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My eBay/PayPal experience

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Old 05-21-2017
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Exclamation My eBay/PayPal experience

Following this thread.

I feel like it is my duty as “customer” and former reviewer to share the experience I had with eBay/PayPal. Everyone knows what they are so I do not need to introduce them. But very few know how they are.

Of course, I probably would not talk about them if everything was good (if it was an awesome experience maybe). I have been on both sides (as a buyer and as a seller). I do not have the exact value but I for sure have bought more than 500 items and also sold north of 500. While ~95 % went just fine, I will focus on the bad. Why you may ask? Well, because the bad is not just bad, it is terrible, so terrible you may actually not believe what you just read.

As a buyer:
- Empty package arrived: 0. As surprising as it may sound, I have never received an empty package.
- Item not shipped or never arrived: Only 4 cases that I can remember. I usually wait 3-4 weeks after the item has been marked as shipped before contacting the seller about an item not received. The first three cases where solved without the need to open a case, the sellers said they were sorry for the inconvenience and refunded, all good. There was just one time when I had no news from the seller and the item was quite expensive so I opened a case after a month or so. Seller also did not reply on the case and therefore the case was closed in my favour. Couple of weeks later, I received a message from someone claiming to be the girlfriend of the seller saying that she was sorry, that the seller had an accident, was in hospital for weeks and she totally forgot to ship the item.
- Item not according to description: ~50, not sure how many exactly but understand many. Most of the time sellers that just take hardware parts out of computers and list them without any proper testing (or any testing at all): memory that have errors or not working and motherboards not working or damaged (leaking/bumped capacitors, heavy scratches (traces cut), heavy physical damage). I would say that 80 % of them were solved exchanging messages with the seller but I had to open cases for the rest (seller unresponsive or dishonest). This is actually how I got my first PayPal account blocked. PayPal blocked my account because the “claim ratio” was too high… I told them it was not my fault if eBay sellers were not capable of testing hardware properly, they basically told me it was not possible to change their decision. I just created a new account (which they blocked 6 months later because it got matched (I did not even try to hide it, I used the same name, address, bank account, everything, just the email was different…))

Note: I have always opened a case as last resort and only when necessary: I never opened a case right away, I always contacted the seller first to ask them how they tested the item(s) and told them about the issue I was having. I only opened a case when the seller was unresponsive or dishonest. I also do thorough testing before concluding that an item is defective/not working. I also was not complaining if an item had minor damage (bent pins, light physical damage, wear, etc...) or if part of a lot was damaged/not working as long as the item I was interested in was functional.
Also, I always had to return the item and pay the return fees (I mention that, because as you will read below (as a seller), eBay asked me to pay for the return fees every time, not the buyer).

So, overall my experience as a buyer was quite positive despite having received many items that were not according to description since most were solved talking with the seller (yes, it was still a waste of time but this is nothing compared to what will follow).

Warning: The following text contains facts that may be disturbing and shock some readers.

As a seller:
I will not post all cases I had, only the “WTF” ones.
Quote:
- Case #01: The item was blocked at customs of the buyer’s country and he did not do the necessary steps to retrieve the item. He opened a claim on PayPal for item not received and PayPal closed the case in my favour based on the evidence I provided (that the package was blocked at the customs and customs contacted the buyer several times). Note that this is the one and only time a case was closed in my favour (as a seller). You are now thinking yayeh? Well… The buyer then opened a case on eBay and guess what, yep, eBay closed the case in his favour and refunded him. Not only was he able to open two different claim for the same item but this is not possibly by eBay/PayPal policy. Yet he managed to do it and eBay allowed it. I complained, like… a lot. After countless emails and phone calls, eBay finally admitted in one email that they had made a mistake and that they were going to refund me. They never did and on top of that banned/blocked my eBay account. Again, I contacted them many times but all I got was “the decision cannot be changed”. I was so angry/furious, you cannot imagine. I stayed away from eBay for a couple of months and created a new account. Ho btw, some time later, French postal service contacted me to confirm the package was successfully delivered… I told eBay but the answer was again “the decision cannot be changed”.
Quote:
- Case #02: Buyer opens a case for item not received. I check the tracking and it said the package arrived in the destination country two weeks ago and then nothing. So, I contacted the French postal service, they told me that for some countries, the online tracking stops after the package arrives at the destination country, there is no more update after that. Obviously, PayPal closed the case in the buyer’s favour. Some time later, French postal service (they have 90 days to reply to an investigation…) sent me an email to confirm the package was successfully delivered a couple of days after it arrived in the country. Meaning, if you compare the dates, that the item was delivered before the buyer opened the claim. I told PayPal and you guessed it, got “the decision cannot be changed”.
Quote:
- Case #03: Buyer opens a case for item not received. In the description, he claimed that the package arrived empty and that for every item he receives, he makes a video of the “unboxing”. I watched the video and noticed that the tape was not the same one I used (you could also see that the tape went over the postal service sticker, clearly the package has been opened before the video and retaped). I replied to the case asking the seller to weight the package. He replied with a picture showing the weight was 35g. On my receipt it was written that the package weighted 86g when it was handed to the postal service. Despite all the evidences, the case was closed in the buyer’s favour.
Quote:
- Case #04: eBay member contacts me and asks me if I was okay to sell him the item for only 850 USD outside eBay. After the previous events, I was down with anyone who wanted to deal outside eBay so I said yes. He paid and asked for the item to be declared as i7-930 with a value of 99 USD to avoid any customs fee. I said it was not possible since I ship such items with insurance and I cannot insure the shipment at 850 USD if it is being declared at only 99 USD. He insisted that it must be declared according to his instructions so I told him okay but then since I was not able to insure it, if the package was lost or damaged, no refund was possible. He agreed. He paid on 13.12.16 and I shipped the item the same day at 17:30. Postal service said the delivery time was going to be 10 business days from the 14, so estimated delivery date was: 28.12.16. Buyer opened a case on PayPal the 21.12.16 (7 days before the estimated delivery date). On top of that, he said in one of his messages that his local postal office was closed until January 9. In other words, he could not receive anything before January 10. PayPal closed the case in his favour on January 11 (one day after the buyer's local post office reopened, they just didn’t care that the buyer’s postal office was closed until January 9)… I made an appeal, PayPal gave me 3 days to provide a proof of delivery from the French postal service (in these 3 days, there was Saturday and Sunday, so in other words, I had less than 24 hours to provide the document (and even if I had 3 days, it is not possible to get a document nor a reply from the French postal service in less than weeks (they literally tell you that they reply within 90 days))). The appeal was rejected on January 17. According to the information I later got from the postal service, the package was delivered on January 16 (one day before they rejected the appeal). I made a new appeal which was accepted on January 20 but they did not refund because and I quote: "even if the appeal was accepted, the decision to refund the buyer was right and it is not possible to go back." I just went berserk, I spammed them with emails and phone calls, even sent a recommended letter to PayPal EU. Everything I did was useless, they didn’t care.
More on this case: PayPal did not reply to most of the messages/emails I sent about the case (they only replied to maybe 4 / 25). A PayPal managed was supposed to call me back 9 times, he only called me back twice. PayPal refunded the buyer when it was agreed that no refund was possible. During the time the case was open they blocked/froze my account so it was not possible for me to buy/sell during more than one month. And I even had to fight after the case was closed to get the account restored…
Quote:
- Case #05: Buyer opens a return case on eBay for item not according to description claiming that the item was not brand new (seal was not sealed) and one memory module was defective. I replied to the case with something similar to: “Hello, Sorry to hear the packaging was not sealed anymore. Honestly, I bought the two kits from the shop and I have never used them so I did not check if it was still sealed and I am surprised it was not. I checked the other kit I have here and it is also not sealed so I believe you. Can you please confirm that one module is working and one is defective? If yes, I see two options: One: You can RMA directly at Corsair. Two: I send you the other kit I have here and you return this one to me and I will RMA them myself. Please let me know and sorry for the inconvenience.”. I also send this message to the buyer directly outside the case. I contacted the buyer again one week later because he did not reply to my message nor in the case. Still no reply so 10 days later I escalated the case into a claim saying that the buyer was unresponsive so eBay could step in and do something. And ho boy something they did: This is the email I got: “[…] and pay for the return shipping. […] We’ve placed the return on hold for 5 days to allow you to arrange the return shipping with your buyer. If you don’t provide a resolution to the buyer or facilitate the return of the item by 22 of March, we’ll close the return in the buyer’s favour and issue them with a refund, even if they haven’t returned the item.”. I replied that the buyer did not open the claim (I did), the buyer was unresponsive, I asked them why I need to pay for the return of the item when every time I had to return an item that did not match the description I had to pay for the return (seller never paid return costs) and finally that what they wrote about “refunding the buyer even if they haven’t returned the item” was against their policy. They did not reply and closed the case in the buyer’s favour five days later. I wrote them many emails. They did reply to some (9/29) but it was always the same prewritten reply “the right decision was made” and in Spanish (because apparently, the eBay “team” that takes care of a case is the one from the site the buyer bought the item from and since the buyer bought the item on eBay Spain, I had to deal with the eBay Spain team). I even called eBay Spain and they told me the same “the right decision was made”. I decided to call eBay France and the guy reviewed the case with me on the phone and agreed that eBay Spain mishandled the case and that what they did was wrong but unfortunately, he couldn’t do anything but send an email to eBay Spain asking them to reconsider the case. He did and eBay Spain replied once more “the right decision was made”. On top of refunding the buyer and the item not being returned, eBay also did not refund the transaction fees (both eBay and PayPal fees were not refunded, which is also against their policy). I also sent a recommended letter to eBay France which was ignored I guess since they did not contact me or did anything.
Quote:
- Case #06: Buyer sends me a message saying that he received the item and that the box, manual, accessories were missing and the item had traces of use, aka it was not new. I replied to him that this was normal since the listing was listed as “used”, in the description it was written that the item was used and sold naked, the picture was also contractual (actual picture of the item). He then replied that since there was a part number in the listing that this meant that the item was new… Anyway, after many messages, he then opened a return case for item not according to the description. I obviously did not accept the return and 10 days later he was able to transform the case into a claim. eBay obviously closed the case in favour of the buyer. I contacted eBay asking the reasoning behind, they replied in German (because the buyer was from Germany) and basically said “we are not able to verify the item so whenever a buyer opens a case for item not according to description we close the case in favour of the buyer”. I called eBay Germany right away and the person who replied refused to speak anything other than German or transfer me to someone who speak English. For a good 20 minutes I was repeatedly asking him to transfer the call to an English-speaking employee and he repeatedly replied the same sentence in German over and over again… The call was terminated by him. At this point I was so upset you cannot imagine. I tried to call again and this time the person who took the call transferred me to someone who was speaking English and explained to me the same that I was told in the email. One day later I received an email that said “As I would really like to help you, I came up with an idea how you can receive a refund of the value fee for this item. Once a case has been opened, if the seller resolves the issue for the buyer within the first 10 days, the seller will qualify for an automatic final value fee credit. If the seller does not manage to resolve the problem within that time frame – the fees will not be credited. That means, if eBay closes the case in favour of your buyer, you will not get the fees.” I replied that this was against their policy (and linked to said policy) so if they do that it will be considered illegal. She replied “I have seen you provided us the French link with the return process. Please remember that this case has been resolved in accordance with the German PayPal’s Buyer Protection policy as your buyer has opened the case using German eBay website. As I mentioned before, according to the German PayPal's guidelines, you can get the eBay fees only if you issue a full refund to your buyer. If eBay closes the case in your buyer's favour, eBay will not refund the eBay fees anymore.”. I replied that it did not make sense, I mean, I am registered on eBay.fr I agreed to eBay France terms and policies, I was not going to learn every single language and read the terms and policies of every single eBay website. To me it did not make sense that the policies from the buyer’s country will override the policies for the seller. I asked two times a link to said policy, and I was never provided one. Anyway, to not risk fees not being refunded I decided to issue the refund. Couple of days later I receive a package in the mail from the seller and the package was empty. I emailed eBay and they replied that since I decided to issue a refund, it was recognised by their system as a “case closed” and that an agreement was reached and therefore there was no possibility to appeal…
Except for case #06, the buyer never contacted me prior opening a case, they open a case straight away as if messaging the seller was not a possibility.

TL;DR: There are dishonest buyers and eBay/PayPal are protecting them and allowing them to operate. Their customer service is incompetent and deplorable. They do not even respect their own terms and policies since what they do is against. They don’t care about sellers. They will close a case in favour of the buyer no matter what, literally no matter what. They never do a proper investigation. Actually, I believe they do not even read the case since even with a ton of evidence in the seller’s favour and against the buyer they will close the case in favour of the buyer anyway. They also not reply to all messages/emails. Every single case has been mishandled and they don't care if they did something wrong. eBay/PayPal are two of the worst companies.

In the end I lost more than 2’000 € and wasted hours and hours and hours.

Last edited by Christian Ney; 05-24-2017 at 13:59.
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  #2  
Old 05-24-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

Good you summup... this is really bad experience...

Maybe posting on reddit ?
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Old 05-24-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

Why do you keep selling with PayPal? I don't get it. Already after the first case you should've just gone with IBAN
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Old 05-24-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

Just came across this article:
Ebay accused of failing its sellers as fraudulent buyers manipulate the system
Turns out there are many articles like this.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Trouffman View Post
Maybe posting on reddit ?
I don't know which sub is more appropriate.

Quote:
Originally Posted by der8auer View Post
Why do you keep selling with PayPal? I don't get it. Already after the first case you should've just gone with IBAN
Different reasons:
- Bank transfer seem to be only a thing in Germany. I have rarely seen it elsewhere.

- Most buyers are scared off when they do not see PayPal (now I know why I guess, they want stuff for free)

- With my very first account, I had this every week: Buyers "buy" the item and then never pay. You then have to open a case for item not paid and wait and then relist. This wasted so much time weekly that I decided to use the option "require immediate payment" and this option requires PayPal.

Last edited by Christian Ney; 05-31-2017 at 10:15.
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Old 05-24-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

After the horror stories above, here is a nice one:

Buyer asked me if it was possible to deal outside eBay, pay by bank transfer instead of PayPal and have a little discount (since I did not have to pay eBay/PayPal fees). I told him there was no problem. He paid via bank transfer and I shipped the item. Couple of weeks later, the guy sends me a message on eBay telling me he was so happy with the sale (item was in mint condition, he thought it was new) that he wanted me to relist the item so he could buy it on eBay in order to leave a positive feedback and then cancel the sale. I told him it was a bit "complicated" just for a feedback but he insisted. So we did it...

This happened three times (three different buyers).

Last edited by Christian Ney; 05-24-2017 at 14:35.
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Old 05-24-2017
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Aleslammer Aleslammer is offline
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

Thanks, never sold anything on Ebay so high lighting the pit falls of Ebay policy is very helpful as have been thinking of making room in the closet.
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Old 05-25-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

A so called "profile-0" just opened a case for item not received, guess who is going to win the case...
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Old 05-25-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

He will.
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Old 05-25-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

Lets get some free stuff from Ney, if everybody does I want some as well - can you send me a list of your offers?
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  #10  
Old 05-27-2017
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Default Re: My eBay/PayPal experience

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mr.Scott View Post
He will.
That's impossibl... ho wait...
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