What are my options for recourse against this e-bay seller?

I’m a complete novice when it comes to buying things over the net, so I’d like some advice from those of you who have more experience. This was the first time my wife has ever tried to buy something from a seller in the States, so when this problem came up she asked me to take care of it (me being a native English speaker and her, not so much).

Here’s the situation. We bought a set of cooking pots. As advertized the set Includes:

  1. 6 quart Enamel stock pot retail $ 50.00
  2. 3 1/2 Round oven retail $ 160.00 cast iron
  3. 1 1/4 quart Precsion pour sauce pan with lid retail $ 100.00 cast iron
  4. 9" fry retail $ 100.00 cast iron
  5. 2.75 quart soup pot retail $ 130.00 cast iron

We paid 350 USD for the set. We paid by credit card and the payment went through about a week or two ago.

When the box arrived, item no.5 on the list was missing. I contacted the seller (who has 4.73/5.0 quality appraisal, whatever that means) and the she told me that the company, Le Creuset, no longer make that item. But she will give me 50 USD off another item if I find something I like, and then directs me to a page of products.


  1. I don’t like that she’s selling stuff on ebay that she doesn’t have and can’t obtain.
  2. We don’t want anything else from her list of products, we want the pot we ordered.
  3. 50 USD is not a correct percentage of the total set, based on her advertized retail prices. It should be more like 80 something dollars. I just want the cash back, all 80 something dollars.
  4. Am I being screwed? I hate being screwed.:mad:

If you need more info about the situation, please let me know.

Don’t just assume you’re getting screwed. She did make an offer, just not one that you want. Have you told her that you’re turning down her offer, explaining why? Perhaps she will come up with a better one.

OK, thanks, I’ll try to keep an open mind about it.

So I sent an email to her a couple of hours ago explaining that we didn’t find anything else we liked on her list, so we’d like the 84 dollars back.

I’m hoping we can come to a resolution, but I didn’t appreciate her lowballing me with the $50 credit to new purchase.

Also, is it common, and within ebay terms of service, to advertise at auction products that you don’t have in stock?

I’ll find a way out of it, but I was just hoping to hear about how other people (successfully or unsuccessfully) dealt with similar issues.

It’s nice that you made a counter offer but I wouldn’t waste any more time after that trying to negotiate with her. She didn’t deliver the item so she needs to find it or refund you. It sounds like the seller is either deliberately screwing with your or inexperienced and inadvertently screwing with you. It’s ebay, so you can’t necessarily anticipate people behaving professionally, but you should expect them to and hold them to obligations any other business would have. That means when you buy something from them they either deliver it, or they give you a refund.

If she rejects your $84 refund offer, call your credit card company and tell them you need to dispute the charge. You don’t need to and shouldn’t dispute the entire charge, just tell them she didn’t deliver one of the items and refuses to, and that the item is worth $84.

From there, the bank will handle it.

He’s already gotten screwed because he didn’t get part of the order, and yet the seller took full payment. That’s dishonest and the seller should have known that the full set of pots/pans couldn’t be delivered when the sale ended. The buyer deserves the full $84 refund and the seller offering a $50 credit is nothing more than a slap in the face. In this type of situation, it’s best to play hardball because if you don’t you might be setting yourself up for futher screwing. I’d request that the full refund be delivered by a specific date, no excuses.

This is no time for low ball negotiations though. This seller is already in ethically dubious territory by just shipping the incomplete order without saying anything. At the time of shipping the buyer should have been notified: “Hey, I messed up and one item isn’t available. I’m really sorry! We can cancel the whole thing with a full refund, or I can send what is available with a $84 refund. Which do you choose?”

I personally would already have a negative impression of the seller’s honor by this lack of proactive resolution. It would cross my mind that she might know that shipping the items might be unacceptable, but hoped to blackmail the buyer with the inconvenience of sending stuff back overseas in order to get the order through anyway.

So, the answer to one of your questions: yes, I think this is an attempt to screw you. Luckily, it doesn’t sound like it is going to work. :slight_smile:

You might not even need to go to your credit card company. If you paid through PayPal, they will probably go after the seller for you.

The way to proceed is to open an Item Significantly Not as Described dispute with Ebay. See here. This will give the seller the kick she needs to resolve the dispute on your terms instead of her own.

If you paid via PayPal, don’t initiate a chargeback with your credit card. That’s a violation of PayPal’s user agreement and they may close your PayPal account.

Putting items that you don’t have onto ebay for sale is just nasty.

Leave negative feedback and open an ebay dispute.

I really must agree with the advice to just wait for a response from the seller about a refund.

It is possible the person didn’t know one of the products weren’t available. There are many sellers now that sell catalog items as if they have them sitting in their living room. In some cases, the items ship directly from the company in which case she would have no idea until she got your complaint or the bill from the actually merchant that the entire order wasn’t shipped.

I wouldn’t expect a scammer this soon. You’ll know there is a problem if your request is completely ignored. In that case, the above recommendations will be necessary.

Wouldn’t it be better to hold off on feedback until this is resolved? That’s one negotiating point the OP still has – if he gets the requested $84 refund then he’ll disappear, otherwise he’s leaving a neg.

I have no idea why it would make any difference that the item is discontinued, I was shopping for Le Creuset stuff last year and much of the stuff on ebay was discontinued. That alone makes me think she is in #2 of Fuzzy’s 2 possibilities: “inexperienced and inadvertently screwing with you”. Nonetheless, screwing with you.