THAT'S A REAL PERSON ON THE OTHER END
Whether you are a new buyer or an experienced buyer, a new seller or an experienced seller, or a visitor, you need to remember that we are all just people.
Before make a comment or ask a question, pretend that you are talking to a real person that you can see. You will find that your tone will be better.
If there was a problem with an auction, you can nicely let the other person know about the problem and let them tell you what they know. Writing in an accusing or angry tone is usually unnecessary and can end up with a worse attitude coming back at you.
If you are asked a question by a newcomer, look at that person as a potential new customer and not a bothersome person that should have read every word on the eBay help section before they dared to ask an old-timer.
RESELLING ITEMS BOUGHT ON EBAY
Lots of us find great steals on Ebay. Common courtesy should come into play here. Don't turn around and relist it immediately. Give it at least a month. And, don't even think about relisting it until after you give the original seller nice feedback.
Announcing to the seller that you plan to make a killing when you resell this on eBay later is not very polite. And, if you mention reselling at all, the item just might get "dropped and broken" before it could get wrapped up.
WHO'S ON FIRST?
The seller is.
Auction etiquette dictates that the seller should email the buyer first. Buyers should allow the seller to email first - and the seller has three days in which to do this. Excited buyers are wonderful, but sending email immediately upon the end of the auction is like yelling "Me first, me first!" when you walk into a bank full of customers. There are others in line ahead of you, and sellers sometimes have several things to do before they can give you a price. Many sellers first want to get your address so they can find your exact shipping (to eliminate surprises later). If you are in a terrible rush for some valid reason, you may write the seller right after the auction if you specify your reason and also give your full name and address. The buyer should respond quickly with their name and address whenever the seller asks for it. Payment should be sent in one or two days. The seller should acknowledge the payment and mail the item within one or two days of receiving payment. The buyer should let the seller know that the item arrived safely the day it arrives, if possible. And, the seller should send a thank you.
If you think that you got such a steal in an auction that the seller just might "forget" to write you at all so the time limit lapses, do write the seller before the three-day deadline is up. You can simply say that you are sending your shipping information in case your auction had gotten lost in the shuffle.
Buyer's remorse is not an excuse for any bad behavior on ebay. Your time for thinking ended when you put in your bid. If you regret the purchase, you need to bite the bullet, be polite, send emails in a timely fashion, pay quickly, and say thank you. Then you can turn around and sell the item yourself, give it away, etc.
The seller should give feedback as soon as possible after receiving payment. The buyer should give feedback as soon as possible after receiving (and inspecting) the item.
Both parties should use care when giving feedback. If the deal was not your most pleasant but nothing crooked occurred, you can probably find something nice to say. If not, you can simply say thanks for the item in your feedback.
When there is a problem with an item when you receive it, don't jump in and give negative feedback right away. If the item seems incorrect, read the description again first. We sometimes only see what we want to see when reading a description. If you think there really is a problem, ask the seller questions before giving negative or even neutral feedback.
In fact, If things still cannot be resolved to your satisfaction, negative feedback may be necessary. Sometimes giving negative feedback is the polite thing to do - if you are sure you have found a "slimy" seller that others should be aware of, not giving others any warning is not very polite.
Some sellers advertise that they will refund a buyer's money for just about any reason (and mean it). This is not common. You should almost never bid on an item thinking that you'll just send it back if it doesn't meet your approval. Auctions are not department stores, and even stores are only required to give a refund under special conditions.
It is acceptable to request a refund if the item you received is really not in the condition stated by the seller, or if it is not the size that was listed.
Sometimes you bid on an "X" but the seller was actually selling a "Y" because you each have a different definition for the term used. (Huh??) We bid a LOT of money on a "chalkware" Goofy. Chalkware is extremely rare to find in good condition, and in any condition for a Goofy. Chalkware to us is a piece of chalk that was carved, painted, and given away at carnivals many, many years ago. Few have survived because chalk can break so easily and, since they did not start out as treasures of any kind, many were thrown away. Chalkware to the seller was unfired pottery that you paint yourself (and someone had). You can have the item fired in a kiln to turn it into shiny pottery. We're on the West Coast, and the seller was on the East Coast. We simply had different understandings of the same word. The seller did happily refund our money after we politely explained that we knew he had not tried to misrepresent the item - it had just been a misunderstanding.
Another valid reason to receive a refund is when the seller does not use reasonable care to get the item to you in one piece. Even if you had the item insured. It is not the fault of the Post Office when nine items of antique, fragile porcelain are piled together and wrapped on the outside of the pile only. After they bang against each other over and over, you end up with a pile of porcelain pieces! This was not only not the fault of the Post Office, they do not pay on claims for breakable items packed together without padding between them. The seller was told as politely as possible that she was responsible for paying the claim in the form of a refund.
WHEN IS A REFUND NOT A REFUND
In the case mentioned just above, the seller did agree to send a refund. (Acceptable.) She added, in her defense, that accidents do happen. (Not applicable to her packing.) She said that she would send a refund minus PayPal's fee. (Unacceptable, but accepted since it was better than nothing.) A week went by then she wrote that she couldn't find our address. (Unacceptable!) If you ever refund a buyer's payment, the refund should be in the same form that the seller's was or better. If they sent you a money order, you send them a money order or "instant cash" through PayPal or c2it. We sent "instant cash" through PayPal so she didn't need our mailing address. We reminded her that we paid in "cash" and wanted to be repaid in "cash." She mailed a payment instead. And, it wasn't even an instantly cashable money order (which is a Postal Money Order), it was a personal check (requiring a hold) - from another state (requiring a long hold)! (Totally unacceptable!) She received our spendable money in one day, we had to wait about 25 days to spend our money.
This is the sort of deal that makes people wonder (no accusations, just wondering) if all this had been done on purpose because we did get her $130 item for $10 - because she did a poor job of listing the auction. Yes, it does happen sometimes. Learn on this site from our negative experiences so you might be able to avoid your own problems, and from our good experiences so you can find better deals.