Ebay debacle..Was I Wrong? What Say You?

Around Christmas, the kid wanted a The North Face Denali jacket. After looking in Sports Authority, which did not have the size or was sold out at all stores in the area,( I posted about my tendency to procrastinate so ummm yeah) I turned to eBay. I've been using eBay for years and years and have never had a problem. My experiences have always been positive( even the time that I won an auction that requested payment be made in money orders only) so I had no qualms about finding a jacket there.

After browsing several listings, the majority of which used stock photos of the jacket, I was thrilled to come across an auction for the jacket in the size that I was looking for although not the color. The listing used an actual photo of the jacket and the seller had 100% positive feedback as well which was a plus in my book. I swooped in at the last minute and won the auction for about $80 including shipping. In the store, the jacket costs anywhere from $99 to $169 so I was thrilled...I mean who doesn't love a bargain?

Image used in  eBay auction  that I won
I was notified that I won the auction and that the jacket was already boxed and ready to go. I received it in about a week and was happy that it arrived so quickly. I don't remember what I was looking for concerning the jacket but whatever it was, led me to a post on eBay that claimed this particular jacket was the most counterfeited on eBay.  It also included a link to a site that prides itself on informing the public on the counterfeiting problem specifically with The North Face brand, so I joined the site and came across a variety of things to look for to help determine whether or not the jacket that I received was real. Chalk it up to my naivete, but I had no idea that one could even counterfeit this jacket.  I even visited the store and compared the jacket I received with the jackets there and needless to say I was far from pleased. Deep down, I knew my jacket was most likely  counterfeit so I paid to ship the jacket to The North Face Company to have it authenticated and about 10 days later, I received a letter from them saying that the jacket was counterfeit and not one of their own.

I  initially thought that it could've been possible that the seller may not have known the jacket was fake or that they may have purchased it from eBay and then resold it which in any event, they are still liable. I emailed the seller and asked where the jacket was purchased and was told, Saks Fifth Avenue Outlet. If that was the case, if the jacket didn't fit, she would have known that when she tried it on or at the very least, could have returned it to the store for a refund couldn't she? In any event, I phoned PayPal and filed a dispute. I was informed  after the fact that PayPal reps have no way of filing a dispute so by choosing to file my dispute by phone, it was automatically escalated to a claim totally bypassing the dispute stage  as well as the opportunity to work it out with the seller.   I would have been willing to send it back (if asked) but when I was told it would be at my expense that was out of the question.

Once I was told the jacket was purchased at Saks Outlet (which does not sell counterfeit jackets) ...I ceased all communication with the seller as suggested by the website.

Image used in additional Auction won by someone else
I had to fax in documents, affidavits, and the like and in the end PayPal decided in my favor and I received a refund. I also did some digging and saw that the seller sold another jacket with the auction ending the same day. My listing stated it was being sold because it didn't fit and was too small, the other auction stated that she ordered a large and was sent a medium and customer service took too long to answer the phone so she decided to sell it on eBay instead *insert eye roll here*

Anyway, as suggested on the site, I left negative feedback and received this email last night. ( a week after leaving the feedback.)
That's pretty darn bad of you to post negative feedback about the north face jacket. You never once contacted me about the problem. you just went on to file a claim. I did not know the jacket was fake. (if it really is) I bought the jacket from an outlet store. I assumed it was real. For all I know, the jacket is real. no one told me how you proved anything. I think you know I didn't know it was fake and for you to post negative feedback was wrong!!!!

to which I responded:

Not only was my leaving negative feedback NOT wrong but it was warranted. You sold a counterfeit jacket and told PayPal that it was real. You sold another "Denali" as well using a similar image and that one is probably fake as well. I asked u where u bought the jacket and u said Saks Fifth avenue outlet. I contacted them and they DO NOT sell counterfeit jackets which led me to believe that u knowingly sold at least one and more likely than not, 2 fakes. If these jackets didn't fit or were the wrong size for u and your husband (as u stated in the auctions) why not return them to the store for money back or a different size, why sell them on ebay and possibly take a loss on your purchase price? The fact that customer service took too long to answer the phone so you sold them on ebay doesn't wash. I spent a lot of money proving the jacket was counterfeit( even though there were numerous and obvious signs of fraud) and in addition to that, ended up purchasing an authentic North Face Denali from an authorized retailer ( which cost even more money) so YES, Negative feedback was deserved and rightfully so. (I also noticed that the excessive duck tape on the box was used to cover up the fact that at one time you were the recipient of said box.) Once the jacket was proven to be counterfeit, I was under no obligation to communicate with you at all as at that point, the selling of the jacket became a criminal offense. The North Face company asked for any and all information pertaining to this sale including your name and address and any pertinent information that I may have because they are concerned with protecting the integrity of their brand so there is no "IF" about it, the Jacket was DEFINITELY fake. Considering the fact that I was encouraged to file a complaint with IC3 and the police, as well as provide North Face with the requested info concerning the sale, you got off relatively easy with my choosing to only leave Negative feedback!

I think I had every right to handle  the situation in the manner that I did..what say you...was I wrong?

Getting it right,


i think you handled it well. May I ask why you didn't try to resolve it with the seller first?

I had no clue how to handle this situation as I've never had to file a claim before concerning an eBay purchase. I just followed the steps listed on the website listing step by step what to do if you purchased a counterfeit. The site was adamant about not contacting the seller as they would learn of the claim through paypal anyway. Their reasoning was that you cannot reason with a "criminal".

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