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TOPIC: Seller Cautionary Tale

Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #1

I've been dealing with a situation for a couple of months now, and debating whether to post about it, and finally decided to in case it helps anyone else avoid a similar problem. I've got some pretty strong feelings about this situation and individual, but will try to stick to the facts.

In late August, I sold 8 top tokens to a single buyer on EBay, including the Supreme Ring of Elemental Command, Charm of Avarice, and two Boots of the Four Winds. The buyer's name was Marcus (Mark) Smith. If anyone wants his email address in case you wants to block him from bidding on their EBay auctions, as I have now done, please send me a PM and I'll send it to you.

Edit - You don't need the email address to block as an EBay bidder, just the handle. I'm not comfortable posting his email address in the open thread, but I'm OK with posting his EBay handle. It is chalemar_designs .

At the buyer's request, I sent the tokens to him via overnight mail, I paid for tracking and Signature verification, and the maximum insurance of $1,000. Due to the high value of the shipment, I was relieved the next day when the tracking showed the tokens delivered at his house, and the Signature Proof of Delivery showed the tokens signed for at his house, with the recipient writing in Marcus Smith's home address.

So, I was unpleasantly surprised when shortly after that the Buyer opened cases on EBay on all of the items, saying that he didn't receive the tokens, and the money was pulled from my PayPal account. I submitted significant substantiating records showing the tokens were delivered. The Buyer didn't escalate the cases for EBay to resolve, but EBay representatives told me that they would find in my favor if he had done so, as their internal records also showed the tokens delivered to the buyer at his home. I'm assuming they told him the same thing, as he made it clear in his comments that he'd talked to them.

I also, at the request of the buyer, opened an insurance claim at USPS, and not surprisingly they found against the claim because they had proof of delivery at the buyer's address. I was reluctant to file an insurance claim because I was (and am) positive the tokens were delivered to the buyer successfully and were in his possession, but had to as part of the EBay process.

After 30 days, the EBay cases all automatically closed, so the money was returned to my account. I was relieved it was finally over.

Then, a couple of weeks ago, cases for all the purchases were opened up on PayPal, and the money was pulled from my account again. It turns out that once EBay didn't return the money to the Buyer, he opened cases with his financial institution, which resulted in PayPal cases being opened. I once again submitted lengthy substantiating data proving that the tokens were delivered to the buyer's address.

A couple of days ago, I got notices from PayPal that they had found in my favor, that I was covered by their Seller Protection Program, that there was proof that the tokens were delivered to the buyer's house, and that the money was being returned to my account. Again, I was very relieved, and again, it was short-lived.

Checking PayPal, the cases aren't actually closed. It says that they found in my favor, and are negotiating with the Financial Institution on my behalf. I called PayPal today, and they told me that they can't guarantee that I won't end up losing my money if the buyer's financial institution finds in Marcus's favor, even though by their own email I qualified for the PayPal Seller Protection Guarantee. And they said it could take another 90 days to come to a resolution. So, even though the money is back in my account, I can't really spend it until a final resolution comes (up to 3 months from now), as it could be pulled back permanently at any time.

So - lesson learned #1 is that even if you do everything correctly, and ship securely with tracking, insurance, and signature proof of delivery, you're not really protected by EBay or PayPal Seller Guarantees. You can still lose your money if the buyer files a claim with their financial institution, or even if you don't lose it have it held up for 5 months or more. I'm guessing if the same thing had happened selling directly rather than through EBay, I'd be even more at risk.

Lesson #2 - if you are shipping expensive tokens (definitely $750 or more), always pay for signature proof of delivery. If I hadn't done that, EBay and/or PayPal would have automatically found in favor of the buyer, regardless of whether tracking showed the tokens delivered to the buyer's home.

An interesting note - Marcus was planning on buying a Rod of Seven Parts from a different buyer, but that sale was cancelled. Marcus contacted me the same day to buy my Rod of Seven Parts (not realizing I was the same EBay seller he filed claims against). He immediately tried to find another source for the Rod of Seven Parts. On the other hand, I've been in contact with all the major token sellers about what I'm going through (in case they had been through something similar and had advice), and he hasn't made any attempts to find another source for any of the tokens he bought from me and said he never got. The logical deduction is that is because he doesn't need another source because he is in possession of the tokens I sold him. (Okay, that last part wasn't so much fact as deduction).

There's a lot more I could write, but I think it's best that I don't at this point.

I hope that no other token sellers have to go through a similar experience as I'm still in the process of going through.

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Last edit: by Mike Steele.

Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #2

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See this is why I believe all Eldritch tokens should be numbered like Rod of 7 Parts if he tried to pull that crap with the rod saying it was lost but then showed up with that number at a con that is fraud.

Also I buy quite a bit of tokens but I refuse to have anything shipped which is valued over $300. I trust all the dealers I deal with but I trust the USPS less. I have had a number of things going missing over the years when I lived in a crappier area.

Mike you have my sympathy for what you are going through, some people are just shitty.

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Last edit: by James. Reason: Additional Comment

Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #3

James J Krot wrote: See this is why I believe all Eldritch tokens should be numbered like Rod of 7 Parts if he tried to pull that crap with the rod saying it was lost but then showed up with that number at a con that is fraud.

Also I buy quite a bit of tokens but I refuse to have anything shipped which is valued over $300. I trust all the dealers I deal with but I trust the USPS less. I have had a number of things going missing over the years when I lived in a crappier area.

Mike you have my sympathy for what you are going through, some people are just shitty.


Thanks, I appreciate that.

To be fair, I think USPS did their job successfully and delivered the tokens safely to Marcus and documented via both Tracking and Signature Proof of Delivery that they did so. I'm not putting any blame at all on the USPS.

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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #4

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Wow that sucks Mike. Definitely a cautionary tale for everyone selling online. Hope your able to get it resolved soon.
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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #5

just called paypal..they said well buyer protection kinda sucks

then CC companies have the final say. All they can do is present the evidence to CC companies. If the CC companies don't want to pay, then you will have to go to court to get your money


even if you would have had everything insured, you would be fighting with the post office too, because it shows they were delivered.

Sorry you have to fight this
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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #6

i am thinking twice about eBay and paypal now for higher end items.
delpchad.blogspot.com/

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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #7

you know what if you have to sue and paypal to the lawsuit against the buyer

you did what they asked and they still took your money
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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #8

The buyer committed credit card fraud, given the amount of money it's likely grand larceny?

I would suggest reporting him to the credit card company for fraud and see about legal action, pretty sure there could be jail time associated.

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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #9

Ebay is a deck stacked against the seller. I would stop using it but the shear number of eyeballs that view items on ebay keep me coming back for the abuse. I'll reach out to you to add this clown to my blocked bidder list.
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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #10

I think he could have done the same thing to me if I'd sold him the token directly and not through EBay. I think he could still contact his credit card company or bank and say that he never got the tokens, and they'd pull the money back. I'm not sure how to avoid something like this other than exchanging the token in person and getting cash in exchange. It's pretty discouraging to be honest.

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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #11

As was just pointed out to me, to block someone on EBay you don't need the email address, just the EBay handle. I'm OK posting that on the open thread in case anyone wants to block it. It's chalemar_designs .

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Seller Cautionary Tale 2 years 9 months ago #12

damn,

does this idiot not know how close knit the community at this level is?

he can only use these tokens at limited events.

Odds are high he'll be found out.
*mental note* always listen to Jeff

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