|Tue Feb 3 2015 10:37:24|
When PayPal Turns on the eBay Sales Spigot
I run a clothing website. Most of my business comes from there but I also have about 1500 items listed across 3 marketplaces. I receive an average of 30 orders per day just from eBay alone.
I keep all my merchandise in a large storage facility and work from home. All aspects of my business are handled by me and me only. This includes buying and managing inventory, listing items, processing transactions, buyer communication (by far the most time consuming), refunds, and accounting.
This is my full time job. The hours are long but the money I make is very well worth it. 90% of transactions are flawless. Returns and refunds can be excessive at times but I’ve accepted that as a part of doing business.
An interesting thing happened to me last year and I wanted to share it with your readers in hopes it will give them a laugh.
I received a chargeback notification for an item that was sold on eBay for $450.00 and sent via USPS Priority Express (1-day mailing).
In addition to this amount being deducted from my PayPal account, another $20.00 (the standard price of a chargeback) was deducted as well. This created an open case with PayPal in which 2 things were required.
1) Proof of shipping that showed the tracking #, buyer name and confirmed shipping address
2) Proof of signature confirmation (actual copy of USPS form with buyer signature)
I purchased all shipping labels through eBay so I simply went to the label purchase history on my seller page and placed my mouse pointer on the transaction for this particular shipping label so the little bubble with the relevant information would pop out. I took a screenshot of this and PayPal accepted it.
Then I went to USPS' website and requested a copy of the signed form to be emailed to me. I received the email 5 minutes later which included a copy of the form with signature attached as a pdf file.
After sending everything to PayPal and feeling confident that everything would turn out ok, I was shocked and dismayed the next morning when I checked the status of the case and saw that it was decided in the buyers favor.
The next thing I did of course was call PayPal to confirm this was actually happening despite the fact that I completely fulfilled my contractual obligations to receive their seller "protection".
The person at PayPal was rational, and agreed with my suggestion that in these situations it should be PayPal who takes the loss, not the seller. After all, it is them who confirm shipping addresses, verify the buyer's identity and approve the transactions.
They don't perform these services for free, either, because 2.9% of each transaction goes directly to PayPal which makes that the price we pay for using these services. And what they do for us is extremely valuable, too, because they keep us protected from fraudulent buyers.
And since they process millions of transactions a day, it's only expected that they fail at a couple of them every now and then. But these failed transactions (chargebacks) are a cost of doing PayPal's business. It is absolutely absurd that they are managing to get away with making it an eBay seller's cost of doing business.
The person at PayPal apologized and told me he would talk to his boss and see if they could look into my case. He promised to get back to me the next day and we hung up. I knew he was more than likely just lying to get off the phone with me. Although I was angry, I knew I had no choice but to accept it.
The next morning I woke up and got ready for my long and busy commute across the hallway to my office. I signed-in to eBay to print my transactions and when I saw how many of them I had I concluded I was probably still sleeping and that it was only a dream.
After pinching myself a few times and realizing I was in fact awake (and in pain), I sat in shock from the nearly 200 orders I had in front of me, Did I mention it was only 10am?
By 3pm it was 300, and by 9pm it was almost 400.
The guy at PayPal never did call me back but I'm positive this was happening because of him.
He must have thought he was doing me a favor and I suppose he kinda was. But whatever he did, he did it again the day after, and the day after that too. I was at the beginning of all search results for 3 very long and sleepless days.
Unfortunately, many of these orders weren't shipped on time. Some were extremely large and I had to restock on many items. My vendors are all local so I list the quantities of all my items in the 100s.
I got a few negatives the following week but mostly positives. And like always, 80% of the transactions went without receiving feedback.
I lost TRS because of it, but was able to send my mom on a nice European vacation from it all.
Thanks PayPal! This would have been the perfect time to put a hold on my funds or limit my account, but you didn't and I appreciate that.