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Old 06-30-2013
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Default Customer demanding refund after return policy..

I sold a new laptop(sealed) that was refurbished. I listed this has having a 45day return policy. Its now about 50days later and the buyer has basically said she is not happy with it and wants a refund.

I pointed out to her that it seems there are no real issues with the laptop and that it is basically used at this point I'll still take it back with a restocking fee being it is past the return policy.

She simply forced the return(paid for return shipping), and says she is expecting nothing less with a full refund.

What happens if I issue a restocking fee? Amazon policy clearly states sellers can issue small reasonable restocking fees.

My concern is if she leaves neg feedback, files a-z claim, and wins. Then I'm out all 3 times.

Would be great if any sellers experienced this before. My account can take both hits right now...
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Old 06-30-2013
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A 'new' lap-top is just that NEW.

'Refurbished' means it was re-done at some factory and resealed. Its warranty may be less than the normal.
You were stretcthing limits by calling the laptop 'new'.

Newly refurbished maybe.

So you have this 'new' lap-top back?
They buyer did send it back and paid to ship it back?

And for 5 days over a refund time, you have an issue?

I hope someone else does reply. This sounds like cake and eat it....
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No, trust me. Everything was noted in the comments. I noted it as a refurb and noted it was still factory sealed. I've never had an issue with something "not as described". This is no difference. I can not keep afloat if everyone returned laptops.


I realized this was refurb, I noted a 45 day return policy to build confidence in buyers. Buyer came to me and said "its not fast enough, I want to return it".

If buyer came to me and said, this #$#@$ crashed and wont turn on, thats a whole difference story.


Go buy a car, and ask to return it because you want a faster one. Im sure alot of people will disagree with this....but I cant please everyone. I would lose alot of money if I just took this back and had to resell it. I offered to take a look at it and see what I could do. buyer wants a refund.

Last edited by user3657; 06-30-2013 at 02:26 AM.
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Ah, buyers' remorse yet..........

buyer is shipping back the item with paid for return shipping

You need more though?

Does your business plan not allow a certain amount of funds for refunds, goodwill etc?
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The thing is on desktops and laptops my profit is very slim.

My issue is that yes this was a refurb, but it was new. New as in box, protective plastics etc. Its now used.

If I could afford it, I would take it back. But in that case more buyers would want to test out items and I think that is why most online retailers state return policys "return for exchange only".

The CD-key has now been exposed. Buyer could have installed that on two other computers. I resell this computer, and now the new customer is locked out saying this windows has been installed too many times.

Im not refusing to take it back, Im merely trying to recup my loses from loaning out a new laptop.


But back to topic... Amazon does have a policy where sellers are allowed to charge a restocking fee..and I was just wondering what happens if the buyer files an a-z claim regarding the restocking fee.
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When selling on amazon or ebay , unfortunately you need to prepare and be ready for refunds. Normal brick and mortar store rules don't apply on these venues.

The customer is definitely always right online
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"•If the item becomes defective more than 30 days after shipment and is under warranty, please assist the buyer in pursuing a warranty claim with the manufacturer."

"Type of Return Request Restocking fee allowed?
Buyer changes mind, buyer remorse, or price difference Yes "
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I would charged the 25% restocking price and have done this before. lthough the customer was unhappy they wrote to amazon who informed then that I am within my rights to do so. But things might have been different had they opened an AZ case.

It all depends on your feedback and account status. If you only sell high value items then im guessing you would struggle to take the hit of an AZ and bad feedback. I have quite high volume and this was one of my rare high valued items so I was willing to take the chance, it was a similar situation to this one.
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If you do decide to go with the restocking fee I would write to the customer and cleary explain why, especially including the fact that The CD-key has now been exposed. Tell them that they can either have the laptop shipped back to them if they pay shipping or you will charge a 75% restocking charge as per amazons rules. Also give her a contact address for amazon customer support as they normally use that before trying to do their own thing which results in an AZ.
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I can handle an a-z claim and a neg feedback. I even have stock coming where I only expect to break even but its to increase my order count incase I ever get hit with a bunch of negs at once.

I just dont want to get hit with both and then Amazon side with them if they open a case....but after browsing amazon its clear sellers are allowed to charge restocking fees and after 30days have the choice of not allowing returns, so I cant see Amazon siding with the buyer.......

It is good to know Amazon told the buyer you had the right to charge a restocking fee. I think if a claim were to be opened Amazon would say the same as the buyer just says "its not fast enough and wont play videos".
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user3657 View Post
was a refurb, but it was new.
This is the bit the looses me. How can it be new, and be a refurb?

Newly refurbished make sense, but not new and a refurbished laptop...
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Originally Posted by JamesNorth101 View Post
This is the bit the looses me. How can it be new, and be a refurb?

Newly refurbished make sense, but not new and a refurbished laptop...
Why cant it be new? You opened the box, booted it up, removed all the plastic on the screen. Its now in used condition and can not be sold as the original condition.

This return is not a return that is "not as described" etc. New, refurbished, does it matter? Buy had laptop for 50 days now and just decides to return it.
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I appreciate you say you can handle the issues as of THIS SALE

Where is your plan if you get more issues that will damage the account??

You may use one selling life for little reason
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user3657 View Post
Why cant it be new? You opened the box, booted it up, removed all the plastic on the screen. Its now in used condition and can not be sold as the original condition.

This return is not a return that is "not as described" etc. New, refurbished, does it matter? Buy had laptop for 50 days now and just decides to return it.
If it was at some point refurbished then it has at some point already been used, so it cannot be a new item.

It can only be a newly refurbished item, not a new item.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JamesNorth101 View Post
If it was at some point refurbished then it has at some point already been used, so it cannot be a new item.

It can only be a newly refurbished item, not a new item.
Keep in mind Amazon/ebay has a separate cat for refurbished items. I will then list under condition/comments "Item is refurbished but still sealed in retail box".

I didnt phrase my sentence right I still personally would consider a refurbished item "new" if it is factory sealed. Refurbished items can also be used or open box

But after doing some reading I was reminded that winning the buybox is based on alotta things including metrics. The past two weeks have been really slow...I told her as long as there are no scratches, etc there will be no stocking fee.
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there are plenty of ways a product can be new and refurbished, especially with a laptop. It could be faulty from the factory, an old model with upgraded hardware or a display model that has been modified and plenty of other ways.

As for the buy box, once you are eligible for it the only metric they count is price. I know what they say but I have seen people with 85% feedback getting the buy box before me with 98% because they price the item 4p lower. Its your choice but you have basically given in to this woman. You did not have to take the laptop back and at the very least you should have charged a restocking fee. but I guess sometimes its just not worth the hassle.
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Old 06-30-2013
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user3657 View Post
Keep in mind Amazon/ebay has a separate cat for refurbished items. I will then list under condition/comments "Item is refurbished but still sealed in retail box".

I didnt phrase my sentence right I still personally would consider a refurbished item "new" if it is factory sealed. Refurbished items can also be used or open box

But after doing some reading I was reminded that winning the buybox is based on alotta things including metrics. The past two weeks have been really slow...I told her as long as there are no scratches, etc there will be no stocking fee.
You have come to the right conclusion. Yes the buyer was outside the period of return but, online, a lot of things are different than brick and mortar sales, as another post indicated.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by user3657 View Post
Keep in mind Amazon/ebay has a separate cat for refurbished items. I will then list under condition/comments "Item is refurbished but still sealed in retail box".

I didnt phrase my sentence right I still personally would consider a refurbished item "new" if it is factory sealed. Refurbished items can also be used or open box

But after doing some reading I was reminded that winning the buybox is based on alotta things including metrics. The past two weeks have been really slow...I told her as long as there are no scratches, etc there will be no stocking fee.
Phew. Wise choice.
I have a return time stated too. ( moreso on ebay). But I do make an effort to accomodate a buyer who 'asks'/ 'wants' if they ask several days after the return deadline.
This has worked fine long term. No dings on an account made it safe for another onslaught.
And those come.
Good Luck
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Old 06-30-2013
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I have concerns about your business plan. Forgetting the issue of "new" vs. "refurbished" electronics have notoriously low profit margins. For a business to be successful over the long term, you need to have enough of a profit margin to absorb the cost of returns, as well as any losses due to fraud.

If your business plan only works if everything goes smoothly and there are no returns, you may want to find something else to sell. I'm not trying to be judgmental, it is just that in ANY retail operation, returns are a part of doing business whether online or offline.

Technically, the customer is outside of the return period. However, she can still complain to Amazon and that could hurt your account. Also, they could file for a chargeback.

Banks almost always side with their customers. If the buyer claims the item was listed as new, but was actually refurbished, that would be an automatic win for the buyer. If the buyer claims the laptop is running too slow because it is malfunctioning, that would also be an automatic win for the buyer. If the complaint is simply that the laptop is too slow for what she wants to use it for, it could go either way.

Also, there are different definitions of "refurbished" vs "open box" or "manufacturer recertified". A good explanation can be found here: Refurbished vs Open Box vs Factory Recertified

Lastly, someone mentioned a 75% restocking fee. I highly doubt that Amazon would allow that. I believe their terms state that a REASONABLE restocking fee may be charged. 75% is NOT reasonable.

As someone who buys items, I can tell you that the definitions of "refurbished" "recertified" and "open box" DO mean something to me and are NOT interchangeable. For example, I recently bought a "recertified" laptop from Dell. These computers were leased to a business and returned at the end of the lease. Dell takes these back, wipes any information off the hard drives, re-installs the OS, makes sure everything is in working order and gives the buyer a 90 day warranty. That is WAY DIFFERENT from an "open box" item that was returned to the store by the original customer. To save 15%, I am not willing to take the risk the item was returned because there was a problem with it. It simply is not worth the small amount saved.
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1) no one has suggested a 75% restocking fee, amazon only allows up to 50% but suggests a reasonable amount.

2) i don know what banks you are dealing with but a charge back would never be allowed on this. The main reason is fraud but occasionally you can do a chargeback if the goods are not as stated but OP clearly says
Everything was noted in the comments. I noted it as a refurb and noted it was still factory sealed. Maybe the bank of Nigeria would do a chargeback but thats about it.

3)You can buy refurbished products from apple themselves. These have never left apples facility, they are sold as new and refurbished "Refurbished Macs are likely to be brand-new but unsold models (if it is from a previous year), or reconditioned current models."

I dont even know why people are arguing the point as there is not a New refurbished category on amazon. He clealry listed under refurbished, that means the buyer knew exactly what they were getting as its under the category refurbished.

4) you link to some random guys opinion on what a refurb is? For a start it can vary from industry to industry but the only point here was can a refurb be new and as apple themselves sell new refurbs the answer is clearly yes.

Last edited by barrycruan; 06-30-2013 at 02:41 PM.
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Quote:
Originally Posted by barrycruan View Post
1) no one has suggested a 75% restocking fee, amazon only allows up to 50% but suggests a reasonable amount.
This is the quote from your previous post, above:

"Tell them that they can either have the laptop shipped back to them if they pay shipping or you will charge a 75% restocking charge as per amazons rules".

I want to point out that I was NOT suggesting that the OP did anything wrong. My main point was that if your business cannot take a hit in terms of a refund, or a loss due to fraud, it won't be very long before you are OUT OF BUSINESS.

Maybe in the UK, it is more difficult to do a chargeback, but here in the US it happens all the time. Some buyers even use it as their first option. Even if the buyer does not win, if they file for a chargeback, Amazon will be looking closely at the seller's account. That is what we try to avoid in stealth.

And granted, there are many terms that people use to describe items: reconditioned, refurbished, remanufactured, open box, recertified, etc. The Federal Trade Commission has not defined these terms, but it is illegal to use any deceptive means to advertise a product. I am NOT suggesting that the OP misled anyone. But when I see people arguing that new and refurbished are the same thing, that is just wrong.
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ok my mistake, in my first post I put 25% which is what i meant. No one is saying new and refurbished are the same.

just that refurbished products can be new products. The seller said from the start that this was listed under "refurbished".
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