If you're ever made either one of these complaints after finding yourself less-than-satisfied with an eBay transaction, you should ask yourself one very important question:
Did you file a dispute about the issue in question? If not, why not?
Why Disputes are ImportanteBay is a sprawling web community with millions of users worldwide and still many more auctions that are active at any given moment. Policing eBay proactively with a team of employees wouldn't just be prohibitively expensive and time consumingit would quite literally be impossible. There is simply too much going on on eBay at any given time for any company or organization of any size to be able to police it strongly.
Instead, eBay's primary defense against both problem buyers and problem sellers, apart from the feedback system, is automatic and depends on disputes filed by other users. Any eBay user that racks up a few negative dispute judgments is suspended, and once suspended, eBay's internal systems have tools that track member details (names, addresses, credit card numbers, phone numbers, and so on) in order to keep them banned.
For this system to work, however, dissatisfied eBay members must open and follow through with disputes, because it is the dispute judgments that ultimately find their way into eBay's membership database and identify either buyers or sellers as 'problem eBay members.' Contacting eBay customer service, as much as eBay would like to help on a person-to-person basis, does not have the same automatic effect of tagging the member in question as a problem, in part because of the massive volume of email that eBay receives and the incredible amount of time required simply to read through it all and reply to member concerns.
For this reason, it is your job as a good eBay citizen (and someone who would like eBay to remain usable, either for buying or for selling) to file disputes against eBay members that you'd found to be disreputable, thereby marking them as a problem in eBay's database. If you fail to do this, eBay has no clear, concise record of this person's bad behaviorand they will remain free to repeat the offense when trading with someone else. Asking for a refund by filing a dispute (whether a refund of your seller fees or a refund of your purchase price as a buyer) is the surest way to cause a bad trading partner to ultimately be suspended from eBay.
Filing a DisputeFiling a dispute on eBay is a surprisingly easy process. There are no forms to fill out or phone calls to make, no need to provide initial "evidence" of any kindinstead, simply follow these steps:
- Visit the eBay dispute console . (You may be asked to log in before you are able to continue.)
- Select either "Report a problem with an item" or "Report an unpaid item," depending on whether you are a buyer or a seller, respectively.
- Enter the item number for the transaction in question. If you don't know the item number, visit your My eBay page to locate the listing in question and the associated item number, or click on the "Find Item" button next to the box requesting the item number.
- Answer any questions eBay asks you in relation to the transaction and its status.
- If you hear nothing for several days and your dispute is about a purchase paid for through PayPal, log into your PayPal account, click on "Resolution Center," and opt to "escalate" your dispute to a claim.
- Follow through. After your initial submission of the dispute, eBay will contact your trading partner to request their response. You may be asked to respond again or to wait before making a final claim. Always respond when asked to do so and remember to return as necessary to make your final claim, since without a final claim the dispute does not enter the database as a mark against your problem trading partner.