Online merchants say seller beware with high-end goods on eBay

METRO ATLANTA, Ga. — There are many stories about “buyer beware,” but an eBay merchant said it is sellers who are at risk of being taken advantage of on the popular online platform.

Channel 2′s Justin Gray reports on a woman who found herself in a big mess because of a designer handbag.

The great thing about eBay has always been how you can buy and sell just about anything, but some sellers are concerned protections put in place to protect buyers are allowing some unscrupulous people to take advantage of sellers

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Tricia Johnson said she sells on eBay as a hobby, not a job. She said over the past nine or 10 years, she has made more than $6,000 selling things like designer shoes and high-end handbags, but now she’s locked out of the platform because of a fight over a Chanel purse.

“Well, my warning would be ‘sellers beware.’ Just because you think you sold it, you may not have sold it,” she said.

Johnson thought she had sold a bag for $1,600 on Christmas Day.

Authenticators for eBay certify the authenticity and condition of luxury goods.

Ten days after receiving the purse, the buyer filed a claim with eBay, saying it was covered in stains and scratches.

“She got her money back before they let me do anything,” Johnson said.


Johnson said that when the purse was returned, there were no stains but it did have new scratches. She said it’s the second time she has had an issue like this on eBay with a designer item.

“I honestly feel that eBay is probably becoming a platform for scammers,” she said.

Channel 2 consumer advisor Clark Howard cautioned against selling high-end goods on eBay. He recommends consumers instead use resale sites designed specifically for luxury goods

“eBay is just not structurally equipped with people selling high-end goods to protect both the buyer and the seller,” Howard said.

Gray reached out to eBay, which said in a statement:

“When people buy or sell on our marketplace, they’re protected by policies, transaction monitoring and data systems that make eBay a safe and vibrant community. We take customer complaints very seriously and thoroughly investigate them to ensure all policies were followed.”

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“They’re not following their policies. They are definitely not following their policies,” Johnson said.

Sites that specifically focus on high-end goods have stronger protections to make sure buyers get the real thing and sellers aren’t taken advantage of.