Dear eBay Queen: Well, after 17 years as an eBay buyer with a perfect buyer rating — more than 1,000 purchases, large and small — I will be closing my account. It seems their so-called “Buyer Protection Program” does not hold sellers accountable to cover return shipping when the seller misrepresents an item or packs an item so shabbily that it arrives damaged.
After more than two hours on the phone arguing with three different eBay “customer service representatives,” I am to be issued an eBay shipping label to return a pair of damaged shoes to the seller. I was cautioned to “never expect” eBay to do this in the future. Good thing when I bought my Kitchen Aid refrigerator and gas cook top, my Bosch double wall ovens, and dishwasher on eBay, I received what I ordered and in perfect condition. I can’t imagine having to pay return shipping on items like that. I guess greed eventually brings most good things to an end, as eBay has apparently decided to protect its unethical sellers at buyers’ expense
I filed a claim with the resolution center and eBay does not pay return shipping for items covered by their so-called buyer protection plan. Return shipping is not the responsibility of the seller, just something that decent ones do. I spoke to three different people in the resolution center, spent more than one hour on the phone. I did not experience buyer’s remorse. I received damaged merchandise described as “like new” and in “mind condition.” There is no way to ensure a seller is misrepresenting an item in advance.
I’ve never had problems like this until recently. This past year this has happened multiple times and I am done. I do not need the snotty eBay reps and their efforts to protect sellers over buyers. I have better things to do with my time and other places to shop. Am I expecting too much? — Dr. Linda. Psy.D.
Dear Dr. Linda: Yes, you are expecting too much. As person with a doctorate in psychology, you should completely understand that we as humans are not perfect, just like the study of psychology is not perfect. Most people are doing the very best they can.
One thing that might help you if you should choose to buy on eBay in the future, is to review the sellers return policy. Is it a policy you can live with? Check out the feedback they leave and receive. Does it appear they make a lot of mistakes or have issues? If so, don’t buy from them.
When it comes to return shipping, if a buyer asks, I pay for return shipping if it’s my fault. eBay’s policy is the same. I would not call a seller that won’t pay for return shipping unethical. I am sorry this has happened to you. I hope you’ll reconsider, and buy something again on eBay.
Dear eBay Queen: I was reading this new eBay Spring Seller update garbage. Now they are saying neutral feedback counts against the sellers in the defect rate? Seriously? So, a buyer can leave a neutral and all 5 stars, but it’s too-bad so-sad for us, because that neutral is an automatic negative.
Why not just get rid of the neutral and make the buyer choose positive or negative. That way, if it’s a true negative and likely to lead to a defect then there is no question about it. — Neutral is the new Neg
Dear Neutral: I feel about the same way you do about this whole neutral/negative thing. The eBay Spring Seller update has me seriously re-thinking everything about my business. http://announcements.ebay.com/2014/03/2014-spring-seller-update-satisfied-buyers-mean-more-potential-sales-for-you/
You are right when you say that a neutral will now be considered a negative (after August) when eBay reviews it. I hope they will eliminate neutral feedback all together.
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Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen