I’m actually kind of shocked.
And, I’m often the guy rolling his eyes over people being petty and entitled over some business transaction. I don’t think that’s the case here.
Back in June, I decided to sell some items on eBay, not having any success with Craig’s List up here in the mountains. I’ve sold tens of thousands worth of stuff on Craig’s over the years: two RVs, many iPhones and iPads, appliances, computers, monitors…wheels and tires…all sorts of stuff. Very easy, never a problem, cash transactions in person.
I had only ever used eBay once, about 15 years ago, when I bought an enterprise-level server for the office.
So, I listed about 6 items and 5 of them sold without a hitch. One of them, a 16-gig unlocked iPhone 6, was problematic.
- The “buyer” who won the auction for $232.50 had opened their eBay account that very day and by the time I looked at the transaction, their account had been “deregistered” by eBay. So, there was no way to request payment or contact the buyer….
- So I relisted the phone and it was won in the auction for $211.50. The buyer paid promptly via PayPal and I shipped out the phone in a box, wrapped in several layers of bubble wrap.
- Several DAYS later, I get a message from the buyer saying that the screen is “loose” on one of the corners. I tell him I know nothing about it, that it was in perfect condition when I shipped it (it had always been in a case, didn’t even have a scratch). He wants to return it for a refund. I say I have no way of knowing that he didn’t damage it and wants me to take responsibility.
- He opens up a case with eBay and long story short, I tell them the phone was fine when I shipped it, he didn’t complain until several days after receiving it, and there’s no way of knowing whether he’s the one who damaged it. They simply unilaterally decide in his favor and simply go in and take $221.25 from my bank account via PayPal—so it’s the purchase amount, plus shipping to “return” the item.
- That was two weeks ago, the phone has not been shipped back, I have no tracking information and the “buyer” is unresponsive, as is eBay, considering the matter “closed.” I’ve actually talked to eBay and they say “nope, the buyer is not required to return the item and we have notified him he’s not required to return the item.”
- Now, here’s where it gets even more “interesting.” eBay sent me an invoice for $95 for their “Final Value Fee” and then simply took it from my bank account via PayPal, which, of course, is owned by eBay.
- Guess what’s included on that invoice? $23.25 for the first auction where the buyer didn’t pay and eBay had closed their account anyway. Plus, it’s shown as being “relisted,” so obviously it was not a completed transaction. Guess what else? ANOTHER $21.15 “Final Value Fee” for the exact same relisted phone that eBay forced a refund on.
So, in total, I’m out:
- My iPhone—worth between $200 – $250—stolen, aided directly by the criminals at eBay through their criminal accomplices, PayPal
- $10 in bogus shipping charges for not actually shipping the phone
- $44.40 in bogus commissions to the criminals at eBay
Obviously, I’ll never transact with eBay again. I’ve never had a problem with PayPal over many years of convenient use, but it sticks in my craw that PayPal is owned by a larcenous racket like eBay.
…By contrast, some little doohickey I ordered via Amazon a month ago for a total of $15, never showed up and apparently, the 3rd party seller skipped. Of course, Amazon covered it in full immediately, on the spot.