Posted by: k | April 5, 2009

eBay… Blasted eBay.

Forgive me, I must rant.

Remember that big clean-out I had, where I wound up with all those clothes I no longer wore? While I was off on holidays, I listed a fair few of them on eBay. They had a promotion going – list with a starting price of 99c or less, and pay no insertion fee. I thought, what the heck.

Well, I listed 26 items. Only two of them didn’t sell. After I’ve collected all the money, and shelled out fees to eBay, I’m $230 better off. I still have things in the storage container to list, and more clothes to go through, so eventually that total will increase. Not bad for a week’s work!

Except…  for the first time, I had to deal with a couple of unhappy buyers.

One picked up a couple of tops she bought, before emailing me and saying that one of them had a hole in it. I was shocked, because I had gone over all the tops when I had taken photos and measurements, and didn’t see a hole, so I can only assume it was quite small. I sent a response asking the buyer how she would like to resolve the problem. The buyer never received my response, contacting me again several days later asking for her money back as she would now never wear the top. I don’t have a problem with that, and I am sorry I didn’t see the hole when I checked the top – I wouldn’t have listed it in that condition if I had seen it. I’m now waiting for the top to come back to me in the post before I refund the money to the buyer.

Another buyer, another experience. This person placed bids on several of my tops, and won them over several days. After they sent payment for the first top, I told them that I would combine postage, and tell them how much they would need to pay when all the items finished. The second top finished, and they sent full payment again – meaning they’d now overpaid me on postage. I then heard from the buyer, who had never used eBay before, and who had been bidding under a friend’s account, that they had now set up their own account and bid again, and still wanted me to combine postage. I emailed them back, telling them not to send me any more money until I figured everything out.

Then I got another email from them, saying that they had placed an incorrect bid on one of my tops and had put the decimal point in the wrong place. Instead of retracting the bid, they left it – and the second-hand top ended up selling for $46. Unfortunate for them, but not my problem if they didn’t retract the bid! Someone else had bid on the top along with the winning bidder, so it would have sold regardless.

I figured out how much more the buyer had to pay, and let them know. The buyer sent payment straightaway as they wanted the tops for their upcoming holiday at the end of that week. The day I got the money, the tops went out in the post.

While I was packing the tops, I noticed that one of them, a white one, had a couple of marks on it from sitting in the container for months. Wanting to do the right thing, I emailed the buyer and said the tops were in the post, but they would need to be rewashed as they had some marks from being in storage. I heard nothing back…

Until the night before they were supposed to leave for their holiday. I got a long email of complaint, saying that the top was discoloured, that I had listed it with the incorrect sizing, it didn’t fit, and that all the tops smelled of smoke. I was angry.

The buyer had overpaid me, I figured out the correct amount, and didn’t keep the extra money I was overpaid. To begin with, the buyer had used another person’s username which had a fair bit of feedback, so I assumed they knew the buying process. When I listed the top they were now complaining about, I used the description “tagged Plus Size Small, to fit 16-18” in both the title of the listing and the description itself. I also posted the bust measurement of the top.
If you read that listing, would you be able to determine whether or not it would fit? To email me saying “it says it’s a size small, you didn’t say that” is a crock. I clearly stated sizing AND measurement. I also emailed the buyer on the day of payment advising of the discolouration and that the top would just need to be rewashed. I thought I was doing the right thing by posting it straightaway so the buyer would receive the package in time.

As for the smell, I live with two heavy smokers. All the clothes were washed before I stored them, but yes, I accept that the smell will penetrate to a point. I don’t notice it, but people outside the house would. I sprayed the clothes with a linen spray before posting them with this in mind. If they still smell, putting them through the wash will fix it – the clothes don’t have ash or burns in them.

I feel a bit better after writing all that! I just don’t feel that I am in the wrong if I have listed everything with the correct information on sizing and condition. Fair enough, I could have washed them again, but I don’t have the time, especially after working a 9 hour day, coming home in the dark and having a laundry outside the house and down the backyard. The tops had already been washed once.

I need a break! Whatever’s left to be sold can wait for awhile. I may even wash everything again (about 2 loads worth) if I’m feeling generous!



  1. That sounds like a bad experience. I’m always wary of eBay because, well, I don’t trust people and I wouldn’t have the patience to deal with the buyers. I hope things work out.

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