eBay Chinese seller blackmails UK merchant over bad review

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An eBay Chinese seller has blackmailed a UK merchant into removing a bad review after the Chinese seller refused to “refund poor quality items” which were thought to be from London.

While the Chinese sellers’ location abuse isn’t news anymore, it highlights an underlying problem of UK seller dolphins being caught in the manipulation net.

A UK merchant has raised today a topic discussion ‘blackmailed into removing negative feedback‘ in eBay Seller Board. They reported having ordered items from a London seller to discover that it was a Chinese merchant who has sold him the bad quality products. They said that a staff member had returned the items using their business’s post which didn’t provide any parcel tracking, leaving receipt of postage and image of the package before collection as the only evidence of return. However, eBay didn’t accept this as a valid proof for return and the Chinese seller failed to step in to proceed with the refund.

As a last resort in their attempt to prompt the seller to initiate the refund, the UK merchant left negative product feedback to which the Chinese merchant reacted by blackmailing the seller. They asked the UK merchant to remove the feedback because it “blocks” them from initiating a return. But, eBay’s refunds are not blocked because of negative feedback.

Dear Buyer.Thank you for your message, we can’t proceed with your refund because it has been blocked due to your negative feedback, we are willing to give you a refund, would you mind if we will send the revised link now, so that we can immediately process the refund. Please confirm.”
– Chinese seller

The UK buyer said they didn’t trust the Chinese seller to process the refund even if the revise the feedback.

We still see Chinese seller manipulation of their buyers with lies that their stock is located in the UK. We previously reported on Chinese location abuse clamp down. eBay Chinese sellers report that eBay are dictating new rules if they claim that their goods are located in an overseas warehouse (defined as a UK or US warehouse) and stipulating maximum despatch and transit times with assessments taking place from the end of March.

12 Responses

  1. This kind of behaviour isn’t just limited to Chinese eBay sellers. I had a relative that purchased an electric heater from a UK based seller on Amazon. The heater was faulty. Instead of just asking her to return the faulty heater for a refund or replacement, they sent her a link to a part which they said she could buy and fit herself that would fix the heater.

    Obviously this is shockingly poor customer service, so she demanded a free return and left negative feedback to reflect her experience. When the company received the faulty item back, they contacted her and said they would only refund if she agreed to remove to negative feedback. Of course she told them where to go, but had to open an A to Z to get her money back.

  2. Another example of Chinese bad customer service and blackmail.

    in February I nought some earbuds from eBay to take skiing to answer any customer phone calls whilst on the piste (yes I know I am sad). They were advertised as the UK, but came from China. They were forwarded on by a UK fulfilment centre.

    They arrived broken and were poor quality so I opened a return. The Chinese seller apologised and offered a 50% refund. I said, why would I want a 50% refund for an item 100% broken?

    ebay concierge noted that the item return location was China and stated item location abuse. They sided in my favour immediately, said they would take action, but over a month later and the seller is still selling them.

    Most interestingly they have shortened their delivery window to seemingly comply with the new overseas sellers delivery metrics:


  3. Setting aside the prejudice against Chinese sellers, the nub of the problem here is that the buyer (who is a business), chose to return the item by an untracked method, rather than the method provided by eBay – which was a tracked return at the seller’s expense.

    All the rest – like the buyer having a photograph of the item – is irrelevant. And as any business seller knows, proof of postage is not the same as proof of receipt.

  4. You are correct in the location has changed back to China. It wasn’t yesterday. Sounds like eBay’s rules are working.

  5. That is the problem with eBay they just work in Black and white they do not know hoe to deviate and respond to things outside the normal yes and no.

    All they need to do is look at the messages and realise what is taking place then authorise/ issue the refund. Then deal with the seller in China for threatening and coercion of feedback which is clearly not tolerated by eBay if you believe their policy on that.

  6. The buyer is equally outwith the feedback rules, since they are using negative feedback as a “last resort” to gain something they are not entitled to under eBay rules – viz. a refund for an item returned outside the proper procedure, with no proof of the seller having received it.

  7. I received a totally incorrect item from a Chinese seller and asked for a refund as soon as the item arrived to me. Over a period of about 8 days I never received a refund but did receive emails asking to keep the item at a reduced cost, and lots of other things. I eventually got fed up waiting and got ebay involved and when I received my refund, I left a negative stating that I never got a refund from the seller and had to get ebay involved. I then started receiving emails through the ebay system asking me to remove the negative feedback and change it to a positive as I had my refund. I then started getting stories that the seller was only an agent and he would have to pay for the items. I asked for a returns label so I could return the items and the stories started getting worse. He mentioned things like his child would not be able to eat as he would have no money., or he would loose his job.

    I reported this to ebay and spoke to ebay customer support. They apparently read the emails, but the seller is still selling under more than one username.

  8. I was a victim of a scam after purchasing a refurbished mobile phone from a seller in Hong Kong who offered warranty. When I returned the product due to fault within the warranty period the seller refused to engage with me and never returned the mobile back to me.
    When I contacted eBay customer service to complain about the seller they were not interested stating that as the three month grace period had expired they were unable to be of any assistance.

  9. I am the buyer in question here and would just like to clear up a few points:

    The seller confirmed receipt of goods when they emailed to state that the returned goods had been inspected and found to have no faults – the actual reason for the return was that the goods were very poor quality and not fit for purpose.

    The negative feedback we gave was closure as far as we were concerned as we’d given up on ever getting a refund and felt negative feedback was justified in this instance (we don’t take this lightly)

    The only reason this issue re-ignited was the sellers blackmail tactics which I wasn’t putting up with.

    Ebay was contacted following advice on the ebay community forum and we haven’t been in touch with the seller since.

  10. I had a bad experience with a seller from China, I ordered a superdry jacket, costing £70,they sent me a tracksuit top,maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad if it had been a brand name, no brand name on it at all, when I mailed stating the mix up, they actually told me it was a top selling clothing item and if I didn’t want it could I not just gift it to a friend!!
    The issue never got resolved, they blocked me and ignored my messages. X

  11. The moral of this story is

    To the buyer: Always send your returned tracked and use the free label provided on ebay.
    To the seller: feedback extortion is one of the worse breeches on ebay.

    we sell shoes and inevitably we get a lot of returns for refund or exchange. Often buyers are their worse enemy – choosing to send items back with a non trackable method (despite us providing a free trackable label on ebay managed returns), or buyers sending item tracked then failing to keep the tracking number for their return.

    Nearly one third of our returns do not have adequate information inside the box.

    Regularly we get notes in the return package saying “refund please” OR “exchange for size 10 please” and literally no other information. Who is the return from? No name, no address. Was it ebay? our web site? amazon? Very frustrating and very, very time consuming. We then get the messages “refund or we will leave bad feedback” often these messages are off-site.

    we had a buyer this week threatening negative feedback if we did not refund her for a return she claimed to have sent. I asked for the return tracking 8 times over the space of a 2 week period. She chose not to use ebay managed returns. Then we start getting the feedback extortion off site. “refund or I will leave a negative” she wrote.

    After asking her 8 times for a return tracking number she then phones ebay and provides THEM with a return tracking number (somehow) and not only do we get a negative, we get a defect and the money taken from our account and a lot of abusive emails. AND no sign of the actual return item.

    Buyers have only themselves to blame if the return does not go smooth. Respect the system, comply, and everything will go smooth.

    I must say that ebay were very supportive and reversed the decision on the case. these types of incidents are just so time consuming and unnecessary if the buyer takes a few seconds to write their return details on a note and put it in the box OR simply use the return procedure that ebay offer and please please KEEP THE TRACKING NUMBER of the return.

    We are blackmailed often and its by UK buyers, not Chinese sellers.


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