If you make a mistake in a post, and the buyer finds out the item was not what they expected, then they can report it and request a refund. Ebay will rule in the customer’s favor, because the “item was not as described.” INAD.
Here are three situations when I had an INAD:
- I went with the book Ebay catalog, and it was wrong.
- I sent the wrong thing.
- I made a listing error.
The first one I got was a book, and I used the ISBN number to identify it, and listed based on the description from Ebay’s database. It turned out that my printing of the book was different. Same ISBN, same title and edition, different printing, slightly different contents!
They didn’t want it. I requested a return. I had to pay for that return.
Once an INAD is decided in the customer’s favor, you have two options:
- Issue a refund, and pay the return shipping to get the item back.
- Issue a refund, and let them keep the item.
- Work out a partial refund, and let them keep the items. This works for situations where you send multiple items, and some were not right.
My Shipping Error
The second one was a mistake in my shipping. I sent out the wrong item. Once I discovered it, I sent out the correct item, and told the customer what happened. No complaint was filed, thank goodness.
I basically made no money on that sale, but I don’t think I lost much money, either.
My Measurement Error
My third error affected two sales. I listed some clamps as being for 3/8″ tubes, but they were really for 3/16″ tubes. I was just peering too closely at that ruler.
I immediately canceled a sale that was pending, and apologized. An earlier sale had gone through, so I also immediately canceled and issued a refund. I explained what happened, and told the customer they could keep the item.
They were willing to pay, because even 3/16″ was going to work for them, but I suggested that Ebay would read the cancellation and might put the sale through, or not. If they did not reinstate the sale, then he got some free clamps.
I basically did an INAD on myself, to avoid having to put the customer through the process. I don’t expect Ebay to charge the customer, because it really wasn’t as described.
I have had people tell me my listing was wrong, and they were correct. I thank them, and correct it.
I’m so thankful for the eagle-eye folks who spot these things. They are basically saving me from an INAD.
How to Avoid the INAD?
Describe your item accurately.
Measure it yourself. If the item says 36″ and it measures 34″, say ‘measured 34″.’ I have put a ruler into some photos.
Don’t describe anything extra about the item. The more you describe, the more likely you are to have an error in the description.
Don’t state your opinion about anything. Don’t say “it’s the most beautiful shirt”. That’s not what Ebay wants, and the customer may do a return request. That could morph into an INAD.
Use many photos.
Report all flaws. If there are stains, point out all the stains. If something doesn’t fit into another part quite right, point that out. List every single flaw in the condition and in the description. This does hurt saleability, but it doesn’t make it unsellable; you can always drop the price because it has a flaw. If it’s just cosmetic, or they want the item only for its appearance, or they just want a part inside the item, they will buy it.
Reread your listings.
One Last Story: Item as Described
I had one situation where I didn’t know how to describe an item, so I did my best, and took many photos. The item, ultimately, was as described, so the customer could not get an INAD.
They were extremely gracious, and requested a partial refund. I OK’d a complete refund, but Ebay wouldn’t allow a complete refund, and the back and forth went on for a long time. So I ended up selling it at a low price, and losing some money.
The customer was kind enough to write all the details about the item, so I could learn from what she knew, that I didn’t know. I went into the situation pretty ignorant, but left it knowing a lot more about how to pick these antique items, and what flaws to spot. I feel like, at some level, she put money into my pocket.
I also had another person who helped me a lot, with explaining what collectors wanted. I offered the partial refund, but he wanted to try the INAD. I ended up winning that case. The customer was mum after that, but still feel like I left the situation in the positive.
The fact is, there are people on the site who are more experienced than I am; they are collectors, and they have been teaching me what to buy. It’s a mutual business relationship.