Our anonymous retailer airs their woes about being duped on eBay...

COUNTER INSURGENT: eBay exasperation

Our anonymous Counter Insurgent airs their woes about being duped on eBay into buying from a trader who isn’t VAT registered…

By now I expect most indie businesses are largely made up of repair and services rather than baseline retailing. I myself am tasked with the responsibility of locating all the weird and wonderful parts that technicians require to bring customers’ gadgets back to life. 

This itself gives me headaches, which soon turn into migraines, as I find myself relying on eBay on an almost daily basis now. 

This might be good news for eBay, but it’s led to many smashed keyboards and telephones over the years. 

My resent towards the marketplace leads me to conclude that the Government needs to tackle the likes of eBay and Amazon for the good of every consumer in the UK.

My week starts with technicians requesting a few oddball parts for mobile phones. Because there are so many gadget parts available we only carry stock for the obvious ones. 

I browse listings for Apple spares, searching out who is cheapest and taking into consideration those that state they provide VAT invoices separately, from whom I buy with a swift click – only for the item to arrive with no VAT receipt.

I contact the seller asking them to send it across, but eBay won’t let me type in an email address. After having to encrypt my email address in a code – hopefully in such a way that the seller can decipher it – I get a response saying: “Use PayPal provide you invoice, warm tips”. 

I know you know where I am going with this. Yes, it’s happened – I’ve been duped into buying something from someone who isn’t actually VAT registered and doesn’t speak a word of English. I proceed to open a case, resulting in a response from a ‘Tom Cruise’ who operates out of eBay’s customer service department, who informs me that it’s the duty of the seller to provide the VAT invoice, adding that the goods are as described and therefore the seller has done nothing wrong.

So, Mr Cruise, saying that you have lost me thousands of pounds due to your broken policies, lack of responsibility, and absence of staff training is a huge understatement. When will you stop allowing these people to con buyers and let me rightfully reclaim my 20 per cent VAT instead of the Government pocketing it?

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