Most items I have purchased on ebay have been great, as described and exactly what I was hoping for. Unfortunately though, some have been misrepresented in the auction.
As a seller, I describe everything in my listings as some items (even new items) can have faults somtimes.
If you receive an item that is not quite right e.g: it was described as being in a perfect condition, yet there is a large stain on the front, then here are some tips I have learnt along the way to getting a favourable outcome:
1) Before you bid on an item, read the description thoroughly. Some items as mentioned earlier have faults, even brand new items and it's best not to assume anything when it comes to buying on ebay.
2) You know what it's like, the rush of winning an item, paying straight away and waiting in delighted anticipation of the arrival of your "must have" item.
3) Yippee, it arrives and that feeling of joy turns to frustration when that brand new, perfect condition top has a tear in the side seam or a sizeable stain on the back.
4) First things first: Go back and check the auction description and see if the seller has mentioned it in the auction. In the interest of being fair, if the seller has mentioned the fault and the buyer didn't read the descriprion, then it's not really fair to blame the seller as they have done their best to describe what you have just found.
5) If the seller has not mentioned the fault, then email the seller in a calm manner describing your disappointment. Here is a good example:
I just wanted to let you know that I received item XXXX today, thank you for your prompt service.
Unfortunately though, I have found a large pen mark on the back which was not mentioned in the auction, I assume you must have missed it.
I have taken the liberty of attaching photos of the pen mark so that you can observe for yourself.
I would prefer to return the item for a refund, I hope we can come to an amicable solution.
Thank you for your time,
6) Upon receiving an email like the one above, a good seller will apologise for the mistake and agree to a refund upon return of the item. It is common practice to return an item before receiving a refund, just as you do when retail shopping at your local store.
7) Allow enough time for your seller to respond to your email, they are not always online at the same time you are.
8) If time has passed and you do not receive a reply, try sending the email again or pull the sellers contact details and give them a call to discuss your issues.
9) It's never a good idea to leave neutral or negative feedback prior to communicating with your seller. By doing so, you lose the opporuntity to receive a refund as by leaving feedback, the transaction is considered finished.
10) Treat others as you would want to be treated. By sending an email such a this:
I received item XXX today and quite frankly I am really angry that you have sent me this junk. I am leaving negative feedback unless you issue an immediate refund and you can go and jump if you think you are getting it back".
Straight away the seller will be offside and won't want to do a thing to help you, therefore resulting in an unhappy buyer with a useless item and a waste of money.
11) Try not to assume that the seller was trying to rip you off. Yes, there are some unscrupulous sellers out there, but most are good. If you have received an item which is not as described, then it may just be an honest mistake and you will find that a good seller will bend over backwards to help.
12) Realise when the seller's obligation ends. If a seller has delivered an item exactly as described and you are happy with the transaction as a whole, then leave positive feedback saying so as the seller has completed their side of the deal. The seller's obligation does go beyond wearing or using an item or even washing an item.
13) Ebay have a dispute resolution process where you can file an :Item not as described" dispute, here is the link which may be helpful:
Best of luck, I hope this guide has been helpful.