Watch out for this SCAM! Some international buyers are using PayPal policy to scam us trusting US citizens out of OUR items and the money they spent for them. My unfortunate scenario. I have been shipping internationally for eight years and have never had this happen. High end (>$1000) piece of David Yurman jewelry sold to Australian girl--looked her up on the internet--she has a visible job. Parcel shipped 4th of the month from USA To Oz and into Australian customs 11th of the month. Emails back and forth between seller and buyer wondering what is the hold up. Seller contacts USPS on the 18th of the month and requests status as package is insured, requiring signature and has delivery confirmation. USPS states SELLER/SHIPPER is to wait an additional week before filing inquiry and complaint with them. Same date requested that the buyer contact her own customs and inquire about status of parcel. She refuses. Says that the seller has to instigate investigation. On 23rd of the month, seller contacts USPS and is told exactly what is on the USPS website---that the parcel is still in Australian Customs. On the same date, seller files inquiry and complaint with USPS and seller writes buyer to advise the complaint has been launched and that the seller will, next business day, contact Australian Customs. On the same day, 23rd of the month, buyer files complaint of non-receipt with PayPal. PayPal does a charge back so that my account is now negative>$1000 and I am unable to conduct any eBay business unless I am filling up the hole in my account with payments for purchases---I am unable to purchase postage, etc. Accounts are essentially frozen until seller can move money from banking to PayPal which takes 3-5 business days. The next business morning in Australia, International Postage Services were rung up who advise that my parcel is in Australian Customs and immediately connects me to speak with a Customs officer. The Customs officer informs me that the parcel arrived on 11th of the month, was opened on 19th of the month for inspection. On the 20th of the month, the addressee sent notice of arrival of parcel in Customs with forms to complete and return with payment of duty taxes. Seller obtains Customs Postal reference number, telephone numbers and names of individuals for buyer to contact to expedite the deliver of her package. Seller provides all data, names and phone and reference numbers to PayPal. Seller sends same data to buyer via email address registered with eBay and through eBay messaging. Seller calls phone number for buyer that she has registered with eBay. Buyer's sister answers states "...can't imagine why she would use THIS number for contact rather than her own private numbers...." Sister goes on to give seller the buyer's mobile phone number and her office phone number. Seller then imparts to the buyer's sister the same information given to PayPal and the buyer via email. Seller rings the buyer's mobile number and after the name is announced, leaves the same Customs data to enable pick up of the parcel.
Seller then contacts PayPal via telephone and verifies that the data regarding the exact location of the parcel and the Customs official's directives for parcel claim and customs clearance. PayPal advises that even with this information that if the buyer is not satisfied she can still get a FULL REFUND OF HER MONEY ACCORDING TO PAYPAL POLICY even with the parcel in customs awaiting pick up! Advised PayPal that the buyer was using their policy to steal not only the item but the money from the seller! Advised that it is not the fault of the seller if the item is in customs and the buyer has not claimed it--Customs has no knowledge of PayPal policy regarding refunds for non-receipt!
Meanwhile, seller sends buyer another email only to have all emails returned undeliverable!
Seller then files claim with PayPal--seems that buyer has all relevant data and is waiting for the alloted time for PayPal policy to twitter away, get her refund to then go and fetch parcel from Customs using the refund to pay the duty taxes! Pleaded with PayPal to extend time for decision. They agreed. Seller found new email address from member information exchange and re-sent all data to the buyer.
The buyer sent an email advising the seller that it was the seller's responsibility to pay the duty before shipping the item. Customs officials advised seller in writing and via telephone that the buyer is the importer and any item bought off eBay, unless marked as "gift" is subject to their national taxes. Meanwhile, the parcel remains in Customs, is labeled return to sender if not claimed, and the buyer is out trying to scam someone else who would not take the time or the money to call International Mail or Customs. I have no idea as to outcome---just beware of the scam---once the buyer knew that PayPal extended the time for her response to her claim based on the parcel release from customs, she has refused to collect the parcel.
PayPal Non-receipt filed for item sitting in Customs
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29 June 2008
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