When a Buyer Cancels an Order

edited March 2019 in Chatter 3 LikesVote Down
When a buyer cancels an order and wants a refund for reasons such as the buyer:

- changed mind
- doesn't want to pay shipping fees
- doesn't want to pay import duties/taxes
- refused delivery
- moved and neglected to update mailing address

I think I am going to start charging a "restock" fee of 30% of the TOTAL order, including shipping fees, and I would block the buyer from future purchases if sellers had that option.

If the buyer had not yet paid for the purchase, AND sellers had the option to block a buyer, I would block that buyer.

Since the buyer did not fulfill the obligation of paying for what was purchased, I would also leave negative feedback for the buyer.


  • 18 Comments sorted by Votes Date Added
  • heheh, stupid me. I already have the 30% restocking fee in my terms and conditions! I forgot about that, because this issue of unscrupulous buyers rarely comes up as almost all buyers here are honest.
  • edited March 2019 1 LikesVote Down
    I revised my return/refund policy. I offer it here in the event other sellers may want to adapt it for their stores.


    All requests for returns must be made within 7 days of receipt of merchandise.

    A full refund will be given, including return postage, if an item is not as described.

    Note: This is not an approval service! All requests for returns/refunds must be pre-approved. All item(s) returned must be in the same condition as when received, and include the original packaging. Return postage and insurance is the buyer's responsibility, unless the item is returned for not being as described. Seller is not responsible for any returns until received. Refunds are issued in the same manner as the original payment, less the original shipping fee, unless the item is returned for not being as described.

    A 30% restocking fee based on the invoice total - including the shipping fee - (for returns AND canceled orders) applies, unless the item is returned for not being as described. A refund will only be issued after the returned item has been inspected to ensure it conforms with this return policy.

    I reserve the right to refuse to sell to anyone who abuses the return policy, who files non-receipt disputes with this site and/or PayPal, or who cancels orders without an appropriate reason (changing one's mind; refusal to pay shipping fees; refusal to pay import duties; refusal to pay taxes; refuses to pay for items purchased are NOT considered legitimate reasons to cancel an order. IT IS THE BUYER'S RESPONSIBILITY TO READ THE TERMS OF SALE. Negative feedback is left for buyers who conduct themselves inappropriately.
  • The only question I've always had is "All requests for returns must be made within 7 days of receipt of merchandise." How would the seller know when the order has been delivered? And life does get in the way every now and again. But neither here nor there. My question is, how do we know when an order has been delivered?

    Other than that, this is a great return/refund policy. Thanks for sharing.
  • edited March 2019 2 LikesVote Down
    Just one question for you on this part,

    A 30% restocking fee based on the invoice total - including the shipping fee - (for returns AND canceled orders) applies, unless the item is returned for not being as described. A refund will only be issued after the returned item has been inspected to ensure it conforms with this return policy.

    If the buyer cancels the order,you refund less the 30% restocking fee,the buyer then files a non-receipt dispute due to the fact it wasn't ship is Paypal actually going to side with you the seller or is Paypal going to side with the buyer? Under both the buyer and seller protection there is NO MENTION of the buyer being liable for a restocking fee or the seller being
    entitled to a restocking fee.

    If Paypal will not cover a sellers restocking fee it is an unenforceable policy.
  • edited March 2019 0 LikesVote Down
    - Luree, The "7 days" is there to let people know that they can't just sit on the stamps and months or years later tell me that something isn't right. If it's within a reasonable time frame, I won't ignore the buyer's request. I have had very few requests for refunds since I began selling stamps in 1978. The last one was a few years ago, and it was my mistake, so I refunded the buyer and let him keep the stamp.

    - Michael - good points, and I don't have an answer for that question as no one has ever requested cancellation of a purchase from me after they had paid for it. I think that such policies, like higher shipping fees, help to dissuade people prone to playing the return/cancel game. With the inability to block such people, what other choice do we have at the moment?

    I did get another response from the buyer. It began, "I am sorry you are taking such an unsympathetic attitude over such a small amount..." So, when is the dollar amount of a sale appropriate to expect a buyer to pay for what they bought? It actually isn't about the dollar amount.

    I have to shake my head over such buyers as they only relate to the dollar amount of the sale. They don't take into consideration the time, effort and cost a seller puts in to listing items for sale. They also don't consider the effort needed to double those actions of relisting the items, and requesting refund of fees. I could be wrong, but I don't believe that PayPal refunds 100% of fees to a seller. I think Doug has stated that in the past. HipStamp does. If such a buyer tried to sell something, and their buyer pulled the same stunt, they would be screaming the loudest.
  • I have a no questions asked return policy all I ask is they write me first as I don't want have to deal with the return postage for very inexpensive items on things that were my mistake. As long as I have been doing this I can count on 1 hand the number of actually cancellations of an order. And that's on a bit over 22,000 orders between Hipstamp and Ebay. (More of a problem on Ebay then Bidstart and Hipstamp combined) As far as a customer asking to send something back due to the fact they had it and bought it again,I have had very few people asking for that either,but on that I do it as a courtesy and that often has paid dividends in the long run as most of them have become long time customers.

    Can't we relist items in bulk from the close/sold items table? If so then the time to relist cancelled orders is at a minimum.
    Returns on the other I can see where that can be a bigger problem.
  • All in all, my experiences are pretty much in line with yours. The policies are there to protect me from unrealistic expectations of unrealistic buyers.
  • I have been advised by HipStamp management that restocking fees are not permitted. I have followed their advice regarding this order, and will be changing my terms accordingly to comply with the rules here.
  • Hi Mike, I find all that legalese a real turn off. I keep it simple, 30 day guarantee, accept returns with a smile, buyer pays return postage (unless I screwed up, then I pay). As a buyer, when I see half a page of return conditions my eyes glaze over and I move on to another seller. I've had 2 or 3 returns in 2,500 orders and know I've not lost sales due to my returns policy.
  • I haven't lost any sales for that either. ;)
  • Just something to think about. If a seller expects a buyer to take their time,to write the seller about the problem,then take the time to package it,on their dime for the materials to send it back not counting postage. How many sellers actually compensate the buyer for their time to deal with the problem? And add in the fact if it's a single item is the buyer compensated for the shipping both ways? (The buyer should NEVER be out the shipping either way when it's the sellers fault not the buyers)

    Now if the buyer does ask to return something because of their mistake for any reason are they really asking anything more of the seller then what the seller asks and requires of the buyer when it's sellers mistake on the time effort and shipping materials back?
  • I agree, and that's what I have done in those situations. In one situation, after the buyer returned the stamp in question to me, I verified that it was misidentified. I refunded him his total original cost, and the cost for mailing it back to me. I sent the stamp back to him for free at my expense as he wanted it for his reference collection. I could have kept the stamp and resold it after properly identifying it, but the buyer helped me with the identification process. I did all that in appreciation for his help and the information he gave me about the stamp. Oh, and it was an international sale as well.
  • I have cancelled 3 purchases. 2 were mix ups where items i made and offer on were added after I paid the seller. The latter , most important is where a seller accepted offers, would not negociate a ship fee -(stated free if you met certain price) then became obnoxious. Instead of selling like 200 stamps- he sold zero to me. Be patient and help your buyer. Rudeness will not keep a buyer.
  • Michael Generali, you are my new seller Hero. well done. !!!
  • Hi Luree Hughes...Here is what you said QUOTE " "All requests for returns must be made within 7 days of receipt of merchandise." How would the seller know when the order has been delivered? And life does get in the way every now and again. But neither here nor there. My question is, how do we know when an order has been delivered? UNQUOTE "...I can answer you in 5 easy words as is done in ebay... YOU MUST USE USPS TRACKING!!!!! This way you eliminate the unscrupulous buyer that thinks they can get something for nothing by making a claim to get a refund when they really did receive the item and to show to Hipstamp and for your records the tracking number and hipstamp can easily go to the usps website and see for themselves the package was received...Now if it gets delivered to the place of receipt and another person signs for it and throws it out as they have had an arguement and want to be spiteful, that is not your fault...The tracking did its job... If the postman leaves it on the doorstep after it has been scanned and someone steals it, then you are not to blame as in the USPS website, it will say delivered...There are so many facets but the best way to eliminate any wrong doings is use tracking....You then have your butt covered so to speak... If a buyer disagrees with your shipping cost, then tell them not to buy.... or let them catch a flight to your city and you can meet up somewhere i the open with a lot of thoroughfare like a mcdonalds , burger king , walmart or the like... I am new in this site but been in ebay for almost 20 years...I have given this site a try as fleabay has gone way downhill ...OIO
  • I used to live in a large apartment complex that was served by an indifferent postman. For several years an occasional stamp purchase would fail to be delivered, even though the postal records showed delivery had been made. Several times the item was delivered one or two days AFTER the tracking showed delivery had been completed. I occasionally received mail delivered to the wrong box.

    I did complain, both verbally and in writing, to the local postal authorities, but never got more than a shrug of the shoulders, as they claimed that since it had been "delivered" they had no way of finding it. This happened at least a half dozen times over two years. It seems my local postman would scan all tracked items to be delivered to the 300+ unit complex as "delivered", and then put the items in the mailboxes (assuming he didn't keep them).

    Tracking of international mail did not guarantee delivery, either. I ordered a set of carrier stamps from a German company, only to have the order disappear en route. Ordered again from the same company. Disappeared en route again, but this time I was able to access the tracking, which showed the envelope was received for sorting in New York City. No other tracking points were ever added. It's possible the letter package went to the customs inspectors, but I was not ever able to confirm this.

    My point here is that tracking is all well and good when it works, but my experience has been that the US Postal Service could care less. I have never tried to claim a non-exisrent loss. When the order is received I occasionally find that items were missing (not sent) or fail to match the description. I send the seller an email detailing the problem, and about half the time the seller responds to it. Some promise to send the item, but, particularly with European sellers, they rarely do.

    I have had better luck with HipStamp sellers. While my orders are frequently short one or more items, I usually receive a refund before the shipment is even delivered. So far, I have no complaints about HipStamp sellers.
  • Keith , Dont think that it is just european post offices as i found the Australan post office to be just as bad ( if not worse ) ....That is why everything shipped by Australian dealers has to have registration... Our registration is like your ( USA ) certified items to give you an idea.... Like you, i contact the buyer once the package has been shipped and i also scan pictures of the package so they know what to expect..I assume you are a seller and you know that we can only go so far...I do believe the post office knows about negative remarks on sites like this but as they are stealing items and sellers are copping the flack for it, they dont care. Deep down i want to trust the collectors or buyers but it is the few thieves that ruin it for everyone...I am sure you have heard of the old saying " NOT TO SPIT IN THE WELL AS ONE DAY YOU MAY WANT TO TAKE A DRINK " I assure you i dont just scan packages and keep them on file for 7 years because i have nothing else to do..It is simply because of the few that think they can get away with not paying for a thing. And as is said on judge jusy, all is heresay...I want to have proof of what i say and that makes my claim solid so to speak... I am going to try this site out for a month as i am kind of nervous sending thing by normal mail,,,On top of that, if we pace not machinable, how do we know people working in the sorting dept ( night shift ) of the post office wont take care??? I guess i have been bitten too many times by people in ebay and it has left a bad taste.... I thank people that have replied to me to assure me most in here are nice people to do business with . I dont see the purpose of your orders being short of 1 or 2 items as it is bad advertising for the, seller...When you see my items, you will see i scan the back as well so no one can switch a lightly mounted item for my mint item...I have included in here a powerpointed picture of one i will be listing at 99c... Guess i cover all bases for a grand slam...lol At present i am scanning heaps of plate blocks that i can see on mystic stamp site to be over $3.50 each.... I will be listing up for 1.50 per item to sell on here just to give it a try..... I have nothing to lose but a bit of time and the $5 fees...regards Hal3c Bankers F PP
  • I think most of the short orders are caused by sellers listing the item on multiple sites but something caused the listings not to synchronize. So far, I think every HipStamp seller has responded to my inquiries regarding missing items. I used to order a fair amoun from Delcampe, but found the dealers rarely followed up on their numerous mistakes. Most never responded at all. My "favorite" was the dealer who advertised "200 Arabian stamps" together with an image showing half a dozen Saudi Arabians, as well as Kuwait, Bahrain, etc. The selection received contained 175 or so Trucial States (Ajman, Ras al-Khaima, etc.) as well as a bunch of Yemen (post 1963 Hashemite Kingdom) and "State of Oman" stamps. No Saudi Arabia at all. Delcampe management sided with the seller as the Trucials were, after all, located on the Arabian peninsula.

    I still use Delcampe as a backup choice if I can't find a specific issue on HipStamp, but. all in all, I'd rather find it here.
Sign In or Register to comment.