And this is why I rarely sell on eBay... advice needed please!

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  1. #1 Jul 18, 2016
    Last edited: Jul 18, 2016
    Hi everyone,

    Last week I listed several paperback books from a well-known children's series and they sold with via BIN within a few hours. I was honest in listing the condition of the books - they are not in new condition and have been well-used. However, they are all in fairly decent, readable condition. I listed them for $6 plus $4 shipping via media mail - $10 total. I shipped them one day after they sold.

    They were delivered today and the buyer immediately opened a return request (I don't accept returns) due to the item not matching the description. Here's what she said (I am copying this verbatim): "you took fotos from front cover but their binding area all damaged. I can not use these books in this condition. not acceptable.. want to return."

    Should I give this buyer a refund? I was honest in my description about any damages on the books. No, I didn't show a photo of the spine of each book but I did say there was spine damage. The binding on each book is definitely not damaged -- the pages of each book are held securely in place. As I mentioned, some of the books did have some spine damage, but that is purely aesthetic. It does not affect the ability to read the book at all. In hindsight, I acknowledge that I should have taken a photo of the spines, but if you zoom in on my photo you can tell there is no significant damage to the spines. I'm thinking this buyer did not read the description and was expecting like-new books.

    I just spoke with an eBay rep who told me that if I accept the return I will have to pay for shipping because of her claim that the item did not match the description. Other than that, he was not able to give me much information on how to proceed. I am completely stressed out about this sale and it's only 10 bucks! I can't imagine how people handle the stress of possibly losing out on thousands and thousands of dollars.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated - thank you!

    EDIT: I forgot to mention in my original post that from her username, the seller appears to be a used book seller.
  2. Personally I would accept the return, refund her once she has sent them back.
    It's really annoying & unfair but really not worth the hassle sadly IMO
    NAD is a sellers nightmare, Ebay & PayPal always side with the buyer.
    Then relist them but with lots photos of the damage so there can be no doubt

  3. Thanks for your reply! If I click on the accept return option does the buyer automatically get her refund?
  4. I believe once you click on the refund buyer they should be told to return the item back to you and you mustn't in any circumstances issue a refund until you get the item back.
    As it is "not as described" you will be asked to email a return form to the buyer & pay the cost, they are obliged to sent it back tracked.
    Once the tracking shows that it has been delivered back to you , it's then that Ebay automatically issues the refund.
    Make sure that you are clicking on "refund buyer" and NOT issue a partial refund to buyer .. If you click on a partial refund then they get to keep the item for a reduced price

    Hope all goes well x
  5. Thanks so much - I appreciate it!
  6. You are welcome :smile: x
  7. Seriously? What a PITA!
    Most second-hand stores won't take book returns because people would read the books and return them once they're no longer needed.

    If you've already agreed to the return, can you have her pay for return shipping?

    I'm betting that this buyer does this all the time and gets to read free books, using sellers as her personal library.
  8. Thanks so much for your reply, I was hoping you'd chime in! I have not yet replied as I did not want to agree to a return too hastily. I was thinking about asking her to pay for the return shipping but wasn't quite sure if I could do that since she's claiming the books are not as described.
  9. So she already opened a SNAD dispute? Honestly, I'd strongly consider just letting her keep the books and refunding her the money just to cut your losses. If she filed SNAD you'll be forced to pay return shipping which is just throwing good money after bad. You'll have the books back but already be at least $8 out of pocket on a $6 item... Lose lose :sad:

    ETA I would fight the return with eBay first saying that the books were correctly represented. But if eBay forces the return on you (which is likely) then I would probably do the above. Good luck!
  10. I see that in your description you said there was spine damage. And the condition was described as good to acceptable. If I understand book condition classifications, "acceptable" is the worst level, so she shouldn't have been surprised to see the damage. I wouldn't accept the return.

    Here is how Amazon describes those two condition classifications:
    • Used - Good: All pages and cover are intact (including the dust cover, if applicable). Spine may show signs of wear. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting. May include "From the library of" labels.
    • Used - Acceptable: All pages and the cover are intact, but the dust cover may be missing. Pages may include limited notes and highlighting, but the text cannot be obscured or unreadable.
    Here is ebay's:
  11. But the books are exactly as described! You disclosed that their spines have damage, what else does she want? These are cheaply made softcover books that definitely will show damage after being read just a few times. She seems quite unreasonable to me. I would fight this case as well since the books are well described and she went ahead and purchased them anyway.....that's on her.
    Ironically I find that some of the lowest $$ sales create the biggest problems!
  12. I just helped someone privately who had a buyer claim a bag was "more used than expected" and she won the dispute.

    Since the issue was resolved through private conversations, I'm not comfortable in disclosing any other information other than to suggest you do as I advised her and with that advice, she won.

    1. If you choose to fight the claim:
    Explain that the books were described (in subtitle) as "from good to acceptable condition" and in the description as "All books are in fair to good condition and show minimal to moderate signs of use including: creased pages and covers, spine damage, page yellowing, pen markings, etc. One book has some water damage but is still perfectly readable."

    As for wear, condition was described accurately and as per eBay policy, complaints about a used item indicating signs of use are invalid: (Include a link to the policy and also copy and paste the text from the policy. Any and all info you can include can help.)

    BTW, the ebay rep is wrong and you CAN win this case with the proper documentation. This is why I suggested to the other TPF'er and to you to copy the above, possibly tweaking as needed.

    Why give the buyer a freebie and send her the message that this is okay and sellers will bend over for her nonsense? I would fight this one and not allow a PITA buyer to get away with this.
  13. Thanks so much for your feedback, ladies! I appreciate it!
  14. Exactly! The more I think about it, the more irritated I get.
  15. Thanks so much, BB! I am going to respond to her claim tonight. If I don't win, I'd rather pay to get the books back and donate them to Goodwill than let her keep them and get a refund.
    alansgail likes this.