Returning a Broken Item
Buyer purchases an item, claims it is not working/DOA, and starts a return. They return a different, broken item. Ebay sides with the buyer.
They may even open up the item, replace the insides, and return it.
This scam is particularly common with electronics.
The fix: take a photo of the serial number, and put it in the listing. If you forget to put it in the listing send the photo of the number by message, after the sale, so the Ebay staff will have access to that info.
If you’re at risk of the “replaced guts” scam, buy some “warranty voided” security stickers and put it over a screw or a seam. These are stickers that cannot be removed, because they break apart, leaving bits behind.
Returning an Item Outside of Ebay
You sent a functioning product, and they claim it isn’t working, and want to get a refund. They do this communication outside of Ebay.
The thing works, and they don’t want to return it. If they went through the Ebay system, the seller can choose how to resolve the problem. These options are: pay for a return; give a partial refund; give a total refund and let the buyer keep the item.
However, they don’t want that. They just want you to agree to issue a refund.
The “fix” is to remind them that refunds must be done through the Ebay system, and offer to forward the emails to Ebay, and start a return.
The buyer will go silent.