Ebay Morons Galore!

July 8, 2008

Some dude scams me, Paypal says “Yup, that’ll happen”

I don’t think I need to sell this point too hard, but ebay has been an absolute cesspool since their May 2008 changes.

This last month has been the worst for me in nearly 10 years of selling. People aren’t paying in record numbers because there’s no penalty, buyers are leaving retarded bad feedback in droves, ebay/Paypal raised fees making profit margins even slimmer, the economy is ass which means Americans aren’t buying the entertainment-related crap I’m selling, and so on and so on.

I don’t even feel like updating this blog anymore. It used to be entertaining when I’d get stupid emails from dumbasses. Now damn near every customer is an illiterate mongoloid and now it’s costing me time and money. What fun is that?

In the month and a half that these rules have been in effect, I’ve received about 4-5 completely unwarranted negs from stupid buyers and I’ve had to fill out 200% more unpaid item disputes. To be exact, 21 since mid-May. That’s more than I’ve had over the previous 18 months, when I began having a Paypal account as a buyer requirement. Now, as a buyer, you can do whatever you feel like and ebay will do nothing.

Just two weeks ago, a buyer scammed $60 from me. I originally wasn’t going to write about it, because, well, it makes me sick to think about shit like this in my free time, but I’ve already written out most of the story to friends over IM and on various message boards I post on, so it’s already written itself, I guess. God damn that was a long sentence.

The item was a box of 30 or so irregular basketball jerseys sold in late May. It was all junk I bought from my Reebok/Adidas hookup; literally worthless stuff you couldn’t sell for a dollar individually. Many of them had MAJOR factory defects, or had ink all over them from exploded cartridges. It went for $45 or so, and after shipping, it was around $60 total. Buyer had decent feedback, paid, and I shipped to his confirmed address using Paypal shipping, just like a normal transaction.

About two weeks after I mailed the item, I noticed the buyer filled out a Paypal claim saying the item never arrived and immediately escalated it to a full dispute. Because I used Paypal shipping, I didn’t have to respond, because the tracking information was already there. Up until this point, the buyer hadn’t emailed me or anything, just a dispute out of the blue.

I looked up the Delivery Confirmation number and saw that the most recent information posted was that it was processed at the post office near the buyer’s house. Usually this means that either the mailman forgot to scan the item at the point of delivery, or it’s at the post office waiting to be picked up. I sent the buyer an email asking what the deal was, and if he truly didn’t receive the item, he should go to the post office to see if it’s waiting to be picked up. I received a response, in writing similar to that of an autistic 9 year old. He unconditionally refused to go there or call them.

A day or so later, I get an email from Paypal, saying that I *lost* the dispute because the tracking information doesn’t show it was delivered, only processed. I figured I’d be okay since it arrived at the buyer’s zip code. Not so much. since I lost the dispute, I lost the item AND the money.

I immediately get on the phone with Paypal, and after the typical half hour wait, I told the phone rep what happened. Without much badgering, I got the phone rep to admit that anyone can win a Paypal dispute if there’s a postal error like that. She said that if there’s no delivery proof, the buyer will always win, no matter what.

My next question was obviously, “So if I ever notice that a package I receive wasn’t scanned, I can just do a chargeback and instantly win?”

She said, “we will investigate it, but yes.”

I was stunned, speechless. I didn’t know what to say next. Paypal just admitted exactly how easy it is nowadays for a buyer to get their money back with two mouse clicks. I really wish I had recorded that phone call.

Later, I called the post office the package was processed at, and they were no help. Big surprise. I’m still hoping it’ll be returned to me somehow, but I’m not counting on it. It’s a pretty big box, not something that should get easily “lost in the mail.”

That’s not all, either. Right after the guy won his dispute and got his full refund, he NEGGED me. Clearly, this was my fault. Was I supposed to fly 1500 miles so I could hand-deliver the item? I left him a positive saying “NEGATIVE FEEDBACK: BEWARE” etc and ebay REMOVED it because sellers aren’t allowed to do that. Ebay wouldn’t remove the neg he left me (not that I was expecting them to), even though he had the item AND my money.

I figured I’d try to at least get my fees back since I no longer had payment, but ebay put a stop to that immediately. They closed the dispute and I didn’t get any listing fee refund. I don’t understand that one. How is that different from a buyer returning an item, getting a refund, then I file a dispute where I get fees back?

Basically, if I didn’t already have selling down to a science, there’s no way I’d bother with ebay any more. I spend very little time and energy on it, and the money is still worth it overall. I don’t know why around 90% of the people selling on ebay bother. They’re not making money, and you can tell they put a lot of time and effort into it.

But if assholes keep scamming me and ebay/PP keep raising their fees, who knows.


  1. Cool Blog! I will stop by more often!
    MysteryBid http://www.mysterybid.com/blog

    Comment by MysteryBid — July 8, 2008 @ 4:48 am


    Comment by JIMBO — July 8, 2008 @ 11:18 am

  3. It won’t be long before nobody will be willing to sell on eBay, but eBay are too stupid to realise that without sellers, they have no buyers.

    Comment by bonni — July 9, 2008 @ 5:30 am


    Comment by JIMBO — July 10, 2008 @ 11:16 am

  5. AMEN!!!!
    I’m the opposite of you, I just joined eBay 2 months before the feedback changes. Suddenly, I hear about how much fairer it used to be, and I’m getting all these buyers that don’t pay me, that make insane claims, one person even flat out INSULTED like a 7 year old and guess what?? I can’t leave negative feedback!!

    eBay needs to realize it’s fucking its buyers up the ass, and make some changes. There are bad buyers just like there are bad sellers, and this is unfair to all the honest people on eBay!!

    Comment by Carol — July 11, 2008 @ 3:23 pm

  6. Yup, that’ll happen is right. Paypal has all kinds of glitches and errors that have “been fixed” or “resolved” that still happen on a daily basis.

    When I first started selling regulary on ebay here recently I got that glitch where the address may be a character off or some shit and Paypal gives you some BS message saying it’s having trouble processing your request, and that Paypal shipping may be down. Mind you, this was a confirmed address so I had no idea that it was wrong.
    So thinking it was a problem on thier side I didn’t even try to print out labels for the other auctions I had to ship out and instead wrote them a message asking why this is happening. A week later, after I had already figured the problem out and forgotten all about the error altogether actually, I get a response telling me to make sure the address is correct.

    No shit. Thanks Paypal.
    Love your blog btw, I haven’t laughed aloud from a blog in well, ever. It’s funny cause it’s so true.

    Comment by Dunbert — July 15, 2008 @ 12:43 am

  7. Dunbert: Thanks for the comment and yeah, I *still* get that address glitch all the time. Most of the time the address “error” is absurdly small, like “St” instead of “St.” What’s the point of that? They don’t even let you continue on with printing until you fix it, too. I can understand if it’s a totally different zip code or something, but this is ridiculous.

    Comment by J — July 15, 2008 @ 12:45 pm

  8. It’s not just the buyers, it’s the sellers too. I’ve been on ebay since late ’96. (when there were generally fewer than 100 items in any given category, and user registration wasn’t even a requirement.) But I’ve run into more fraud and deceptivness in the last year, than I’ve seen in all my previous years combined. Sellers trying to double, triple, even quadruple shipping, after the auction ends. Item descriptions that range from fudged, to outright fraud. Shill bidding, or at least the appearance of it. (item goes 3-4 days with no bid, and 5min after you bid, someone comes in and nibbles the price up just enough to find your max, and stops just short of outbidding you). Sellers who ship nothing, but try to keep you pacified to run out the clock. (my dog died, my grandma got sick, phoney tracking numbers, you name it) Not to mention, ebay and paypal both, have more phishing than that crab show on the discovery channel. I quit selling entirely, some time ago, and I’ve just about quit buying as well, unless I just can’t find something anywhere else.
    It’s really gone down hill, all the way around.

    Comment by Anon A Moose — July 28, 2008 @ 9:26 am

  9. The thing I do not understand is that your item shows processed. On each auction page, eBay says that the seller is not responsible for transit times. How could they not reverse the negative feedback?….unless it so they can keep buyer satisfaction down so powersellers do not get a discount. With all of the fees and such, I definitely would take my stuff elsewhere if I had a better avenue to sell.

    Comment by Michael — July 28, 2008 @ 9:32 am

  10. Anon: Sorry, but the buyers have all the power. I buy on ebay constantly and I *never* have any problems. Buying on ebay is safer now than it ever was. Have a problem? Do a chargeback, either through Paypal or your CC. A proper chargeback cannot be beaten. Sellers raising shipping after the auction ended? I haven’t heard about that being a problem since before 2000, when essentially no sellers had a listed shipping price. Whenever you buy an item, just click on the Paypal “Pay Now” button and you’re basically done. And honestly, if you are dumb enough to fall for a phishing email in 2008, you deserve whatever happens to you.

    Michael: If there were a better avenue to sell, believe me, I’d be all over it. The unfortunate fact is that there isn’t right now, and it’s unlikely there ever will be. I know I bitch a lot on this blog, but I really do make some good money selling on ebay for VERY little work. It’s going to take a lot for me to quit outright.

    Comment by J — July 28, 2008 @ 9:03 pm

  11. Thanks !

    Comment by ovessercunse — August 3, 2008 @ 1:38 pm

  12. Ok people if Paypal have caused you distress here is a cheap way to cause them some back …especially if you are a power seller …it takes one of there people a couple of days to get this in order …to their expense only costs you a tenner …ENJOY

    [ADMIN NOTE: I have no idea what this about or if it’s spam but it looks retarded so I’m deleting it.]

    Comment by Jim — September 2, 2008 @ 4:28 am

  13. Couldn’t agree more. If you rely on eBay as your primary source of income then beware – you will be very sorry at some point. And the eBay partner-in-crime (PayPal) is even worse. Several months ago, I sold & sent an item to a customer in Argentina. Kept all of my postal receipts, customs form, etc.

    Few weeks later, buyer files INR claim with PayPal. I respond with undeniable proof that item was shipped as promised, and USPS tracking shows that item left the USA via San Francisco. None of this matters to PayPal. They rule in favor of the buyer. Luckily, I had already withdrawn the money from my PayPal account, leaving a near zero balance. So I tell PayPal to bug off because my responsibility ended at the moment which I tendered the item for transport, and I had proof that it was sent. They don’t agree, and they send a collection agency after me. I tell them to bug off also. PayPal locks my PayPal account too. I still refuse to pay, and thats where it stands. I’ve repeatedly asked PayPal to tell me exactly how they were able to determine that the buyer didn’t receive the item. I’d very much like to know what secret methods they used to determine that.

    Anyway, here’s the moral – If you use eBay/PayPal, then start creating alternate income streams or you will be sorry.

    Comment by dbh — November 1, 2008 @ 10:51 am

  14. I recently sold a virtual item outside of ebay and got the 230 dollars put into my account. I refresh the page and see that i have -230 dollars sent to an unauthorized person for temporary hold. I don’t think that there is any way of resolving this and when i try to i get an error.

    Comment by Thomas — November 9, 2008 @ 7:54 pm

  15. I had a similar issue, please check


    Comment by one3rdnerd — February 23, 2009 @ 7:11 pm

  16. I sold an item on craigs list and the transaction was to go through paypal. Since I hadnt used paypal in a long time I couldnt remember how they did everything. Well I got an email from a so called pay pal and they said once you get the tracking number email it to pay pal. well I did and I never got the money. Never send a phone out of the country and always make sure you get the money before sending it out!

    Comment by Megan — September 1, 2009 @ 3:06 pm

  17. eBay and PayPal are garbage and should be avoided at all cost!

    Comment by Pkzip — July 15, 2010 @ 11:32 pm

  18. Here’s what i do: I have a checking account that I keep open with a minimum balance ($5) which is connected to my paypal debit card. Before I ship an item, I make sure the payment has arrived via paypal into my account. Then I go to any bank ATM with my paypal card and extract the money. THEN I ship the item.

    Comment by robhoskiBert — June 23, 2013 @ 10:25 am

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