Screwed over on ebay? Need advice!

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
On September the 6th I purchased a snare drum of a UK ebayer. He provided me with an e-mail invoice via paypal because the shipping costs on the page only covered local delivery. So I paid 130 in English Pounds, not realising that ebay buyer protection does not cover this transaction, because although it is through paypal, it is not directly via the ebay site. (Me incorrectly believing that having my paypal and ebay accounts linked made this a non issue)

After a few weeks, I e-mailed the seller wondering about the item. He was apologetic, but it was sent through Royal Mail 2nd Class and there is no tracking information. I agreed to be patient.

Waiting til the last minute ( a case over a dispute must be made within 45 days), I opened a case on the 18th of October summarising this information. The seller replied with this:

'Item posted on above date ( mailed seller to inform) cost was £22 ( not 8 as in previous communication as I have receipt ) gutted for buyer as this snare was a match to the rest of his kit. Definate post office failure! A very patient buyer and a frustrated seller ( note this was the first time I posted outside mainland uk)'
I held out longer for a resolution or possible late delivery, but with neither result and no choice left I escalated the case on the morning of the 2nd of December, receiving this e-mail:

Hello *********
We're sorry there's a problem with your purchase. However, we're unable to give you a refund for this item. eBay Buyer Protection only covers purchases made with PayPal. We encourage you to use PayPal the next time you buy an item on eBay.
If you still have questions or concerns, please contact customer support. You can view the details of this case in the Resolution Centre.
I then contacted the seller directly with this message:


Hey *******, ebay has not been able to resolve the issue because it doesn't recognise that I paid with paypal. I was wondering if we could still sort out a refund?

***
I received no reply, but yesterday he was active on his ebay account leaving feedback. So I sent him a paypal request directly this morning for 130 pounds. This seemed to get his attention quite quickly, and he responded with:

Dear *********,

Hi ,

I am really sorry you did not receive the snare, eBay has made a decision neither are at fault . However i will pay 20% of the snare cost not what you have sent via PayPal . I have been just as frustrated about this sale as yourself and hope this closes things.


Regards

*********

- **************
I responded with this:

I am sorry but that is absolutely NOT the decision ebay made. Ebay made the decision that it could not refund me because it could not recognise that I made the payment via paypal, because I paid from the invoice you sent me, and not through ebay directly. Ebay recognises that the seller is liable for postage delivery, but paying through the invoice meant I was exposed to not having buyer protection from ebay - period, nothing about not being either of our fault - and I unfortunately did not know any better.

I think I have demonstrated extraordinary patience and naivete in this transaction. 20% is unacceptable - I don't have buyer protection because I fell for the wrong payment method, and no other reason. This does not change what is good faith in the transaction, which is that the seller has full responsibility for delivery or refund. You can make your claim with the Royal Mail, who owe you the full cost of the item, and with all due respect, you owe me the refund.

******
I recognise that this is a situation I've brought on myself via my naivete and ignorance.

But I also believe I'm being legitimately ripped off in bad faith because of the opportunity provided from that naivete. Is this wrong? Was my response to him wrong? . I was wondering on your opinion, and is it possible/worth pursuing another avenue to get my money back, or should I just leave it be.

At the moment I am very tight for money. I paid 130 pounds, the transaction is recorded both on paypal and 3V.ie (a site through which I use temporary visas), I never received the item, and he admits it all. While offering me 26 pounds to clear things up. What should I do?
 

Too Many Songs

Senior Member
Were you given any choice as to shipping method? Did you opt for the cheaper but non-insured and non-tracked option or did the seller dictate that? If it was the seller's decision and not yours that may strengthen your claim.

But as to your claim I suspect that you will simply end up frustrated. Ebay is great when it works but like most internet-mediated exchanges it becomes very difficult to do things 'outside the routine'. You could try pressing eBay as to the lack of clarity as to the rules when Payment protection does or does not apply. You paid by Paypal believing that meant the transaction was covered and it was far from clear that it wasn't. As to pursuing the seller - well if they simply refuse to pay more what can you do? It isn't really worth pursing a small claim through the courts (especially given that you are in a different jurisdiction and even a small claim carries costs). Certainly I'd press them for a refund and I'd try to enlist eBay in support of that. But ultimately if they do not pay I don't know that there is anything much you can practically do.

Finally, and this isn't a help now but might serve to help in the future. If you transact outside eBay NEVER use Paypal because it effectively strips you of the automatic insurance you get by using a credit card. If you had used your credit card and not PayPal you could have claimed from VISA or Mastercard or whoever. That protection disappears even if it is your credit card that is linked to your Paypal account because the transaction is between the credit card and Paypal and not between the credit card and the seller.

For all that I feel your pain and would be upset, angry and frustrated if the same happened to me.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
If I'm not mistaken, PayPal itself has buyer protection built into it similar to what eBay has. I sold a snare last month to someone who saw my Craigslist ad and we did the whole transaction through PayPal (no eBay). Perhaps try looking into that. Sorry for your troubles.
 

Astropath

Member
Paypal does have a way to recover your funds I believe. Go to your Paypal account and see what you can find.
Having said that, I also am of the opinion. having bought and sold many items using Paypal on and off E-bay that once you purchase an item it is yours and not after you receive it.
 

mxo721

Senior Member
firstly sorry to hear this: this really makes me miss the "good ol days" of ebay, I was a seller on there since 1997. I used to do " bank checks only" when paypal came into play, I thought it sounded like a good idea...I was wrong...I won a bid for some motorcycle parts, paid with paypal, and the guy just flat out never sent the parts: ebay said it's a paypal issue, paypal said it's a ebay issue, and basically, the guy just opened a new account and continued to rip people off. Oh, how funny is this. I go to my p.o box yesterday, and got a 13 cent check from ebay...seriously (13 cents)...hope you get some kind of restitution for this, but be prepared for the worst.
 

Bo Eder

Platinum Member
Sorry to hear about your woes. Being in California, I actively do alot of business on the 'bay and haven't had any issues for the whole time. You being where you are, I'm not sure if the rules are different.

However, it sounds to me like you're dealing with this in a professional manner and you both should be able to come to some kind of reconciliation. You paid, the post lost it, the seller should get his money back from the post and you should get a refund. Is there any way you can question the charge on your account?
 

JohnPloughman

Silver Member
Never paypal any ebay auction except from the actual ebay auction page links. I dont do invoice payments, and do not use email links. Plus I always insist on insured shipping.
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
Sorry that happened. I think your response to him was good- of course he would rather do nothing and have you go away in exchange for a 20% refund. Hopefully he values his feedback rating enough to resolve this to your satisfaction.

In addition to dealing with the seller, I would probably also try to get both PayPal and Ebay customer service on the phone and make them tell you in person they can't help you. Keep them on the phone as long as you can and make them tell you no more than a couple of times before you give up on them- if you're persistent it often turns out that they can do something for you after all.
 

tard

Gold Member
i have had similar problems and yes paypal has its own buyer protection policies for non ebay transactions.
 

daredrummer

Gold Member
Sorry that happened. I think your response to him was good- of course he would rather do nothing and have you go away in exchange for a 20% refund. Hopefully he values his feedback rating enough to resolve this to your satisfaction.

In addition to dealing with the seller, I would probably also try to get both PayPal and Ebay customer service on the phone and make them tell you in person they can't help you. Keep them on the phone as long as you can and make them tell you no more than a couple of times before you give up on them- if you're persistent it often turns out that they can do something for you after all.
Yes I would call them up and report the issue. There's a much better chance they will do something about it, and like todd said be persistent.
 

Duckenheimer

Senior Member
Thanks for all your help and suggestions guys.

I was too late to deal with it via paypal as it turns out, they have a 45 day limit and it's been close to 90. According to my credit card provider it could be months before a resolution and even then wasn't in stone. And it's even too late to leave feedback!

Ultimately I caved in nervousness and manage to get 50% back off the seller before everyone responded in this thread, I got the offer and was nervous about having no legs to stand on if I turned it down. It sucks not knowing whether the snare went out in the first place or whether he's getting full refund off the Royal Mail while I sit 65 pounds out of pocket.

But it seems like an awful lot less money than it did yesterday (being down to my last dime temporarily magnified the drama for me!) and ultimately is a drop in the bucket, and I've learned to never go with untraced shipping or off the grid ebay purchases again. Ultimately I'm glad the lesson was learned before I tried splashing out on something the price of a Black Beauty or worse!
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
...and I've learned to never go with untraced shipping or off the grid ebay purchases again. Ultimately I'm glad the lesson was learned before I tried splashing out on something the price of a Black Beauty or worse!
Good to see that you have such a philosophical outlook. The price of an "education"? Still a bummer, though.
 
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