There is so much in this thread! Wow! To the original poster: Open an Unpaid Item Claim and allow that to play out. Actually, you should have Unpaid Item Assistant turned on and let Ebay open a claim for you after 4 days. IN the latter case Ebay sends a message to the buyer and lets them know that they, Ebay, have opened the claim for the Seller and that makes it less adversarial. If you send a Second Chance Offer prior to this being resolved, the original buyer can pay and demand the item. Since you won't have the item you will likely get a negative feedback. Open the claim and if he pays then he pays. If he doesn't pay after 4 days you close the claim, can then send a Second Chance Offer and the original buyer is blocked from leaving any feedback. The block sometimes fails and if that happens you simply call Ebay and they will remove any negative feedback in that case.
As to this issue with PipersSon I have to say that most of what I see in those photos is insignificant, would never be seen by anyone, and would not have any impact on their use. A 40-50% discount, if that is what was requested, for those minor issues seems ridiculous to me. The most important thing stated by the buyer is that the uppers are perfect and THAT is what will be seen. That itsy bitsy tiny mark on the heel? Wear them one time outside and watch what the heel looks like. In a case like that, I would likewise offer a full refund and take them back. I would never offer a discount because of such nit-pickity things. That said, if those minor issues were not disclosed I would pay return shipping, just to make the buyer completely happy and avoid negative feedback. Since the guy has now posted here, has gone to the trouble of posting photos and making his case, you can pretty much kiss any chance of positive or no feedback being left so what would really be the point of going above and beyond what Ebay requires? He can demand return shipping all he wants but neither Ebay or Paypal require such so he won't get it.
"Oddly, they were shipped Parcel Post, no signature confirmation, (in other words, if I claimed I never got them, without signature confirmation for over $250, I would have gotten a full refund back regardless of whether I sent them back or not) when it would have been cheaper to send them Priority Mail in a flat rate box."
This is why my father only ships items with Priority Mail, Insurance, and Delivery/Signature Confirmation, depending on the declared value for insurance (over $200 automatically gets a signature, $200 or under requires Signature Confirmation). That said, that you would even suggest you are somehow honest while simultaneously suggesting you could have claimed you never got the shoes tells me all I need to know here. What a complete prick!
PipersSon, this guy is going to hit you with a negative. You cannot get around it. Don't give him what Ebay/Paypal do not require, return shipping, when you are about to get hit with a negative. You offered a refund from the beginning, but he obviously liked the shoes, wanted to keep them, but figured out through this site that you had gotten them at a steep discount and so he wanted to get them for a discount, too. Screw him!
I saw this same thing in another thread yesterday on a pair of shoes someone sold that he had purchased at a Thrift store. He probably paid under $10 for the shoes and listed them on Ebay for $500. So what? The shoes were Silvano Lattanzi Shell Cordovan and norvegese welted to boot! They are worth the $500 he listed them for. He is under no obligation to either 1. Pass that information on to any buyers (i.e. I got them in a thrift store for a couple of bucks) or 2. Pass on the savings. Actually, at $500, I think he is passing on the savings because they are worth much more than that!
This guy is pissed off because he believes, because of information he has gleaned from this site, that you got the shoes at a significant discount and so that somehow means you are taking advantage of him. You owe him no explanation as to where you got the shoes, what price you paid, or under what circumstances. But when you post that information here some of these more sophisticated buyers will find that information out and then use it against you. That is what this guy is doing and it galls me that he comes on this site and asks for judgment of the posters here when it is because of this site that he found out information he otherwise never would have known. You want my judgment? Return the shoes, leave the guy positive feedback for making you whole, he should then refund return shipping, and then you will have redeemed yourself. Leave him a negative for this and I ask PipersSon to please post this guys buyer's account name so other sellers here can block him from bidding. Clearly, he is using this site for information and then making demands based on that information. Protect yourselves.
If he leaves you positive feedback for making him whole then I would pay the return shipping, separately. If he returns the item and gives you negative, then I would only give him what is required. I suspect, based on his nit picky post here and low-life veiled threat that he could have kept the item since you shipped it Parcel Post, you are going to get a negative no matter what. It happens sooner or later to everyone so don't let it get you down.
Okay, much more than I started out to say, but the more I read that post the angrier it made me. Sorry.