If an Ebay buyer received a refund in full but did not return merchandise valued at $500, what is my remedy?

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If an Ebay buyer received a refund in full but did not return merchandise valued at $500, what is my remedy?

Buyer in (CA) claimed that merchandise was damaged when received. Ebay issued refund in full ($450 + $50 S/H). Buyer has not turned items to USPS so that I may be reimbursed through insuranceThe USPS has since denied the claim due to the time that has passed. Ebay and Paypal say, “case was closed”. MI police (my residence) say it is not worth their while to investigate; CA police say this is an internet crime and there is nothing that they can do. I have sent certified letter to seller asking that she return items. She signed but never responded. Next step?

Asked on April 16, 2011 under Bankruptcy Law, Michigan

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You could try to sue the buyer; under the law, if someone rejects delivered merchandise, she is supposed to return it to the seller in exchange for receiving her money back. However, as a practical matter, it may not be worth it to sue a CA buyer for $500--the cost and inconvenience of suing might easily outweight anything you'd  recover. Your best bet may be to speak to your accountant or tax preparer about whether you can take the $500 as a tax loss, which will at least provide a partial offset for what you are out of pocket. Unfortunately, small claims are often not worth pursuing, even when you are in the right and should have a legally entitlement to compensation.


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