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Ash, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 10916
Experience:  Solicitor with 5+ years experience
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I sold an item on ebay which was accurately listed and arrived

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I sold an item on ebay which was accurately listed and arrived in full working order with the buyer. The buyer then said that the item was "not as described" in the listing and Ebay returned it to me. The disputed feature was one not explicitly described in the listing but was an intrinsic feature of the item listed with its model number. Ebay shipped the item back to me despite protest from me and say that is the end of the matter. Can I take this further?
Alex Watts : Hello my name Alex and I will help you with this.
Alex Watts : I assume you are not a business please?

no, private seller


I've pasted below my last email to eBays customer services. The buyer says that bcause the camera was not listed as "NTSC" format they returned it

Dear Irene,

thank you for your reply. This reply however still does not address the point in dispute. The buyer claimed that the item was "not as described" in the listing. According to your website:

"An item is not as described if it is materially different from what the seller described in the listing for that item"

This criterion is simply not met. I sold exactly what I listed.

I listed a Sony NEX VG10 camcorder. I sold a Sony NEX VG10 camcorder. A Sony NEX VG10 camcorder is, by definition, an NTSC camcorder. There is no other kind of NEX VG10 camcorder. If the buyer buys an NEX VG10 camcorder, they get an NTSC camcorder by definition

If the buyer had wanted a PAL version they should buy the NEX VG10E. That is the PAL version and there is no other type of VG10E than the PAL version. If you buy a VG10E, you get a PAL camcorder.

To say that my description did not have complete features is saying that if a buyer buys a Rubiks cube, they have grounds to return it because they wanted one with 7 sides and the lister did not point out it had 6. A Rubiks cube by definition has 6 sides and if you buy one, you automatically get a six-sided object.

The VG10 is, and can only be, an NTSC camcorder. If you buy one, you buy an NTSC camcorder.

Please point out where the "material difference" is between what I listed and what I sold.

Alex Watts : So the item is the same. Has if been returned ?

do I need to stay around - I'm at work right now and thinking about heading off


sorry - did not see your message. It has been returned to me. I did phone them on the 3rd saying this was under protest


will need to head off now but will check emails from this evening on. thanks.

Alex Watts : Sure

Hi - am I going to get any advice about this?

Alex Watts :

You need to write and set out your losses and request a payment within 14 days or say you will go to Court within 14 days. You should make sure you send this signed delivery and keep a copy.

If they do not pay you then you can issue proceedings in the County Court. You can either do this online at: or by completing form N1 and take it to your local County Court.

The Court will then issue a claim which a copy will be sent to the Defendant who will have a limited time to defend it, if not you can enter Judgment and enforce.

If the claim is for £10,000 or less it will be a small claim so you will not need legal representation. Over this value you would need representation for trial.

Can I clarify anything for you about this today please?


I'd like to know who my dispute would be with. eBay has sent the buyer the money and courier-ed the camcorder to me. They say that they will debit my account soon and take the money from me. As I see it, my contract with the buyer was fulfilled, eBay sent me the buyer's camcorder (against my express wish) and I now have their camcorder sitting in my hallway. If eBay then debit my account, I would imagine my dispute would be with them and not the buyer. Is this right?

Alex Watts :

Your dispute would be with the buyer.

Alex Watts :

You wouldn't be suing Ebay only the buyer

Alex Watts :

Does that help?


Hmm, I don't get this. The buyer has sent me the money and I have it in my account. The dispute occurred and eBay sent them the money. The people now removing money from my account (in the next couple of days according to the email) will be eBay and it will stay in eBay's account. How do I take action against a buyer when they haven't taken the money from me?

Alex Watts :

Right, got you. I am clear now. Then it would be Ebay you would sue


OK, thanks. They have pretty much given in on the "item not as decribed" argument and are relying on the fact they sent the camcorder back to me (against my instructions) to say that it's all done and "fait accompli" so tough luck. As I see it, the contract I have with the buyer is fulfilled and I just have the buyer's camcorder in my hallway, sent to me by eBay. I can't see how just sending something can undo a contract. The package was accepted by a neighbour so I had no opportunity to refuse it. How strong is their argument?

Alex Watts :

Indeed. I think you have a valid argument here.


OK great - thanks.

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