How to shop with confidence on Ebay

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I recently purchased from an Ebayer with 100% positive feedback over 200+ transactions 3 Shimano Aero Technim fishing reels. These reels are quite expensive and now difficult to find since they have been discontinued from production. The reels were described in the listing as being in "excellent condition and having had little use". There was a low resolution picture of one reel from which I couldn't judge its condition. I bought the reels paying a substantial amount and when I received them, I discovered to my most unpleasant surprise that all the reels had deep scratches and abrasions on their casings, which are inconsistent with normal usage and tear and wear. I contacted the seller to express my disappointment from the fact that the damages were not mentioned at all in the auction description. I asked the seller to take the reels back and refund me for the purchase, considering I was shopping for "excellent" reels that cost a lot and not cheep reels that were deeply scratched beyond repair. He refused and offered me a partial refund to compensate me for the damages. Problem is that I really needed excellent reels and money was not the object. We agreed to disagree and escalated the dispute to a claim. Paypal asked me to send pictures, which I did. They then said it was not enough and asked for an expert opinion for which I had to pay myself. I obtained that too but imagine my surprise when I received notice that the dispute was resolved prematurely not in my favour before I could provide the assessment?!  I protested that decision and the case was reopened for a while. It was decided once more not in my favour several days later and that was final. I felt deeply disappointed and lost my fate in the Ebay shopping experience since that day considering someone could decide that reels described as "excellent" could be deeply damaged and I did not have the right to object that transaction.

My friendly advice to all buyers - Do not rely too much on your Paypal buyer protection. Do not blindly trust seller ratings and item descriptions when buying second hand. Always demand close up pictures of what's on sale and ask for a firm confirmation from the seller about the item's condition after you've won an auction but before making your payment.

Happy shopping!

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