Paypal and buyer/seller protection outside ebay

Discussion in 'Ethics and Philosophy' started by sandermarijn, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Not sure where to post this. It's about Paypal and seller/buyer protection. I'm unable to get this cleared out for myself. What happens if somebody transfers money to my paypal account for an item sold by me on a site that doesn't have agreements with paypal (say APUG), and then claims back his money on the basis of "item not received"? Suppose that for whatever reason I can't show paypal his signature for receiving the item, will I lose that money? Or will paypal tell the buyer that he should have bought through a paypal-affiliated site? And if paypal lets down the buyer, will his credit card company (if that's what his paypal account is coupled to) be able to reclaim the money no questions asked?

    I've been wondering about this ever since I sold a 700 Euro lens to a US buyer on the RFF. The lens took long to arrive and the buyer (understandably) 'threatened' to open a paypal dispute to reclaim his money. In the end the lens arrived and all was well, but what if the dispute had come about? Would paypal have denied him a refund because RFF-ads don't include a dedicated, paypal-approved, shiny yellow/gold 'buy-it-now' button? Would his credit card company have come to his help if not paypal?

    Basically my question is: how safe am I, as a bona fide seller, from fraudulent buyers, if I sell outside ebay? Paypal policy just isn't clear to me on this.

    Thanks for any insight & sorry if this is not the right place for posting.

    Sander
     
  2. ann

    ann Subscriber

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    Ask paypal, they should have a better concept .
     
  3. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    ... or ask Gandy and the others at RFF.
     
  4. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    I bought a camera through RFF, paid with Paypal, camera never arrived. Goodbye money.
     
  5. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Did you pay as gift or via regular payment? That surprises me. Was there tracking and signature?

    I made a purchase via Paypal through a non-affiliated site like apug. The item arrived but did not match the description. It eventually led to a Paypal dispute and a return for a refund.

    To the OP, PayPal has a lot of information online. I'd suggest reading the information they have posted on disputes, tracking, etc. There are a lot of special details and special cases to keep in mind.
     
  6. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    The same could be said of paying by cheque. It's not a Paypal specific problem.


    Steve.
     
  7. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I read their terms, but you'd have to be a lawyer with ten years of paypal case experience to apply things to the (not so hypothetical) situation I outlined. Or I'm just too stupid, that could also be. Well alright, I *am* too stupid.

    But to be honest I think that most people (think 99% or more) don't have a clue what they're getting into when dealing with paypal (as buyer or as seller). Now we have Norman who lost his money despite using paypal (sorry, that really sucks), and others who tell me to go ask elsewhere. Hmm, does anybody actually know this stuff?

    Case: I sell lens on APUG. Buyer pays through paypal. Buyer claims item never arrived. Suppose I don't have proof of delivery that would stand up to paypal's scrutiny.

    Q: Will paypal accept buyer's case? Or will his credit card company break in and reclaim the money?
     
  8. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    What is specific to paypal is their buyer/seller protection program. Am i right to assume that it didn't kick in in Norman's case because he bought outside paypal's club of friends?
     
  9. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    PayPal will probably want online viewable signature confirmation for anything over $500. Or at least that is what the required when I returned the item.

    I don't know h
     
  10. Brian Legge

    Brian Legge Member

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    Sorry, not the best at posting via phone.

    I don't know how this works when shipping to places where this service isn't an option.

    Buyer/seller protection can apply to off eBay sales as well. From: https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=security/safe_online_shopping

    "1. Your order never arrives
    All you have to do is log in to your account and open a dispute to get the refund process started. And if you made the purchase on eBay, start here instead."

    Now, how to protect yourself as a seller is elsewhere. Here is their summary of cases where sellers are and aren't covered: https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?...tent_ID=security/seller_protection_learn_more
     
  11. zsas

    zsas Member

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    See the seller terms, but in short, you must receive payment via Goods (not gift ), ship to the address as provided by the paypal payment (I would use the Paypal shipping tool to generate postage because that feeds the shipping label), if the payment for the goods is $250 or more, you need proof of delivery via a signature...see Section 11, read careful, just remember Gift is no gift if either party claims foul...the sellers fee is "insurance enough" to sleep well....provided you read 11 a few times and stick to it, it is detailed but seems to make sense...

    https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/UserAgreement_full#13.%20PayPal%20Purchase%20Protection.
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    It is important to note that the link here is for PayPal in the United States. It is necessary to check the rules in the Seller's country of residence instead (e.g. the rules for me specify that my residence must be in Canada, rather than the US).
     
  13. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Wow! Good to know!! So in short, scratch what I said and read your serv agreement for yor country!

    For what it is worth, I thinks Paypal provides some protection for the buyer /seller, so long as you follow all the terms and as Matt mentions, be sure they are the terms for your country....

    I have been on both ends of buyer/seller issues and Paypal has always come out with my utmost appreciation, I was sure to follow the terms though and that is all I wish to impart, especially since they differ by country
     
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  15. Michael W

    Michael W Member

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    When I post items overseas I always take an iphone photo when the package is sitting stamped & ready to go on the post office counter. If it is slow to arrive & the buyer is sending me anxious messages I can send them an image of their goods just about to enter the postal system. I think for a genuine buyer that will give them some reassurance, that at least I'm not cheating them. This relates to the OPs question in that it might dissuade the buyer from impetuously starting a paypal claim.
     
  16. NormanV

    NormanV Member

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    The camera was coming from Sinapore to the Falkland Islands. The tracking showed that it arrived in UK but then the tracking system does not work within UK. It was not paid as a gift but as goods, Paypla refused refund. I've bought loads of stuff through Ebay and rarely had any problems.
     
  17. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    I do the same thing. Obviously this is useful only in case of genuine buyers. It wouldn't mean diddly to Payapl.
     
  18. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Thanks for all your replies. I already looked at both the US and Dutch Paypal user agreement terms.

    There are differences, but only in wording really. For example the Dutch terms bluntly state that the seller is not protected in case of sales outside ebay (11.6/11.10). The US regulations state (11.5): "Items/transactions not eligible for PayPal Seller protection: PayPal Direct Payments." I take this to be all transactions from one paypal account to another not made through a buy-it-now button like on ebay. So to answer my own question in the OP: the seller is NOT protected in outside-ebay, private transactions, such as on APUG.

    But, the same goes for the buyer side of things. Dutch (13.3) and US terms (13.3) are identically unequivocal on this: "Payments for the following are not eligible for reimbursement under PayPal Purchase Protection: (13.) PayPal Direct Payments".

    So as far as paypal is concerned everybody is on their own once outside the realm of ebay (or most other business, non-private transactions): no protection for either seller or buyer. But then who gets suckered when nonetheless the buyer opens a dispute? According to the above terms the buyer should not get his money back.

    Moving on, where do the credit card companies join in? That's in US 13.7 (same text in Dutch version). This section contains the following nasty paragraph: "Credit card Chargeback rights, if they apply, are broader than PayPal’s protection programs. Chargebacks may be filed more than 45 Days after the payment, may cover unsatisfactory items even if they do not qualify as SNAD, and may cover intangible items. You may pursue a Dispute/Claim with PayPal, or you may contact your credit card company and pursue your Chargeback rights."

    This basically undermines all of paypal's terms, because who doesn't have their paypal account coupled to their credit card? As far as I know credit card companies, especially in the US (less so in Netherlands perhaps), have lots of power to charge back transactions made by their clients, on the basis of very little proof of item not arrived/ not as described (please correct me if i'm wrong). I can't imagine paypal being able to keep the card company's money. If that's true then so much for paypal's own rules and regulations.

    I think I understand the paypal terms pretty well now. It's the credit card company's potential involvement that I don't yet grasp. Are these companies omnipotent towards the poor lonesome private seller?

    Did anybody here on APUG ever overrule paypal through his credit card company in case of INR/SNAD? Or become 'victim' of the reverse situation?
     
  19. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Some clarification:

    “Item Not Received” (INR)
    “Significantly Not as Described” (SNAD)
     
  20. zsas

    zsas Member

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  21. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    On the Dutch paypal site the term used for transactions not covered is "private transactions" (privé transacties). I don't see how I can read that in any other way than a payment from me to you.

    That said, I should have left out the words "identically unequivocal" in my saying: "But, the same goes for the buyer side of things. Dutch (13.3) and US terms (13.3) are identically unequivocal on this: "Payments for the following are not eligible for reimbursement under PayPal Purchase Protection: (13.) PayPal Direct Payments"."

    You may be right in your interpretation of "Direct Payment". I am not knowledgeable enough to tell. Need a lawyer!

    The way I read it (in both languages and in its context) I don't believe that private transactions (private person a to b) are covered by paypal's buyer- or seller protection program.
     
  22. Aja B

    Aja B Member

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    Just a quick comment re: two attempts I've made to settle disputes involving PayPal and fraudulent sellers. In both cases sellers offered X, I agreed to purchase X and they shipped Y. A deaf, dumb and blind person would have recognized the criminality. I provided overwhelming evidence from four impartial and expert 'witnesses' to support my irrefutable case. PayPal, being judge and jury, was of no help whatsoever. PayPal staff have been amongst the most uneducated and incompetent people with whom I have ever dealt. Period. I repeat: there was absolutely no room for even the most bizarre, drug-induced interpretation of straight-up criminal transactions. PayPal didn't see it that way.
     
  23. zsas

    zsas Member

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    Try this, login Paypal, click on Send Money, are there two tabs, 1) Purchase, 2) Personal (aka privé transacties)?

    In the US, 2) Personal are not covered (ie Gift, cash advance, living expense, payment owed, other)

    Some of the 1) are also not covered, but I believe "Purchase>Goods" is, at least here in the US

    Anyone think different, OP call the Paypal Custome Service maybe?
     
  24. BrianShaw

    BrianShaw Member

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    Not trying to be argumentative or minimize your experience/opinion... but I was an expert witness for a friend's dispute. It was a matter of residual value assessment after an item was broken in transit, not a substitution of product issue. Ebay/Paypal was very straightforward in what they asked for in terms of information and proof, and then resolved the matter quickly to the satisfaction of both buyer and seller.

    In another situation (my own, this time) I was dealing with a seller who offered an item that he could not send because he didn't possess it. After several email exchanges with the seller where there was no confidence that he could even get the part, I asked for a refund. He stopped replying to emails or phone calls. An ebay/paypal action was initiated for a refund and that was accomplished in less than 2 days. I don't think this guy was acting criminally, just too lax an attitude for my needs -- I couldn't wait until "whenever" to get my goods.
     
  25. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    On the Canadian site, it is made clear that the main pre-requisite is that the protection applies if the payment is sent to purchase tangible goods. Payments sent for purchasing services or IP (like music files) or just to transfer monies (like gifts) are not covered.
     
  26. sandermarijn

    sandermarijn Member

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    Just did like you said, you're right, thanks. This means that as a seller you're protected from paypal fraud if you choose to be paid through the second tab (gift etc), if I understand the paypal terms correctly.

    However, this may not mean you're free from a chargeback by the buyer's credit card company. Anybody know more about this?

    About calling paypal, I've done that once, but it's full of obstacles (I seem to remember that you need some kind of code that you first have to generate on the site or something) and I doubt that the paypal employee on the other end of the line would be willing to discuss topics of fraud if I'm not currently involved in one such case myself.

    Paypal must be the only company that holds my money while at the same time being almost impossible to contact (things may be different in other countries). I would never accept that from my bank or credit card company. It's amazing what these paypal people get away with: appalling service, high prices, intransparent set of rules. The only reason that I bother is that you can't get around them if you want to sell/buy (especially sell) internationally.
     

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