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mak: Looking for Input on Bricklink Transaction Issue
I bought something off Bricklink in July, the items have still not not been delivered. I have been in touch with the seller and he keeps assuring me they will arrive and it does happen sometimes. I realised that the 45 days PayPal allows for a buyer to file for "Item Not Received" -(INR) is getting very close, so I filed. The seller has now got back to me saying he offered insurance but I didn't take it so if the items are not delivered, I have no right to file for that claim. According to this seller, I agreed to their store's terms when I made the purchase and didn't pay extra for insurance.
How should I approach this? Am I in the wrong for filing for INR?
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I'm fairly sure that for non delivery paypal will side with you anyway, regardless of insurance or what terms the store puts in place. If this is a UK sale it's certainly true, I'm not entirely sure of the laws for such matters in the US.
Depending on the answers to the above questions, it may be too early to give advise beyond "wait a bit longer" if it's coming from another country, or "it's been far too long" if the seller is just around the block from you.
In any case, was this a large $$ order or just a small parts order? See if you can get the seller to work with you to make this right.
Now days it is free to add tracking when mailing via USPS and eBay. So, I would ask the seller if they included delivery confirmation. As a buyer I would like to see proof that they mailed/shipped my stuff.
Now, for me a lot depends on the cost of the item. If an item is over $50 I will usually ship via FedEx so that it is insured. If the cost is between $35-50 I may or may not mention insurance to the seller. Generally people don't take out insurance. If the item is less than $35 I don't worry about insurance or anything.
If the item were $10 or less and I had tracked the item and it never showed that it was delivered I would figure the seller was telling the truth and would just give them a refund. If the item cost between $10 and $50 and tracking showed the item was never delivered I would wait 45 days. If it still didn't show up I may give the buyer a partial refund, but the onus is on the buyer to have the item insured if it is pricey. Course, as I mentioned, if the item is $50+ I am going to insure it.
Also, the rating of the buyer or seller plays a part in what I do. As a buyer I have had things arrive poorly packaged, mailed after 30 days of purchase, and a few times the seller never provided proof they mailed my stuff. In all of those cases I filed a claim. So, I think you are OK with what you did. If the seller cannot prove he mailed you your stuff I think the onus is on them.
Good that you filed a claim. PayPal should back you up and ask the seller to provide proof.
Whew... didn't mean to type a history. :-) Don't know if that helps. Just my experience and thoughts.
The seller can argue you agreed to his store terms, but the only way for him to enforce it is to sue you, which seems quite unlikely. More likely he leaves you negative feedback and that's the end of that. maybe he'll try to bad mouth you on the BL forums as well.
Most likely, assuming the seller is honest, the items are "lost in the mail". Best course of action might be to try and work out a compromise of some sort, though I"m not sure what I would propose - depends highly on the amount of the order.
Perhaps he has something of the sort to share with you (?)
The reason PayPal has the rules they do is because of Federal Mail Order laws, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission in the United States. The UK has similar rules about mail order and seller responsibilities.
The seller cannot put terms in their store overriding the law, and in short, the law says a seller mailing an item to a customer is responsible for the item until it arrives. Otherwise, the buyer is free to seek their money back.
With a credit card, this is easy, file a charge back. If cash or MO is used, or a bank transfer, then only suing them in the courts is an option, and clearly that would be nuts for almost all mail order transactions.
This is why you always use a credit card. ;) It gives you charge back rights.
Or you can use PayPal's Buyer Protection, which is almost as good, but not quite as good as a credit card.
Sellers on Bricklink who use terms like, "if you buy from me and don't request insurance, I'm not responsible for lost or damaged items", are just engaged in wishful thinking.
Bricklink store terms do not override PayPal's Buyer Protection or national mail order laws. It really is just that simple.
I'm kind of surprised the seller didn't use delivery confirmation when he or she shipped. I was under the impression that accepting Paypal and shipping without DC or signature confirmation included was asking for trouble.
For example, USPS Priority Mail International does not offer tracking everywhere outside of the US. It does work in some countries, but not in others and there is no promise that it will ever work.
So shipping out of the US using PM International is always a risk. I've used it before, but often I'll insist on USPS Express Mail instead.
I recently sold my deboxed 10221 SSD to Australia. It was $60 for Priority Mail International, it was $75 for Express Mail. In that case, clearly I only shipped it via Express Mail, provides me with some security in the event the buyer says "never got it".
OF course, with PayPal, nothing is certain, they are very buyer centric so sooner or later as a seller you're going to lose at some point.
other countries are much more sketchy for sure, and your general guidelines are spot on.
@cmrt1014 Yes the seller sent the items the day after I paid i.e 25th July via USPS and provided the track & trace info but according the tracking, the item is still in the US. The total paid is a little over $50
@cloaked7, this seller seem to think because he shipped the item and has provided the tracking information, his done his part and whether the items are delivered or not, that's my problem. Thanks your thoughts and experience are very valuable :-)
@dougts - Yes he has already threatened to bad mouth me on BL forums and leave me a negative feedback. Claims I am abusing PayPal Buyer Protection Program because the money PayPal has put a hold on belongs to him and I have no right to do that. So he will 'expose me' (his words) to other sellers about me. And, file a NPB as well.
@lang - all I have is the tracking and the information on the tracking says the item is still in the US
@LegoFanTexas - Thanks, yes you're right. I pointed out to him that the Uniform Commercial Code in the US, equivalent to the UK's Distance Selling Regulation overides his store's terms, and to put it lightly, he wasn't best pleased.
@Renny, thanks, looks like if a buyer doesn't take the insurance he's offering, buying from him becomes a lottery.
Good bricklink sellers will take care of their customers. sometimes that means they eat the losses. it appears this guy isn't one of those.
If you doubt that, watch a few episodes of the TV show Cops... You'll see plenty of people arguing with the Police thinking they can do whatever they want.
So these things do happen, but waiting for over a month seems a bit much. Good luck and stick to your guns - I agree with everyone else here.
Worst that can happen is you're blacklisted on BL, but if you're a regular user that could be worse than copping for a non-delivered low value order.
Also, not every store has those terms, mine doesn't. I stand behind what I sell, I take full responsibility until it is safely in your hands, I'll never say "tough luck" ever... If I want the package insured, I put insurance on it, that is to protect me the seller, not you the buyer.
Buying from a seller like me is like buying from Amazon, you never have any risk and any mistakes, errors, problems, screwups, etc. will be fixed.
I am never interested in the money from any one sale so much that I want to screw anyone over. That would just be lame.
The seller has now backed down on his threats and unprofessional attitude. He has agreed to sort things out amicably. tbh I nearly pushed the escalation button because he was begining to get on my last nerve.
He sounds like he's fairly new to selling online and hasn't grasp what the risks are or he was using intimidation tactics to scare me to back down on the claim.
Sad comment on the world we live in, but all you can do is move on.
Just imagine if it happened again with that seller and that it didn't work out as well. Would you be happy to voluntarily put yourself into a 50% refund/punishment scenario with that same person again?
Unfortunately i left it until after 45 days before logging a claim, so it may be denied.
But being in australia, post from the US can often take 4 weeks+ so the 45 days paypal offers is almost borderline.
just have to play it out and see what happens with my ~$250 :/
The UK postal system seems to mark packages delivered when it is the hands of the local postman. This becomes apparent when a package is sent to the wrong location, sorted for local delivery and marked "delivered". It then has to travel back through the UK system until it gets to the correct address. The status never changing from "delivered". Shipping from Canada to Australia is a nightmare and took more than two months when I did it which, BTW was within the Canada Post terms of service.
I had to refund the Australian buyer because he chose the slow shipping option. So even though the PayPal deadline had passed he insisted on a refund then paid me again when it finally showed up a week later. Of course, I lost money on the "refund" and then had to pay the PayPal fee a second time.
So, while the buyer is right and deserves protection, if I ever sell on BL again I will simply not ship to Australia or require the ludicrously expensive faster shipping options. Everybody loses!
I've learned as a seller to always ad insurance if I'm not willing to take the loss on a lost parcel. It's my responsibility to get the parcel there.
It was taking months to get anywhere and people complained too much.
It does cost less, but sometimes it isn't worth it.
The is only one way to run a business and that is the right way. Be upfront and communicate with your customers. Don't cut corners and most importantly insure all packages!!
Regarding others in this thread, communication between buyer and sellers is key. Yes, sometimes things go wrong, but the good sellers will work to correct them. Keep in mind that there are 30,000-50,000 transactions on BrickLink every month. The vast majority of orders are delievered timely, and without any problems. Only a very very small percentage go bad.
July 21, 2012, 1:23 pm
FOLSOM, CA 95630
Accepted at USPS Origin Sort Facility
July 19, 2012, 10:20 pm
LAKE FOREST, CA 92630
1. Your Side
2. Their Side
3. The Truth
It takes a big man (or woman) to stand up and say "you know what, I just messed up, I was wrong and let me fix it".
Sometimes people get so hung up in fighting for "their side" that they never stop to think about how it looks from across the table.
Sometimes, the other person is right and you're wrong, I think most people respect someone who just say, "darn it, I am wrong, I will make it right".
I have sellers on Bricklink that I'll never buy from again, and others that had problems with a shipment to me, then they made it right, and I have gone back to multiple times to buy again. Everyone makes mistakes, no one anywhere, is perfect... it is how you fix those mistakes that really matters...