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P. Simmons
P. Simmons, Lawyer
Category: Consumer Protection Law
Satisfied Customers: 33069
Experience:  16+ yrs. of legal experience.
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I sold a system on ebay to a customer and they had an issue

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I sold a system on ebay to a customer and they had an issue with the amplifier. Unfortunately, many consumers are very unreasonable with expectations, so sellers sometimes have to do extra things to help out. The ebay feedback system has made it nearly impossible to run your business the way it should be as you are at the mercy of the buyer and their feedback system. Example; If I said we could not ship out a replacement amp until we receive the new one, the customer would potentially ruin our feedback ratings and leave us a negative because we would not do that. This is very unethical for ebay to force such a hostile environment on responsible sellers.

We ended up shipping out a replacement amp because the customer had a critical show to do. Now the customer has two amps and is now not replying to anymore of our emails/phone calls. giving us the impression that he is going to keep the amp.

What recourse do I have? Out of principal alone, I would gladly file a small claims suit where he lives. We are in Ohio, he is in IL. I would even travel there for the date of the court hearing. My question is: Can I do a small claims suit that seeks not only the cost of the amplifier (We do not want it back after 30days to begin with, that is not fair to us). Can we also seek damages for having to travel to their state, the amount of aggravation it causes, etc.
Thanks for the chance to help. I am an attorney with over 12 years experience. Hopefully I can help you with your legal question.

You can certainly file a small claims case. The great thing about small claims is that it is a true "peoples court". The formal rules of evidence and procedure do not apply...so you can do it yourself.

Since the defendant is in IL you would have to file in IL (in the county where he lives)

And you can not sue for your legal costs, including travel costs...you have to cover your legal costs yourself, unless you have a specific agreement otherwise (and if you used Ebay you will not have such an agreement unless you made that agreement in your correspondence leading up to the transaction)


I am very sorry to have to bear bad news.

Please let me know if you have more questions...happy to assist if I can
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thanks, XXXXX XXXXX been busy. I have heard that if a consumer gets a raw deal, that they can seek other damages, is this correct? And if so, why would it not be the same for a seller that has a consumer doing basically the same shady things in return. Thanks again.

What you describe is, in essence, a contract claim. You had a contract, the other party breached it.

Under contract law you can sue for "foreseeable damages"

Foreseeable damages are damages "reasonably foreseeable" by the party entering into a contract.

That is why you can not seek legal fees (unless you agree to them in the contract)

There is no "'other damages"...there are other types of damages, for example, "punitive damages" can be awarded in tort claims to punish a wrongdoer for their reckless conduct. But punitive damages will not apply under contract law.

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