Ebay and Paypal are pushing their buyer protection programs pretty hard this 2010 Holiday season. I see ads for them every time I log on to either website. Scam artist are taking notice as well.
I sell a lot of baseball cards on Ebay and I’ve pretty much seen it all when it comes to claims from people and yet I’ve managed to remain a Powerseller, Top Rated Seller, and as of this writing have 100% positive feedback. Currently, however, I am now getting to enjoy a new frustration with buyer protection. To be specific my issue is currently a Paypal issue involving a sale made on Ebay. Here is an example of what is happening.
I sold a baseball card for $20 on Ebay. The buyer paid me promptly and I packaged up the card and shipped it out via USPS promptly as well; same day as I was paid to be exact. This sort of customer service is what Ebay expects of me as a seller. The address the baseball card is shipped to is provided to me via Paypal and Paypal confirms that the address is legitimate in regards to the buyer who is making the purchase. That “protection” for the seller, however, is fairly weak. Buyers who use Paypal can dispute a transaction by saying it was unauthorized by them. They can wait a full 60 days before they even have to do this!
The baseball card was mailed and I informed the buyer via Ebay that their card was on the way. This was on a Wednesday. On Saturday they filed a Paypal claim stating that they are disputing the transaction on the card. What this means is Paypal takes the money back away from me and puts it on “hold” while they investigate. This means that I am without the card I sent and without the money; the buyer having the potential to end up getting both depending on the outcome.
My receipt for purchasing the postage to mail the card is my proof scanned and sent to Paypal for the case. But here is the issue that arises: If a buyer can refute a transaction up to 60 days afterward and Paypal “protects” them by taking the money back out of my account, then is it safe to be a seller and use Paypal at all? What if I had spent that money? Then I would be in the negative on my Paypal account and they would be trying to drain my bank account to make up for it. Do I have to wait 60 days or more every time someone sends me money before spending it? Because anyone could try pulling this same scam over and over again. Not to mention Ebay charged me fees for selling the item in the first place. Now I’ll have to go over to that website as well and file a complaint to try and get THAT money back.
If the buyer is given their money back: I am being robbed. They were also sent the card. How is this protecting anyone?