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Is this dodgy? Buyer saying item hasn't arrived and

(62 Posts)
flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 09:30:04

I use Ebay on a semi-regular basis - so I'm familiar with how it all works. The vast majority of transactions are quite straightforward but every so often they aren't. I also have a 100% positive seller rating.

Anyway, last week I sold something which was sent promptly (retaining proof of postage as I learnt to do that PDQ). I offer free postage, 2nd class - which I make clear in my listings.

Anyway, the buyer has been messaging me repeatedly saying they haven't received the item and asking why I haven't replied to their messages.

Each time they've sent me a message I've replied (I have proof) and have also included the proof of postage. I've also contacted Royal Mail to chase it up for them offering a full refund if the item doesn't turn up within a specified time. However, they've ignored all that for some reason and now I've gone into my Paypal account and a hold has been put on the payment.

Is there anything I can do here?

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 09:31:15

Whoops. Title should say 'Buyer saying item hasn't arrived and ignoring messages'

twocultures Thu 15-Sep-16 09:41:42

Let me just say I think you've done the best thing by contacting R.M.

Not sure how helpful this is (not sure how expensive the item you sold is) as I had something similar happen to me... I was selling my old laptop for £100 a lady wanted to buy it and asked if I can post ASAP, I said I will post as soon as I receive payment. Payment came through I posted it out (unfortunately not tracked) and about a week later got a message from her saying the laptop never arrived and I never sent it etc etc she wants a full refund etc etc she was very standoffish in the message.
I realised she was having me on as I found out she did something similar to a friend of mine who had to refund her the full amount!
So I sent back a message with pics of receipt and saying I can obtain CCTV proof from my local post office to prove I sent it and I'm willing to dispute it further (I know it was a bit OTT but i was about 15 at the time and £100 was A LOT of money!) . She backed off and never heard anything from her since!

Hopefully in your case the item might have just been delayed or delivered to the neighbours and they don't know it yet! Hope you resolve it !!!

JinkxMonsoon Thu 15-Sep-16 09:48:42

RM don't consider an item as "lost" until about ten working days have passed IIRC.

There's a claim form you can submit online. They'll want the eBay item number, name and address of buyer, and a photo of the proof of postage. They'll reimburse you up to £20.

I've done it a few times and have either received stamps or a cheque depending on the value of the item.

You'll just have to ride out the hold on the PayPal payment until they either message you to say it's arrived (unlikely to 'fess up even if it has arrived) or you start the refund process.

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 09:58:06

Thanks twocultures. It's not a huge amount of money but it's the principle, IYSWIM. I've gone out of my way to help and I'm not running a business.

What makes me suspect it's dodgy is that she's completely ignoring my messages. Also, she's opened a case against me so this is going to affect my seller rating, isn't it? So frustrating.

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 10:04:59

Thanks Jinkx. I've responded to the Ebay claim with proof of postage etc but would it have been better to just send a refund?

The more I look at it the more I think it is a scam. The buyer opened a case pretty sharpish.

PollyPerky Thu 15-Sep-16 10:09:35

I have noticed that some sellers say that 'lost' items have to be followed up by the buyer and the seller will forward the proof of postage slip. Would that help? Or maybe in future?

Can you contact EBay and make a complaint against the buyer before they get all arsey with you and leave bad feedback? Presumably all the emails and messages you are sending are copied to your own email account too so you have a record of them all?

I once had to follow up a missing item via RM but it wasn't for Ebay- it was a return to a clothes company. The company refunded me the cost of the item once I'd shown them the POP from RM. You do need to allow quite some time- I'm sure it was 21 days when I did it.

PollyPerky Thu 15-Sep-16 10:11:36

You ought not to send a refund because if the item has been received, you will be out of pocket. In future, it's maybe worth thinking about a 'disclaimer' on your listings saying once you have posted the item, you will provide POP to the buyer ( scanned might be safest) and then they need to follow it up with RM. I doubt they will be bothered if they are trying it on.

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 10:17:57

That's really helpful Polly thanks - and yes, good idea about putting a disclaimer on any future listings, I'll make sure to do that. The buyer doesn't have much feedback so it could well be that they are inexperienced rather than being dodgy - I have retained a copy of all messages from me to the buyer and POP from the post office if needed.

Actually, I've been selling on Ebay for 6 years and this is the first time I've ever come across this problem so maybe I should count myself lucky!

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 10:20:22

Just for the sake of clarity, I have already forwarded POP to the buyer (which they appear to be ignoring).

MagikarpetRide Thu 15-Sep-16 10:26:02

Unfortunately for the seller PayPal and eBay protection you need proof of delivery not proof of postage. You may well find eBay force the full refund through. Definitely persue with rm though as it's being treated as lost and they should refund you (though knowing rm they're likely to be funny about it)

smilingeyes11 Thu 15-Sep-16 10:34:12

you cannot put a disclaimer on your listing - you sent the item without tracking and that is up to you to sort out. You need to send everything tracked to prevent being scammed. You can't just pass it onto the buyer to sort out! Send Hermes or Collect Plus and add tracking to eBay then you are covered. Forwarding certificate of postage to a buyer to sort out is daft and wrong. You have the contract with RM so you need to sort it.

PollyPerky Thu 15-Sep-16 10:37:47

How can a sender gain proof of delivery? That can only work if you send tracked / recorded/ registered post and then...surely the onus is on RM to provide proof of delivery? How do they do that? Is it through the keypad thing you sign when they hurl it over your fence when you are out and they say it's been delivered ? smile

Certs of posting cover for up to £20. Items over that should be sent recorded.

smilingeyes11 Thu 15-Sep-16 10:39:03

if you check the terms of paypal it says everything needs to be sent tracked with online proof of delivery - it is the only way to protect yourself as a seller.

19lottie82 Thu 15-Sep-16 10:40:40

If someone claims an item has not arrived, get them to open a not received case (this may put some wannabe scammers off), but once they do, all you can do is refund straight away, unless you have proof of delivery.

Maybe politely ask them if they'd mind waiting a couple more days to see if it turns up (I usually go by the theory that if something hasn't turned up a week after postage, it isn't going to), but by asking a buyer to wait until you can claim back from RM, is more than likely going to end up in negative feedback and/or a strike from eBay, as you haven't resolved the case with the buyer within their set time frame.

I'm a business seller and send my items a mixture of signed for and normal delivery. It's really just a case of using your common sense, and deciding if it's worth paying the extra £1 for proof of delivery.

When a buyer claims an item hasn't shown up, it's due to 1 of 3 things,

1) The item is actually lost.

2) The postman has returned the item to the depot, but hasn't left a card, or the card has got lost in a communal area etc. (You can ask the buyer to check with their local depot, but usually, you can't get through when you phone, and their unlikely to want to make a special trip to the depot within working hours)

3) The buyer has received the item, has seen that it wasn't sent recorded, and has decided to try their luck.

Basically, if it's an amount you can live with being out of pocket for (until / if RM pay out for the lost item), then send it regular, if not then ALWAYS send it "signed for". My rule of thumb is over £20 and it always goes "signed for.
I'm sorry twocultures but sending something worth £100 without a signature and adequate insurance is just madness!

PS adding "disclaimers" in your listing, is totally useless, and is even likely to put off potential buyers off. I do not advise doing this at all. eBay may even pull your listing if they come across it, due to "unfair terms".

19lottie82 Thu 15-Sep-16 10:45:30

Polly Sorry, but that's all total nonsense......

PollyPerky Thu 15-Sep-16 10:49:43

19lottie I haven't done the 'disclaimer' thing myself. I have seen it on other people's listings.

What do you mean by 'online proof of delivery'? Please explain. Does RM feedback something to the sender by email? Not sure what you mean...

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 10:52:30

I'm not expecting the buyer to sort things out at all, I know it's my responsibility. I've contacted RM on their behalf and have also forwarded on PoP to prove that I have sent the item and offered a refund if it doesn't turn up. I don't think I've acted unreasonably there.

It looks as though I may need to suck it up if the buyer is trying it on - if so then lesson learnt!

19lottie82 Thu 15-Sep-16 10:56:28

Online Proof of Delivery = entering the tracking number online on the RM website and seeing the status, and if applicable the signature provided when the item was delivered (and time / date).

nauticant Thu 15-Sep-16 11:08:36

The advice you need to follow OP is this:

If someone claims an item has not arrived, get them to open a not received case (this may put some wannabe scammers off), but once they do, all you can do is refund straight away, unless you have proof of delivery.

You can put in a claim with Royal Mail using your Proof of Postage but that's nothing to do with the buyer or with ebay/Paypal. You do this separately from the giving the refund (which fighting against will only harm your ebay account).

Forget about fairness. ebay is about following ebay's rules/systems to get the best/least damaging outcome available.

JinkxMonsoon Thu 15-Sep-16 11:12:36

Yep, the buyer needs to open a Not Received case. Royal Mail considers an item lost after ten working days.

More info here. Can proceed with a claim using the button at the bottom of the screen.

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 11:24:59

Thanks everyone for your advice - it looks like issuing a refund and claiming back from RM is the way to go, so that's what I'll do.

JinkxMonsoon Thu 15-Sep-16 11:42:06

Just make sure it's all done through eBay. Buyer needs to open the not received case first, and then eBay ask you to respond. Don't just log into PayPal and refund from there.

flippinada Thu 15-Sep-16 11:46:09

I will do - thanks smile.

MagikarpetRide Thu 15-Sep-16 13:12:46

polly That's the point though, to have paypal/ebay protection you need to send tracked. If you send via an untracked method then that's a risk you take.

Ebay disclaimers mean nothing when they contravene Ebay's terms and conditions - which I believe allow you to open a not received dispute 4 days after expected delivery and can be closed 8 days after that. This doesn't give time for you to follow the RM claimback. This is also the same with returned items. Ebay can enforce the return even if you put a disclaimer on the listing about not accepting returns.

flippin its a harsh lesson you only learn once at least voice of experience. Fingers crossed your buyer is happy with the proper route and allows you time to sort it out with RM.

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