of £6 "compensation" - and pointed out that nobody would even look at it for £6 never mind actually fix it. So I replied back to that effect and received a similar message with the offer increased to £15. Again, not acceptable, a broken item has no value to me, I just want it replaced with a working one, or a full refund.


The latest reply came last night: "We apologize for all the troubles caused to you. Because we also suffer loss, we paid the shipping fee and the eBay final value fee. We refund you GBP 23 , OK? You can keep it and do not need to return. We do not want to give you a bad experience in buying from us. If you still not agree please let us know your ideas~` Your understanding would be highly appreciated."


I have already stated what my "ideas" are for resolving the issue. Replacement working product, or a full refund. As a seller, be it online or high street, you have to accept that some items will be faulty and you need to factor the cost of returns into your business model. This seller seems to think it is perfectly OK for me to be out of pocket by trying to fob me off with partial refunds.


I understand that after 8 days pass I can escalate to eBay to decide the case for me. As the seller is in China my replies in the resolution centre are coming through in the middle of the night, so each reply back and forth takes a day in itself, and it's pretty disheartening to wake up and get the message notification each morning with each further attempt to fob me off.


My question is, if this did get escalated to eBay, what is the likely outcome? Does the fact that the seller is in China (but the product apparently in the UK) go against me in terms of expecting UK law to apply? I'm quite happy to stand my ground with the seller but don't want to go quoting UK law if it doesn't apply. Is the fact that the item is out of its 30 day window from delivery of the item going to go against me if it gets escalated to eBay?


As the item was listed as being in the UK and the seller is still selling the same item, it shouldn't be that difficult for the seller to arrange an exchange. I have no interest in keeping the faulty item, it is useless to me, so these offers of partial refund as "compensation" are a bit of an insult really and not the way you would expect a large volume seller to treat a customer.


Sorry if I have gone on a bit, but thought I'd get the best responses if I tried to include as much relevant detail as possible. Any advice or thoughts on how best to proceed would be appreciated!
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Replies

  • Hi,

    Sorry for your troubles but I am sure one of my friends had a similar issue with a seller from China. Although out of usual timeframe to do ebay money back. You can lodge a complaint with ebay and they can help you. I.e. negotiate with the seller. As it would look bad on seller if ebay raise the issue and it isn't satisfied. In simple terms if more people buying from this seller had same issue ebay would like close his account but on other hand knowing you get scammers of all sorts he or she might set up new account under different name and details.

    Hope this helps but trust you can get ebay to still help.
  • I'm sure others on here will correct me if I'm wrong but if your case is for "item not as described" and it was raised within 30 days of the estimated delivery date then it is the sellers responsibility to issue a tracked return label and then refund you in full upon safe return of the item.

    If you are corresponding via "ask seller a question" it would be better to start an immediate "INAD" case. It is not unknown for a seller to try to drag something out beyond the 30 day period.



    If no return label is authorised within the time limits, eBay should refund you upon escalation and the seller should get an eBay defect.
  • rdp1980rdp1980 Forumite
    275 Posts
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    My issue is that I am out of the initial 30 day window, so it is perhaps not clear cut as to how eBay will handle the case it if gets escalated.

    The message exchange is via the returns process and not just the normal messaging system, as I initiated the returns process. I think there was a specific entry on the drop down list for faulty or defective item, rather than SNAD, if that makes any difference.
  • theonlywayisuptheonlywayisup Forumite
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    rdp1980 wrote: »
    Thanks for the responses so far.

    My issue is that I am out of the initial 30 day window,

    What was the latest estimated delivery date?

    What did you open on ebay and when?
  • rdp1980rdp1980 Forumite
    275 Posts
    What was the latest estimated delivery date?

    What did you open on ebay and when?

    The item's estimated delivery date was 12 November. By looking at the tracking it arrived on 7 November, which is consistent with me not thinking the delivery time was excessive.

    On 26 December I located the item in my Purchase History, used the "Return an Item" option, then selected the reason "Is defective or does not work properly". From there it opened a returns case where I provided some details and a couple of photos to demonstrate the fault. The seller has responded via the returns case and I have done the same.

    Hope that answers your questions.
  • verybigchrisverybigchris Forumite
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    Paypal has a 180 day window for SNAD, so you're probably better off opening a case there.

  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
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    Problem with using Paypal is that the OP may have to pay the return postage.

    Tracked item to China insured for £37 or so probably cost as much as what the seller is already offering. Unless you can get Paypal to pay it.
    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • Its a long shot but it might still be worth the OP ringing eBays CS.
    I'd ring in the morning about 9-10 to stand a good chance of getting someone in Dublin. ( If I got any body with a US accent or even worse a Phillipino accent I would hang up and try again later.)


    Keep it factual and refer the CS to the message conversations and there's always a chance that eBay will cough for the refund due to the circumstances. etc.
  • Paypal has a 180 day window for SNAD, so you're probably better off opening a case there.


    I had considered this initially as I couldn't remember if you were meant to start the process through eBay or PayPal, but on reviewing the PayPal transaction it said to go through eBay, so that's what I did. After your comment I had another look on PayPal and went to the Help section where I found a link to the Resolution Centre, so thank you for that. As I have already started the process through eBay, can I fall back on the PayPal process if I have no joy with eBay?
    Problem with using Paypal is that the OP may have to pay the return postage.

    Tracked item to China insured for £37 or so probably cost as much as what the seller is already offering. Unless you can get Paypal to pay it.


    I notice there is an option to request that PayPal covers your return postage, though I don't know what the qualifying criteria is for that. That said, the item was listed as being in the UK, and the packaging seems to have come from somewhere in the UK so can only assume the seller has access to some kind of storage facility or warehouse over here where stock is held. So technically if I did have to pay return postage it should only be to the UK location, right? Or would PayPal not take any notice of the "item location" on the eBay listing and require return to the seller's registered address?
  • Its a long shot but it might still be worth the OP ringing eBays CS.
    I'd ring in the morning about 9-10 to stand a good chance of getting someone in Dublin. ( If I got any body with a US accent or even worse a Phillipino accent I would hang up and try again later.)


    Thanks - that is worth considering. I will make one further request for refund or replacement from the seller via the resolution centre messages and then by the time I get a response back I will be that bit nearer the 8 day window to be able to escalate. My thinking is if the seller is still not playing ball to give eBay CS a call before requesting escalation - do you agree that would be the best course of action?
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