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If you are selling watches or almost anything, and using Paypal to get payment, Here is something that you should be aware of, that has just happened to me, and could happen to anyone!

I have been selling on Ebay for over three years, and thought everything was hunky dorry, untill I came across a wheeler -dealer in Canada. Not being able to metion any names, but if you look at my feedback you will see a negative comment, of which I am looking into a liability claim through civil court action. This is What happened!

A Fusee pocket watch was brought by a Canadian buyer for a reasonable price, I list with 12 photographs and an in depth discription itemising any defects on all items I list. The parcel was sent to the buyer and went to customs as normal. The buyer was faced with a $45.00 cutoms charge, so he sent me and Email demanding I pay the charges. On top of that he said I was not 'Savy' ( what ever that means) and I should have falcified the customs documents so he could avoid charges. I replied informing him that would have made the insurance invalid. He then mailed back saying if I did not pay the charges he would send the watch back for a refund. Seeing were this was going, I mailed back saying, if he collected the watch and was not happy with it, he could send it back and I would give him a refund. It was no surprice when the next mail arrived saying the watch was not as described in that the case was slightly worn and one hand was slightly bent and the stamp on the case was a PH and not TH as I had listed. The Item was an Antique 160 year old pocket watch in working order. He said he wanted a $98.00 reduction on the watch and $45.00 for the customs fees and he would keep the watch. I refused and  said I would be happy to let  Paypal disputes council resolve the matter. Paypal reviewed the case and rulled in my favour saying the item was as descibed and the buyer was not entitled to a refund.

While this was going on ,the buyer mailed the watch back to me, which ended up at customs. I received notification a parcel was being held by customs and awaiting charges of £24.95 to release it. I buy a lot of watches from the States, so paid the fees not knowing it was the watch I had sold to this buyer untill it arrived. Went onto my Paypal site to Email Paypal to ask what do I do as regards sending it back, only to find Paypal had refunded the payment back to ther buyer. I phoned paypal and asked why! They said because the customer had sent the item back and provided shipping proof, it was Paypals policy to refund the payment back to the buyer, as i could not  have both the money and the item sold, at the same time. I asked what was the policy if I sent the watch back to the buyer, and the reply was you can not as the case is now closed.

So I now have the watch back, having paid Ebay fees of £12.80, shipping at £10.00 and return customs duties at £ 24.95, paypal initial charges at £12.48 and return payment charge of £5.20  Totaling £65.43. To add to this the buyer then left negative feedback which is totaly untrue, and Ebay say they can not remove it without a civil court action for a liability claim.

This buyer obviously new how to beat the system, and has proberbly done this before. The money is not really the issue here, its the principal, and neither Ebay or Payapl could offer any help or be prepared to look into this matter. I have kept all the communications in this matter but would not be allowed to enter them on this guide.

So be aware, it would seem sellers do not have any protection against these type of buyers, and it could cost you a lot of money not even selling an item!

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