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Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-11-2011
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No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone had any advice as I don't sell too frequently on eBay. I recently sold an item and sent it via standard delivery (as stated clearly on my auction details) in a padded envelope. On my auction details, I said that buyers are welcome to contact me if they would like other postage options but I never received any request to use any other postage method. Then the buyer opened a case with eBay and said they never received it. I sent two messages to the buyer and even called the buyer but there has not been any response and the buyer has not added any message to the case. Therefore, I asked eBay to resolve the case and they immediately closed it and rejected my appeal simply because there was no tracking ID provided. I said that since it was a standard delivery, no tracking ID was included in the service. However, eBay said they will always rule in the buyer's favour, even if they are completely unresponsive and have not even confirmed that they still have not received the item, if there is no tracking ID provided. This seems absurd. That would mean that anyone who buys an item without a tracking ID, even if they did not request tracking services, can automatically get their item for free if they open a case and there is nothing a seller can do about it. If anyone could provide assistance, that would be much appreciated. Thank you.

Community Member
Posts: 19,507
Registered: ‎07-23-2006

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

You have it in one.....if there is no tracking on the item the buyer will win the dispute every time.

Unfortunately you kade the mistake of asking ebay to step in....not only have you lost the item and your money but you have received a defect because ebay had to step in and settle the dispute.

Number one rule......NEVER ask ebay to step in.

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lyndal1838

Was there an option to not involve eBay? As soon as the case was opened by the buyer, the funds in my Paypal account from that transaction were frozen. I thought if I never involved eBay, the funds would be forever frozen as the case would not be closed. But if there is an option to reclaim my funds in such a case without involving eBay stepping in, I would really like to know Smiley Happy.

 

Is there nothing in the Australian legal system to prevent this? Because if not, what is stopping one person buying every single item on eBay that involve delivery services without a tracking ID and not paying a cent for all of it? 

 

Thanks for your response.

Community Member
Posts: 476
Registered: ‎05-11-2008

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

Unfortunately, there are some really unscrupulous buyers out there, although it's entirely possible that your item did just get lost.

 

The only way to protect yourself is to use tracking, that's the reality.

Community Member
Posts: 4,073
Registered: ‎01-24-2004

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

Considering you have been burnt, are you going to post the 3 items you have listed without tracking

 

again ?

 

 

 

Also, it is against ebay policy to have the following in your extremely lengthy and unnecessary

 

description

 

Auction Details

- If you would like to make a private offer, please message me before any bids are placed

Community Member
Posts: 443
Registered: ‎06-05-2009

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

A lot of sellers send lower cost items without tracking and if an item not received dispute is open, we issue the refund BEFORE the escallation date.  This avoids any defects and sellers will never win an escallated claim without tracking.  However you should use tracking for more expensive items.

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 476
Registered: ‎05-11-2008

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

I would recommend that you add at least $5.00-$7.00 postage onto your remaining items to cover the cost of postage with tracking, otherwise it's entirely possible that these items could go missing. The tracking is there for YOUR protection, not the buyers.

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to jfmgray

Thank you. 

 

I suspect the item was not lost as it was sent to a PO Box and it had my return address on it. Australia Post confirmed with me that it would have been sent back to me by now if there was a delivery complication. There is a slim chance it somehow could have been lost in transit. But if it were truly lost, you would imagine that the buyer would pursue the matter further or complain or make some kind of comment but I have heard nothing. 

 

This issue only just happened so I have not adjusted my current listings yet. I have never experienced this issue before as my buyers were honest but it appears that unfortunately I will have to raise item postage costs to accommodate tracking services to protect myself in the future. I was always fine to offer tracking services if the buyer requested it but thought I would just offer cheaper prices if the buyer was satisfied with standard delivery. I suppose that's just not an option anymore. 

 

I see your point about resolving the issue before esculating now that I know eBay has a fixed rule about cases like this that do not take into account any other circumstances. 

Community Member
Posts: 9,628
Registered: ‎05-25-2010

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

lucasmht wrote:

Was there an option to not involve eBay? As soon as the case was opened by the buyer, the funds in my Paypal account from that transaction were frozen. I thought if I never involved eBay, the funds would be forever frozen as the case would not be closed. But if there is an option to reclaim my funds in such a case without involving eBay stepping in, I would really like to know Smiley Happy.

 

Is there nothing in the Australian legal system to prevent this? Because if not, what is stopping one person buying every single item on eBay that involve delivery services without a tracking ID and not paying a cent for all of it? 

 

Thanks for your response.


When a request is opened, unless it is resolved between buyer or seller (eg the seller issues a refund, or the buyer closes it from their side), if it is not escalated to eBay for resolution, it will 'time out' after around 30 days (this doesn't seem to be an exact science, as such, some sellers have found that a request will still be open past 30 days). Unfortunately, that does mean the funds are in limbo for as long as the case remains open.

 

There are a couple of reasons why preventing a request from being escalated is the best course of action to take, the first is (as you now know), if you can not 100%, irrefutably defend the case (eg with tracking that shows delivery, or some other form of undeniable evidence that disproves what the buyer is claiming) the case will be resolved in favour of the buyer, and the second reason is because if a case is escalated and found in the buyer's favour, the seller recieves what is termed a "case closed without seller resolution". eBay allow for just 2 of these (or 0.3% of transactions, whichever is higher) in a seller's evaluation period before the seller's account can be affected (this can range from temporary selling limits, to indefinite suspension of selling ability).

 

For these reasons, especially for sellers of low-priced letter-sized items where registered is rarely - if ever - used, it's really important to develop an action plan or strategies for when these kinds of issues occur. And when i say action plan, I mean everything from preventative measures, to deciding how cases will be handled, and other things like self-insuring so that you have funds to refund the odd item a buyer claims is missing.  

 

I don't want to go into too much detail on the public forums about some of the prevenative measures I take (I send a high number of large letters per week), but I will say I never allow a case to reach escalation stage. I first try to communicate with buyers to get the issue resolved, but if I can't get that done, then my final option is to refund and be done with it, blocking the buyer if I feel their actions are suspect, or if they were rude etc during communication. 

 

Sometimes, through polite and honest communication, buyers have opted to clase the case in favour of me sending out a replacement, which is often an option for my items as I have multiple quantities (I will not send replacements when there is an open case, as eBay does not provide a safe option for me to do so, so I just advise buyers of this and a few have opted to close cases voluntarily). Other times, once I explain the process involved in reporting lost or delayed mail to the buyer, the item suddenly turns up in a pile of mail they'd forgotten about... 

 

As to whether how eBay handles these cases would hold up under serious legal scrutiny, I personally think (and I want to stress that means this is personal opinion), that it's 60-40 against eBay, but getting seriosul legal scrutiny of eBay's practices to actually occur is a whole 'nother thing. If a buyer raised a claim against a seller and the case was heard in an Australian court, tracking would only be one of the things that could be considered evidence of shipping (they would take into account other factors like the seller's trading history, or evidence such as post ledgers / manifests), and rather than look for delivery (as eBay does) they would look primarily at or for proof of shipping (like PayPal does). 

 

eBay's perspective is pretty much 'we make decisions weighted in favour of buyers, if it's wrong, it's up to sellers to fix our mistakes via other avenues' (those avenues being such things as pursuing fraudulent buyers via the legal system), which is very wrong as far as I'm concerned, but at the same time, because I am a full-time seller with no real (current) opportunity to take eBay to task via the legal system in Australia (I've done things like report policies to the ACCC, which was as good as writing a love letter, whacking it in a bottle and throwing it in the ocean), I have to approach the situation knowing this and devising my business practices around it. 

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to digital*ghost

Thank you for that comprehensive answer, I appreciate your help. I am polite to all the people I have dealt with on eBay, so this is the only time I have had a case opened like this. I would have thought eBay would take my previous unblemished history and my attempts to resolve the situation into account while at the same time seeing that the buyer was inexperienced and was taking no steps to resolve the situation at all. That apparently was incorrect so I cannot trust eBay to be reasonable. That is a shame to see that you have had a number of negative experiences in the past. I hope you have better luck with buyers in the future, since we can't really hope for luck with eBay. Thanks again. 

Community Member
Posts: 76
Registered: ‎07-07-2014

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

Australia Post does have rules for proof of postage.

 

101 Articles carried by post to be taken to be Australia Post’s property

Quote

For the purpose of any legal proceeding or action in relation to an article carried by post or under the control of Australia Post, the article shall be taken to be, while it is being carried by post or under the control of Australia Post, the property of Australia Post.

In Australia, the seller is not legally responsible for delivery, only postage, therefore proof of postage is what is required

Paypal Proof of Shipment

What is proof of shipment?

  • The date the item was sent; and
  • An official acceptance by the shipper, such as a postmark or online status. (Status that shows the item was delivered is also acceptable.)

It must also include either:

  • The recipient’s delivery address, showing at least the state, city and postcode (or international equivalent); or
  • A receipt from Australia Post showing at least the recipient’s suburb, city or postcode (or international equivalent).

I would suggest writing to the FSO and also lodge a claim with Australia Post.

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to queenslander-one

Thank you! I will look into that.

Community Member
Posts: 2,284
Registered: ‎06-24-2013

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

lucasmht wrote:

Hi, I was just wondering if anyone had any advice as I don't sell too frequently on eBay. I recently sold an item and sent it via standard delivery (as stated clearly on my auction details) in a padded envelope. On my auction details, I said that buyers are welcome to contact me if they would like other postage options but I never received any request to use any other postage method. Then the buyer opened a case with eBay and said they never received it. I sent two messages to the buyer and even called the buyer but there has not been any response and the buyer has not added any message to the case. Therefore, I asked eBay to resolve the case and they immediately closed it and rejected my appeal simply because there was no tracking ID provided. I said that since it was a standard delivery, no tracking ID was included in the service. However, eBay said they will always rule in the buyer's favour, even if they are completely unresponsive and have not even confirmed that they still have not received the item, if there is no tracking ID provided. This seems absurd. That would mean that anyone who buys an item without a tracking ID, even if they did not request tracking services, can automatically get their item for free if they open a case and there is nothing a seller can do about it. If anyone could provide assistance, that would be much appreciated. Thank you.


It's not like the old days. If you are not selling very often that's the first thing to realise.

The buyer does not have to opt into any higher postage offers or insurance, tracked postage is supposed to be what is provided as a matter of course.

You, the seller, can provide standard untracked postage but you need to understand this is at your own risk. If you can't prove the item arrived, the buyer will automatically win any case.

So have a think about this: Why would any buyer opt to pay more?

 

A decade back, if an item was sent without tracking and didn't arrive (or if the seller just didn't send it) it was just too bad. Buyer lost their money. I think this is what ebay is trying to stamp out by giving buyers more peace of mind.

 

So by listing standard postage in your ad, you are behind the times. But more than that, you are playing into the hands of any dishonest buyers. If they see your ad, they know beforehand they will be able to make a claim & you won't have a leg to stand on.

 

So you have a decision.

Either start including tracked postage-bump your item costs up.

Leave as is and expect that every now and again you'll have someone scam you. You'll need to bump your prices up a little to cover this shoplifting.

Community Member
Posts: 1,813
Registered: ‎05-18-2013

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

Just post the remaining items that you're selling with tracking otherwise you will find yourself in a spot of bother.

MBG = scamming buyers!

Community Member
Posts: 1,813
Registered: ‎05-18-2013

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to queenslander-one

How can OP do what you are suggesting when OP doesn't have anything as proof of posting?

Community Member
Posts: 22,280
Registered: ‎08-21-2013

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

I recently sold an item and sent it via standard delivery (as stated clearly on my auction details) in a padded envelope.

 

That won't fit AP's sizing for letters.   A video game in a padded bag is more than 20mm thick.

 

https://auspost.com.au/parcels-mail/sending-in-australia/domestic-letters/regular-letters-cards

 

Sent as a parcel, it would've had tracking.

 

Bet you posted it in a roadside red box too.

Community Member
Posts: 6
Registered: ‎10-11-2011

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to eezipeezi888

Yes, thanks, it's been a while since I have been selling regularly so it definitely seems to have changed. I will just add tracking options or sell elsewhere. Regarding the padded envelope, it was Australia Post who recommended it actually and it was done over the counter.

Community Member
Posts: 9,857
Registered: ‎11-01-2006

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to lucasmht

I send very few things without tracking but even with tracking you always have to factor in the cost of replacement or refund for a number of reasons which is why I build a few cents into every item price to cover the cost when things go wrong. Nobody can know for sure if a buyer is telling the truth or not when they say an item hasn't arrived and I would rather refund half a couple of buyers who were untruthful than leave one buyer who indeed received nothing feeling really piddled off.

 

With a no tracking item I of course ask the buyer to wait a few more days and will tell them that if it has not turned up by XX/yy I will refund them and open an investigation with Aus Post.

 

Sometimes that has the parcel mysteriously turning up, if it doesn't I just refund and move on.

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Community Member
Posts: 10,293
Registered: ‎12-19-2011

Re: No protection if you send something via standard delivery without a tracking ID?

in reply to phorum_junkie*

I post about 40% of my items by letter. So about 250 per year. I have had two INRs in 8 years. Certainly few enough to self-insure. In my category, I can't really set my prices, so I am not going to sell for bugga-all just to protect myself from a possible shoplifter.

 

That horses for courses thing again, presumably.