Paypal question: can a seller do this?

After paying a seller’s invoice, he is now requesting a photocopy of the recipient’s ID - either driver’s license or passport. This doesn’t seem to be a requirement from either Paypal or my credit card bank because the money went through without a hitch. So it seems to be the seller’s own personal requirement. This is a gift item, so the ‘ship to’ address is different from the billing address. But I have the ‘ship to’ address in my Paypal profile as a gift address, so I am not sure what the seller’s issue is.

There is no way I can call up the giftee and ask her to send me a photocopy of her ID without letting the cat out of the bag that a gift is on the way. Also, I wouldn’t really expect anyone to let a copy of their ID go flying around in the internet these days.

Can the seller tack on additional ID requirements once the sale has already gone through?

I’m considering just asking the seller to refund my money and I’ll go over to Amazon where I never have this kind of problem.

Where did you buy the item?

I initially saw the item on ebay, but sent the seller some emails about international warranties and we went back and forth with some option before I decided to buy. Once I finally decided to buy, he just sent me a regular invoice via Paypal, so I guess at that point we were not involved with ebay at all.

I know I can open a dispute through Paypal but it hasn’t been that long (6 or 7 days) so I’m waiting a few more days to see what he wants to do - either ship the item or refund. I’m ok with either.

If it is outside of eBay, I guess he can ask for anything he wants. I think asking for ID is way over the top.

I guess I should have a pair of her soiled panties on standby just in case.

Sounds a little fishy to me - especially since he didn’t want it to go through ebay. Did they have good feedback there at least?

Yes better than 99%. I don’t get the feeling that he was actively avoiding an ebay transaction. After a few days of back-and-forth emails about this and that, I told him I was ready to buy and he sent me the invoice through Paypal. The thought of going back to ebay really didn’t even occur to me.

One thing to remember: PayPal is owned by eBay so if you describe the sale to them, i.e. doing it outside eBay, they may start in with “that’s a violation of our policy…” Besides that I don’t see why the seller needs an ID. Unless the item is restricted to people 21 and over (you only have to be 18 to have a credit card) or is state-restricted in some way (gun, taser, mace, liquor etc.).

I think the reason some online sellers ask for ID is to lower the likelihood that the buyer does a chargeback.

I sell quite a bit on eBay. Ebay will usually charge around 10 percent of the total transaction in fees so he’s obviously trying to get by that.

Re the ID there is so much net scammery going on these days he is probably simply trying to verify your ID and shipping address. I’m guessing he needs to do this because he is bypassing eBay, and if you are a scammer and eBay calls him on the avoided transaction he has no protection. He’s rolling the dice but not in a particularly intelligent way IMO.

The above assumes he has a good feedback history.

Email him back. Tell him his request makes you uncomfortable, you are very protective of your personal information having had problems in the past. Ask if this is a condition of sale, and if so, why he would fail to mention it before he took your payment?

Personally, I think you’ve been scammed. He seems to have your payment, but seems to be able to refuse to ship if you won’t send him your passport, ID, etc. Next he’ll ask for your banking information, anything to get you to say ‘No way!’. Now it’s on you to get your funds back! Good luck with that!

I realize I could be totally wrong, of course. I’m just saying, smells somewhat fishy to me!

…and that the ebay account with good feedback is indeed his - scammers selling through hijacked accounts often try to do the transaction outside of the eBay system.

This sounds like a twitchy, but genuine seller to me, though.

It sounds like you want the item shipped to someone other than yourself. Sellers do get nervous when shipping to third parties, they are very vulnerable to the customer saying they did not receive the item, and involving a third party only complicates the situation more.

Would it simplify things to just have them ship it to you and then you ship/give it yourself to the recipient?

Also have you tried telling the seller this is a gift and you don’t have a copy of the recipient’s ID?

I wouldn’t expect this to be an issue with a small $ amount item that I am assuming this transaction represents, but anti-money laundering regualtions require sellers to have more information about their customers, especially when they request the goods to be shipped to another party than the the party being billed. That would be a red flag.

I’m overseas now so shipping to me isn’t possible. Well, it’s possible but not feasible.

Wouldn’t there by a tracking number and signature upon receipt?

Anyway upon waking up this morning I see the seller has refunded via paypal, so all is well. I get the impression from post #4 that if I stay within ebay, the seller couldn’t have done this - correct?

If “the money went through without a hitch” then I don’t understand the seller’s position at all. He’s already got his money. I don’t know what PayPal’s policy is about requiring ID but nearly all contracts with credit card associations prohibit the merchant from asking for ID if a signed card is presented or a security code is provided to demonstrate possession of a card. (Further, a crooked merchant would find this a dandy way to do identity theft.)

But tons of merchants who have nothing to do with eBay use PayPal. Just because you tell PayPal you have an issue with a merchant doesn’t mean they were breaking eBay policy.

If there is a chargeback to a PayPal charge, does PayPal in turn automatically ding the seller? Because in such cases, as far as the credit card company is concerned, PayPal is the merchant.

Not sure. Sellers can ask for whatever they want. Paypal is supposed to protect buyers and sellers if **verified **addresses are shipped to, but in this case you were using an alternate non-verified address which is a huge red flag to a seller. Also if eBay caught him deliberately bypassing them to save selling fees he could have his account suspended.

I suspect paypal would protect you if you were being outright scammed and there was no shipment received and you could prove it, which would be difficult for you to do as PP would only be guaranteeing things shipped to YOUR verified address not the alternate. If it was an issue re representation of the fitness or quality of the merchandise you would (I suspect) be in some difficulty as you were doing the deal outside the eBay umbrella.

It a good question and I don’t know the answer.

The seller doesn’t have the money yet. The buyer can still dispute the charges through both their credit card company or paypal itself, and say they received a box of rocks or something. Or the credit card might be stolen. Like astro said, if they ship to an unconfirmed address they are NOT protected under paypal’s seller protection plan ( So yes, PayPal will in turn automatically ding the seller.

I don’t blame the seller for wanting to be careful when the shipping and billing addresses don’t match. And it is also against ebay’s terms of service to list stuff on ebay, then sell outside of the site in order to dodge the fees.

Former paypal using merchant here.

Ask for a refund, it costs the seller nothing to cancel a payment. If he is legit he shouldn’t have a problem.

Can’t you still set up a gift address in paypal like in this article?