How can sellers protect themselves from an "empty envelope" claim on Paypal?

by jumbo1
6 replies
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I stumbled upon this article: How to Cheat eBay Sellers and Scam PayPal | How to,Cheat,eBay,Sellers,Scam,PayPal,editorial,buyers ,abuse,policy,How to Cheat eBay Sellers and Scam PayPal Buyer Protection Policy: An Abuse Editorial by Olin Coles

This seller basically received an empty envelope claim on Paypal from a buyer, and could do nothing about it. Paypal refund the purchase and the case was closed.

What can sellers do to protect themselves from such a claim??
#claim #empty envelope #paypal #protect #selelrs
  • Profile picture of the author laurencewins
    I am in an opposite situation. I bought an item and when it arrived, it did not have the right power lead for my country, even though the product was shipped form a warehouse in our same country. It took 3 weeks to finally receive the converter and then that did work. I placed negative feedback based on the converter and the length of time it took to arrive and the many excuses given.

    Now the seller is begging me to remove the negative feedback and is offering me a $10 bribe. I won't do it because if they can do that to me, that can happen to others as well and I believe people should know if a seller causes a problem.

    So I think both buyers and sellers face issues. It just means you have to be ultra careful. I won't buy from that guy again.
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    • Profile picture of the author jumbo1
      Originally Posted by laurencewins View Post

      I am in an opposite situation. I bought an item and when it arrived, it did not have the right power lead for my country, even though the product was shipped form a warehouse in our same country. It took 3 weeks to finally receive the converter and then that did work. I placed negative feedback based on the converter and the length of time it took to arrive and the many excuses given.

      Now the seller is begging me to remove the negative feedback and is offering me a $10 bribe. I won't do it because if they can do that to me, that can happen to others as well and I believe people should know if a seller causes a problem.

      So I think both buyers and sellers face issues. It just means you have to be ultra careful. I won't buy from that guy again.
      Buyers should always try to contact the seller first if such accidents arrive. Most sellers will work it out either by issuing a refund, or by sending a replacement.

      A negative feedback really hurts a seller's reputation.

      As for the "empty envelope" scam, I'd really want to hear from people who experienced it. It's probably the hardest kind of scam a seller can ever face.
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  • Profile picture of the author Technito
    Originally Posted by jumbo1 View Post

    I stumbled upon this article: How to Cheat eBay Sellers and Scam PayPal | How to,Cheat,eBay,Sellers,Scam,PayPal,editorial,buyers ,abuse,policy,How to Cheat eBay Sellers and Scam PayPal Buyer Protection Policy: An Abuse Editorial by Olin Coles

    This seller basically received an empty envelope claim on Paypal from a buyer, and could do nothing about it. Paypal refund the purchase and the case was closed.

    What can sellers do to protect themselves from such a claim??
    I understand that it was 2012 when that article was wrote, and both Paypal and Ebay has since made their buyer's protection policy more strict.

    In most cases, the empty envelope scam won't work. If you are shipping a product that's at least an ounce in weight, it would be almost impossible for someone to get the scam to work in their favor. For instance, you ship an iPhone that weighs something such as 7.5 ounces gross weight including the packaging. It would be very difficult for anyone to try and pull off the empty envelope scam when your shipping carrier weighs the package when you ship.

    They may only have a slight chance of getting this to work for items that are very small, such as something that weighs less than half an ounce.

    But people who generally try to pull such scams are scammers with brand new Ebay and Paypal accounts. And if you are a good seller, and for the most part have had many successful transactions without issues, they will typically always side in your favor unless the buyer can somehow really prove they received an empty package.

    I wouldn't worry too much about it. If you are honest and legitimate with an adequate number of successful Paypal transactions, you will in most cases have nothing to worry about.
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  • Profile picture of the author UnkwnUsr
    Buyers don't need to say they received an empty envelope they just have to say that the product "wasn't as described". A great trick buyers have is to order an item to replace an old broken one. The seller sends a new item but the buyer complains that it is old and beyond repair. When eBay asks for proof or verification the buyer send a picture of the old item. The buyer has no proof as the item is no longer in his possession. eBay will side with the buyer in most cases.
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    • Profile picture of the author Technito
      Originally Posted by UnkwnUsr View Post

      Buyers don't need to say they received an empty envelope they just have to say that the product "wasn't as described". A great trick buyers have is to order an item to replace an old broken one. The seller sends a new item but the buyer complains that it is old and beyond repair. When eBay asks for proof or verification the buyer send a picture of the old item. The buyer has no proof as the item is no longer in his possession. eBay will side with the buyer in most cases.
      Yes, and unfortunately that will happen at least once for roughly every 100 returns that you get (depending on what you're selling). But Ebay doesn't always side with the buyer if you fight it and clearly explain that the buyer's return was not the original item sent.

      I once sold a sub woofer on Ebay for around $400 plus $85 for shipping. The buyer said it arrived damaged from delivery, so "refused" for a return back to sender. Upon receiving back from UPS, the sub woofer was completely destroyed and broken in pieces. Even screws were stripped from the box. So I compared the pictures in my ad versus the pictures I took when it arrived back to me. I explained there's no way possible that a 120 sub woofer in an ultra enforced box could be destroyed to such degree during shipping when the box arrived back in good condition and not destroyed. And also there wouldn't be any possible way for screws to be missing from the sockets. I won this case. Because the buyer obviously took the one I sent, and mailed back a damaged one. I personally had to investigate with UPS that although he technically refused the delivery to get out having to ship back, but the package was left at his house for 2 days before UPS picked it back up.


      Now that case could have went either way, but if you can prove your point, Ebay or Paypal will not just automatically side with the buyer. And that's why items such as really expensive jewelry typically have a special kind of white glove delivery program to prevent this. The package is opened and verified upon delivery. Obviously too expensive to ship products of average cost like this.

      But the only other possible way to avoid "item not as described" is to record any unique serial numbers on the item if possible. If a used product, take many high quality photos. Tedious, but can save you big if you're selling expensive goods.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnnyPlan
      Originally Posted by UnkwnUsr View Post

      Buyers don't need to say they received an empty envelope they just have to say that the product "wasn't as described".
      And, the problem is made worse as some dealers on eBay are using 'stock photos' of old items they are selling and only describing the item in generic terms, such as saying, 'scratches, light dents, normal wear'. If the seller is not taking time to show an actual photo of at least one item he is selling, the he's likely to get a buyer complaining, the item is 'not as described'. After all, how can an item be 'as described' if you are using a photo of a brand new item when selling a used product. Ebay should crack down on this practice of using misleading photos.
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