Am I being scammed? Ebay question.

I sold some very expensive ($800) designer shoes about a month ago. Buyer was in Italy, paid me about five days later through Paypal. I’ve since transfered the money to my bank account.

I shipped the shoes out immediately (June 2) using Global Express Mail (supposedly 3-5 days delivery) so I could track them. For some reason, tracking says they left Chicago on the 3rd but didn’t arrive in Italy until the 13th (which isn’t 3-5 day, I might point out). Since them, tracking just says they’ve been stuck in customs. I’m not really sure tho’, how well the tracking works in Italy and if they’ve left customs or not.

Anyway, my buyer is now no longer a registered Ebay user (she was a relatively new buyer with 11 positive feedbacks from a variety of merchants with varying histories so I don’t think she was inflating her feedback) and hasn’t replied to my emails asking if she’s received the shoes.

Is there anyway this will come back on me? Can the money be taken out of Paypal? I don’t know if they have weird clearence times like some banks do or if their funds are more reliable. I’d really like to have this transaction resolved and not have to stress over possibly losing the money. The package was sent fully insured so if she doesn’t get it I can file but I haven’t heard from her.

If you are worried you can deposit your Paypal money back into your checking account. No idea if they can get at it there, though.

This kind of stuff is why I don’t ship to any countries except the US and Canada. I wouldn’t be surprised if she tries to get at you for not shipping it with 3-5 day mail, even though you did, and even if she gets them. Too much hassle.

Yeah, I already moved the money, I’m just worried about logging into Paypal and seeing a negative $800 there. I did get one email from her a couple of weeks ago and she said not to worry too much about the shipping time 'cause stuff in Italy is always slow. But now she’s no longer registered and that worries me.

I’m still gonna ship overseas 'cause the profit potential is a lot higher but next time, I’m gonna make DHL madatory. That way I’ll know it got there.

The money’s in your personal bank account, and you’re asking if PayPal can reach in there and grab it? IANAL, but that sounds like simple theft to me.

I guess what I’m asking is if, after a period of time, Paypal can say the funds she deposited didn’t clear. Like how that money order scam works where the money order looks good, the bank is required to deposit the funds in your bank account after 7 days, and then comes back a month later and says, oops, the money order was bogus. I’ve looked aorund Paypal but I haven’t actually seen the answer.

I don’t know about Italian Customs, but an 800 dollar shipment of shoes coming to a person in the US would require an entry to be made with US Customs and duty would have to be paid on the shoes. The carrier would not be allowed to release the freight to the individual until Customs gives the OK. A delay of several days would not be unheard of as it requires an invoice, airbill, etc. presented to Customs. Many people don’t know about such things and a result, when they travel out of the country buy a bunch of stuff and end up either not being allowed to get it, or having to pay duty that they did not know about. It is also possible the purchaser does not know about the Customs issue and does not know the shipment is being held for this reason, assuming it is.

Shipping anything to Italy takes forever. I’ve had packages (much less expensive than yours) take up to 2-3 months to arrive. Good news is, no matter how long it takes, the package will eventually get there. The delay you describe is not at all unusual.

Yes, Paypal can freeze your account if someone makes a complaint. However, then cannot, I repeat cannot, reverse the transfer you already made to your bank. And Paypal rarely litigates nickel-and-dime transactions, $800 is just a write-off to them. Worst case scenario, you’re blocked from using Paypal (and you lose access to any funds therein) so it’s always a good idea to keep a zero balance. But we’re not even there yet, so it’s nothing to worry about.

Keep in mind, most eBay scammers are SELLERS, not BUYERS. And it sounds like you covered yourself well, with the tracking number & all. So I don’t see any cause for alarm, until the customer herself starts complaining (which she hasn’t yet.)

Cool, thanks for the information. I filled out all the forms the Post Office asked me to but I got the impression the postal worker hadn’t dealt with many overseas shipments. Maybe they’re just stuck in customs. I hoep I don’t wind up having trouble with Paypal, I use it a lot for buying.

The shoes would be a weird thing to scam, they’re a lot less common than things like laptops and she had to outbid another buyer I know from a fashion forum.

There is a possibility that the person paid you with a stolen credit card. If this is the case, the true owner of the credit card might notice the charge and dispute it with their credit card issuer.

The credit card issuer will then file what is known as a “chargeback” and reverse the money from PayPal. This will cause the reversal of the original payment which might make your account go negative by $800.

I was (nearly) scammed on a 4 year old , $74 dollar digital camera on eBay this week. The high bidder really raised my red flags (in the UK, husband in Nigeria and wanted the camera shipped to Maylasia…I only ship to the US and Canada when I sell electronics and state so in my auctions), and another person who also had an item this scammer had been the high bidder on emailed me and said he got an email from Paypal that made it appear that the bidder had Paypal’d him the money, but when he actually went to PayPal there was no record of the transaction.

That user is now suspended, but there’s another way the scammers operate.

I sold some Kleenex tissues to a gentleman in Italy through Ebay. He collects the travel size Kleenex with promotional packaging and I had 5 different packs from NASCAR’s 50th anniversary. He gladly paid the rediculous shipping charges and it took about 4 weeks for them to arrive.

Just curious, what kind of shoes cost $800? And were they worn?

LOL, that was my question too. Mahlano Blaniks?

$800 shoes that you can’t find for cheaper or easier in Italy, even.

THey were Christian Louboutin Gwenissima’s. (Here’s a ebay auction with pics, not mine) Christiaqn Louboutin is the new hot name in shoes (Manolo is considered old hat currently) and every time you see a celebrity with shoe siwth red soles, that’s what they’re wearing. They sold out in one day on Net-A-Porter (in the UK). My extra pair (I bought a pair for myself as well) actually went for cheaper than what’s on ebay currently. Worked out pretty well (if the auction actually clears). I paid about $650 including shipping and wound up making about $100 profit.

Thanks. Very interesting… I just don’t get how a pair of shoes like that could be worth so much. I have seen nearly identical shoes everywhere for much cheaper. I guess it’s just the name you’re paying for.

Don’t take this on as your problem. At most, I would ask your shipping company (is that USPS?) how long a package has to be stuck in a status until they consider it lost. You don’t really need to do anything until the buyer complains. As other posters have noted, nothing happens fast in Italy except Ferraris going off the line when the light turns green.

Well, they are handmade in France and a much nicer leather than cheaper shoes. But, to a certain extent you are paying for the name; if these weren’t Louboutins, they’d probably retail for around $400. You’re also paying for the look. You can find somewhat superficially similar shoes but there is not anything currently out there that has the shape and details of the Gwenissimas. That’s part of the reason they’re going for so much; there is not a good copy out there.

There are copies of some Louboutins out there tho’. Today I’m wearing my Steve Madden Glamor platforms (in leopard) which are an exact copy of the Louboutin Miss Marples.

Shoes are like anything else. If you’re a afficionado you’re gonna recognize and appreciate small differences in details that wouldn’t be apparent to the casual observer.