How to Collect your Money

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    Okay you paid for the goods but the seller never sent them.  Or your buyer paid through pay pal and then denied that it was they who did it and you already mailed the item.  Or the buyer gave you a phony money order or cashiers check and you've already mailed the item.  Or as in my latest case - buyer send you an empty box instead of the merchandise being returned.  Below the letter is the way to collect.

Besides pulling your hair out and looking at the sky and crying,        "Why me, Lord, why me!"    

Now, if you don't care about money and are only out for revenge then this is the wrong guide to be reading.

A courtesy letter should be your first step, sent through the postal mail, with delivery conformation.  I recommend you use a vanilla envelope to place your letter in.  You can poof up the envelope with a small piece of setiform, it won't add weight and it will help your envelope meet the min. thickness requirements for you to send with delivery conformation.  Only when you know that it has been delivered follow up with an email and you will have all your bases covered.  Also in this way you can never be accused of not giving them a chance.  So bite the bullet and let's get started. 

I have sent the following letter out for buyers - letter to send for sellers is the next one down - when I have had a problem and it is the 1st step I go through before I do any filing.  12 out of 16 people will respond favorably to it.  The rest you will have to file against and that takes time for the investigation and eventual pay out or just the plain conclusion of the loss.  I put the dots in to keep the lines together.  You don't need to use them and I think they are a bother.  By putting the phone numbers and email address's of the violater on the letter you will have ready access to it and you won't have to look through a pile of papers when ever you need it.  By putting all your information on - they can't say they got the letter but didn't have any information or ways to answer it.

  • Your name 
  • Name of business (no business - then just don't use this line)
  • Your address (business, home or PO Box, rural -etc.)
  • Your city and state and zip code
  • Your phone number
  • Your fax number
  • Your email address

 

  • IN REFRENCE TO:   (Auction #)
  • Your ebay name

 

  • Their name
  • Their address
  • Their city& state & zip
  • Their phone number
  • Their email address
  • Their ebay name

Dear (Their name):

     I am unsure whether you are aware of it or not, but your (money order or cashiers check or check, pay pal payment (you decide which one) has been returned to me unpaid.  It seems that you must have gotten a hold of a bad batch where ever you purchased it from.  You will probably need to contact them on the matter for a refund.

   I charge a $50.00 bounce fee but if you will pay me the money with a (you choose the bank) cashiers check and I receive it within 3 days of when you received this letter, which I have delivery conformation on, I will forgo the fee and charge you what the bank charged me - $         (you fill in the amount).  This brings the total to $        (you fill in the amount).

   If I do not receive your replacement monies in this amount of time I will need the $50.00 service fee.  I will need to receive it in its entirety no later than the 10th day of when you received this letter.  The total is $         (you fill in the amount).

   Please ask me questions, if you are in need as my information is all listed above.  If I have not heard from you and/or I do not receive the replacement money by     (you fill in date) I will have no choice but to file a complaint with my local DA's office who will contact your local DA's office and I will also file with the FBI an internet complaint.

   I am sure that this entire thing is just a misunderstanding and look forward to continued business with you as soon as we get this problem solved.

Sincerely,

*Your Signature goes in the space

Your name

For sellers it is basically the same thing with a few changes;

  • Your name 
  • Name of business (no business - then just don't use this line)
  • Your address (business, home or PO Box, rural -etc.)
  • Your city and state and zip code
  • Your phone number
  • Your fax number
  • Your email address

 

  • IN REFRENCE TO:   (Auction #)
  • Your ebay name

 

  • Their name
  • Their address
  • Their city& state & zip
  • Their phone number
  • Their email address
  • Their ebay name

Dear (Their name):

     I have been trying to reach you regardingr  (auction #) but have not received a response from you.  I know that you are a busy person with a life outside of Ebay, but I REALLY do need to get this thing resolved before I do any more business with you in the future or recommend you to anyone.  Could you please call, email or write me at anyone of the convientant ways I have listed above?

I do not want to file a complaint of any kind on you, but will do so if necessary.  I'm hoping that you beleive as I do that it is not necssary.  I beleive you are the type of person who will step up to resolve this matter.  There is only a limited amount of time left for us to work this matter out, so time is really of the essence.  I know you have your problems, we all do.  However, by not taking care of this matter in a professional easy manner it just ends up hurting both of us. 

   Please ask me any questions if you need to.  Again, all my information is listed above for your easy refrencing.  If I have not heard from you and/or I do not receive the items I paid for or their replacments - I will have no choice but to file a complaint with my local DA's office who will contact your local DA's office and I will also file with the FBI an internet complaint.

   I am sure that this entire thing is just a misunderstanding and look forward to continued business with you as soon as we get this problem solved.

Sincerely,

*Your Signature goes in the space

Your name

 

    Please remember you get your money quicker when you are nice.  The bad people will ignore you no matter what you say.  But the good people will jump to get you paid.  Don't make an enemy of a potential lifetime customer or seller because you think they may have intentionally screwed you over.  One error does not make a bad person, two maybe but never one. 

When contacting a seller about a refund or a replacment of the items - if you didn't have insurance, if they can prove with a tracking number they mailed the item OR if you did pay for insurance but failed to take the item to the post office for the refund - then you have no legal remidies at all.  While letters to sellers can't hurt I just want you to be sure you have covered all other bases first before contacting them.

                    These are proven methods outside of Ebay and Pay Pal when all else fails 

Any one of the below mentioned ways to report your problem, will work and the best part is you need not change out of your bathrobe to do it.  You can file your complaint form on line.  Ebay does not allow direct links off line to any where - so please add (http ://  www and close gaps after www that I  may have put in)  to the referenced items when you do copy and paste in your address bar.  Also take out any spaces I have added.

The FBI will investigate internet crime and if the buyer or seller has done any of the above actions, it is called internet crime and doesn't matter whether you get any results from Ebay or not.  The National White collar Crime Bureau is also interested in internet crime.  Here is where you can file your complaint  - http://  www.  ic3.gov/default.aspx.

In California you can file a complaint with the California Department of Corporations.  This works even if you live outside of California but the buyer or seller lives in California.  One of the parties must reside in California -http://   www.  corp.ca.gov/   

When an item is sent through the mail, like a money order or a cashiers check,  than the postal authorities can be involved in the matter because the offender used the United States Post Office to further their crime.  You can contact them by mailing to them or going to your local postmaster at your local post office.  Or by writing them at the Criminal Investigations Service Center , Attention: Mail fraud, 222 South Riverside Plaza, Suite 1250, Chicago, Illinois 60606-6100.  You must wait 2 weeks after the missed delivery date to contact them.  Or if there is no delivery date specified you must wait 30 days.  Agents are available M-F 8am -8:30pm ET, Sat-Sun 8am - 6pm ET.

The most effective means that I have found is called USA Cops.  You need to open two windows for this one (easy way).  You can go to http://  www.  usacops.com/  .   When going to their sight you click on the state where your offender resides.  I will use Washington as an example.  This takes you to a new page. You will need to know the county that they live in.  By going to the post office site at (leave off the www) http:// zip4.usps.com/zip4/ you can put their address in but leave off the zip even if you already know it.  It will take you to another page that lists the address with the zip, click on mailing industry information.  There you will find the county.  Go back to your previous page with usacops.  Click on the county listed on that page.  There may be more than one police station listed.  If the city or the county name is listed click on that one, if not pick one - they will point you to the correct station.  The next page will list all the information for that police station - the name of the Chief of Police - the address and phone number of the police station.  Call them and they will tell you what to do from there.  Four of of 5 times I have collected my money from the offenders, irregardless of their selling or buying status on Ebay.  The 5th one didn't get away they are serving 1 year for internet fraud.  That one wouldn't pay and would rather do the time, of course they had other problems besides mine, but mine was just one more nail for the coffin.

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