Jump to content
CoinPeople.com

Bit of a rant - a seller's headache


gxseries
 Share

Recommended Posts

I've been selling on ebay for years and haven't had much issues only until very very recently. I snapped as one buyer decided to open a case with paypal and blow the case up. At the same time, he's won another item from me. Right.

 

I had a couple of claims from the US in the past couple of months claiming that they didn't receive their coins. Yes, after close to 10 years of sending coins to the US and I'm sure I've sent more than one hundred mail to the US - this just had to happen this year. Unless this year's US mail service has been horrible due to cutbacks. Thankfully they were both just a few dollars. Not going to lose sleep over it - however multiply that by ten, twenty, fifty, hundred of claims and they add up very very quickly. Who knows - maybe these buyers think it's a sneaky way of getting funds back without any action?

 

Ebay's / paypal's policy is that if it has no tracking ID, sellers can't be covered. Sure - if the item is valuable enough. But what if the coins are worth let's say less than 10 dollars and the postage of normal air mail is about 3 dollars and registered is 15 dollars? Yes, shipping from Australia unfortunately is not cheap. What would you do? Would like some recommendations here.

 

You can always put a disclaimer that shipping by air mail is at one's risk but how can one tell if the seller is doing the right thing or not? Can't blame them. Needless to say, they are more than welcome to keep their money but I don't want another transaction with them. Would you???

 

Apologizes in advance as it's not really numismatics but at the same time, would like to hear if any have gone through the same stage as me as well as some tips. Yes, I know some will point out very quickly that it's ebay but that's not a solution.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Sorry to hear.

 

Unfortunately, Ebay's current model doesn't really support international sales of lower value items (anything that's uneconomical to post with a tracking number).

 

Sales of such tend to do best for US and UK sellers IMO, both of which generally have large "home" markets for their goods, and with relatively low cost of posting goods domestically with tracking.

 

You may wish to consider third party insurance, but that relies on the buyer co-operating. And in the online world, you will often encounter those who are impatient to wait. And though rare, there will be those who see that you ship without tracking, are aware of ebay/paypal's policy, and will use it to get free stuff.

 

(Canada is probably in a slightly worse situation as packages cannot be registered, and EMS is often cost prohibitive)

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am going through a similar situation myself, which I was contemplating making a post about.

 

Ebay is a mixed bag. Long story short, if you send an item without tracking and the buyer says it wasn't received, the seller will eat the loss. There are exceptions but they are few and far between. Having a "disclaimer" in your listing is basically useless. I have one in all my non-tracked mail listings, but most buyers know that Paypal/Ebay will fully cover their purchase and they will open a claim and win despite any disclaimer.

 

I may end up removing my disclaimer since it really doesn't help, and may be hurting me. The dishonest scammers know ebay/paypal will rule in their favour, so they disregard any disclaimers like that. Disclaimers like that may potentially scare away honest buyers.

 

Try this before refunding them through Paypal. Look at the buyer's feedback and also the feedback he has left for others. If there is anything fishy such as an above average amount of negs/neutral feedback left by the buyer, or other transactions feedback which leads you to believe he has claimed non-receipt before, you might have a chance. Use the new "report buyer" feature in Ebay (should be on the leave feedback page) and let them know about what you've experienced yourself and seen in this buyer's feedback history.

 

I actually shot myself in the foot.. My story went like this: The buyer (within Canada, I am also in Canada) claimed non-receipt on a 40 dollar item which I sent without tracking. He asked for a refund, I told him I'd be contacting Canadapost to find out where the package could be. He negs me then opens a claim. I decided to accept the loss and refund him, then sent a request to him to revise his feedback. He declined. I looked through his feedback and saw that 5 of his 11 feedbacks he gave were negs for non-receipt. Also one revised feedback which probably was a neg initially.

 

The Ebay rep I had on the phone looked at this also and said while he can't remove the neg, they would open an investigation on this guy's account. Said the chances are high that he will be suspended or even NARU'd for his recent activity (unusually high number of non-receipt claims and negs left). If his account is suspended/NARU'd, all the negs he has left for various sellers will disappear.

 

I then contacted Paypal to bring this to their attention. They said they may place sanctions on his account if his Ebay account gets suspended, but that they cannot reverse the refund I gave him no matter what happens in the investigation.

 

Long story short, I forgot the number one Ferengi (Star Trek) Rule of Acquisition: Once you have their money, never give it back!

 

Anyway I digress.. If you'd like to continue to sell on Ebay and are (rightfully) worried about claims there are a few options:

 

- Only ship items using tracked shipping. Stop selling low value items, or group them into lots which will be shipped with tracking.

- Ship anything over a certain dollar threshold (eg $100, though I have seen sellers with a $25 threshold) using tracked shipping. Continue to sell low value items by untracked lettermail with the intention of eating any losses.

- If out of country shipping is the biggest problem, simply lay out a blanket statement requiring a tracking number for any purchase being shipped out of the country. There are US sellers who sell Canadian coins and will ONLY ship fully tracked/signed for, regardless of how low of value the items are.

 

Some more tips:

- private insurance may be an option if you do a lot of volume

- "pad" the lettermail shipping cost by a dollar or so on all your listings, this will act as private insurance and make the losses you have to eat more manageable. I have been using this method. Nut now I am on the bring of losing my 20% final value fee discount due to a couple people saying my shipping costs are too high. You'll lose the discount if both 2 or more and 0.4% (I believe) or more of your DSR feedback in any single category (shipping cost) receives a 1 or 2-star rating. Very easy to lose if you aren't offering free shipping on everything.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This is certainly a dilemma for sellers and buyers. I'm not sure that there's a reasonable solution to be had. Anyway best of luck with your sales.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I buy from eBay & if I opt for cheap shipping would never claim for non arrival. Many sellers insist on tracking but I ask politely & promise to leave great feedback even if the item is lost, most agree to ship non-tracked for inexpensive items. Ask buyers to include a message accepting responsibility for uninsured items, perhaps that might help.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I've never once bought or sold on eBay. Makes no sense - I'm the demographic they want - tech-saavy twenty-something with spending money and a desire to get a good deal. But stories like these keep me away.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I still buy stuff on eBay occasionally for my model railroad hobby - but I stopped selling on there back when they did another fee increase in 2008. Now they are attuned to big sellers like retailers etc and not to sellers selling off an extra coin or two. The whole seller cannot leave a negative feedback thing is a major put off when you think of all the foolish bidders out there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I buy at least once or twice a month (used to be more) on ebay and generally adhere to the honor code system. I find if you as a buyer are honest and pay your bills after a while you start doing business with particular sellers on multiple occasions and they are appreciative on that. I have gotten shipping discounts, extra coins, etc. from sellers I have made multiple purchases from in the past. I get a nice coin, they get some money and a hassle free transaction and everyone goes home happy. Ebay has some problems but you learn to steer clear of particular types.

 

As for selling international, I made one foray into selling some coins to Canada and its so nerve racking because not only is there none of the assurances that can usually come with domestic shipping, but you are actually required to fill out customs forms stating what is in the package. I made a few sales afterwards but all domestic shipping.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have just sold 122 lots over the past few weeks on eBay with the majority going abroad. Out of those 122 I have had problems with one transaction - a mint set going to Singapore which has been lost by the postal service. Even then, the buyer was very understanding and it was easy to resolve.

 

Yes, it can be a stress. Yes, it can be expensive. But there are few places where you're guaranteed such footfall and, more often than not, you will get close to market value if you do your homework.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

As for selling international, I made one foray into selling some coins to Canada and its so nerve racking because not only is there none of the assurances that can usually come with domestic shipping, but you are actually required to fill out customs forms stating what is in the package. I made a few sales afterwards but all domestic shipping.

 

If you purchase postage online, USPS first class to Canada includes delivery confirmation.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

Can't really say sorry since I never use ebay. Way to many problems, charges, lost in mail, fees for ebay and paypal and on and on and on. Just don't see why more people simply don't look up coin shows. And if none in the area, get together with others of similar interests and form coin clubs and/or shows. It is amazing to go to a coin show. Usually no parking fees, no admittance fees, no lost in mail, no postage, no insurances and on and on with simialr problems. Meet people with same interests, learn a lot for free.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have brought 100's of medals/tokens etc from all around the globe, using eBay, over many years & never had a problem. My Wife buys & sells all over the world too using eBay & has had the odd problem but it has always been resolved. So for me, as a collector of old eclectic exonumia, eBay is a happy hunting ground.

 

I do appreciate the problems that sellers have with problem buyers, hence the ridiculous postal charges for insured & tracked shipping for an inexpensive medal, but most sellers have shipped to me uninsured at my risk(even if they state under no circumstances they will) as I give them a promise not to make any claim, even in the event of total loss, which eBay & PayPal can see.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...