When you purchase items on eBay, you always pay the seller before they send you anything. However, this means that you, as a buyer, are wide open to all sorts of problems. You might not receive the items you have paid for, or they might be broken or defective.
With eBay, you have two very significant rights which means that you should be protected at every turn.
The Right to Receive Your Goods
The seller may never sent the item, or perhaps it got lost in the post. Whatever happened, you paid for the item. If it doesn't turn up in the post as described, you have the right to a replacement or a refund, whether it's the seller's fault or not. Don't get put off by some sellers saying 'it's not my responsibility', because quite simply, it is and they have to deal with it!
The fact that you bought something on eBay doesn't mean that you don' t have the very same rights that you would have if you bought it on the High Street, and under eBay's rules, the seller also isn't allowed to change their mind about selling you the object: once the auction ends, it becomes a contract - you must buy and they must sell, or face eBay's penalties.
The Right for Your Article to Be as Described
Sometimes sellers don't pack items properly, and so they get damaged in the post - they shouldn't, as all the best sellers make sure their packaging is first class, but some don't.
Occasionally they can write descriptions that are misleading or just plain inaccurate to begin with, leaving out important details that would have caused you to change your mind about buying. If this happens to you, you again retain the right to a replacement or a refund.
So How Do I Exercise My Rights?
Initially, you should take it up with the seller - most will be attentive and responsive, as they don't want to have their reputation screwed up when an distressed buyer leaves negative feedback for all their potential buyers to view, but if that doesn't work, report them to eBay.
While eBay don't have many people handling complaints, they do have a relatively influential set of automatic procedures to handle frequent problems buyers and sellers have with one another.
Ultimately, if that doesn't work, then you should seek information from consumer groups in your country, and as a ultimate resort from the police. You should never have to get this far, though: problems on eBay that can't be sorted out easily are really rare.
Don't Be Too Hasty Though...
Remember not to get too worked up and be unreasonable to the seller. Always try your best to communicate with them and think of everything that might have gone wrong, and remember that eBay works greatest when buyers and sellers sort out their problems together, instead of reporting each other to the authorities straight away.
Thanks for stopping by!