Since Ebay passed their "no negatives for buyers" rule, I'm sure I'm not the only Seller to notice that dishonest Buyers are really enjoying taking advantage of it. It really doesn't matter anymore what your policies are as a seller because there is no way of enforcing them, because the buyer can leave you a negative for any unmerited reason and you can't do anything about it.
I have a 7 day return policy, yet recently got into a week long battle with a buyer who tried to tell me an item she purchased from me was defective, even though she'd had it already for over a month. I was 100% positive that the item was not defective, so I knew she was trying to get something for free. My return policy was clearly stated in the listing and I also had pictures in the listing of the item, showing it was in good condition, and showing that it worked, as proof that she was lying. Even if I assumed maybe it was damaged in shipping, my policy clearly states that I'm not responsible for damage in shipping if the buyer hasn't purchased insurance, which she hadn't.
The amount was only $14.99, so normally I would've just given her the refund just to get her off my back and avoid the negative feedback. (And my own impeccable feedback is proof of that!) But I went and looked at her "feedback left for others," and it looked as though she's pulled this stunt with other sellers as well. So I contacted Ebay for advice. Their answer was clearly a "form letter." They said that I should clearly state all of my return policies in the listing. (Which I already do, so obviously they hadn't even gone and looked at the listing in question.) And the rest of their 'advice' in the form of a 'Seller checklist," to help me have 'smoother transactions' in the future. I have been selling on Ebay for over ten years and have a 4,500 feedback rating, with no negatives at the time this happened! I could've written the checklist myself!
So I ended up standing my ground and ended up taking the negative. I know it sounds crazy, but I was actually glad I got it, because it's really the only way of other sellers seeing the woman's dishonest activities. I couldn't leave her a negative, which is totally ridiculous considering she was obviously pulling a scam on me. You have to wonder how many other people she did this to and just gave her the refund, got their positive from her, yet couldn't leave her a negative to show what had happened! At least if other sellers have a similar problem with her, they hopefully will look at her 'feedback left for others' and see that she has left similar negative feedback for other sellers, it hopefully will tip them off that she's up to no good!
I guess this has turned out to be more of a story than a guide, but basically I wanted to encourage other sellers who have had this happen to them, that even if you got the negative from the dishonest buyer, at least it's a way of "recording" their behavior, since you can't leave them a negative. I also wanted to encourage other sellers to be sure to look at a buyer's 'feedback left for others' when something like this arises, and maybe start fighting back instead of just issuing a refund no questions asked, just because you're afraid of the negative feedback.
Somehow we sellers need to stop these scammers who are trying to get something for free, and Ebay is no help. I guess I would also encourage other sellers to contact Ebay every time a situation like this comes up. Maybe if they are flooded with complaints regarding the "no negatives for buyers" rule, they'll consider changing it back to the way it is.
Contact me if you'd like the User ID of this buyer. Perhaps if we sellers got the word "out there" and started sharing the ID's of dishonest buyers, it would help stop a few of them!