Never trust eBay, a Howto on beating the system

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This blogpost will be published on http://blog.arcol.hu.

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The title may sound a bit harsh, but it is (sadly) true:
eBay does NOT provide ANY PROTECTION, your payment processor (paypal, your bank) do.

Ebay's advertised deadlines:
- open an ebay case within 45 days from date of purchase
- ebay dispute takes maximum 30 days
- your ability to leave feedback to the seller ends after 60 days.

Paypal's deadline:
- ability of refund ends after 45 days from payment date

Your bank deadline:
- Usually no deadline. If you try hard, then within 8 hours,
with the help of police and financial supervisory authority within 24 hours you have a chance.
The bank is interested in a successful transaction even at your disadvantage.

Example 1 (60USD lost this way)

1. Case (item not received) was opened just before the ebay's deadline:
flickr:9450116783

2. The seller offered a replacement item, and tried to postpone the escalate date.
I agreed to wait until the replacement item arrives (which never did).

3. The case escalated, just before the end of the deadline to get a refund (item not received)

flickr:9452900606

" We're sorry to hear that there's a problem with your purchase.
Unfortunately this item is not eligible for a refund through eBay Buyer Protection,
because payment method is not eligible or the case was opened more than 45 days after the payment date. "

4. eBay resolved the issue: " You don't need to do anything else. "

flickr:9453013490

5. Bonus point: Paypal refuses to help, because I already opened a case in eBay's system.

Optimal strategy for buyer

Open the dispute case as soon as possible (usually 30 days from date of purchase),
and ask for refund.

After 40 days passed, escalate the issue (eBay customer service may take time to resolve the issue, so a bit safety needed here).

a) If you got a refund buy the item from another seller.
b) If you got turned down, then downvote the seller as soon as possible. But don't miss the 60 days deadline.

Optimal strategy for seller

Try to postpone the issue at every cost.

1. First excuse post office lost it. Verbatim copy:
"hello, sorry, post office lost it, we can resend it to you. ok? thank you"

Don't forget to mark in the system "other solution":
The Seller has responded to your case with other solution.

2. When the buyer responds, swear you will send it tomorrow:
"heloo, I will resend it tomorrow"

You can try a bit harder, like "we are a small business, we try our best, etc, etc"
Ebay sellers seems to have some samples for the purpose.

3. When the buyer asks for updates.
a) If the 45 days passed, but not the 60 days
Post the tracking number of the postcard you sent:)

b) If the 60 days passed, just stay quiet.

Also remember, when you passed the 60 days, the buyer
- can't get his money back
- can't rate you down in the ebay system.

Example 2:
(A friend of mine lost 490USD this way)

The seller sold a roomba on regular auction. The item seemed legit.
No paypal, only bank transfer option (ebay.de still allows it, ebay protection advertised)
The case has been won at 11pm, and the money transfered.
Ebay sent the usual positive message, Congratulation, contact with the seller, and pay to him.
At 3am ebay sent a message, the seller is a fraud, and don't send money.
Next day in working hours the bank was contacted to stop the transaction.
Bank required a written letter, and later the day informed the money has been already transfered.

Conclusion: eBay did not provide any protection. And (obviously) didn't take any share of the loss.

Remark: What is really strange, that in regular bank system everybody is required to provide some identity when he opens a bank account. So everyone is trackeable in the bank system.
Can't believe there is no consequence of any malicious behavior.

Example 3:
Although it happened more then 6 months ago, I write it down just for the reference.
Paypal account got hacked (no password lost), within 5 mins the following things happened (on saturday 4pm):
1. my password got changed ("You just changed your password.")
2. my credit card has been removed
3. my bank name has been removed
4. a bank name has been added to my paypal account from a country I have never been in my life, and is located on an another continent ("Congratulations! You have added an account from a bank", Everyone, say hi, to Green Dot Bank)
5. Six transactions ("We're transferring money from PayPal to your bank") happened, from which 4 was successful, the last two got pending from paypal.

I got emails from everything ("You have added a bank account"), and I could watch it from the first row. Was unable to do anything other then watch and sweat.
Could not contact paypal neither in America, nor in Europe (Ireland), due there is no customer service during the weekend.
I could write an email to paypal, and pray that the perpetrator leave some money behind…
I have called paypal monday morning. The call was unsuccessful (the case is under investigation).
Two days later I got an email from paypal, that they are sorry, the original balance has been restored.

Conclusion: No further action to catch the perpetrator.

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