eBay has quite an intricate and long-winded dispute resolution procedure. In this email, Ill try to break each step down for you, so you can see whats involved and how long it takes.
As an example, lets go through what you would do if you paid for an item but didnt receive it from the seller.
Before you open a dispute: Give the seller a chance to send the item before you get ahead of yourself and open a dispute. If youre concerned about how long the item is taking to arrive, the first thing you should do is send a polite email to the seller saying that you havent received it and asking whether they have posted it. You should also check your own email address in eBays options, to make sure that the seller can reply to you. As a last resort before opening a dispute, you should try to call the seller on the number eBay has for them. You might have to pay long-distance charges for the call, but thats better than dragging the auction through mediation for months.
Step 1 – You open an Item Not Received dispute: You can do this here: http://feedback.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?InrCreateDispute.
All you need to do is enter the item number and say that you did not receive the item.
Step 2 – eBay contacts the seller: eBay sends the seller an email that tells them that youve said you didnt receive the item. Then can then choose to tell you one of three things: that your payment hasnt cleared yet, that the item is in the post, or that theyll give you your money back. The seller can also tell eBay that they would like to send you a message.
Step 3 – You talk to the seller: You try to work out whats happened directly with the seller, sending messages back and forward. Hopefully theyll agree to give you a refund for the sake of their feedback, or your item will turn up in the post during this time.
Step 4 – Closing the dispute: After 30 days (or 10 days if the seller didnt respond), you have two options to close the dispute: either you were satisfied or you werent. If you werent satisfied, then you can claim under eBays purchase protection program for up to $200.
Independent Dispute Mediation.
If you dont want to go through eBays own process, and especially if the auction was for a high-value item, then you can use a third-party mediator. eBay recommend SquareTrade, at http://www.squaretrade.com, who provide mediation to many websites where there are buyers and sellers. They will contact the seller on your behalf and then mediate as you negotiate what to do from there.
Sellers who are committed to going through SquareTrades mediation for any disputes can sign up to display the SquareTrade seal on their auctions. This gives their buyers $250 fraud protection, and shows that their identity has been independently verified so they are who they say they are.
When your sellers arent in such good standing, though, you need to be careful to avoid being a victim of fraud. There are a few scams that you especially need to look out for well cover them in the next email.
About the author:
Kirsten Hawkins is an Ebay and internet auction enthusiast from Nashville, TN. Visit http://www.auctionseller411.com/for more great tips on how to make the most from Ebay and other online auctions.