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y2josh: Looking for Input on eBay Transaction Issue

y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
edited November 2012 in Buying & Selling Topics
I need some advice on how to proceed with an expensive ($500+) set I recently purchased off eBay. Essentially, I purchased this about two weeks ago and USPS showed it as delivered while we were out of town for Thanksgiving. When we got back, we had no package, nor did either of the neighbors or the other couple in our building (or at least that's what they say... I have no reason to doubt them). After communicating back and forth with the seller, who seems like a pretty nice guy, I came to find out that neither signature confirmation nor insurance were purchased on this shipment... which is insane to me.

So my question is... what's the best way to proceed with this? Is there any resolution to this case where either the seller or myself don't get screwed out of a lot of money?

Comments

  • 12651265 Member Posts: 954
    Was it advertised as signature confirmation and/or did the cost include insurance? If so, than you have a case, however, if not, than deal with the USPS......which is a joke. If you paid via Paypal, than you might have another route to recoup you cost.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    Neither was advertised. I suppose I just assumed they would be common sense for such an expensive set (and yes, I know what happens when you assume). I did pay via PayPal, though - it's just that my understanding is that if I open a case with them, it's going to wind up that either myself or the seller is going to be out a huge chunk of change.

    But I don't know. I've been on eBay for thirteen years and I've never had anything like this come up.
  • tk79tk79 Member Posts: 329
    edited November 2012
    This might be helpful...

    http://answercenter.ebay.com/question/Escrow-Insurance/Seller-Responsible-Insurance/900341244

    I realize it's not an "official" answer, but it seems that the consensus is that insurance is for the seller while the buyer can use Buyer protection.

    I always pay for insurance out of pocket on higher priced items when selling.
  • BuriedinBricksBuriedinBricks USAMember Posts: 1,367
    From a seller's perspective, I believe PayPal requires signature confirmation for any sale over $200 to prevent a chargeback from going through. So, if you file a claim, chances are you are going to win.

    Has the seller said anything yet?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    edited November 2012
    ^^This is exactly my problem. I don't have any reason to believe this seller didn't send (or intentionally mis-sent) this set, and to my understanding, if I wind up going through buyer protection, especially since there was no insurance taken out, my refund is going to come out of the seller's pocket. Is this the case, or am I mistaken on this?
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    The seller has been extremely helpful in trying to get this sorted out, and we've even gone so far as to file an inquiry through USPS. The problem is that they're showing it as delivered, in spite of the fact that it seems like it was delivered to the wrong address (or perhaps stolen off my porch... but I've never had an issue with that, either).
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ You will not likely get anywhere with USPS, if they show it as delivered, they likely will stick by that.

    Even if not, since no insurance was purchased, they hold no liability for it, so it really doesn't matter.

    Yes, a PayPal buyer protection claim will come out of the seller's end. Seller should have insured the package, full stop.

    So someone is going to be out the money, either you or the seller.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^That's a real bummer. The seller seems like a decent fellow, but I don't suppose losing such a sum of money because someone was nice to me makes a lot of sense at the end of the day.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ I do understand, and it sucks, that is for sure...

    I recently turned down a $400 overseas order, would have been profitable too, but the seller wanted me to ship via PMI, which wasn't traceable to that country. The problem is, USPS insurance is useless, and if tracking doesn't show delivery with a signature, I have zero protection.

    All the options, from signature to insurance protect the seller, not the buyer. Sadly, a lot of sellers don't understand this and learn it the hard way. I know I sure did! :)

    Also, keep in mind that while he might very well be a decent fellow, it is possible he knows he is on the hook for this and is going out of his way to be nice.

    Finally, the person I'd ask would be my postman (or woman). I know mine well, of course it helps that I get boxes every day, but it often helps to ask about a box, sometimes they might well know what happened.

    For a $500 item, PayPal should side with you if the seller does not have a signature proof of delivery. If by chance PayPal doesn't want to take your side, hopefully you used a decent credit card, that is your best defense.
  • astarguyastarguy Member Posts: 40
    I have posted on the subject before, but this is going to be a problem for a long time to come. and even more so as more and more people buy things on line and have them shipped. i have worked on the inside of 3 of the major cargo delivery companies at various times in my life (UPS, DHL, and Fedex) i only say that to assure you that i know the real deal. so the short answer to your current problem is good luck.The other posts have given good advise. but in the future ask for and demand signature for delivery. make sure you are home when it is due to arrive (don't be gone on vacation) think about when the package might arrive when you order it. ask the seller to delay shipping if you can. the bottom line is all shipping companies will drop and run if they can. And i do mean drop and run (see youtube). why because they can. if you item is coming in more than one box try and have them shipped as separate shipments. yes this will cast more but the odds of getting them all increase. (not normally a problem for Lego's). if you live in an apt get to know your manager and have your items dropped of there. (most will) or get to know you maintenance man! they get parts shipped all the time, so they might help. (maintenance people are very under appreciated so a little love goes a long way). get to know your delivery driver or letter carrier. ups usually has the same driver day after day. (except around Christmas all bets are off). FedEx is not so consistent but try any way. the post office is the worst on the drop and run but who can blame them. so be aware of that. also FedEx has a program that the give your package to the post office for final delivery so keep that in mind too. (allow for an extra day for delivery).well i have rambled on enough, good luck and buyer be aware PLEASE.
  • jasonord69ajasonord69a UKMember Posts: 423
    Hi,

    I have had a couple if occasions when selling through eBay where there has been an issue with the item either missing or damaged on arrival. I have found that the best way to make a claim is through eBay instead of PayPal.

    They are essentially both the same company but if both the buyer and seller are not at fault, eBay may refund you and not take the money off of the seller. They have on 2 occasions taken this action when buyers have out in claims against me. I send all items recorded/signed for with enough insurance to cover the cost of the item.

    If the seller has chosen not to insure the item is that your fault? PayPal/eBay protect the buyer far more than the seller so the probability is that the claim will go in your favour.

    You so have the option if claiming through your credit card company if the transaction was paid for using a credit card and not your PayPal balance.

    Good luck solving your problem.
  • richoricho Member Posts: 3,830
    edited November 2012
    I had my only recent missing item case on ebay recently. It was actually a non Lego item from Canada. Basically the tracking showed it stuck halfway in the journey. It showed as arrived in the UK, but it just sat in 'in transit' and not delivered. It required a signature, and I obviously never signed for it, and the tracking showed this, yet the seller insisted I had received it (bizarre!).

    In the end, sadly it had to go all the way to an non-received item case, which despite some abuse from the seller, I won due to the tracking not showing I signed for it. Even to this day, the tracking still shows as 'in transit'. I can only assume it was lost or stolen somewhere around customs.

    I guess what I am getting at here, is that I suspect you would lose the case if the tracking shows you signed for it or it was delivered, so I think you are in a tough spot. At least the seller seems reasonable, so maybe you can do something like split the costs, which I guess is not ideal for either of you?

    This also shows that for sellers hoping to profit from big/expensive lego items, there are always risks that one transaction can hit you hard. You might even choose a fully tracked insured service, but if it goes missing like in my example, it can still be a huge hassle for you to get the money back, and its likely you would lose any ebay case if it goes missing before signature.
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 417
    USPS showing delivery doesn't prove anything, all it shows is delivery within the zip code.

    I got duped last year when a seller sent me 'something' and I never received it, despite the fact that the USPS DC number shows delivery. I gave the seller the benefit of the doubt and went to the post office to inquire about the delivery, but they being as useless as ever jot down my information and would get back to me, they never did. I finally looked up the tracking number on their website and it said it was delivered with 'first class mail', there and then I realized I just got scammed. The bicycle parts I bought couldn't have been shipped first class and just assumed the seller sent a envelope to another address within the zip code.

    Either way, I think you should just go a head and file a claim. A unfortunate and costly wake up call to the seller for not shipping with a signature.
  • pcironepcirone Long Island, NYMember Posts: 346
    ^ It could have been a first class mail parcel as long as it did not exceed 13 ounces. I ship items this way all the time as it is very cost effective for small, low value items.
  • lulwutlulwut Member Posts: 417
    ^
    Nope. Parts I bought were disc calipers weighing more than 13oz. Seller just stopped answering my questions. Paypal decided in their favor so I did a chargeback. The chargeback lead to my Paypal account limitation and I was asked to pay the chargeback to have it removed. I called Paypal and pleaded my case to remove the limitation.
  • doriansdaddoriansdad CTCMember Posts: 1,337
    Was the seller new or did he have a long established seller account? If it was an established account then the seller knows anything over $250 requires signature confirmation to be eligible for seller protection. The fact he did not purchase signature confirmation or insurance tells me he self insures. File a claim through ebay and get your money back. For him it is the cost of doing business and he should have funds set aside to cover these claims. If he was a brand new seller then it sounds like it is going to be an expensive lesson for him unfortunately.

    Since there was no signature confirmation you as the buyer will win the case every time. File the claim through ebay. The whole purpose behind ebay requiring signature confirmation is to prevent this very situation from occurring. IIRC when you ship an item through ebay or paypal and the value is above $250 a message will prompt you to buy signature confirmation to be eligible for seller protection. If the seller chooses to ignore this advice then he assumes all the risk.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    edited November 2012
    The seller has been on eBay since 2004, but only has ~100 feedback - all positive. So I don't know if the signature confirmation was deliberately ignored or if he was just unaware it needed to be there.

    Additionally, only 20 of that feedback is as a seller, but at least one is for a UCS Falcon where the transaction seems to have gone smoothly.
  • Chang405Chang405 Member Posts: 81
    Sounds like he doesn't sell often enough to know certain things about selling.
    LegoFanTexas
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    Chang405 said:

    Sounds like he doesn't sell often enough to know certain things about selling.

    ^ This... It takes awhile to figure it all out, and 20 sales over 8 years is just not enough to be anything other than a *very* casual seller who doesn't understand all this.

    I'd be inclined to believe the seller, but sadly it wouldn't change anything, the seller still has to pony up. :(
  • ludzikludzik US (SoCal)Member Posts: 430

    ^ You will not likely get anywhere with USPS, if they show it as delivered, they likely will stick by that.

    Even if not, since no insurance was purchased, they hold no liability for it, so it really doesn't matter.

    Yes, a PayPal buyer protection claim will come out of the seller's end. Seller should have insured the package, full stop.

    So someone is going to be out the money, either you or the seller.

    Side note: do not give up on USPS.... I recently fought a nearly 3 week battle with them where they were overcharging me for shipping and refusing to admit that. I went up as high as I could on the phone, which then it ended up being referred locally to the post master general.... took time, effort and patience, but I was issued refunds for packages (sight unseen) just based on the receipts.
  • LegoFanTexasLegoFanTexas TexasMember Posts: 8,409
    ^ That is a completely different matter. Incorrect postage charges indeed can be fought and won.

    This is a case of a package that the post office says they delivered, yet is no where to be seen.

    The USPS has no liability for uninsured packages.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    @y2josh - not sure how big a town you're in, but I would encourage you to speak with your carrier or even go down to the local PO and see if there might be a package for pickup. Sometimes I get the little package slips from my carrier even on items that do not have registration or signature confirmation. At the vary least, your carrier may recall leaving the package at your residence. It's worth a try.
  • wagnerml2wagnerml2 Belleville, IllinoisMember Posts: 1,376
    The other thing I would do is search craigslist in your area and make sure your set is not for sale. If it was swiped from your doorstep, this might help confirm.
  • ludzikludzik US (SoCal)Member Posts: 430

    ^ That is a completely different matter. Incorrect postage charges indeed can be fought and won.

    This is a case of a package that the post office says they delivered, yet is no where to be seen.

    The USPS has no liability for uninsured packages.

    Good point though I was under the impression that for packages they are supposed to get signatures (or maybe that's just my local USPS policy)

    Getting back to the original issue, it's a screwy situation. While I agree that the seller is on the hook but the seller can say: "well, per USPS it was delivered" which then shifts the "burden" to USPS which means a lengthy "Battle".

    But I'm getting ahead of myself: the proper procedure probably means contesting through the appropriate channels with the seller first and then working your way up to USPS.
  • seonadancingseonadancing Member Posts: 92
    Basing on my recent experience, some packages could take more than 2 weeks to be delivered even if it's domestic. If I remember correctly, the tracking number also showed that the package was delivered but it took about a month before I received it. Those were actually 2 packages sent at the same time that got delayed for that long, one from Amazon, and another from bricklink. Hopefully, you'll end up getting your package after a few more weeks.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    I actually wound up having to open an item not received case which the seller immediately escalated to a claim. I'm still waiting to see how that turns out. I still don't believe this was deliberate on the part of the seller at all, but I still can't afford to just be out that much money if I can help it.
  • BastaBasta Australia Member Posts: 1,259
    One thing that seems a little different in Australia is that leaving packages on door steps is not the norm, from my experience anyway. With Australia Post you can select an option to leave a card for the person to have to pick the item up at the post office, the courier companies I use also have this option. As a seller I always select it.
  • y2joshy2josh Member Posts: 2,002
    ^I always do this myself as well, and I think part of the problem here is that I just assumed with such a pricey set the seller would spend the two dollars or whatever it is to get signature confirmation.
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