I no longer use surface mail as a means of postage.. these days with postal prices being so high, when a overseas auction winner purchases a heavy item.. to help them and to save yourself having to fork out lots of money at the post office initially, one is tempted to be helpful and to offer the surface mail service for posting..... DON'T!!
This is what happened to me.... A bidder bid and won at the last minute, two large collections of very heavy old vintage cased gramophone records. He was over in Japan. so to please, I offered the surface route, thinking I was being a nice helpful seller... two weeks after the end of the auction, he made a claim to paypal as 'items not received'.. when he knew the two parcels I had sent were going to take up to 56 days or about 8 weeks to be delivered.
Paypal requested proof of posting details, email copies and an explanation, all of which I provided and faxed off to them, also explaining the 56 day timescale for surface delivery (as this was also indicated on the listings invoice and paypal reciept etc). They came back saying they would investigate. I tried contacting the buyer many times at this stage, but got no response back.
Some 9 days later, I got a paypal message saying his (the buyers) claim for non delivery had been granted, and even though I strongly appealed reiterating the 56day delivery time table quoted by the Royal Mail, and the fact that less than 4 weeks had elapsed at that stage.... but all to no avail....... a full paypal reversal was made upon my account.
I ended up, not only having to pay the full purchase price plus his postage costs back, but add on to that the actual postage charge I had already paid to the post office to send, plus the cost of buying the records in the first instance!.. and to run salt into the wound the £7 paypal charge, coupled with both ebays listing fees and ebay and paypals final end of sale percentage charges!!
I was silly, I never really noticed in my haste to pack and post that this buyer had made his feeback score private. It was only when the ebayer closed his ebay account after he had been refunded, that the system made his private feeback score public, thus allowed me to see for the first time the comments left by other sellers.. most had been scammed!... Yet paypal could if they had so wished and shown due diligence in their investigation, viewed his actual hidden feedback score entries, and seen that he had done this scam before!.. and gone some way to protect the seller... maybe they did?... BUT NO!.. I just got bland automated reply messages with a one line entry added from a operative somewhere, it seems so long as THEY (paypal) are not out of pocket and their profits keep rolling in, they're happy... Shame paypal does not have a "feedback score" rating, how good would that be one wonders, what with long 7 day waits to transfer money to sellers accounts, constant spoof emails, small print rules, high charges, slow response times etc. ...... I think if us sellers carried on in that fashion we would soon go out of business, dont you?
When we buy goods, we always check out a sellers feedback, but as a seller, it is wise to pay attention to the feedback of your bidders and buyers, and if their feedback score has been made 'hidden and private' .. ask yourself why?... if in doubt cancel the bid or dont sell and return any monies paid... But for your own safety on heavy or expensive sales, dont be tempted to send by sea, unless your want to leave yourself wide open!