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Making Returns On eBay

(Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

(Credit: Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)

feldman_amy Amy Feldman
Amy E. Feldman is a business commentator and legal business...
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By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - How do you return something you bought on eBay?

Say you want to get your beloved that nose and ear hair trimmer he’s been pining for, but don’t really want to go to the mall where you know, you might be spotted buying it. You might choose to buy it on eBay, which has eight pages of listings of nose hair clippers, including my personal favorite, the one that advertises a “new nose and ear hair trimmer” with a helpful picture of a guy with the clipper up his nose.

But, if your beloved decides that he hates it – and you, by the way, for buying it – what does the law say about refunds for online purchases?

There is no federal law that requires online retailers to take returns.

On eBay, each seller has the right to set his or her own return policy, which you must accept when you make the purchase. So be sure to buy from a seller with a policy that you can live with. If the reason you want the return isn’t because you got a clue, but rather because the item was defective or not as advertised, then log onto your eBay account and email the seller by clicking the ‘ask a question’ tab and then ‘contact seller’ tab.

If, because of the defect or false advertising you can’t reach an agreement with the seller, you can involve eBay through its customer service to help you resolve the matter of the defective product. There is, sadly, nothing it can do to help you with your poor gift giving instincts.