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Sun Mar 8 2009 08:51:47

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

By: Ina Steiner

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The Atlanta Journal-Constitution newspaper published an article today, "Battle over bag: Seller loses out in online sale." Reporter Allison Young (spotlight@ajc.com) highlights a case where a seller - with a receipt for a Louis Vuitton handbag - loses a dispute with a buyer.

PayPal then apparently compounded the problem: "But on Jan. 6, PayPal withdrew the disputed $1,275 from Wright's PayPal account. Then in an apparent mistake, PayPal took an additional $1,200 out of Wright's personal checking account, which was linked to her now-empty PayPal account."

The Journal-Constitution article shows just one of the challenges of selling designer items on eBay - and in this economy, more and more people may find themselves in a similar situation.

The seller profiled in the Atlanta newspaper article is a lawyer specializing in consumer issues. It appears that only after the newspaper's inquiry did PayPal agree to refund the seller for the bag, shipping and sales fees.

As for the buyer in the case, she was told to send the handbag to Dallas. To learn more about what happens to handbags sent to Texas, read the AuctionBytes article, "Where Do eBay Fakes Go to Die?" The article ran in July along with an accompanying blog post ("PayPal's Handling of Counterfeits Raises Questions") that received 60 comments.

Oh, and by the way,...sellers who want to avoid dealing with PayPal may not have a choice, as eBay has transitioned to an electronics payment only marketplace.




Comments (38) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: wait a minute

Sun Mar 8 09:00:07 2009

I thought paypal could not go into your personal bank account? What gave them that right?

Unbelievable!

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: Your minute is up

Sun Mar 8 10:03:26 2009

If you have linked bank/checking accounts to your Paypal account, and your paypal balance is zero, and you owe them money, they will automatically take that money from the liked accounts. It's all in the fine print of the user agreement, no mystery there.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: wait a minute

Sun Mar 8 10:42:14 2009

Ok but the seller did not owe them any money as they had already took back the $1275 and they went ahead and took $1200 more out of her checking account.Thats a BIG mistake.Which could of cost the seller mega money if she had checks clearing from her bank account and than bounced.

I just don't like paypal and think they get away with way too much.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: Your minute is up

Sun Mar 8 11:07:29 2009

Yes, I understand the seller didn't owe them money and that is was a mistake. All I was saying was that if your account balance is zero, and ''they take money'' (for whatever reason), it will come from the linked account. I wasn't defending Paypal's actions.

I had a similar issue years ago with my pay check. They did a direct deposit into my checking account, and because of some computer error, withdrew the deposit twice. They didn't do it to just me, they did it to the entire company. You can imagine the havoc this caused. Everybody's checks bouncing, some people told they owed the payroll company money because the 2nd withdrawal was more than the accounts had in them, etc. It was hell, for a few weeks. The payroll company had to fix everything, and get everyone's credit records squared away. It took months.

My only point, it happens. I am not defending paypal.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: wait a minute

Sun Mar 8 11:34:42 2009

Oh I know you weren't defending them. :o)

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: Patrick Alexander

Sun Mar 8 11:51:56 2009

From the article: ''May I ask you if I can return this handbag for money back?”

The buyer persisted in a Dec. 9 e-mail. “I will also send you $100 for your trouble,” she wrote.

Wright said no, reminding the buyer that the item had been listed as a final sale. “I thought life was done as far as that bag went,” Wright said in an interview.''


Sadly, this seller never read the P/P U/A. When you use P/P, you take any returns under any circumstances. And no, you are never sure of getting your item back.

Now she knows.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: bite me

Sun Mar 8 11:59:49 2009

lawsuit, and rightly so.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: you did what

Sun Mar 8 12:24:51 2009

I can't believe people are that stupid or is it only the sellers on Ebay.

TWO BANK ACCOUNT. Each at different banks, not branches.

Use one for paypal. When you withdraw money from paypal to the account you get off your butt and withdraw it from the bank account. Keep a balance of 5.00 in it.

When paypa decides to get funny they can withdraw all the money they want from that account. Problem for them will be ONLY 5.00

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: 100341

Sun Mar 8 13:39:22 2009

Anyone remember the recent story were even a top level employee at PayPal was selling tickets and they made it VERY clear that they would NOT accept PayPal?

When even your employees know better then to use their own service, you know its a bad service.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: Auld Cynical

Sun Mar 8 14:02:02 2009

"Contacted by Spotlight, the buyer of the handbag ... wanted to send the bag back to Wright but was instructed by her credit card company and PayPal not to do so until their investigation was complete ... following their instructions, she said she mailed the bag to a PayPal returns address in Dallas... More than likely it’s been destroyed... gave her an address for a firm PayPal once used to destroy potentially counterfeit merchandise."

That's the really freaky part. This company is totally out of control.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Mar 8 15:56:02 2009

Of the many object lessons this article contains, one of the major ones is that ebay and PayPal can't tolerate media shining the light of truth under their  slimy corporate rocks.

IMO, this country's most despicable corporation operates in many ways like the Cosa Nostra (ebafia) and should be thoroughly investigated by every state attorney general and the US Justice Department.

Ebay will continue its bullying ways until they're brough down through lawsuits THAT GO TO TRIAL and/or a government investigation involving the SEC, IRS, FTC, and USDoJ.

Death to ebay corp. in 2009.
NEG MEG (Whitman) in 2010.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Mar 8 16:57:06 2009

Addenda to above:

TV stations in many areas have "In Your Corner" or "On Your Side" type reporters who investigate consumer complaints.

Just like with ebafia, most businesses would rather settle than get bad publicity even though the bad publicity is well deserved.

Dozens of stories like these around the country, and The Ho's dream of maintaining the current customer base will vanish in a puff of smoke just like the value of their sorry stock.

Remember, there are far more sellers than there are ebay executives and together sellers can make far, far more noise utilizing government agencies and the media.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: Grimm Reaper

Sun Mar 8 17:55:46 2009

@Ming
''this country's most despicable corporation''

Wow. If you took your blinders off, you would see hundreds of corporations worse than eBay. Corporations that negatively affect people's health, safety and more.

''Ebay will continue its bullying ways until they're brough down through lawsuits THAT GO TO TRIAL and/or a government investigation involving the SEC, IRS, FTC, and USDoJ.''

Never gonna happen. But based on the very limited knowledge you demonstate on how corporations works and fit in the US system, I don't think it's worth even elaborating.

Couple of advice to sound more credible: 1) Lose the juvenile lingo of ''Ho's''. 2) Lose the ridiculous signature prediction of eBay's death in 2009 3) Lose the blinders.

Or of course, don't take any advice, as I expect you will do anyway.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: ebay=penny stock

Sun Mar 8 18:22:58 2009


@ Grimm Reaper

You should lose your attitude its not becoming for someone who thinks they know it all.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: Patricia

Sun Mar 8 19:35:22 2009

The glaring illegality here should be that under NO circumstance (except maybe proof that the seller stole the item) should a seller be out both the money AND the item!  NEVER!!!  I think the attorney general needs to step in because I hear this happening A LOT and it almost happened to me a couple of years ago from a buyer in Germany!  In my case it was my own original pastel.  Item was paid thru paypal...item was mailed to buyer - THEN paypal claimed the money was unauthorized and took it back!  Thankfully the buyer straightened it out or I would have been out the painting and the $80.00 plus shipping it cost me.  This should be illegal - we pay Paypal for this service and they give us sloppy service for that money!

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: first of all ...

Sun Mar 8 19:56:05 2009

seller can sue the buyer in small claims court. that will take care of the funds out of pocket.

next, the seller can sue paypal. she's a lwayer, why is she wasting her time with the newspaper? file papers and get on with it ...

so before anyone sheds tears, lets put it in perspective. this could be the best thing that ever happened to this seller.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: the headline of this article

Sun Mar 8 20:00:48 2009

... is extremely misleading.

Besides,  ***INA***, I don't see anywhere in your article the fact that:

"Trinh, who is Vietnamese, said the dispute process has been stressful because it’s difficult for her to communicate, especially in writing. “I’m not good about English,” she said."

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Mar 8 22:03:14 2009

It's ALWAYS such a pleasure to obviously and easily get under the skin ebay's spin department who seem to appear regularly when the publicity is as bad as today's. ROTFL!

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Mar 8 22:29:59 2009

Fuel for some poetic justice:

Here's the url for the newspaper story:

http://tiny.cc/TZ8TC

Scroll down on the left past the seller's photo to the reporter's photo immediately underneath.

Notice the convenient email link to the reporter who's INVITING responses.

Her email address is spotlight@ajc.com.

And here's more to make skin crawl in San Hosed (from the article):

"So what happened to the handbag? More than likely it’s been destroyed, Oldenburg said. It appears Trinh’s credit card company gave her an address for a firm PayPal once used to destroy potentially counterfeit merchandise."

Probably not. As Ina discovered last summer, it could just as easily be up for sale or already sold again on ebay because there's no evidence that PayPal's contractor destroys anything and anecdotal evidence that returned items are auctioned off rather than destroyed.

Further, the fact the buyer's first language isn't English has little relevance to the entire transaction.

It would appear that it's PayPal not the buyer who has trouble with both language and math. It's the same sort of math proficiency, you know, that ebay uses when they overcharge sellers on monthly fee statements.

Those of you with PayPal issues should email this reporter so that this newspaper at least understands that this seller's story is far from unique and why PayPal needs immediate government intervention.

Death to ebay corp. in 2009.
NEG MEG (Whitman) in 2010.

Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay   Beware Selling Designer Goods on eBay

by: do you have what it takes

Sun Mar 8 23:39:59 2009

"PayPal needs immediate government intervention."

Okay. Describe what you mean. That is, so that you can show us you understand the issues. Anonymous postings need credibility too; none required here, just asking you if you have the skills to back up your mouth when it runs off as it does ... How about it? Are you up for this discussion?

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