eBay sellers sue buyers for negative feedback

So great is the power of a single negative feedback, particularly over established eBay businesses, that some sellers are going to extreme lengths to get rid of negatives they consider unreasonable.

We say hurrah to that, especially when there are buyers like this one who recently made a post declaring they were being sued for placing a negative. And the reason for the negative? Allegedly, the hapless seller charged an ‘unreasonable’ $3 to ship the item (and even stated this shipping cost in the auction – gasp!).

eBay’s 2007 feedback changes also meant that for a short period of time, neutrals too had a ruinous affect on a seller’s reputation. Luckily, this was reversed in August 2008, but not before at least one seller sued over unreasonable neutral feedback.

Would you consider suing a buyer for a negative you felt was unjust?


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Comments (16)

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Jim on 10:56 16 Dec
This is exactly why we opened our own website. Now we can sell cheaper than on eBay with no listing or fsv fee's. Our new web site is doing good too. We also sell items eBay won't let seller's sell. Currently I am pulling items off ebay and listing them on our web site on a daily basis. We are happy that we don't need to inflate shipping just to cover eBay's fee's. Good Luck all. Jim & Ora
Chris on 21:57 1 Jan
Wld I sue over a neg feed back no wld I give a neg feed back if I thought it was just yes. Looking at this from a buyers point if you buy an item and the seller goes by either your ebay or paypal info and still cant get the items to you on 2 trys then they want you to pay the shipping cost on the 2nd attempt what proof do you have the item was even sent! What bugs me as a buyer is we never know who we can trust if we dont get a tracing number. So yes I'll leave a neg if its for a just cause! Now as a seller I know just how bad they can kill us on ebay, thank god I've never got one and hope I never do with the way ebay does things now. But if its just then I'll have to live with it but wld not sue over it one way or the other
vee on 3:11 13 Jan
I probably wouldnt but i wouldnt leave reckless comments either. People are pretty evil these days so i can see why a seller would sue if the buyer is being a first class ass. Now maybe sellers would start to think a little more. because of this i am scared shitless to sell on ebay. i'll try ecrater and amazon and ebid.
dropndeal on 19:46 4 Feb
My business is fully licensed, bonded, insured, etc. We take our business very seriously, from order entry to shipping to receipt of feedback. eBay's current feedback policy is one-sided and very unfair to the seller. All of our listings are extremely clear, easy to read and very detailed. Even so, there are dozens of questions on a daily basis from buyers who simply will not read, cannot comprehend or simply ignore very simple item descriptions. Since eBay has made the business decision to ignore those who pay the bills (sellers) and deny us the ability to defend ourselves in the eyes of the public (feedback system), then we have no other means to defend ourselves. Consequently, if a buyer leaves malicious feedback with the intention of causing harm to my business and that feedback is fradulent, then yes, I will defend my business using all available means, including the legal system.
xebayseller on 15:49 14 Feb
First off sory for the long rant. All this talk about sellers how about scammer buyers? Ebays new rules do nothing to stop them only give them more power to take advantage of sellers. I was unable to block international bidders in the auction and a guy fron Finland won the auction, he told me he had a friend who would pick up the merchandise and ship it with other things he had for him, and if I would use the shipping fees for some other parts he needed, I said sure. got the parts, emailed him 3 days later told him everything was in, he said his friend could not pick it up could I ship it. Get a quote and he pays, I ship it and low and behold he files a item not as described with PP. Everything was stated in the auction as used and gave plenty of pics, he emaild me and i said i would replace the parts in question but he said no. so now within 2 days it is esclated to a claim and i did not even have a chance to respond before PP ruled in his favor, called them and asked what the heck? they tell me it is like a department store, if the buyer does not like it they can return it. I asked to speak to a supervisor and was told no it was over. so now i am to pay him plus 200.00 for shipping. the extra parts will now be free for him!! all the rules now are designed for the buyers protection and the sellers are hung out to dry with no recourse. yes their have been some bad sellers but not all of us. they are going to put ebay into the toilet!!
Thomas Collison on 8:38 27 Feb
The way I see it it isn't whether you got a negative or neutral, but the kind of negative or neutral you get. I mean if a negative was left stating that you were a con man, that would be worse that if you received a negative stating that it took 3 days to receive item by regular mail. I also see some sellers getting many negatives and people keep buying from them. If you sell a hot product, people would probably care even less about feedback.
Gary on 4:45 22 Oct
We are power seller and we have received 6 negative feedback comments from one buyer who has not paid for the items and disagrees with our terms and conditions on our listings. We do not offer collection in person. We are an on-line retail company and just as catalogue company's do not allow collection in person, there is no difference for us. He wanted to come to our site and test each item prior to paying, yet he has already won them based on the items working. If there was a problem, we would of course rectify immeidately, however, we have quality control departments who also randomly double check many items prior to packaging and posting. We have also had other negative feedback left by buyers who are simply trying to get items free of charge and lying about damage. We asked for photo's of the items and / or for them to return to us for full refunds including the cost of their postage to return. After this, no further emails and negative is left. We are now taking legal action
Rick on 18:06 21 Oct
Had the same thing happen. Offered full refund and got negative feed back.
DM on 21:26 25 Jan
Feedback is a joke.. all buyers get 100%.. of what value is that??? Would you hire someone from a college where all students gets staright A+'s?? POS feedbacks count once from each buyer.. BUT NEG counts over and over again.. Buyers will buy 10 items one at a time and then they threaten NEG. ALL TEN of them! I tell buyers who claim it didn't arrive that its postal theft and I much report to Postal Inspector and I need their phone number and work number.. W@W they find it right away.. smile! I check other seller like me.. ANY buyers with a hobby of NEGS.. I block them! The #1 ebay prob.. buyers do NOT read the descriptions!!! Its like having a kindergardener grade a college greaduate! Customer service is a JOKE! A useless club of people that were frying french fries last week and got fired.. I mailed a letter to Corp headquarters in San jose... It came back refused... I purchase stock.. it took the SEC 6 months to get an employee to call me... its been 1 month and they still have not answered my 5 questions. Is there a lawyer out there that would like to help out with just emails/maybe letters to ebay scammers just asking buyer for details for a possible lawsuit? I had a legal aid call one-just asking questions.. NEG feedback was gone within an hour. My friend was injured.. too bad for him and me! These buyers seem to react to a scare more then anything. How about a 1 week cooling off time before NEG/NEU feedbacks can be left? I will report later if ever ebay employee legal dept answers my questions.. i will contact SEC again next week. We shouldf ALL buy ONE share of stock and go to Annual Meeting OH W@W! Thanks for reading!
mossy on 4:44 20 Dec
sellers that get negatives usually deserve them.
Nordmann on 18:10 21 Feb
I believe eBay should be taken to court for their unfair practices. When the seller is left a victim of a buyer that lies, changes their mind, can rate you via the postal systems delivery, their ignoring 3 attempts to deliver a package, handling fees that are clearly posted in description, and every other thing one can think of, it is unjust and unfair. Does anyone remember the "no neg feedback removed..."UNLESS you contacted the removal department and for $25.00 they would remove it? Yes, if you PAID them then it could be removed. Truth and evidence meant nothing MONEY did. Then the having to use Pay Pal. Forced to use a money transferring service OWNED by eBay. And the old "round it off postal rates." No more do you pay for a package that really weighs 1# 4oz. Now it is 1-2#, so you pay for the 2#. Then the buyer can leave you poor feedback because of HIGH postage. This again goes against the seller's score and can result in, "No promotional sales option, suspension, or removal." As for you Mossy, no not all sellers deserve negative feedback! You are probably one of those buyers that I described above. I wonder how you would feel if only the SELLER got to leave negative feedback. Just think of what I could say about you if in a poor mood the day you bought from me. It is not fair when one is holding all the power and has NO MORALS. As for all buyers having 100% feedback, that is true. In order for the buyers (like Mossy I assume) to sit on the other side of the fence, no seller should leave the buyer any feedback. See what rating they get then? See if they like it. eBay is losing many sellers to Craigs list and other sites. If this were not true tell me why they offer "free listings" every couple months? You were lucky if they ever offered them before their new policies. They are hurting and begging for the seller yet not protecting them. They would not be in business if not for the SELLERS! Can't buy something if there is nothing there to be sold. Think about that people. It is time eBay find out how to play fair. That's all most of us ask...BE FAIR!
dan on 5:38 8 Mar
I try as hard as I can to keep from getting negatives but it seems to be impossible. I just got a neutral from a buyer who said the final fantasy strategy guide I sent was fake. I noticed he had left the exact same feedback at the same time to another seller about a purse. I haven't heard anything from him yet but I am guessing he accidentally left me the wrong feedback. I contacted eBay and they said sorry there's nothing we can do. If this buyer meant to leave me a feedback that said ITEM WAS COUNTERFEIT, I will be suing him for libel because I do NOT sell anything counterfeit and that remark could be damaging to my eBay business.
Joe on 13:32 1 Sep
E-Bay is a complete joke and fraud. I sold an item and clearly listed in bold letters that shipping will be actual cost calculated at end of auction and to wait for my final invoice. This buyer sent just the final auction value immediately at the end of the sale. I refunded his money and asked for the correct amount via an invoice. I got a negative calling me FRAUDULENT which is a lie and therefore a libel against me. E-Bay is a joke, they refused to remove the harmful feedback because they didn't use any words on their list. It didn't matter that they allowed a buyer to libel me on their site. Then, to ice the cake their system refuses to allow me to file an unpaid item claim because I had refunded the wrong amount back. I/m so sick of E-Bay. I am an honest person to a fault and it galls me that I have to suffer and be libeled. So I am done with this crooked criminal organization and their bullshit rules and high fees. I've opened a booth on Bonanza, and its a great place to sell your stuff. More people should go there and dump E-Bay.
Antonin Ganner on 3:13 6 Feb
Now I'm being sued for negative feedback after a seller wasted my time. Waited for a week for the payment to clear before being told he didn't have the item. Says he only checks stocks when they payments cleared: So maybe he should rethink that approach? Guy wasted my time and it's his fault. Think I'll sue eBay for allowing me to post negative feedback about a negative experience resulting in me being sued..
Dan King on 5:49 15 Apr
I have had 100 percent positive feedback on over 25,000 transactions. Just received a negative on eBay for a billet gas cap I sold for a 1994-1995 KTM 400EXC dirtbike. Feedback reads "doesn't fit any normal dirtbike item I received is worthless" Well it doesn't say it fits any normal dirtbike what it fits is clearly stated in the title. Furthermore why not contact me? Why not return? Anyone who would rather keep an item then contact a seller and try to resolve is obviously not too smart. This has happened to me several times before guy buys a battery for his 4wheeler and it didn't fit. I called him and asked him what kind of 4wheeler he had make and model and he said Hell I don't know its a little blue 4wheeler. I said well the battery you purchased is for a 1981-1983 Honda 3wheeler. He said look buddy an ATV battery is an ATV battery and I wanted to say well if that was true then what you received should fit right? He threatened my feedback and so after helping him to determine what he actually owned which turned out to be a 2002 Yamaha 80cc 4wheeler I sent him another battery. I mean how in the hell is this my fault the guy just buys a battery and random and expects it to fit. I guess when he needs a starter for his Ford truck he will go to the Chevy dealer and then take and back and threaten them because it didn't fit. I forwarded the eBay messages to eBay where he clearly stated he owned a Yamaha not a Honda and they wouldn't remove it. If I screw up or if a buyer contacts me about an issue and I blow him off then leave me a negative I deserve it but buyers can leave a negative before ever contacting the seller and giving them a chance to resolve the issue. All of the negatives I have received have been where the wrong item was purchased. Have I screwed up before yes I have and fortunately I took care of the buyer by a partial refund, sending extra part etc. but if I had received a negative on one of those transactions hey I can live with that. If a buyer purchases an item eBay now gives them 8 days to pay for it shouldn't that be determined by the seller? Right now I have 36 unpaid items from sellers that shouldn't have been purchased if they didn't have the money. This isn't layaway now I have to hold all 36 items to see if these people are going to pay. eBay should also have a separate feedback for the item and one for the seller in my opinion. If you aren't satisfied with the product fine but as you know 99 percent of what sellers sell is made by someone else. Why should I get a bad feedback because the Honda part I sold didn't meet their expectations? Rate the product and then rate the seller on his shipping time, communication, etc. Just tired of my reputation being damaged because these people don't even know what the own or what they are buying and then act like its the fault of a seller. I know there are crooked sellers out there and buyers have their opinions too and they should but each case needs to be treated differently. Buyer should not be able to leave a negative without contacting seller just as I can't relist my item without giving the buyer 8 days to pay for it. 4 days before unpaid item reminder can be sent and then 4 days for them to respond. Its all about the buyer in the eBay world well the tail doesn't wag the dog. If there is nothing to sell then you attract no buyers. Just my 2 cents.
Alone on Ebay on 16:17 5 Jun
Have you ever had Negative or Neutral feedback that was completely false? Well, as you know feedback is everything. I went from 500 Positive (100%) to two negatives back to back that are completely false. It is very provable by emails exchanged between myself and my buyers that all appropriate actions were taken. Refund was given and offers to do whatever it takes to make it right had been done. And yet they still leave negative feedback that has false statements. I have called eBay on several occasions to see what can be done about these incorrect and false feedbacks, (due to my 5 revision limit has been reached, (another issue that should be looked at)., They offer no help or resolution.. usually they put me on hold for a long time then the line goes dead. Nice. Legal action is required until things change. Thanks for the votes. Hope the site looks at this policy more closely for future sellers...
Steve Schafer on 14:56 2 Mar
Ebay member since 08. 778 100% positive feedback until Jan. 2015. Sold item, shipped to address that ebay/paypal had on file. Buyer emails that it is the wrong address, she has moved. Says I need to go to PO and have the package intercepted at a cost of $11+. I asked her to contact PO at her former address and inform them the package was coming and have them forward it to her current address. I also asked her to stay in touch and let me know what was going on and I would work with her. No response. I tracked package and it arrived at former address PO. With no communication, she left negative feedback. "NOT A GOOD SELLER". She will not respond to my emails and ebay will not remove feedback.
In addition. I sell a fence plier saddle scabbard for a Moore Maker Plammer. Photos show the pliers in the scabbard to demonstrate the fit of the pliers and how it attatches to the saddle. The listing has in caps SADDLE SCABBARD. At the end of the description where the shipping and payment info is, it states in caps, "THE PLIERS ARE NOT PART OF THE AUCTION THEY ARE FOR DEMONSTRATION ONLY. Buyer immediately leaves negative feedback with no attempt to communicate. "Very deceptive, I am sure it was intentional, plammer not included. Buyer will not respond, ebay will not remove feedback. In 60 days my feedback have been lowered from 100% positive to 99.1. My sales have all but stopped.


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