Ebay Morons Galore!

January 15, 2008

On second thought, maybe I should quit accepting mailed payments…

I’ve had a lot of problems with mailed payments recently. Normally I prefer them, since there’s no Paypal fees and no real threat of chargeback. I see a lot of sellers worried about bounced checks, but that’s never happened to me, and I’ve accepted hundreds of personal checks over the years. Obviously money orders are okay, since the money is guaranteed.

I’ve already shown you the woman who underpaid via money order (even though she included the total 3-4 times) a few posts back. I emailed her, she apologized and said she’d send the rest of the money. She never did, but I sent the item anyway because $2 isn’t going to make anyone richer or poorer.

Now I’m getting more and more people who just send money with no information whatsoever. I clearly say in my item description, shipping details, and automatic invoice that if you do not include exactly what you won with your full name and shipping address, I can’t possibly be expected to ship. I refuse to mail a package in a situation where I’m not 100% confident that the name/address is accurate and that it will arrive.

If I just get $30 cash in the mail with only a scribbled return address, this does me no good. Same with blank money orders for a common amount. $24.99 + $8 shipping for a total of $32.99 is a very common payment amount and doesn’t help me find what item you won. If the total is $43.81, I might be able to find who you are because that’s an unusual amount that stands out. You know what I mean. If a buyer includes their name, I can search my email because their name shows up in the ebay “Your Item Sold!” email. This obviously doesn’t work when they pay with a business check when the account is registered to a single person and vice versa.

Like every other kind of ebay nonsense, the holidays are the worst time for this. People just mail checks and are apparently too busy to say who they are and what they won. So I deposit the payment, write down whatever information is given, email the buyer if possible, and simply wait for the buyer to get back in touch with me. I had a nice stack of four payments a few weeks ago with literally no contact/ebay info to work from, which is a personal best for “on-hold” payments at a time.

This reached a new level of absurdity last week when a buyer opened an “Item Not Received” ebay dispute. I asked them in the Dispute Console for their name, shipping address, how/if they paid, and so on to see if they matched one of my “on-hold” payments. After a quick email search, it turns out I emailed this user 4-5 times to verify basic information, because the handwriting was beyond sloppy, they wanted the item shipped to a friend’s address but didn’t make it clear exactly which address belonged to the friend, and they didn’t say what item it was. They never responded, and in the Dispute Console, they said they never received any emails from me.

Essentially, I had a personal check from a person with a dead email address who wasn’t the buyer, didn’t say what they won, and didn’t make it clear where I should mail this mystery item. Clearly this is my fault.

They flipped out in the Dispute Console and finally, everything was sorted out and all the necessary information was given to me. Apparently this was a birthday gift, which might be a bit late, since the auction ended November 17.

It’s times like this I wish everyone just paid with Paypal.

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