eBay Buyer Asks - Item Not Received Or Missing Pieces?

Liz Morton ~ Founder
Liz Morton ~ Founder


An eBay buyer who is also a seller recently had a disappointing experience when buying from Best Buy's official eBay store.

Re: Purchase from major retailer arrived missing parts Now they’re trying to get me to break eBay po
wrote: Inside the box was one of the three items that was supposed to be in it. Well eBay has no interest in resolving this. They want me to commit what I am pretty sure is mail fraud by sending an empty box back for a refund. Indeed, eBay stated here that “Missing parts or pieces” is the corr…

Fun one as a buyer. Bought some stuff from a major retailer on eBay. Somewhere down the line one of the carriers either damaged the package or decided to steal from it. When I received it the fiberglass reinforced paper tape had been modified, and someone had re-taped it poorly with some clear packing tape. Inside the box was one of the three items that was supposed to be in it.

It was shipped UPS Surepost. I have already contacted my local post office and they are looking into it on their end. UPS refuses to do anything for me since I am not the shipper. Also apparently UPS takes no responsibility for deliveries they don't handle 100% of the way.

Opened a return for "Missing parts or pieces" since that was the relevant option. I explained what happened and supplied pictures. Two days later I get this wonderful message:

"I am sorry about your missing item but you will need to file an INR, Item Not Received Report and eBay will investigate and advise."

Funny thing is this advice would be a violation of eBay's policies regarding filing false claims. I received the package with tracking confirmation. INR cases are for when you don't get your purchase. I kinda wonder if the seller just doesn't know how things work, or they are trying to cheat me out of a resolution. Even if an INR case was the right option it would just close in the seller's favor since tracking shows delivery.

In the end I get why any seller would be skeptic. They have no way to know if I am a lying liar, or an honest buyer. I'm curious on how this will play out though. I may not agree with how Amazon runs their site, but if I would have bought from Amazon this would have been instantly resolved. I may have even gotten the missing stuff replaced within the two days I waited for a response.

Gwzcomps is absolutely right that if they had filed an Item Not Received claim, most likely it would have been closed in the seller's favor as soon as the tracking with a delivery scan was provided.

Other community members backed them up on their thinking about how to handle this situation.

You are right on the point. Since the package was received, this would be a Not As Described case, not an Item Not Received. But if they succeeded in getting an unwary buyer to follow their instructions, they would be off the hook, wouldn't they? Are you going to proceed with an NAD since the seller isn't making this right? They have completely sidestepped the issue and instead of taking responsibility for the problem, they are saying somehow this is an eBay matter. Not good.

However, Best Buy did not respond to the request and the buyer had to escalate to eBay, at which point they were told they had to send something back to get a refund - but what were they supposed to send, an empty box for the 2 of 3 items ordered that they didn't receive?

With the two responses of people suggesting I send the one item I got back I am wondering if people are confused on what I bought. I bought a quantity of 3 items not a lot of 3 items. I received only one of the three items I paid for. I am not sending back the one I paid for when I am only filing the NAD case for the two that are missing.

Since they had not received any assistance from either the seller or eBay, they took to the weekly chat to ask for help.

eBay is trying to pretend they are "the" place to go for new and certified refurbished items. Yet despite all this eBay is literally the worst place to buy said items.In a recent purchase from a major retailer, eBay has proven eBay isn’t the place to go.

I purchased a quantity of 3 items (Not a lot of 3) and only received 1 item. This was due to the carrier opening the package in transit. When opening the appropriate return case for “missing parts and pieces” the seller told me they would only help me if I opened an “item not received’ case. Not only is that the wrong option, but would be a violation of the policy regarding filing false claims.

The seller has refused to resolve my issue and I was forced to escalate the claim. Now eBay’s automated system is telling me to send back the two items I never received?!?! Seems if I open a “missing parts and pieces” common sense would dictate there is nothing to send back.

Now I don’t know what to do. Also I am not sure how this aligns with eBay’s goals to be "the" place to go for new and certified refurbished items.

Tyler@eBay responded, stating that an Item Not Received case would have been the proper way to handle this situation.

Hi @gwzcomps - that's a really frustrating experience. Based on the information you have shared with me, an INR is the more appropriate route to go. To recap:

You purchased multiples of the same single-quantity item number (ie: the listing was for one widget and you purchased quantity 3) and received some, but others were missing. An Item not Received request for the missing items is the correct way to go in that scenario.

Because you've already opened a return request for a different reason I'd strongly recommend working with CS on the situation so they can review and resolve it for you.

I realize that this process is confusing and I've shared this input in the past, but will do so again using your example. Thanks!

Gwzcomps pointed out the obvious fact that every seller knows, an INR case would have been automatically closed with tracking showing delivery for all 3 items.

So why have a missing parts and pieces option then? If I open an INR case I will automatically lose it since tracking shows delivery.

tyler@ebay Double checked the policy and INR is for not receiving your purchase altogether, not missing items based on my interpretation of the wording.


If your item hasn't arrived yet it may still be in transit, so the first thing to do is to check the delivery information. You can find your order's delivery information in your Purchase history. You'll be able see the item's expected delivery date, and the address it's being shipped to.

After the chat closed, preventing further responses, Tyler said:

Hi @gwzcomps - I definitely see why this is confusing, and this is input I've shared with the right folks. Based on what you have described the appropriate request to have opened was an INR.

Gwzcomps posted the following update on their original thread, showing they did not even have the option to have opened an INR case.

Here are the options I have/had:


Interestingly enough the option for Item Not Received is not available on a purchase where tracking shows delivered. This explains why I haven't seen an INR case on delivered items in a while personally.

Side note. IMO this further confirms that I am not confused on what I should have done tyler@ebay .

eBay's escalation department also told Gwzcomps that in order to take advantage of the eBay Money Back Guarantee, they would need to return the one item that was received - which is ridiculous considering the original claim was only for the 2 items that were not received.

Ultimate they simply filed a chargeback with their credit card company for the amount of the 2 missing items, since eBay support was unable to assist in finding an easy solution to the problem.

It's unfortunate that poor support from both Best Buy and eBay put a buyer in this position and even more unfortunate that eBay has no clear path for easy resolution.

By all logical definitions, this probably should be an Item Not Received scenario because in fact 2 of the 3 items were not received. However, eBay's handling of INR cases by only looking at whether or not the tracking number provided has a delivery scan leaves buyers in a difficult position, just like the long standing "same zip code" scam where sellers send an empty box or small, cheap item to any address in the buyer's zip code and use that as "proof of delivery" to win an INR claim.

Instead, it's just another embarrassing example of how eBay has utterly failed in their promise to "fix customer support."

What Happened To eBay Customer Support?
eBay promised in 2017 the support experience was changing to be less complex & more consistent - what happened?