The Customer is Always Right?

There are always going to be those that try to scam you, or put one over on you. Online selling is no different.

Looking for a discount

I have been lucky to only have dealt with a few, but I have heard some horror stories. In my personal experiences, it has mostly been people trying to get a discount or partial refund for what they’ve purchased. I just recently had a buyer message me asking if I would discount a pair of footed pajamas that I was selling. I politely informed her that I could not. She ordered them anyway. After receiving them, she sent me a message stating “These pajamas are not in new condition!” I replied back to her that they were purchased in new condition without tags, just as the listing stated. If she was not happy with her purchase, she was welcome to return them for a full refund. I didn’t hear from her for a couple of days, and then I received a message from her asking for a discount on the remaining footed pajamas I had. When I replied again that I was unable to discount them, she just messaged ok.

I don’t expect to hear from her again. She wanted the pajamas, but didn’t want to pay my price. When I wouldn’t discount, she thought she’d get me to give her a partial refund by claiming they weren’t new. Because I only offered a full refund for the return of the pajamas, she changed tactics and tried to get a discount on the remaining ones I had for sale. She is now blocked from ordering from me again.

Feedback extortion

Then there was a gentleman who bought a pair of pants from me. They had belonged to my husband, and had only been worn a couple of times. He was selling them because he’d lost weight. When the buyer received them, he immediately left negative feedback stating that the pants had a hole in them. I messaged him and told him that I didn’t know of any hole, but had he messaged me before leaving the negative feedback, we might have been able to work something out. First he complained that it was going to cost him a lot to have it repaired. When I asked to see a picture of the hole, he then changed and said that he’d already had it repaired. He went on to say that if I gave him a refund on the pants, he would remove the negative feedback. This is considered feedback extortion by eBay. I notified them, they read his messages, removed my negative feedback, and I assume his account was suspended.

It’s too small

There are of course, those that have legitimate issues with their purchase. “It doesn’t fit” is a common one. I tell the buyer to request a return through eBay, and I refund their purchase price when I receive the item in the same condition I sent it.

Went to pieces

Occasionally, no matter how well you wrap and package an item, it’s going to get broken in the mail. The USPS are not the most gentle of people, and packages tend to be tossed around. When this occurs, I ask the buyer to send me a photo of the broken item. I then just refund in full. There is no need to pay for shipping to return a broken item.

The old switcheroo

I haven’t had this happen to me, but I have heard of buyers claiming that the expensive “new” electronic item they purchased was actually used and/or broken. Unfortunately, dishonest people claim this, and return the item that they already owned, and keep the new that you sent them. When packaging up an expensive item such as an electronic, I would take photos of the item as I package it, and I would make sure that if there is a serial number of any kind that I’ve written it down. You could also make a discreet mark on the item, photograph it, and if the item they return doesn’t have that mark, you have a definite case with eBay.


High horse riders

Recently, I had a person message me. She was quite upset that she had found something for sale on my store that she’d seen at the Dollar store. I had the item listed for $5.99. She informed me that I “should be ashamed of myself.” On the rare occasion I receive an email like this, I usually just try to ignore it. If they only knew how little I would receive from a sale like that. It’s actually a draw to get potential buyers to my site because then they might see something else of more value that they want to purchase. It’s similar to a store having an advertised sale. They drop the price of something good, probably make little to nothing on the sale, but it draws you into their store where you might see and purchase something else. The breakdown for an item like this is:

$5.99 price on my eBay store

-$1.05 cost of item and tax at Dollar store

-$2.66 shipping fee (provided it weighs less than 4 oz.)

-.55 eBay fee

-.47 paypal fee

-.10 listing fee (for each month it remains for sale)

This would leave $1.16 profit, and that doesn’t count the cost of the shipping poly bag to mail it in, or the shipping label. Charging any less than the $5.99 would mean that it costs me money to list that Dollar store item. Not exactly good business sense. I think it’s great that she found the item at the Dollar store and was able to purchase it for $1.00. What some people don’t understand is that it’s worth it to some people to pay the extra to have it delivered to their door, and not have to go get it themselves. Just ignore negative emails. They aren’t worth your time.



One Comment

Leave a Reply