10/21/2017 at 9:24 am #24215
Good morning all,
We have a buyer that purchased an expensive amplifier ($250+) and has opened a case to get a refund. He did not contact us first. He just opened a case. We responded with an offer to do a partial refund but he has not replied for almost three days now.
I called Ebay and they said he would have the option to escalate the case by Monday.
Should we try again to contact him or see if he does escalate the case?
Or should we just send him a shipping label and see what he does?
Additional note: When the buyer first contacted as us (before the purchased) he said that he has purchased several of these before and none work and he is tired of wasting money. We offered let him hear the amp before we ship and if he does not approve, we would refund the money on the spot. We had already tested it and it worked but we would do that if he wanted. No problem. He did not respond but went ahead and made the purchase. I called him right away and asked him if he would like the amp tested over the phone before we shipped. He said no because it won’t really tell him if the amp is working properly.
Thank you in advance for your help!
10/21/2017 at 12:41 pm #24224
–If you’ve offered a partial refund through the opened Case, then the buyer needs to take the next step. If he takes too long, the case will automatically close in your favor.
–I know you did everything you could, but selling electronics has these down sides. Just the cost of admission if you choose to sell this stuff. I’m sure other electronic sellers here can share advice.
10/21/2017 at 8:25 pm #24234
Thank you Jay. Very helpful as usual.
10/21/2017 at 3:23 pm #24230
I agree with Jay. You may want to wait this thing out and let the buyer take the next step.
Something sounds fishy about this situation. I would offer that you check the buyer’s feedback (that given to him and that he gave to other sellers). In addition to the feedback statements, look at what the feedback was for.
10/21/2017 at 8:28 pm #24235
Thank you AdventureE. That is helpful. I went to check his review and looks kosher. He has all positive reviews. I am going to contact Ebay again to see if I can get better answers.
10/21/2017 at 4:08 pm #24231
I am currently in a similar situation. Offered a partial refund via ebay returns process a couple of weeks ago, haven’t heard from buyer since. Waiting for the case to auto-close.
Ebay’s response about the buyer being able to escalate sounds wrong. Sigh.
10/21/2017 at 8:31 pm #24236
Thank you Sonia. I really appreciate the response. What I have found is that the staff on the Ebay helpline sometimes invent answers when they are not sure. I am going to call there again and see if I can get a better understanding.
10/21/2017 at 8:58 pm #24237
So I just called Ebay and here is what I found out just in case this helps anyone else:
When the buyer files a case, the sell has three business days to respond. On the response page you are given four response options:
1 Send a return label and refund when the item is returned.
2 refund and he keeps the item
3 offer a partial refund
4 contact the buyer.
Option 4 is not considered a “response” by Ebay. Only the first three are considered as response by the seller. If the buyer decides to escalate the case, he/she can do that if you only do option 4, which in my case is what I did.
To get this thing on safe ground, I went ahead and issued a shipping label which cost me only $8.00 if the buyer will use it. He has five days to send the item back….
Now I wait…..
Thanks again to all of you who are always so helpful. I was lost on this but I am all sorted out now.
10/21/2017 at 9:05 pm #24238
That will work.
But you can also offer a partial refund.
Then the buyer must take an action by accepting or refusing.
10/21/2017 at 9:12 pm #24239
I see, so you must have offered a partial refund via ebay messages instead of via the ebay return system – that’s what was confusing. Next time consider making the offer via the return system, then if the buyer doesn’t respond, you’re still okay.
10/21/2017 at 10:25 pm #24245
Thanks Sonia. Exactly right. I had not understood the process. Everyone here has been so helpful, thank you again.
10/21/2017 at 9:14 pm #24240
Good thing you looked into this before the buyer was entitled to escalate.
10/21/2017 at 9:15 pm #24241
Yes, I was torn between the two. I kind of went with my gut on this. I feel calmer now and whatever happens, I am ok with it.
Thank you again, Jay. I am sure you hears this often but you guys are the tiebreakers in this household. Tony says yes, I say no — What do Jay or Ryanne say?
10/21/2017 at 9:17 pm #24242
I would offer that if the buyer should contact you at all in this process identifying other ways they want to resolve this, you may want to first bring it here so experienced sellers can help you navigate or call eBay about any correspondence they may send. You want to be careful not to add too much clutter to this situation which could cause confusion and close it in the buyer’s favor just because there are so many details involved. Sometimes too many details convolute situations so much that decisions are made just to bring the matter to an end.
10/21/2017 at 10:28 pm #24247
Good advise, AdventureE. You are very right and I intend to follow your advice. It was muddled for me at first which made it muddled on Ebay, but now that it is clear to me, I know you are right and that is how it will be from here forward.
10/21/2017 at 9:17 pm #24243
So Cal JoeParticipant
Now that you’ve accepted the return, the clock starts. If the buyer doesn’t ship the item within 5 days, you can get Ebay to close the case in your favor, without any fear of retribution.
10/21/2017 at 10:26 pm #24246
Tick tock! Yes, So Cal Joe, you are correct and I am hopeful but whatever goes, or comes, I am ok. Lesson learned.
10/22/2017 at 6:37 am #24254
And in the future you may try what we do. Just sign up for Ebay’s automated assistant. Any requests for returns is handled automatically by them. We have only had a few instances but this is what happened.
We get an email from Ebay, it simply states that a buyer has a complaint. They deal with it. Usually we never hear or see anything else anywhere. Or we get a notice a buyer wishes to make a return. Ebay automatically issues a return label and after 5 days so, far the few we have gotten just close after 5 days and again we never hear anything else. Most buyers are “fishing” for money back or are going to try to pull a scam. Our “employee”, yes Ebay works for us, handles our Customer Service Desk and handles everything. If something is returned Ebay aks us if we wish to apply a restocking fee or not and everything is then done. We get it back and we re-list and resell.
Remember this is just “stuff”. It is “inventory”. All businesses have emplyee theft, in house breakage, customer breakage, returns. All dept. stores have Cust. Service Desks and I bet everybody here on SL has returned something at one time or the other. Did you get to speak with the store manager, company owner or company president…No!. It is because these things are just standard business procedures. The business term is “shrinkage” and it happens in every business. I ran a 15 million dollar company and we had returns, errors on our part, all of the above. All I did was see that number on the bottom line of my monthly P&L sheet.
The same applies to an Ebay business. somethings I see online sellers just getting to “close to their stuff”. This is not personal, it’s business and just a bottom line cost of doing business. If it is only a small percentage of your ANNUAL numbers, forget it, don’t think about it and just move on. Too much wasted energy and time. Think of how long you spent on this issue and then multiply that times $20, $30 or $40 per hour you should be billing and you wasted 3 times the cost of the item at times.
When we had our six antique booths out at a huge mall, my wife or customers broke or stole over 40 items in a 36 month span one time. That averaged out to approx. 1 $30 to $40 dollar item every 30 days. That’s $1,440 dollars during that period. I just handled the numbers and went on with business, and we re-arranged the booths so she didn’t bump into things and the mall installed security cameras but still had thefts.
This weekly looking at your numbers is like investing in the stock market and then watching the ticker tape everyday. Same for errors, omissions and shrinkage. I see so much “hand wringing”, “sweating on the things to small to do anything about” type of things.
Once you start to approach your store and selling activities as a business, create WRITTEN SOP’s [standard operating procedures] for everything you do then just follow your SOP manual on all situations. This kind of work and worry over $7, -$12 dollar return shipping costs is nothing. If you do say, $25,000 a year and have $50 a month return postage fees, remember that is nothing more than like our once a month breakage or theft situation. $500 out of $25,000 is only .02 same for $250 out of a $12,500 ebay store dollar volume.
And next time you have a “Return Request”, think about my analogy… that is just a customer, walking back into your store after a purchase, going up to your service desk and handing the item over to one of your employees and asking to do a return. You stay back in your office, concentrate on the business at hand, “Running Your Business”, and let the front desk handle the situation. Who cares. You have your total revenue, store brand and future sales and success to worry about. Not a piddly $30 shirt return. It is going to always happen.
I have seen this in Jay’s response and approach over the year’s here. He just doesn’t get his shorts in a bunch over anything. Even if a defect happens, there is a procedure to handle it and like Ryanne’s phone call technique [SOP] to her Ebay Rep, you get it resolved and many times even removed.
But this is just one Business Guy and Artists opinion on how we approach all of this. I control my store, my inventory, my policies and how I conduct business. My customers do not tell me how to run my business and my business doesn’t control me, I control it.
Now next time you hear from a customer and they belly ache about anything..here’s your answer. We don’t want any of our customers to be dissatisfied in any way, please return the item and we will give you a full refund. case closed, end of story. Problem handled and solved.
If you get a bait and switch, a ruined item returned, anything, who cares, It is an extremely small percentage of your total scope of doing business. If it’s an internal problem of something you are doing wrong, then fix it, if it is a jerk wad of a customer, let it slide. And only as a last result, throw money at it, i.e. a partial refund [customer bribe], then do it and be over it. That is what they teach MBA in business school.
But guess you can see I haven’t had my morning coffee yet, which led to more of a rant than an answer… but hey we are only people on the SL forum trying to help in some way or another.
Respectfully submitted and nothing personal.. Now go sell us $500 worth of “stuff” in the next day or so .. Better still go make something you can sell! 🙂 Good luck
mike at MDC Galleries in Atlanta
10/22/2017 at 8:20 am #24256
Mike, if this is what you are like BEFORE morning coffee!! Wow! (c:
But you have a great point and it is understood. I agree with you. This was my second return. The first one was easy, I just refunded on a 7.00 item but this one was bigger (250.00) and we have only been doing this a short time (a few weeks) and it was all new to me. I know our item was good and that he is SUPER picky, which we knew from the start.
I think buyers in general have gotten very used to Amazon and other places that just take returns like you said, as a matter of course, and they apply this to Ebay sellers too. This particular customer has only 40+ ratings most of them from the same seller, so I assume he does not do that much on Ebay and likely has the mind set of Amazon buyer.
Again, you have a great point and thank you for taking the time to give your input.
By the way, how do your fine art miniatures do on Ebay? Just curious because we have some larger ones and they don’t move at all.
10/22/2017 at 10:15 am #24261
Those little ones did OK in the beginning. About 15 to 20 sold. What sold were the more intersting patterns. What’s left are the after math of being cherry picked a year or so ago. We are about to go into the portfolois of the large silkscreen pices I did over the last few decades. These fluids are going to get dumped in the next few weeks and the bigger, nicer, better higher end pieces will start to go in the store.
But thanks for asking. Will let you know when we get some portfolio pieces in their. I have 12 pieces from Sol Lewit that he gave me from the poster run I did for him back in the early ’80’s. Those will be collector pieces and target about $125 to $190 each since they are fine art posters, not a limited edition print. Also will have many I did for Richard Wellings of his New York and Hartford, CT. skylines. I have multiples of those also. All of these are investment pieces and these artist are known and can be found. Some of Sol work sold at Christie’s New York for over $50,000. Maybe I should put these posters of his Wadsworth Athenium wall drawings up for auction and see what happens first.
I will list some of my work after I get the higher end pieces listed. It will probably be some of my geometric 3-D wall sculptures first, then some of my optical and architectural type prints next before I do any of my flat paintings.
We really want to clear out and move all of the collected prints we have acquired from other artists work first. I may call up some old contacts in New York and offer them to those dealers at a lot for them to re-sell. Still deciding and working out all of this.
So, again thanks for asking and BTW.. my input is nothing more than an old guys opinion. That and $.50 will get you half a cup of coffee!! 🙂
mike in Atlanta…
Sorry about all the stuffy business stuff. But maybe a good topic for Jay. “How to run your Ebay Store with a business mind set”.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by MDC Galleries.
10/22/2017 at 10:19 am #24263
P.S. .. Hey, give the automated return assistant Ebay offers a try. May just take the complete concern out of the whole process in the future, especially if your returns are real low. mc 😉
10/22/2017 at 11:17 am #24264
Thank you Mike! Totally cool on the artwork. I wish you all the best with everything and I will definitely keep that Ebay assistant in mind. I just want to feel more secure in what they are doing before I turn over the control to them.
10/22/2017 at 7:47 pm #24273
>I have seen this in Jay’s response and approach over the year’s here. He just doesn’t get his shorts in a bunch over anything.
Very good points there, Mike. Thanks for reinforcing these SL lessons. I have to say, though, once in a while I get a hankering to see one of Jay’s ebay message threads from the early days when he *did* get into long back-and-forth discussions/arguments with customers – he mentions those from time to time. I bet those must have been something, as I imagine he is a worthy opponent in an email argument. 🙂
Thanks Jay & Ryanne for helping me learn from your early mistakes much sooner than I might have otherwise.
10/22/2017 at 8:49 pm #24274
In our early days of eBay, I made the mistake of thinking I could change a buyer’s mind. Long threads of messages where I tried to convince them why I was right and they were wrong. Madness.
These days, we settle most cases by knowing the eBay rules better than even the eBay reps. I bet we don’t have communication with 95% of buyers who open cases. We simply call eBay and work it out through the eBay process. There’s no need to have those long conversations with buyers because they really dont want to hear what we have to say.
- This reply was modified 1 month ago by Jay.
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