Buyer sends back identical bag but not the one I sold

Apr 14, 2010
322
8
I've never had this happen before, so I wanted to run it by more experienced sellers.

I sold a new Coach bag for <$150. Shipped it last week, then come home this week to a package from the buyer. It's the bag but missing its Coach hangtags (there were two on this particular one). There's a letter saying that she bought two of the same bag and wants a refund, despite that my listing states, "No refunds." Whatever, fine, I am willing to refund her. However, on closer inspection, the bag has its gift receipt, but it's not the gift receipt I included. I'm from Maryland, and the gift receipt is from a store in Arizona. To me, it seems like this buyer bought two of the bags, mine being the more expensive one, and sent me the other one back because the cheaper one she bought was missing its hangtags.

I've reported the buyer on eBay and explained the situation in detail. I've also messaged the buyer explaining that I'm willing to offer a full refund of the purchase price once I receive the hangtags back. And I've taken pictures of the bag in the box, the bag out of the box, and the gift receipt.

Anything else that I should do? I have a feeling this will simply result in my refunding the buyer and never seeing the hangtags, but I feel that since this is my first "buyer who thinks I'm dumb as a box of rocks" experience, I should stand my ground a bit. I suppose if I were a large-volume seller, I could chalk it up to the price of doing business, but I'm not, nor do I not want to be the jerk who returns a hangtag-less bag to the store.
 

Power

Member
Mar 23, 2012
207
0
Vancouver, BC
OMG. I've heard about other sellers who video themselves opening return packages for this very reason!

They did not send the bag back to you in it's original condition, you need to take pictures or make a video and document this. Also, I always prefer calling Ebay directly rather than through email. Just my opinion. :smile:
 

uadjit

D.Va
Jul 21, 2011
4,526
126
Somewhere that's green
Definitely stick to your guns here. And do call eBay. If your buyer makes a habit of this perhaps they have a "record" with eBay and/or PP and won't be able to open a case against you. If they do you have the gift receipt for a different Coach store (which is more convincing than absent hangtags). eBay/PP may decide in the buyer's favor but if they do appeal their decision. Also, please share this user's ID if you feel comfortable doing so. You might also look at listings for Coach hangtags and see if yours has magically appeared for sale.
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
47,481
16,291
East Coast, USA
Did you look at the buyer's bidding history and see the pictures of the other bag? Does the other seller show the hangtags? Is the other seller from AZ?

If so, email the buyer through ebay messaging saying to the effect of the following. Tweak as necessary to make it factual.

Dear buyer,

I'm sending this message through ebay because I want to document it and have it on ebay's record since you're trying to return a different bag than the one you received from me. I looked at your bidding/buying history. I see that you bought the same bag, item #xxxxxxxx from seller_________. I notice that the pictures in her listing, although less expensive than mine is missing the hangtags, probably why it was cheaper. If you look at my listing, you'll see that hangtags are shown. I also notice that the other seller is in Arizona, the same state as the gift receipt indicates.

If you want to return my bag because you found a less expensive one, although I don't have a return policy, I am willing to provide a full refund of the purchase price only upon receipt of my bag, all its contents, gift receipt and the hangtags. Shipping in both directions is at your expense and if I need to return this bag (from the other seller), that shipping cost will also be deducted from your refund.

Please let me know what you plan to do. In the meantime, I cannot issue a refund since the bag returned isn't the same one I sent and the return was done without my authorization.

Sincerely,
Seller


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Regarding the last comment about the return being sent without your approval, I believe that the buyer loses protection when a return isn't authorized and the seller isn't notified ahead of time.
 
Apr 15, 2007
63,999
9,346
I would contact ebay & I would also look at the buyer's bidding history to see
if in fact she did a switcheroo.

I would also remain as calm as possible contacting the buyer thru ebay's
message system. Having an accusutory tone only atognizes the buyer, IMO
& even though you are justified in doing so, tread professionally.

You could suggest that this was an oversight in returning "your bag" to you
once you receive your bag back with the hangtags & gift receipt, etc you
will issue a refund & she will have to pay for the shipping all the way around.
 
Apr 14, 2010
322
8
Thanks for all of the great ideas! I'm definitely going to call eBay, and unfortunately, it looks like the buyer may have purchased the bag elsewhere.

I didn't realize that about the eBay buyer protection policy, though... that's interesting.

Will update as things develop. Much appreciated!
 

tutushopper

❤️ Lambskin Lover ❤️
Apr 13, 2012
16,420
121
Did you look at the buyer's bidding history and see the pictures of the other bag? Does the other seller show the hangtags? Is the other seller from AZ?

If so, email the buyer through ebay messaging saying to the effect of the following. Tweak as necessary to make it factual.

Dear buyer,

I'm sending this message through ebay because I want to document it and have it on ebay's record since you're trying to return a different bag than the one you received from me. I looked at your bidding/buying history. I see that you bought the same bag, item #xxxxxxxx from seller_________. I notice that the pictures in her listing, although less expensive than mine is missing the hangtags, probably why it was cheaper. If you look at my listing, you'll see that hangtags are shown. I also notice that the other seller is in Arizona, the same state as the gift receipt indicates.

If you want to return my bag because you found a less expensive one, although I don't have a return policy, I am willing to provide a full refund of the purchase price only upon receipt of my bag, all its contents, gift receipt and the hangtags. Shipping in both directions is at your expense and if I need to return this bag (from the other seller), that shipping cost will also be deducted from your refund.

Please let me know what you plan to do. In the meantime, I cannot issue a refund since the bag returned isn't the same one I sent and the return was done without my authorization.

Sincerely,
Seller


---------------------

Regarding the last comment about the return being sent without your approval, I believe that the buyer loses protection when a return isn't authorized and the seller isn't notified ahead of time.
Once again, BB is correct:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/buyer-protection.html

However, if a buyer returns an item without agreement from the seller through eBay Messages, we will not cover the buyer's case for the return and will not hold the seller accountable (even if the seller's original eBay listing stated a return policy).
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
47,481
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East Coast, USA
I meant to add a line in the message to the buyer stating that "I think you goofed and returned the wrong bag to me." That way, it's not accusing her but offering the possibility of an honest error.
 

Jsully423

Member
Jan 2, 2013
816
0
USA
I meant to add a line in the message to the buyer stating that "I think you goofed and returned the wrong bag to me." That way, it's not accusing her but offering the possibility of an honest error.
Good one! It may very well be a mistake since they are identical
 
Apr 14, 2010
322
8
I meant to add a line in the message to the buyer stating that "I think you goofed and returned the wrong bag to me." That way, it's not accusing her but offering the possibility of an honest error.
Good one! It may very well be a mistake since they are identical
This is true - thanks for that script, BeenBurned - it works perfectly for what I would like to convey.
 

tutushopper

❤️ Lambskin Lover ❤️
Apr 13, 2012
16,420
121
Good one! It may very well be a mistake since they are identical
It sounds like a colossal mistake since she didn't contact the seller first either. If the other bag was from another seller, perhaps she contacted that seller (the one in Arizona), but sent it to Maryland??? That seems like a really big mistake to make, several in fact.
1) Didn't contact seller in Maryland
2) Shipped a bag to seller in Maryland that did not come from that seller
3) Now expects seller in Maryland to refund her after having broken buyer protection

If she bought the returned to Maryland bag someplace other than ebay, then she has made even more oopsies. :smile:
 
Apr 14, 2010
322
8
It sounds like a colossal mistake since she didn't contact the seller first either. If the other bag was from another seller, perhaps she contacted that seller (the one in Arizona), but sent it to Maryland??? That seems like a really big mistake to make, several in fact.
1) Didn't contact seller in Maryland
2) Shipped a bag to seller in Maryland that did not come from that seller
3) Now expects seller in Maryland to refund her after having broken buyer protection

If she bought the returned to Maryland bag someplace other than ebay, then she has made even more oopsies. :smile:
I initially thought that she had just taken the hangtags off of the bag I sold to her because the packaging was the exact same Priority box I used. I use this really bright printed packing tape to affix my shipping label, and it and the original shipping label was still taped to the box with a self-adhesive, handwritten Priority label affixed overtop all of that. And the typed letter that she included in the box was addressed to my name.

I'm kind of almost hoping this was intentional because if this poor person really made all of those mistakes, she could unfortunately be poised to make the USPS quite a few bucks for an honest mistake.
 
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tutushopper

❤️ Lambskin Lover ❤️
Apr 13, 2012
16,420
121
I initially thought that she had just taken the hangtags off of the bag I sold to her because the packaging was the exact same Priority box I used. I use this really bright printed packing tape to affix my shipping label, and it and the original shipping label was still taped to the box with a self-adhesive, handwritten Priority label affixed overtop all of that. And the typed letter that she included in the box was addressed to my name.

I'm kind of almost hoping this was intentional because if this poor person really made all of those mistakes, she could unfortunately be poised to make the USPS quite a few bucks for an honest mistake.
If she sent you a typed letter with your name on it, it really does sound a bit intentional, doesn't it? I wonder if she knows that technically she could just be totally out of luck if you pushed it, and the best case scenario would have her spending like you said, a lot of money to the USPS to rectify this situation. I would suspect her return, intentional or not, is going to cost her a lot more than the difference in price of the two bags. Please do keep us updated and post her ID when you feel comfortable so that we can add her to our "special buyers" list. :smile:
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
47,481
16,291
East Coast, USA
If she sent you a typed letter with your name on it, it really does sound a bit intentional, doesn't it? I wonder if she knows that technically she could just be totally out of luck if you pushed it, and the best case scenario would have her spending like you said, a lot of money to the USPS to rectify this situation. I would suspect her return, intentional or not, is going to cost her a lot more than the difference in price of the two bags. Please do keep us updated and post her ID when you feel comfortable so that we can add her to our "special buyers" list. :smile:
I would not refund her as I hardly think this was a mistake. Time for her to learn a lesson here.
I agree with the above posters. I do NOT believe it was a mistake but wanted to give her (the buyer/returner) an "out" before actually accusing her of being a scammer.