Some Smart Shopping Tips

Hello All,

I have been reading a number of threads this week about shipping issues with foreign suppliers. I thought I would consolidate some tips I have learned (trial by fire really) over the last 18 months dealing with these issues on a regular basis.

1. Never pay with a debit card or bank draft. Your rights are much more limited and it can be quite a bit more difficult to get funds reimbursed. Plus you lose the use of the funds for the duration of the claim.

2. Use a combination of a major credit and Paypal whenever possible. Before making a purchase I transfer any balance in my PP account to my bank. If you have balance PP forces you to use that balance as part of your payment. If you have zero balance - even if the funds have yet to be deposited - you can use any funding source you want. Make your primary source a major credit card. This gives you 30 days of free use of the funds. It also provides double protection against fraud as you can file a claim with your CC and PP.

3. You do not have to have a PP account to use the service. PP allows buyers to checkout as guests with credit card as form of payment.

4. With PP it is the sellers obligation to provide proof of delivery - not the buyer. A buyer has 45 days to file a lost package claim. Once filed PP provides a 20 day period for the buyer and seller to work out the issue. During this waiting period PP freezes the disputed amount in the sellers account. If a settlement cannot be reached PP will review the claim and provide the buyer with a full refund - shipping included if the seller has not provided proof of delivery.

5. If the seller provides a tracking number that does not generate any data within 72 hours, the package never made it to the shipper. When a tracking number is created, it is generally automatically loaded into the shipper’s system. But until they actually scan it in, no data can be generated. This is common trick when a product is oversold as it gives the seller more time to actually ship your item while still having use of your funds and eating up the PayPal dispute period. You will see this done with eBay sellers more than most anywhere else. To maintain your preferred seller status and a 20% discount on selling fees you have to ship within 1 day of payment 90% of the time. eBay does not validate the tracking number, just that there is one so if tracking data is not populating and the seller will not give you a straight answer, file a claim.

6. If you have not received your item in 45 days file a claim to protect your rights. Sellers hate it because it freezes that amount of money but if you don’t you lose all leverage. I just set a reminder in my phone to buzz me on day 44.

That is all I can think of for now. But I will add to the list as new situations come up. Please feel free to share your experiences as well.

Nice guide,

I have pretty much same experiences as you.

Paypal is always on buyers side.

When I was ebay seller(short period of time) few buyers had wrote paypal “item not received” claim on mine fairly shipped registered post.

I had shipping number and proof of delivered item over tracking service and I still loose my money…

Paypal is pure evil for sellers and haven for buyers.

That is too bad. I have won those cases where I could prove it was delivered. One guy filed 24 hours after shipment! But at least with domestic US packages I have not had any problems. Unfortunately I have had to stop shipping to most of South America and Russia due to lost packages. Unless it ship registered mail I cannot track it and that does not guarantee delivery anyway. Upset customers and the hassle of filing insurance claims and waiting 60 plus days to get my money back - plus having to take a loss on shipping charges made it not worth the headache.

I did drop shipping from very reliable friend from HK.

I had HK registered post and I updated that in paypal acc. So I had proof of sending on ebay and paypal(updated in one day)

I had few refunds to Russia and few to Eastern Europe although 100% they received item. Paypal staff probably don’t even watch the case. When they see item was send from HK they just decide in buyers interest no matter for registered shipping and proof of delivery.

I was very dissapointed in paypal and ebay and I stopped seller career.

Never had problem with USA costumers.

Do have some specifics you can share? I have never seen this before. It was my understanding that any eBay listing was covered by eBay protection program. As PP is owned by eBay, they are essentially the same protections.

Thanks cellguy. I am about to open a dispute now due to the product being delivered to the wrong address in the wrong country. They keep sending me a document with the incorrect address and PayPal as the header insinuating that this had come from PayPal. It also has Packing Slip on it. I’m not sure when PayPal started issuing Packing slips. The fun has started.

Your name, cellguy, are you really in prison? :wink:

The seller can print the packing slip from Paypal. Unless they ship to the address on your PayPal account, they have no protection and you will receive a refund. It comes up in a big highlighted box what address you have to ship to be protected. I would forward those emails to the PayPal security team. If they are insinuating they are official PP emails that is a big no-no.

haha no, I spent 12 years working for the Deathstar err I mean AT&T Wireless.

Thanks cellguy. I wont hold your previous history against you. Cheers. :beer:

Thanks for the advice. Only if I could get myself a CC… :frowning:

If you tell the CC company to reject the payment to PP, what happens then? Do you get banned from PP?

PP can act like a petulant teenager at times so I cannot definitively say they will not, but I have done this and they did not ban my account. The case was found in my favor so I assume that did play a role. The reason I did it was my CC AMEX removes the disputed amount from my bill. I am not obligated to pay until the dispute is resolved. In my case it was a reasonable large amount and my bill was due so it was worth it.

Thanks for your reply. Did you remove the bill from your bill after you won the dispute?

Paypal refunded the payment so the charge voided.

Gotcha. When can you get credit cards in the US?

Here in Korea, I heard that you needed to have a job and be over 19 to be eligible.

18 is the minimum age of consent for contract to be valid. Credit is really nothing more than a contract that you are obligated to pay your debt. Credit worthiness is also accounted for but a job is not necessarily mandatory. Some companies will issue cards just because you are enrolled in college.

Thanks! I should move there. 8)

And lose access to splendid internet and all those neat gadgets? haha

Ha, yes cheap fast internet will be missed. :stuck_out_tongue:

Very nice store BTW!

That is very kind of you, thanks!

PayPal had some hacked accounts recently. As a good size ebay power seller and a heavy PayPal user on my website I can say they are fair. Many times PayPal has refunded stupid customers for their own mistakes, like one in Canada who moved and never updated their shipping address with PayPal. PayPal covered the package even when I told them it was being covered by insurance at day 45. PayPal gave them the money in 30 days anyway even though it was the customer’s fault. I don’t personally cover a customer screw up when I did nothing wrong. I do insure everything though, so it does get coverd eventually.

I send out 3 confirmation emails with the shipping address, its amazing how many customers still have bad shipping address issues. PayPal deals with fraud every day, the hard part is figuring out whats going on. I haven’t been burned as a seller yet by PayPal, I’ve had about 3 losses as a buyer though. So, they don’t always protect the buyers. I was surprised about the last time, you would think a business pro account holder would be given some protection from a scam company in India. They sided with the thieves for some reason. So, I then reduced my purchases via PayPal. I try and use a Credit Card instead of PayPal when buying from unknown vendors. And I don’t spend thousands of dollars through PayPal anymore, the buyer protection sucks IMO.

From many years of PayPal use, I highly recommend choosing a difficult pass word with an uppercase letter and numbers that are not related to your name etc. Hackers are constantly attacking Paypal accounts.

If you have a problem and need to dispute it, detail the issue and give as much info as possible. Send PayPal a little video of the issue and be ready to return the item. What I find on cheap items from china is the return postage is more than the item! So, on cheap stuff its a crap shoot.

I ran into some trouble with hacked accounts with Brazilian customers about a year ago. I came out alright in the end but is was a PITA and a good bit of money was in limbo for 90 days. Between fraud and ridiculously long transit times due to customs delays I have stopped shipping to SA all together.