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Old 05-15-2006, 03:06 PM   #1
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Default ebay help!

So I am having a little issue with a set of stamps I sold on ebay... and I just want some feedback from you guys!
I sold several stamp sets on ebay and one of the sets was lost in the mail. I shipped the set in a flat rate priority mail envelope and the buyer received the envelope but no stamps . The buyer did not purchase insurance and I have it written in my auctions that I am not responsible for items once they have been shipped. Anyway after the buyer filed a missing item claim with her local Post Office and it has not turned up. I just received an email from her and she is requesting a refund. What would you do? I feel bad she didn't get her stamps but I also feel like it was not my fault and why should I have to pay for it? HELP?!
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:15 PM   #2
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That's a tough one - but if you listed an option to purchase insurance and she didn't - then it is really her loss. It is tough to tell people that though. I find it hard to believe that it wasn't in there. I've shipped lots of retired sets and just put the plastic box right into the priority mail envelope and they arrived with no problem. If it didn't look as it sealed well - I'd just put some postal tape around the top to make sure it stayed sealed. It's really hard to tell what really happened and unfortunately, if the stamps are out there somewhere - without a label or anything - they probably won't turn up.
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Old 05-15-2006, 03:15 PM   #3
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I haven't had this happen yet,but have thought about it since I buy and sell on Ebay quite frequently....personally, I feel that if she didn't buy insurance then it's her problem and not yours. If she was that concerned about her items she would have bought insurance. Again, this is just my opinion....
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Old 05-15-2006, 06:47 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onita76
So I am having a little issue with a set of stamps I sold on ebay... and I just want some feedback from you guys!
I sold several stamp sets on ebay and one of the sets was lost in the mail. I shipped the set in a flat rate priority mail envelope and the buyer received the envelope but no stamps . The buyer did not purchase insurance and I have it written in my auctions that I am not responsible for items once they have been shipped. Anyway after the buyer filed a missing item claim with her local Post Office and it has not turned up. I just received an email from her and she is requesting a refund. What would you do? I feel bad she didn't get her stamps but I also feel like it was not my fault and why should I have to pay for it? HELP?!
I have sold alot on ebay, not stamps, but children's clothes. I use those priority Tyvek envelopes, and they are impossible to open without cutting them. It could not have ripped. I would agree with the PP's that if she didn't buy insurance, you are not responsible for damage. She admits to getting the envelope. I have never had a customer say she rec'd the envelope with nothing in it!!
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:51 PM   #5
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It would be the buyer's obligation to deal with it since they chose not to insure especially since you had that as an option.
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Old 05-15-2006, 07:58 PM   #6
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well, I buy and sell a lot on ebay. I know it seems like since the buyer refused the insurance, that it's her loss. But actually, insurance is to protect the seller, not the buyer. It is the seller's responsibility to get the item to the buyer. The buyer paid for the stamps, not an empty envelope. If the buyer opens up an "item not received" charge against you, ebay will find in the buyer's favor, unfortunately. Even though you state in your auction that it is not your responsibility if insurance is not purchased, that statement really holds no water. Sorry!

A lot of sellers will make it required for the buyer to purchase insurance, or will add it into the cost of shipping/handling. If you are in doubt, go to the answer center in ebay. ("community" tab ->answer center->shipping). The volunteers will say the same thing.

Also, always be sure to tape up all packages really well.
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:06 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by amahanes
I find it hard to believe that it wasn't in there. I've shipped lots of retired sets and just put the plastic box right into the priority mail envelope and they arrived with no problem. If it didn't look as it sealed well - I'd just put some postal tape around the top to make sure it stayed sealed. It's really hard to tell what really happened and unfortunately, if the stamps are out there somewhere - without a label or anything - they probably won't turn up.
I have received items from SU and one other company in padded envelopes that were both open and empty. It does happen.

But to answer the OP, unfortunately for the buyer, it was her fault.

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Old 05-15-2006, 08:42 PM   #8
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Her loss, not yours... End of story...
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Old 05-15-2006, 08:52 PM   #9
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Edited because I checked on eBay itself for the answer, and they changed their policy since I have dealt with them:

Lost or damaged items

If your item was lost or damaged during shipping, please request contact information and call your trading partner to explain the situation and work out a solution.

You should also consider contacting the shipping carrier for assistance. The three most commonly used shipping providers can be contacted at the links provided below:

United States Post Office (USPS)
United Parcel Service (UPS)
Federal Express (FedEx)


Items that are lost or damaged during shipping are not eligible for the eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program programs unless you are the buyer and one of the following conditions apply:

You purchased shipping insurance and the seller failed to insure the item.
You purchased shipping insurance and your or the seller filed a claim with the shipping carrier, but the claim was denied due to poor packaging.
You purchased shipping insurance and your or the seller filed a claim with the shipping carrier, and the shipping carrier awarded the seller reimbursement but the seller failed to send a refund to you.
If one or more of these conditions apply and you are unable to resolve the transaction with the seller or shipping carrier, please review the eBay Standard Purchase Protection Program and consider opening an Item Not Received or Significantly Not as Described dispute.


Edited again: If she files a claim with PayPal, all you'll have to do is show that the package was delivered. Unless she has a statement from the USPS that states it was delievered empty, she unfortunately cannot prove it was empty when she got it.

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Old 05-15-2006, 10:33 PM   #10
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I believe that you may be ok...as long as when you shipped Priority Mail you included "delivery confirmation". If you paid for shipping online via USPS, it's automatically included when you ship via Priority Mail.

Depending on if your buyer paid via PayPal, she can file a complaint against you to have the charges reversed with a refund in her favor, BUT if you can provide the "delivery confirmation number"...than you should be ok.

As for eBay, they really can't do anything UNLESS you have a history of this kind of situation and then all they will do is suspend you from buying or selling on eBay.

Of course, the evil ones on eBay who do this kind of thing...just open another account under a new name and on they continue to spoil the fun!

HTH,
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:50 AM   #11
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How much was the purchase for?
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:38 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by usbornegina
How much was the purchase for?
The total purchase was for only $15 and at this point the money is not worth the headache/potential headache if I don't refund her. In doing some research on ebay's discussion boards re: this issue it seems that there are conflicting opinions as to what the correct procedure/policy is but the majority say the seller is out of luck. So I will chalk it up to a learning experience (ie: tape the heck out of every priority flat rate envelope i send, and up my shipping costs to include insurance and delivery confirmation) and refund the money. It's just not worth any more of my time or stress about it
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:34 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Onita76
The total purchase was for only $15 and at this point the money is not worth the headache/potential headache if I don't refund her. In doing some research on ebay's discussion boards re: this issue it seems that there are conflicting opinions as to what the correct procedure/policy is but the majority say the seller is out of luck. So I will chalk it up to a learning experience (ie: tape the heck out of every priority flat rate envelope i send, and up my shipping costs to include insurance and delivery confirmation) and refund the money. It's just not worth any more of my time or stress about it
I guess if it was me I would refund her the $15 because its not worth the headache or the negative feedback. I buy alot on Ebay and have never had a problem. And its always a good idea to use shipping tape and retape all seams on those priority envelopes.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:39 AM   #14
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Shelleca is right. The insurance protects the seller and is NOT the buyer's responsiblity. If they get lost the SELLER gets the money, not the buyer. An ethical seller would then send the money to the buyer, but you cannot count on that. I have been advised never to pay for insurance as a buyer for this reason and that the seller MUST make good on it since it is the seller's job to make sure it gets to you. As a seller I pay for the insurance to protect myself.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:06 AM   #15
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tough situation but I think I agree that the best course of action would be to refund her the money. Put yourself in her shoes and do what you'd want the seller to do KWIM?
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:18 AM   #16
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I had a somewhat similar thing happened.....I bought a CD and the buyer did not offer insurance (which I would not have taken) and the CD case was damaged when it arrived. I emailed the seller and she told me it was my tough luck because her listing indicated she was not responsible for loss or damage. I filed my complaint and was covered by Paypal's Buyer's Protection Program. Long story, short.....she had no choice in refunding my money and Paypal took care of it.

Good luck!
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:23 AM   #17
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I buy quite a bit on Ebay and usually insure most of my purchases over $20. My attitude is if you clearly stated that you were not responsible after item was shipped and offered insurance at bidder's option..you are not liable. But I'd likely file claim with paypal just so they know that item was not received. Hard to pay for something you did not get also. That stamp set may still show up...if nothing else in one of the postal recovery auctions they hold several times a year.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:38 AM   #18
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Heres a question for ebay seller's not to change the subject,but I bought a buy it now stamp.when I got it it was the wrong stamp.So I asked the girl since I liked it if I could keep it and send her the money for the 1 that I originally bought.How would you deal with something like this.B y the way she did agree to sending me the right stamp,since that was the 1 I bought origianlly.I'm just waiting for it now to come in the mail.

I realize this is totally against ebay rules,but she is the 1 who agrred to it other wise I would of mailed it back to her.isn't this considered outside of ebay rules.
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Old 05-16-2006, 09:41 AM   #19
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I buy and sell on Ebay a lot. You clearly had it on your auction that insurance is available and she opted to not purchase it. You also had it clearly on your auction that you are not responsible for items once in the mail. She is out of luck and your obligation has ended. Why should you be held responsible if she chose not to purchase insurance? she is at fault not you!
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:45 AM   #20
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I agree with most that have responded - officially, it's not your problem.

But, if I were the seller, I would probably refund the money as well. It would cost more in aggravation, and bad feedback. Write it off as a cost of doing business.
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Old 05-16-2006, 11:54 AM   #21
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I sell and buy alot on Ebay.
I can think of two times items didn't get to the buyer.
Neither of them got insurance. But I did feel bad so I retured their money, But not the shipping!
This was before I started adding Insurance to my auctions.
Now if it doesn't get to them it's not my fault.
Something I just started cause sometimes I have written things down incorrectly.
I now copy and paste their name and address into a Word Document and then enlarge Change the font and print it out on a piece paper. Tape it to the package.

All Packages have tape on both ends, because as we all know that Post Office PP envelopes sometime do not stick like the should.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:46 PM   #22
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Default ebay help!

IMHO the buyer made a mistake in not requesting insurance. Not being familiar with ebay's policies, I would think your statement about not being held responsible for items once they have been shipped legally absolves you of responsibility. . . . technically speaking. But sometimes it's in our own best interest to go the extra mile to make things right for the other person.

As far as her claim that she received the envelope but not the items, it sure could happen!! A few months back I did some trading and the flat rate cardboard envelope arrived TOTALLY mangled! It's a miracle the stamps didn't fall out, but fortunately they were all there and undamaged. Same thing happened to me about a year ago when I asked my demo to find me a retired portfolio book. The book arrived with one corner crushed--again, sent in a flat rate envelope.

Because I have experienced this personally, I ALWAYS include insurance and ask for the same. Also, when I trade, I NEVER use those flat rate envelopes. They may be cheaper, but I would rather pay a little extra in shipping to package carefully than risk having the person on the other end receive an empty envelope or damaged goods.

Just my two cents.
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Old 05-16-2006, 12:59 PM   #23
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This happened to us once - we decided it was easier to give a refund, even though we suspected the item had arrived after all. Now the only postal service we offer is insured/signed for so they have no choice and we have peace of mind.
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Old 05-16-2006, 01:03 PM   #24
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I had this happen to someone also on eBay as a seller who bought 3 sets. I offered insurance and she did not choose to get it. I mailed the package priority and it arrived opened with only 1 set and a few blocks. She demanded a refund which I refused to give since I offered insurance and she CHOSE not to get it. That is the whole reason for the insurance. A seller can be liable for what a buyer choses to do.
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:02 PM   #25
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This is a hard situation. If they post negative feedback because of non-delivery, it impacts your rating. Even though she didn't purchase insurance, I might consider a refund (less shipping) to keep my feedback rating. But the mean part of me says, "Tough titty, little kitty!"
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:26 PM   #26
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I have to admit I have some sympathies with the buyer. This exact thing did happen to me. I bought the retro alphabet ($30-retired) set from an ebay seller and she put it in a padded package that it barely fit in and DID NOT tape it in any way shape or form (It was in a Walmart type of envelope with self-sticking seal)! I got the empty package and could clearly tell she had NOT taped it extra, or the tape would have shown on the package that I received. I asked her to refund the money (but not the postage) because of poor taping and she refused and said it was my fault (I actually hadn't bought insurance as a mistake, I had made the purchase too fast because I was so excited I had won the retro alphabet!) I later won another one that arrived safely (YOU BET I PAID THE INSURANCE THAT TIME!) and found that the set BARELY fit in the original empty envelope, she should have definitely taped it better! I felt this WAS partly her fault, but she refused to refund me and I lost the money. I didn't even think that Paypal would side with me as I hadn't insured it, so I didn't try to claim the loss through them. I have only bought a few things but if I ever sell anything I am going to REQUIRE insurance for everything over a certain amount ($15?), I think!
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Old 05-16-2006, 02:41 PM   #27
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I would give her a partial refund if she will take it, just to save yourself agravation and recoup a little of your loss. It is her own fault for not getting insurance, but we should be allowed a little reasonable expectation that items get there safely, in my opinion.
Maybe the PO does this on purpose to keep the stamps? : ) or to make people shell out for insurance?? : )
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Old 05-16-2006, 03:19 PM   #28
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I also have had a flate rate priority shipping envelope arrive damaged--the plastic stamp set case was poking right through the cardboard, but luckily
did NOT work its way out! I would certainly tape those envelopes to reinforce them!
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Old 05-16-2006, 04:18 PM   #29
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so sorry to hear about this. Unfortunatley there are people on Ebay that lie - I'm convinced some people make a living claiming they didn't receive stuff!
I like to ship with those priority envelopes with the address written on it and sealed and THEN placed in the flat envelope or the box. That way if the outside envelope gets mangled the inside is still in another sealed envelope. Since priority envelopes are free with priority shipping it doesn't cost you anything. I would also get insurance everytime and delivery confirmation (as already suggested) but I really like the idea of having the buyer sign for the package!
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Old 05-16-2006, 05:12 PM   #30
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gale
Our PO won't accept flat rate priority envelopes if they're taped in any way. The USPS site says tape may be used so I will probably print that page and take it in if I ever have to tape a pkg. I just sent a flat rate pkg to the UK. I hope it makes it.
Would they let you reinforce the envelope with their own printed Priority Mail tape? I can't believe they'd refuse a taped package that used 100% USPS materials.
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Old 05-16-2006, 07:30 PM   #31
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I bought something off ebay just before Christmas... the lady shipped it on December 20th (I remember because it happened to be my son's birthday) and it still hasnt arrived, lost in the mail. I did not buy insurance because I'm always told that insurance isnt available when mailing to Canada. She would not refund my money ($30.00 approx). I filed a Paypal claim and got my money back. She was SURE she would win the Paypal claim because she had a receipt for sending the package out. However, I won because she did not pay for "a signature", so she couldnt prove that I did NOT receive it. From this experience, it tells me that the seller IS responsible to make sure that the item gets to the buyer. I buy many many things from ebay and this is the only package that's ever gone missing -- still wonder what happened to it. Anyway, that's my story.
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Old 05-16-2006, 08:01 PM   #32
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I understand the risk if I don't buy the insurance if it is offered. As it happens I have always received the items but if it didn't arrive I would request the seller prove it was shipped. If there was proof of shipping, I would consider that to be the end of the matter as I took the risk and the seller did everything within their power to get the item to me.

You cannot be reponsible for the shipping company's actions and as long as you believe in good conscience that you packaged the item correctly you weren't at fault.

However, as a seller, I would probably compensate the buyer by giving a partial refund. I have done this when I accidentally mis-described an item and a buyer complained about the mistake. It was better to resolve it this way that to get negative feedback.
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:28 PM   #33
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gale
Our PO won't accept flat rate priority envelopes if they're taped in any way. The USPS site says tape may be used so I will probably print that page and take it in if I ever have to tape a pkg. I just sent a flat rate pkg to the UK. I hope it makes it.
WHAT???? How can they refuse your flat rate envie if it's taped? I send almost everything I trade in flat rate envies, but I TAPE THE BEGEEZUS out of it. Every part of the envie is covered with tape - no chance for the stuff coming out. I'm sure the buyers/receivers curse trying to open the package, but for the few extra seconds it takes to tape the whole envelope, it's worth the peace of mind. If you get the CUSTOMS envelopes from the PO, when you pay and print the labels on paypal or usps.com, they fit perfect in there, then you only have to tape 1/2 the envelope as the label takes up most of the one side.

I would refund the person 50% of the cost of the goods - I would not refund the shipping. It really isn't fair that you are out totally when she didn't buy insurance.

Did she say she had a note from the PO that the envelope was damaged, etc? Because whenever I receive an envelope opened, there is always a note. No note, and I would wonder if she was making it up...

Those Vytec envelopes are AWESOME. I take those envies out of the FED EX boxes and turn them inside out and ship stuff in those. You can't do it with the Priority ones from the PO, it's illegal to mess with the federal priority mailers...although I don't think the PO is owned by the government anymore.

Anyways, that's my $.02

Vicki
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:35 PM   #34
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vfnelson2
WHAT???? How can they refuse your flat rate envie if it's taped? I send almost everything I trade in flat rate envies, but I TAPE THE BEGEEZUS out of it. Vicki
My local PO has said this to me as well. Think I'll print off the online ok before I go next time!
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Old 05-16-2006, 10:52 PM   #35
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So if you taped your package and put it in your mailbox, does your mailman not take it? If you have it taped and put it in a blue box (not take it in), do they send it back to you? Why do they care if the package is taped or not? As long as it's addressed right and they get their money for the postage, what do they care?

I don't have any beefs with my PO - they take everything from my box, over a pound or not - not had anything sent back to me. The only beef I've ever had was when I had a credit card signed "CHECK ID" and the PO wouldn't accept my credit card even though I said to Check ID and they could check my ID see that it's me and then check the signature. The lady said the PO rules were not to accept Credit cards with that on the back. I argued it was to protect me, but it was too bad for me. It was a SMALL PO, I had to order a new card so they would take my credit cards again - they took that one signed CHECK ID for the longest time too. To their benefit, they were there on days the PO was closed (not delivering mail) and if I had a package, they would always give it to me...

I would like to know the reason behind not taping the package. Just make sure you NEVER tape over postage - they can't cancel it, so you are out if it gets taped over. (Learned this when I hosted a BIG swap a few years ago). Took it home and used UNDO on it to get it back...it worked. I wonder if this is why...it's hard to cancel stamps on tape. But if it's a pre-paid label why do they care...and they just put the sticker on the envelope with the postage amount. That does NOT make sense! I tape all my packages 100% - bubble mailers, flat rates, all of them have tape over the whole package. Don't want anything gettin' out!

Vicki
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:27 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally Posted by basurok
I buy quite a bit on Ebay and usually insure most of my purchases over $20. My attitude is if you clearly stated that you were not responsible after item was shipped and offered insurance at bidder's option..you are not liable. But I'd likely file claim with paypal just so they know that item was not received. Hard to pay for something you did not get also. That stamp set may still show up...if nothing else in one of the postal recovery auctions they hold several times a year.
Oh, I love the last sentence, basurok!

I recently purchased a set on B/S/T and exchanged lovely emails with my seller. She immediately wrote to me when she could not mail out the set as she said she would, on Saturday...but promised to mail it on Monday, 5/8/06. I sent her an email saying that she didn't have to do that as I was in no rush to get it, just wanted to adopt it..but she kept her promise and mailed it out on Monday. When the flat rate envelope arrived there was no tape of any kind on the envelope and one end of the flap looked like it could easily come off. There were no other signs of wear or tear on the envelope - no marks from where the case might have been. I knew immediately that something was wrong. When I lifted the flap up - there was a blue foil happy face staring right back at me. For both of us (the seller and the buyer), this was the first time it has ever happened to either one of us.

If anyone goes to one of those auctions - could you keep an eye out for Flower Factory?
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:42 AM   #37
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to the OP

If I were the buyer and did not receive my goods, I would first ask you for information regarding the shipment, re: the delivery confirmation number. It isn't clear to me if that's what your buyer is doing with the post office in filing a claim. The eBay community boards give all kinds of info to help both the seller and buyer when Customer Support isn't quick enough. From them, I learned more than what is available in all the help menus on both eBay and PayPal - one is as another poster has said that I needn't pick up insurance and to try and always use a credit card for my purchases...especially VISA.

If a seller shows concern to the buyer - for me, it makes a whole world of difference rather than a - "Too bad, you didn't..." or "Its not my fault". When an auction goes smoothly all is well with everyone, but things really do happen. I have been one of many buyers whose seller went AWOL - so it takes all kinds of people.

Still, enjoy the positive exchanges, the rush of the bidding process - just the fun that eBay is supposed to be.
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Old 05-17-2006, 03:58 AM   #38
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TAPE! I've had this running issue with my PO. No tape on the Flat Rate Envelopes. If it can't go in there without tape, it should go in a box ... according to the Postal Workers. UGH! I had to take a package back one day and re-do it.

But I take it to another PO, and they take it any way it comes. You should see some of the packages. I sometimes FOLD the FLAT RATE tyvek envelope because it's so big... at MY Post Office, they'd FREAK.

I've bought and sold things on e-bay. I had one buyer insist that they did not receive their item (sent Priority). And TWO WEEKS later, they contacted me and told me it arrived -- totally fine condition! I thought they might be a bad buyer. You just never know. The issue of the EMPTY PACKAGE makes me wonder.

I realize that USPS has RULES, but if you go to different Post Office locations, they do business differently (unfortunately).

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Old 05-17-2006, 05:29 AM   #39
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My postoffice is wonderful and I love them. They did, however, told me that I could not use tape on my flat rate envelopes,that I should use the tyvek ones instead.
They do not have any of the postal tape to use on any of my other packages.

I buy and sell on ebay a lot and will definitely from now on get delivery confirmation.
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Old 05-17-2006, 10:50 AM   #40
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If my packaging was not secure enough to survive the trip and the item I promised to deliver got lost in the process because of it, I would not feel right keeping the money. That's just me. Of course, the tough part is knowing whether or not that was actually the case, since you can't really verify the condition that it arrived in. In any event, mysterious things do happen in the post office. I just hope if I were in the buyer's shoes that I would get a more concerned response than "tough titty, little kitty". In the end, there really is no good solution because either way someone is going to be shortchanged.
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