eBay - Buyer Beware

<- What I thought I had bought ...

What I receieved->

I wanted to become an eBay fan, but this experience has put me off.

I purchased an Zire 22 for my girlfriend from eBay. This item was advertised as being 'NEW STOCK', 'BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED'. As such, I expected to receive something along the lines of the picture on the left. Instead, I got the item on the right. Sure, there was a Zire 22 inside, but the packaging did not seem original, nor was it sealed. When I took the Zire out, it seemed as if the screen had been wiped clean. Come to think of it, the screen was missing the screen protector I have seen of previous Palm's I had purchased.

Heaven forbid I might raise these concerns with the seller. Below is a transcript of what transpired (with monetary amounts involved removed).

= Beginning of transcript=

ME: Hello

I just received this item. Thanks for your prompt delivery.

Your description of this item stated that it was new stock, brand new, factory sealed. However, I am not certain this is the case.

My understanding is that the packaging for the Z22 looks like this (http://euro.palm.com/uk/en/img/products/z22/packaging.gif). Why is the item I was sent packaged differently?

Also, there is evidence that the screen has been wiped clean. Again, I feel this is not in accordance with the item description.

Can you please send me an email to address these points?

Thank you


SELLER: Come on I checked this item not be funny but what do you want for the mooney you can return if you want

Not being funny, but if an item is advertised as 'NEW STOCK', and 'BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED' and when the eBay Condition flag is set to 'New' - as you advertised it - then I expect it to be new stock, brand new and factory sealed. That it sold for £?? is irrelevant. You falsely advertised that this item was new and unsealed.

For my part, I did the right thing and paid very promptly. I am disappointed that the item was not as described.

I note your sales policy states 'BUYER PAYS P&P ON ALL OCCASIONS'. That would put me out of pocket by about £??. That is unfair given I bought an item in good faith that you held out as being brand spanking new that was not. As it was your advertisement that was in error I would ask that you pay for all postage and packing for the return of this item, as well as the initial postage and packing and the purchase price of the item itself.

I look forward to your feedback.


send back the item was brand new the end

Is it new, or as new? I asked this at the very beginning, to which you responded 'Come on ... not be funny but what do you want for the mooney ...', suggesting that you acknowledged that the item that was delivered did not match the advertised state.

I did not ask in a rude tone - I asked, as it turns out, a fair question in a fair manner. Yet, each of your responses has been, to be kind, curt.

Unfortunately, on this occasion your most recent curt response has left me short on information: If I return the item, will you be refunding the purchase price plus the P&P (£??.??) plus my P&P (amount TBC) incurred in returning the item to you?



The last short time return the item The item was brand new we wikk not put up with people like you return item back

I have attempted to avoid rudeness and be reasonable but it seems that you will not do the same.

You did not answer my questions nor address my concerns.

Unfortunately, it seems I have to escalate this matter in order to get a satisfctory outcome. I will now begin that process.


= End of transcript=


For the record, I had no alterior motives for this purchase. I thought I saw a bargain, so I put in a bid. I expected to receive a brand new, factory sealed item as advertised - does that make me a demanding consumer?

As you will have read, I have taken the next steps and lodged a dispute with PayPal.

Fingers crossed.

UPDATE 16 Aug 2006, about 11pm:

PayPal sent me an (seemingly) automated response suggesting I return the item - not taking into account the significant amount of money (relative to the purchase) I would stand to lose. I am disappointed.

I just contacted eBay under the banner of Seller Non-Performance under point 2 of that subsection of the policy, '... the seller may not: ... Significantly misrepresent an item by not meeting the terms and item description outlined in the listing.'. My submission was the transcript above, plus the following further explanation.

Fingers and toes crossed.

ME: Hello - I implore to you read this.

On 10-Aug-06 I won the aforementioned Zire 22 and paid for it within 24 hours. I bought the item because it was decribed as being 'Condition: New', 'NEW STOCK' and 'BRAND NEW FACTORY SEALED'.

Unfortunately, the item I received was not new stock and certainly was not new factory sealed stock. It was unsealed and in a non-standard package. The screen protector was missing and close inspection suggested the screen had been wiped clean. In short, the delivered good did not match the description.

I contacted the seller on the day of the delivery. I was polite. I just wanted an account of why the packaging differed to what I expected. The response I received was 'Come on I checked this item not be funny but what do you want for the mooney you can return if you want'. The full account of the email to and fro is attached in the email body section above.

The problem with the sellers offer is that I will be out of pocket £?? for an item that cost £??. I did nothing wrong while it is quite possible that the seller has been [in error].

Furthermore, it is not the first time this seller has done this. On 19-Mar-06, buyer [name removed] left this neutral feedback - 'Advertised wrong model, Was Not New (cattalogue Return). Follow-up: DO NOT BUY, HE LEAVES BAD FEEDBACK..! I PAID INSTANTLY AND GOT CRAP GOODS'. Sound familiar? If only I had read feedback page 28 before bidding. If only I new what the 4 items of mutually retracted feedback read.

And speaking of feedback, my reputation will be dented even though I did nothing wrong - I paid promptly. Am I that demanding a consumer to expect the item that was described?

I applied for dispute resolution via PayPal, as per the instructions on your web site. Despite laying out my case I received an automated response suggesting I attempt a refund - which would, again leave me out of pocket by £20.

Again, I please ask that you give this matter due consideration. I hope that you agree that this is not the sort of behaviour that should go unchecked.

I look forward to your feedback. ,