Out Damned Spot
August 13, 2019 9:34 AM   Subscribe

Coat conundrum. Half stain-removal/ half eBay etiquette question.

So I just bought a jacket on eBay that I’ve wanted for awhile. This is it. It has a shearling collar, and when I received it there were minor stains there. It’s a caked on brown substance, almost like chocolate ice cream- with one fingerprint sized spot on one side of the collar, and a fine diffused spray on the other side. So, I have a couple questions here
1. What is the best way to get rid of this without ruining the shearling. Using a mild detergent and a toothbrush? Dry cleaning?
2. The jacket was decreased as in excellent condition with no flaws- do I ask the seller to cover the dry cleaning expense?
I have no idea what to do here. Help me, MeFites!
posted by Champagne Supernova to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (6 answers total)
Can you upload a photo of the stains? It can probably just be tooth-brushed off.
posted by DarlingBri at 9:38 AM on August 13

They sound really minor, and I think you would be washing anything you purchased second hand anyway, so PERSONALLY I would just clean it and move on. I highly doubt you would get a satisfying result by pursuing the seller in this.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:39 AM on August 13

Alternatively you can raise the situation with the seller, fully document and describe the stains, and how you are disappointed since they described it as being in great condition. You can be reasonable and tell them that you EXPECT them to come off easily, but if they don't you would expect for them to pay to have it cleaned (or shipped back to them with a full refund). That way it is documented that you aren't pleased, documented what the stains look like, but also shown that you are reasonable (ie. you're going to try cleaning it yourself to see if they go away). That way if you have to pursue something with Ebay in order to file for a refund you have it all documented.
posted by PuppetMcSockerson at 9:42 AM on August 13 [11 favorites]

For me, it would really depend on what I paid. If it was a screaming deal, I'd just clean it myself (spot handwash with diluted woolite). If I paid a significant amount and it was supposed to be in great condition without detail of the stains, I'd ask that the seller refund part of the sales price to cover cleaning and then, if they refused, I'd start a very well documented official Ebay dispute.
posted by quince at 10:33 AM on August 13 [1 favorite]

If that link is the listing for your jacket, then you paid $140 for an item that was promised to have no flaws. That would anger me.

Get some photos first of all, and send them to the seller. Ask them if they know what the stains might be, which will help you to get them out.

I'm not 100% on ebay timing, but can you ask ebay or Paypal to hold off on payment until this issue is resolved?

I would definitely not hesitate to knock off the cost of dry-cleaning from the total of the coat.

As for cleanup, another option might be to cut the stain out with some scissors. The actual texture of the collar, and the depth of the stain may preclude this, of course.
posted by hydra77 at 2:03 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]

Don't delay in contacting the seller, preferably with photo documentation of the stains. Unless you have decided that you want to return, ask the seller how they want to resolve the problem. Feedback is still important on eBay so sellers do try to resolve things to the buyer's satisfaction. Note that Paypal is also an avenue to resolve, if you paid through that service.
posted by uncaken at 2:34 PM on August 13 [1 favorite]

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