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  1. #1
    Dependent MegaMav's Avatar
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    Default Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    I've been selling on eBay for about 3 months now and have done reasonably well.
    There are quite a few bad actors out there and people that flat out dont pay on auctions, to the point where I do Buy-It-Now with Offer to vet my buyers.
    As you'll see below, I've made a couple of bad decisions to sell to a couple of people.

    I sell only authentic products and provide many detailed photos including batch codes, flaws, sprayers, nozzle heads, etc.
    I have a "No Returns" policy, but buyers still make up excuses to jam SNAD returns down my throat at my cost.

    I had a SNAD return I had to eat the shipping on because a buyer said the bottle didnt smell the same as a sample from their friend across the tracks. Positive feedback was left 2 weeks prior, it didnt matter.
    They used it for a month then tried to send it back for a full refund when it was obviously used. I engaged eBay, they told me to take photos and document it as I opened the package and upload it to the return. The buyer agreed to a partial refund. It doesnt end there! Partial refunds require "eBay engagement" and you get a defect on your seller record, I had to call to get that removed. What a hassle!

    Yesterday, another SNAD. This time the buyer says the bottle is legit but what is on the inside isnt, even when I provided nozzle head photos showing it isnt tampered with.
    This is the exchange:

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Hi, You have opened up a Significantly Not As Described case. Can you share with me what the issue is? I would like to help. Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buyer
    I didn't want to open a not authentic case .I believe that would hurt your business but this is not [BRAND] perfume. It's been fill with something else.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Hi, A courtesy message before opening the SNAD case would have been nice, but we are where we are. I can assure you it is a genuine bottle. It comes from a source that only sells authentic products. You say you've owned a bottle of [NAME] in the past. Can you show me your old bottle compared to the bottle I sent you? All the photos I showed in the listing are consistent with authentic [BRAND] bottles. If you look at my feedback, plenty of feedbacks from customers that confirm I sell genuine products. Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buyer
    The bottle is real but the contents not. I don't keep my old bottles I just finished my [NAME] yesterday. Bottles gone. So is this from last year. Your good reviews is why I bought it in the first place.
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Hi, Thank you for messaging me back. I understand your concern. I am a serious seller that only sells authentic products. If you do not have your old bottle of [NAME] to compare how are you coming to the conclusion that what I've sold you is not authentic? Can you show me? Fresh bottles will smell slightly different from older bottles that have air introduced to them and age over time. Are you certain you're not mixing [NAME] up with another similarly named [BRAND], [NAME] or [NAME]? Thanks.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buyer
    I have been using [BRAND] for 7yrs now to tell if its real [BRAND] and most times the content can be refilled Im not saying you did but this has been done because I had this last year till september . Even batch numbers can't change the smell like that in most cases some batch numbers last longer
    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    Thanks. I'm sorry I cannot convince you. SNAD returns affect my business because it cuts into my bottom line by having to eat 2 directions of shipping. I am a small seller and absorbing the shipping costs affects me more than most. I will tell you if you buy another authentic [NAME], it will smell the same as the bottle I sold you. I recommend in the future to buy your [BRAND] products from major retailers so you have more peace of mind. Before we continue on with the return, please understand that if I receive the item back in a condition other than is shown in the listing or receive a substitute I will be forced engage eBay to resolve this in a fair way to prevent loss. I have to state this because I had another buyer do a SNAD return like this with [NAME], they used the bottle a significant amount and tried to send it back to me for a full refund and make me eat the return costs on top of it. They got a partial refund after I sent photo proofs to eBay customer service. If you would like to continue with the return, please reply with "I agree to send back the bottle in the same condition as is shown in the listing". Thank you.
    Quote Originally Posted by Buyer
    And I advise also for you to at least have a knowledge of the product you are selling and don't tell me where to buy and if you are so rich why are you selling on Ebay then .You are not the first Ebay seller I have bought [BRAND] from , you just happen to be one who sent me a fake [BRAND] and now wants to talk about hurting just you. What about the inconvenience of me being without what I ordered for, you don't think I'm pissed it's not what I want or you accussing (sic) me of behaving like your other customers. If you are asking about bottle to confirm authenticity then that tells a lot. Just because there is a batch no or original bottle doesn't mean anything clearly I have been in this longer than you . I'm not one for that passive aggressive behavior and threats you are displaying. See I should have just opened a case with not authentic let Ebay handle the rest . lesson learned. If you like don't please don't accept the return. What an insult.
    I accepted the return at that point. This person just wants an argument to make me feel bad enough for them to keep it for free with that last line.
    I guess asking for a commitment to return the product in the same condition is too much.
    To maintain good customer service, I sent out a follow up message afterward.

    Quote Originally Posted by Me
    My apologies for upsetting you during the return communications, that was not my intent.
    My intent was to set expectations for the return of the product.
    I understand it can be upsetting to receive an item and have it not meet expectations.
    Please return the bottle in the same condition as in the listing and you will receive a full refund.

    Thank you for your patience and understanding.
    I havent gotten a response to that message from last night or any indication the return is going to happen yet.
    I've written this post as a warning to those thinking about selling on eBay, be prepared to meet some good honest buyers and those looking to get a free ride.
    It's the jerks that make this more painful than it has to be. If eBay didnt enable this type of behavior and the behavior didnt work with sellers, this wouldnt happen.
    Now I have to pray that I've done enough to NOT get a negative feedback out of this to maintain my 100% reputation with buyers.
    What an insane marketplace of the uninformed buyer running amok.
    My opinions in weblog form: FragranceReviewer.com
    Currently wearing: Yatagan by Caron

  2. #2
    hednic's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    Quote Originally Posted by MegaMav View Post
    If eBay didn't enable this type of behavior and the behavior didn't work with sellers, this wouldn't happen.
    This.
    Remember that while it is perfectly acceptable to criticize the content of a post - criticizing the poster is not.
    Mean spirited, nasty, snide, sarcastic, hateful, and rude individuals on Basenotes don't warrant or deserve my or other Basenoters' acknowledgement or respect.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    I’m sorry you had to go through this experience. I think your apology was too much for a person like that.
    Ebay has just made selling even more difficult. You must already know, no more PayPal, etc. I decided I’m not going to do it anymore.
    Being a seller is like being a hostage, walking on eggshells full of anxiety since buyers can easily lie and get away with it. Luckily I only had one such experience which I refunded partially. Buyer claimed bottle had broken. When I asked for pics for a refund, he claimed he already threw it away (that was so unrealistically quick). I didn’t bother asking about the free gift that was enclosed...
    There’s a discussion on Fragrantica too. Some have moved to Mercari and Etsy. I’ve never done any business there so I don’t know. The only *safe* options are local pick up sales through Craigslist, Facebook marketplace, 5miles, etc. Very limiting of course.
    Currently wearing: Zen for Men by Shiseido

  4. #4
    Basenotes Member
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    I think the inflaming statement was "I recommend in the future to buy your [BRAND] products from major retailers so you have more peace of mind. "

    Oh, well. It's Ebay.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    I've been saying this for quite some time.

    NO MORE SELLING FOR ME. I'll occasionally buy from there, but that's it. Ebay has burned me and sided with outrageous claims and behavior from bad buyers one time too many.

    THEY ARE A JOKE when it comes to sellers, so it's at your own risk.
    Currently wearing: Pancaldi by Hanorah

  6. #6
    Dependent
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    Yeah, I just quit selling on ebay when they wanted my social security number, bank account number, bank routing number, and some other confidential (and unnecessary) personal info.

    Nope.

  7. #7
    Basenotes Plus
    Wingie's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    What a headache, I'm sorry that happened. Also I'm astonished there are people out there that bid at auctions and then don't pay. That's so careless. If you don't plan on paying for the item, or may not have the means to, DON'T BID ON IT.

    I actually just sold two perfumes locally on FB Marketplace today - buyer came, gave me the cash and took the bottles, easy peasy. Didn't have to deal with the post office or the hassles of selling on eBay.

  8. #8
    Dependent Davem81's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    I actually vowed never to sell fragrance online again after a bad experience just last week, so I definitely sympathize. My latest issue wasn't directly related to yours, it was due to an item going astray in the post - something I've now encountered twice (out of only a handful of sales) since the UK introduced postal restrictions on fragrance. The item subsequently turned out to be uninsured due to the nature of the restriction, something I hadn't been aware of prior to sending, so it was a total loss to me.

    However I have also had a very similar experience to yours, with a buyer aggressively and categorically stating that I had sold them a counterfeit product. I'd actually obtained the item in question personally, direct from the Tom Ford counter in Selfridges, so there is zero chance it was fake. Of course, that didn't stop the buyer getting their way, and a full refund with the return at my expense...

    I'm not a big seller, but I have noticed in my own limited experience that fragrance sales seem to have a tendency of going bad, with absolutely no wrongdoing on my own behalf, at a far higher rate than any other category of item I've sold.

  9. #9
    Moderator
    rum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    Quote Originally Posted by Davem81 View Post
    However I have also had a very similar experience to yours, with a buyer aggressively and categorically stating that I had sold them a counterfeit product. I'd actually obtained the item in question personally, direct from the Tom Ford counter in Selfridges, so there is zero chance it was fake. Of course, that didn't stop the buyer getting their way, and a full refund with the return at my expense...
    Ironically (I think), both of my worst experiences involved the sale of Tom Ford scents.

    I really do wonder if TF is practising voodoo or other dark arts on his perfumes

  10. #10
    Mudassir's Avatar
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    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    I’be been out of the fragrance scene for a few years, and kust getting my feet wet again. In the past, I have had bad experiences both as a buyer and as a seller. The seller experiences are all similar that the buyer is extremely cynical. As a buyer, I have always made it a point not to buy anything from ebay that has a fake version. For sellers, cynical buyers are a cost of doing business. Even worse, there are tonnes of fake sellers out there that rely on volume, and would refund fully without question or asking for it to be sent back, if a buyer complains. Keep everything in perspective. Despite your bad experiences, tue number of abusers out there on Enay is still much smaller than the number of fakes selling, not just by onesy twosey individual sellers, but as an actual business practice.

  11. #11

    Default Re: Selling on eBay: The Wild West

    And yet these peddlers of fakes get away with everything while honest sellers get hurt. Just the other day I looked for some Le Labo and the number of fakes from Russia is astonishing. And all those sellers have perfect feedback!




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