Rant on eBay's Treatment of Sellers

So, here’s the story. I purchased 8 packs of Phantom Forces, opened them up, and got a Gengar EX. I don’t collect regular EXs, so I put it up on eBay. A guy bought it for $17.50, and I shipped it via regular USPS stamped mail two days after he paid. I have had no previous issues with this shipping method. Then, a few days after the estimated delivery date has passed, he opens up a case. His message is basically unreadable because of his s*&t English, and it’s not like he doesn’t speak it, he just can’t write a sentence without misspelling a million words.

I politely message him back and tell him that he should be receiving his card in a few days, and I hear nothing from him for the next week, despite 3 messages from me asking him if he has received it. Then he messages me saying he hasn’t gotten it and demanding me to ship it to him or refund him, with additional misspellings galore, which I of course can’t do because I already shipped him the item. I again immediately respond and politely explain that I’ve already shipped him the item and it might just be delayed. He says he’ll wait for another week which I’m very thankful for because it’s the first reasonable thing this buyer has done. Then two days later, today, he escalates his case. His reason for escalation has a total of 8 misspellings in one sentence (yes, I counted). eBay of course immediately decides in his favor and charges my PayPal account the money for the refund. What more can I do as a seller!? Now I am out double, both the $17.50 the buyer paid AND the Gengar EX card itself. I would have been better off if I completely scammed the guy and didn’t ship it at all, I would have at least had the card! I’m furious, because it seems that buyers can just open bogus cases and the sellers take all of the fall.

Now I know $17.50 isn’t much, but I’m a high school senior going into college and that money definitely matters to me. Especially when I’m at a point where my boss is on vacation so I can’t work, and really need to be making money through card sales to satisfy all of my financial commitments. Has anybody else had an experience like this? I’m seriously considering not selling anything else on eBay and finding other ways to sell. So annoyed! In the process of appealing my case right now.

Look at this as a learning lesson. You should never ship via stamp. You should always ship using first class shipping which includes free tracking from ebay.

It sucks that people undercut each other on the newer cards and use free shipping but they include the loss of refunds from choosing to run a store in that method. You have no proof that you sent and with no proof you’ll lose the case. It’s on the seller to provide the burden of proof.


First class shipping is around $1.98 and like hisoka said, it’s worth it! :blush:

@hisoka107 @pottsinator Yeah, I guess so. I don’t like charging for shipping though except on PSA cards, but maybe I should start. I do not want to offer free shipping and pay myself for tracking, but I guess I’ll start charging the buyer.

I just build the $2 into my item cost and still offer free shipping. Looks better.


Once I sold a card for 15$ with free shipping. I sent it by regular mail (without tracking) although I offered tracking registered mail for just 3$ in my listing. But the buyer wanted free shipping and after two weeks he wrote that he didn’t get the card and I couldn’t do anything - I just had to give him his money back. But I’m pretty sure that he received his card (I sent single cards many times by non-registered mail and there were no problems at all… ).

As a seller it’s really good for you to have the tracking number - you can actually check if the buyer doesn’t want to scam you. Once I sold the diecast car on Ebay and the buyer told me that he didn’t received it when the tracking showed that he actually got it…

Some people wants to scam you because they know that Ebay and PayPal are always taking their side.

This is why ebay isn’t for me…
I think it is really ridiculous how unbalanced the scale is towards buyer than seller.

Selling new cards is already hard enough because everyone undercuts everyone else, so I don’t think if you are going to sell newer cards you should use ebay. Use different communities like Virbank to sell.
Also, general rule: Usually if you open packs you will not profit from them! :slightly_frowning_face:

I don’t get it as well. I don’t know why they think that Seller with, let’s say, 100 positive Feedback (or even less) would like to scam someone who got 1-5 feedback and bought something from him. It seems like they don’t even care about what the seller got to say about the whole transaction.

I heard a lot of stories about people who sells codes from booster packs which they’re sending by e-mail. And after few hours buyers just cancel and get their money back when seller got NOTHING.

The burden of delivery is on whomever is delivering. The buyer must prove they delivered payment. The seller must prove they delivered the goods. That’s why buyers don’t mail cash and sellers use tracking.

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@kubek I definitely agree. I called eBay customer service about this and they said the same thing that @funmonkey54 did. It’s just so annoying that eBay allows cases like this. The correct way to do it would be a courtesy refund, where both people get their money. They never listen to the seller’s side of the case and no matter how correct your arguments are, if you can’t provide PROOF that the buyer got the item, they assume you scammed them. As a seller and a buyer with perfect feedback ratings, I find it very frustrating that my entire side of the story was disregarded for someone who just had to say they didn’t get it.

@funmonkey54 do you know what action Ebay takes when the item didn’t arrived although seller sent it by registered mail (with tracking etc) Is it only up to seller then to get the money back from post office or what? (well, I don’t know if this sort of things even happen in US)

@fourthstartcg yeah, I know it hurts… but for your own good send everything that’s worth 10$+ by registered mail u_u

It is technically your responsibility to deliver, not just ship. So if the post office screws you, it’s your burden still. Insurance accounts for that technically. Automatic $50 insurance on simple tracked packages.

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@kubek Agreed. That’s what I will be doing from now on.

It’s been repeated here and as you said you are in High school. One of the things that you learn/must attend is a English critical thinking course. You have to look at this objectively rather than emotionally. You were possibly scammed or just one of the unlucky few who’s mail goes unaccounted for. Let’s take a look at this in a way you can relate.

let’s take youtube as an example. Many of the people trading or making videos on there are of the younger variety. When they do trades or sales they usually tend to use letter & stamp method of shipping. Let’s say you, the one who sends first is like the buyer, send your end of the trade with tracking. It can be verified that you send your end of the deal. In the same manner ebay looks at your payment and sees that you completed the ONLY real requirement to being a buyer. Now the second person, who can also be exchanged for the seller, sends the cards to you, the first trader or buyer, in a letter & stamp. The item doesn’t arrive and you assume you’ve been scammed.

The first sender in this example like the buyer in your sale has provided proof of payment. You as the seller have no proof other than your word. You mention argument used for your case in the matter. It doesn’t matter if you make a persuading argument for your case if you do not have premise or support that can be verified there is no side to your argument. That would be a discussion which is what we are having about your experience on ebay.

Lastly for how ebay deals with the refunds and who they side with is very simple. They are always going to side with the buyer. This was something I learned in Statistics. You have a 2x2 table:

Lets use this in respect to the buyer.
Positive means the buyer is telling the truth and you did ship the item.
Negative means the buyer is lying and trying to scam .
True means that what ebay decided the buyer did was what truely happened.
False means that what ebay decided the buyer is was actually wrong.

Let’s disregard both the True Positive & the True Negative. What truly happened isn’t important. Without proof ebay cannot
determine what happened. So they are going to go look at the lesser of the two False “evil” outcomes. This is what each of the false conditions mean in your situation.

False Positive means that the buyer did tell the truth but ebay decided against them in the case.
False Negative means that buyer actually lied but ebay decided in favor of their case.

A false positive is almost always the worst possibly scenario. Momentarily exchanging the buyer for a defendant in a
murder/criminal case. What is the worst possible thing that could happen: the defendant is telling the truth (Positive) but
was wrongly convicted (False) OR the defendant did commit the crime (Negative) but was not convicted (Fasle). The answer is that we would rather see a criminal walk free than put an innocent person in prision for life or death. That would create a complete lack of faith in the justice system. A criminal would likely repeat some offence and end up back in prison where they belong. There is no amount of compensation for years of life/time lost for an innocent person.

Now look at in the case of ebay and seller/buyer. Ebay would rather give a scammer their money back and let them go because a scmammer would eventually mess up and the seller would would win. Ebay would get it’s cut in both cases. If ebay decided against a seller who was telling the truth chances are that the seller would not return. Ebay would only get fees in one case and not the continued fees this person would bring. Hopefully this helps you to understand why ebay and the world to an extent does what it does. You can take this as simply a lesson to not ship without tracking on ebay and even to an extent other areas in your life or you can be mad about it.


@hisoka107 Very smart analysis, and I agree completely. Makes quite a bit more sense to me now how they determine to side with the buyer 100% of the time. Thanks so much for explaining this further.

Only problem I have with eBay is that if the seller is consistently insisting that they sent the item, and hasn’t done anything suspicious like relisting the exact same item, that they assume the item got lost in the mail, that both people are telling the truth, and pay for a courtesy refund out of their own pocket. That way both the buyer and the seller would remain satisfied, and eBay would continue to get fees from the seller and business from the buyer. If the buyer truly didn’t receive the item, they should get a refund. If the seller truly sent it, they should get to keep the money the buyer paid. This is the correct way to run a large company like eBay.

I feel like you understood the point but went right back to what you were saying. Ebay is going to pick one side and one side only. It’s not the best way to run a business to give both refunds. Let’s this keeps happening to both people. The buyer will eventually be removed from ebay as a registered user. The seller will either adapt to the situation or keep losing money til they are out of business. You are a very casual seller. Ebay really doesn’t care about you. Let’s be honest in the face that ebay want’s reliable, bigger sellers and casual buyers. Not casual sellers and casual buyers.

you can insist all you want but you need to understand no proof you lose the case every time. Companies don’t run a correct way or the right way. They operate in the most efficient manner that net’s them the most money. You mention if the seller truly sent they should get the money. There is no way to determine that sent the item you sent even with a receipt of payment from a post office showing a stamp purchase. Those arguments you keep making have no merit to stand on. Take yourself out of the equation and you’ll change your argument.

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And you can do the same thing.
Figure in you’re loss
If you sell an average of 10 items a month for 1.00 each and appx one goes missing you have a 10% loss. Simply add that loss to all your items so you’d sell them for 1.10 each. Is it fair? Doesn’t matter…its business;)

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I would set an arbitrary amount which you can comfortably say: “Hey, if this buyer rips me off for X amount, it’s OK. It’s only X amount.” Anything more valuable than X you’ll put Tracking on. Personally, I put Tracking on anything more than $10. Over time, the amount of money you save by *NOT* using Tracking will outweigh the amount of money lost when a package goes “missing.”

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@hisoka107 I do understand what eBay is doing, and your point. It definitely makes sense to me. However, it does not change my opinion that the most ethical way to run this would be to issue both the seller and buyer their money. It would not be the best business practice, but a company should be committed to customer (both buyer and seller) satisfaction first, not their own profits.

Certain circumstances do warrant a refund to both parties. PayPal will on rare occasion take the loss for a package that did not arrive if both parties have held up their end of the bargain (i.e. seller shipped with Tracking and buyer provided a verified address). They make enough money to take the loss every now and then (but I don’t know how they decide when to do this).