Here's my story. I got the new iPad mini for Christmas this year, so I decided to sell my iPad 2 because no one needs two iPads. The item sold on December 31st, which was great because I had a plan for what I was putting those funds towards.
I mail the iPad January 2, since the post office is closed New Year's Day and I get a message from the buyer... "You sent it to the wrong address, that is my sisters house." So I told the buyer that since it was her confirmed address and the only way to protect myself, even if she told me this earlier it was still going to that address for my protection since eBay "never" rules in favor of the seller. She says ok, my sister will mail it to me...
January 27: Buyer has opened a case. Really? No e-mail nothing, just opens a case. Suddenly my mint condition, perfectly working, barely used iPad "stop working after 3 use"... Yes, that was English. I asked if it was charged, if it was plugged in during a power surge, etc. I tried every which way to help despite not offering a return. I also looked up her eBay ID to see any other purchases recently, and she purchased the Square Trade Warranty on items up to $500. She bought it yet clearly didn't try to use it, if in fact there was a broken iPad sold to her.
January 30: Naturally eBay said she can return it. Wonderful. It was well documented that this iPad had traveled the world once I mailed it so I decided to one up this con artist. I called Apple and got the serial number confirmed for my iPad so that I would be certain it was mine coming back....
February 5: iPad arrives. I opened the box, it was well packed. The iPad box was completely crushed in one corner and that was not at all what was sent. I open the box, immediately notice a scratch that mine did not have. I check the serial number.... NOT THE ONE I SOLD. Nice try lady. So now I call eBay, explain the item is not what I sent her and that I have proof that I never owned this serial number iPad nor was it ever registered to my Apple ID or name. They put me on hold to contact the buyer and find out what is going on.... Guy gets back on the phone, says well third party shipping is not covered by eBay Buyer Protection so they are ruling in my favor and she gets nothing back.
While yes, it is great that I don't get screwed in the situation but what if it had gone directly to her, would I still have had a valid case with eBay? Their ruling is based on the 'ring around the rosey' shipping they did with the item not that she tried to pull a fast one. I'm happy to have won the case but I am annoyed that this person will likely do this to another person in the future with no repercussion unless the seller can prove with serial numbers what she did.
I know I shouldn't be annoyed about this anymore but it is still bugging me.
Moral of the story: If you sell any items with serial numbers, list them in the auction as proof so they can't bother even trying to pull a fast one. Luckily I had mine verified and both mine and the broken one sent to me were given to eBay for the case file.