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Dispute raised 174 days after date of purchase


Dispute raised 174 days after date of purchase

Hi there


On December 31st 2020 I sold a brand new, sealed mobile phone on eBay, on 23rd June 2021 the buyer raised a dispute saying the item was significantly different to how it was described, citing "item is malfunctioning and not working and keeps on freezing".


Now since the item has been used for over 5 months (it's 174 days from the item being purchased and dispute being opened) it's highly likely these issues (if they exist) could've been caused by the user, dropped, water damage, resource issues (storage space, RAM etc).


I sent across images taken of the device prior to sending that shows the sealed phone box and another picture of the serial number / phone description on the box.


I asked the buyer if they'd contacted the manufacturer of the phone to troubleshoot the issue, but they just escalated this to PayPal without a reply. In my first reply I also sent across the original proof of purchase so the buyer could deal with this directly with the manufacturer as it's still within warranty.


This sniffs like a scam to me, just under the 180-day cut off time for disputes to be raised on PayPal and no comms back from the buyer since opening the dispute.


So I guess my questions are...


1/ What's the best course of action, obviously I don't want to accept the return because the device has been used for 5+ months and I have proof that the item sent was brand new and sealed.


2/ Has anyone else been in a similar situation and what was the outcome?


Many thanks