Background - I bought a relatively expensive purse off eBay and it was shipped to me. Language indicated that it was either unused or very lightly used, so "like new condition".
It came in earlier than promised but the padded envelope was torn in one end with tape holding it shut. Some of the tape was stuck to the vinyl of the purse in three places and when it was peeled off (carefully) - it took the top layer of "patent leather finish" off in an area roughly the size of a pencil eraser (less than 1/4" or about 2 mm for the metrically minded). Not big - but a flat brown (base material under the vinyl) flaw on shiny black does kind of detract from the design details on the purse.
I contacted the seller with photos and she asked if I wanted a full refund & return it or a partial refund & keep it.
Next day, I sent her my decision (full refund & return it) and packed the thing up (original packing - but stapling the torn area & duct taping it before putting the purse into the padded mailer). I got back an email with a "keep it - I can't sell it in that condition" and a full refund notice from PayPal.
I *KNOW* that I owe her excellent feedback - I'm still trying to figure out exactly how to word it.
Should I also send her something for the item, possibly the postage charges? Or take her at her word and just keep it. I haven't decided if I want to try using it due to the flaw or not (again - flat brown shows up in an area where it is supposed to be shiny black patent).
I may consider a slightly higher amount to be sent back to her - based on if I am able to reattach vinyl around the tear that is loosened from the base (at this point - it would just start ripping more of the thin layer of black patent vinyl away if I tried using it and it rubbed against anything) and cover the flaw with something that hides or if I can do anything to repair it.
Ebay etiquette is complicated by good sellers, bad sellers, good buyers, bad buyers, people who are leaving feedback not clearly phrased (or even deliberately confusing due to eBay not allowing sellers to say anything bad about buyers - even if they don't pay, file loss reports, or otherwise get something for nothing). I want to continue to be a good buyer...and help build good feedback for someone who did go "above & beyond" on customer service. But without confusing future potential buyers...