Would appreciate your advice - situation with ebay seller

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Well-known member
Jan 16, 2017
Hi everyone, I'm trying not to leave negative feedback for an ebay seller I've bought pearls from for several years and I've been generally happy with them. I've spent nearly $7000 on her items (loose pearls and jewelry) and left a lot of great feedback, but now my id is banned from contacting her or buying anything.

I think what happened is in May, I returned a pair of earrings because in person, the color was much darker than the listing photos. I received a refund, no problem. Another purchase made in May was a necklace, there was nothing wrong with it but I really did not like it, and I missed the 30-day return window by about a week. She rejected my return and banned my id. I am really surprised at this because I've given her so much business.

I think I can still leave feedback on that item, but I'm still thinking about what I could say. Or I may be banned from that too.

What would you do?
Per eBay rules, sellers have the right to block buyers for any reason. When a buyer is blocked from buying, they are automatically also blocked from contacting the seller.
Some sellers have a reputation for blocking buyers if they make a few returns; some buyers who know who these sellers are avoid buying from those sellers. :rolleyes:

Sellers also have the right to set policies on how long they allow returns. Missing the return window is upsetting for the buyer but it's not the seller's fault. Although as a buyer you have the right to leave feedback, I would not leave bad feedback because you missed the return window. Frankly that would make you look bad on your "feedback left" page, especially if your seller replies to your negative feedback by stating you tried to return an item after her return window.

Since 2008 sellers have not been allowed to leave anything but positive feedback for buyers. So sellers check the "feedback left" by buyers. The next time you try to make an offer, or place a bid, your "feedback left" may cause a seller to decline your offer, or cancel your bid, or block you. That may not seem fair, but blocking buyers seems to be the only way sellers can avoid buyers they fear may be problematic.

What would I do? Move on. Enjoy the items you already bought from her and find someone else to buy from in the future.
Feedback is optional. You don't have to leave any.
I know sellers don't like returns - I know it's extra trouble, but I think it's a basic part of a selling business. When I buy something from Macy's or another retailer I can make returns without getting banned from the store or web site. Sounds very draconian to me.

I don't think I'm a "problematic buyer" at all especially after $7000 of happy transactions. I feel insulted actually.
I'm not saying you are problematic-- I'm saying sellers who don't want returns may view buyers who do returns as problematic.

I think there is a fundamental difference between large vendors and small(er) sellers when it comes to returns. I think the large ones can deal with cash flow issues better. JMO.

Edited to add: Brick & mortar stores have return deadlines too.

See my PM :).
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Pearl Dreams, such an interesting and well written response. I am now pondering the seller aspect of ebay. Lately I have been thinking a lot about online sellers in general, how easily there reputation can be damaged and how costly shipping, insurance and returns can be.
I don't try to make light of your experience mrsadm, I don't think blocking a repete customer was necessary, the refusal of the return, fine, but not the blocking.
I only ever return international orders if they are really not as stated, I think it's to much work returning them (postalwise). If I don't like something I usually don't leave any feedback at all.
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I do most of my purchases of everything online, so I love vendors with good return policies. I will buy much more from them than vendors with bad return policies. If I can't see something in person, ordering it and returning it is my only option. If someone blocks me, well, they lose all my business, and my recommendations to other buyers. Their loss, not mine.
Maybe not their loss. Maybe their way to avoid loss.

When an eBay seller refunds the buyer their original payment, that refund includes the portion that was used for shipping the item to the buyer in the first place. (Even if the seller uses "free shipping" it really means "shipping included". Shipping isn't free for the seller. The seller has to pay the shipper to ship. The cost of shipping is rolled into the price of the item.)

This means every time a seller refunds a customer they lose money they already paid out for shipping.
Buyers who return items cost sellers the original shipping money.

I think sellers have the right to decide if they want to deal with repeat returns. Buyers also have the right not to buy from those sellers.

It's easy for people who are not sellers to say what sellers should or shouldn't do. :rolleyes: We used to sell on eBay and we learned how easy it is to lose money on returns as a seller. I expect it's the same for Etsy sellers, and others. The buyer may be made whole with a return, while the seller just loses money.
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I do understand the cost and trouble of returns, and if all that happened was my return was rejected, I would be fine with that. But banning me? She doesn’t care if she ticks off a loyal customer to avoid a neutral or negative feedback.

P.S. I also really do understand the seller’s view - my husband sells a lot on eBay every week. If a seller cannot make enough money, even with the costs and risks, it may be time to do something else. IMHO anyway.
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It may not have anything to do with feedback, maybe not even the money. Maybe she just doesn't want to bother processing returns, filing claims to get back her eBay and PayPal fees, and relisting the items.

We can't know. People are different and some don't handle routine problems as well as others. That includes communication, messaging etc. I suppose if they can keep their business going in spite of it (and clearly she can) it is not up to us to say they should do something else. :rolleyes: But I do understand why you are displeased with being blocked. Anyone would be.

Bottom line: There are lots more vendors to buy from; maybe you'll discover a few new ones you like. Happy pearl shopping!
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I do most of my purchases of everything online, so I love manufacturer with good return policies.
Thanks Katbran, I will sell it online somewhere.

Whether you sell on eBay or somewhere else, you of course have to be profitable. But it’s false advertising to offer a 30day return, when you only permit a buyer to use that process maybe 2-3 times, over the course of 2-3 years, then ban them. This seller is not honest. Either charge a restocking fee, or at least warn the buyer they’ve reached their “return limit”. — that would be honest. IMHO...
I disapprove of calling a seller dishonest for following her own return policy. The reason you didn't get your refund was that you wanted to return it after the deadline.

I get that you don't like being blocked over your request. I get that you feel offended. The seller still wasn't dishonest in doing so. You think she should have a different policy and state it. That is her call. She isn't dishonest for not having the policy you think she should have.

You are entitled to dislike her policy. It's still wrong to call her dishonest. And that is my honest opinion.
I don’t dislike the return rules. I don’t care about that. I am not complaining about that. It’s the unstated policy of banning someone when someone merely requests a refund after the close date. This is the dishonest part.
More on this tomorrow.
I am closing the thread. We are just going around and around on this.

Feel free to message me but we're done here.
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