Help needed with Table Saw purchased on Ebay

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Established Member
4 Dec 2023
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Hi All,

I recently bought an old Startrite 275 off ebay from a reseller (see my post from a few weeks ago below).

Amongst many major issues not disclosed in the sell, I was also sent a very badly broken rip fence that bad partly been welded back together at some point. Not only this was not disclosed to me but also the pictures on the ebay sell showed a complete (non broken) rip fence - very obvious as the one on the picture is grey and I was sent a green one! I contacted the seller but he is not taking responsibility for it and forced me to open a claim/dispute with ebay/paypal.

The dispute would allow me to get some money back so I don't have to source and pay for replacement parts from my own pocket which adds up to approx. £400 (3/4 of what I paid for the table)....

Unfortunately despite picture evidences, Ebay is asking me to provide a document from a specialist/repair shop that explains the extent of the damage on the cast end. To make things difficult they are asking for a letter head document which includes name, number, seal and signature that clearly explains the extent of the damage.

By any chance, is there anyone on here who could help me with providing such a thing? It would be very grateful as it's not really a common Table Saw....
Machine Spares are generally a very helpful bunch. They may be able to help you from a photo.
I have been in touch with them and they did confirm by email that my rip fence is badly damaged. However Paypal wants an headed letter signed which I feel like might be a bit too much to ask...
Conor at Machine Spares Ltd has agreed to help. A true gentleman, can thank him enough.
I hope you get things sorted through eBay - it is interesting that they are at least engaging in the detail of the problem as in my experience they just offer a refund if you return something (at your expense).

If not, you still have the option of making a simple claim through the Money Claim Online service of the Courts (often called the Small Claims Court process). The key thing is that an eBay listing for an item listed as “used” has a quite detailed specification which states


An item that has been previously used. The item may have some signs of cosmetic wear, but is fully operational and functions as intended. This item may be a floor model or an item that has been returned to the seller after a period of use. See the seller’s listing for full details and description of any imperfections.

This is of course part of your contract because it forms part of the description given in the auction listing. So any imperfections have to be disclosed (most listings seem to ignore this).

Making a claim is quite straightforward and there is detailed guidance on how to do this. A key step is to try to resolve outside the court process, then before submitting a formal claim, you need to send a “Letter Before Action”, setting out the details. This should be enough to persuade the seller to settle, but if not, forms the basis of your claim.

If it proceeds to Court, you may find that the judge will accept the evidence you provide, but he/she may want some engineer’s report in the same way eBay are asking. I had this experience from a rather unhelpful judge, where I won my claim but he didn’t allow the full value for want of a report.

In any event, before you modify anything, keep a really good record of all the defects.

If do have to go down this route, get in touch - I am not a lawyer btw, but do have some practical experience of exactly this situation, so might have an outline letter that may help. eBay should help, but they do not act as legal arbiter.

Thanks all for your comments and help, Paypal has asked me to send the table back for a full refund. Am out of pocket by a couple of hundreds due to the return postage cost and a few parts I bought for that specific table but overall it's probably for the best.