Consider this blog post a cautionary tale...
a public service, if you will
If you accept Paypal, take note
Now, we've had our fair share of hiccups with Paypal over the course
of the 13 years we've used it
But this latest fiasco was the last straw for us...
Let me tell you what happened to us
(and could happen to you)
We sold some nightstands on Etsy
They were available for custom paint
but the buyer wanted them "as-is"
Of course, we have the entire conversation documented
in our Etsy email convo
(not that I thought I'd need it for evidence...geez!)
Since she didn't want them painted, we paid for the shipping
($120 plus time and packing supplies)
Custom orders typically ship in 4-6 weeks
but because these were going "as-is", they were ready to ship immediately
We shipped the items within two days
(hooray, the client will be so surprised!)
We send client notification that items have shipped,
and she replies with "I want to cancel my order, I found some I like better"
and follows up with a nasty email saying we shipped them early on purpose
before she could change her mind
We don't accept returns, especially on items that have already shipped
We try to be fair...if the items haven't shipped, or custom work hasn't started
we'll make exceptions
She tries to file a dispute with Etsy, who tells her she agreed to our shop policies
when she made her purchase
To Etsy's credit, they pretty much let you run your own business
(what a concept!)
so long as your policies are stated
and they don't violate Etsy's own policies
The buyer then files a Paypal claim for non-receipt,
even though she knows they are on their way
Paypal allows a dispute for non-receipt within two days of purchase?
No worries, right? All we have to do is provide Paypal with the tracking info
to show proof of shipment and delivery
We shipped via UPS with tracking
Per tracking the items arrived
Case closed, right?
Now she files a dispute saying the items are not as described
claiming she wanted them green and we told her we don't paint things green...
(I'm not joking. I wish I was. She seriously said this in her dispute claim.)
Again, no worries because I have the conversation from Etsy where she specifically said
she wanted them just as they were.
One of the emails said
"I don't want them painted, just send them as they are"
I take a screen shot of the entire convo and send it to Paypal.
Screen shots and emails ARE NOT ADMISSIBLE AS EVIDENCE
Paypal emails the buyer and tells her that we have AGREED to refund her
if she returns the items
No one even contacted us about it
I hardly call that agreement!
You know Paypal pulls that money RIGHT out of your account
until a dispute is settled, right?
So all this time, we are out the items AND the money
Fine, we think. At least she has to return the items.
We're out the shipping costs,
but we can resell the items
Not ideal, but it's better than nothing
and really, what can we do at this point?
Paypal stipulates that the items must be shipped back to us by 10/27
with proof via tracking info
On 10/26, I get an email saying the items have been shipped
and a tracking # is provided
Paypal says they will "officially" refund her once the items are delivered
and we have confirmed they are in the same condition they left us in
I check the tracking # on Monday,
because she's in-state and in-state delivery with UPS is next day
Guess what? The tracking # is no good...
NOT A VALID TRACKING #
So I email Paypal and they confirm that yes, indeed, the tracking # she provided is not valid
(don't they bother to check these things?)
My next email from Paypal SHOULD be a proper tracking #, right?
Or perhaps an email saying the case was closed because the buyer failed to
fulfill her end of the deal?
It's a notice that they have SIDED WITH THE BUYER
and refunded her in full
Evidently, you can buy something,
claim it wasn't what you expected,
promise to return it,
get a full refund,
and keep the items
All you have to do is pay with Paypal
file a claim
and make up a tracking number
So, now we have NO items returned to us
NO payment for the items
NO tracking info to prove they were even sent
and NO RECOURSE
because Paypal does as they please with YOUR money
I know. I'm sort of in shock.
How can this be?
If I was reading this, written by someone else,
I'd assume they were exaggerating
or there was more to the story
I'm not, and there isn't.
This is what you agree to when you agree to accept Paypal
It doesn't matter if you do everything right...
timely shipping, tracking...
you can still get scammed, and Paypal lets it happen
in fact, they facilitate it happening
Oh, and to add insult to injury?
When I tried to cancel the transaction on Etsy to recoup the fees we paid on that sale,
they DENIED us because the buyer was still in possession of the items
even though she was refunded in full.
I pointed this out, and to be fair,
I haven't heard back yet.
Perhaps it was an error.
I certainly hope so, because that just ain't right!
I was researching this situation, and I stumbled upon case after case
just like this...it happens all the time
Appalling, but true
The moral of this story?