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Posts: 45
Registered: ‎06-28-2012
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ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

Hi, I am hoping someone can help me! This is completely crazy!!

 

I sold an item (in Australia) listed with air mail delivery but with sea mail as a delivery option in the description.

 

Buyer (in USA) chose sea mail delivery. This takes 8-12 weeks. Item lodged March 17.

 

Item is due for delivery May 18-June 18. Buyer was informed of this. Buyer questioned where  the item was in early April and I again explained estimated arrival date is May 18-June 18 and that sea mail takes between 2 to 3 months.

 

In mid April buyer opened a dispute item was not received. I again explained the item is not due until mid May at the earliest. Buyer indicated they were happy to wait until June 18.

 

However, buyer did not close the case. I escalated the case to have it closed. Instead, ebay closed it with a refund to the buyer as the item had not been received. This is despite me saying it was not scheduled to arrive yet. Tracking shows the item was lodged on 17 March and on 20th March was loaded at the dock.

 

Ebay has said - there is no update in tracking (there are no updates in tracking while the itme is in the boat), item has not been received, my appeal was rejected and they will not reopen the case.

 

So $405 was refunded to the buyer, who will recieve the item in the next week to month.

 

Ebay has said to ask Australia Post to return the item (this isn't possible) or to email the buyer and request payment. I have emailed buyer with no response.

 

Surely this is not the only way to resolve this, I can't believe that despite multiple phone calls and emails stating delivery schedule and  date, that ebay has refunded the buyer.

 

Please help! I was selling things to pay for my kids birthday and I don't want to cancel it. It's incredibly stressful dealing with ebay help as they seem unable to actually use common sense and it appears once a case is closed there in no method to re-open it.

 

I would not mind if it was less  than $100. This is $405!

 

Community Member
Posts: 369
Registered: ‎08-11-2017

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

More experienced sellers will be along to try and help soon 88, but reading your post made me sick in the stomach.

 

I feel for you and wish you well.

 

Melina.

Community Member
Posts: 105
Registered: ‎12-05-2017

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to clubesquire

Remind me to install an ECT app on my phone, primed to operate if I ever even think about selling and posting overseas.Smiley Sad

Community Member
Posts: 18,236
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

[ Edited ]
in reply to 88rainbow88

You should never have escalated, just have let the case time out.

What you did in effect was to ask eBay to close the case which will always be in favour of buyer.

 

Lets hope the buyer is honest and repays when received.

Otherwise we might need to post the buyers email on facebook and ask everyone to email them suggesting they repay or else..........giggle.gif

 

I would call PayPal and explain that eBay misunderstood the case and refunded prematurely.

Quite possible buyer has done it before and the reason they selected seapost.

 

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Community Member
Posts: 28,193
Registered: ‎08-21-2013

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

[ Edited ]
in reply to 88rainbow88

Go to Help at the top of the page and scroll to the bottom, where you will

find  'Have us call you'  but do this in business hours.

 

They don't take long to call back, and you usually get someone in Australia, rather than

someone in the Phillipines, reading off a computer screen.

 

Explain everything, and tell them that the buyer chose sea mail.  They should be able to see that on the order.  And that the buyer is now not communicating.

 

Ask to speak to a supervisor, if there's no joy there.

 

If you plead your case they may make a one-off repayment to you.

 

Worth one last try.

 

Good luck..............and don't sell overseas anymore.

 

And never ask ebay to step in with a dispute.

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎06-28-2012

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to kopenhagen5

 have never had a dispute that I recall so was unaware of the process. I obvioulsy made a mistake there.

 

Paypal have said there is no seller protection as the dispute was lodged with ebay and not paypal.

Community Member
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎06-28-2012

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to imastawka

I will try as you suggest but t o be honest I don't know if I have the mental and emotional strength, the number of phone calls and messages has really been frustrating and driven me to tears literally.

 

I will do as you have recommended when tracking indicates the item has been delivered - so will need tro wait a week to a month, however it appears the system is automated to the extent that nothing can be done

 

I think once I have proof of delivery it may be easier as right now I am getting the same few responses ad nauseum from ebay -

1. no tracking update in last 7 days = item is lost

2. no proof of delivery = item lost

3. abnormal length of delivery time = item lost

 

It appears ebay system can only work off air mail delivery processes and can't accomodate sea mail delivery time frames

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 18,236
Registered: ‎02-27-2008

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

Many countries don't offer seamail anymore.

You are right to wait until it shows delivered.

Buyer may even surprise you once they receive the package.

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Community Member
Posts: 263
Registered: ‎02-11-2017

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

I'm really sorry, but you are at the mercy of the buyer here. It's worth pleading your case to both the buyer and ebay. Never ever escalate a case to ebay as a seller. Yes, the buyer could have escalated it and the result would have been the same, but that would have taken a fully fraudulent buyer. I suggest that you write a long, polite message to the buyer pleading your case.

Community Member
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎06-28-2012

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to melbourneclearance

 I have written to the buyer and have had no response

Community Member
Posts: 284
Registered: ‎12-29-2010

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

Hate to say it but I think your Money and item are both gone.  I can fully understand your frustration at dealing with ebay in relation to  this.   The dispute would have been handled via ebay US resolution center and the system is ridiculous.

Now for the real kick in the guts,  You will not receive a credit for the  $40 odd dollars in ebay fees, so you will still have to pay that on top of having the sale and freight cost refunded to the buyer.

Community Member
Posts: 22,596
Registered: ‎07-23-2006

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

While you should not have asked ebay to step  in, the other mistake you made was to send by sea mail.

There is no seller protection for items sent surface mail as it is too slow.   A buyer will always win a dispute when an item is send on the "slow boat to China".

Community Member
Posts: 45
Registered: ‎06-28-2012

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to lyndal1838

I've never had a problem sending via sea mail, as every one else has waited for the actual delivery date. Nothing has ever been lost in transit.

 

Isn't there an appeals process, an ombudsman type body that can step in?

 

I have asked multiple times the same questions in writing to ebay and got no reply:

1. when tracking shows the item is delivered, am I reimbursed

2. where can i lodge a complaint about the process followed

 

I have asked this 4-5 times in writing and had what seem like cut and paste replies that do not even indirectly answer the question

 

I will be fighting this for sure, as I am hoping if I write to a certain office or place that someone can mediate. Is it the case that there is nowhere for help?

Community Member
Posts: 10,732
Registered: ‎05-25-2010

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

You can try the Financial Ombudsman Service, though probably won't be of much help with eBay specifically, since you would need to take the fight to PayPal (for unauthorised debit of funds) in order for the FOS to have any say in the matter. https://www.fos.org.au/

 

eBay won't look twice unless there's a delivered status, unfortunately, and even then there have been instances of similar cases where they have steadfastly refused any attempts at appeal (pretty much because they won't take the funds back from the buyer, even though they can in many circumstances, so if they admit to any wrong or grant an appeal in your favour, they have to cough up the funds). 

 

Not saying it's not worth the fight, just that it might be a bit of an uphill one, unfortunately. 

 

If nothing else, I hope the buyer will get in touch when they receive the package. 

Community Member
Posts: 284
Registered: ‎12-29-2010

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

@88rainbow88 wrote:

I've never had a problem sending via sea mail, as every one else has waited for the actual delivery date. Nothing has ever been lost in transit.

 

Isn't there an appeals process, an ombudsman type body that can step in?

 

I have asked multiple times the same questions in writing to ebay and got no reply:

1. when tracking shows the item is delivered, am I reimbursed

2. where can i lodge a complaint about the process followed

 

I have asked this 4-5 times in writing and had what seem like cut and paste replies that do not even indirectly answer the question

 

I will be fighting this for sure, as I am hoping if I write to a certain office or place that someone can mediate. Is it the case that there is nowhere for help?


The problem with sea mail, is that delivery will take longer than the length of time that ebay permit a buyer to lodge a claim. therefore  a buyer must lodge a case knowing that item is still in transit.  The buyer will not close a case even knowing item is on the way, as they can not lodge another case.

No  Ombudsman etc, that I am aware of, and given it is an international transaction makes it even worse.  As previously stated your case would be processed via ebay US Resolution center, and I beleive any action against ebay would need to occurr in the US.  The US resolution center is virtually uncontactable, and that is the way they like it. in all likelyhood your emails are not read and replies are computor/robot generated.

Following the closure of the case, have you since lodged an appeal.  You have 30 days from the time the original case was closed to lodge an appeal.  You would need to wait for proof of delivery (hopefully within the 30 days) before lodging an appeal.

if you lodge the appeal now, or have allready done so, then you would need to provide proof of delivery, and actually be able to somehow communicate that to ebay US, prior to the appeal being finalised by ebay (about 4 Days).

good luck.

Community Member
Posts: 1,230
Registered: ‎01-24-2003

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to gutterpunkz05

id like to know who the buyer is so I can block them as would many other sellers

Dave

Community Member
Posts: 537
Registered: ‎05-30-2008

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to 88rainbow88

88rainbow88,

 

You'll know for any future sale that, as has been said, NEVER escalate a case/claim. The process of claims, disputes, refunds, etc., is automated on eBay. Therre is no human overseeing the process to examine any instance when it's not a straightforward case, with delivery date past the Money Back Guarantee date.

 

You say you've not had trouble with sea mail before, but in my candid opinion, there was always going to be a time when you struck trouble sending by sea mail to an eBay international buyer. That is because buyers know the protections on which they can rely, and either through cupidity (being able to get an expensive item for free) or through caution (knowing that the date to make a claim through eBay's Money Back Guarantee was fast approaching, and that if anything went wrong past that date, they wouldn't be able to claim through the MGB anymore), it was inevitable that a buyer would lodge a claim before arrival of their item.

 

I honestly don't think that sea mail is a viable international delivery method for sales on eBay. Buyers are being conditioned by eBay to expect items quickly, and everything that eBay do in relation to buyer expectation is geared towards encouraging buyers to lodge claims at the drop of a hat.

 

For future reference, the automatic process when you ask eBay to step in is that the bots controlling cases in eBay's Resolution Centre will search the various parameters of the claim and the delivery process, see that there's no tracking update and that the item is not yet delivered, and voilà - immediate closing of the case in the buyer's favour.

 

Unless your buyer is an honest person, you may indeed be out both the money and the item.

 

By asking eBay to step in - can I confirm with sellers here that this will automatically result in a defect for the OP as well?

 

I agree that you have few options at this stage. You can try phoning the buyer - it would be worth the international phone cost if you can speak personally with the buyer to request that they repay when the item arrives. You can wait, and contact the buyer once the item is due to arrive, and speak with the buyer then. You can do as has been said with contacting eBay - eBay's "Have us call you" option is by far the best way to get in touch with eBay. (Emails are useless, for a number of reasons, but primarily because the responses, when they are finally sent, are bot-generated.)

eBay say:

 

We'll call you at the phone number registered to your account, or you can enter a different number.

We’re available from 8am to 10pm AET, 7 days a week.

 

If you do call, make sure you take down the rep's details, and note the time and date as well as the substance of the conversation.

 

You can contact PayPal Call Customer Service:

1800 073 263 (toll free)

+61 2 8223 9500

One-off passcode
[You'll be asked to enter this unique code on the phone)

Customer Service hours

6am to 10pm AEST Monday to Friday
8am to 7pm AEST Saturday and Sunday

 

Again, take notes of with whom you speak, and time and date, and details of conversation.

 

If you receive no resolution, I'd do as digital*ghost says and open a dispute with the FOS. You can only open a dispute against a financial services provider, and moreover the financial services provider must be a member of FOS. That means you'll be opening the dispute against PayPal, not eBay. (But don't worry; if PayPal loses the dispute and are required to refund your money, they'll be going after eBay and seek to recover not only that cost, but also the costs incurred in the claim opened against them by FOS.)

 

I'm not sure about your chances of success if you take this route, but it is definitely worth considering. You said you don't know if you have the heart or will to go any further, but really this is a lot of money to lose... and if there is anything that you can do to recover those funds, it makes sense to undertake it. Stay calm, make sure you have the information to hand (which is why I said you should take notes with each communication), and give it a try.

 

 

Community Member
Posts: 537
Registered: ‎05-30-2008

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to countessalmirena

Oh! Further to above... to get the one-off passcode, you'll need the contact link for PayPal!

 

Community Member
Posts: 3,292
Registered: ‎06-24-2013

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

in reply to countessalmirena

@countessalmirena wrote:

88rainbow88,

 

You'll know for any future sale that, as has been said, NEVER escalate a case/claim. The process of claims, disputes, refunds, etc., is automated on eBay. Therre is no human overseeing the process to examine any instance when it's not a straightforward case, with delivery date past the Money Back Guarantee date.

 

You say you've not had trouble with sea mail before, but in my candid opinion, there was always going to be a time when you struck trouble sending by sea mail to an eBay international buyer. That is because buyers know the protections on which they can rely, and either through cupidity (being able to get an expensive item for free) or through caution (knowing that the date to make a claim through eBay's Money Back Guarantee was fast approaching, and that if anything went wrong past that date, they wouldn't be able to claim through the MGB anymore), it was inevitable that a buyer would lodge a claim before arrival of their item.

 

I honestly don't think that sea mail is a viable international delivery method for sales on eBay. Buyers are being conditioned by eBay to expect items quickly, and everything that eBay do in relation to buyer expectation is geared towards encouraging buyers to lodge claims at the drop of a hat.

 

 


The countess put it so eloquently.

 

When I read OP's story and got to the bit about offering sea mail, my first reaction was OMG, living dangerously. I could see exactly where it was going to go, and I am not normally a visionary.

 

I'd say do as others have suggested-never get ebay to escalate, never offer sea mail again on ebay. Never, ever. 

 

Probably the reason the buyer is not replying is because he's between the devil & the deep blue sea. He doesn't know for sure where his parcel is or if it will ever reach him.

 

I'm not sure how experienced he is on ebay but look at it from his point of view. He opens a case, you communicate and tell him when it will arrive, he says he is prepared to wait but he obviously was a bit anxious as otherwise he would not have opened a case in the first palce. Then he is refunded.

So from his point of view, he may think ebay sees a problem or they would not have refunded.

Even with your message, the fact is he has not got his item and it is an expensive item. He's probably not going to get it for another month.

 

By the time he does get it, (and i believe he will get it without a problem) then you may-and I think it's a distant may-get him going in

to refund you or else he may feel that he is entitled to keep both money & goods because of the terrible delay. I've known some otherwise honest people who have actually told me that.

Giving a refund to a seller adds another layer of bother to the whole process and a lot of buyers may never have done it before, may not be sure how to etc and ultimately can't be bothered so put it out of mind.

 

If you can't get an item to people quickly, don't sell it to them at all, not on ebay. Sea mail doesn't help you at all, the only thing it does is give the buyer cheaper postage & if you offer a cheaper rate, a lot of buyers will jump at it. Agreeing to wait till a certain time for delivery though doesn't mean they are happy with the wait.

 

Community Member
Posts: 1,034
Registered: ‎06-08-2012

Re: ebay refunding $405 for an item still in transit

[ Edited ]
in reply to countessalmirena

Rather than have eBay call you, you may want to use the live chat feature.

This will result in a transcript of the chat session being sent to you afterwards.

The transcript may be useful as evidence in any case you raise via the FOS.

Make sure when chatting to the eBay rep that they look at your sale and admit that sea mail was selected by the buyer.

 

What has been said above is quite correct in that eBay will usually NOT help in this case.

They have made their decision and will stick with it.

There are numerous cases of sellers being rorted by buyers gaming the system.

Very few, to my knowledge, have ever worked out satisfactorily.

I do recall the occasional "discretionary" repayment being made but these are VERY occasional.

The FOS will really be your best hope.

Make sure you have a print out of your eBay sale invoice that shows sea mail as the form of freight.

If the chat session log also shows that eBay know this you can take your evidence to PayPal.

If PP reject your claim, then take all your evidence to the FOS as said above.

 

Good luck with it.