eBay Feedback Extortion 101

Posted on August 1, 2008. Filed under: eBay | Tags: , , |

Today I used the eBay reporting system to report Feedback Extortion.  Although I have been the victim of Feedback Extortion on eBay many times, today is the first time I have reported it.  Frankly, today has been a long tough day and I had just had enough.

The buyer paid $12.45 shipping for two items, and that cost was clearly stated in the auction description.  The buyer never emailed me in advance to ask any questions.  My first and only contact with the buyer was when he paid by Paypal and included the following note in the payment:

Note:If parcel arrives showing less than $12.45 was spent on the postage, it will be reflected in the feedback. I sell on eBay too, and know what it cost to ship these kinds of items.

In a follow-up email, the buyer indicated that he thought $5 was a more appropriate shipping charge because that is the amount he thinks it would cost him to ship those same items.  What really makes this comment “feedback extortion” is that I take time to explain about shipping and handling in my auction descriptions and I even describe what is included in the cost.  To take it a step further, I even state in my auction descriptions that the postage amount paid to the post office will not be the same as the shipping and handling cost paid because I use a third-party insurer (Endicia) and the cost of insurance I pay to Endicia on behalf of the buyer is not reflected in the amount paid to the post office.  I also make mention that I use professional packaging supplies, etc.

I looked to see what the buyer (who states he is also a seller) charges for shipping and handling on his auctions but this eBayer has not sold anything since April 2008 and has only received DSR ratings from 18 people in the last year. 

I decided to give eBay Powersellers Customer Support a call to ask about the process for reporting Feedback Extortion.  After waiting on hold for more than 12 minutes, I ended up speaking with a young lady who was way too cheerful and tried several times to get me off the phone in the first 3 minutes.   She began the conversation by patronizing me and trying to convince me that buyers asking for reduced shipping cost after purchasing is just a normal part of doing business online.  However, I assured her that only on eBay have I had that unique experience of a buyer trying to dictate terms after the fact.

Instead of addressing my frustration about being extorted, the eBay Rep continued to ignore the issue and asked me if I had heard the good news about neutrals no longer counting against seller’s feedback percentage.  Frankly, her perky informative comments were lost on me and they were not helpful in addressing my problem.  I almost broke out singing that new country song “I wanna talk about me” because the eBay Rep wanted to talk about anything else but the problem I called about. 

After I got the Powerseller rep back on topic, she reviewed my auction description (without telling me she was doing so but I get the feeling she didn’t believe me when I told her that I take great pains to explain my shipping costs in my auction description) and then she reviewed the buyer’s comments after which she told me that this was a clear case of feedback extortion and she encouraged me to report it.  Now, while I appreciated her vote of confidence in agreeing that this was clearly feedback extortion, I didn’t really feel any better.   I felt like I was talking to some teenager, chewing and popping gum while twirling her hair, who was being paid to patronize me.

I went aheaded and politely ended the conversation, regretting that I had even called.  And I proceeded to report the feedback extortion.  Every time I pulled up the screen to report the feedback extortion and then opened a new window to get all the information that was requested, the reporting page disappeared.  Finally, I ended up writing everything down on a piece of paper first, going to the reporting page, and then typing it all in manually.  After reporting the Feedback Extortion, I promptly receive the following email from eBay:

Thank you for writing to eBay’s SafeHarbor Department with your report
that a user is threatening to leave undeserved negative feedback. We
understand your concern and will review the situation as soon as
possible, usually within 72 hours.

Threatening to leave undeserved negative feedback can be a violation of our policy against Feedback Extortion if we determine that the threat contains a demand for any action that is outside the contract of the listing that you are not required to do.  For example, comments such as

“Even though it didn’t reach reserve, sell it to me for my bid” or;

“Pay me $100.00 or I will;”

“Sell me all of the Dutch items or I will get all of my friends to.”

are in violation of our policy.

You can review this policy at the following Web page:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/tp/programs-investigations.html

Once we investigate your report, we will take appropriate action based
on the policy violation and the member involved. This action may include
an educational alert, a temporary sanction or a suspension. Please keep
in mind that, due to our privacy policy, you will not be sent specific
details about the results of our investigation. If we need more
information, we will contact you. 

Please note that if negative feedback is left and we determine this
policy was violated, we will not remove the feedback comment on that
basis. Feedback can only be removed if it meets one of the guidelines
outlined in the Feedback Removal Policy. You can read more about this
policy at the following web address:

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/feedback-abuse-withdrawal.html

Due to these policy changes, members may now be more likely to leave a
negative comment without fear of retaliation. However, it cannot prevent
members from leaving an unfair or retaliatory comment. Because the
Feedback Forum is an open and fully disclosed medium for members to
leave comments about their transactions, eBay has a limited amount of
control.

In fairness, we cannot prevent a member from leaving a negative comment
even if it may not be deserved. eBay will not censor opinions or
investigate the remarks for accuracy. While retaliatory feedback is
strongly discouraged, it would not qualify as grounds for removal
 

 

Of course, my favorite part of the email was: Please note that if negative feedback is left and we determine this policy [feedback extortion] was violated, we will not remove the feedback comment on that basis.

So, worst case scenario for the buyer is that they receive a private strike on their account for a few weeks which no one but they and eBay know about.  And the chances of eBay telling a buyer they are guilty of extortion is probably very rare.  The worst case scenario for the seller is that they receive negative feedback because they will not give in to the extortion and, as eBay clearly warns, that negative feedback cannot be removed even if it is proven to eBay that the buyer is guilty of extortion.  So a buyer is allowed to extort an eBay seller AND ruin their public reputation and eBay will take no corrective action.

Because this buyer purchased from me on an eBay I.D. of mine where I am getting close to 800 feedback a month, I can absorb the negative feedback and/or low DSR ratings from this one buyer.  I am not going to give this buyer a partial refund because he demands a lower shipping charge after the fact but if I were a low-volume seller I might have to react differently.  As it is, I simply cannot give in to “partial refund extortion” because my sales on eBay don’t allow me any margin to be generous to buyers simply because they want an even better deal than they already received.  

I’ll change my approach to dealing with extorting buyers when eBay decides it would be appropriate to negotiate my eBay invoice after the fact.  When the day comes where eBay will allow me to pay them what I think is appropriate in selling fees each month then I will certainly allow eBay’s buyers the same courtesy.  Until then, I’ll take the hit on my feedback for standing firm.

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31 Responses to “eBay Feedback Extortion 101”

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Good Luck…..every single FB extortion that I have reported in the past 6 weeks has been ….declined !!! & some have been so abusive and to the point that a child could see what the buyer was saying.

This system is as well thought out as the rest of eBay policy…totally stupid hit & miss

eBay are cr@p

Been there done that. The last “negative feedback” threat with ultimatum received into our e-bay store was from a person that told me one of the fabrics we shipped was 1/16th short. Their threatening verbage was more than I could bear. What did I do? I demanded they return not one, but all of the fabrics by way of the dispute console. I then printed out the return label, scanned it and e-mailed it to them so that they then had the responsibility of putting 8 yards of fabric into that same envelope that I used to ship to them. I did contact e-bay Powerseller support to let them know what this person did and received full support in my actions to use the dispute console. Amazingly enough, when all the fabrics were returned everyone was over at least 1/2 – 1 inch in length. Our length’s are double checked in two manners. When we ship, we always send a “give-away” item, which was not returned. Once received, we then issued the refund.

Everyone of our pages and our flier ask a buyer to contact us gently if there is a problem as well as lets the buyers know that they have 7 days upon receipt to return an item at our expense. This is the first time we have ever had to handle things in this manner. It was an empowering experience and places the seller back into control of the situation. All along the dispute console way, we issued “follow these instructions” to the person to include a note after the refund was completed to have them close the dispute as satisfied; they wrote and thanked me for my help.

A week passed and I was speaking to another fabric, pattern & book Powerseller on the opposite coast who was telling me of an adventure they had with a buyer – lo and behold, it was this same person. She had placed this person on her block list and had taken a negative on her feedback because she would not issue a full refund and allow the person to keep the product. Next time around, she will use that dispute console to her benefit.

Meanwhile, I have noted that even though I use the category numbers when placing an item online (one category as fabric the other as cotton) my items do not appear in the search parameters unless I put the words cotton fabric into them, a waste of 15 character spaces. Makes me wonder if a person selling a toy has to put the word toy into the description.

Good luck to all,
lu

I use Endicia as well and I hide the shipping costs so there is no way for the buyer to know what I actually paid for the shipping cost. Paypal shipping has the same option- where you can hide the shipping cost to the customer. It’s a great feature.
I do know how you’re feeling though, I had a customer who said they would leave feedback after I gave them a partial refund. Thing is, they already used the product (disposable cameras) and had nothing to return and demanded money back for some pictures not coming out good.
I mailed her a check for $10 to keep her pie hole shut.

I knew eBay would never actually act ethically and stand behind their own freaking customers. They are just trash and they make me sick!

This is precisely why I pulled out of eBay May 1st. I am fortunate that I have not had to rely on eBay to make a living.

First you create the ideal environment for shilling and extortion, next you educate the crooks in how to work the system. Meanwhile you adjust the fees to squeeze the last drop out of the sellers while spending your advertising budget to drive the buyers to the lowest priced listings.

This is an unsustainable business model for any sized seller. We are going to see a lot more large scale seller crashes before the whole thing crumbles into oblivion.

Don’t worry about the top tier executives, their golden handshakes and severance packages are well secured.

It’s important to remember though that for every story like the one you have there was most likely 10 times the amount of stories of sellers giving undeserved retaliatory feedback to buyers. My wife bought about 20 different items from different sellers and had no problems. Then once she bought a collectible My Little Pony which was described as mint condition, but arrived with sun damage (which didn’t show up in the pic) and a spot where someone has obviously scrubbed hard to get off some type of mark. In the “My Little Pony” collectors lingo, items of this description is called “bait”, which means it’s virtually worthless.

My wife then emailed the seller before leaving feedback pointing out what was all wrong with it and his reply was “well, I sell hundreds of items a week and they are all happy, so I don’t see the problem”. My wife left NEUTRAL feedback pointing out that it wasn’t accurately described and he prompted left NEGATIVE feedback saying she “had bad after-sale attitude”.

As a buyer I feel that eBay is finally doing something to reign in those sellers who use retaliatory negative feedback to double-punish those who have been ripped off or was given poor service. If you were a buyer who was ripped off and was then given NEG feedback, how would you feel?

And almost all sellers withhold their feedback until after the buyer leaves theirs. Why is that? Is it not the buyer who first completes the transaction? If it wasn’t the threat of retaliatory feedback why would the seller hold back on giving feedback? The answer is clear.

At last us buyers are being protected from seller Feedback Extortion. If you sellers think you are getting a raw deal, you aren’t getting anything close to what us buyers were getting!

Russel,

I completely agree with you that retaliatory feedback was getting out of control before, and that it was compromising honest feedback. I believe the changes have virtually eliminated this problem.

With that said, it appears to me that the pendulum has swung too far in the other direction. As a seller I have now been the victim of “feedback extortion” several times, with the most common circumstances being buyers that want an undeserved partial refund.

I believe there is a simple solution to this and I wish Ebay would consider it.
If a dispute arises, the seller should have the right to offer the buyer a full and unconditional refund (including shipping).

If the item is returned and a refund is promptly issued, or if the return offer is rejected and the buyer keeps the item, the buyer will not be allowed to leave a negative or neutral feedback.

I cannot think of a downside to this approach. Sellers would not abuse this (by selling shoddy merchandise) because they wouldn’t want to risk the overhead costs, wasting time, etc. of having items returned. Buyers would still have their feedback tool and still be protected from retaliatory feedback.

Of course this is all a moot point, because Ebay seems intent on reinventing itself, destroying its core business in the meantime. It rather reminds me of turning on MTV and seeing cartoons, reality shows, anything but a music video.

Russell,

I wasn’t the seller who sold the item to your wife. To answer your question, if I were a buyer who was ripped off then I would have taken action to get my money back and would not have worried about my feedback.

First, I would make sure as a buyer I take responsibility for the purchase by checking a seller’s feedback – both feedback received and left. It is unusual for a bad seller such as the one you described to have great feedback so that would have been a clue for your wife BEFORE she purchased. If the seller’s feedback was poor, I would pass up a “good deal”.

Your wife had a remedy. She could have filed with PayPal to get her money back for the item that was not properly described. Did she do that?

To answer your question about why sellers wait to leave feedback — first of all, we clearly state in our auctions that we pay to use eBay’s automated feedback system because it allows us to focus on careful packing and prompt shipping rather than spend 4+ hours a day manually leaving feedback. And then our system is set up to make an inquiry of buyers who do not leave feedback after a few weeks so that we are proactive in asking if there is a problem with the transaction. We couldn’t offer nearly the great customer service that we do if we manually left feedback first. But, as I said, we tell potential buyers in advance that we do not leave feedback first and we tell them why.

As a buyer, you can choose your sellers. So if you were getting the raw deals in the large proportions you state, perhaps you should take some responsibility for choosing better sellers. Unfortunately, as a seller I cannot pre-screen my buyers. I am stuck with numpty buyers who extort me and you pointing out that I, a good seller, am being double-punished as a result of other sellers actions really doesn’t make me feel any better about being extorted.

I posted this article in eBay forum, hoping it would educate other people:

http://forums.ebay.com/db2/thread.jspa?threadID=2000614289&tstart=0&mod=1217960813913

That is exactly what perplexes me Brew- why would anyone care about feedback if they were ripped off? I too have been ripped off a couple of times and I immediately filed a paypal dispute other than once because the seller was essentially new and already had a pattern of theft I left a negative – the other 2 occasions I didn’t even bother with feedback fir a while and when I went to leave it after the dispute had been settled the seller was naru. Maybe if victims used the dispute system for resolution rather than the feedback system these bad sellers would be kicked off and eBay would be a better place all together.

I was also given a neutral after leaving one as a buyer – how did it make me feel – I could care less – what the hell does it matter as a buyer- a buyer can buy from whoever the heck they want to, because sellers don’t have the luxury that the rest of the world has to pick the quality of customer they get. I buy and sell on the same ID too so if someone should be pissed about retaliation that would be a member who both sells and buys on the same ID, but again I didn’t and still do not care.

Even though I continue to sell on eBay, this blog post further demonstrates how much eBay really does SUCK. That means YOU, John & Lorrie.

Even if you are in the RIGHT, they won’t fix the wrong! What kind of crap is that?

Well,Here’s the truth about feedback.Sellers are far less concerned if a buyer has a negative feedback or two..However a negative feedback for a seller is 100 times more damaging than a neg for a buyer.No one really cares much whether a buyer has a negative or not..I get so tired of the excuse of ebays changes to feedback..Ebay knows darn well that a negative left for a buyer basically means nothing to most sellers..Point is this. A buyer can pop a bid in at the last second and win an auction anyway,regardless of negative feedbacks,unless they have a bunch of negatives,which I must assume if they do ,then they are probably a problem buyer anyway,Just as a seller with a lot of negatives would appear to be a problem seller.Bottom line is still this,NO ONE CARES MUCH IF A BUYER HAS A NEGATIVE FEEDBACK OR TWO !!..NEGATIVE FEEDBACK DOES NOT CAUSE ANYWHERE NEAR THE DAMAGE IT”S CAUSES A SELLER..Problem is most ebay buyers BID AND DO NOT READ BEFORE BIDDING.They simply do a search and so oh ,look just what I want,bing I’ll bid away on it and never read or simply ignore what the description says and what the terms are..They see a picture and that’s all they need to bid,Wham ! they place a bid or buy it now and worry about what they did or didn’t read later or simply leave a negative feedback for the seller if they don’t like their terms or the was less than I expected,even though it was exactly as DESCRIBED.Ebay should have spent mucho dollars and time educating buyers,instead of keeping them in the dark and encouraging them to remain ignorant and irresponsible,but then again that would have meant losses on final value fees for ebay.Most ebay shoppers are a bit ignorant common people who have no clue how to shop online and ebay knows this and ebay counts on it.many ebay buyers have no clue what a seller must deal with ,pay and go through to sell on ebay. Many if not most all buyers are also totally clueless that paypal charges sellers a lot for fees.Even the ones who know this ,could care less..Biggest problem is ebay has always kept buyers in the dark and never educated them on what a seller has to go through on ebay.I assume most buyers would not read it if ebay posted anyway..Maybe buyers should be required to take a test to educate them about what sellers must pay ebay and paypal to sell on ebay and accept paypal.The prospective ebay shoppers must pass the test before they are allowed to buy on ebay.hahaha..I have watched ebay become more and more a place for really stupid people to buy stuff online and make ebay and paypal richer and the sellers poorer and poorer.Wise up ebay buyer,You buy an item from a seller,you didn’t buy the seller as your personal slave..You paid for merchandise,You didn’t pay to have your a$$ kissed .As for actual shipping cost a seller charges..I suppose you think a person should pack and address packages and take them to be shipped out ,pay for shipping materials and take their time to pack and ship your item and all fo that money and labor should be free..I’ll tell ya what..bozo’s..Buy an item from me,bring your cheap a$$ to my house,make a box to fit your item,estimate the size you need for the item and packing materials,put the item in a box,add packing materials,tape the box up,make an address label for it,put that on the box and then get it to the carier and do it all for free..Hey here’s an idea,Why don’t you come work for me as a packer..I’d love to have a packing and shipping clerk that works for free !!!!! Oh and don’t forget cost of shippign materials too..You have to supply those to work for me for free…You’re such cheap losers and wouldn’t do what most sellers have to do to sell you something and get it out to you real zippy quick for the exact cost charged by the carrier.You all need to be educated or go to walmart and shop..Stay offline. !!! You’re too stupid to be trusted on a computer without intelligent supervision..

Oh and learn what the meaning of sold as is means.try buying used vehicle that is sold as is and take it back to the dealer and say you won;t your money back..It ain’t gonna happen,so why do you thing you should get a refund for an item sold as is anywhere? SOLD AS IS,MEANS JUST THAT ,SOLD AS IS !!!
Look it up !!!..Ebay says when you bid that you are entering a legally binding contract..yea right and who enforces that legally binding contract?..No one…Legally binding means you agree to ALL TERMS of a sellers auction..If a seller says ships out within 3- 7 business days,that’s what you agree to ..You aren’t so stupid that you think that means you will receive the item in 3-7 business day are you?..Ummm estimated shipping times by a carrier that is posted in an auction also does not include packing time for the seller..Lord people can be so unreasonably stupid or pretend to be.

EBAY buyers..READ EVERY WORD OF AN AUCTION AND THE TERMS OF THE AUCTION AND ITEM DESCRIPTION BEFORE BIDDING !!!!!!!!!!…It’s that simple,,Read and remember what you read after you pay for an item and are wanting for it to arrive.Before you waste a sellers time sending questions abotu shipping after a sale,Carefully read the entire ended auction page again first..I will never sell on ebay again..Too many buyers on ebay are too stupid and irresponsible or just cheap loser rip offs themselves..Sellers beware..

[…] buyer has been found in violation of the Feedback Extortion Policy.  Please see my blog post about Feedback Extortion for the actual email sent by eBay Trust & Safety which specifically states that the feedback […]

Bravo…

Why would anyone who has been ripped off care about leaving negative feedback???

There must be some motivation since I have 0 resolution cases for 12 months in paypal, yet I have 12 negative feedback for 12 months in ebay???

Negative feedback won’t get their money back so Why???

Although ebay has restructured somewhat, and they have actually finally decited to remove feedback due to feedback extortion, (I just had a feedback removed for extortion due to the buyer using the same exact verbage as another customer 6 months ago which extortion was unfounded and is still counted against me) I have slowly started moving my store items to AMAZON, I am confident AMAZON is a great place to get in early and I really hope if we get enough people selling at AMAZON, ebay will then have some competition and stop acting like sellers are a burden on them. It is taking a lot to get use to, and if they get as big as ebay in the auction biz they might be just as bad, but listing is free and anything is better than ebay right now.

Unless you are buying….

It doesn’t end there with ebay’s problems. Recently I found out that regardless of what your return policy states the buyer has 45 days to decide to dispute and return your item! This is not only paypals policy but ebays as well. I went through the whole dispute process, and spent $10 in faxes to show them that the item was exactly how it was supposed to look. This information came from Collecting Jewelry 101 and there was even a picture of that exact piece along with a description in the book of the clasp. But because a buyer with a fat neck who probably can’t wear it says that it is broken paypal approved a return on her claim 34 days after auctions end, as well as giving her an addition 10 days to provide a tracking number. I talked to ebay after the buyer left me a negative feedback to get them to remove it since the transaction was never completed and no they can’t remove it. They could remove my positive feedback that I left for her, because she didn’t like the wording of my comment. Ebay then advised me to file a non-payment claim. So I did thinking that maybe she would get a strike and hopefully slow her down from doing this to another seller who gives her something she can’t fit into. The claim was going no where so I closed it. The strike was issued, but to my supprise was reversed soon after being given. When I talked to them to find out why, apparently ebay can give a 1 time waive of any non-payment strikes to a buyer. This is not found anywhere in the user agreement because according to “Ben” (In their India call center a real patronizing smart mouth) they don’t want anyone to take advantage of it. I never really got to tell him how I felt in fear of my other auctions being flagged for violations which they were soon after I talked to him without anybody being able to tell me any reason why other then what there teleprompter in front of them read. So I will speak to him and the rest of the Ebay mafia in this forum. If you don’t want people to take advantage of your members….wait for it….follow the very policies that you have written. Do not make 1 sided biased decisions on accounts and policy changes. And most importantly remember this if nothing else….SELLERS PAY YOUR WAGES. Yes I know that it hard to understand but it is true. Yes it is our listing fees, final value fees, as well as our paypal fees that keep you in that comfy chair instead of behind a register asking probably my seller if they want fries with that. Just think about that a little.

Message: Hello,I just wanted to provide some feedback on ebays feedback policies. Buyers are well aware that a seller cannot leave poor feedback for them and cannot dispute wrong feedback left from a buyer. Although this policy will probably npt change (as horribly flawed and wrong as i might be), I would like to at least see a reply section that allows for more characters for a longer reply. Sometimes buyers just flat out lie to try to get money back for things because they either found it cheaper elswhere or damaged it themselves, sometimes even over a month later! A buyer can simply say something like: bad seller don’t buy! This as short as it is, is enough to scare potential buyers. I need a longer area to explain the situation, explain what I did to try make the buyer happy who left poor feedback; explain things they said to extort me to send them a full or partial refund while threatening negetive feedback. Sometimes they wont even return the part yet they want a full refund. This is just not fair. The sad fact is that all buyers are not honest and they do hold negetive feedback above our heads as sellers. I really wish this policy would be reviewed. Please, at least let us have a larger reply space to explain the situation, 80 characters is just not enough.Thank you,Shaun Byers

wicked…biting…and rioght on target..this is a growing trend that e-slay refuses to address..out of 80 sales I’ve had four of these a-holes mess with me, and I deal big-ticket so woe is me…well done my friend…

-e-

This is so typical. Thank you for verbalizing the lie which is eBay. I have never had a single request resolved in my favor. When you call or write, the response is doublespeak. I want to rid myself of the agony which is eBay. I’m going to have a big sale and just go.

While there are many idiots on eBay, and while the eBay customer support is inexcusable, this sounds more like a buyer who has made poor experiences with sellers who overcharge on shipping—not an attempt at extortion.

Note that there are a great number of sellers (in particular professional ones) who gain an unfair margin by using unreasonable shipping costs. You may not be one, but if the buyer has made bad experiences his mistake is understandable.

Buyers don’t understand that I didn’t just pull an item out of my garage… some of my stock comes from foreign sources, and the shipping cost to me is very high. When I sell the item on ebay, that shipping cost gets passed on. This is not an unreasonable margin – it is just the cost of doing business. No one is forcing a buyer to bid – if he doesn’t like the terms, he if free to go elsewhere. It is not right to win the auction, then blackmail a seller into lowering his shipping cost.

I recently sold 3 items to a buyer.

She first contacted me over a week after the item was received and indicated that one of the pairs of jeans which were listed as NWOT had a blood stain at the crotch. I do not believe that the jeans were shipped in that condition as I purchased them at a store but still offered to refund the cost of the item as well as the return shipping upon my receipt of the goods as an act of good faith and if in fact it was my oversight I should obviously accept the return.

She is not willing to return the item to me and still wants me to issue her the refund. I have also offered to make a partial refund for dry cleaning costs which she also rejected. I asked her to provide photographic evidence of the stain but she also declined saying that it would not show up on the camera.

Her most recent email to me is threatening to leave negative feedback for all 3 items unless I refund her the cost of the jeans.

She is asking me to issue a refund for an item which she will not return to me, she is also threatening to leave ‘scathing’ feedback for all 3 items unless I comply with her request. She stated that at this point leaving good feedback is out of the question and that if I complied she would leave no feedback.

Her last message is as below:

[i]”I can tell what type of person you are. I thought maybe I may have missed it, but I reviewed your previous messages and you never mentioned paying for the shipping back to you or paying for dry cleaning. You, like, just made that up out of nowhere! Those options would not have worked for me anyways. This has already been way more trouble than it was ever supposed to be. You are annoyed that I waited a few days after receiving the product to notify you? I didn’t get them in the mail then go run and check the crotches of the jeans! Sorry bout that! I forgot about the combined shipping when I requested that you refund me for the cost and the shipping for the stitches jeans. You can just refund the cost. If you do this, I won’t leave any feedback (Good feedback is out of the question at this point). If you don’t refund the cost of the PERIOD BLOOD STAINED “nwot’ jeans I will leave scathing feedback for all 3 items! Let me know what your next step will be. I am done with messages.”[/i]

I filed with ebay as I believe this to be feedback extortion, as well as illegal to attempt to procure a refund without returning the item. The ebay support team responded that they did not find the buyer to be in violation of the regulations.

Their full message as below:

[i]As I mentioned in your recent call, here is an update on our Feedback extortion investigation against eBay member xxx.

In this instance, we found that the buyer was not in violation of our
Feedback extortion policy. We did consider the facts that she refused to send photos of the item and refused to send the item back. However, we also did consider that there have been no previous complaints against this member. We also considered the fact that the buyer had complaints about all three items but only pursued a refund for one.

I truly do understand where you are coming from given the nature of the buyer’s demands. However, for a case to be considered Feedback extortion, we need to see that the buyer is trying to take advantage of you through Feedback and after reviewing all the information, this simply was not the case. Feedback extortion cases simply are not as cut and dry as they would seem. We did review the case thoroughly and I did try to find a way to have this case go in your favor. However, our team as a whole did not see this as a valid Feedback extortion case.

My advice is to continue working with the buyer to resolve this issue. Again, you need not offer more than what you are willing to. Thank you for your understanding with this matter.

Thank you for using eBay for your online trading needs.
[/i]
Can somebody please offer me some advice. If I were to refund her cost it would be in the region of $34, and yet there is no guarantee that she won’t still leave negative feedback. If I do nothing she has threatened to leave negative feedback for all items.

I am deeply disappointed in ebay’s inability to support it’s sellers and I am hoping that someone who has encountered this could offer some advice on how best to deal with the buyer.

Thanks

I have been a buyer and seller on ebay since it started. I have also been a Powerseller. I received a telephone call from a buyer who demanded I give him a full refund as well as allow him to keep the item. If I refused he would leave me neutral feedback stating the item was not described properly. I told the buyer to return the item for a full refund. Again he warned me with neutral feedback and my wonderful feedback would be forever tarnished. I informed the buyer that this was feeback extortion and it was against ebay’s policy. Then today I receive an email from the buyer reminding me he was going to leave me a neutral feedback, he follows thi up with another telephone call giving me a last chance to give in to his demands, I decline again and he leaves me neutral feedback stating the item was not described correctly. I reported this unetical person to ebay and nothing was done. Due to this unfair and unethical treatment, I have decided to leave ebay both as a buyer and a seller because it is no longer a safe place to trade.

Same thing happened to me: The buyer even contacted me first to demand I lower the shipping price. Then after winning the auction, wrote to tell me he had no intention of paying the full shipping charge, and menacingly told me to “do the right thing”. I did not cave to this thug… but it’s going to cost me. I only have 5 feedbacks so far, and a neg is rally going to hurt. Wonder how ebay will stay in business when all the sellers leave?

Diego abnd other victims of ebafia feedback extortion-

Whenever I receive requests to lower the price, shipping charge, or any other unreasonable request, I block that buyer. My philosophy is that it’s better to lose the sale (most questions don’t result in sales anyway) than to deal with feedback extortion and ebafia’s cavalier attitude.

If ALL sellers would start blocking these people, pre and post transaction extortion would be greatly diminished.

Aniother tactic is to file a simple small claims court action against the buyer. The odds are excellent the buyer won’t show, and you’ll win with a default judgement. You can then request that the judge send ebafia a court order to remove negative feedback and any damaging DSRs.

Small claims action are inexpensive and don’t require you to hire an attorney.

Like most of ebafia’s policies regarding buyer-seller disputes, feedback extortion is deliberately defined in such a way so it will hardly ever be applicable thereby preserving another low life buyer to continue generating revenue for ebafia.

Just as ebafia aids and abets mail fraud, they aid and abet most forms of buyer fraud, and that’s just the way they want it.

Ming

your ‘buyer’ is full of it….I can’t believe how someone is so stupid to agree to a written policy in a listing , and then by taking the liberty of telling the seller how he should carry his business. I hate these cheap tightwads who think , for some strange reason, that a seller should only charge the cost of the stamp. What about packing, handling , etc?
ebay is crap indeed….and what they say about not removing extorted feedback is a farce. I am a low volume seller and selling on ebay is my actual day job. I have had one buyer who threatened me of bad feedback unless I gave him a partial refund. As you can guess, I had to go along with it, and then blocked this ‘buyer’ , of course. But I won’t do it again. Don’t worry about your ‘bad’ feedback….in the end, if you can make a clear statement in response, good buyers will see for themselves who’s the bad ebayer. But yes, for a low volume seller this could be bad anyways. Ebay has farcical policies…

good and bad will never end. some people in here are !@#$% will make it short as possible. here are some example: (seller) buy as is?wth? so you describe it in your auction or etc.., it is in mint condition when buyer received it. upon inspection it doesn’t look or feel like it was in mint condition. some seller trying to sell junk, make it sound like it is in mint condition and using the term “as is” well let me tell you something in the online world there is no such thing “as is” to some degree example as describe above.

now about shipping cost:
some seller will overcharge on shipping for example: (in the usa only) first class mail (including s.h packing material etc..) does not cost $17.95+ if you think its ok to charge that amount for first class mail etc.. then u might as well retired!i have reported some of these shipping crooks and now their have gotten an early NARU retirement plan. some shipping crooks will add buyer to their block list when asked about why is your shipping cost so high?

now the buyer version(some are different)
here are just an example:
some are crooks and some are honest. now go figure! like i stated b4 make it short as possible 🙂

about feedback: need improvement. (not fair for seller when you have a bad buyer. not fair for buyer when you have a bad seller goes both way but it hurts the seller more then buyer)

IT ALL SEEMS CRYSTAL CLEAR TO ME NOW—EBAY HAS BECOME JUST ANOTHER OF THOSE SUPER GREEDY CORPORATE ENTITIES THAT DON’T GIVE A HOOT ABOUT ANYTHING OR ANYONE EXCEPT TAKING AS MUCH MONEY, FROM US HARD WORKING STIFFS THAT ARE CONTINUALLY FINANCIALLY STRAPPED, AS THEY POSSIBLY CAN.

The # 1 problem with ebay is that, ebay thinks the buyers are their customers, when in fact it’s the Sellers who are ebay’s customers. The buyers are the sellers customers. Ebay needs to look out for their customers, the sellers. Ebay no longer does that. Ebay instead has this false facade, that they are some kind of online retailer, like an Amazon.com. So ebay caters to the buyers on all issues, making a lot of sellers leave ebay altogether.

It’s beyond frustrating when you have to deal with a PITA buyer, but it’s even more frustrating when you have to deal with a PITA buyer who knows that a seller is at their mercy.

The day a real competing auction site is available for sellers to use, is the day ebay dies. No seller is happy with ebay, but it’s all we got. Ebay knows it too, which is why they have no problem shitting on their customers.


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