Wednesday, February 08, 2006

eBay lesson learned

Fan of eBay? PayPal the answer to all your internet financial affairs? Be very careful if you are a seller!

I recently sold a digital camera on eBay, bought by a guy in the States. Hooray! Received the money through PayPal (minus their huge percentage), packaged it up and posted it off. This is where I made my first mistake - not registering the post, so the camera could not be tracked. Lorna posted it and had to write the contents on a sticky label on the outside of the package..."Digital Camera"!

So it went missing - some light fingered postal worker on one side of the Atlantic. Or maybe it arrived and the guy thought he would double his pleasure. He complains to PayPal (fair enough) and they contact me, freeze the account and instruct me to make sure funds are available to cover a full refund. I didn't realise, but all the responsibility lies with the seller. The buyer is believed without question that the item didn't arrive...

The result? A 9 DAY wait for funds to transfer into my PayPal account (they left my bank on 3rd Feb and haven't been seen since), 3 emails from eBay telling me to pay up (I can't, the funds won't transfer!), another eBay seller getting cross with me as I have bought something and can't pay for it (my account is frozen until the funds are in!).......blah blah blah

The lesson? Use registered post, no matter what the extra cost it. Use any postal service that allows you to trace a package. I always will now.

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