Sellers Beware of PayPal! (Update)


This is an update to a previous post that was deleted - likely because many (including me) were piling on the Buyer - so please don't do that!

Here are the basic details as a reminder as well as the long road to the final outcome, which is PayPal closed the case again in favor of the buyer. 

  1. Buyer buys TT for $2500
  2. Buyer arranges shipping and insurance with UPS
  3. TT delivered June 6
  4. Buyer charges back to PayPal July 2 "Item not as described" (includes pics of the inside of the crate showing damage to the crate and the TT)
  5. I dispute with PayPal and lose
  6. I file a claim with UPS in the hopes that Buyer will get paid and at least I can show PayPal he is "double dipping" as I have zero expectation he would reimburse me
  7. In the meantime, Buyer refuses to hand over the crate to UPS when they went to pick it up for inspection and instead ships crate back to me UPS ground, no insurance.
  8. Crate arrives, all components are loose, zero packing, not even bubble wrap, and 5 things are missing (adjustable feet, cart, record weight)   
  9. I take a bunch of photos and send to UPS  
  10. An Adjuster with UPS tells me the case is "going my way" largely because of the level of photo documentation I provided during the original packing/shipping process but she needs to speak with the Buyer
  11. Next thing I know is the UPS case is closed/denied and the adjuster stops taking/returning my calls
  12. I file an appeal with PayPal, they tell me to get the TT inspected by a professional (this costs $80 to put in writing that the TT is damaged beyond repair) and to file a report local police but they refuse to take a crime report because its a civil dispute
  13. PayPal then tells me to file am internet crime report with IC3.gov which I do but they later reject it with no explanation and tells me again to file a report with local police
  14. PayPal closes the case again Aug 23.

I spoke with PayPal dispute agents and supervisors many times, actually getting through to a person fairly quickly, but they are all drones in offshore call centers. 100's of text messages too.

They go through the motions and pretend to be sympathetic but then someone from the "back office team" rejects the very items they requested.

I learned that much of the documentation, emails, photos etc. had never been reviewed by anyone.

The PP dispute process was a joke, stressful and obviously a waste of time but once I started I was "pot committed" to seeing it through to the end.

Note that PayPal "Seller Protection" is not applicable at all in this scenario,

Ultimately my mistakes were:

  1. Accepting payment via PayPal!!!
  2. Trusting the Buyer when there were red flags (no AG purchase history and length of time between initial contact, payment and sending shipping label)
  3. Allowing the shipping and insurance to be arranged by the Buyer
  4. Allowing shipping via UPS Ground rather than special freight (to properly handle a 125Lb wooden crate)

I'm not done yet though...stay tuned for the results of Plan B 😈

macg19

Well - I have completed the shipping application on behalf of the Buyer, using the verified address of the Buyer - which avoids the issues you reference.  My contract with the Buyer makes clear that the sale is FOB Destination and that the Buyer will settle with the Shipper, if there is any Damage.  And... of course... I use "Friends and Family" money transfer, rather than "Sale of Goods." 

And... as far as... potential for damage during shipment... while I've never had an item damaged, during shipment... I have had several instances where the package was damaged during shipment, in which the item could have been damaged.  

Fortunately, in that instance (with FedEx), the item was fine... but... I had to refuse the shipment... and then... go to FedEx to open the package in their presence to confirm the item's condition.  

The many shipments (via FedEx and UPS) I've received with damage to the box, makes the point that you can't be "too careful" in packaging an item for shipment - especially larger / heavier items, which may require a crate / pallet and a freight shipper (like Old Dominion).  

Pretty sure you want the incoterms to be FOB: Shipping Point, which means the seller is no longer liable once they hand the package off to the shipper.   FOB Destination means the seller is responsible for the package (including lost freight or damage in transit) until it arrives at its final destination.

Sorry. Did I miss something? The seller attempts to deflect responsibility by buyer getting his own shipping?

Yes, you did miss something.  The buyer had possession of the item for a month before filing a claim stating that the item was damaged in shipping from the seller, which is quite suspect.

My guess is that the buyer flipped the item and it got damaged in transit when he tried to resell it.  Now, the buyer is attempting to stick the original seller with the damaged item.

Yes, you did miss something.  The buyer had possession of the item for a month before filing a claim stating that the item was damaged in shipping from the seller, which is quite suspect.

I could see myself taking a month to put together a turntable....just saying. 

My guess is that the buyer flipped the item and it got damaged in transit when he tried to resell it.  Now, the buyer is attempting to stick the original seller with the damaged item.

There are only a few markets where audio equipment is sold. It may be worth checking sales on those platforms. However, if your item didn't sell or get lots of good offers within 24 hours, it's unlikely a flipper bought it. Flippers are all over these market places, but they only buy mispriced items or lowball.