I wanted to make space on my bookshelves so decided to try to sell some of my books on Ebay, they didn’t sell at a price I selected, so I thought I’d try with a start price of £0.99 hoping I would get a few bidders on these brand new books which have never been read but just sat on my shelves. I sold one for 99p plus the postage and packing of £2.99 total £3.98, the book originally cost me at least ten times as much. I packed the book as I normally did, took it off to the post office, paid the appropriate postage and sent it off on its merry way.
On opening my email account a couple of days later I was hit right between the eyes with an email from the buyer saying I had sent a used, damaged book and it was obviously not as described! She also went on in detail about how it was a present for her mother in law and only purchased from me because I had said it was new.
Concerned I contacted Ebay (hahaha that’s another tale) who, though on the surface, were empathetic with the problem but could only advise that I obtain photo’s of the book to compare with my original photo; this I duly requested from the buyer, who then sent two pretty poor photos through showing a slight crease at the bottom right hand corner of the book and one of the torn packaging, it was obvious from these photo’s that the damaged had occurred during mailing.
I requested the return of both packaging and book but the buyer was not happy with this she just wanted a refund and to keep the book for her mother in law (cheapskate keeps coming to mind!). Again I referred to Ebay who appeared to agree with me that offering a refund upon return was the correct way to proceed. I again requested this from the buyer, stating that as I was offering to pay her return postage (something which goes above the guide lines stated by Ebay) if she would return the items. No, not good enough, in fact all she wanted was a refund of the postage! Not happening, as without the book and packaging I am unable to make a claim from Royal Mail for the damage. I also offered to send her all the details so she could claim against Royal Mail but, boy, was that the wrong thing to do!
She has now decided that she is not prepared to do this or even to send the book back but still wants a refund? How does that work?
I have now sent her a prepaid addressed label via email and asked her to put the book back in the original bag, seal it up, attach the label and then just to drop it in her nearest post box. (I have a suspicion that even that will be too much for her)
I have since read the forums on Ebay, (something I wish I had done before I started trying to sell on Ebay, then I wouldn’t have bothered) and as they seem only to side with the buyers I feel let down and deceived, not only by Ebay but this particular buyer as well. It seems to me she was out to try and get a bargain for nothing and has Ebay on her side. I have also spoken to the resolution centre who appeared to side with me when I called but, again after reading the forums, I doubt that they will side with me faced with the buyer, even though I am carrying out their advice and guide lines.
I have now removed all the items I had for sale and once the last few bits and pieces have been cleared I will be closing both my Ebay and Paypal accounts, I would rather sell at a car boot sale or give the items to charity, than be involved with a company who do not provide a level playing field or buyers intent on getting something for nothing but as for now I await the next instalment and will try to learn from the experience.