Help! I Just Bought a Fake Item on eBay

What to do if you become a victim?

You have done your best to verify the gorgeous pair of sunglasses that you have had your eye on for months. You followed all the hints and tips you could find, you asked all the questions you could possibly have thought of and yet when your parcel from eBay arrives in the mail, you instantly realise something is wrong. The sunglasses feel cheap, they are cheap, they are not genuine.

You get that feeling in the pit of your stomach. You feel sick, angry and a fool all at once. Now what?

Verify that your item is definitely a fake or replica.

Unless something is truly obvious, making this verification unnecessary, my best advice here is to seek out an expert.

  • Search for your item on the internet and compare photographs.
  • Take your sunglasses, or what ever item it is you have purchased to a brand name shop, or try contacting the manufacturer via their website, or give them a call via a customer service number.
  • Maybe you know someone who has the same brand name item and you can get a second opinion from.
  • Even if you cannot verify, don’t give up.

Immediately contact the seller.

  • Send the seller on eBay an email – eBay keep a track of all correspondence so this will be in your favour too.
  • Your first instinct will be to send them a rude email, and rightly so, but just sit on it for a minute.
  • Keep all postbags / boxes or packaging materials and take photographs yourself of the item because if/when the time comes to post it back you will have proof.
  • Sit tight and await a reply.
  • It is also a good idea to send an email to eBay too, quoting the item number and item title, and advise them of the actions you have taken.

If the seller replies, offering a full refund, return it with registered post

If the seller does not reply, or replies refusing to accept a refund, send one further email. Slightly more blunt. Again this will be tracked via eBay as long as the email is sent from your eBay account, from within eBay itself.

Send a second email.

  • Give them the benefit of the doubt one last time (even though you will not like to be doing so).

Register a complaint with eBay

  • If you still have no luck coming to any agreement with the seller, it is time to register a complaint stating that the item received ‘did not match the seller’s description’. The seller has 7 days to respond. In no reply has been received at that point, contact eBay customer service regarding eBay’s buyer protection.

If you paid by PayPal

  • Contact PayPal to register for the PayPal Buyer Protection within 45 days.

Hot Tip

eBay have an online chat service available. Take advantage of it if you want instant advice. This way you can have it on record too.