Know what your up against before you start trading on Ebay, 

ebay is a great way to earn extra money with a business or as a private seller

However it is not without its complications and frustrations, not for the feint hearted.

below is a transcript from a conversation i had on Chat with an Ebay agent, it regards a case where a buyer sent back his faulty part and kept the working one I sent then demanded a refund which Ebay obligingly did, despite my having sent ebay photographic proof the item had been exchanged, I had photos of security marks and the serial number neither of which were present or matched on the returned item.

read what ebay said on chat when I questioned them about how sellers can protect themselves from such behaviour, you will note I ask the same question several times, only once does the agent nearly confirm that photos of serial numbers are enopugh evidence, but can not get of chat fast enough.

thanks Claudette and Ebay for more frustration, If you need help or advise on ebay I will do my best to help please use the contact us page.

below is the chat transcript

2016-03-30T06:50:00Z
Contact Reason: I need to know how trade safely on ebay
(AGENT) Ankit: Welcome to eBay Live Help, my name is Ankit. I would be happy to help you today. Please stay connected while I review your query. 
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: Good morning ankit
(AGENT) Ankit: Hello Kevin.
(AGENT) Ankit: Good Morning.
(AGENT) Ankit: Could you please elaborate more so that I can check what best can be done?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: yes sure I need to know how to protect myself from buyers who swop items for their own faulty one then return it for a refund
(AGENT) Ankit: In order to resolve your issue, I will connect you with relevant team now. Just to let you know that there may be a wait time before you're connected to a representative this department.
(AGENT) Ankit: May I go ahead and transfer the chat?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: which deptartment?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: its a simple question
(AGENT) Ankit: We are from selling support team and I'm transferring you to resolution team who have expertise to help about trading safely on eBay and how to protect from such situations.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: which deptartment do you need to transfer to?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I dont need a resolution i need selling support
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: but if you are unable to answer this simple question then please transfer me someone who can
(AGENT) Ankit: Please understand that our team have expertise to help in such issues as they may advise how can seller protect themselves from such buyers.
(AGENT) Ankit: Please stay connected, while I transfer the chat.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: ok i will
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: please don't lose the connection
(AGENT) Claudette: Thank you for contacting eBay Live Help. My name is Claudette. Please give me a moment to read what you've discussed with my colleague.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: ok thank you claudette
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out
(AGENT) Claudette: Hello there, Kevin.
(AGENT) Claudette: Thank you for patiently waiting.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: no problem
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I have alot of patience
(AGENT) Claudette: May I please have the item number?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: it is a general question before I resume selling
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: are you still there?
(AGENT) Claudette: Yes, Kevin.
(AGENT) Claudette: Sorry for the late response.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: is there a problem with the question?
(AGENT) Claudette: As long as you described the item correct then you are not obliged to issue a refund.
(AGENT) Claudette: Once you sent a replacement item, it's your discretion if you wanted to issue a refund.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: but what if ebay ignores that and issues a refund anyway then what do i do
(AGENT) Claudette: However, if you agree to issue a refund, your bueyr needs to return the item first.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(AGENT) Claudette: That is why I am asking for the item so that I can check it.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: there is no item it is a general question
(AGENT) Claudette: If there is no case filed, then you are also not required to issue a refund.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: the question is
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(AGENT) Claudette: Apologies. however, you've mentioned that eBay ignores and issue a refund.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: ebay does issue refunds
(AGENT) Claudette: We are not intervening on a transaction as long as there is no case.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I am asking you for advise before selling on ebay again why dont't you answer the question with sensible advise on what steps to take
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: you seem to be avoiding the question
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(AGENT) Claudette: You are not obliged to issue a refund if you sent a replacement item.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: some items do not have a replacement and the buyer demands a refund
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: your answers do not address the question
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: its simple english
(AGENT) Claudette: What do you mean steps?
(AGENT) Claudette: Yes, I understand.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what evidence do i need to make sure if a buyer demands a refund after returning their faulty item instead of the one sent to them
(AGENT) Claudette: http://pages.ebay.co.uk/safetycentre/selling.html
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: so that I can prove they are being dishonest
(AGENT) Claudette: Please open the link for your reference.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I have read that there is nothing in there that helps
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I have read it thoroughly
(AGENT) Claudette: Oh great.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: there is othing in there
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: yes and the question remains
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: please help me with an answer
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: rather than keep quoting
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: are you unable to answer this question?
(AGENT) Claudette: If your buyer is claiming that the item is faulty, might as well offer a partial refund instead of replacement item.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what evidence do I need to provide to ebay showing that the seller has swopped the itw
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: item
(AGENT) Claudette: Photo.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: ok and will that be sufficient evidence if the photo is of say the serial number
(AGENT) Claudette: Yes.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: and when they return the item the serial number is different
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: that would be enough evidence to prove to ebay that the buyer swopped the item for their faulty one
(AGENT) Claudette: We are still checking it and make a decision that would be fair to both parties.
(AGENT) Claudette: Would there be anything else I can help you with?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: checking what?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: this is a general enquiry
(AGENT) Claudette: All available information.
(AGENT) Claudette: This is a general question, right?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: what available information I asked a general question
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I want to ensure my safety whilst trading on ebay
(AGENT) Claudette: We are still checking the transaction once the case has been filed.
(AGENT) Claudette: It still depends on how transaction goes.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: there is no case filed?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: which transaction are you refering to??
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I am not rading on ebay at this time
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: my shop is closed all listings ended
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: which transaction do you mean?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: are you still there?
(AGENT) Claudette: ":We are still checking the transaction once the case has been filed. "
(AGENT) Claudette: I am not referring to a case.
(AGENT) Claudette: For possible case that will be file.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: how can you check something before it is filed??
(AGENT) Claudette: Exactly. That is why we are only stepping in to transaction once a case has been filed. If there is no case filed, then you have all the right on how you will resolve the issue with your buyer.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I asked if photo evidence of a serial number was evidence enough for ebay to show that a buyer has swopped an item for their faulty one and you did not confirm
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: but ebay does issue refunds and sellers need to know how to protect themselves
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I asked what steps do I need to take to protect myself as a seller from buyers who swop faulty items for the working one I sent out then demand a refund
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: you said photo
(AGENT) Claudette: If there's a case filed, then we can consider that. If there's none, then we are not stepping in to teh transaction.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I asked is that enough evidence
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: I am asking for advise on how to trade safley
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: and how to protect myself as a seller
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: is a photo of a serial number and a non matching serial number enough evidence to prove to ebay a buyer has been swopping an item?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: yes or no wold be the answer
(AGENT) Claudette: You need to describe your item correctly.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: assuming that i gp back to the questopn above
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: is a photo of a serial number and a non matching serial number enough evidence to prove to ebay a buyer has been swopping an item?
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: yes or no
(AGENT) Claudette: If there will be a case that will be filed, yes, we can consider that. If there's none, then no.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: sorry is that a yes or a no
(AGENT) Claudette: If there will be a case that will be filed, yes, we can consider that. If there's none, then no.
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: if it is no then what do ebay require as evidence
(MEMBER) theworkshopcomputers: you seem unable to answer the question is a photo of a serial number and a non matching serial number enough evidence to prove to ebay a buyer has been swopping an item?
(AGENT) Claudette: Please understand that I cannot assist you any further as I’ve already given you all the information and available options to address the issue while referring to our existing policies. If there isn't anything else that I may help you with, I'm afraid that I will now be closing this session. Thank you for using eBay Live Help.


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