I sold an item on eBay and the buyer requested a refund stating the item was not as described. I had posted several very clear pictures and the item was exactly as described. Without hearing my side, eBay ruled that I must refund the buyer based on photos he sent. This buyer was an issue from the start, initially he said he didn't have money to pay after he purchased the item. I believe he damaged the item on purpose to get a refund. Do I have any recourse against eBay once I refund the money? Since eBay is forcing me to refund the money based on their opinion and I will now have a damaged item. The buyer is located in another state.
Your rights are going to be governed by the eBay user agreement. Something tells me that when you read it carefully you will find the answer to your question, but it's not the answer you want to hear.
need more facts...there are the user agreements in Ebay but if there are serious violations of the law including the fact that employees in Ebay are not adequately trained there can be basis for legal action against Ebay but keep in mind legal actions cost money
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You made a contract with EBay to be bound by its dispute resolution process. The process will not always be correct (no process is always correct), and you can work the EBay to the last point provided. But you made the deal to be bound by it and that deal will be enforced against you. You do not have grounds of suit for being required to participate in the process nor for being dissatisfied with a particular outcome. You did not get to use EBay's services by agreeing to participate in the dispute resolution process only if you agree with the outcome.
Your position is wholly unsound.
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Each of the other attorneys posting, who are regular and wise posters, are correct. Adding ever so slightly to what has been communicated here, that is, that your chances are not real good, the answer to your question is, "yes, you can sue them."
Correct me if I'm wrong, but isn't there a Paypal resolution process also? I know there is information out there about buyers abusing the eBay system.
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Seems to me you might be better off suing the buyer. Depending upon the sales price, this would likely be a small claims matter - I am unsure if small claims permits suing out of state defendants.
To the extent there is no sales agreement between you and your buyer, or the extent any sales agreement is silent on a provision/term, then the UCC's Article 2 will likely govern that transaction. California has largely adopted the UCC Article 2 (California Commercial Code 2000 series laws). And I belief all other states, except Louisiana have as well. You'll want to research whether the buyer or the seller (you) is liable to damage caused during shipment, i.e. risk of loss. To do that, you need to know if this was a "shipment contract" or "destination contract." You want this to be a "shipment contract" as risk of loss generally passes to the buyer as soon as you the seller puts the sold goods into the hands of a carrier. Whereas with a "destination contract" the risk of loss passes to the buyer after the carrier delivers the goods to the buyer. The UCC prefers shipment contracts. If delivery terms were CIF, or C & F, or FOB seller's city, then you likely have a "shipment contract." If the delivery terms were FOB buyer's city you may have a "destination contract."
In sum, figure out if you may sue an out of state defendant in small claims court (assuming this is a small claims matter) and if you can, then research risk of loss issues under California Commercial Code and whichever version of the UCC Article 2 your buyer's state has adopted. Lastly, statute of limitations on such issues run pretty quickly, so do not delay this if it is important you.
I have a little different take here than some of my colleagues. You say that eBay did not even hear your side. The question is what does eBay's dispute policy say about handling such disputes? Does it require them to get input from both sides? If so, then you could do a protest to them and quote the part of their own policy that they violated and possibly get their attention.
Please note: This answer is not intended and should not be considered as legal advice. Such professional advice requires full disclosure to an attorney of a client’s circumstances and that attorney’s opportunity to analyze those circumstances against applicable law.
Did you pay through ebay/paypal? If so you may have a claim against the payment intermediary, but it will be a hard claim. It sounds like you also have a claim against the buyer.
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