E-Bay Punishes Buyers
I have in the last few months purchased on EBay hundreds of items and returned about 10% of them. All returns, without exception, were due to items being not as described, and with only two exceptions, I had to pay return shipping for these misrepresented items. I asked questions ahead of time to confirm what I would expect to receive, but still received items that were warped and broken, wool sweaters that had moth holes or were rendered completely unusable from improper laundering, among other misrepresentations.
I really did not mind paying to return items that were misrepresented. I chalked it up to the fact that everyone is human, and sellers overlook things sometimes. I also realize that to buy on eBay is to assume some risk of this nature.
My reward for this? My account has been suspended because of too many returns outside seller's return policies. A review of sellers I purchased from showed me a true and interesting fact. Nearly all the returns I had to make because items were misrepresented were purchased from sellers with no-return policies. I found only one item returned to a seller who allowed returns.
Stupid me, thinking I was allowed to protect my own interests while shopping on Ebay.
One of my "bad" returns was due to my cancelling a purchase from a buyer with a no-return policy who was bidding on her own auctions to raise the price. A review of bids on her recent completed auctions showed a zero-feedback bidder for the last three months had 100% of their bids with this seller, along with 26 bid retractions. I reported this seller to Ebay twice, and yet this seller has not been suspended, and to make it worse, she is listed as a top-rated seller.
E-bay touts their buyer protection, but in reality, the buyer is the one who is punished, unless the buyer doesn't mind keeping things that were not as described and absorbing the loss.
Casual, occasional buying might work on E-Bay, but if someone wants to make a majority of their purchases on E-Bay, it is not possible unless they are willing to accept financial loss for items that are misrepresented.
Overall, less-than-careful and/or dishonest sellers are undermining the entire Ebay experience. Most sellers are excellent; I've found some of my best and most interesting clothing and collectibles there. It is a shame. I will miss Ebay; to lose the ability to make purchases and sell items I no longer want is a big disappointment. What a strange way to treat a good customer (since 2002, 1100+ feedback, 100% positive as both a buyer and a seller).