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Wed Oct 12 2016 11:08:48

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

By: Reader

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Dear Ina, 
Never let it be said that eBay and PayPal let common sense interfere with policies apparently set in stone.
 
Over the years, I've seen buyers attempt many types of scams but this was a first for me. Here are the facts:
 
International buyer from a country that I've not had a single prior problem with ever in many years of selling on eBay but without delivery confirmation purchases and pays for an item (Day One) which is shipped the following day International First Class Parcel Service (Day Two). It leaves the country the following day or about 36 hours after the sale (Day Two). International First Class Parcel Service to the buyer's country takes 10-14 days.
 
The following day (Day Three), buyer files item not received case with PayPal. The text of buyer's complaint is in her native language, and the online translation programs render her text largely incomprehensible in English. A friend of mine who's a native speaker translated her messages for me. She wasn't claiming she didn't receive the item; she claimed that the item wasn't in "the box." 

I asked her to send me a photo of the customs label because I didn't believe whatever it was she received - if in fact she actually received anything - was from me. In my opinion, an International First Class Parcel couldn't possibly have been delivered to her one day after it left the United States. Further, the item was not sent in a "box." 

Buyer refuses to provide a photo saying she threw the box out because it was empty. I then asked her to send me the name of the person or company on the shipping label. She refused to provide that information and started the eBay case process as well.
 
So what we have is a buyer saying she received an empty box when it wasn't sent in a box, can't/won't say who it was from, and who won't provide any additional information which, of course, is just fine with eBay and PayPal. I asked her to explain how she knew the parcel was from me or from someone else if she threw it out. No response.
 
After three calls to PayPal - second of which the CSR agreed the claim was very suspicious - and two calls to eBay, I think you know who both finally sided with. 

eBay went so far as to say if she escalated the case through the eBay system, that they would look at the date she escalated the complaint vs. the anticipated delivery date window and wouldn't be interested in the fact that she filed an identical PayPal case within 48 hours of the sale. Talk about double jeopardy!
 
The delivery confirmation requirement under the circumstances of this specific situation superceded common sense. I immediately took this country off my ship to list. 

From now on, I will sell to less than a half dozen foreign countries with delivery confirmation because of the eBay/PayPal created scam artists, eBay/PayPal anti seller policies, postal thieves, and unreasonable regulations in EU countries. I am no longer offering free shipping internationally. Everyone loses except the dishonest buyers, but that's nothing new for eBay sellers.
 
I'm not asking for anyone's sympathy in this forum because a few of you take such joy in your omniscience. While this scam may not be new to you, however, it was to me. It was an expensive lesson.
Signed,
Disgusted




Comments (36) | Permalink

Readers Comments

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: tkg This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 12 11:56:00 2016

I had a USA buyer open an item not as described case for an item that was still in transit.  I also didn't understand how eBay could allow a buyer to open a case within the first 2 days.  It's BS. I was lucky, my buyer was not dishonest, just confused due to all the purchases they had made.  And had confused another sellers order with mine.  But it makes absolutely NO sense why eBay would allow a case opened well before even their ridiculous estimated delivery date.  

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

This user has validated their user name. by: DTSM

Wed Oct 12 12:00:03 2016

Any reasonable person would recognize this is a scam. But PayPal/Ebay are not reasonable. They are mindless robots that enable thieves. More so since it is a pattern of behavior.

In my opinion, buyer protection should not be extended to any country that does not provide tracking information. The only thing a seller can do is insure every item through a third party such as U-pic insurance. This way if a claim is made of non-receipt, you can get your money back. It is worth a few dollars.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Oct 12 12:35:45 2016

It is clear to me, if everything that you state is factual, and I have no reason to think otherwise, that you have a scamming liar buyer.

I hope that you insured the item and I am hoping that you used a service that doesn't require that this liar buyer cooperates because she won't due to the fact that she could then be liable for insurance fraud.

As DTSM stated above, PayPal and eBay enable thieves.  I mean look how incredibly easy it was for the thieving buyer.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 12 13:59:00 2016

Just another reason not to ship to any foreign country. Do it enough and you will get burned.

Its hard enough to fight a case in the US much less in some foreign country without tracking and buyers who don't speak english.

I wouldn't ship so much as a dog hair to anywhere but the US and that includes Canada.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Oct 12 14:46:03 2016

OP, I'm assuming you printed an online label.  Get the number off your records for the international shipment.  The I suggest you call PayPal again.  Give them that number.  I know it auto loads on the PP site when you create the label if you purchased through Ebay, but for whatever reason they have, during the claims process they don't acknowledge it until you resubmit it on their website in the resolution center.

Now the reason I suggest you call PP again is that they somehow have a way to review the tracking on that international package.  I've had a similar circumstance before and I've personally done this.  While my buyer did not claim there was nothing in the box, they did claim they didn't receive the item.

It ended up that I won this case with PP.  And once you have satisfied PP, it will be easier to satisfy Ebay.  

If PP works well with you and finds that the item is still in transit [which is the best case for you], then you can prove that the buyer is not telling the truth.

I hope you will pop in and tell us how this all turns out for you.    

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

This user has validated their user name. by: iBuyers

Wed Oct 12 15:37:31 2016

Happens all the time. Block foreign buyers by using in depth PayPal Risk Controls.  

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Oct 12 16:09:52 2016

@ibuyers
That is a dangerous thing to do as you can not block all international buyers on Ebay.

There are a lot of international buyers that have US ship to addresses, but their account is an international one.  So by doing the block that PP offers, you are ONLY blocking these buyers from being able to pay you.  The PP block does NOTHING to prevent them from purchasing on Ebay.

I sell to international buyers with a ship to address in the US all the time.  In all the years I've been selling I've only had a couple problems with them.  And those problems were resolved without something negative happening to my account.

One of the biggest understanding about this is that some sellers think that because they are an international buyer shipping to a US address, the seller has responsibility to the buyers international address if they were to reship it from the US address to their home address.  This is NOT true.  The seller is only responsible to the buyers address the seller shipped the item to.  

So lets say a buyer from Africa purchased from you, provided a ship to address in the US on the payment, then once it was received at the address you shipped to, they packaged and reshipped it to their African address.  The seller's responsibility stops at the US address.  If the buyer were to file a SNAD, you would win as long as you can prove where you shipped to and where the item is now.  And that is pretty easy to do if you politely ask the buyer to confirm the address the item would be coming from.  Be professional and ask politely.  It will serve you much better than heating up the situation.

The only Ebay transactions that the PP block stops is if you have an international buyer with or without a US ship to address trying to purchase one of your items that require immediate payment.  

But the problem that can cause you problems on Ebay to are purchases by an international buyer with a US ship to address on their account w/Ebay.  So this buyer can make a purchase but the seller is preventing them from paying due to the PP block.  This lack of payment is NOT from the lack of willingness to pay on your buyer's part, but completely the fault of the seller because of the PP block.

The options the seller has at this point is to file an UPI, which is completely unfair to the buyer as they are willing to pay, but the seller just won't allow them to pay.  All the buyer would need to do is call Ebay and explain the issue, then it will come back on the seller.

Or the seller files for a cancellation of the transaction.  The seller  might file it for the reason that the buyer has an address in which you do not ship to.  But that is not true.  The buyer does have a US address to ship to. So again the buyer could contact Ebay to resolve this and again it could ding the seller in their stats.

Or the seller could choose to do nothing.  Not try to recover their FVFs from Ebay and just wait and hope the buyer doesn't post negative FB.

That isn't all the ways a seller could handle this, but I'm sure you get the idea.  

Without an equal block on the Ebay side, this type of policy for a seller is risky, not to mention costing them good sales.  If you don't want to sell internationally, set your listings up that way.  That is the best way to protect yourself not the available PP block.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: James D This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 12 16:53:23 2016

Global Shipping program is a slightly better alternative to not shipping to other countries. Once your package gets to their distribution center in Kentucky or wherever, eBay's contractor is supposed to be responsible for the rest of the trip.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 09:47:26 2016

I was once like the OP too. Back then I thought that eBay/Paypal were my business partners and that they cared and wanted me to succeed. I provided great items at great prices, provided superior CS and had happy buyers.

Then I learned (like the OP here). eBay/Paypal ARENT your partners, they ARENT your friends, and if you got run over by a car tomorrow and your account was closed - they wouldnt even notice you were gone.

Selling on eBay is a 3 against 1 situation and always will be - since that is the way they want it.

When it comes to loosing money (in any case) eBay only cares about eBay, and Paypal only cares about Paypal.

When an issue arrises, YOU the seller are enemy #1, and what happens to you - doesnt matter.

Laws dont matter, facts dont matter, and no offense - forget common sense and plain intelligence.

Most sellers (not the ones here except for 1 specific individual) understand the mine field that is eBay.

First you have to fight to get your item seen & sold - and only then does the FUN really begin!

BTW Global Shipping isnt the safety net people think it is. Buyers can still open claims, and eBay still puts it on you to FIGHT for your generally non available "seller protection".

Yes GS is a better option - but not by much.

Protect yourself from eBay as much as you would from any other kind of white collar criminal.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: Frank F This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 20:49:32 2016

Our international sales were less than 10% of our total, and 7% of that was to Canada. And back then 70% of our crazy cases like this and others where these international orders. It was a NO-BRAINER to quit selling internationally on ebay.. We sold to US and Canada and when USPS raised the shipping to Canada so high, we discontinued it as well.. Hardly any headaches like this now, have only had 1 in the last 2+ years!

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: dfredc This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 22:17:14 2016

I believe the whole problem could have been avoided by using the Global Shipping Program.We do plenty of international shipping and the few times there have been issues they have always been resolved to our satisfaction.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 22:21:29 2016

I stopped shipping out of the USA a few years ago. No regrets.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: fifilapew This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 22:22:03 2016

ebay is trying to force sellers to use their over priced GSP

hence they don't give a rat's a**

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 22:30:27 2016

I  sell  International  and  have  had--knock  wood!!!---very  few problems.  I  DO have a few  countries  I  will not sell to---Iran; Iraq;  North Korea  etc.  This has not been a problem.

However--I  also TRY  and take  any  international  sales  OFF  EBAY---I  use  Google  Translate  and ask  potential  buyers to TEXT  me.  This has worked  really well to avoid  the insane  insurance  and  Registered  Mail  costs  ebay  demands.  

That  approach  works  IF  a potential  buyer CONTACTS  ME--as  I  have  asked them to  in  my  listing.

IF  I  get a buyer  who  did NOT  do that--I  have no  real  choice   but  TO  use  the insane  system  eBay  has in  place!  For one item  I  commonly  sell---a  lightweight (6  ounce  packed!)  that  costs  $35  --I  have to charge  around  $32  to SHIP IT between  the  Registered  cost AND Insurance!  Insane=and  THEN--after it is mailed--I have NO WAY TO KEEP TRACK OF IT!  Only  sometimes  into  Canada.

For  those  items  I  have  sent  after taking  it off  ebay--or  sold via  other  venues---I have NEVER HAD A POSTAL PROBLEM.  Sent  using  First Class International  for around   $10.

This IS a problem  of  ebays  making.  And their  utter refusal  to  even consider the Sellers  POV  on  these things--or ANY proof  of shipment;  or  any PROOF  of  scamming---is  a slap  in the face to ALL sellers--and good  buyers alike.  

IF  I  were  the OP  I  would  keep calling  eBay and Paypal.  And ALSO  go  to  their  Regional  Post  Office and  ask  to see the Post Master  and  discuss  what can be done to FIND  the package  and  make whatever  complaint  he or she  can.  I  had to do  this  with a non-ebay  shipment  to a family  member   and got a lot of help this way.  

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 22:48:08 2016

How can she say the box was empty if the tracking number proves it had not been delivered to her country yet?
You should only send traceable and insured packages overseas.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: Golddustwoman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 23:04:41 2016

Seven years ago, when I started selling on eBay, I shipped a package to the UK and it never got there.  I lost money because I had to issue the refund and I got gigged on feedback. As a new seller, I was devastated. However, I am not a stupid person so that was the one and only time I sold internationally and I have never regretted it.  After all, we have plenty of scamming buyers in the U.S. to keep us busy -- we don't need to go overseas to find more of them.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 23:16:31 2016

This might be a long shot but if the package has not been delivered see if you can pay the $10 to the Post Office and have it rerouted back to you. That would at least make your feel better.

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 13 23:19:39 2016

@quovadis12345---Most  Registered and  INsured packages sent  UTSIDE  the US do NOT TRACK  once  they  leave  Customs  at  either Idlewild  in  NY  or  where ever they leave form  on the West  Coast.  When  looking at the Tracking that is ALL you will see.  Sometimes  you  will get tracking  thru Canada--most times  you  won't;  if  you CALL CanadaPost  you  can  sometimes  shake  loose a location  and if  a package was delivered.  But  ship  to England;  Germany;  South Africa?  Nope!  

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

by: SadiesPal This user has validated their user name.

Fri Oct 14 01:18:05 2016

I have not sold internationally for the last five years. I did for the two years prior to that time. When I was adding another name to my Blocked Bidders list, which was about 90% international, I thought how stupid this is.  I spent the rest of that day changing my listings to US shipping only. I have added very few names to the Blocked Bidders list since then.  

International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson   International eBay Sale Proves an Expensive Lesson

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Fri Oct 14 01:24:20 2016

An infuriating read! Good God!  

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