This article was triggered by an email I received from someone offering a barter transaction. The sender had purchased some forks on eBay and when they arrived, she realized she had purchased the wrong forks. They were in excellent condition but they were not what she needed. The seller did not accept returns so she was stuck. She contacted me and we successfully completed a barter transaction whereby I was able to provide her the correct forks.
The story here is that if you plan to buy sterling of any type on eBay, be certain the seller will accept returns unconditionally. Here are typical return policies offered by sellers on eBay:
- Returns allowed for any reason for a full refund with the seller paying the return shipping cost (my policy at Georgia Silver)
- Returns allowed for any reason for a full refund with the buyer paying the return shipping cost
- Returns allowed only if the item was described improperly in the eBay listing , usually with buyer paying return shipping cost
- No returns allowed
The management of eBay has been encouraging sellers strongly to have an easy return policy. They even provide tools to sellers to minimize the hassle of returns. But, some sellers just don't get the message. I receive returns very rarely so it's not cost me much to pay the shipping. And, buyers tell me they feel safer buying because of my liberal return policy. The net result is that I sell more. I don't understand why other sellers have not gotten the message.
Don't buy from a seller unless you agree with the return policy!