New seller's dilemma

  1. Hi everyone - hoping some experienced sellers can chime in about my situation. Sorry this is long. I'm nearly in tears.:crybaby:

    I'm a new seller to eBay and have just started to list a few of my bags that I do not use. Some bags are brand new/never used and some have been used before, either by me and/or someone else since I also buy used bags on eBay.

    I know I'm nervous about eBay as a buyer, so I want to be an honest and excellent seller for others who might be nervous too.

    When examining and describing used bags, I try to be very descriptive for the bag, including any flaws I see and include pictures. I also indicate if the bag is used.

    Of course this is all subjective and what is unseen to one person is a dire flaw making the bag completely unacceptable to another person. I am now in that situation and it's making me sick.

    I recently sold a used bag that I thought was in great condition for its age and color (it was a lighter color bag about 2.5 years old). I disclosed the flaws I saw after careful examiniation (a few spots in the lining, for example) and communicated with the buyer multiple times, answering all her questions honestly and to the best of my ability. I have had several other bags like the one I sold and I was 10000% comfortable that this one was authentic and like the others in quality.

    I just received a very long email from the buyer who is clearly upset and disappointed and she said this is not the bag she expected based on the auction and our previous communications. She is upset with exterior flaws and discolorations (I honestly looked the bag over so carefully and this claim is new to me) and other things like handle shape and leather. I am honestly shocked because this is not a description of the bag I sold.

    She wants to return it, or go to PayPal/ebay to deal with this. I stated in my auction no returns. I thought I represented the bag and condition honestly and while I believe this buyer is completely honest, part of me in the wee back of my mind worries about bait and switch.

    All in all, she was very, very nice and I was very nice back in my response, indicating my familiarity with the brand and style of bag, especially since I owned others like it, and trying to answer her points about areas in which she was disappointed.

    So my dilemma is should I just take the bag back, refund her money, and be out all of the eBay fees and Paypal fees and have the bag back only to have to relist it again? Or do I not accept a return? I mean, the buyer knew it was a used bag over 2.5 years old.

    I guess the bigger question is how much subjectiveness can buyers and sellers handle to come to an agreement? This whole experience has left me scared about any buyer because I don't want to go through this again and I feel I might no matter how descriptive I am with the auction.

    This whole experience has scared me off from eBay for a while...but I still have some auctions listed which I might pull.

    Thanks in advance for any advice. :flowers:
  2. I also want to add that the buyer has been very gracious and polite and I think she's honest too. so it's not any frustration with the buyer that prompted me to write this.

    I would like advice on how to avoid the discrepancy of subjectiveness if possible in used bag auctions.

    thank you.
  3. I would take it back. It's entirely possible that Paypal will grant a refund anyways. Even if they don't, all she has to do is file a chargeback with her cc company and she will likely get it back anyways.
    You could also see if she'd accept a partial refund for the flaws, if you feel comfortable with that. Ask her what amount would make her happy.
    On a positive note, if you refund her payment thru Paypal you will get all of your fees from them back. Also, if she agrees to a non-sale thru Ebay you can recover most of your fees there as well.
    I don't think there is really any way to avoid this situation in items that are used. They do seem to happen infrequently though. I usually have people commenting that they received items better then they'd expected as I tend to over emphasize any flaws to avoid these problems. But, some people are just expecting too much from a used item sometimes and won't be happy with anything less then perfect.
    Don't get discouraged and good luck!
  4. ^^^thank you, April, this is good advice. :flowers: It makes me feel better about the fees, too.
  5. Well saying, aprilvalentine. I totally agree with you.

    There isn't a formula how to deal with this kind of situation. In this case, both seller and buyer are very civilized. In order to maintain a good feedback, I'd just ask the buyer to send the bag back on her expense, and you could refund her money via PayPal. I said she should pay for returning since this listing clearly stated it is an used bag. This buyer has too much expectation, and is kind of buyer remorse.

    If you handled this case well, you should receive a good feedback which will help your selling in the future. If you are afraid of switching, you could attach some security tags on the bags next time you sell. I am sorry this hppened. I had a similar experience once before. As long as the buye is polite and reasonable, I would take my item back and relist it. I sold my returned item last time with a good price.
  6. Yes, take the bag back. Issue the refund AFTER you have it in hand. You seem to have a lot of pictures documenting the marks on the bag you owned. It will be easy to know then if what you receive back is what you sent.
  7. That is a hard call. Selling used things is always tricky but if you show very accurate photos and describe the bag positively while detailing the flaws you should be okay.

    I myself would not want to refund if you really are 100% you described it honestly...but if you think you may have missed a thing or two, perhaps offer her a partial refund or offer to take the bag back but definitely get it in hand before you refund her money, make sure it is not trashed or something. sorry this happened to you, don't be disheartened.
  8. You said all sales final - and I think that if you photographed the abg clearly enough and described it to the best of your ability - then that should be that.

    However, if the buyer pushes it (and no-one wants to deal with a pushy buyer), I would offer a partial refund so she can get 'whatever she claims you didnt mention' repaired.
  9. As a seller, I always stand my ground with my buyers. No returns means no returns. Especially after I've provided sometimes upward of 18 photos of the item they are bidding on. I feel that in most cases, it's not you - the seller. It's them - the buyer. There are some people on this planet that you just can't please. I've also found that it's the one that asks you a million questions about the item that seem to be the biggest trouble makers. Picky and paranoid. If you feel within your heart that you described and photographed the bag accurately then it's most likely buyer's remorse that you are dealing with.

    Fortunately, I have only had to deal with issues like this on only a few occasions. I think I've only had maybe 4 disputes like this filed against me in 8 years of selling. I won 3 of them. :smile: The only reason I lost the 4th case was because my buyer filed a chargeback with American Express. Kiss of death for a seller in a dispute. Good luck!
  10. You can state all you want to in your auctions that you don't take returns....if you take paypal you do.

    It is best just to let her return the item at her expense and refund her purchase price. If you let her file a snad, paypal will return her original shipping price as well.

    Then once you have refunded her money, let her know in order to get your fees back you have to file a NPB, all she has to do is let ebay know you refunded her money and there will be no strike against her. I find this part important because a lot of people get angry when the get a non-paying bidder filed on them, they don't understand the process.

    Good luck
  11. hi everyone, thank you all for your thoughtful advice and insight!!!! :flowers: this situation has really bugged me all day since the buyer first emailed me earlier today.:sad:

    HandbagAngel: yes, thankfully the buyer and I have had regular communications, all very polite and nice and civil. :tup:

    Sanguar - this is good advice, thank you. If we do do a return, I'll make sure to let the buyer know. She has been very reasonable and I think she will think this is fair.

    HauteCouturess & bellacherie - the buyer brought up a partial refund if she keeps the bag. I am agreeable to this.

    print*model - I definitely thought I provided good pics and good, fast communication and it's always a good practice to continue if I keep selling.

    4theluvof-it - I'm a new eBay seller and your hints about snad and NPB are very helpful, thank you.

    all of you have helped me feel much better tonight, thank you all! :flowers: :heart:
  12. Hope this story will have a happy ending for you, let us know how it turned out.
  13. I am so sorry to hear about this...

    I have to say that I agree here. You can ask for pics of the damages that you did not see and go from there. I don't accept returns because of idiots trying to scam me! Someone told me once that they wanted a refund because the LV's on one side of the bag were upside down. It was a papillon 30 and it is made from one piece of canvas (they are supposed to be upside down on one side)... Selling is not always easy.