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Dealing with an unhappy ebay buyer
Old 07-24-2015   #1
eric4
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Dealing with an unhappy ebay buyer

Nearly a month ago, I sold an Zuiko 24mm 2.8 to an ebay customer. The lens was in great condition and I sorta regretted selling for the auction price.

Now I'm really regretting it... The lens was shipped to a freight forwarder and it sounds like the customer just received his lens in Vietnam and is telling me the lens is scratched and dirty. He sent me some crappy cell phone shots of a flashlight hitting the elements at strange angles with some dust and a light scratch.

This is an obvious lesson on dealing with international customers who use freight forwarders, but what am I expected to do in a situation like this?

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Old 07-24-2015   #2
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Contact eBay by phone to explain the lens was sent to a freight forwarder to see if that negates the buyer's claim. I do not know, but I wonder.

You mailed to the address provided by eBay and Paypal, so that protects you. Find out if the buyer violated eBay/Paypal policy by having it forwarded to another location.

If worse comes to worse tell the seller to ship it back at his own expense. I am sure they will balk, but be insistent. Put a bit of financial pain their pocket.

But again contact eBay. It can be done. You will get a one time code to input into their customer service system. If you feel unhappy with the customer service rep as for a manager. I have found eBay to better than reported on the net dealing with disputes.

Good Luck.
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Old 07-24-2015   #3
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was the selling price about right even with the so called issues?

Do you have GOOD photos of the front/back elements plus a see through photo at f/2.8 that shows the real condition? This is your only defense with ebay as far as the real condition before you shipped it.

Did you describe that the may have very small dust of and/or light scratches, that is expected with a older lens.

ebay stresses to give a good description that lists all issues or signs of use. That way if was described with dust and scratches, you should win the case if the buyer wants a refund because of a misleading (or lacking) description.

If you do have a description that is inclusive of any issues they brought up, you should be OK.
If not, you may be liable for refund.

not much help... but,, those are 2 options.
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Old 07-24-2015   #4
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Here are the photos of the lens. The one on white is from my listing, the others are what he sent.

http://imgur.com/a/MYRQO#wOi48L4

I'm thinking I'll just offer him to send the lens back and I'll give him a refund when it is received. First I'll contact ebay though
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Old 07-24-2015   #5
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ebay has to have educated persons in such cases. It's obvious buyer has made visual appearance of OK lens to look like piece of crap.

For example, another side should have to submit pictures comparable to what other side has. This seller clearly employs trickery of low res cellphone pics to show him a victim.
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Old 07-24-2015   #6
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looks like reflections through some patterned material ....
What is behind the lens? The buyer clearly has a patterned substance to reflect it's surface through the lens to make the lens look crappy.
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Old 07-24-2015   #7
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Just appologize and ask for lens return and later refund.
Do not accept any proposal for partial refund.
If there is something wrong with the lens you will receive it back but I barely doubt.

Quote:
Originally Posted by eric4 View Post
Here are the photos of the lens. The one on white is from my listing, the others are what he sent.

http://imgur.com/a/MYRQO#wOi48L4

I'm thinking I'll just offer him to send the lens back and I'll give him a refund when it is received. First I'll contact ebay though
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Old 07-24-2015   #8
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Did the buyer have good feedback?
The lens looks good in your pic.
I wonder if he unscrewed the plastic ring with the info on it, and screwed it onto a crappy lens. Can't see much of the lens in his pics.
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Old 07-24-2015   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blumoon View Post
Did the buyer have good feedback?
He has ~45 positive 100% feedback.

I really struggle to see how this is possible. I remember this lens being in such great condition.

I just sent him an option to send the lens back, and I will refund him his order price when the lens is received in the condition it was sent.
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Old 07-24-2015   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maiku View Post
Contact eBay by phone to explain the lens was sent to a freight forwarder to see if that negates the buyer's claim. I do not know, but I wonder.

You mailed to the address provided by eBay and Paypal, so that protects you. Find out if the buyer violated eBay/Paypal policy by having it forwarded to another location.

If worse comes to worse tell the seller to ship it back at his own expense. I am sure they will balk, but be insistent. Put a bit of financial pain their pocket.

But again contact eBay. It can be done. You will get a one time code to input into their customer service system. If you feel unhappy with the customer service rep as for a manager. I have found eBay to better than reported on the net dealing with disputes.

Good Luck.
I believe forwarding negates buyer protection and voids shipping policies and contracts. Your contract is binding if you ship it to x, not y.

If they used a freight forager then their shipping cost protection is void.

In any case they must return it to get a refund. They cost to return ship from their forwarded location.

eBay and PayPal make it very clear that shipping and location information must be accurate at all times in the transaction.
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Old 07-24-2015   #11
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I would chalk this up as a lesson learned and make sure in future to always mention the lens is sold as-is with no guarantee against dust, small scratches, etc., due to the age of the equipment.

It might also be a good idea to contact Ebay about this issue. Maiku is right about the freight forwarder being a problem. I believe the fine print on Ebay says the seller is responsible for shipping to the address indicated in the sale. What happens after the package arrives at that address and is forwarded to another address is no longer the concern of the seller. It would be up to the buyer to prove the lens arrived at the original address in the (questionable) condition shown in the photos. This sounds like a case of buyers remorse.
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Old 07-24-2015   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vobluda View Post
Just appologize and ask for lens return and later refund.
Do not accept any proposal for partial refund.
If there is something wrong with the lens you will receive it back but I barely doubt.
Absolutely! Ask for the lens back and refund upon return. Stay within eBay guidelines to the point of calling and talking to a rep on the phone regarding the matter -ask to have your account noted of same. Be patient and pleasant.

Any way, run a light through most any new lens and stand back in horror -these types using it to gouge are just being unscrupulous. Shame on them, as I know from our dealings here that you are as upstanding and forthright as they come. I hope it works out for you.
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Old 07-24-2015   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
I would chalk this up as a lesson learned and make sure in future to always mention the lens is sold as-is with no guarantee against dust, small scratches, etc., due to the age of the equipment.
Or confirm the actual condition of the equipment and write an honest ad?

Few things bug me out as much as the "sold as-is". If you cannot bother checking through the lens with a flashlight, you should not be qualified to sell stuff online.
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Old 07-24-2015   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
I would chalk this up as a lesson learned and make sure in future to always mention the lens is sold as-is with no guarantee against dust, small scratches, etc., due to the age of the equipment..
eBay will not recognize this as a valid description..

Always be honest and describe it as best as you can determine..

Seller: He could be setting you up for a partial refund scam. Do as others have said and only offer a full refund..
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Old 07-24-2015   #15
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Originally Posted by eric4 View Post
The lens was in great condition and I sorta regretted selling for the auction price.
Perfect, then tell him to send it back. You get the lens you regret selling, he gets satisfied.
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Old 07-24-2015   #16
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Hi, sorry to hear your deal didnīt end up well.

TRy to solve things with the buyer amicably.

Show yourself concerned and offer him full refund once the lens arrives safely.
Donīt fight with him.


Everytime you sell a lens check lenses with lights and let the buyer know every minimal detail on it. Never take things for granted beacuse there are buyers that are very easy going and other that are real full time experts.

Good luck!
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Old 07-24-2015   #17
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These third world scuzbags really think they've figured out the global economy. I've had Asians hack ebay so they can bid on my items that I set up to prohibit to their country. I've had them beg to be allowed to bid, so I turn it on for them, then when they win they don't pay. I've had them ignore the shipping calculation and the text I put "I only ship via USPS Express, which is expensive but protects your investment" then complain when shipping to their country costs more than $4. I've had them back out of paying, then never reply again, making me wait the 2 week period before I can end it and get my fees back.

I put something like this in all my ebay auctions now: "Remember, this antique camera was made in the 1950s, when cars had fins, man didn't yet fly in space, and I Love Lucy was a current TV show! It's 60 years old. Because of ebay's new rules I have to state this is sold as is, for parts, and may not work as a brand new camera. It does have dust and a few handling marks. Please don't buy if you don't understand antique cameras have lubricants that gum up over the decades, and that they usually need a tuneup clean, lube, and adjust. "
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Old 07-24-2015   #18
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For lenses, I put "....no major chips or scratches can be seen by the naked eye. This does not mean you can shine a bright LED flashlight through it and not see some dust and marks. All lenses have this, if they are older than 20 years old....Therefore this is sold for parts with no guarantee of glass clarity....blah"

Isn't it funny how ebay even tries to scare you from using language like "...for parts...as is..."? They LIKE seeing smalltime sellers get frustrated and leave. They want to be another Amazon, with sellers moving thousands of cheap, $5 items.
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Old 07-24-2015   #19
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The guy got back to me saying he will bill me for the cleaning of the lens as it has to go to the camera shop.

I replied reiterating that he may send it back for a full refund, but I will not be offering him a partial refund.
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Old 07-24-2015   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
I would chalk this up as a lesson learned and make sure in future to always mention the lens is sold as-is with no guarantee against dust, small scratches, etc., due to the age of the equipment.

It might also be a good idea to contact Ebay about this issue. Maiku is right about the freight forwarder being a problem. I believe the fine print on Ebay says the seller is responsible for shipping to the address indicated in the sale. What happens after the package arrives at that address and is forwarded to another address is no longer the concern of the seller. It would be up to the buyer to prove the lens arrived at the original address in the (questionable) condition shown in the photos. This sounds like a case of buyers remorse.
Why? (Highlighted). How is this going to help under eBay's Buyer Protection Policy terms? We are living in a new world order now. This may have been relevant to Paypal claims. A buyer can make a claim under eBay's own scheme at present. Over to you.
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Old 07-24-2015   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eric4 View Post
The guy got back to me saying he will bill me for the cleaning of the lens as it has to go to the camera shop.

I replied reiterating that he may send it back for a full refund, but I will not be offering him a partial refund.
You're doing things right. Just stay polite at all times with your communications, and make sure it is explicit that the buyer is welcome to return the lens for a full refund if he is not happy with its condition. Ask him to provide tracking details when it has been shipped. If he wants to be difficult and open a case, all you should need to do is to clarify that you have no problem at all accepting a return of the item for a refund, and that you have invited the buyer to do precisely that. eBay will instruct the buyer to return for a refund. If the buyer digs his heels in or has the item worked on (ostensibly) without their prior approval of a partial refund to cover "repairs" eBay should reject their claim.
Cheers,
Brett
Edit:
More here
http://pages.ebay.com/help/sell/item...described.html

Last edited by Sarcophilus Harrisii : 07-24-2015 at 19:50. Reason: Link inserted
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Old 07-24-2015   #22
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Here is what Ebay has to say on this matter. This direct from their website under the FAQ. You will notice a clause about freight forward is in the NOT covered section.

Quote:
What's covered

Most transactions on eBay.ca are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee.

Covered
Purchases are covered by the eBay Money Back Guarantee when all of the following are true:
An item isn't received or it isn't as described in the listing.
A buyer reports that they didn't receive an item or requests a return within the eBay Money Back Guarantee timelines.
The buyer made the purchase on eBay.ca via checkout or an eBay invoice with one of the following payment methods:
PayPal
PayPal Credit
ProPay
Skrill
Credit card or pre-authorized payment
The item was paid for in a single payment (including payments with PayPal Credit).
If the listing was a live auction by an auction house seller, the buyer made the purchase on eBay.ca and paid by any payment method, the purchase is covered as long as the buyer provides a copy of the seller invoice and proof of payment. Items sold through Sotheby's are excluded.

Not covered
Buyer's remorse or any reason other than not receiving an item or receiving an item that isn't as described in the listing (see the seller's return policy for return options).
Items damaged during pick-up or shipping or not delivered when the buyer arranges pick-up or shipping of the item (for instance, the buyer arranges freight).
Duplicate claims through other resolution methods.
Items shipped to another address after original delivery.
Vehicles (see eBay Vehicle Protection), Real Estate, Websites & Business for Sale, Classified Ads, services, and some Business Equipment categories (see eBay Business Equipment Purchase Protection).
Items sold through Sotheby's.
Items purchased on half.com, eBay Wholesale Deals, or eBay Classifieds.
And yes describing the item as not clear of dust, small scratches or other defects based on the age of the lens and sold as-is DOES protect the seller. It's only if the item received is not as described so "accurately" describing a lens as "mint", "near mint", "look goods", is "free from defects, fungus, haze" is dangerous from a sellers standpoint as all of these descriptions can be disputed by a buyer. Clear communication up front that the lens does or may have defects and is sold as-is is much harder for a buyer to dispute.
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Old 07-24-2015   #23
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In this sort of transaction I have found the eBay always protects one side more than any other.


Themselves.

I gave up on EvilBay and PainPal years ago.

I hope you have better luck than I did.

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Old 07-24-2015   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
Here is what Ebay has to say on this matter. This direct from their website under the FAQ. You will notice a clause about freight forward is in the NOT covered section.


And yes describing the item as not clear of dust, small scratches or other defects based on the age of the lens and sold as-is DOES protect the seller. It's only if the item received is not as described so "accurately" describing a lens as "mint", "near mint", "look goods", is "free from defects, fungus, haze" is dangerous from a sellers standpoint as all of these descriptions can be disputed by a buyer. Clear communication up front that the lens does or may have defects and is sold as-is is much harder for a buyer to dispute.
Interestingly, any reference to an item "sold as-is" is conspicuously absent from their list of exclusions...
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Old 07-24-2015   #25
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Had a few instances where I was on the receiving end.

Asked for partial refund because the item was really not as described. And I use a forwarder too.

I sent the items for repair and sent a scan of the receipt for the seller's reference

In cases where return shipping cost exceed the cost to repair, i just suck it up and have it settled on my end.

Cheers!
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Old 07-24-2015   #26
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Please read the not covered section carefully. The first clause states buyer remorse is not covered and only receiving an item NOT AS DESCRIBED is a valid reason for refund. Describing the lens as NOT free from potential defects such as internal dust, haze, fungus, scratches and comes as-is makes it difficult for a buyer to say the item received wasn't as described.

By the way, as-is is a legal term used in commercial transactions. From the legal dictionary:

Quote:
As is
A term used to describe a sales transaction in which the seller offers goods in their present, existing condition to prospective buyers.
The term as is gives notice to buyers that they are taking a risk on the quality of the goods. The buyer is free to inspect the goods before purchase; but if any hidden defects are discovered after purchase, the buyer has no recourse against the seller. Any implied or express warranties that usually accompany goods for sale are excluded in an "as is" sale.
The examination would be the photos provided during the auction and the ability to ask the seller questions to clarify any misunderstanding in the description. If you do not want to take the risk or feel uncertain as to the condition of the item offered, do not bid. I believe the simple term for this is buyer beware.
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Old 07-24-2015   #27
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Regardless of the legal definitions eBay interprets which ever way they want. It all boils down to he said she said..who's right and who's wrong..

When I describe an item I do my best to describe it to the best of my ability then if someone wants to complain I ask them to return for a full refund..

If the OP sticks to his guns and says full refund upon return eBay honors that..

One of the reasons I quit offering to overseas buyers is this very thing..and every complaint that was filed against me when I would only accept full refund upon return I won..
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Old 07-24-2015   #28
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Quote:
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Regardless of the legal definitions eBay interprets which ever way they want. It all boils down to he said she said..who's right and who's wrong..

When I describe an item I do my best to describe it to the best of my ability then if someone wants to complain I ask them to return for a full refund..

If the OP sticks to his guns and says full refund upon return eBay honors that..

One of the reasons I quit offering to overseas buyers is this very thing..and every complaint that was filed against me when I would only accept full refund upon return I won..
Thanks for the encouragement everyone. I'll keep you updated on what happens with the buyer.
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Old 07-24-2015   #29
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Originally Posted by codester80 View Post
Please read the not covered section carefully. The first clause states buyer remorse is not covered and only receiving an item NOT AS DESCRIBED is a valid reason for refund. Describing the lens as NOT free from potential defects such as internal dust, haze, fungus, scratches and comes as-is makes it difficult for a buyer to say the item received wasn't as described.

By the way, as-is is a legal term used in commercial transactions. From the legal dictionary:



The examination would be the photos provided during the auction and the ability to ask the seller questions to clarify any misunderstanding in the description. If you do not want to take the risk or feel uncertain as to the condition of the item offered, do not bid. I believe the simple term for this is buyer beware.
Many sellers seem still to labour under the belief that the phrase "as-is" can yield some sort of "silver bullet" immunity to comeback for instances of goods being not as described. Clearly, this is not the case when transacting via eBay as both buyers and sellers agree to be bound by the terms and definitions in their user agreements and schedules, which are interpreted (outside a courtroom, at least) by eBay at their own discretion...
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Old 07-24-2015   #30
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Did you use the Global Shipping Program? I really have trouble dealing with this Pitney Bowes scheme. Slow and unreliable with too much forwarding to minor couriers.
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Old 07-24-2015   #31
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The guy got back to me saying he will bill me for the cleaning of the lens as it has to go to the camera shop.

I replied reiterating that he may send it back for a full refund, but I will not be offering him a partial refund.
Yup, cuz that 'cleaning bill' will cost far more than he paid for the lens.
He's trying to get a free lens and some money on top of that out of this.
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Old 07-24-2015   #32
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Yup, cuz that 'cleaning bill' will cost far more than he paid for the lens.
He's trying to get a free lens and some money on top of that out of this.
What if he draws up papers mimicking such of NASA optical lab? Leica owners will say now that's expensive.
I'm pretty sure ebay will not stand his side as there's no control what is done and if bill is even real.

Quote:
Originally Posted by goamules View Post
I put something like this in all my ebay auctions now: "Remember, this antique camera was made in the 1950s, when cars had fins, man didn't yet fly in space, and I Love Lucy was a current TV show! It's 60 years old. ....."
Enjoyed this very much )))
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Old 07-24-2015   #33
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What if he draws up papers mimicking such of NASA optical lab? Leica owners will say now that's expensive.

Doubtful. Service done at the NASA optical lab most probably would still be cheaper than sending it out to Leica...

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Old 07-25-2015   #34
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Nearly a month ago, I sold an Zuiko 24mm 2.8 to an ebay customer. (...)

I searched eBay but did not find your listing. Do you have link?
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Old 07-25-2015   #35
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I think this is it:
http://www.ebay.com/itm/Olympus-OM-2...item20fd949e63
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Old 07-25-2015   #36
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Thanks. It doesnt say anything about condition but "excellent". A more detailed description could have helped here. Personally, I would have asked the seller specifically about mechanics, dust, fungus, etc. before placing a bid.
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Old 07-25-2015   #37
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Originally Posted by johnny scarecrow View Post
Ebay will not protect you as the seller at all, despite all the rubbish they print. As many have advised, just deal with it politely and try to cut your losses.
I would have to disagree with you on this. If you the seller offer a full refund eBay will side with you on this.
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Old 07-25-2015   #38
f16sunshine
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I would have to disagree with you on this. If you the seller offer a full refund eBay will side with you on this.
They will side with you sure.
But they will not help you if the buyer returns a damaged item or even an empty box or pile of garbage.
As soon as the tracking shows the buyer returned the item, ebay/paypal will refund the buyer in a dispute.
I had a buyer return a camera which was not the one I shipped. It was a moldy old pos to make some weight in the box.
Not even the same model. He won the dispute since the tracking showed he returned it.
It became the buyers word against the sellers (me).
Ebay sided with the buyer.
Effin B astard that guy. Totally lied and won.
Ebay is not for the meek!
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Old 07-25-2015   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by f16sunshine View Post
They will side with you sure.
But they will not help you if the buyer returns a damaged item or even an empty box or pile of garbage.
As soon as the tracking shows the buyer returned the item, ebay/paypal will refund the buyer in a dispute.
I had a buyer return a camera which was not the one I shipped. It was a moldy old pos to make some weight in the box.
Not even the same model. He won the dispute since the tracking showed he returned it.
It became the buyers word against the sellers (me).
Ebay sided with the buyer.
Effin B astard that guy. Totally lied and won.
Ebay is not for the meek!
I had a seller try this on me a couple of years ago. He sent an empty box. His downfall though was that he took the package to the PO instead of using eBay shipping. I took a photo of the shipping weight on the label with showed a shipping weight of 2oz when it should have been nearly 3lbs. eBay quickly sided with me once I threatened legal action if they make me refund..
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Old 07-25-2015   #40
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From the photos (yours and the buyers), I'd view this as a miscommunication about the state of the lens or different definitions about 'clean'.

Most older lenses - particularly those which haven't had a recent and thorough CLA - will show all sorts of debris when shining a flashlight through against a dark background. None of it would show up in photos like the ones you took, looking through the lens against a white background.

At least personally, give the buyer the benefit of doubt and assume they thought the lens would be cleaner than it was. I don't see any intentional mistruths on either side here. Neither of you have a reason to compromise.

If I were in your place, I'd stick with the 'send it back for a full refund' offer and let them decide what to do. They can either keep it as is, take your offer or file a paypal claim (which will likely result in them sending it back for a refund - exactly as you offered).
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