Gloverall Duffle Jacket eBay Paypal Case Resolution

How I appealed a PayPal dispute and won!

Dollar Flipper eBay Tips 25 Comments

Sometimes, a buyer doesn’t follow the rules set up on eBay or PayPal. This is part of the game, but it’s also infuriating. I’ll go over my case, my responses, and how I could have improved them along the way. I’m going to try really hard to not be emotional about this. I swear… even though it really does piss me off, though!

Here’s how the issue got started.

Back Story

I sold a vintage Gloverall Duffle jacket for $200 and free shipping. It only went to New York so that was about $6 even though it was a heavy coat. I had it listed at much higher than $200 but had accepted this offer. I’d already sold it before, and had it returned once. Since the first time it sold, I have implemented a $20 (whoops!) 20% restocking fee.

Prior to the sale, the buyer had contacted me asking “how I measured the jacket.” I took pictures showing the measurements I take, but I was only using my phone so I couldn’t zoom in on the measurements themselves. I didn’t think this was an issue since the values of the measurements were already in the listing. I repeated them in my message.

Not good enough. He was confused about the measurements and why he couldn’t see the numbers on the tape measurer. So I took them again, sent them off. Finally, he accepted for $200 total. I wasn’t thrilled, but it was towards the end of the year, and I wanted this damn jacket gone.

When it was received, the buyer messaged me saying “I got this coat and it fits fine, but I am surprised that it doesn’t have a long zipper to close off the front. Do some models have this zipper?”

I responded that I didn’t know when it was from (70’s/80’s being my best guess). I didn’t realize then, but I really can’t find a Gloverall Duffle jacket that has a zipper. Seriously, check out their website!

Gloverall Duffle Jacket eBay Paypal Case Resolution

No zippers to be seen. I also have zoomed in pictures of the “toggles” that keep the jacket closed.

The buyer never opened a case on eBay and just returned the item to me instead. No biggie. Once I received the item, I refunded the buyer $160 ($200 minus the 20% restocking fee).

The buyer was not pleased.  I received a message saying that they didn’t see a restocking fee and thought that it was unfair. I politely responded that it’s on all of my listings. He then said that he found it but didn’t think it should apply because “The auction that didn’t say the coat didn’t have a zipper.”

I’m holding back some emotions right now.  I just deleted a few sentences that I typed out which were emotionally charged. 🙂

PayPal Case

The buyer then opened a case through PayPal, not through eBay. This confused me but that’s OK. I know I was right.

Well, PayPal disagreed. Apparently the buyer’s argument was too strong.

The overall issue was “The listing didn’t accurately describe the item.”

The buyer’s comments were as follows:

“I have difficulty accepting the 20% restocking fee. I appreciate your making the partial refund of $160 but feel that you should not have withheld $40 as a fee for “restocking” the coat into your inventory.”

The buyer literally didn’t talk about the coat or any “issues”. All he talked about was the fact that I had a restocking fee!

I responded with a large block of text:

“The buyer is asking me to waive a restocking fee which was in my item’s listing at time of purchase. He acknowledged that the jacket was in good condition upon receipt (in eBay messages) and that he assumed that the jacket would have a zipper. The eBay listing included pictures of the jacket opened, closed, and closeups of the “toggles” which are used to keep the jacket closed. All of these clearly show that there is no zipper. Additionally, Gloverall duffle jackets do not have zippers as found on the Gloverall website:

The restocking fee covers many items: original shipping which was paid for by myself, boxes, packing materials, tools, my time for responding to messages (I responded to the buyer multiple times when he requested additional measurements and photographs), packing the item, and taking the item to the post office. Additionally, I lost time of having that item listed on eBay during one of the busiest times of the year. Finally, the restocking fee is plainly listed in the eBay listing prior to purchase.As this return was due to buyers’ remorse, I cannot, in good conscience, waive the restocking fee.”

Finally, I uploaded copies of our messages in eBay and escalated the case to PayPal.

Within a few days, PayPal responded in favor of the buyer. I was dumbfounded.

Where did I go wrong? I’m going to appeal the case!

Well, the way this transaction went through caused PayPal to have issues with it’s normal appeal process which is electronic. I’m glad that this happened, though, because it forced me to call PayPal.

I let them know the situation, explained that I was frustrated as the restocking fee is a part of my listing at time of purchase and that I needed help. The CS rep was very helpful and ended up giving me the $40 back.

Hooray! Balloons fell down from the ceiling. All was well. Except for the fact that the buyer wasn’t right and probably got to keep his money too. But, I need to take what I can get.

Lessons Learned

So there you have it. If we break this down, we can see where I made a few mistakes and where I may have gotten PayPal or eBay to side with me in the first place.

  1. I was never rude. This is a good thing. Before each message, I made sure to read it a few times. I could have linked to the Gloverall website to clarify that there shouldn’t be a damn zipper.
  2. The return process – I don’t know how to handle this. I actually called eBay when I received the coat, and they said to give the partial refund through PayPal. In the future, I might not do this unless they start the return through eBay.
  3. I should have been less verbose in my response on PayPal. Reference the PayPal User Agreement. Looking back at this a week later, I’m frustrated to admit that it probably could have gone either way. Buyers have protection when “The item is missing major parts or features which were not disclosed in its description when you bought the item.” I think he could have argued this while I would have argued that “The item was properly described but did not meet your expectations.”
  4. I should NOT have escalated the case in PayPal. I should have tried to reason with the buyer about why I was right. Or something?
  5. I called PayPal. At this point, it was my only option. In general, when I’ve called eBay or PayPal, they are very understanding and helpful. The point is to talk to a real person.

So that’s how I appealed my case (verbally) and won. The whole process was very stressful. I don’t like having to take 15 minutes out of my day to call PayPal/eBay. I don’t like stressing over this thing. But if I didn’t accept returns, it could have been worse. eBay could have made me take the return, they could have made me refund the buyer, and I might not have gotten the item back.

This coat will sell and I just need to forget about the whole situation. But I did update the listing to say that the coat does not have zippers. *sigh*

Have you ever had to appeal a case with eBay or PayPal? Did you get your money back?

Comments 25

  1. Good job! I think it is important to fight when we are in the right, which you were.

    1. Post

      I’m glad you agree! 🙂 I was really happy that they refunded me. I’m sure they have some sort of calculation where they look at the whole of a seller’s account and see how much money they make from you.

  2. Way to go! I am pleasantly surprised that PayPal eventually ruled in your favor. 99% of my eBay selling experiences have been smooth, but there are always those buyers whose expectations are just ridiculous. (Most recently, “This CD doesn’t play; you lied to me!” “It’s a DVD, as was clearly indicated in the description”) I’ve had mixed success with dispute resolution.

    Here’s hoping your next buyer isn’t outraged about a lack of buckles, buttons, or snaps!

  3. Good job keeping your cool! It’s super hard to do sometimes when the buyer is unreasonable-I’ve learned that there are a lot of people out there with a few screws loose, and it’s best to be civil but persistent with the paypal or ebay staff to win a case. So far, knock on wood, we’ve won all of them b/c we follow the rules and are always fair and communicate with buyers. I would’ve had a hard time NOT saying “look closely at the pictures, dumb—…do you see a zipper?!?!” lol. I’m sure you were probably thinking something along those lines.
    Don’t you think you also need to include things in the listing like “This coat should not be used as a life preserver, or to put out fires.” I mean, seriously, Chris-be responsible! 😉

    1. Post

      LOL! Right? My wife asked if I’m going to note that a mens’ dress shirts don’t have zippers.

      I have another one which I’m debating about fighting since they said that a 90’s vintage shirt which I said had light fading had fading. READ PEOPLE!

  4. I’ve had to appeal negative feedback with eBay once a few years ago. The buyer definitely had a few screws loose. He gave me negative feedback for an item that he returned. I ended up having to call eBay to see if I could get it removed. I let them know the situation and they happily agreed to remove the negative feedback for me.

    1. Post

      Sometimes, I can’t tell if the buyers are crazy or if you are just catching them on a bad day. I agree though, it’s best to call eBay. They’re generally reasonable.

  5. I had a set of four mini Starbucks Indonesia mugs for sale last year. I really enjoyed researching them. Someone bought one but before I shipped, I had a gut feeling to check. I emailed the buyer to make sure they understood that they were MINI mugs. I said they were mini mugs THREE times in the listing and it was in the title. They said they thought they were buying a regular mug. I said no problemo. Later, someone else bought one and in their message to me, they said “what a great deal”. I knew from that comment they too thought they were regular mugs. I emailed and said I didn’t want to insult their intelligence but wanted to check that they knew they were buying a mini mug. They didn’t know. Again, I said no problemo. They thanked me for being honest. Well, I’d rather have had the money in my account, bud. I dodged two bullets there because what a pain in the ass that would have been to process two returns. I guess buyers see only what they want to see sometimes. I took the listings down soon after because I didn’t want to deal with the mini issue. Plus, they were interesting and grew on me. But I may put them back up one day.

    1. Post

      I’ve seen these mugs before! I almost bought a set while I was on business in Sweden. I thought they were pretty cool. I think that if yous old them as a set of 4, it would be less confusing. Maybe include something in the picture to show how small the mugs are?

      Either way, you were smart to let the buyer know. I had a similar experience with a buyer when I sold my electronic chirping ornaments, but it was completely my fault. They were very cool about it though.

  6. One of my New Years “statements” was to teach ebay buyers to read. I had a question this week from someone who wanted to know if my duvet cover had shams in spite of the title “duvet cover with sham” and repeated several times the number ONE in the listing. Come on people…read all those words in the description. Congrats on winning the appeal you did very well on keeping your professional cool.

    1. Post

      Yeah, and that’s not a small thing either. I can understand a “little” miss, but when you’re asking a question about something in the title, it’s pretty absurd. The only thing I can think is that they had a saved search which then pushed them towards the item so they didn’t really look at the information.

  7. Well, returns do suck and it’s hard not to stress over it. I try hard not to let it..but it doesn’t always work. I think if we had returns every day, we wouldn’t think twice about them..I guess it’s good we don’t.

    1. Post

      I agree. It’s not fun to start out the new year with a couple of returns, but what can you do. They’ll even out.

  8. if you force them to start an eBay return case, they will choose “item not as described”. eBay will hold way more $ for return shipping than it actually costs them plus will not allow you to do a restocking fee. Trust me (I learned the hard way) for your sake the customer did it best. I tell ppl not to start returns 😀 I swear eBay/Paypal default is for the buyer (unless of course I am the buyer). Glad you got your $ back but your absolutely right the buyer kept their $ and they learned nothing. I would personally block them (although I did learn when they ask that many stupid questions before the sale they are nothing but problems after).

    1. Post

      That’s a good point. I didn’t have to pay the return shipping this way so maybe I should just be glad about the outcome.

  9. Hello, I had a similar situation to yours. In short, I sold a NWT skirt on eBay in Dec 2015. On 31st March (yes…3 and a half months after the buyer received the skirt ) she lodged a claim that the skirt was damaged.

    PayPal recently found in her favor. Like you, I was appalled (I mean, which store on the planet would accept clothing returns nearly 4 months later!). The buyer subsequently returned to me a damaged and clearly worn skirt and I had my PayPal account debited to reimburse her!

    Like you I made the “mistake” of escalating the claim to a dispute. Like you did, I have appealed the decision. I also spoke to PayPal in person about my appeal (this is a great tip for any others seeking advice). PayPal CS seemed helpful. The representative in Appeals actually stated that she couldn’t understand how the claim was won in the buyer’s favor in the first place, after so long in her possession (maybe they just said that to be nice, in response to me being politely upset!)

    I’m just sell odd items from my wardrobe for fun, so I certainly won’t accept PayPal from now on! I’m going to close my account. Lesson learned!

    I now advise everyone that PayPal offers a 180 day return policy. So if you buy clothing (or anything else except electronic intangibles), and you don’t like it or you get sick of wearing it, you can just lodge a PayPal SNAD claim and …boom…you get both your money and your postage returned to you!

    Morale of story: Check out the competition. You don’t need to choose PayPal.

    1. Post

      That stinks! I hope you got your money back.

      I have a love/hate relationship with PayPal. They are very similar to Amazon. They bring down the hammer very quickly. eBay seems to be a little better since it doesn’t sell anything themselves.

      I try to remember that 99.99% of my transactions don’t have any issues, and these one offs aren’t a reason to throw the baby out with the bathwater.

      I’m interested in knowing how getting rid of PayPal works with selling on eBay. I didn’t think there was any other good options.

      Finally, I’ve heard of people getting large amount of funds frozen (thousands of dollars). To mitigate what’s in my control, I generally take money out when my balance goes over $1,000. It would suck to lose that much, but it wouldn’t crush us.

  10. When I read your post, I was completely irritated with you too, and it was of course unfair.
    You said you had a $20 restocking fee, not a 20% of the purchase price of the item restocking fee.
    The other thing I think is that being disappointed that there is no zipper is not a fault of your listing. How many other things could he have been hoping for, yet we’re not there? It happens, and if he was able to return it, then that’s great.

    1. Post
  11. Also you said you have implemented. I believe that is called the pluperfect tense, as in you did it presently, even though it sounds like you wanted to blend it with the past, which makes me think that you are not telling the truth.
    I appreciate your posting though. It is good to know that if you fail to respond or something, you can still get your money back, though maybe that was just because it was only $40.

    1. Post

      Good catch! I mistakenly wrote $20 instead of 20%. This jacket has sold a couple times and in between sales, I had implemented a 20% restocking fee on all of my inventory.

  12. 99% of PayPal and Ebay reps are Filipino and they are clueless and are not probably trained nor have any understanding of company policy or regulations. All they do is keep saying is ” don’t worry ……don’t worry “. Well, I got scammed and the dispute outcome were in seller favor due to lack of evidences. Well, I got plenty of evidences from my Ebay messages between me and the scum. What happen is that when you call PayPal rep and explain your side of the story they don’t enter them correctly and by that mean you will get screw. When your case has been denied and calling them back to appeal the case, the same scenario will repeat. So it your loss and another scum bag just walks away with your money left you behind dealing with the mess.

    Lesson learn and if anyone shop or sell on Ebay I suggest limiting the amount of money you’re willing to lose to SCUM and be prepare to deal with losses.

    1. Post

      I’ve seen eBay’s CS reps improve a lot over the years and I’ve never had an issue with them. I don’t agree with your accusations or racist undertones.

  13. Actually PayPal just refund you $40 not from buyer, from PayPal source, buyer also received $40
    and another point, PayPal never read or do something with case proof, pictures and other, they just wait couple days (like they doing something, but not) and make decision to buyers favor. And Ebay and Paypal same way, they will read your case and see you proofs only during you speaking by phone with them, only in this time they can take a look to you proofs and read you message. I got many cases and my recommendation call them and speak by phone before case will closed.

    1. Post

      This is anecdotal at best, and you don’t know that PayPal didn’t take the money from the buyer. I’m not sure either.

      Just remember, we’re all trying our best and in general – people aren’t going to be jerks. If a buyer isn’t happy, you probably could have done something better. If you don’t think that you have room for improvement, then you may want to take a hard look in the mirror. Calling PayPal may help, but I’ve had mediocre success with a similar situation. The important part is to be honest with your buyer on the front end and stay away from the low dollar items.

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