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Is a partial refund scam hitting eBay?; Caveat venditor: Partial refund policy poses pitfalls

I have been a subscriber for many years and look forward to each issue of the Antique Trader.

A few months ago, I shipped two Jadite plates to California, well-packaged and fully insured. I personally paid for the insurance. The buyer requested a partial refund as one of the plates arrived broken. I told the buyer I would be happy to send the insurance form, but the buyer refused to file a claim and again requested a partial refund, which I refused to give. I tried to explain the reason for insurance.

The buyer then informed me that their factory had destroyed the packaging and still wanted me to reimburse them. The buyer then filed a claim with PayPal. PayPal immediately froze my account. Fortunately at the time, there were no funds in the account, but I ended my active auctions to await the outcome.

This ordeal lasted for almost two months before PayPal decided not only in the buyer’s favor, but for the full amount, despite the fact that I’d informed the buyer about the insurance and that I would be happy to fax the insurance receipt.

Fortunately, PayPal’s decision was based on the buyer sending back the complete packaging plus the plates, which, of course, they were unable to do. I was then informed by PayPal that the buyer dropped the claim, as the case was settled amicably!
The hold on my account was then released.

The power of PayPal is frightening. If I had lost the case completely, would they have automatically gone into my checking account for the funds?
I have since been informed by other sellers that partial refunds are a new scam. It is easier for the buyers to receive a partial refund than to file a claim.

Sellers beware!

Pat Nelson
Albuquerque, N.M.


antique trader


Views: 286

Replies to This Discussion

Oh Boy - this is just one more example of how difficult and distructive the powers that be in both Ebay and Paypal are becoming. It's extremly frustrating!

I also wonder about the legality of ebay charging sellers a "fee" on the shipping cost? I simply can't wrap my head around it?

Reallu unfair as alot of us lose money on shipping anyway depending on where you live and where the buyer lives...not fair is an understatement


if you lose money on shipping refigure what you charge for shipping,

I live in Michigan, when I figure shipping I figure on Henderson NV sm rural town outside los vegas, it used to be a zone 7 of 8 zones and add $1. to that, most of my shipping is closer to me than that so I am fine, and the 1 or 2 that sell farther away the extra I collect along the way pays for that also the $1 helps pay for the paypal fees on the shipping

Or add a little weight to the scale for the figured charge by location

Craig Phillips

B & C Emporium antqiues and original hardware



I had a different incident, but the buyer wanted a partial refund. I sold her a doll. Then when she got it she emailed me that the head was not exactly straight, it leaned a little bit to the right. She really complained how much this bothered her. I told her if she was not happy with the doll, I would be happy to refund her money and send it back. I also told her she could have it restrung. I do not think the head was crooked but felt this woman was going to be a problem. She responed back and said she liked the doll, she was not going to give it up! She would be happy with a partial refund of 15% or $15.00. This woman was stupid 15% of the price was not $15.00 but she insisted that is what she wanted, or I knew she would threaten me with negative feedback. So what is a seller supposed to do. I thought of a long drawn out fight with Pay Pal like you went throught and thought for $15.00 it just wasn't worth my time or hassel, and the woman didn't want to send the doll back. She said if I gave her the partial refund she would give me positive feedback. So I gave her the $15.00. She never gave me positive feedback or any feedback, what she did was get the doll for $15.00 less than her bid. So what is a seller to do. We are at a loss against Pay Pal and eBay we have no rights to give the seller negative feedback. Everyone says if you don't like eBay then don't sell on it. I do make money on it, but there are times it sucks!!! They are not fair to their sellers!!! I do think there is a scam of this going around to get their items for less and then threating the seller with negative feedback.


Thanks for the heads up Pat and Craig



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