E-Bay buyer claims I shorted her items--What now?

Are there any experienced e-bayers out there who can answer this one? I sent out a large lot of toys last week–over 160 small-to-large items. They went in three large boxes, with the small parts wrapped and tucked among the large.

The packages arrived Monday, per USPS, and yesterday I e-mailed the buyer to thank her and remind her to leave feedback so Paypal will release the payment. Yesterday afternoon she emailed back saying she was missing a good number of the small items.

I’m stressed about this. I am not an e-bay seller. This was just me unloading an old toy collection so I could get my kids a new couch for their playroom. I was so careful to wrap everything, I checked it off a list as I went, and I mailed it all out together. No forgotten bundles are lying around my dining room, or I’d have noticed in the past week. Do I have any recourse here? The only thing I can think of to prove my case is to have her weigh what she has vs. what the post office marked the box weight as. If there’s a discrepancy in weight, the problem obviously wasn’t on my end. But what then? And can I actually expect her to do this? How are these types of disputes usually settled?

All I know is I want my money–I’m $65 in the hole for shipping at this point and with Christmas just past, every dollar counts. What can I do?

Did the buyer definitely receive all three parcels?

Was there any sign that they had been opened or had split opn and been resealed?

Is there any chance the buyer may have mistaken some of the smaller items for just bundles of packaging and thrown them away?

Do you have any record or recollection of exactly what went into each box?

I’m not sure whose side PayPal will take in a dispute of this nature. In an ordinary SNAD (not as described) dispute, they typically get the buyer to return the item, then refund as soon as the seller has it back, but in the case of alleged missing whole items from a collection, I’m not sure what happens. It’s easy to prove something is broken, but not so easy to prove it was missing.

I know there has been an increase lately of cases where unscrupulous buyers are demanding partial refunds for all sorts of arbitrary reasons, threatening negative feedback and low detailed seller ratings, but without actually initiating a dispute (meaning the whole thing takes place under PayPal/eBay radar, and they can do it again and again). I’m not suggesting this is the case here though, it’s just something to be aware of.

What is the buyer’s feedback like? Are they also selling anything at the moment?

Having her weigh the packages will work only if she doesn’t know what the boxes were supposed to weigh. If this is the case, it seems like a good way to call her bluff. If she won’t weigh the packages, or claims she is unable to for some reason, you’ll know she’s lying. I can’t recall if it says on the packages what the weight is or not. She could possibly figure it out by calculating the amount of postage.

You could send her a checklist with all 160 items and ask her to please go through and check everything off and send it back to you, if she received anything that is not on the list then pls make a note on the bottom. If she miscounted something or didn’t realize this doodad was really that doodad then it would come up then.

I should say that I’ve only sold one thing on ebay so maybe I’m not the person you would want to listen to. But I hope it works out for you.

whoa whoa whoahhh… when did paypal start holding payments hostage until feedback is left? That’s wrong on a million different levels.

It’s on her to prove you shorted her items.

paypal has been holding payments for a number of possible resons for quite a while now - it’s dependent on stuff like your seller rating in eBay, the amount, etc.

Exactly. When did this start? I bought an iTouch on E-Bay, it came, I liked it but never went back to leave feedback. Crap, better go check my “spam” email account, I don’t want the buyer to not get their money.

First, If the buyer isn’t happy have them return the items. Usually they drop it right there. If they do return the items, you can re-sell them. Paypal doesn’t keep the money forever, pretty sure they release it a certain number of days after the packages have been delivered, even if no feedback is given.

Having paypal hold the money really protects the buyer. My son purchased a brand new whatz it for a great price several year’s ago. The seller took the money and never delivered. Holding the money has prevented fake sellers from cheating people on ebay.

Paypal is holding the payment until either the buyer leaves positive feedback, or a certain amount of time elapses without her filing a payment dispute (until 1-11-10 in this case). From what I can tell, this only applies to some accounts and since mine is used rather infrequently I’m one of the lucky ones.

As far as sending her a checklist–my listing was very detailed (here it isif anyone’s interested) and she already gave me a specific list of what she is “missing”. If she wanted to send everything back–I’m still out 65$ on shipping plus the items she’s claiming not to have. Her feedback is perfect, and she paid quickly so if she’s a scammer it’s not immediately apparent. I guess I don’t get why she would lie about such an odd thing, but I know I sent everything off. Which leaves the possibility of her losing it or a Post Office mishap, but how the heck are you supposed to defend against that?

The topper on this is that she hasn’t replied to my emails in two days–I asked her to check the nooks and crannys and if the boxes looked as if they’d been split or opened when she recieved them. Nothing. Grrrrr. Anyway, I appreciate the feedback, everyone.

Just looking at your listing makes my head hurt; that many small items all in one big package–lot of ways something could get lost on either end without either person being deceptive.

Especially if the toys were all individually wrapped in newspaper or et cetera, you could easily mistake the small “people” wraps as just “extra packaging material.”

No individually wrapped items. I grouped stuff into ziplock bags as I went through my checklist, then wrapped from there. Still possible to lose a small bundle somewhere along the way though, apparently.

I would go the route of asking her to return it. Then she’s out $65 for shipping too. That’s where the rubber meets the road if she is being less than honest.

Don’t get stressed out. If you aren’t a regular ebay seller, it won’t matter.

If she paid with paypal via her credit card all she’ll have to do is dispute it with the credit card company and there’s a 99% chance she’ll win, as it’s a card not present transaction.

In the past paypal has had a lot of issues with seller shipping, say a rock, to get a signature or they’ll ship a flyer to get a delivery confirmation without signature.

A signature means little.

Paypal also takes in condsideration new accounts versus old accounts. You can’t blame them if you’re a new seller and something like this happens, fraud immediately comes to mind, I’m not saying this is the case, but you never know.

My thought is perhaps, since you sold a lot, the buyer got confused and thinks there was more in the lot than you intended. Did you check the ad and make sure what you sent is in the sale item? If so is there anyway she could’ve thought there was more due from the ad?

Paypal will withhold payment on newer accounts and those accounts listed as ‘Not verified’ or various other conditions so that’s normal.

GoogleCheckout is 100 times worse, don’t even get me started on them :slight_smile:

How come the shipping on the item is $38 and you say you’re out $65.00? Does this mean that the shipping was $103.00 and you only got $38.00 for it so that leaves $65.00 which you covered?

If I were you, I’d reach some kind of agreement with her, 'cause it’s unlikely you’ll win a dispute with paypal. And it’s highly unlikely you’ll win if she funded the paypal with her credit card.

From what I’m reading there is no dispute at the moment. The buyer just responded to a request for feedback by saying “I’m missing some items.” If the seller (belladonna) just waits for a bit, PayPal will automatically clear the payment without feedback.

Once that happens the matter is essentially over for belladonna, who can just take the money and run. Unless the buyer actively takes steps in this matter, belladonna gets her money in 21 days from the date of sale (as per eBay’s rules.)

Did you have a tracking number along with the package?

IIRC, that’s the only way to prove to Paypal you shipped an item to her and to move you along with the dispute process.

Maybe their terms have changed in the past few years. All I know, is that used to be one of the loopholes for scammers to send you a box of rocks and get away with it - proof of an item shipped, but no proof of what…

Ok, I’ve been an eBay buyer for ages. I’ve also won lots containing many small items. And I do recall purchases when something was missing in the shipment. Yes, I searched every shred of the packing material and the stuff was not there. I would contact the seller about it and invariably the seller would either: (1) not respond; (2) offer to take the whole lot back, but I have to pay the return shipping; or (3) offer some discount on the sales price which was paid. If it’s (1) I’d file a dispute with PayPal and start the process for a full refund. Assuming the choice was between (2) or (3) I always chose option (3). That’s because it was too much of a hassle to return a big lot of items, pay for return shipping, and I still wanted to keep what was actually shipped. So my suggestion to the OP is to just offer the buyer a partial refund (depending on what the buyer claims is missing) and hopefully be done with this buyer.

No, the items she says are missing were part of the purchase.

No–shipping all told was $65. I guessed on the $38 when I made the listing and stated that I’d cover any cost over that amount myself. However, the $38 she paid for shipping is still sitting in virtual limbo with the rest of the Paypal payment.

I’m trying, I told her if she’s unhappy to send it all back and I’ll refund her money. The fact of the matter is, she got an excellent deal on this, and if I hadn’t been lazy about it I could have made twice what I did by splitting it up into smaller auctions. We’ll see how she responds…

She’ll probably decline, then.

Several times, when I’ve not been totally happy with something I’ve bought on eBay, I’ll complain to the seller, and see if he offers a discount. Sometimes he does, sometimes he doesn’t, sometimes he says ship it all back. At that point I decide whether I’d be willing to buy the thing that I have at the price I bought it (rather than the thing that was advertised), and I’ll often decide to keep it if it’s still good enough.