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Purchasing

Damaged Goods

What do you do if your purchase doesn't arrive in one piece? Take photographs of the contents as soon as you spot damage - a digital camera can assist greatly. Collect your papers, payment receipt and auction page printout (you did print that page out, didn't you?). At this point, contact the seller and request their help.

Just who exactly is responsible for filing an insurance claim and issuing a refund is a hot issue on the eBay message boards, however in my opinion, the seller is responsible for the safe arrival of the item. When the seller takes the item to the UPS or USPS service counter, they are contracting the carrier to deliver the package to you. Also, do not assume the seller will insure the item!

One particularly ugly aspect of shipping damage is the process required to file an insurance claim. UPS requires the shipper to file the claim, as they are the party who paid for the shipping and insurance. The post office does allow the consignee (you) to file a claim, however be prepared to prove costs involved. Overall, when an item is damaged due to the carrier, nobody wins and to break even via insurance, expect a lengthy period to settle. If the seller is willing to settle-up with you quickly for an UPS shipped item, they must issue a call tag for pickup. If you, as the buyer, ship the damaged item back, the issue of "when was it damaged" and "who needs to file a claim" pops up. Not a pretty scenario and often both parties lose out. My strong advice, let the carrier do their job and be patient.

What do you do when the damage is the fault of the seller? If I have received one turntable where the platter was bouncing around loose inside the dust cover, I've received twenty of them. The same applies to items where little or no packing was used. If the seller is responsible, as a buyer you should demand a refund. Be polite but firm, and don't place a hair trigger over the negative feedback button as once you have left a negative comment you have lost your "leverage". As a buyer, I have left positive feedback comments for those sellers who have dealt correctly with a damaged item issue.

Next Page...

Purchasing Items Selling Items
  Timing is Everything   Registering as a Seller
  Proxy Bidding   Payment Options
  Sniping   Auction Assistance
  Seller Feedback & Shipping   Including Photographs
  You've Won! What Now?   Describing an Item
  Sending Payment   Launching an Auction
  Receiving Goods   Packaging
  Received Damaged Goods?   Contacting the Purchaser
  Assistance from eBay   Shipping the Item

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Text Alan L. Maier, Design & HTML SMR Group, Images SMR Group cannot be reproduced without permission. eBay is a registered trademark of SafeHarbor Inc. The images on this page are digitally watermarked and the HTML contains JavaScript to prevent it being opened in a frame on another site.  Last updated 16th December 2000.

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