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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69259
Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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I sold some china on eBay for £10 plus £8 postage, buyer says

Customer Question

I sold some china on eBay for £10 plus £8 postage, buyer says most has arrived broken. I have requested photos, offered a full refund once the china is returned to me (buyer pays return postage) and offered half sale price (£5) returned and they keep what’s not broken, all have been rejected. They have now sent me a letter threating to issue a court summons in 7 days to get full refund. Can they do this? Worried as they have my address and phone number!
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for your question. My name is XXXXX XXXXX I will try to help with this.

Please confirm that they're threatening to take you to court for £18.

Are they simply refusing to return the goods or pay for the postage?

Why are you worried about them having your address and telephone number?

Do you accept that the packaging may have been inadequate?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Yes they are threatening court for £18. They will only return the goods if I pay the postage and then refund the £18. I have never used this courier before, the box was packed tight with bubble wrap, but each item was not individually wrapped. Worried as not sure what they can do with my personal details. Thought this would get sorted but has suddenly turned really nasty on their part, so not sure what to do.

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
I presume that some of the China is indeed broken and that the buyer therefore does not want just parts of it?

As this was a carrier organised by you and the buyer is blameless in all this, the buyer is entitled to be put back into the position that he was in had incidents not occurred .

That means that he is entitled to the full refund of the carriage to you and the purchase cost.

If you want the items back, you are responsible for the carriage back to you.

There may be an issue for you to take up with the carrier but expect the carrier to allege that the items were inadequately packaged.

For the sake of £18 it would probably not be worth either the buyer taking you to court or you taking the carrier to court however stranger things have happened.

If the buyer wants to issue court proceedings against you, it is going to cost them £35 to issue court proceedings using the online system. If you do not pay up and it goes to a hearing, it is going to cost them a further fee.

If you are a private seller and not a business, and you decide to defend the action, it will be transferred to your home court which may not be particularly convenient for the buyer.

It depends whether you want the risk and the inconvenience.

My suggestion would be to offer the buyer a full refund provided he sends you photographs of all the items and if you want the non-broken ones back, you pay the postage and packing to get those non-broken items back to you. If this did go to court, and you showed that offer to the judge, and the buyer refused it, the judge could well award legal costs against the buyer for acting so unreasonably.

If you are worried that the buyer is going to come beating your door down, and he does it more than once that is harassment and becomes a police matter and you can refer the matter to the police and ask the police to warn him under the Protection from Harassment Act.

I'm sorry that a lot of this is bad news.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Customer: replied 2 years ago.

As it stands I have absolutely no proof that anything is broken, can I insist on proof? Surely they cant take me to court when I have no idea if anything is actually broken?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.
That is why I suggested that you offer him a refund if he sends you photographs of all the items.

So provided he gives you proof of the broken items, he gets his money and carriage back
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69259
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Expert:  Jo C. replied 2 years ago.

Thank you for the positive rating and remember that I am always available to help with your questions. For future information, please start your question with ‘FOR JO C’. You can also bookmark my profile

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