Sellers describing items as 'like new' when clearly they are not!

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Sellers describing items as 'like new' when clearly they are not!

I thought that I would write this guide as a growing number of sellers are describing items as 'like new' when clearly they are not.
When sellers state an item is 'like new' then it should be exactly as described.
It is annoying when sellers describe items like this as buyers will pay a bit more and therefore will bid a bit more than they would if the item was described as in just 'good' or even 'acceptable' condition.
I buy alot of console games and try to buy ones that are new or in like new condition whenever possible as I am a fussy games collector!
In the past few months I have had at least six games that were described as 'like new' arrive with loads of scratches on the discs!
Some sellers have even admitted to me that they hadn't even checked the item condition before they listed it for auction and have just assumed that it was 'like new'.
Very annoying and chances are that this has also happened to you too!
If an item is 'significantly not as described' it can be returned to the seller for a refund via eBay's resolution dispute process or merely by contacting the seller via eBay messages.
The problem is that eBay limit the amount of items that can be returned in a year and in December 2012 I was given a 3 month buying ban for going over the 'dispute limit' which wasn't great as it ruined buying Xmas presents off eBay for Christmas 2012!
I buy many hundreds of items a year and of course there will be problems with some of these transactions.
Another problem is that the amount of items that can be returned is too low for people such as myself who buy items in the hundreds every year!
So what can you do?
First of all DO NOT rush into leaving Neutral or Negative Feedback as a seller will be so much less helpful if you do this first without giving them chance to resolve the problem!
Contact the seller via eBay messages but DO NOT click on the 'Item I received is not as described' question as this automatically opens a dispute! eBay thought this would be a good idea to impliment in April 2013.
But unfortunately it doesn't give sellers the chance to resolve a problem BEFORE going to the dispute process!
If you ask too many questions about the 'Item I received is not as described' over a 12 month period you could in effect find yourself with a ban or even booted off eBay for good due to the limit that eBay place on the amount of disputes.
I always contact the seller by using the 'details about the item' question whenever I contact them.
Messages sent via eBay will also be emailed to the seller so in effect they are getting two messages for each one sent and then they cannot deny that no message or messages were ever sent to them.
Try to remain calm in your message and don't threaten to leave bad Feedback as this is counted as 'Feedback Extortion' and if the seller reports you then you could receive a ban or other account restrictions from eBay!
Any decent seller will respond to your question within 48 hours but remember that most business sellers and some private sellers are not on their computer every day or at weekends or on bank holidays so please do allow the seller extra time to respond if this is the case.
A seller may have gone on holiday but hasn't ended their auction or auctions early or may be experiencing internet connection problems or their pc could have broke.
Sellers who have a shop have the option to state that they are or will be away on holiday and that there will be a delay in processing your order.
I give sellers at least 3 or 4 days to respond to a question before contacting them again.
Business sellers have a contact telephone number on their auctions so you could always try phoning them.
Private sellers telephone numbers can be requested from eBay with the following link as long as you have bid or bought something from them:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/sch/ebayadvsearch?_sofindtype=9
Unfortunately some buyers do claim that their item hasn't arrived in order to be refunded and get a Freebie! (If you are a seller and suspect a buyer is try to or is commiting fraud by claiming Non Receipt of Goods then contact eBay Customer Support via Live Chat).
Anything that I sell over a fiver I usually always post either by Recorded or Trackable Courier Delivery.
If the seller allows you to return the item then you need to make sure that it is returned by trackable means (signed for) either via Royal Mail Recorded Delivery or by Trackable Courier Delivery.
You will need the tracking number if the seller claims it hasn't been received and if you do have to open a dispute for the item being 'not as described'.
Any decent seller will refund the original price and postage that you paid (some sellers will not refund any of the p&p charges but have to if you have open a dispute).  Sometimes the cost of returning it to them is also refunded (but sellers do not have to do this and are not obliged to).
If you do have to start a dispute against the seller then eBay at some point will need you to give them the tracking number and without it you have virtually no chance of winning the dispute!
'Proof of posting' from the Post Office DOES NOT count as 'Trackable' and it is no good at all and will be of no use in any dispute process so please be aware of this.
Once the sellers has the goods back they will usually give you a refund within a few days and you can leave Positive Feedback for them.
Don't leave the seller Neutral of Negative Feedback if you are refunded (unless they take weeks & weeks to) as this is not fair on the seller and the seller can ask eBay to remove this feedback!
By all means do leave lower seller ratings for the appropriate catagory if required but don't make a habit of leaving low ratings too of often or you could receive a suspension from eBay!
Yes they might have described the item as 'like new' but it could have been just an honest mistake or they haven't bothered to check the condition properly!
As I usually sell similar items I click on 'sell similar' and have accidentally forgot to change the condition box myself on more than a few occasions!
I will always rectify the mistake as soon as I see it and a big thank you to all the eBayers that have pointed out mistakes in my auctions in the past.
We are only human and prone to making mistakes and sometimes don't always get it right first time!
Sellers that state on their auction that 'they take no responsibility for items lost in the post' do not have a leg to stand on if they cannot prove to Paypal during an 'item not received dispute' that a buyers purchase has been delivered so take no notice of this.
Sellers have to prove to eBay that an item was delivered so even if the seller does have a tracking number, if it wasn't delivered and signed for then a dispute will usually be found in the buyers favour.
Another alarming fact is that some sellers (including a few high 100,000+ feedback ones) are selling used games that have been re-sealed and then sold on as new!
I bought two brand new sealed PS2 games but when they arrived I knew that they weren't new.
There was white stickers sealing the game case under the cellophane which weren't on straight plus new games aren't like this.
There was wear to the edges of the game inlay (cover) and scratches to the game case & yet the cellophane was in pristine condition!
If you are buying brand new sealed games then ensure that you are buying official factory sealed ones (with the tear strip) or you could in effect be buying used and re-sealed games!
Not 100% of brand new factory sealed games do have the tear strip though so just be on your guard.
If something doesn't look right when it arrives then contact the seller and return it and buy one from another seller.
My advice would be to avoid auctions with 'stock photos' as these do not show the condition of a game or even if it is a UK version.
Many of the 'stock photos' will show the US version of a game which in most cases cannot be used on UK games Consoles especially older consoles such as the Playstation 1 and Playstation 2.
If in doubt contact the seller via eBay messages.
It could state that the game is brand new but 'stock photos' hide the fact it could be a counterfeit or home made copy of the game.
Sellers who have genuine versions of a game will have at least one 'non stock' photo on their auction but most big sellers tend to use stock photos.
Once again if in doubt contact the seller via eBay messages as having to return a game as it could take weeks to receive a refund! (plus most sellers do not refund return postage costs leaving you out of pocket even if it a mistake that they have made!).
I hope that you have found this guide useful and please don't forget to vote as it is free to do so and only takes a moment.
The more votes I receive the more inclined I am to spend my valuable free time writing more eBay Guides and Reviews for you.
Many thanks.
If you have less than 5 feedback unfortunately you won't be able to vote (Sorry eBay rules and not mine!)
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