Q: Asking all eBay sellers - past and present

So I'm in this predicament where a buyer claims that he was out of town during labor day weekend and never received the item that he bought. According to USPS, it was delivered on the 3rd. He messaged me the 5th asking for a refund since he didn't receive it and his neighbors did not see or receive it for him either. I contacted my shipper (because I have a dropshipper, whom I trust) and he tried talking to this buyer in hopes of coming to a resolution. He offered to pay half for a new item to ship to him as long as the buyer paid the other half. I'm going to safely assume that the buyer didn't agree to that since he tried opening a Buyer's Protection Case a day later. I tried messaging him explaining that there wasn't anything else I could do. The package was shipped out within the timeframe and there was delivery confirmation. I get a rude response asking whether or not I was going to refund him his payment or not. I do research. (By the way, I'm totally stressing out about this at this point because I've never encountered anything so stressful on eBay before.) I find that: A. USPS insurance apparently only covers damage to the item during the transit or if the item was lost during transit. B. Buyer Protection Claims only refund the payment to the buyer if the item is NOT confirmed as delivered. So. I link the seller to the threads I've read about people in the same situation on eBay as well as eBay's explanations about Seller Protection. I feel bad for the guy and it sucks that we're in this situation. I also told him to check with his post office to see if they still have it. (Just because they scan it as delivered doesn't necessarily mean it has been, apparently.) I also told him to file mail theft if that was a possibility. Is there anything else I can do for him?
arsiel posted Sep 09, 2011
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there's nothing else you can do as a seller. you want to trust in people but this seems fishy. you might get a negative feedback but you've done everything correctly as a seller. you have delivery confirmation and that's enough to protect you. if the package was confirmed delivered, you have to assume that it was. it's more trustworthy than a random buyer.
tekman2500 (rep: 1.4k) posted Sep 09, 2011
hm. thanks for the reassurance. i guess if he does leave the negative feedback, i'll just have to deal with that
arsiel (rep: 13k) posted Sep 09, 2011
I have never dealt with this specific problem so I don't "know" but gosh, if you have delivery confirmation (and the buyer was out of town), I can't see why you would be responsible at all. I don't think the buyer would win any case he made and if he does leave negative feedback I would dispute it with ebay (they may even be able to take it off). If not, just put a comment with your explanation under the negative given.

This is one reason I don't like doing ebay. The problems are often out of your control. It's like, you can't take a hit (when you did everything right) just because something else didn't work out (and someone probably stole a package off someone's doorstep that was on vacation). I don't know about ebay's policy, but it's obvious that morally you shouldn't be responsible.

Good luck.
MHT962 (rep: 3.22k) posted Sep 10, 2011
most of the rules protect the buyer on ebay, there is no reason for a buyer to be afraid of ebay. Use paypal and you can always get your money back. But as a seller it can be problematic at times.....lol
encorez (rep: 9.96k) posted Sep 10, 2011
As long as you have the shipping tracking number your PayPal will not be debited. eBay has a source of funds in which they will reimburse the buyer if he can actually prove that it didn't arrive at his house. But so long as USPS proves it was delivered you're in the clear.
Mandydeth (rep: 825) posted Sep 10, 2011
Also some people have a history of this type of thing(read as scamers), keeping the item they claim that they did not receive and demanding the money back from the seller. I would stand on your delivery confirmation on this. TG these people are few and far inbetween.
skaro964 (rep: 4.12k) posted Sep 10, 2011
Thanks guys. Helps a lot.
arsiel (rep: 13k) posted Sep 10, 2011
If he knew the possibility of the delivery occurring while he was out of town, he should have made arrangements for it to be held at the post office or picked up by a neighbor. Theft of deliveries left in plain sight happens all the time in the greater DC area.

On the other hand, delivery confirmation with no signature required does not even prove that the package was actually delivered to his address. I live on a numbered street connecting with the street with the next higher number in such a way that going straight changes the street you are on. A sharp turn is needed to stay on the original street. Making matters worse, the address range on both branches is the same. I have had numerous wrong deliveries, visits from police, taxis, etc. intended for the house on the other street. God forbid someone should need an ambulance some day!

Several years ago I lived elsewhere and had to have a camera sent to me THREE times before the apparently dyslexic DHL delivery guy finally succeeded. On the third attempt, the DHL office called me to say their delivery man was knocking on my door. "No, he's NOT! There's no one there!" They asked me my address again. A short time later, the guy arrives at my door with the CORRECTLY ADDRESSED package.

In the future, you might consider using signature-required delivery. Even though it costs more, it could have spared you this situation.
fluffy (rep: 2.17k) posted Sep 10, 2011
I dont have a very big selling ebay acct myself..just 150 plus entries with 100 percent feedbaback...just one bad feedback would drive me nuts the way my brain works though lol
drose1 (rep: 124) posted Sep 11, 2011
Check the buyer's ebay score to see if they have a history of this. Give them bad seller feedback too. I know that doesn't directly help you, but this is how we as an ebay seller community, weed out fraudulent buyers. As far as refunding or anything, you should be in the clear as you have done everything correctly on your end. The ebay seller protection should protect you at this point. Worst case scenario, I see, is that you get one feedback score which I believe you can also refute with ebay.
TheJammer (rep: 1.13k) posted Sep 11, 2011
Unfortunately - Sellers are NO LONGER allowed to leave negative feedback - you can leave a comment - but ONLY positive feedback - so unless a seller reads through all the positives to find a Negative Statement attached to one - there isn't much a seller can do to let other sellers know to beware! :(

If a complaint is filed - PayPal WILL freeze that money until they investigate (which I have had take Over a MONTH to have done.) - You will receive an email and have to go into your PayPal account and enter the Delivery Confirmation Number - this will almost Always go in your favor since you have proof... however - having the amount on hold in your account for such a long period of time can Stink!

I've been with eBay for well over 10 years now and have pretty much seen it all... eBay has definitely gone into protecting the buyers and pretty much screwing over the sellers... that is why SO many have chosen to leave (well, that and the FEES!)

You have done all that you can do for now - breath easy and remember - even if they do give you negative feedback - you CAN respond to that feedback and let anyone reading your feedback know what the problem was and that you Have Proof it was delivered.
FibroMom (rep: 177k) posted Sep 11, 2011
@fluffy, lol @ some of your comments though the ambulance comment is only funny until something actually happens. Knock on wood. Signature confirmation COULD have avoided this situation entirely; however, eBay does not REQUIRE it unless the purchase is worth over $250.

@drose1, ugh, I'm one short of 100 and I've been on eBay for 4 or so years (only really being active this year) and one negative feedback would drive me up the wall. It's not just you.

@TheJammer, I checked after reading numerous threads. He has 700+ feedback and it seems to be all positive. Also, from the 6-7 pages I skipped through of the feedback he left to others, they're all positive as well.

@FibroMom, I think we talked about eBay before and not only do they hold the money to investigate for about forever, they auto hold it for 21 days unless it's confirmed as delivered...in which case, you have to wait 3 days to call them and have them manually release it. Sigh.
arsiel (rep: 13k) posted Sep 11, 2011
If you have a delivery confirmation, etc. then you are protected as the seller. Unfortunately the worst case is that you'll get neg feedback from the buyer but you will be protected from Ebay. I had this happen to me before also. You can leave neg feedback for the buyer, just under "Positive" section. You can't help what happens once the package has been delivered w/confirmation, etc.. You've done your part and you did it correctly - don't beat yourself up about it...
littleg33 (rep: 1) posted Sep 12, 2011
The one thing that I don't understand is why he did not have the PO hold his mail while he was on vacation. Its standard practice here and you can even do it on line.
skaro964 (rep: 4.12k) posted Sep 12, 2011
@skaro964: exactly! Even if it is a short vacation and especially if you are expecting a package.
VirginiaPeanuts (rep: 11.6k) posted Sep 13, 2011
I wouldnt do anything. It's his fault he didn't have his mail held at the post office while he was gone, or have a neighbor pick it up. Seems to me that he sees an easy opportunity to try and scam the seller, because he thought you'd give in.

One negative isn't going to screw up your reputation. You have delivery confirmation. That's all you need.
bbattag (rep: 6.8k) posted Sep 15, 2011