eBay Retaining GST Paid on a Refunded Purchase

Hi OzBargain eBay experts,

I'll try to keep this brief. Sunday, I purchased 3 items (from importcds-au) totalling $61.90 and received 15% off for 2+ items, $9.29. After discount, the subtotal was $52.61. Sales Tax / GST* was $5.26, with the Final Amount $57.87

On Wednesday, I was e-mailed to let me know that one of the items was no longer available and was refunded $9.55 (Original Price was $11.24, discount on this was $1.69, after discount was $9.55).

After looking at the Order Details on eBay yesterday, they were updated to Subtotal $61.90, Item discount $9.29 and GST $5.26, total amount refunded $9.55.
I put this info on a spreadsheet of original price / discount price / GST paid and I believe that I've been charged the GST on an item that I won't receive. I went onto eBay chat and tried to explain this to their agent. They claimed that they had already refunded me the full amount for the item and that the charges that I was referring to were Import Charges. I always thought that these charges are simply the GST and eBay were required to collect the GST for the Australian Government. If this is the case, why are they refusing to refund me the GST portion on the item that was refunded?

Happy to be proven wrong, but I'm struggling to see where this might be.
TIA
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Comments

  • Try again. You're right.

    • Has this also happened to you? The last part of the chat said they would 'need to connect me to their specialised department as they handle such type of concern', but they were closed so they will get back to me via e-mail. I understand that it's less than $1, but if this happens multiple times on multiple transactions, who is getting the benefit, eBay or the Australian Government?

  • Yeah, you're right. Every now and then you will get an agent that doesn't know what they are talking about and will try to explain it away as something else.

    Ebay doesn't keep this money, it's held for the government. It was an issue for me quite a bit when this GST first came in on international orders and I'd always have to talk to agents to explain it repeatedly. Now the GST is always automatically refunded, but it's always seperately from the cost of the item so the refund is always in two parts.

  • Simply explain to the agent that since there's the item isn't being imported, you don't need to pay the 'import fees'.

    Avoid stating "GST" if the agent doesn't explicitly call it that, to minimise confusion

    • I purchased the items on eBay Australia, the postage was free and the Postage service was Economy delivery from outside AU. Having bought from this eBay store before, they aren't based in Australia. Hence why the GST was added for these items. Am I required to pay an additional Import Charge/Fee on top of the GST?

      • Am I required to pay an additional Import Charge/Fee on top of the GST?

        Not 100% sure, but I don't think so. As Freezies said, the GST might be an automatic separate refund that's already coming - but I have no experience to help much further, sorry

        Just making the point that the most reps are more effective when you dumb it down for them. Sometimes feigning ignorance ('But why/what about X') and making them explain the whole thing to you can work in your favour; they'll stumble onto the point you're actually trying to make, and investigate by themselves.