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Problem with eBay profit taking... Can we do Class Action?

JazzDrumGuy

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General observations, setting aside feelings, and in no particular order:

1) I don't see one transaction as the basis of a class action. What is your theory?
2) Why was a return started? What was your return policy? Or was it something that was not as described, arrived damaged, etc.?
3) Have eBay forward you the alleged email they sent you with the return label, or at least the tracking #.
4) Was Paypal involved? Can they step in to assist you?
5) Where is the seller located?
6) What was eBay's fee on $499? Please account for the $97.00.
7) Why did you offer a $100 refund? What was the buyer's response? I'd have to see the initial buyer complaint that prompted the partial refund?
 

Tama CW

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Sold June 13th shipped June 13th Buyer Received June 24th

Case opened, I made an offer of $100 refund. I was given no other option and was closed in his favor on July 18th.

Hearing nothing else, I've simply waited for the product back. August 8th, $499 was taken from my account.

i've been on the phone to the concierge since.

If there was something wrong or incomplete with the item (such that you offered a $100 refund that was turned down) then it's your responsibility to provide the return label to the
buyer. It's not their responsibility. And when you failed to respond within the required window (3-7 days iirc ?) then the buyer can probably keep the item. A lot of the time items are near worthless or
not worth the cost to return. So just letting a buyer have the item happens frequently. It's also your job to check the status of the return complaint - every day if needed. In any case once they
turned down a partial refund and wanted to do a return.....it was up to you to get them a shipping label. It's an automated system with EBay. Once the clock starts ticking it's your problem. And if you
failed to properly describe the item in the first place (ie the $100 partial refund) then that also got this whole ball rolling down hill. Don't give buyers a "reason" to be able to try to claw back money from you.
 
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JazzDrumGuy

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We need to know the reason why? If it was, let's say, "not as described" hypothetically, the seller would be out the full refund of $499 + shipping costs (likely less than $97.00). Another query - what was your actual shipping cost? Too many unknown facts to jump to conclusions. If we have all the facts, then we can analyze and determine rights, obligations, breaches, remedies and applicable laws. I may need more info than requested in my two posts......
 

levelpebble

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Thankfully I have had almost zero problems with transactions on DFO. Of course we would all love to not have to ship and take chances with situations like this, but finding a buyer locally is often impossible — even people who say they are interested don’t show up.

This is why we all GO TO THE PA DRUM SHOW on Saturday October 22nd!!!! I've got my booth!
 

Commodore

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General observations, setting aside feelings, and in no particular order:

1) I don't see one transaction as the basis of a class action. What is your theory?
2) Why was a return started? What was your return policy? Or was it something that was not as described, arrived damaged, etc.?
3) Have eBay forward you the alleged email they sent you with the return label, or at least the tracking #.
4) Was Paypal involved? Can they step in to assist you?
5) Where is the seller located?
6) What was eBay's fee on $499? Please account for the $97.00.
7) Why did you offer a $100 refund? What was the buyer's response? I'd have to see the initial buyer complaint that prompted the partial refund?
Thanks: I've messaged the buyer via the eBay system. Giving them a few days to respond.


1. If it is a change in eBay policy (which I'm sure that it is) then other sellers will begin to show up.

2. The drum was a 4/61 Ludwig Super Classic with original painted interior. The buyer claimed there was a "crack." The seam was not tight but had original paint on all sides. Was advertised and sold "as is."

3. Good idea. A lawyer said eBay has stressed using the internal messaging system from the "get go." Why the change?

4. No, eBay payment system.

5. Torrance California

6. eBay charged me $97 in fees, this is @20%. Was sold with free shipping.

7. He asked for $200 give back


Thanks again for the questions...
 

el_37

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Ebay is very clear on the mandatory return policy for "not as described" issues ever since they implemented it about 2-3 years ago. Sellers may not like it, but it is not something that they secretly implemented without telling anyone. The only way around it is to sell stuff as parts/not working or to just not use the platform.

Or be extremely honest and describe every flaw- real or perceived and post photos of any areas that may possibly be an issue. If described- they can't use it against you. Most people lose NAD cases since they post 5 pics and gloss over any flaws. You have to be devils advocate about your own stuff these days when listing items online. That scratch that doesn't bother you may be a real issue for some people.

I am also very curious how you did not get any internal messages- anytime I have had an issue as either a buyer or a seller there was so much back and forth for all involved with a clear paper trail.

From almost 25 years of off and on selling on ebay- the minute anyone has an issue- just tell them to send it back for a full refund. 9 times out 10 they will be a problem if you try any other remedy. My experience also has been most balk at sending it back since it was just a fishing expedition to see if they can get a partial refund out of you.

Once I got $150 more for the item after I took it back and relisted it- and the second buyer had zero issues. Some people just have unrealistic condition expectations with vintage items.
 
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ppfd

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Who decides "not as described"
Granted I've been out of ebay a while but sending all messages via ebay was the gold standard back then
 

Quai34

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It's definitely better to be a buyer than a seller online.
I bought a lot, never sold... And with all the stories in favours of buyers and detrimental to sellers, I don't think I willever sell on ebay.
 

Commodore

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Who decides "not as described"
Granted I've been out of ebay a while but sending all messages via ebay was the gold standard back then
I'm pretty sure this is a change in eBay policy. The old way, eBay gave back the listing / final value fees. This change allows them to keep the money...
 

Rich K.

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Thanks: I've messaged the buyer via the eBay system. Giving them a few days to respond.


1. If it is a change in eBay policy (which I'm sure that it is) then other sellers will begin to show up.

2. The drum was a 4/61 Ludwig Super Classic with original painted interior. The buyer claimed there was a "crack." The seam was not tight but had original paint on all sides. Was advertised and sold "as is."

3. Good idea. A lawyer said eBay has stressed using the internal messaging system from the "get go." Why the change?

4. No, eBay payment system.

5. Torrance California

6. eBay charged me $97 in fees, this is @20%. Was sold with free shipping.

7. He asked for $200 give back


Thanks again for the questions...
Would love to see an explanation of those fees.
 

el_37

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I'm pretty sure this is a change in eBay policy. The old way, eBay gave back the listing / final value fees. This change allows them to keep the money...

The issue is it is not a "return"- they are very clear on this. Ebay offered you the chance to take it back- once they decide against you it isn't a return. The stance you took was you were NOT taking it back and you rolled the dice that they may side with you- and they didn't. This is why you just take it back when a not as described claim is opened against you- it is just easier to be out the return shipping.
 

JazzDrumGuy

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Thanks: I've messaged the buyer via the eBay system. Giving them a few days to respond.


1. If it is a change in eBay policy (which I'm sure that it is) then other sellers will begin to show up.

2. The drum was a 4/61 Ludwig Super Classic with original painted interior. The buyer claimed there was a "crack." The seam was not tight but had original paint on all sides. Was advertised and sold "as is."

3. Good idea. A lawyer said eBay has stressed using the internal messaging system from the "get go." Why the change?

4. No, eBay payment system.

5. Torrance California

6. eBay charged me $97 in fees, this is @20%. Was sold with free shipping.

7. He asked for $200 give back


Thanks again for the questions...
Well, is there a crack or not? You mentioned "nice drum" so that means no crack. But that is the huge question. I didn't see one in the photos, but if it did have one, it should have been disclosed both in writing and via photos. This way, there is no "there is a crack" excuse. Selling used does not equal selling "as is". With your 100% rating and nearly 1000 transactions, this isn't your first rodeo.

I just bought a chronograph watch. I actually asked him about the glass and seller said everything was "fine". I got it and it looked great, but not only does the chrono function not work, but the watch lost 1 hour over 12 hours! He refused to take it back and auction said "no returns". No brainer that eBay gave me a full refund and he had to pay for return s/h. If he had said the watch loses time, and the chrono doesn't work, then shame on me. I would be shocked if eBay sided with me in that situation.

Since you "refused" the return, it appears eBay will assume you don't want to issue a refund nor want the item, either, so he got the best of both worlds. I would reach out to him and advise that you can send him a return label and hope he sends the snare back to you. However, I think what has transpired to date will ding your rating.

I also scoured the fine prints and found this re: returns & your right to appeal:
You have 30 days after the case is closed to give eBay new info/facts.

How to appeal a decision​

To start an appeal, follow these steps:
  1. Go to your Seller Dashboard.
  2. Expand Closed without seller resolution to see your options.
  3. Select See cases and find the item in the list.
  4. Select See details and then send us an appeal.
eBay's money back guarantee says:

If we determine that the seller did not meet their return requirements:
  • The buyer will receive a refund for the full cost of the item and original shipping, and
  • The seller will be required to reimburse eBay for the amount of the refund, and
  • The buyer may not be required to return the item

Lastly, and this is a killer: "Buyers and sellers permit us to make final decisions about all cases, including appeals"

Seller should have requested a return and you would have had a limited time to accept it. You had one discount you could offer. He wanted $200 and you offered (Countered) with $100. If seller refused, you'd have to return it.

Your options for responding to a return request​

Your options for responding to a buyer's request depend on the reason they're returning the item and the return policy you stated in your listing.
The buyer received the wrong item, it arrived damaged, or it doesn't match the listing description
If a buyer received the wrong item, it arrived damaged, or it doesn't match the listing description the purchase is covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy, they can return it to you, even if your return policy states that you don't accept returns.
If you don't respond to the return request, we may refund the buyer and seek reimbursement from you, without requiring the buyer to send the item back.
Here are your response options:
Accept the return: The buyer will send the item back to you for a full refund, including the original shipping cost. You'll also be responsible for covering return shipping costs. If the item is returned used or damaged, you may qualify to issue a partial refund. See Partial refund guidelines.
eBay may automatically accept a return from a buyer on your behalf if an eBay shipping label is available. Once you've received the item, you have 2 business days to review and issue a refund, or ask eBay to step in and help.
How to accept a return
Give a full refund: You'll issue a full refund to the buyer, including original shipping costs, and they'll keep the item. This is a good option for low-value items.
How to issue a refund
Offer a partial refund: You'll issue a partial refund to the buyer, and they'll keep the item. This can be useful when the buyer isn't completely satisfied with their purchase. For example, if an item arrived with a minor scratch, but the buyer is happy to keep it.
How to issue a partial refund
Send the buyer a message: If you have any questions regarding the buyer's request, you can contact them directly.
How to send the buyer a message
Offer a replacement or exchange: You may offer a replacement (another of the same item) or exchange (a different, but similar item) instead of a return.
How to offer a replacement or exchange
If you respond to the request but don't come to an agreement with the buyer after 3 business days, you or the buyer can ask us to step in and help.
If we're asked to step in to help, we'll ask the buyer to return the item to you. If the item is returned used or damaged, you will no longer be able to issue a refund to the buyer even if you qualify to issue partial refunds under our seller protections.
 

Commodore

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Well, is there a crack or not? You mentioned "nice drum" so that means no crack. But that is the huge question. I didn't see one in the photos, but if it did have one, it should have been disclosed both in writing and via photos. This way, there is no "there is a crack" excuse. Selling used does not equal selling "as is". With your 100% rating and nearly 1000 transactions, this isn't your first rodeo.

I just bought a chronograph watch. I actually asked him about the glass and seller said everything was "fine". I got it and it looked great, but not only does the chrono function not work, but the watch lost 1 hour over 12 hours! He refused to take it back and auction said "no returns". No brainer that eBay gave me a full refund and he had to pay for return s/h. If he had said the watch loses time, and the chrono doesn't work, then shame on me. I would be shocked if eBay sided with me in that situation.

Since you "refused" the return, it appears eBay will assume you don't want to issue a refund nor want the item, either, so he got the best of both worlds. I would reach out to him and advise that you can send him a return label and hope he sends the snare back to you. However, I think what has transpired to date will ding your rating.

I also scoured the fine prints and found this re: returns & your right to appeal:
You have 30 days after the case is closed to give eBay new info/facts.

How to appeal a decision​

To start an appeal, follow these steps:
  1. Go to your Seller Dashboard.
  2. Expand Closed without seller resolution to see your options.
  3. Select See cases and find the item in the list.
  4. Select See details and then send us an appeal.
eBay's money back guarantee says:

If we determine that the seller did not meet their return requirements:
  • The buyer will receive a refund for the full cost of the item and original shipping, and
  • The seller will be required to reimburse eBay for the amount of the refund, and
  • The buyer may not be required to return the item

Lastly, and this is a killer: "Buyers and sellers permit us to make final decisions about all cases, including appeals"

Seller should have requested a return and you would have had a limited time to accept it. You had one discount you could offer. He wanted $200 and you offered (Countered) with $100. If seller refused, you'd have to return it.

Your options for responding to a return request​

Your options for responding to a buyer's request depend on the reason they're returning the item and the return policy you stated in your listing.
The buyer received the wrong item, it arrived damaged, or it doesn't match the listing description
If a buyer received the wrong item, it arrived damaged, or it doesn't match the listing description the purchase is covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy, they can return it to you, even if your return policy states that you don't accept returns.
If you don't respond to the return request, we may refund the buyer and seek reimbursement from you, without requiring the buyer to send the item back.
Here are your response options:
Accept the return: The buyer will send the item back to you for a full refund, including the original shipping cost. You'll also be responsible for covering return shipping costs. If the item is returned used or damaged, you may qualify to issue a partial refund. See Partial refund guidelines.
eBay may automatically accept a return from a buyer on your behalf if an eBay shipping label is available. Once you've received the item, you have 2 business days to review and issue a refund, or ask eBay to step in and help.
How to accept a return
Give a full refund: You'll issue a full refund to the buyer, including original shipping costs, and they'll keep the item. This is a good option for low-value items.
How to issue a refund
Offer a partial refund: You'll issue a partial refund to the buyer, and they'll keep the item. This can be useful when the buyer isn't completely satisfied with their purchase. For example, if an item arrived with a minor scratch, but the buyer is happy to keep it.
How to issue a partial refund
Send the buyer a message: If you have any questions regarding the buyer's request, you can contact them directly.
How to send the buyer a message
Offer a replacement or exchange: You may offer a replacement (another of the same item) or exchange (a different, but similar item) instead of a return.
How to offer a replacement or exchange
If you respond to the request but don't come to an agreement with the buyer after 3 business days, you or the buyer can ask us to step in and help.
If we're asked to step in to help, we'll ask the buyer to return the item to you. If the item is returned used or damaged, you will no longer be able to issue a refund to the buyer even if you qualify to issue partial refunds under our seller protections.
Thanks.

There was a visible seam in one of the re-rings. It was completely covered by original paint. Apparently, the seller was able to convince eBay that it was a "crack."

The main problem is that the case was swapped from the internal message system to email communications. This caused seller to miss the eBay communication to send a shipping label.

Finally, the policy change now says that ...seller reimburse eBay for the amount of the refund. This change allows eBay to keep their commission.
 
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Commodore

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The issue is it is not a "return"- they are very clear on this. Ebay offered you the chance to take it back- once they decide against you it isn't a return. The stance you took was you were NOT taking it back and you rolled the dice that they may side with you- and they didn't. This is why you just take it back when a not as described claim is opened against you- it is just easier to be out the return shipping.
eBay changed communication from the eBay message system to email during the process. The need for a shipping label was emailed. My contention is that this is done to protect eBay profit. If the item was not returned they keep the commission.
 
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Drdrumdude3009

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Correct. In pretty much anything involving a lawyer for conflict situations, they are the only winners. Especially when you factor the time and mental bandwidth you will spend. And that retainer fee…

In essence, the purpose of class action is to make an example out of an entity, not to make anyone whole. The lawyers, on the other hand make out like bandits IF they win. But it’s a gamble for the law firm, as they have to pay their employees, do the research for precedent, travel, interview witnesses, do a lot of leg work. There are cases where they LOSE, and even with a retainer, if the pay for the case is contingent on winning, the firm can lose their shirt.
 

bigbonzo

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Posted on another thread but have gotten new information, So I feel this deserves its own thread.


Sold a Ludwig snare on eBay for $499. eBay deposited $402 into my account.

Buyer started a return request. eBay claims they emailed me to provide a prepaid return label. This was not notified on the eBay message system (which I check, daily)

eBay took $499 from my account to refund the buyer. Because no return label was provided, eBay instructed the buyer they can also keep the snare.

eBay made a $97 profit to do the transaction.... They tell me there is no appeal to the decision.


If anyone has a similar story about eBay please reply. I am considering legal action ...and will cover all costs of a class action suit. Thanks!
So, after all this intense discussion, do you plan to file a class action lawsuit?
 

Commodore

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In essence, the purpose of class action is to make an example out of an entity, not to make anyone whole. The lawyers, on the other hand make out like bandits IF they win. But it’s a gamble for the law firm, as they have to pay their employees, do the research for precedent, travel, interview witnesses, do a lot of leg work. There are cases where they LOSE, and even with a retainer, if the pay for the case is contingent on winning, the firm can lose their shirt.
The GOAL is to make eBay pay! Hopefully, this makes them change.

The civil legal system is designed to intervene when one side gets too powerful.

eBay buyer protections have gotten too strong. This allows for bad actors to take advantage of the public.

I'm not worried as much about money ...but Justice and fairness are important for our free enterprise system to flourish!
 

el_37

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eBay changed communication from the eBay message system to email during the process. The need for a shipping label was emailed. My contention is that this is done to protect eBay profit. If the item was not returned they keep the commission.
Ebay is and was very clear with the buyer protections that are in place and what will happen if they side with the buyer.

Ebay refunds the buyer- then comes after the seller for reimbursement.

They do not hide this fact, and it was discussed at length on every hobby and ebay seller forum across the internet when it started a few years ago.

Since they refunded the buyer back the full sale price of $499- they want their money back. There is no profit in it for them- they are out $499 and they are going to get it back from you.

What one has to realize is there is no more “as-is” on ebay anymore. What happened in your case is the buyer is basically guaranteed a refund unless you can prove to a non expert that you did in fact describe and disclose what ever “not as described” issue the buyer had. This is quite a difficult feat.

Ebay offered for you to accept the return. Yes you would have ate the return shipping- but you would have also gotten the fees ebay charged you back.

Nobody has to like it- but it is ebay’s platform and if you want to use it you have to play by their rules. They are very transparent about the entire process- it is clearly stated on their site.
 


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