I had an odd experience this week and want to warn other sellers who may not be aware. This was brought to my attention by a nice customer who apologized for not paying the shipping on her order (I had sent her a combined invoice). She accidently bypassed the shipping fee when she checked the Local Pickup option, which I've always offered to my customers.
She was nice enough to notify me and to send via PayPal the small shipping fee, but this made me wonder how many unscrupulous buyers have done this in the past that I was unaware of? We ship a lot of stuff and I've had several eBay listers/shippers come and go, and it's very possible that we've been losing money this way without realizing it.
When I talked with eBay using their Call Me option, they basically told me it wasn't their problem and that I should check every time we ship something to make sure the buyer actually paid the shipping.
The CS rep also said that when the buyer chooses local pickup that sellers aren't required to ship the item...he made it sound like that was the end of the seller's responsibilities. Of course I would never do that...because I know a trap when I see one. That recommended action would certainly result in a defect, a neg, and a lost customer.
Why eBay would even mention that as an option is beyond me. Yes another example of eBay pitting sellers against buyers and promoting confrontation.
So what I decided to do is to remove the Local Pickup option from all my listings, so no buyer will be able to bypass shipping and hope that I don't notice. This is just another way that eBay allows and facilitates thieves taking bread off the sellers table.
Hopefully other sellers are more savvy than I and are already aware of this vulnerability. If not, it certainly is something that every seller should be made aware of!