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This is a seller's horror story - my personal issue - about a recent dealing I experienced as a seller with our friends at Paypal.

I sold a bag internationally to a lady in Italy. She paid with Paypal and in her item notation she asked that I ship this purse to a US address because it was a gift for her daughter. In a later email she explained this was the first time (ever) that she would be away from her daughter for Mothers Day and that her daughter had just become a first-time mother. I agreed and adjusted the shipping amount for her. I wrapped the gift beautifully at no extra charge and I shipped it (Priority) to New York, insured, wth signature confirmation. I confirmed that it had arrived and I went on with my life. We exchanged emails, the buyer could not thank me enough for going the extra mile and she posted positive feedback.

Three months passed by and I was alerted by Paypal that a claim from an international customer had been opened. I thought, that can't be possible...accordng to Paypal's own policies a user has only days to file a claim. But not when the seller does what I did. Read on -

I really could not believe this was happening. My little Italian customer was claiming she had never received her bag. Of course she had not. I sent it to her daughter. At first I had trouble finding my paperwork because it had been so long. I was surprised I'd not tossed it. Again, the dispute clearly stated she had never received her parcel. I emailed the buyer because I was sure that she had confused me with another seller. I reminded her that I had shipped the bag as she had asked, to her daughter in New York. She said oh yes, and then said she did not recall any sort of communication with me and only wanted to communicate through Paypal. I was shocked.

Paypal immediately withdrew the funds from my account which was of course hooked to my bank, meaning that they had my money. All $900 dollars of it!

I went back and forth with this buyer who demanded a full and then partial refund, although I still had proof that I had shipped it to the address she had requested. I declined any sort of partial refund based on principle alone. After all, I had been a good seller and believed I had done the right thing. Certainly, I had cared enough to go the extra mile and wrap her daughter's gift for her.

I guess I knew all along what the outcome was going to be.

After two months, in a final conversation with a Paypal representative whose name was Brandon, I asked why they had awarded a judgement to this woman who had clearly asked in the notes area of her payment that I ship this to her daughter - a new mom - for Mother's Day. I had provided them with all sorts of email communication and then pointed out my feedback. I pointed out again, the comment, and the address it contained. I also had provided him with the tracking number and the proof of signature delivery. He responded in the most sarcastic voice saying, this was an expensive lesson...never ship to an uncomfirmed address.

NEVER SHIP TO AN UNCONFIRMED ADDRESS! And, never ever use Paypal unless you are willing to risk a loss.

Unfortunately, I have shipped to unconfirmed addresses many many times with never any trouble. So much for good customer service...on both sides! Quite honestly, it ruins it for those honest auction customers who are plentiful. There is no protection benefit to Paypal from a policy like this. It shouldn't be this hard, but sometimes, doing business with Paypal makes the whole thing NOT WORTH IT!!! If I could do business without Paypal, I would!

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