Got black balled by an eBay vendor

So it’s the buyers fault that he wanted the correct item instead of a refund… go figure!

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I can’t believe there are people defending the seller and making you out to be the guy in the black hat. Long gone are the days of the customer is right it seems. Personally I would go and edit my feedback and it wouldn’t be for the positive, but then I do get petty sometimes.

Under the law, a refund is a reasonable resolution. A seller need only offer a solution that that makes the injured party whole; they do not need to offer multiple or buyer-favorable solutions.

It’s not his “fault”, but it’s not his “right” to demand one. With a refund, the OP could’ve easily bought the item again. (And I do mean easily; it’s still up for sale and it’s a eBay buy-it-now item. Getting it that way was probably five clicks and less effort than trying to beat the dead horse of getting a second shipment on the first order.) But no, he’s bound and determined to get the transaction to go the way he wants it to go, regardless of the outcome. (Which, to review, is getting neither the part he wanted nor the ability to buy it in the future - Win-Win!)

People act as if these are some deals between acquaintances at a swap meet. They aren’t: They are commercial transactions, subject to standard commercial practices, and you can damn well bet that if they go bad these buyers show no hesitation to demand that corporate and governmental entities intercede to give them full satisfaction and maximum punishment to the other guy under the relevant Terms & Conditions and trade laws.

And just to remind (or perhaps inform), “The customer is always right” is not part of any contract text or commercial code, nor written in the Constitution, so don’t be surprised when others think you are crazy when you act like it is.


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No one is saying the buyer is the bad guy. They are pointing out that the seller did not have to go above and beyond to accommodate him, and the seller was also within his rights to say (in effect), “This guy is too much hassle for what I’ve made off him.”

I wonder what the reaction would be if, the buyer had accepted the refund, but posted that, despite the refund, he was never going to buy from the vendor again because he sent him the wrong piece. Imagine: People making the seller out to be the guy in the black hat . . .


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My comments were in no way intended to defend a seller or make the buyer out to be the “guy in the black hat”. They were intended to explain how eBay feedback actually works.

Knowing how to play the game can help result in more positive experiences, in other words, not getting blacklisted by a seller.

The bottom line is that on eBay, if a buyer leaves anything other than positive feedback, especially after receiving a refund, the buyer is highly likely to get blacklisted. It is unfair but that is just how eBay works.




I learned a lot here.
I must remember that top notch seller ratings only means that nobody has dared to complain for fear of being blacklisted.
It is A-OK to receive the wrong product and have to order it again and hope for better luck the next time.
Will the refund also include possible customs and handling charges in the customers country?
Gas money for driving to the post office, for those that don’t live within walking distance or doesn’t have other errands to that part of town?

What happens if a seller has a bad habit of shipping the wrong products?

A Swedish payment mediator (Klarna) have started blacklisting sellers who have made it a business concept to market quality items and then ship garbage to the customer.
If this were to happen on ebay, should the customer quietly accept a refund and let the seller continue scamming others?


I think the sting is blocking the customer. If the seller said sorry, you asked for the part I advertised and it was what you ordered but was wrong for your application, then it is on the buyer to send back and get a refund. If the part sent was different than advertised, it is on the seller to send the correct part or if they actually do not have the part, a refund is in order. I don’t see why the buyer was blocked based on the information provided. The rub comes with shipping charges. The buyer pays shipping both ways. The return is always more then the original shipping.


Warning: More learning coming.

No customs fees, no personal costs, no bus fare. I think you’ll find that specifically excluded in most commercial T&Cs.

In the same vein, if you have an 11-year-old car with 172,000 miles on it and you wreck it, your auto insurance is only obligated to cover the value of the vehicle at the time of the wreck, not the cost to buy a new car to replace it or to cover your time spent in the buying process. Surely you are familiar with how things work in contracts. I will grant you that things may be different in Sweden, where I suppose that the Government is required to give you the money to buy a new car, after increasing the taxes on you and your neighbors to pay for it.

You are conflating - deliberately, I’d say - cases of fraud with situations where the buyer has not suffered a loss in commercial terms. You are also distancing the term “quality” from “meeting contractual requirements” when in fact the later is the real definition of the former. Quality, in this and any objective context, has nothing to do with goodness. If I placed an order for a compact commuter car and they sent me a Ferrari that I can’t afford to drive or insure or a Rolls-Royce limo that won’t fit in my garage, it doesn’t matter how “good” the cars may be. If you get what was advertised, the seller’s obligation is complete.

If a seller does not deliver the contracted items without resolution it will not be long before they get actual Negative reviews and comments to match and suffer the wrath of eBay. People may not realize how markedly tilted eBay is toward buyers.



I wonder if that comes from the fanciful belief of many people that they can boycott any company they want, for any reason, but a company must always deal with them pleasantly and obligingly.

And there are folks wondering where college kids get the crazy ideas they have . . .



At risk of beating a dead horse, nobody here is saying that a seller sending the wrong product was some kind of nefarious “scam” nor has anyone said that it is acceptable for a seller to send the wrong product. If a buyer receives the wrong product, the seller should either correct the error by sending the right product, paying for the return, or issue a refund to the buyer. If the buyer receives a refund, the buyer is then free to walk away or reorder.

What some have said, me included, is that the way eBay works, seller reputation is entirely based on feedback and only positive feedback is rewarded on eBay. Neutral and negative feedback are seen by sellers as both equally negative and business harming. Therefore, sellers aggressively defend their rating, sometimes blacklisting buyers to do so. It’s not fair. It’s shi**y for both buyer and seller. But that is how eBay works.

In the event a return is necessary in exchange for the correct product, reputable sellers will pay postage for the return.

There are ways to “play the game” so that both buyer are seller are reasonably protected in the event of a seller error.

So let’s say that a seller sent the wrong product but afterwards either corrected the problem or issued a refund. If the buyer does not want to get blacklisted but does want to publicly say something about it, the best course of action for the buyer would be to give positive feedback (which normally avoids getting blacklisted) but then in the comments describe what happened. Here are some examples:

  1. “Seller sent the wrong product but corrected the problem by paying for the return and then sent the correct product.” or,

  2. “Seller sent the wrong product but corrected the problem by issuing me a full refund which I then used to reorder.” Likewise, the buyer could give positive feedback then say in the comments,

  3. “Seller sent the wrong product. Preferred a replacement but seller issued a refund instead.” Buyer not likely to get blacklisted but other customers alerted that they may only get a refund if there is a problem, not a replacement.

  4. Buyer doesn’t care if he or she gets blacklisted, provides neutral or negative feedback and writes in comments, “Seller sent the wrong product. I wanted a replacement. Seller issued me a refund which I did not want.”

In the first 3 examples, the seller is unlikely to blacklist the buyer because most reputable sellers know that most buyers recognize sellers are not perfect and make mistakes. Sellers know that buyers value sellers that either fix the problem or refund the money. Many sellers actually welcome those kinds of feedback comments because it shows the seller tries to make things right with their customers and the comments publicly rewards the seller for fixing the problem.

If a seller has either corrected the problem by sending the right product, or issued a refund, then still receives neutral or negative feedback even after correcting the problem or issuing the refund, the seller will likely blacklist the buyer.

Give neutral or negative feedback, get blacklisted.

That’s just how eBay works. If having the seller correct the problem by sending the correct product or issuing a refund is not acceptable to you as a buyer, then take your business elsewhere.


Enlightening discussion for infrequent Ebay users, thanks. It seems that the NEUTRAL category is a misnomer, and the “If you don’t have anything nice to say,…” rule applies by default. :zipper_mouth_face:


If a seller were to blacklist me I’d have to laugh. Most of what I purchase (motorcycle parts, the occasional gun or reloading item) is sold by multiple sellers, usually for the same price.


This thread has ran longer than I expected and with more lively responses than expected.

Long of the short…

I think it was a dick move on his part to blackball me, but whatever. I’m over it. I’ll just buy my parts elsewhere.



Absolutely not. Our insurance works the same way as in many other countries, they will try to screw you using any minuscule loophole they can find.

The case was about products being specified as “real leather” and the delivered product was brittle plastic.
Same difference as if You would order and pay for stainless steel bolts and the delivery contains bolts of the wrong dimensions made of some nondescript metal which has already started to rust.
I consider this to be both a “quality” issue as in “the delivered product does not meet the “quality” specified in the implied contract” and a breach of contract since the delivered product does not meet the specifications in the contract (stainless steel vs “chinesium”). YMMV
The point I was making is whether the customer should quietly accept this for fear of being blackballed by the vendor. The customer may not even want to deal with this vendor after this but that is not the issue right now.

The problem was that they got something that was considerably inferior to what was advertised.

However: Vendors review their customers as well.
Looks like this:

The insurance companies actually tell us that there is no point in having a complete insurance for such an old car. At that level we usually only have the legally required insurance to cover damages to others.
I.e. if I cause an accident the insurance on my car will cover the damages to the other vehicle and any injuries to occupants in either vehicle. I drive, I crash, my leg get broken → insurance pays for my leg and the other car. My ride is toast.

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That’s what I have done.

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A reasonable resolution would be for the seller to say ‘Ooops sorry, my mistake, I’ll send the correct item post haste’, and the buyer , more than likely, would have said ‘No problem, mistakes happen’. How is correcting a, probable, simple mistake going 'above and beyond ', In my country, it would be called customer service. As the buyer is a return customer also, doesn’t he deserve a little bit more consideration, perhaps? Or doesn’t customer loyalty matter to businesses anymore? This smacks of the seller turning on his computer and pressing a couple of keys and thinking ‘Fu$k it, I can’t be arsed to go to my stock cupboard and hunting out the right piece, I’ll just press the refund button’

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I wish that were true here, currently covering your own car as well, is cheaper than covering just if you hit someone else, or fully comprehensive is cheaper than 3rd party fire and theft!

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Kurt, The seller is under no obligation to be nice, helpful, respectful or even honest. However most businesses prefer on going and continuous business. That normally involves a reputation of being able to get it done. Now you can be successful and be a continuous A.H. if you have the only product others need. However as soon as someone else has the product, your days in that business are done. Customer service is normally 99% a mutual thing between customer and business person. It is that 1% of the transactions that can make you grumpy.