questionsam i in the wrong here?


If the auction says buyer pays return shipping then that's the agreement you entered into when you bought it. It's not great but that's the way it is. Sorry, I think you're in the wrong but I do feel your pain.


Right and wrong have little to do with it. You agreed to the terms when you bid/bought the item. The seller could give better customer service, but that is not the point. Personally, I would pay the return shipping if anyone buys a defective device from me, but I do not advertise that on my auctions. That leads to people using me to see if they like an item. That is costly for the seller (I offer FREE Shipping to a buyer, then a perfectly good item is returned and I am out $20 for shipping both ways).

If you think life is fair, you are mistaken. Exceptional Customer Service is not the norm. Caveat Emptor as a buyer online, especially eBay from a non-reputable source. Good sellers will move to the top on eBay over time via the Feedback system.

The fact is, even if you open a case, you will pay the return shipping. It is an agreement you made at time of purchase. Leaving bad feedback is your recourse.


don't think about the good deal would come with a 100% satisfied customer service. the fact is they don't in most of the time.


Read the agreement carefully again. Aside from the others' sage life lesson, paying for shipping usually applies to returns but not for defective products.


I've made just under 1000 ebay purchases in the past several years, and I've seen a number of sellers who state they'll make a full refund of purchase price but not shipping if you want to return it. I've never bought from a seller with those terms. I've never returned an item just because I didn't like it, and I've had only two items that didn't work. In both those instances, the seller made a full refund including shipping both ways since he couldn't send another one in exchange. (This, of course, is the primary objection to the idea that price vs. shipping costs doesn't matter and only the bottom line counts; if the item is $1.99 and shipping is $15, buyers are not likely to find an item worth returning if the seller won't refund shipping.)

tl; dr version: You agreed to the terms and now you're stuck with them. Very unfortunate, but there you are. I suppose you could try doing a dispute through Paypal or your credit card issuer, but I'm not especially optimistic you'd win.


The general rule of thumb is that the buyer will pay for return shipping if it's a situation where they simply don't like the item, but shouldn't have to pay return shipping if the item is genuinely defective or otherwise not as described. That said, nearly every online auction I've come across has a disclaimer somewhere that the item is sold as-is, which means that in all but the most egregious cases (i.e. you order a DVD, you get an old shoe) you're probably stuck with it.

In other words, you're in a gray area where nuance means a lot. It's very possible that the seller assumes you are lying and merely trying to get a discount or a free item, especially if you have little or no feedback. Sellers on eBay are a lot more wary of fraud and scams than they were a few years ago. Be sure the seller understands that you want a replacement item, not a refund. A good seller should pay the return shipping in a case like this, but strictly speaking they probably aren't obligated to.


If it was listed as a fully functioning device and it is not fully functioning file a SNAD (significantly not as described) with PAYPAL resolution center not eBay. REPEAT PAYPAL NOT EBAY.

You have to do so within 45 days of the auction. Basically go into PAYPAL and begin the dispute on that transaction, (resolution center) they walk you through the steps and they will look into the issue and99% of the time they will side with the buyer.

Follow the steps they lay out and stay on top of it & ESCALATE to the next step ASAP, sometimes you have to wait 5 days.

BUT if you bought what was described as a a fully functioning item and did not receive that item in that condition IT IS NOT be your responsibility to pay return shipping why should you get screwed. THE SELLER BREACHED THE CONTRACT BY MIS-REPRESENTING THE ITEM.

Also I would be sure to consider this whole situation and leave appropriate feedback to this unreasonable seller who should know better. Good luck.


@morriea: I would agree with you except that the buyer unintentionally or intentionally misrepresented the condition of the item aka SNAD which is a huge violation of eBay policy and could potentially put a big chink in their seller standards "quota". If this seller had an ounce of brain matter they would immediately remedy the situation because such an inexpensive item should not be worth jeopardizing seller feedback and DSR rank. it's rare that a buyer loses a genuine SNAD case, which is what this sounds like as its is presented here.


@drsilentg: Like you said in the original question: He didn't hold up his end of the deal. You ordered a fully functioning headset, not 'kinda-works-but-not-really' headset.

You're not responsible for return shipping.
The hard part may be getting things to go the way they should.

First and foremost, just trying appealing to the guy's self-interest.. Just explain to him that if he sent you the product you ordered instead of misrepresenting the one got, you wouldn't even be in that situation.
Tell him you'd prefer to just have him send you a pre-paid shipping label, get a working headset be done with it.. and that you would rather NOT have to go through the hassle of filing a report against him and leaving bad feedback.. but there's also no way you're going to spend your money for something that was 100% his fault.

If you paid via PayPal (which I'm guessing you probably did since 99.21422% of people use PP) open a dispute with them. Also Google the subject a little.


I'm an ebay seller and exactly what snooty2toes a dispute with PayPal (assuming you paid thru PayPal). You won't have to pay the return shipping for a defective item that you never should have received in the first place. And make sure you leave appropriate feedback for the seller.


i agree.. do a paypal dispute. you shouldn't have to pay return shipping when the item is defective. It was the sellers responsibility to ensure he sent you a working headset (assuming that was how it was advertised).


@starblind: my first question was do you have a replacement, he does not :(


@snooty2toes: i opened one on ebay first, we messaged a little and got no where. what should i do? should i close the ebay one and just leave the paypal one open?


@drsilentg: no, leave them both open and escalate them both. The ebay case will show you've tried to work it out with the buyer. The Paypal case will get something done about it.

You are right, do not let this seller get away with making money (or just not loosing money) on defective products. You should only pay return shipping on items you did not want or weren't happy with even though they were as described. If the item does not function return shipping is not your responsibility, no matter what the seller puts in his auction.


FYI (from ebays umbrella return policy) "Either you or the buyer is responsible for return shipping charges, as specified in your return policy, except where an item is being returned because it isn't as described in the listing."

@Everyone: Please stop telling @drsilentg that he is wrong when you do not know yourself.


@nmchapma: I would say do exactly what nmchapma just advised. Don't close any dispute until it's resolved but ultimately PAYPAL will actually get the ball rolling rolling on getting your $ back and getting return shipping worked out. And you may be able to escalate the PAYPAL dispute even quicker now since you can show you tried contacting the seller through eBay.

Keep us posted I'm interested to here how it goes and remember with PAYPAL chose only SNAD as why you're disputing. If I remember correctly they will give you a multiple choice list when you start the claim.


I would dispute it just as you did. I have gone a round or 12 with Westinghouse and LG for their policy of buyer pays shipping on a defective item. Also, if you bought a SquareTrade warranty for the item, they can help with the seller and/or return shipping. They (SquareTrade) ended up refunding the shipping cost when I had to send a 35 day old 40" tv back to Westinghouse. Needless to say, I will not be buying an item from either of those companies again, but will continue to fork over the money for a SquareTrade warranty as they go above and beyond.


I just went through a similar situation with a Chinese vendor. I'd bought a pocket watch which I intended to incorporate into a piece of jewelry for sale. The stem came off when I tried to set the time. I emailed the vendor and sent a photo of the broken watch. They asked me to pay about half the cost of the watch in order to receive a replacement (there was no discussion of mailing it back to China). I wrote back and told them that would increase the price of the item too high to recoup my investment on resale. I think they went and looked at my record, which is not only a 100% rating over about 1,000 purchases but a couple dozen of those purchases were pocket watches, some no doubt from them. They came back and said they would send a free replacement right away. I gave them their five stars and ended up with a working watch and a broken one to take apart for the gears (steampunk art). Fortunately I didn't have to file any complaints.


This sucks, because the item was not as described (it didn't work). This having been said, the conditions of sale were that the buyer pays for return shipping. You agreed to the terms and conditions, and it didn't work out. Sorry.

This is why I don't buy from Ebay sellers. The amount of money I may save isn't worth the hassles when orders are wrong, items are defective, or you are outright ripped off.


@snooty2toes: So.Paypal Denied Me My Claim..... Thoughts On What To Do Next?


@nmchapma:Can You Link That For Me In Their Buyer Policies? I Don't Know wHere Else To Turn.


PayPal Response

We have concluded our investigation into this case. Unfortunately, at this
time we are unable to decide this claim in your favor.

vote-for4vote-against (that may not work) (this should)

Have you escalated your case to ebay? Call Paypal, I've had to do this before. Be very specific that the item was defective upon receipt.


There are times to open a case and there are times not to, and I don't think this was one of those times. nmchapma is right that sellers are supposed to pay return shipping when an item isn't as described, but this is a case where there is likely to be doubt that it's the seller's fault, as the seller will probably claim they tested it before sending and it worked and that the buyer is either lying or broke it themselves. This makes the result basically a coin toss, with the result probably coming down to who has better feedback and an overall better record.

Cases can have unintended consequences: case results are considered binding and everything at that point is on the record, so sellers are a lot less likely to bend their own rules once a case is opened. In some ways it's like taking someone to court: if you win you'll get what you want, but either way you've stained that relationship forever and can't expect any niceness from the other party.



ThankYou Guys!!


Refunds are automatically adjusted for any applicable restocking fees or shipping charges.

When the item isn't as described: 

If you return an item because it's not as described in the listing, arrives damaged, or is missing parts, then your refund equals:

Total purchase price (including the cost of the item, any other charges, and any sales tax paid by you)
+ Original shipping (if paid for by you)
= Total refund

In these situations, the seller can't charge a restocking fee and the seller pays for the return shipping charges.



Also, a case closed not in your favour is essentially considered a black mark on your record and future cases are then even less likely to be closed in your favour. If it gets to the point that eBay/PayPal thinks you're abusing the system by opening spurious cases, you can lose your account and be blocked from opening new ones.

I'm definitely not saying no-one should open a case ever, but it definitely should be done carefully.


paypal denied the claim for a few reasons. chiefly because the seller did not deny your return/ is not unresponsive, and secondly because the terms of said return were spelled out in the auction.

also - item not as described, in spirit, means the item itself is a different item OR sold as new but is obviously used. Ie: you order pants that are a size 34, but they are really size 30. You order brand new size 34 pants, and they arrive with grass stains and tears on the knee. If all else is correct with your order, with the only issue being that it's broken - well it's hard to prove how and when it was broken. during shipping, during unpackaging, or prior to sale. The only one of those that shows a level of intent is the last one. All of the others simply wouldn't fall under "not as described"


I Made My Ebay Claim And Sent This To.Him. Waiting For Reply . I Don't Think He Can Get Around This! (See Policy Post Somebody Found For Me) Sorry For Weird.Caps On Phone At work


@drsilentg: The bit of policy you quoted applies to their managed returns process, detailed here:

If you scroll up to the section on Eligibility, you'll see that only applies if, among other things, "You haven't opened an eBay Buyer Protection or PayPal Purchase Protection case". You already opened a case and lost, so that no longer applies.


@starblind: EBay Buyer Protection Is open And I Had To Open It Since The Seller Would Not.listen lol


@drsilentg: Wait... wait... wait... hold up. Are you saying that you opened a PayPal case, LOST the Paypal case, then opened ANOTHER case on eBay for the same issue/item?!

There... there are no words. Good luck, I guess.


@starblind: No EBay First Then Paypal. Lost Paypal. Ebay Still open


@starblind: Could you please link me to your information on cases? especially the info about how loosing cases makes it harder to win them later.


I feel your pain, but you entered into the agreement.

On a site note, if Paypal were a human being, he would be a giant that went around sucker punching people.


@nmchapma: Here you go:
"...the buyer may be removed from [Buyer Protection] coverage or suspended from eBay"

Also, I've been told by CSRs before that case history is one of the things eBay looks at when deciding how to handle a case or whether to close an account. If a buyer has a suspicious history of opening lots of cases or getting lots of refunds they do notice that. Over the past couple of years eBay has been taking its reputation as an online fraud magnet a lot more seriously, and about time too. It's just common sense, sort of like if you keep buying stuff at a retail store and then returning it you can only get away with that for so long before they notice and tell you not to come back.


@drsilentg: I agree to try calling paypal, it goes without saying to stay calm with them no matter how illogical they may seem (lol) I've only ever had to open one claim against a seller but I researched it all fully before I began selling and I never even bothered going to eBay when I had my problem. It may not hurt to call eBay either.

I know it's a relatively small purchase but so long as things are as you described it just seems like your getting shafted and I hate it when people try to scam on eBay it gives EVERYONE a bad rap and the scammers always try it with smaller value items, thinking people will just say screw it.


I'm not an attorney but I am married to one. A contract is a contract. But that knife cuts both ways. You agreed to pay return shipping on an item. However, the seller breached the contract by sending you a defective item. Once a contract is breached (as this one was), another part of the contract (whether it benefits the breacher or you) can't be enforced. Basically, you can't be held to a contract that was breached by the other party.


@kylemittskus: Wouldn't the seller have to have knowingly sent a defective item? If the item was in working order when they sent it out (and things do happen in the post) how would that affect the claim?


@kylemittskus: Unless it has a severability clause


@zuiquan: the assumption that the post office damaged the item isn't a defense for the seller. It's unlikely and creates an easy out for anyone to see a broken item, claim it works, and blame the shipper. There are protections against this (Bill of Lading) but they're for much larger, more expensive items. Plus, proper packaging is the responsibility of the shipper, not the shipping company.

As to your second question, a seller can't sell me a defective item and escape paying for it by saying "I thought it worked." eBay does not operate on an "as is" policy (like buying a used car from a private party). There is an implied warranty that the item being sold is described accurately. If it isn't, even if the seller thought he/she was describing the item as accurate, the seller breached the contract. Good intentions do not mean the buyer eats the $$.

@nmchapma: of course.


@starblind: I see this coming into play when someone has an excessive number of claims. I don't think the OP is really in danger of ruining his credability on this item, no matter if he does start a couple claims over it. No one will condemn the buyer for loosing a claim that they obviously fell strongly about. Those that will ruin their account are the ones that have a lot of claims and don't follow through. They don't restrict you to just one claim so it's certainly allowed and I doubt this transaction would have any real repercussions down the line.


seller just replied

The seller has responded to your case with other solution. Jul 24, 2013 at 3:11 PM
Seller's message:
"Please return the items as per my return policy,and within the allotted 10 days as per eBay's "Buyer Protection Program.""

so i replied....

'Your message to the seller:
"Please Clarify. Are You Abiding By The Ebay Return Policy And Are Going To Pay For Return Shipping ?"

is he serious?!?


Well, the seller is acknowledging buyer protection so that's a step in the right direction.
Did eBay send you any official responses yet?
Also would you be willing to post a link to the item in question?

I have never had to return anything to a seller under buyer protection (I just refused an unopened package, so no postage needed on my end... long story) so I'm not sure if you would get reimbursed for shipping costs afterward or if somehow you could get a prepaid label.

I still advocate calling eBay, the are very receptive to phone calls and l believe it's their preferred customer service method. They should be able to see everything that's going on and hopefully clarify a lot... Or maybe you've gotten it all settled by now!


@kylemittskus: you put everything I was thinking and feeling and formed a lucid opinion, what you wrote perfectly sums up how it works buying/selling/shippingwith eBay . I tend to get too distracted with the emotional side of the thought of someone possibly trying to scam. Maybe the seller isn't trying to scam also.

@nmchapma: you rock too!

TO the others insinuating OP May not be legit:
I do realize we're only getting one side of the story but I don't see why the OP would come to woot with a bogus story... that TRULY serves no purpose whatsoever. I'm willing to take OPs story as it is.

I'm still insanely shocked the seller is giving so much grief considering he is now almost definitely going to be facing negative feedback AND a hit to the DSR star ranks. As a seller myself those two things along with keeping a potential repeat buyer would be worth the cost of sucking it up and paying for return shipping. What a flippin' doofus.


@drsilentg: how is/was the headset packaged? Ie: in the original box or carefully wrapped in packing material in a box, or mailed in a bubble mailer etc?

I am just wondering if the idea I'm thinking of the may work...


@moondrake: I appreciate this story! this is how it should work with just about any business relationship really. They gained your loyalty and respect for something that likely cost them very little and things like that are often what motivate customers to buy products from vendors like this even if it may cost a little more. =)

Often it seems like businesses seem to forget that customers remember the little things, good & bad.


@snooty2toes: was wrapped in alot of paper, pretty well packaged in an appropriate sized priority shipping box


I think paypal typically frowns on people opening claims with them when they have an open one with ebay? I wonder if you could call someone at paypal and explain? I wouldn't close the ebay one yet, but re-explore the paypal option.