That sinking feeling that you've been conned - eBay related...

Dammit. I think I may have been taken for a ride; I won an auction for a bunch of robotics/electronic components - I paid immediately (from my PayPal balance), it was only about ten days ago, but I’m starting to think maybe I’ll never see the goods. The seller hasn’t left me feedback, hasn’t responded to my emails and had a whole load of other auctions (nothing special) end the same day as mine, then no activity at all.

Damn. On the one hand, I keep thinking maybe the Christmas post has just held it up, or maybe he’s away from home for a few days, but I just have a sinking feeling about this one. It was only forty quid and the money actually came from selling junk, but still…

It’s too early as yet to be taking action, but can anyone tell me what the deal is with regards to claiming back paypal payments when they came out of balance, rather than a CC payment?

On further investigation; he hasn’t left feedback for any of the items he listed/sold alongside mine, neither has he been left feedback by any of the buyers - which would seem to indicate that they haven’t received anything either.

What is the seller’s feedback like? If it is a good number (over 50 or so transactions, all positive) and the person didn’t just join eBay at the beginning of the month, I’d say something has happened to the seller to keep him/her from sending out. If the seller has 0 feedback or just started selling recently, yes, then I would panic. I’m not sure on the PayPal rules, I’ve never had to deal with that. Look around on the site - I’m sure it says something about the procedure.

Pull his contact info and give him a call. If that doesn’t work it out, check with ebay for how to file go on. If paypal doesn’t cover it, ebays standart protection might. That will cover up to $200 - some fee I think.

He’s got 56 positives, the most recent of which was left at the end of November - they date all the way back, fairly steadily, to May 2002, BUT…

This latest batch of auctions (actually 23 listings, all started on Dec 1st) is the first time he’s sold anything since April 2003 (and that transaction happens to have attracted a neg - Buyer says ‘not received after 3 weeks, no response to email’; seller says ‘what email?’, buyer follows up with ‘eventually received item marked ‘sorry, forgot to send’’).

So OK, maybe he’s decided to clear out his cupboards and has suddenly listed 23 items (they are all assorted, relatively inexpensive junk), but… I dunno… I have a bad feeling about this.

Stay on his ass about sending you the stuff you won. Call/email him every day if possible. Save any correspondance you send to him as proof to Ebay you tried to contact him. Hopefully, he’s just got a lot on his plate and is getting to your items.

Maybe he’s gone on holiday and forgot all about the auctions? Ten days does seem a long time though.

Ten days is too long, unless the item must come from overseas. You are dealing either with a fraud or a seller who has been incapacitated.

Aha! He’s responded to one of my emails - I sent one via the ebay system and another to the address he uses for PayPal (which might be different) - he apologises and says he was called away unexpectedly on business and that the parcel is packed, ready to go tomorrow… we’ll see…

Maybe someone else took over the account.

I did consider that, but the items he listed are mostly an assortment of tat. Of course I’ve heard the ‘away on business’ excuse before (although that was non-paying buyers) - it might be genuine this time, or it might not - I’ll give him until the middle of next week - if it’s not here by then, I’ll initiate a claim.

Don’t forget that if you had paid for this on PayPal, you have 30 days from the payment date to file any complaint to get a refund. I’ve successfully recouped money from PayPal after a seller has taken a powder. If you let the 30 days lapsed without a complaint, you’re probably going to have to eat the payment if the seller doesn’t come through.

Indeed; he’s not going to get that long - I’m really hoping it isn’t going to be a washout, because I really do want the item, but I’m not going to allow myself to be strung along.

If he got called away one business, I’m surprised he couldn’t get access to a computer to contact you and let you know your package was going to be late.

For what it’s worth, I won a paperweight a few weeks ago. I sent a money order for it and was stunned to recieve it less than a week later. It came clear from the East Coast during the holiday rush! I gave that seller lots of praise!

The package arrived this morning in good order - I’m very pleased with it, despite the delay - 40 quid for a microcontroller starter kit and a heap of accessories isn’t bad at all.