Can a seller really protect themselves?

I'm on marketplace at the moment but if eBay send me another 'no charges on selling fees' email then I'll be back listing on there.
The question applies to both marketplace & eBay though.

My experience on eBay in recent times is the buyer holds not all the cards, but 99.9999999% of them. Not good for honest sellers.

So "item didn't arrive" seems to be generally defended by proof of postage / tracking. I got stung on that one when an item 'turned up' (but didn't!) and because the tracker says it did, the seller got my money, i lost money & got no item.

So the question is really about "item not as described". Especially after reading this: talking about basically a 6 month timeframe for it to be not as described through PayPal.

I have a potential buyer right now I'm getting suspicious vibes from with their line of questioning. I'll say now that it could be perfectly innocent & it could well be my lack of trust in people. We may or may not find out should they decide to buy.

But what about when you sell an item, it's perfectly working & then the buyer goes through PayPal and hits you with no working / not as described?

Let's be clear here - it's also perfectly working for them too, they just want item for free.

What's stopping them from getting away with that? Nothing? Or is there something?


  • IftiBashirIftiBashir Forumite
    413 Posts
    Eighth Anniversary 100 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    eBay is completely about the buyer. Whether you offer returns or not doesn't matter - buyers can just return the item as faulty, even when it is not, and get their refund every time. 
  • forgotmynameforgotmyname Forumite
    32.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 10,000 Posts Name Dropper
    If they claim it doesn't work you send postage for them to return it. They don't get to keep it for free.

    If your worried sell it locally face to face for cash, chuck it or donate it.   Small handful of dodgy buyers and sellers compared
    to millions of transactions every day.

    Been on Ebay for many years with thousands of transactions buying and selling, the number of issues is extremely small and the
    number of issues where I thought using ebay for that transaction is smaller still. 

    One buyer claimed an item was faulty it was a face to face handover of money/item. Met them in the same place where they pointed
    to a fault that was beyond my knowledge for that product, he hinted not to do something and they would be willing to buy it for less.
    I declined and refunded them in full and took my item back and resold it later where the new buyer knew more about it and they said it
    works perfectly.

    A seller sold me something that had been modified without mentioning it. A product I have a fair bit of knowledge of so started trouble
    shooting whilst fishing for answers from the seller. During the trouble shooting I spotted the signs of what they had modified.
    Then they turned nasty, so I stopped trouble shooting it and opened a case for a full refund.

    Seller split some equipment and sold it in different lots which was strange but suited me because I only wanted the accessory fitted to it.
    My item had a manual accessory where they were selling an automatic optional one.
    Problem was they had 4 gadgets with 4 accessories and when I bought the 2 accessories it left another buyer with 4 gadgets and only
    2 accessories.

    Final one is me as a buyer again and the seller did not post for a long time, excuse after excuse even though they purchased collection
    only items during our conversations. I had enough and opened a case which they totally ignored and I got refunded. They posted the
    items AFTER I had been refunded.

    Thats about all that stick in my mind, various cheap items from China that never arrived but were refunded quickly.  But overall not bad for
    well over 20 years.

    Censorship Reigns Supreme in Troll City...

  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
    6.7K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    I do try to sell in person where possible though I know that limits my audience.

    At the same time, I totally get what you say & your examples. The thing is, it reminds me of the guy in the other thread with his "for years......" post the other day.

    It's all irrelevant because it only takes one & often that one can be a bad one.

    All your "barely happens" is irrelevant to me just like all my situations which actually mirror yours (as in it barely happens) are irrelevant to you. Why? Because everything that came before just doesn't matter. Like they say over on the investing side of the board - "past performance.....".
    Because it only takes one. Which is what I'm asking about - seeing if there's anything you can do as a seller.

    What happens in the cases where these people say ok then, return me my item back and here's your refund ....... and they get a lump of coal?

    Now before it's said, I'll say it for someone - that barely happens. I know that. But barely happens means it DOES happen.

    And is there anything a seller can really do at that point? I'm just asking. No harm in it.
  • JustAnotherSaverJustAnotherSaver Forumite
    6.7K Posts
    Ninth Anniversary 1,000 Posts Name Dropper I've been Money Tipped!
    Yep, the vibes definitely continue with this guy.

    He's been pleasant enough throughout but just his questioning over my various items, chopping & changing mind has made me suspicious.
    It's certainly going to be one where if it goes bad it'll be pacepalm & why did I just do that kind of thing.

    I go to bed last night, he messages after I've gone to bed. Just to say payment sent & gives me the address.
    I'm absolutely wiped so get up a bit later than usual. He's messaging at half 7 with a few question marks ???

    Like give me a chance pal. When you message at 11pm & then follow up so early the next morning you can't EXPECT someone to reply between those times.
    Now if it was say 1pm yesterday then yeah fair enough. I'd had plenty of time but come on.
  • TripleHTripleH Forumite
    2.9K Posts
    1,000 Posts Fourth Anniversary Name Dropper
    Don't give full address, give post code and street name and your number.
    They can ring when they arrive in area.
    May you find your sister soon Helli.
    Sleep well.
  • JetpackVelociraptorJetpackVelociraptor Forumite
    125 Posts
    100 Posts Second Anniversary
    Just remember that your rights and the law do not stop with PayPal or eBay. We have had, on very rare occasions, to threaten fraudsters with the police, solicitors, on one occasion we told someone that we would inform their employers that they were committing theft. Or just remind them that you have their address, sometimes that's enough.
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