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Fri Jan 31 2020 11:09:33

New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Roadblock

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I am a new seller on eBay and I signed up with PayPal, and everything was fine. It was very hard work getting going, but I did everything eBay said and it started to work.

In my first 2 months I had around 18 sales, all used clothing from my house, in nice condition. My highest sale was $24. I've gotten 100% feedback and the highest rating from eBay I am eligible for at this time, with zero returns or problems.

Then the other day I tried to buy an item for myself on eBay and I paid for it. It said "paid" as normal, then a few minutes later, it said "payment pending," then a few minutes later it said, "Pay Now."

I contacted PayPal and they said everything was fine with my account and to try again. I did, and the same thing happened. I contacted eBay and they said everything was fine on their end, and they wanted to get PayPal on the phone at the same time. They could not get the call to go through.

I then tried making the payment using PayPal with a different credit card, with my bank account, and with my PayPal balance. I also tried paying directly with a credit card. None of these would work. I tried different browsers and phones and clearing my cache and all that stuff.

eBay finally told me it was a problem on the seller's side, but I was now getting in trouble for not paying for my purchase, even though eBay knew what had happened.

I told this to the seller, and he said he checked on his end and there were no problems, but he would let me out of the sale and give me positive feedback (eBay would not allow me to cancel the purchase). Everything worked out fine that way, but I was afraid to buy anything from anyone else because another seller might not be as understanding or helpful.

The next day I logged into PayPal and they said I had engaged in "suspicious" activity, had "significantly" changed the way I was doing business and the items I was selling were "especially risky," and they put a "limitation" on my account. They demanded several pieces of very invasive information, including detailed information about what I had sold and receipts from these items (they're many years old and there are no receipts).

I submitted everything I had, and asked them what the suspicious activity was and what had changed "significantly" (nothing on my end, all inexpensive used clothes).

They would not respond, so they've accused me of something very serious, very early on in my experience with eBay and PayPal, and won't tell me what I'm accused of. This is outright wrong.

From my reading, I've found out it doesn't stop here. Once you comply with their demands, they keep asking for more and more and more information, such as utility bills, bank statements, passports (which I don't have), tax returns, all sorts of things, with ZERO privacy guarantees. They said they don't provide you with tax forms until you've made $20,000. I've made less than $200 and have a CPA who takes care of everything for me, so handling eBay earnings big or small won't be a problem for me.

My questions for you are, 

1) Is this common, a story you've heard before? 
 
2) What should I do about it? 

This is no way to run a business or treat your customers, and for the time being, they've put me out of business. What if I was making $30,000 a month instead of $200, and then suddenly they decide to accuse me of something I didn't do? 

3) Is there any way I can continue on eBay without PayPal? And I should ask, is eBay itself as bad as PayPal when it comes to this kind of thing?  

4) Is there anyone I should talk to about this? A lawyer or an eBay "fixer" or whatever?  

5) Is it even a good idea to be on eBay anymore? Or use PayPal? This is not a proper way to conduct business, on any level.

I appreciate any information you might be able to provide. Please feel free to share this on your message boards or wherever.
Thank you,
Mae



Comments (24) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 12:28:17 2020

Best advice I can give is get off ebay. In all probability this is only the start of your problems.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 12:57:50 2020

Sorry, but this is something Paypal is famous for doing to customers, and there's absolutely nothing you can do about it.

Do what you can, give them what you're comfortable with giving and hope for the best.

I doubt Ebay is going to be any better with Managed Payments in the long term, either.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: catskill This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 13:00:15 2020

Common problem with PayPal. There is this constant program of "verifying you". The program is designed to obtain information so that they can sell you other financial services.

My problem is that our business owns it's own warehouse and stock. We have NO debt, so we don't need additional financial services. Since we only use Ebay to liquidate inventory, PayPal/Ebay see less then 1% of our sales/money. So, we don't care that much about PayPal or Ebay for that matter.

About a year ago, they once again wanted to verify our address. At the same time they locked our ability to use PayPal Balance for purchases. So, I scanned all the marketing letters they sent to our address. They were not amused. Then they wanted utility bills, bank accounts, etc. And, the saga continues to this day. The account has been locked for over a year. They will allow the account to receive money, but will not allow me to use my paypal balance to purchase items. Now we just drain the account once a month.

You have to remember that PayPal used to be part of Ebay. And, we all know that Ebay got a solid "F" when they took Business Ethics. in college. For the most part PayPal is pretty good, but if you have a problem, it is very difficult to fix.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Jan 31 13:15:49 2020

@Mae

"From my reading, I've found out it doesn't stop here. Once you comply with their demands, they keep asking for more and more and more information, such as utility bills, bank statements, passports (which I don't have), tax returns, all sorts of things, with ZERO privacy guarantees."

Don't believe everything you read!

eBay would NEVER ask you for your Passport or Tax Returns. . . .Are you really that gullible?

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: Dburn This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 17:43:26 2020

Try contacting Paypal on Twitter. Shorten up your story and make it sound horrific without lying. I believe its Twitter handle is @askpaypal  . The CSR will ask you to contact them by PM. Most likely, it will get taken care of quickly and efficiently . The only real firepower you have is make your problem Paypal's problem by going public. They are well versed in how much it costs to get new customers. I've done it twice with favorable results. Your mileage may very, but these days if you can't get solved there, you probably have to write the whole thing off.  

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 18:10:28 2020

Yes, i would say Dburn has the best idea. They probably hate the idea of having to be on social media (because of the fact that their dirty laundry gets aired out), but they have to have that presence in this day and age. most likely if your story sounds damaging to them, they will most likely go into immediate damage control, and fix it just to shut you up.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: purpleiris This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 18:56:58 2020

You do have the legal right to the information they're basing their accusations on. If the social media approach doesn't work, contact your State Attorney General.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Jan 31 19:42:09 2020

@Mae (the OP) - I agree with FeelingFroggy; get off eBay. I keep telling everyone to open a store on eCrater, which is free, and you can designate Stripe as your payment processor. All Stripe asked for was my SSN, and the routing and account number for my bank to deposit my payments into. If someone asked for my passport and tax returns, I'd tell them to have me served with a subpoena.  

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 31 21:09:58 2020

Paypal is regulated my most states as a money transmitter. They have to follow laws, contact your state's Secretary of Banking and file a complaint and you will se Paypal wake up and help very quickly.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Sun Feb 2 21:25:53 2020

Definitely agree with Twitter to start with for the least effort. There's been a lot of 'hot-potato' eBay-PayPal ping-pong complaints recently with both orgs fighting over who *doesn't* get to own the problem.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Feb 3 00:59:00 2020

I do not respond to unsolicited emails from Amazon. A couple of emails received recently were phishing attempts from some entity attempting to gather personally identifiable information or solicit a logon to a spoof web site for collecting passwords.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

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

Mon Feb 3 03:48:30 2020

You may not even be dealing with Paypal. You may be dealing with a scammer if you are doing this by email. In that case you had better get scramble to protect your bank accounts and cards.


Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: mindelec This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 05:02:34 2020

I second what tiffee said, if they are asking for passports and things through email a scammer email might have slipped in between some of your legit conversation.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: SellerGirl This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 06:29:55 2020

We need a Seller's Union. We can't fight all these attacks on small sellers by ourselves.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: Davina T This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 09:34:53 2020

I closed my old paypal account when they kept asking for proof of physical address. I don't get mail at my house. I am in an unincorporated town. I don't pay the bills, and had nothing with my address on it. I have a forced PO Box if I want mail. Anyway, I closed that Paypal account, and opened a new one. So far, so good. No third degree. I buy only now.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

This user has validated their user name. by: Bad Hair Day

Mon Feb 3 10:27:32 2020

I agree with Tiffee and mindelec. I smell a scam!

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: Fistfulofdollars This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 10:42:22 2020

@Davina T

The address they're asking for (your physical address) is the same one you would use for a UPS, FedEX, or Amazon delivery, etc. I used to live in a town that had forced PO Box mail delivery and just to be on the safe side I would always include ''Box 2'' (my PO Box) on the address line when purchasing something or providing a physical address request. That way it eliminated any and all delivery problems but will also help your cause with PayPal.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Feb 3 10:49:33 2020

A lot of the mountain communities in California have forced post office boxes, because in winter with the heavy snow, they don't want the carriers out delivering mail. I have a friend who lived in Big Bear for many years, and even when the weather was sunny, he still had to go to the post office to pick up his mail.

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: Colbica This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 3 11:34:32 2020

I have to agree with other posters, something doesn’t seem legit.  Please ensure you are logging in to the real PayPal website (do not use links in emails) when calling PayPal use the phone number on their website (once you ensure you are on their real website). Having used both PayPal and eBay for over a decade I’ve never experienced issues of this nature.  I have though received numerous emails and other correspondence (I.e. phone calls, texts etc..) that were phishing attempts on behalf of what looked to be official PayPal emails or claiming to be official PayPal &/or eBay reps.  These scammers are very good and highly sophisticated, they even spoof phone numbers making them appear on caller I’d as though they are calling from PayPal &/ or EBay, I would follow up with both EBay & PayPal only using the phone numbers on their official websites (again ensure you are on their actual websites by physically typing in their addresses into address bar- do not click on links!). I would also strongly suggest getting a copy of your credit report from the 3 reporting agencies and monitor your credit report as something seems very fishy.  I hope you will Post a follow up Via e-commerce bytes.com once you have this Problem resolved as it would be nice to know what the issue actually was and how you resolved it.  We all learn from one another. One more thing...eBay is moving to managed payments therefore you won’t have to deal with PayPal for very long, not sure if ebay will be much better though.  Good luck!

Perminate Link for New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro   New eBay Seller Seeks Advice over Sudden PayPal Ro

by: kate & kozy This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Feb 3 12:12:56 2020

Never had an issue but getting emails from a lot of scammers pretending to be paypal. I am grateful I am not "new" to them.

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