How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • Go back-and-forth until satisfied
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Ben Jones Your Own Question
Ben Jones
Ben Jones, UK Lawyer
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 74402
Experience:  Qualified Solicitor
29905560
Type Your Law Question Here...
Ben Jones is online now

Ben, I sent you a message at the start of this week in

This answer was rated:

Hi Ben,
I sent you a message at the start of this week in reference to an Ebay buyer who had purchased a 18 Ct Rose gold Tiffany bracelet and Tiffany and Co sunglasses for £800, I spoke to Ebay and they said I was in my rights to close the case as a Private seller as he had decided he didn't want the items as the bracelet was too small for his wife's wrist even though my description and photos clearly showed the size of the bracelet. I did what you and Ebay advised and told the buyer I would not refund the £800 which had also had £100 deducted from Ebay for the commission as I had clearly showed the size of the bracelet. He said that he would take me to the county court and and he said that the 1979 act is no longer valid in this case and that the 2013 - 2014 legislation is applicable and that he wants his money back!
On the envelope that he has sent this morning it says: Items Returned For a Full Refund Under The Consumer Contracts Regulations 2014. Then: Proof of Condition When Posted is Enclosed.
I have sent him a message through Ebay today and told him that he should not have sent the items back to me as the case had been closed in my favour by Ebay and that I had let him know that the case was closed and I would not refund the items and that I would be sending the items back to him tomorrow with tracking and if he wants to take me to the county court he can do this but he must not send the items back to me again, his response to me today has been to say: " That's fine, I will submit the documentation on Tuesday, stating that you refused to accept the return of the items and have sent them back to me once again." I don't know what he means once again as this will be the 1st time I am returning his items.
Ben can you tell me what you think I should do as I feel so angry about this issue?
What happens now that I have the items and his money?
I have looked on Ebay and they say that I am in my right but I prefer to have the advise of a solicitor before I post the items back to him tomorrow?
Thank you,
Catherine.

Hello, I’m Ben, a UK lawyer and will be dealing with your case today.

Whilst the customer has decided to return the items, they cannot do so, especially not under the legislation they have quoted. You can return the bracelet to them, making it clear that the Regulations only apply to sales between a trader and a consumer. You are not a trader because you are not acting in the course of a business, trade or profession and therefore do not meet the criteria under Reg. 4 so this legislation is not applicable.

Does this answer your query?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben, yes this has answered my question thank you.
So you think that I am quite in my right to send the items back to him tomorrow with special signed and tracked postage and let him as he says he is going to do file documents on Tuesday in a county court against me?
Can I tell him that it was illegal that he sent the items back to me when Ebay has closed this case and agreed with me that he had no case for a refund?
If it goes to a county court I think last Tuesday you said that I would have to pay my costs and he would pay his costs is this right?
Would the costs be a lot? Or do you think he is bluffing about going to county court as I am sure with all the backlog of cases that it may take some time to go through courts? Thank you.

It is not illegal for him to have sent the items back, he can do it if he wanted to. But you can now send it back to him – the only issue is if he refuses to accept it and it gets returned to you. It would then be for you to decide whether to keep trying or just stand back and do nothing and let him claim.

If he did claim then each side does indeed pay their own costs. You do not need to incur any – you do not need a lawyer and can keep costs down.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
That’s great Ben, I will go ahead and send them back tomorrow and then send him the tracking number and see what happens next. He said that he would file the documents on Tuesday to the county court.
Do you know how much the costs would be approximately? I would normally back down and concede but I feel that I have done everything correctly so let’s see what happens. Can I keep requesting to contact you as you know about the case now? Thank you.

For an £800 claim it would be a £60 claim fee and if you defend the claim and it goes to a hearing, an £80 hearing fee, so £140 in total as potential liabilities.

And yes you can always start new questions requesting me personally if needed. Thank you.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben then I think I will return the items tomorrow and send the buyer a message to say they have been returned with the tracking number. He used a business address for his Ebay account and this is where I sent the items initially so I am going to use this address to send the items back tomorrow, as the envelope that I received today from the buyer with the returned items had his home address on.
If the county court ruled in the favour of the buyer would I have to pay back the £800 and he would return the items and I would have to pay £140?
Thank you.

yes that is correct

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben are you online now?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have received from the buyer: Austin from Ebay today by post the Claim form which he has printed off and filled in with his details and mine and he has put in the details that the reason is The refusal to refund payment for goods returned after sale, in accordance with consumer contracts regulations?
But I never told him to send back the items?

Thank you. What do you specifically want to know about this, please?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Ben I have been told that with any distance buying like on Ebay that the buyer does have 14 days to get a full refund without giving any good reason for his refund, so if he just changes his mind?

but you are a private seller, right?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I am a private seller but the buyer has sent me all photocopies of all our text messages that we have had on Ebay and the downloaded claim form that he has filled in with mine and his details and for the description he has put: The refusal to refund payment for goods returned after sale, in accordance with consumer contracts regulations.
So it made me look on the government page and see rules for online and distance selling and I got a bit afraid and don’t know what to do now. The bracelet is already on its way back to him and he should receive it tomorrow but he said he intends to log this claim form with £60 tomorrow to the courts as he is already out of pocket by £800 as I won’t refund him. But I am 100% a private seller and not a business. My profession is a teacher. Thank you.

The 14 day rule for distance sales only applies if you are a trader, someone selling I the course of a business – it does not apply to private sales

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have contacted him today to enquire if he has received the items , he said he would let me know tomorrow. Then I will tell him that he can continue with his claim and submit his details and pay the £60, then I presume the next stage will be for the court to send me a letter and ask for all documentation that I have?
But definitely I do not legally have to refund him as a private seller on Ebay?

No, you do not – he is relying on the Consumer Contracts (Information, Cancellation and Additional Charges) Regulations 2013. Yu have to be a trader for the automatic right to a return to apply. You can see the definition here and you are not one:

http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2013/3134/regulation/4/made

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben, I will let him confirm tomorrow he has received the items back and let him do whatever he wants. Will the court contact me once he has lodged the claim form?
Can I keep asking for you in reference to this matter please?

yes you will get a notification that a claim has been issued

you may indeed come back to me again if needed but please post a new question every few days as we can't keep it all under one thread, thanks

Ben Jones and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thank you Ben then every 2 days I will post a new question to you to keep a direct line open with you?

yes, as long as you actually need help each time you post a question - no need to post them unless you have further queries, thank you