I think I'm done with ebay/paypal - Jemsite
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 11:37 PM Thread Starter
 
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I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Sorry for the rant, but just a head's up for people that use ebay/paypal as maybe you can learn from my mistakes.

I've been a member on ebay since 1999 and have bought and sold a lot of things and never had any problems until recently. Most people seem to be honest and I've had a good run, but after getting burned twice in 2 weeks my attitude has changed.

I recently sold 2 things internationally (different buyers, different countries) within a 2 week time frame totaling about $500 USD. Both packages were sent via USPS first class mail, and in both cases USPS has no idea where either package is.

The problem is this, 1)USPS doesn't offer tracking or insurance on any first class international package, and 2)ebay/paypal automatically sides with the buyer on any claims if he simply says he never got a package. So long story short, all a buyer needs to do is talk you into shipping first class and then regardless of whether or not they got the package they can request a refund through ebay/paypal and they will receive a refund no questions asked. As a seller the only way you are protected is if you use their stupid global shipping program.

In my particular case I had a buyer message me through ebay's messaging system requesting I remove global shipping and that I ship to him first class mail because ebay shipping was too expensive and the taxes/fees were too high. I also have him requesting in writing that I put a fabricated amount on the customs forms to keep import fees/taxes low. I have all of this IN WRITING. So even though I held up my end of the deal, used the shipping method OF HIS CHOICE, sent a tracking number, etc, and he agreed to accept the risk of no insurance/limited tracking, ebay/paypal still sided with the buyer....and they WILL do so 100% of the time.

They basically told me in order to be protected as a seller i need to use their global shipping. I asked them to consider the emails he sent through THEIR messaging system, his requests and acceptance of the risks, etc. They basically told me all of that was meaningless and would not be considered when the case was "reviewed". I use that term loosely because I don't think it actually is reviewed...there is no real review or human assessment of the situation or circumstances. It's black and white....either you used global shipping and they have the proof that he has the package, or no.

So, I highly advise people to either use ebay global for all international shipping, or do not ship internationally at all. It appears the global shipping is grossly expensive to buyers so it may not even be worth offering international sales to begin with. Personally for all domestic sales going forward I'm going to start putting signature confirmation on everything as well. As for USPS....I'm done. 2 packages disappear into thin air in a 2 week span and nothing anyone i can do about it. Even if it IS delivered they would have no idea and no proof for me to provide ebay....and with ebay's policy it's basically a recipe for free stuff. If i'm going to pay USPS expensive express or international priority rates to cover myself i might as well go with FedEx or UPS and get better service, so i really no longer have a use for USPS.

I still think most buyers are probably honest but unfortunately after getting burned for a significant amount of money i'm not going to take any more chances. I can see that being a nice guy and trying to help sometimes can come back and bite you in the ass and it's just not worth it.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-26-2014, 11:41 PM
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

To be honest this has nothing to do with ebay or Paypal but your choice to ignore common sense and only ship in a way the seller is protected. If you had followed the rules you wouldn't have had a problem. You can't blame ebay or Paypal for siding with the buyer.
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 01:15 AM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Yep, Im with rich. It sucks the packages went missing but you made some pretty nooby mistakes imo.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 06:58 AM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

+1 on Rich's comment.

I agree that it sucks, but there's a reason they have policies/programs like that in the first place.
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 07:25 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Yes, I know noow I should have covered by myself better. But you are making an assumption the package is missing. According to USPS it is still within the normal transit time and still could very likely still arrive at it's destination. Ebay allows you to open a case early enough that the package could still arrive, and without full trace-ability from the USPS you are basically giving your goods away if a buyer is dishonest. Second, I'm sorry but if a buyer states in writing that they are assuming the responsibility for an uninsured package then that should mean something. In understand there are "rules" in place to protect people, but there is no "rule" that says you have to use their global shipping program. I guess my assumption was that there would actually be an investigation and the case and a decision would be made taking everything into account (i.e. all communications, etc). But the simple fact is it that it is black and white and they really don't care if the buyer states something in an email saying they will assume risk of an uninsured package.

Furthermore, for one of the transactions the buyer was able to immediately escalate to a claim before i even had a chance to respond. I was supposed to have 10 days, but when i got home after being away for 3 days it was already sitting in the "pending decision" phase and there was a note in the transaction saying the money would be returned. When i called to ask what that meant they said no decision has been made and that if i wanted to provide info to paypal i could email them on the side. Email them on the side...what happened to being able to respond to the case in away that has my notes and artifacts attached to the case? I have no confidence an email on the side will be looked at. It is not right that they didn't give me an opportunity to respond nor is it appropriate for them to make a comment on the transaction prior to a decision being made. I questioned why the transaction said something about funds being returned and she said have an answer....she could only say not to worry because i decision hadn't been made and not to look at that statement. Conveniently enough within 30 minutes after my phone call the case was officially closed. So much for giving the seller an opportunity to respond as their "rules and policies" state.

So that's fine...i understand I was stupid and should have protected myself better; lesson learned. I'm not here to have people feel sorry for me or take my side...none of it matters...it's done. It's more of a warning to anyone who has ever shipped anything USPS first class (and I'm sure I'm not the only one). If you have a dishonest buyer (which to be fair may or may not be the case for me...it's too soon to tell) you are giving your stuff away for free because there is no investigation....it all comes down to whether or not the person said they got the package. In fact, I'm willing to bet even for priority packages without signature that a buyer could still file a claim for those....afterall confiramation of delivery does not necessarily mean it ended up in the buyer's hands...it could have been delivery to the wrong house right?

Last edited by pwsusi; 08-27-2014 at 07:39 AM.
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 11:12 AM
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Somebody has started this same thread every year since I've been here, usually because they lost a guitar.

There is no gray area with the rules, of course you lost immediately. You did not ship with tracking and insurance, period. You have to be able to PROVE the buyer received the purchase, or you lost, immediately. When there is no tracking, you've lost, immediately. It doesn't matter what you would have explained, it doesn't matter what the buyer asked, it's up to you to follow the rules. If you don't, and there's a claim, you've lost, immediately.

The system is setup the way it is for a reasons. Follow the rules and you're covered, otherwise if there's a claim, you're not.

I put a $50 cap on "trust" on first class mail, as long as the buyer understands if it doesn't arrive it was his choice and the loss is his. I've had one Paypal claim in the last 3 years for lost international first class. Over $50 and it's registered or express only, and over $100 it's express only. If the buyer thinks it's too much then they can pay me CASH, friends and family, gift, etc, and I'll ship first class, because they have no recourse if it gets lost. If they don't want to do any of the above then they can find another source, simple as that.

If it's delivered to the wrong house is when the buyer gets screwed by the same system. As long as it tracks and is confirmed delivered, it doesn't matter where it was delivered, the seller is protected and the buyer is screwed.
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 11:23 AM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Quote:
Originally Posted by pwsusi View Post
but after getting burned twice in 2 weeks my attitude has changed.

I recently sold 2 things internationally (different buyers, different countries) within a 2 week time frame totaling about $500 USD. Both packages were sent via USPS first class mail, and in both cases USPS has no idea where either package is.
The thing is, those packages might not actually be lost at all and might just be sitting in customs in the buyer's country.

Let's assume for a sec the buyer is not a liar. If it literally was all within a 2 week period like you describe, that's way too soon file a claim for non-receipt of package. Sounds like these buyers were impatient and that was a dick move to file so early.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 12:25 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Quote:
Somebody has started this same thread every year since I've been here, usually because they lost a guitar.

There is no gray area with the rules, of course you lost immediately
My point exactly. It may not be clear to people that it's so black and white. It wasn't clear to me, and the fact that the thread keeps reappearing means it's not clear to others. It is not like our judicial system where we have rules and we have courts to interpret the rules. With ebay/paypal it is black and white. It's their site and TOS so they can do whatever they want, I'm fine with that. But I don't have to agree with them and can choose whether or not I want to be a part of it. It's my fault and I accept the loss, but between this and the 10% ebay fees plus paypal fees I'm not so sure it's worth it anymore. Plus the fact that they didn't give me a chance to respond to the claim leaves a sour taste in my mouth. It seems for some reason that particular rule wasn't so black and white for some reason. I'm also curious how black and white their rules are when it comes to items not received as advertised...seems those types of issues wouldn't be so black and white and not sure I want to put myself out on a limb if a seller could potentially get hit with that type of claim.

Quote:
You did not ship with tracking and insurance, period. You have to be able to PROVE the buyer received the purchase, or you lost, immediately. When there is no tracking, you've lost, immediately.
But there IS tracking. It's just useless.

Sure, it may be obvious to someone who is in business or does a lot of selling online, but for the average Joe who occasionally puts something up for sale it may not be as obvious. Sure it's my fault and now I know better, but it's not like I tied the package to a pigeon's foot or something. Purchasing a "first class" label through ebay's website and getting a tracking number for it gives a false sense of security. The fact that the tracking number you get with the "first class" package is absolutely meaningless and useless is something I did not know. The other thing that doesn't sit well is there is no way to purchase insurance when creating the label online this way. So they're encouraging you to use their system yet not giving you the tools you need to protect yourself.

Quote:
It doesn't matter what you would have explained, it doesn't matter what the buyer asked, it's up to you to follow the rules. If you don't, and there's a claim, you've lost, immediately.
I may be parsing words here but I did follow the rules, it's just that I left myself exposed because guarantees are more black and white than I thought. Maybe I'm old school but I tend to think that someone's written word acknowledging responsibility for an uninsured package means something. Apparently someone's written word is meaningless on ebay. Again, that's fine...it's their site, but seller beware.

Quote:
I put a $50 cap on "trust" on first class mail, as long as the buyer understands if it doesn't arrive it was his choice and the loss is his.
Well you can say all day long "it was his choice and the loss is his" but this is exactly what I did. Just like me the fact of the matter is you will lose the paypal case every time if someone files a claim no matter how many times or how many ways you say it is their loss. It's wise to put a cap on trust like you said, but even that can add up. In my case it's not like i put a $500 item in the mail with no insurance, my losses were spread across 3 different paypal transactions over a two week span. This wasn't a big item like a guitar, three smaller items that just so happen to all result in claims.

Last edited by pwsusi; 08-27-2014 at 12:32 PM.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 12:35 PM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Umm that tracking works fine. You check the tracking using the receipiant country's national postal service site once it gets there. I have had like $100,000+ in gear shipped to me with USPS and have never had a problem. Im in Canada too.
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 12:40 PM
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Tracking international first class 99% only tracks until the export point, and that's it. Some may track into Canada, some somewhere else. If it can't be tracked it can't be proved to be delivered.

I understand the rules very well. Anytime I put myself at risk I want to know exactly what the risks are. Which is why the $50 cap. And 1 loss of a claim in many thousand sales is an acceptable loss to be able to provide a customer with the cheap first class option.

Paypal/ebay rules on "not as described" are black and white also. It's pretty much this. If you don't like it for any reason you can claim not as described and you can return it for a full refund, minus your cost to ship it back. You don't have to prove it's not as described, you just have to claim it isn't. Yes, the seller looses the shipping he paid to send it, and yes, none are happy about it.

There is no perfect system, there never will be, but it's very well setup to protect buyer and seller, if you follow the rules. If you don't you're asking to be at risk of the loss.
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post #11 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 12:44 PM
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stealthtastic View Post
You check the tracking using the receipiant country's national postal service site once it gets there. .
If you can find that and prove it's delivery then you have that claim response period to supply that information. Find the online mail tracking for, say, Slovenia for me, or, Chile. There are no English versions of those sites I'd bet, and wouldn't expect Paypal to do any translating of any tracking information if it could be found. It's simple, use their US based tracking or don't ship something you're not willing to take the loss on.
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post #12 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 02:25 PM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Most countries in Europe are fine too. Just make sure you get signature confirmation. It just sucks when Americans refuse to sell to me because they think its impossible to track items in Canada lol.
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post #13 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 03:08 PM
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

If by most you mean Slovenia is included and you can figure out how to track on to delivery there, be my guest and show me. Otherwise, anytime you ship first class international paid thru Paypal, the rule is, DON'T, unless you are fully prepared to loose the full value of the shipment.
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post #14 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 05:12 PM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Out of curiosity, where did you ship these packages? I've shipped a couple guitars to Europe and because of the size, you're generally limited to Global Priority at a minimum. But I did once sell an iPod to a guy in Russia and shipped it First Class International.

About two weeks later, I was contacted by the guy saying he never got it. He said he was waiting until the end of the claim period to see if it would show before contacting me. Like Rich said, it only tracked it as far as the export point. I was convinced I was being ripped off, but I told him to enter a claim, which I immediately settled and refunded him the money. I had him do the claim so I could at least get my fees back from eBay.

Well thankfully this guy was really a totally honest person because the iPod finally showed up after A MONTH and he contacted me. He ended up paying me for the purchase price but not the shipping.

I've pulled back significantly on where I'm willing to skip to internationally, mostly because of issues with tracking. I will tell you that even when I shipped a guitar to Russia Global Express Guaranteed, I was never able to get delivery confirmation. I was really sweating that one. It was the second bad Russia experience I've had at it will be the last time I ever sell anything there.

Even when I send things domestically, I now always require signatures. USPS even has an "Adult Signature Required" option which you can't waive and someone has to physically sign for the package.
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post #15 of 25 (permalink) Old 08-27-2014, 05:20 PM
 
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Re: I think I'm done with ebay/paypal

Sorry to hear that happened P. Wish it would've come up in our conversations before you did the deals, I would have told you all that. I will only ship worldwide using USPS Priority Express International or Global Express Guaranteed, and that depends on the rules for the particular country its going to. Priority Express only offers insurance to certain countries. Sadly those are the only semi safe affordable ways to ship as Fedex, and UPS end up being 3 to 5 times the cost. Ebay did recently change their policy on the amount you have to get sigs for and bumped it to 750 I think, so as long as the tracking is good you are ok.

I also do like Rich sometimes, if it happens to be a small dollar amount I may forgo all that and take the chance.
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