eBay: I'm the Winning Bidder, But Seller No Longer Wants to Sell Bag

Jan 25, 2006
Argh! I purchased an indigo first bag two days ago using Buy It Now. A few minutes ago I received an e-mail from the seller saying that he has decided that he no longer wants to sell the bag. Apparently the seller was selling it for his sister and once he told his sister that the bag had been sold, she got upset and decided that she didn't want to part with it. I paid for the bag immediately after I placed my bid and the funds have already been withdrawn from my account. The seller now wants to give me a refund for the price of the bag.

Has anyone ever had this happen to them before? I don't want to be a b*tch about this, but I REALLY WANT this bag. And I think that if the bag was not meant to be sold in the first place, then it should never have been listed! I haven't gone digging through eBay's policies yet (I came here first), but I'm pretty sure that I would win this battle. The seller should be under a binding contract to sell me the item, right?
I'm not sure how it works, and if you can actually force them to give you the bag rather than the money. But I think that the seller's behaviour was pretty shabby and immature.
Angst -

The 'rules' about eBay are pretty simple ... if the transaction goes through (meaning that the seller did not pull the auction beforehand), then the seller is committed to selling the item to you.

However, eBay does allow for 'exceptions' (for instance, something has happened, etc.) - similar to a Bid Retraction.

If you used Paypal, you should IMMEDIATELY report the seller's actions (you should do the same with eBay). The seller must refund everything paid to them! If Paypal was used, then the funds should be in their account - the seller has up to 30 days to refund the funds back to you (it's very easy to do). However, if the seller has pulled out the funds, that's when it gets difficult. I have had this happen to me, and the unscrupulous seller took off with my money and I got NOTHING! That's why it's important to report it IMMEDIATELY!

There are plenty of Help facilities in both eBay and Paypal, so you will be able to look up how to deal with this situation. Bottom line, when you bid, a contractual agreement is made between you and the seller. The seller, in this case, is not honoring their part ... they should feel the consequences as such.

You can reprt him as a NPS (non-performing seller). He will recieve a strike, but Ebay cannot force him to sell the bag to you. Unfortunatly, just be glad he refunded you.
If you click 'help' and search for non performing seller, it should give you some information - I know you can report them for this, goodluck!

eta: yeah, what everyone else said! There really is nothing you can do to force them to sell the bag - and I'm not sure if you really would want that, since you have no idea what you would receive if they've decided they didn't want to part with it. Don't worry though, you'll find another one that is meant to be - I wish you lots of luck!
thats so ridiculous! you bought it, they dont have the right to not send it to you. the decision to sell should be made BEFORE they put the ad up on eBay.

i dont know what advice to offer you... i hope you get the bag or your $$ back. man, this is what makes eBay scary sometimes.
I suppose my response was a little confusing ... didn't mean to imply that the Seller HAD to give you the BAG ... just that eBay does have information around "what to do" when this situation occurs.
Thanks everyone for your responses! I greatly appreciate your help.

I sent the seller the following e-mail:

Hi. I wanted to let you know that I received your message. As I am sure you are aware, once an auction has ended and an item is sold, the seller and the winning bidder enter into a contractually binding agreement. It is the buyer's responsibility to pay for the item and it is the seller's responsibility to follow through with the sale. I don't want to be difficult about this, but is there any way you can talk to your sister and explain that this is a legal issue? I have been searching for the indigo first bag for a long time now, and I really want it. Again, I'm sorry to be difficult, but if the bag was not supposed to be for sale, it should not have been listed in the first place. I hope that we can satisfactorally resolve this dispute. Thank you.

I'm hoping that the thought of negative feedback will convince the seller to follow through on his end. I feel badly about not giving in to his request, but this was his error, not mine. The funny thing is, when the auction was listed it went up as a 10 day auction. I e-mailed the seller to see if he would be willing to put a BIN on the auction since no bids had been placed yet. I told him that I was extremely interested in the bag and that I would purchase it immediately if he posted a BIN. He ended up posting a BIN and I snatched the bag up as soon as I saw the BIN. So, he knows how much I wanted this bag.

I'll keep everyone posted of any further developments. Not a good start to the weekend for me.
I really hope you get the bag, gumby. My guess is that the seller will change his mind after rethinking the issue. Your message to him was nicely worded, it was polite but let him know that you are serious. Keep us updated, ok?
What a loser. I wonder if his sister even wanted the bag sold in the first place or whether he was hearing what he wanted to hear or whatever....

Hang in there, Gumby, there's an indigo somewhere out there for you!
That sounds like a bunch of crap, really. They have that thing that warns you before you bid that you are entering into a contract. Why should it not work both ways?

I am sorry you are dealing with this. It does sound like a powerful endorsement for the marketplace here, doesn't it? Less hassle, less stress, and you are not dealing with a bunch of weirdos.

Again, I hope this works out in your favor. Best of luck!
Thanks for your sympathies, everyone!

I'm really struggling with this. I'm trying to look at the situation from both sides, so I do have some sympathy for the sister if this story is a straight one.

They must have discussed selling the bag at some point, otherwise I don't know why he would have just randomly posted it. Plus, he had to have access to the bag to photograph it. The listing described the bag and its level of use, so he also must have gotten that info from her.

If you guys were in this situation, what would you do? Would you push to have the sale completed? Or would you let the seller back out of the end of his deal? Part of me is saying, "Forget about the bag, let her keep it"; but the other part is saying, "Technically, I am in the right here. And, I REALLY want this bag." Am I being unreasonable in expecting him to ship the bag to me? I'm terribly torn. What would you do?
angst...you must be so disappointed - sorry that this happened :sad:

I think if it were me, I would make sure I got my full refund and then would continue my search for the perfect bag, thinking this one wasn't meant to be.