I sold one of items to a buyer in the USA who was a new member with 4 feedback comments, I do stipulate in my item description and terms and conditions, that if any overseas member has any negative feedback, is a recent member or has an unconfirmed address, then I will only send if buyer pays additional £4.95 fee for international signed for, trackable service, as this gives me (the seller) payment protection.
Anyway, upon looking at this buyers feedback, I decided to take a chance as item cost £6.79 plus p&p, I didnt want to then make buyer pay extra £4.95. I duly posted item (correctly addressed and customs form completed on reverse side, with my address also on back) on tuesday 8 march. On 17 march, (9 days later) and bearing in mind this included the weekend, buyer contacted me demanding to know the whereabouts of package and could I supply the tracking number. I explained that there was no tracking number to give as item was sent by ordinary airmail, it had only been in transit for 9 days, it had to clear USA customs (notoriously slow), then into USA postal system (again notoriously slow), the weekend between was involved, and I asked her what the delivery arrangements were at her address as item would be too big to go through a letterbox, (if indeed IF this is how items are delivered in USA), would she have to collect it, is it left in a communal area, etc, anyway I heard nothing in reply until the following day with no answers to my questions, but a curt statement saying "I hope I get it today".
On monday 20 march, buyer put in a claim for non receipt, claiming a refund but also saying she would first enquire today 21 march with the USA postal service, however within 30 minutes she had placed another claim for an instant refund and surprise, surprise, ebay customer support refunded her and closed the case without any input from me. So I contacted customer support and asked if they could postpone refund at least until this buyer did what she said she would do,(contact US postal service) I also stated that it was too premature in just closing this case as item could still be in transit, but no, customer support in the infinite wisdom, sent an automated dear john email saying the refund must be given. I wanted to reply and say that what is the time limit for a buyer to place a claim for non receipt, what if it is done after only 2 or 3 days for instance, would they just find in favour of a buyer after this small amount of time, but of course, this email cannot be replied to!
So the moral of this sorry state of affairs is, I and indeed any other seller should take note, DO NOT send items overseas unless buyers pay for signed for service, do not let your guard down, I realise that not all overseas buyers are impatient and possibly untrustworthy, but one has to protect ones finances, I am now writing this £27.00 out of pocket, fed up with ebay customer support, (laughable title) and thinking is it all worth it!!