I have just read the Guide to Royal Mail Compensation for Studio Pottery by potz100 and I have noted that it claims and I quote
'Under English Law, it is the vendor's responsibilty to delivery the goods. Statements often seen on Ebay such as I am not responsible for non delivery or damage just don't wash and are totally invalid. If a customer chooses to force a repayment through eBay or take legal action, the vendor does not have a leg to stand on.'
This statement is not correct. All Sales in the United Kingdom are regulated by the Sales of Goods Act 1979 which is quite clear that the seller has fulfilled the contract when he delivers the goods to a buyer, bailee, carrier or custodier. 'Where, in pursuance of the contract, the seller delivers the goods to the buyer or to a carrier or other bailee or custodier wether named by the buyer or not for the purpose of transmission to the buyer, and does not reserve the right of disposal, he is to be taken to have unconditionally appropriated the good to the contract. Sale of Goods Act 1979'
In other words, the seller has fulfilled this contract once he has handed over the goods to the carrier and he cannot be held responsible for non-delivery if the parcel is consequently lost.
I am aware that eBay and Paypal have clawed back payments if the goods were not send by a tracked service and consequently lost by the carrier but this is clearly questionable in law. Should it ever happen to me I would not hesitate to take legal action against eBay or Paypal.
If the parcel is received damaged then this opens a different venue as it is the responsibilty of the seller to ensure that the goods are adequately packaged to withstand the journey. There is not clear definition as to what comprises adequate packaging and this is open to interpretation, but usually you will find it difficult to claim that you are not responsible for damages in transit unless you can prove negligence of the carrier.
If the goods are received damaged by the buyer it is adviseable to ask the buyer to keep the damaged goods in the condition they have received it (including the packaging) and to file a claim with the carrier.