I Got Scammed by Flippa Buyer

158 replies
Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for $X,XXX using paypal as a payment method. I got my payment, I transferred the site to the buyer, he checked it to see if everything is right, and all went great.

A few days ago, I received a notice from Paypal saying I got a chargeback regarding the sale for "unauthorized transaction." The e-mail says I got 7 days to tell my side of the story before Paypal decides whose favor it should go to. I was tired, so I figured, I should go to bed and handle this the next day.

When I woke up, I e-mailed the buyer about it thinking it was all a mistake. He didn't respond (he usually replies to my e-mails in less than 3 hours during the time we were working on the site's transactions). I try to be fair and give him 48 hours to respond before calling Paypal. Less than 24 hours later, I got another e-mail from Paypal stating the dispute has been in the buyer's favor.

I called Paypal and the speaker told me the case is closed and there is absolutely nothing further that can be done.

Paypal closed the issue in less than 48 hours even though their e-mail says I have 7 days. I didn't even get a chance to tell my side of the story. Now I am left with a $X,XXX debt and the buyer got away with my website free of charge.

Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill!

I live in USA and I have a bank account attached to my Paypal without a social security number or debit/credit card. What penalties am I looking at if I just forget about my Paypal balance?

Anyway, I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistake. USE ESCROW IF YOU ARE SELLING WEBSITES, NO MATTER WHAT!
#balance #negative #paypal
  • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
    Sorry to hear mate.

    There's nothing you can do to avoid paying PayPal. You gave them the right to access your accounts when you added them to your account, so any money owing that you do not have in your PayPal account will automatically come out of your secondary account which is more than likely your bank account.

    Personally, I would have contacted PayPal first and then tried to contact the buyer. PayPal are the most important company involved here as they have hold of your money at all times.
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    • Profile picture of the author pacelattin
      File a lawsuit against the guy and the name of the domain. Serve the address on paypal.

      The reason that you want to list the domain in the lawsuit is that you can then collect, if they don't respond, by seizing the domain.

      I'd add a bunch of domains he owns to the lawsuit.
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  • Profile picture of the author orangecopper
    am really sorry to hear this friend.
    Why dont you consider taking the issue to paypal quoting the first email that said you had 7 days time to resolve the dispute?

    regards
    joshu
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    • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
      Originally Posted by Zamantra Marketing View Post

      Sorry to hear mate.

      There's nothing you can do to avoid paying PayPal. You gave them the right to access your accounts when you added them to your account, so any money owing that you do not have in your PayPal account will automatically come out of your secondary account which is more than likely your bank account.
      What if I close the bank account? It's a very simple procedure.

      Originally Posted by pacelattin View Post

      File a lawsuit against the guy and the name of the domain. Serve the address on paypal.
      The buyer doesn't live in USA. I don't think that will do much.

      Originally Posted by orangecopper View Post

      am really sorry to hear this friend.
      Why dont you consider taking the issue to paypal quoting the first email that said you had 7 days time to resolve the dispute?

      regards
      joshu
      I did that. The speaker told me it didn't matter. The case is closed and can't be reversed.
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      • Profile picture of the author Marvin Johnston
        Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

        I did that. The speaker told me it didn't matter. The case is closed and can't be reversed.
        Did you ask to speak to a supervisor?

        I've found many times the person on the phone has no authority and is very good at form over substance with no thinking involved. In your case, you need to speak to someone with authority.

        Marvin
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        • Profile picture of the author stephenwaldo
          Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

          Did you ask to speak to a supervisor?

          I've found many times the person on the phone has no authority and is very good at form over substance with no thinking involved. In your case, you need to speak to someone with authority.

          Marvin
          Sounds like every single tech support ever. Just ask right away for their superior. And then ask for that person's superior. Then you should be talking to someone important who can actually help you.

          It is frustrating though, to be sure.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
          Thanks for the suggestions people!

          Originally Posted by Marvin Johnston View Post

          Did you ask to speak to a supervisor?

          I've found many times the person on the phone has no authority and is very good at form over substance with no thinking involved. In your case, you need to speak to someone with authority.

          Marvin
          Yea, you're right. The representative pretty gave me that "I don't give a F__K" attitude as I try to explain what happened. I'll try my luck with a supervisor.
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          • Profile picture of the author aniebee
            Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

            Thanks for the suggestions people!



            Yea, you're right. The representative pretty gave me that "I don't give a F__K" attitude as I try to explain what happened. I'll try my luck with a supervisor.
            That is soo true! Basic support people . . . ugh! Seriously though - good luck with this!
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      • Profile picture of the author pacelattin
        I'm going to assume that it's a DOT COM domain, and the guy owns a bunch of them. DOT COMs are located in the USA, so it doesn't matter where he lives. You file the lawsuit, serve the address on the registration (it might be a US address, as a service to address)

        Most likely he will default. Then start seizing that domain and others. I've done it

        Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

        The buyer doesn't live in USA. I don't think that will do much.
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      • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
        Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

        What if I close the bank account? It's a very simple procedure.
        If you can still close your account before they get your funds...

        It looks like, someone hacked into some paypal account and made an authorized purchase, so paypal just tries to get their money back. after all, you might be a part to this scam... (in their eyes).

        On the other side, why would you care that paypal allows scammer to make unauthorized charges. It's their problem, so you have to protect your property and money. as simple as that.
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        • Profile picture of the author Aaron Elliott
          Prepare all your proof, ring Paypal and explain. I had a similar situation and I rang them almost 10 times they decided to pay me back half. Unauthorised transaction is the reason Paypal gave me also. If you had a shipping Id number (sent the buyer the website via CD) Paypal may have given you a chance to speak but since you havent just ring them and hassle them, any normal human will understand. You have more than enough proof I would think, Flipper accounts, whois register, domain register email confirmation of trasnfer ect, ect.
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        • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
          Originally Posted by SirThomas View Post

          On the other side, why would you care that paypal allows scammer to make unauthorized charges. It's their problem, so you have to protect your property and money. as simple as that.
          That's the point I'll try to make when I get some free time to call them..probably on Monday.
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      • Profile picture of the author Scott Skinner
        Close bank acct. it before it is withdrawn, unless it is too late. Then THEY have to sue you.
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        • Profile picture of the author Mike Baker
          Originally Posted by Scott Skinner View Post

          Close bank acct. it before it is withdrawn, unless it is too late. Then THEY have to sue you.
          Don't be ridiculous! Just because you close a bank account doesn't mean they can't find you and demand to have the money that is owed to them handed over.
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          • Profile picture of the author Jason Ladlee
            Originally Posted by Zamantra Marketing View Post

            Don't be ridiculous! Just because you close a bank account doesn't mean they can't find you and demand to have the money that is owed to them handed over.
            I think that's the point. Rather than just have pp rob him, they would eventualy have to take it to the next level where the op would have a chance to explain his side to another party (unless I misread it, I do that sometimes).
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          • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
            Originally Posted by Zamantra Marketing View Post

            Don't be ridiculous! Just because you close a bank account doesn't mean they can't find you and demand to have the money that is owed to them handed over.
            Paypal will send collectors, but I highly doubt that ANY bank would send funds to paypal from a non-existing (or closed) account. At least, I've never heard of anything like this. Banks are very aware of fraud associated with paypal transactions...
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            • Profile picture of the author sharkey
              blech - I had a similar problem with ebay - I sold something ($100) - shipped it via the post office and then the buyer filed a claim against me saying they never got their product. I argued with ebay, sent them the post receipts - and then they decided on the buyer's behalf and took the money right back out of my bank account via paypal! Now on ebay I only mail via fed ex with tracking numbers. Expensive lesson. At the time I was really broke, too and that was my grocery money.

              I googled the buyer and they come up all over the internet in forums, websites, facebooks groups, etc all titled things like "how to get free stuff" "I <3 free stuff" and things like that.

              I hate dishonest people.

              Dash, keep us updated on what happens!
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  • Profile picture of the author webtechprodigy
    Sorry to hear that, this has happened to me as well but not while flipping sites. I had delivered a web design assignment and received upfront payment. As soon as I delivered the work, the admin locked me out of the site and lodged a fake dispute with paypal.

    The way paypal works, they will only entertain you if you have a proof of shipping the 'goods'. Needless to say, if you are sending digital goods or getting paid for services you wont have that and will lose the dispute.

    Always make sure you use Escrow for any payment bigger than 500$, and there is no reason why Escrow cannot be a regular replacement to PP. For every 3k$ worth of sale you end up paying 150$ of PP charges for just using their lousy services as a gateway whereas Escrow charges you 87$ for the same amount of transaction made with their state of the art protection system.

    Escrow is always the way to go...
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    • Profile picture of the author Frank Ayres
      Originally Posted by webtechprodigy View Post

      Sorry to hear that, this has happened to me as well but not while flipping sites. I had delivered a web design assignment and received upfront payment. As soon as I delivered the work, the admin locked me out of the site and lodged a fake dispute with paypal.

      The way paypal works, they will only entertain you if you have a proof of shipping the 'goods'. Needless to say, if you are sending digital goods or getting paid for services you wont have that and will lose the dispute.

      Always make sure you use Escrow for any payment bigger than 500$, and there is no reason why Escrow cannot be a regular replacement to PP. For every 3k$ worth of sale you end up paying 150$ of PP charges for just using their lousy services as a gateway whereas Escrow charges you 87$ for the same amount of transaction made with their state of the art protection system.

      Escrow is always the way to go...
      You can get around this by insisting on sending a copy of the site via CD to their home address that way PayPal will do in your favour if you can prove it was delivered via post
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  • Profile picture of the author sbucciarel
    Banned
    Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
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    • Profile picture of the author AnniePot
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      That's an excellent tactic Suzanne, thanks for the tip. It could come in handy for me because I'm planning a big website "spring clean" shortly.
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      • Profile picture of the author art72
        Originally Posted by AnniePot View Post

        That's an excellent tactic Suzanne, thanks for the tip. It could come in handy for me because I'm planning a big website "spring clean" shortly.
        I completely agree, Thanks Suzanne.

        It seems everywhere you turn these days, there's some 'scammer' one step ahead of the honest folks. While, I sincerely hope you get this reversed or find the appropriate means to be compensated for your site, it's really unfortunate that those of us have to "Thank" the OP, in learning the dangers that lurk doing business online.

        Truth be told, I was planning to do some "flipping" myself, as I have too many projects going. Again, in investigating the 'risks' -I've decided to hold off awhile until being better informed by the necessity to avoiding getting screwed!

        Dash, hope whatever measures you do take, that it all works in your favor!

        -Art
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    • Profile picture of the author Efrain Hernandez
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      That may protect you from a Paypal dispute but if they pay with a credit card they can still file for a chargeback. Credit card companies give you up to one year from the date the payment was made to file for a chargeback.
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      • Profile picture of the author rts2271
        I was getting ready to turn a few domains on Flippa.
        I learned today.
        Always use Escrow.
        Set a 60 day hold.
        Thanks all for the information. Op, I hope this works out for you.
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    • Profile picture of the author wtatlas
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      As well as this excellent advice, I would make a point of burning the website files, etc., on a CD to be sent to the winning buyer. This way there is a physical product involved and the seller will have recourse to more PayPal protection.
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    • Profile picture of the author Catapult
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      You can file an unauthorized transaction claim anytime, even years after the transaction. Holding the domain for 60 days will only protect you from a "Item not recieved" claim.
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      • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
        Banned
        Originally Posted by Catapult View Post

        You can file an unauthorized transaction claim anytime, even years after the transaction. Holding the domain for 60 days will only protect you from a "Item not recieved" claim.
        You can file it, but that doesn't mean you'll get it. And if you file it years after, you're pretty much guaranteed not to get it.

        But that's a moot point anyway. She didn't say it was the perfect solution, she said it's A solution. Holding the domain for 60 days will eliminate probably 90% of these scammers, because they aren't interested in waiting around 60 days. They want to get in and get out as quickly as possible.
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    • Profile picture of the author dcristo
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      While that sounds good in theory, that would be a huge deal breaker for many buyers.

      I always use Escrow.com for 4 figure transactions and have never had a problem (touch wood).
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    • Profile picture of the author Anita Zhe
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      Does Flippa allow us (as seller) to hold domain name for 60 days? Sorry I'm newbie, wanna start sell website at Flippa, but I found many issues such as banned because of IP and buyer will dispute the transactions. Any idea? Thanks.
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    • Profile picture of the author Manie Amari
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      Shout out to sbucciarel best advice I've seen here today, HANDS DOWN!

      Seriously I don't even know why I didn't think of this. Thank You.


      Manie
      PS: YOU ROCK!(always wanted to type that)
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    • Profile picture of the author serryjw
      Originally Posted by sbucciarel View Post

      Absolutely right about escrow. It protects both the buyer and the seller. Another thing that I do to protect myself from these buyers, because there are as many scam buyers on Flippa as there are scam sellers, is that I put in the auction TOS that if Payment is made via Paypal, the domain name will be held for 60 days. They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      Suzanne
      They will not be able to keep the site if they dispute the payment if you do that. Just change the nameservers back to your host and you got your site back.
      OMG, That is so clever. Clarification...Does that mean truly VIA PayPal even if they use their own credit card? They could still do a charge back for 6 months on their V/MC. I was thinking of putting a watermark on my graphics until I know sales is final.
      ---------------------
      I am selling on CL and wondering how I can protect my sales. This is very clever. never used but worth investigation. Anyone know of alternatives that they can recommend?
      http://www8.rpost.com/
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  • Profile picture of the author Patrick Kelly
    G'day,

    This is an absolute let down! Sorry to hear this happened. I have lost on Flippa as well. There is certainly an advantage to using Escrow. A valuable lesson for all.

    Thanks for sharing and trust you are able to gain some compensation back!

    cheers, Patrick
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  • Profile picture of the author Yadira Barbosa
    I got a bad experience with escrow too, as a year ago I was on a very bad family situation and I really need some fast cash, so I decide to sell on flippa a website I have since 4 years ago, I already made nice autopilot income with adsense and clickbank, but I need immediate cash.

    I sell the website, and the buyer tell me he want to pay via paypal, he pay, so I transfer the entire website.

    Then he request the money from PayPal because he prefer escrow, why? he already had the site on his hosting? I don't know but as paypal do not offer any seller protection for digital delivery I make the refund and he started the escrow.

    Escrow its a very slow process, because he take several days to pay, then days to escrow to identify the payment, then days he review the site (of course he already have it) then, the very last day he had to review the website he cancel the transaction with the escrow.

    After days sending emails to him he return the site to me, but for this moment he already had the website on his hosting for a month and make money with adsense and clickbank, nice money because the site works great.
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  • Profile picture of the author sf_Imtiaz
    Always use escrow for any transaction worth $x,xxx. Transfer the domain only after buyer has deposited the funds with escrow.

    If the buyer cancels the transaction after review period, they'll have to prove to escrow that domain and website has been returned before they can withdraw their funds.

    I've sold few mid $x,xxx sites with escrow and never had a problem.
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  • Profile picture of the author pacelattin
    You know the other idea is that if you are located in california, file a small claims lawsuit against PAYPAL for violating their own policies. Small claims limits in CA are $7,500

    More than likely if they get served, they will just send you a refund. They dont have time to send representatives to work small claims cases.
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    • Profile picture of the author BloggingPro
      Originally Posted by pacelattin View Post

      You know the other idea is that if you are located in california, file a small claims lawsuit against PAYPAL for violating their own policies. Small claims limits in CA are $7,500

      More than likely if they get served, they will just send you a refund. They dont have time to send representatives to work small claims cases.
      I'd be interested to see the results of this process. It makes sense, as PayPal says you get 7 days, yet they close the dispute within 48 hours--sounds like a violation to me.

      Keep this thread updated, as in most PayPal screwed me its usually the same story, yet your's is VERY different.

      If you have the money for a lawyer I would pursue this, just to tell PayPal that you will NOT screw the little guy!
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  • Profile picture of the author charlso1
    Sorry for this. Escrow is the great way to protect the buyer and the seller. Learn the lesson and go on with your business.
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  • Profile picture of the author 3fifths
    I really like the 60 day holding period to transfer the domain, this way there is no issue with the transfer of funds.
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  • Profile picture of the author Amenda Jessera
    I am sorry to hear this dude, You can contact lawyers and try to take some actions for this. Otherwise, In case there is nothing cannot be done, make the site blacklisted everywhere, make the site traffic to drop down, (Tit for tat)
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    • Profile picture of the author Ducksauce
      How do you make it blacklisted?

      Originally Posted by Amenda Jessera View Post

      I am sorry to hear this dude, You can contact lawyers and try to take some actions for this. Otherwise, In case there is nothing cannot be done, make the site blacklisted everywhere, make the site traffic to drop down, (Tit for tat)
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  • Profile picture of the author Bulldozer
    What is your side of the story?
    And what is the buyer's story too?

    This sound like a scam to me but still, the buyer might be genuinely upset? Maybe there's something you have missed to deliver?

    If PayPal have made such a quick judgment, then the buyer probably has some sort of a proof that he's right and you are wrong?

    You should fight back for sure but truth is in the details. And we often miss those details.
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    • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
      Originally Posted by Bulldozer View Post

      This sound like a scam to me but still, the buyer might be genuinely upset? Maybe there's something you have missed to deliver?
      That's what I thought too. I figured something must have gone wrong with the website. That's why I e-mailed him so I can fix it. But, he never replied and Paypal rules in his favor the next day.
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      • Profile picture of the author ronaldmd
        Geez, I didn't know there are lots of scammers in flippa.

        Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

        That's what I thought too. I figured something must have gone wrong with the website. That's why I e-mailed him so I can fix it. But, he never replied and Paypal rules in his favor the next day.
        I don't think so. Usually if the buyer upset, they would dipute for something else, such as "item not as described". Apparently, your buyer had intention to scam in the first place.
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  • Profile picture of the author bhuff85
    Sorry to hear about that man. I've heard too many stories that are similar to your's. That's exactly why I ALWAYS use Escrow, especially once a sale for a site crosses the $500 mark and gets up into the 4 figures. I have used Escrow on every site I've ever sold (5 total) and never had a problem. Definitely the best way to go when selling your websites, hands down.
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  • Profile picture of the author RatRaceWatch
    Wow, I am so sorry to here this. If that isn't injustice I don't know what is. I agree with some of the people that suggested legal action.

    You should not just sit on the sidelines, and allow a debt to be on your record that is not your fault.

    What you need to do is start gathering your evidence.

    First and foremost:

    I would make sure all the emails with paypal, the guy, flippa, etc. are saved somewhere secure and print them out.

    If there is anything indicating you have 7 days to resolve the dispute with a date on it, and then you have proof that they settled in 48 hours, thats more fuel for your fire.

    I can tell you this. Sometimes companies like PayPal have their head so far up their *** that they allow stuff like this to go on. A lawsuit, will probably get their attention, because they would be the ones I would be filing it against.

    They basically took your money back in a transaction without proper proceedings according to you.

    Whatever you do, don't sit around to take action. I would get my stuff together, contact a lawyer for some advice (a couple if you can, some offer a little bit of free advice over the phone), and figure out a strategy to resolve this issue.

    Btw, thnx for posting the thread, when I start selling websites on Flippa, I will most certainly be using Escrow.

    Good luck!

    - Ryan
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    • Profile picture of the author MrLinkBuilder
      Originally Posted by RatRaceWatch View Post

      Wow, I am so sorry to here this. If that isn't injustice I don't know what is. I agree with some of the people that suggested legal action.

      You should not just sit on the sidelines, and allow a debt to be on your record that is not your fault.

      What you need to do is start gathering your evidence.

      First and foremost:

      I would make sure all the emails with paypal, the guy, flippa, etc. are saved somewhere secure and print them out.

      If there is anything indicating you have 7 days to resolve the dispute with a date on it, and then you have proof that they settled in 48 hours, thats more fuel for your fire.

      I can tell you this. Sometimes companies like PayPal have their head so far up their *** that they allow stuff like this to go on. A lawsuit, will probably get their attention, because they would be the ones I would be filing it against.

      They basically took your money back in a transaction without proper proceedings according to you.

      Whatever you do, don't sit around to take action. I would get my stuff together, contact a lawyer for some advice (a couple if you can, some offer a little bit of free advice over the phone), and figure out a strategy to resolve this issue.

      Btw, thnx for posting the thread, when I start selling websites on Flippa, I will most certainly be using Escrow.

      Good luck!

      - Ryan

      I think this is a good way to target that bast***. Keep all documents and take legal action.

      I was wondering whether you received any physical address, email address or any information about that scumbag through paypal. If he/she was using gmail account you could try and report it through Google.

      Also you should try get some advice from DMCA(dot)com. They can probably help.
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    • Profile picture of the author Adie
      Originally Posted by gm777 View Post

      I prefer Western Union, no issues with pp disputes
      No one trusts western union..

      The exact thing happened to me a year ago... I think I sold almost a dozen sites already started at SP marketplace...

      I think that guy had lots of victims already....

      My advise to the OP, hold the domain, and file suit against paypal if you think PP has violated its own policy....
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  • Profile picture of the author flx89
    exactly, use escrow, lesson learned for me also, but with 100$ website. Always use escrow with somebody you don't know
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  • Profile picture of the author volit
    Close your bank account and walk away from the debt. You'll take a credit hit but who cares, it's the principle.
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    • Profile picture of the author MikeFriedman
      Originally Posted by volit View Post

      Close your bank account and walk away from the debt. You'll take a credit hit but who cares, it's the principle.
      Actually, that's not entirely true.

      At some banks, a pre-authorized transaction (which a PayPal transaction would qualify as) can come through weeks after an account has been closed. The bank will pay the transaction and reopen your account. Now you have a bank account with a negative balance. If you do not bring it to a positive balance, the bank will charge it off and most likely file a report on you with ChexSystems which will make it very difficult to open a new account with any other banks.

      I worked for 8 years at a bank. Trust me.
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      • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Actually, that's not entirely true.

        At some banks, a pre-authorized transaction (which a PayPal transaction would qualify as) can come through weeks after an account has been closed.
        Are you sure that Paypal chargeback is a pre-authorized transaction? Would a bank consider it as such?

        Do you know anybody that had their bank account re-opened because of Paypal chargeback? We are not talking about any other transactions here, but PayPal's.

        In my opinion, even if paypal contacts the bank and try to somehow get their money, they would have to prove their case first and explain why they haven't followed their own procedures. Good luck with that...

        I doubt, the bank would just give money to Paypal and then try to collect from the client... At least, I've never heard of that with paypal involved. Instead, they will send N C O after him to collect the funds. and that's a totally different ballgame.


        T
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      • Profile picture of the author rackemup
        Originally Posted by MikeFriedman View Post

        Actually, that's not entirely true.

        At some banks, a pre-authorized transaction (which a PayPal transaction would qualify as) can come through weeks after an account has been closed. The bank will pay the transaction and reopen your account. Now you have a bank account with a negative balance. If you do not bring it to a positive balance, the bank will charge it off and most likely file a report on you with ChexSystems which will make it very difficult to open a new account with any other banks.

        I worked for 8 years at a bank. Trust me.
        This is true. I once had a problem where I was a victim of fraud -filed a Police report and everything although there was nothing they could do as the fraudsters left the country- and my bank closed my accounts and reported me to ChexSystems. Thank God I had another bank account because Chex will report for 5 years and make it almost impossible to open new accounts.
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        • Profile picture of the author rhinocl
          There was some good advice here but I think you followed some that is wrong. Number one you need to get the domain back. Then you can sell it again and hopefully get enough to pay back Paypal. Paypal is not a good tool for a beginning IM person to be without. I also believe Paypal will be in a position to verify the debt if they choose to pursue you in court, but that is too complicated an issue for lay people (including business professors) to guess at.

          The major problem with what I'm telling you is that you may not be able to get as a high a price from a legitimate buyer as you did from a scammer. Many lawyers offer free initial consultations. Go see three of them.
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  • Profile picture of the author PandaPoacher
    Never used Flippa and now that I know the problems associated with it I will never use it. Escrow it is.

    Sorry to hear you got scammed, I'd keep contacting paypal about the situation. If they say one thing and do another thing then it's wrong. They said you had to act in 7 days, not 48 hours. So yeah I'd get on them about that.
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  • Profile picture of the author abubakar89
    Sorry to hear

    Well, this is where Auction TOS come into play.

    Simply put something like domain will be tranferred later on after a specific period of time.

    But best option is to go with escrow
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  • Profile picture of the author timpears
    It is always better to use escrow when selling sites, but on low priced sites the fee is usually a bit high. So when selling sites and receiving payment via PayPal, do a Suzanne said, keep the domain until after the 60 day time limit for reversal. They can still do a charge back via their credit card depending on the cards TOS. But it gives you some protection.

    And always when selling with PayPal payments, send the site files on a disk through the mail with tracking proof or FedEX or something. Just so you have proof of delivery for PayPal as they will not accept any defense on digital products. And if you have proof of delivery for the credit card charge back, then it is a little difficult for them to say it wasn't them.

    I had this same thing happen to me when I was selling sites on eBay years ago. The SOB got away with the site and domain and kept the money. And I had no way to say that it was him who made the payment and his defense was that he didn't make the purchase.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mosa
    Any site that's worth more than 1000 dollars should be sold using escrow .
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    • Profile picture of the author sellerscompanion
      I always use escrow if the site is more than about $500 now because of issues like this. I had this happen a few months back for about $700. It sucks, but I was able to "lean" on the buyer enough to make them cave and cancel it. Helps when you have their phone number.....
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  • Profile picture of the author EugeneA
    I'm planning on selling a site soon so this thread has been very, very insightful.

    Thanks for sharing your experiences guys.
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    • Profile picture of the author Mansion
      Flippa, over time has attracted more and more shady people, which is pretty normal for a site like Flippa. They will have to make regulatory changes to protect the both parties like Ebay did way back when.

      If you are going to do business on Flippa, you need to perform thorough due-diligence, and not take what anyone says as the whole truth. Furthermore, individuals with good reputations and a lot of reviews are more trustworthy, because it is in their best interest to keep their rating high, especially among the influx of con-artists.
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  • Profile picture of the author money fan
    Banned
    Hi,
    I am so sorry to hear that. There are a lot of jerks out there doing that. I will keep in mind your advice if i ever sell a website! Thanks
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  • Profile picture of the author jam52633
    I have heard of this being done in the gaming world. Anytime someone would list a WoW (World of Warcraft) account on craigslist people would offer to buy them right away using paypal. Once they got the account, they change the username and password, then put in a dispute with paypal and get there money back.

    It really is some sort of loophole that paypal really needs to figure out.
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  • Profile picture of the author kolbywhite28
    Using Escrow should be much safer. Heard bad things about Paypal chargebacks.
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  • Profile picture of the author underthegun
    Not really much I can say that hasn't already been said. Most web developers and website flippers have had this happen to them at least once.

    I've used Escrow quite a few times and it's pretty dang safe. But that was back when Flippa didn't exist and it was all done on SitePoint, Lol.

    I'm not sure if it still works but I use to also send burned CDs with the content and a certificate of domain transfer-ship(just some crap I made up on my computer), just to cover myself a bit more. That way, you're sending tangible products, too.
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  • Profile picture of the author Thomsondric
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for ,XXX using paypal as a payment method. I got my payment, I transferred the site to the buyer, he checked it to see if everything is right, and all went great.

    A few days ago, I received a notice from Paypal saying I got a chargeback regarding the sale for "unauthorized transaction." The e-mail says I got 7 days to tell my side of the story before Paypal decides whose favor it should go to. I was tired, so I figured, I should go to bed and handle this the next day.

    When I woke up, I e-mailed the buyer about it thinking it was all a mistake. He didn't respond (he usually replies to my e-mails in less than 3 hours during the time we were working on the site's transactions). I try to be fair and give him 48 hours to respond before calling Paypal. Less than 24 hours later, I got another e-mail from Paypal stating the dispute has been in the buyer's favor.

    I called Paypal and the speaker told me the case is closed and there is absolutely nothing further that can be done.

    Paypal closed the issue in less than 48 hours even though their e-mail says I have 7 days. I didn't even get a chance to tell my side of the story. Now I am left with a ,XXX debt and the buyer got away with my website free of charge.

    Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill!

    I live in USA and I have a bank account attached to my Paypal without a social security number or debit/credit card. What penalties am I looking at if I just forget about my Paypal balance?

    Anyway, I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistake. USE ESCROW IF YOU ARE SELLING WEBSITES, NO MATTER WHAT!
    seeing from the report from PayPal , it seems that your buyer use hacked PayPal account.
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    • Profile picture of the author clove
      Banned
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  • Profile picture of the author nick1980
    Sorry to hear about this Dash. I really hope you get it all sorted in your favour. There looks to be some good advice on here already so I won't add anymore. Just my best wishes.
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    • Profile picture of the author agmccall
      In my Golf club business I get quite a few requests for large orders, usually from overseas. Even in the US when I get these orders I always ask for a direct wire transfer and ask for their information so my bank can contact them. Funny thing is, none of these sales ever go through.

      al
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      • Profile picture of the author agmccall
        I just listened to the "Paypal Call" I do not think it is real. I have been using paypal for many years for my business and I have talked to them on numberous occaisions. The thing that makes me question the validity is the beginning of the conversation where the paypal rep tells the client what domain they are discussing. In every instance I had to call paypal, I had to give them all the information and even more to make sure they were talking to the right person. there were no qualifying questions from paypal to client.

        just my opinion

        al
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  • Profile picture of the author Daniel Wilson
    Hi!

    Is there anything you could do to get the domain back?
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    • Profile picture of the author underthegun
      Originally Posted by Daniel Wilson View Post

      Hi!

      Is there anything you could do to get the domain back?

      This is an excellent idea. If you can show your domain registrar that the sale wasn't honored you should be able to get your domain back.
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  • Profile picture of the author redfieryheart
    This post really made me think seriously. Although I had a successful transaction when my site was sold but this doesn't mean i am going to relax and expect the same in my next transaction. I understand now the difference of PP and Escrow.
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  • Profile picture of the author Zeb
    Sorry to hear about your case. It's such a shame that these sort of people scam.

    I've just got a few sites listed in flippa and after reading this, i will definitely use escrow for large transfers. Or use the 60 day hold for domains if using paypal. Thanks for those tips though.
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    • Profile picture of the author Amitywill
      I feel bad for you mate. Paypal are absolutely
      disgraceful and don't have a clue what they're
      doing.

      I myself got scammed and even though I could
      prove it they still decided to side with the scammer.

      I really hope you get your money back but unfortunately
      you're going to have to do it outside of Paypal because
      they just don't give a fk and when they say case closed
      you'll find it easier to get blood out of stone than get a
      helpful response from them!

      Anyway good luck!

      Will
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  • Profile picture of the author Alex Kage
    I think they side with the guy that gives them a part of his money, if you know what I mean.
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  • Profile picture of the author momfriend
    Hey, I got scammed by Attracta.com SEO Top listing solutions. Same thing. except I was the one who complained to my card company of unauthorized transaction by them.
    The sales that work there are big time Scammers and big fat liers. They would not give an old lady her refund. Only after posting it complaints, ripped off, and pissed off, they said, oh by the way we are going to give your your refund.....what jerks. You wanna get ripped off? use those guys.
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  • Profile picture of the author IMSince2003
    I've heard of people doing chargebacks against PayPal and getting away with it even after a year had gone by. There's always risk here. If the site is really valuable, certified checks are the way to go.
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  • Profile picture of the author underthegun
    I just want to say it again. I would try this option before pursuing legal matters.

    If you can show your domain registrar that the sale wasn't honored you should be able to get your domain back. Maybe even consider contact ICANN (www.icann.org)
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    • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
      Originally Posted by underthegun View Post

      I just want to say it again. I would try this option before pursuing legal matters.

      If you can show your domain registrar that the sale wasn't honored you should be able to get your domain back. Maybe even consider contact ICANN (ICANN | Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers)
      Thanks for the info. I'll give it a shot
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  • Profile picture of the author dugu56
    So sorry to read your story mate,

    Yup, escrow is the way to go even though the easiness of Paypal is so tempting. You could follow the advice of pacelattin as this is I would do in your case. May you get the domain and site - or your cash. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
    Well, I called paypal again today. Talked to a supervisor for about 20 minutes and he basically says "Yes, we know that it isn't your fault. Yes, We know that it's not fair to you. We understand your frustration but Paypal doesn't offer seller protection for intangible items." So, yea, it looks like Paypal won't do anything to take away that debt.

    Paypal has my real name, address and bank account number. That's enough information to send a collector after me. If anyone here have been in this situation and know a way around it, I'll appreciate the help.

    Thanks
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    • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
      Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

      Well, I called paypal again today. Talked to a supervisor for about 20 minutes and he basically says "Yes, we know that it isn't your fault. Yes, We know that it's not fair to you. We understand your frustration but Paypal doesn't offer seller protection for intangible items." So, yea, it looks like Paypal won't do anything to take away that debt.

      Paypal has my real name, address and bank account number. That's enough information to send a collector after me. If anyone here have been in this situation and know a way around it, I'll appreciate the help.

      Thanks
      What debt are you talking about? Have you asked Paypal for a loan?

      Let them send collectors after you. It will be NCO more likely... They won't get anything out of you, if you don't let them.

      Remember, you owe them NOTHING. It's their problem, if someone made a unauthorized transaction and scammed them out of the money.

      Hold on to your money.


      T


      PS. Have you removed the funds from your account yet?
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    • Profile picture of the author NicSennen
      Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

      Well, I called paypal again today. Talked to a supervisor for about 20 minutes and he basically says "Yes, we know that it isn't your fault. Yes, We know that it's not fair to you. We understand your frustration but Paypal doesn't offer seller protection for intangible items." So, yea, it looks like Paypal won't do anything to take away that debt.

      Paypal has my real name, address and bank account number. That's enough information to send a collector after me. If anyone here have been in this situation and know a way around it, I'll appreciate the help.

      Thanks
      Had a similar thing happen to me. Someone (in Asia) bought around 20 sites from me over a period of a few months (not through Flippa) then did a charge-back on his credit card just before the year was up. I tried fighting it with PayPal with no success and ended up with a negative balance of several thousands. The guy ended up with all his money back and the websites.

      I don't know the situation in the US but here in the UK I just told my bank not to pay them any money and they stopped the payment. As it happened I was just in the process of moving house when this started so I never gave Paypal my new address. No doubt they will catch up with me eventually but there is no way they would have a case in court as I can prove that the guy received everything he paid for and more.

      I feel for you buddy!
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  • Profile picture of the author cjseven
    Recently I sold a $x,xxx website on flippa and used paypal. I wanted to use Escrow but to reduce fees I took the risk.

    However I didn't just send my paypal email to buyer to receive payment. I send him an invoice (this way scammers can't use hacked accounts, unless they have access to paypal account and email account) and wrote this TOS in my invoice:

    "By paying this invoice buyer accepts that this sale is final. Seller will
    transfer inmediately website to buyers host and also provide the auth code
    for domain transfer. After successful completion of both parts, web
    content to buyers host and domain transfer to buyers ownership, buyer
    expressely aknowledges that he is resigning to his right to make any
    dispute to this sale, as this is a binding condition agreed between seller
    and buyer in order to proceed with this sale"

    I don't know if it is enough to protect sellers but it will prevent some "scam" action.
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    • Profile picture of the author LilBlackDress
      When people claim it is an UNAUTHORIZED TRANSACTION for these scam sales...they most likely did not have their account hacked or hack into someone's account. They are just not telling the truth in order to get a refund.

      From my understanding after reading Paypal's TOS and talking to PP, if a buyer says they did not get the website. PP would rule in the sellers favor because they do not cover digital transactions. BUT when a buyer says it is an unauthorized transaction, then PP rules in their favor.

      So the difference of if they can successfully scam you out of the site is in the reason they give for refund request.
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  • Profile picture of the author Vincent Abrugar
    Sorry to read your story.

    About 4 years ago I was scammed by a website buyer, paypal says its an unauthorized transaction. I'm new to disputes so I refunded the immediately because I was afraid paypal would close my account. I ended up with nothing and the scammer run away with my website. I tried to talk to Godaddy to see if I can get back my domain but they said I had to file a complain in a US court. But I'm outside USA so there was no way I can get my domain name back.

    In your case, you're from USA so I think there's a way to get your domain name back, just contact your registrar and tell them the story and show the evidence. I believe they'll help you.

    Back to my story, a year ago I had another scammer website buyer, again paypal says its an unauthorized transaction. I was able to use the funds before the dispute and got a negative paypal balance. This time I did not refund the money and just let the dispute finish. I showed paypal screenshots of the Godaddy confirmation email that the domain name was transferred. I also send them a screenshot of the flippa auction. I was not really expecting them to side in my favor. But to my amazement I won the dispute and they cleared the negative balance in my paypal account. But it took about 2-3 months because of chargeback issue If I was not mistaken.

    Anyway, I really hope you could sort out your problem. Goodluck.

    The 60 day domain name hold is a good idea for website sellers.

    I have not use Escrow yet. I've heard you can get scam too using Escrow.com
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  • Profile picture of the author jpratama
    Wow, your experience will become my valuable lesson for me. I wonder why paypal didn't give you a chance to listen for reasons from your side point of view.
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  • Profile picture of the author JCorp
    recently sold one of my websites for a few thousands and didn't think twice about using escrow. you should definitely take this matter up with the heads of PayPal and keep bugging them until they do something about it...persistence is key.
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    • Profile picture of the author Bryan V
      Originally Posted by JCorp View Post

      recently sold one of my websites for a few thousands and didn't think twice about using escrow. you should definitely take this matter up with the heads of PayPal and keep bugging them until they do something about it...persistence is key.
      Sure, there are many sites that get successfully paid for with Paypal, but it doesn't mean you shouldn't think twice about it. I've experienced this multiple times selling things internationally. For small ticket items, I just brushed it off.

      For intangible goods there is absolutely nothing you can do to get money back through Paypal. Users need to understand this is in Paypal's TOS and stop blaming their customer service/management for not handing over wads of cash out of their own pocket when a sale goes bad.

      Your safest route is taking Escrow or a wire transfer, otherwise you are at the buyer's mercy through Paypal.
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  • Profile picture of the author dagaul101
    It's unfortunate that there are loopholes within Paypal like this, and disputes are almost wholly in favour of the buyer
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  • Profile picture of the author abdin66
    This thread has been such an information treasure trove! I learned so much about Flippa, PayPal, ESCROW accounts and much, much more.

    For me, this is thread is good timing as I have just put a website for sale onto Flippa for the very first time.

    I'm really sorry about your loss, though.
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    • Profile picture of the author rackemup
      Originally Posted by abdin66 View Post

      This thread has been such an information treasure trove! I learned so much about Flippa, PayPal, ESCROW accounts and much, much more.

      For me, this is thread is good timing as I have just put a website for sale onto Flippa for the very first time.

      I'm really sorry about your loss, though.
      I agree. Very informative thread, unfortunately, from someone's misfortune, but here's hoping he gets the issue resolved quickly!

      So which Escrow company do you guys recommend and what kinds of fees are we talking about? I'm thinking of selling a couple of old domains I have in the near future. Thanks.
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  • Profile picture of the author wahidswebgarage
    why did you even wait for anything....you should have just called paypal emmediately and gave them the flippa sales page anyway you learned your lesson that's the plus.
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  • Profile picture of the author BlueCollar
    Wow, sorry to hear you got scammed.

    I usually only use Escrow if the site I sell is over $500. Guess I'll be using them exclusively from now on after reading your post.
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    • Profile picture of the author Avdo
      sooo sorry to hear that.. can't beleive it.. I just sold two sites in last two days, every over $500, without Escrow.. I never used Escrow before, but from now on I will for sure..

      Avdo
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  • Profile picture of the author happyday
    sorry to hear thet fellow warrior,but i'll prefer escrow or western union as u have been told
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  • Profile picture of the author madzstar
    Woh thats a serious case ma man and i can feel ur fustration really sorry.
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  • Profile picture of the author Arief Ramadhan
    Sorry to hear that

    I absolutely agree, use Escrow to transaction on Flippa and also set the bidding option to manual, you have to check the bidder reputation on Flippa. If he/she new on Flippa then you should contact him/her before accept the bid.
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    • Profile picture of the author Increaser
      Hi Dash Evra,

      Sorry to hear about your troubles.

      It looks to me that you have all in your favour; so don't panic and just do what is possible for you to do at this point.

      1) There's no way you could have known that this was an unauthorized transaction.
      2) You did not violate any Paypal rules; they are the ones who violated the 7 days allocated to you to reply.

      Your problem at this point is Paypal negative balance and getting back the domain.

      1) Put all your documents relating to the transaction together.
      2) Write to Paypal physical address and state your case, refusing to pay them the money because you are not at fault.
      You behaved responsibly as a seller, since you delivered the product as required, because from your point of view, this was a normal transaction with no hidden agenda.
      So they have no right to punish you, because they have no basis for it.
      Make sure you make it clear that you cannot pay them because they have chosen to punish you without any plausible reason.

      Now, they should normally reply to you by physical mail.
      Do not panic: even if they decide to take you to court, let them do so, because I don't see any judge ruling in their favour.
      Because they will have to prove that you are the one behind the so-called 'unauthorized transaction'.
      Moreover, they gave you 7 days and never waited for you to reply.

      If you file a law suit, you will have to pay for it.
      But if you let them do it, they will have to pay.
      I doubt they will do it, but in consideration of all the facts, they are the ones with the mistakes.

      3) Write another physical letter to the registrar and send them copies of your letters to Paypal, and explain the situation, making it clear that you were scammed by the buyer. You couldn't have known this in advance.

      The reason I think physical letters are important, it's because it would make things clear to a judge in case you end up dealing with this in court.
      It would also show that you are a responsible seller.
      So it's best to have all it on paper.

      Bets wishes.

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  • Profile picture of the author imfusa
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for ,XXX using paypal as a payment method. I got my payment, I transferred the site to the buyer, he checked it to see if everything is right, and all went great.

    A few days ago, I received a notice from Paypal saying I got a chargeback regarding the sale for "unauthorized transaction." The e-mail says I got 7 days to tell my side of the story before Paypal decides whose favor it should go to. I was tired, so I figured, I should go to bed and handle this the next day.

    When I woke up, I e-mailed the buyer about it thinking it was all a mistake. He didn't respond (he usually replies to my e-mails in less than 3 hours during the time we were working on the site's transactions). I try to be fair and give him 48 hours to respond before calling Paypal. Less than 24 hours later, I got another e-mail from Paypal stating the dispute has been in the buyer's favor.

    I called Paypal and the speaker told me the case is closed and there is absolutely nothing further that can be done.

    Paypal closed the issue in less than 48 hours even though their e-mail says I have 7 days. I didn't even get a chance to tell my side of the story. Now I am left with a ,XXX debt and the buyer got away with my website free of charge.

    Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill!

    I live in USA and I have a bank account attached to my Paypal without a social security number or debit/credit card. What penalties am I looking at if I just forget about my Paypal balance?

    Anyway, I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistake. USE ESCROW IF YOU ARE SELLING WEBSITES, NO MATTER WHAT!
    I believe that there is something to do. When i sell a website on flippa i ask the buyer to write on the memo:" Payment owed for website: flippa link and also add domain.com, transferred to godaddy account number: XXXX and godaddy e-mail: admin@domain.com" And if there is a chargeback on this i can prove it with the autogenerated e-mail that comes from godaddy, where it says where the domain had been transferred. (this is in case the buyer has a godaddy account)
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    • Profile picture of the author kakaboo
      I believe that there is something to do. When i sell a website on flippa i ask the buyer to write on the memo:" Payment owed for website: flippa link and also add domain.com, transferred to godaddy account number: XXXX and godaddy e-mail: admin@domain.com" And if there is a chargeback on this i can prove it with the autogenerated e-mail that comes from godaddy, where it says where the domain had been transferred. (this is in case the buyer has a godaddy account)
      That doesn't always work, this is only good if the buyer raised a dispute rather than a chargeback.. for chargebacks Paypal is usually helpless as they are not a bank institution ( or so they claim )..

      The best is still to use escrow for transactions over $x,xxx.. not worth risking losing that amount of money just for a few measly hundred bucks on fees.
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  • Profile picture of the author pacelattin
    As I have mentioned twice now, it doesnt matter where the seller is located. The domain is a US domain (dot com) YOu can sue here, get a judgement and take the domain back.
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  • Profile picture of the author Nak
    I am really sorry to hear your experience...This is really sad that after so much efforts you landed up in this situation...
    I have learned a lot by reading this thread...Really..
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  • Profile picture of the author Barry Unruh
    I'm a little distressed at how many people are recommending blowing off PayPal. PayPal is a middleman in this transaction not the party at fault. They are enforcing the rules you agreed to abide to when you signed up for your account. It sucks, but they are well within their legal rights.

    Try these three steps on for size...

    1. I'd highly recommend you sit down with an officer at your bank and explain your situation and ask for advice.

    2. Talk to your accountant and explain the situation, ask for his advice.

    3. Talk to an attorney and get his recommendations. (If you don't have one ask the bank officer and accountant for recommendations.)

    4. Ask the attorney to contact PayPal on your behalf to discuss the issue.

    5. Follow the advice of the 3 professionals above and quit listening to me and everyone else who is speculating on what the best legal, financial, and ethical course of action is....
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    • Profile picture of the author Dash Evra
      Originally Posted by pacelattin View Post

      As I have mentioned twice now, it doesnt matter where the seller is located. The domain is a US domain (dot com) YOu can sue here, get a judgement and take the domain back.
      I am not ignoring your suggestion. I've heard you the first time.

      Originally Posted by Barry Unruh View Post

      I'm a little distressed at how many people are recommending blowing off PayPal. PayPal is a middleman in this transaction not the party at fault. They are enforcing the rules you agreed to abide to when you signed up for your account. It sucks, but they are well within their legal rights.

      Try these three steps on for size...

      1. I'd highly recommend you sit down with an officer at your bank and explain your situation and ask for advice.

      2. Talk to your accountant and explain the situation, ask for his advice.

      3. Talk to an attorney and get his recommendations. (If you don't have one ask the bank officer and accountant for recommendations.)

      4. Ask the attorney to contact PayPal on your behalf to discuss the issue.

      5. Follow the advice of the 3 professionals above and quit listening to me and everyone else who is speculating on what the best legal, financial, and ethical course of action is....
      I went to my bank, explained the situation and I closed the bank account that is attached to Paypal.

      I am a 20 years old college student, so, I don't have a lawyer. Never really needed one before and it's not something I want to trouble my parents with. However, I talked to my business law professor about it. Bottom line was, there is a good chance that it will end up with Paypal sending debt collectors after me. When that happens I should request that the debt collector provide me with validation of the alleged debt, pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and it will all be put behind me (most likely).
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      • Profile picture of the author SirThomas
        Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

        I went to my bank, explained the situation and I closed the bank account that is attached to Paypal.


        there is a good chance that it will end up with Paypal sending debt collectors after me. When that happens I should request that the debt collector provide me with validation of the alleged debt, pursuant to the Fair Debt Collection Practices Act and it will all be put behind me (most likely).
        Send all correspondence as registered mail requesting their signatures. Keep all the records and receipts of when and what was sent out.

        Oh and welcome to adult life!


        Thomas
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  • Profile picture of the author Pinkysoll
    Banned
    This is good info for me, i am actaully thinking of selling a bunch of my adsense websites and i'll definitely be using escrow. I always thought it was best to do so anyway.

    I'll keep this in mind

    I'm really sorry for what happened to you.

    Regards
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  • Profile picture of the author Newbieee
    simply make it a legal case.

    go get a lawyer, since its $X,XXX. its worth getting a lawyer.

    show him u are serious.

    and also take paypal to court.

    hey sometimes big companies need some waking up.


    who knows it might be their downfall if they got sued big time till they cannot continue business.
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  • Yeah that truly is awful... Sorry to hear that.

    This is yet another horror story that will keep me as far away from Flippa as possible.
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  • Profile picture of the author aaaa33030
    If you don't pay the bill then they would either deduct it from your attached bank account or use your paypal received funds to pay off the debt
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  • Profile picture of the author ajrocks
    I'm sad to say that half of India uses flippa to make a living. 90% of the stuff you find for sale is a scam. I've never been able to buy a real site with real traffic. If you ask to do any due diligence you will either not hear from them again or hear an endless stream of reasons why you can't.
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  • Profile picture of the author RefundHost
    The simple solution is to contact the Registrar of the domain
    and the host and tell them that someone has taken control of
    your domain and website and that you want it back.

    You show verify the credit card info that paid for it for years
    and then they ask you to swear an oath that the site is
    rightfully yours and you have it notarized and you get it back.
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  • Profile picture of the author andrewlaton
    Damn dude that sucks, I do a lot of flippa selling and have never used escrow.
    Hmm i guess i should now.
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    • Profile picture of the author anonymous479
      Wow, I'm sorry that happened to you.

      I just recieved a $x,xxx buy it now flippa payment via paypal. After reading this, I sent the buyer a message saying I will be issuing a paypal refund, and we can start the escrow process. Its better to take a week to sort out the refund than sorry in 60 days.
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  • Profile picture of the author OO
    Wow, so sorry to hear that Flippa is shady sometimes. Hope you can recover.
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  • Profile picture of the author JRLiem
    Hi,

    I've just sold a website in filppa but I can't use their escrow (escrow.com) since I live Indonesia. Do you know escrow alternative?

    Thank you,
    Samuel
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  • Profile picture of the author princecapri
    Just wanted to leave my sympathies here. I hope you can somehow get your money back (and more in future!)
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    • Profile picture of the author etoainshrdlu
      I just got shafted by a buyer. Paypal doesn't look into non-physical products.
      Damn, wish I found this thread before!
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  • Profile picture of the author ebookzz
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for ,XXX using paypal as a payment method. I got my payment, I transferred the site to the buyer, he checked it to see if everything is right, and all went great.

    A few days ago, I received a notice from Paypal saying I got a chargeback regarding the sale for "unauthorized transaction." The e-mail says I got 7 days to tell my side of the story before Paypal decides whose favor it should go to. I was tired, so I figured, I should go to bed and handle this the next day.

    When I woke up, I e-mailed the buyer about it thinking it was all a mistake. He didn't respond (he usually replies to my e-mails in less than 3 hours during the time we were working on the site's transactions). I try to be fair and give him 48 hours to respond before calling Paypal. Less than 24 hours later, I got another e-mail from Paypal stating the dispute has been in the buyer's favor.

    I called Paypal and the speaker told me the case is closed and there is absolutely nothing further that can be done.

    Paypal closed the issue in less than 48 hours even though their e-mail says I have 7 days. I didn't even get a chance to tell my side of the story. Now I am left with a ,XXX debt and the buyer got away with my website free of charge.

    Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill!

    I live in USA and I have a bank account attached to my Paypal without a social security number or debit/credit card. What penalties am I looking at if I just forget about my Paypal balance?

    Anyway, I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistake. USE ESCROW IF YOU ARE SELLING WEBSITES, NO MATTER WHAT!

    Well just a heads up

    I have had this issue but as a buyer

    End result was it turned out in the sellers favour

    Disput was closed

    But i actually reopened the dispute..

    It was sometime back but there is always a option to reopen it
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  • Profile picture of the author leeluther252
    I've had this happen before why selling items via ebay many years ago. I never paid paypal and just opened a new account. I still use paypal for many transactions and even an online business. Its a hassle but any time I am forced to do a large transaction across paypal I move the money to my account and immediately remove all my bank and cc info from paypal. If the seller desides to screw me, paypal cant take the money from me. If the bank has your personal info then you need to pay what you owe to the bank itself as they can blackflag you and you may not be able to open another account with any other large bank.
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  • Profile picture of the author chrislangley
    You really should have responded to the Paypal dispute as soon as, but I believe there is an appeal you can put in, if you login to your Paypal account there should be a link to appeal, that you have been ripped off
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  • Profile picture of the author daveyboy312005
    First of all, don't transfer the site at all until you are paid in full. Then call PayPal (CALL ON THE TELEPHONE) and ask them to verify that the payment received is legitimate. Then explain to them that you are worried about transferring your property over to the buyer in case the buyer files a chargeback and ask them what the chargeback threshold is. They vary based on country and type of payment used to pay you with.

    Then simply inform the buyer that you will surrender the website once the threshold time period has been met. I did it on the last site I sold on Flippa and the buyer didn't get mad at all. If he would have gotten mad, I'd have known he was attempting to pull a scam and would have laughed in his face!
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  • Profile picture of the author apdfranklin
    Very unfortunate, but a great lesson for others. Unless you know the buyer well, avoid Paypal at all costs! I'm amazed that PP still hasn't made a more secure / streamlined system for the sale of digital goods - it's ridiculous!
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    • Profile picture of the author Black Hat Cat
      Banned
      Originally Posted by apdfranklin View Post

      Very unfortunate, but a great lesson for others. Unless you know the buyer well, avoid Paypal at all costs! I'm amazed that PP still hasn't made a more secure / streamlined system for the sale of digital goods - it's ridiculous!
      This isn't a Paypal issue. The guy paid with a credit card, and filed a chargeback....allegedly.

      Frankly, I don't really believe the story, because it doesn't make sense. Think about it.....Paypal emails you and tells you the buyer of your website has issued a chargeback, which means they are trying to screw you out of the money they paid for your website, and your first thought is to "be fair" and give the person trying to rip you off 48 hours to reply to you? Give me a break.
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  • Profile picture of the author baileybliss
    The big problem with PayPal is that the employees obviously don't have consistent training, so you will get a different answer from every rep, and who knows which one is correct. I truly hope that you can get either your money or at least your domain back. Good luck.
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  • Profile picture of the author Hristo
    Really, sorry about your troubles man. I've sold 2 websites and always want the money upfront with a wire transfer. If the buyer doesn't want/trust me, then I tell him I don't do business with people who don't trust me (if you have other websites/businesses, it is pretty easy to prove you are a trustworthy person).
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  • Profile picture of the author Helene E
    This is Internet Fraud. Contact your State's attorney general's office as well (and any other place you can think of).
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  • Profile picture of the author CyberSorcerer
    I know it's a pain but knowing how paypal is, I have two bank accounts setup. One I use for both business and personal and one I use strickly for business. The business and personal one is what I give permission to paypal for so if they ever do screw me. I just completely transfer the money to the other account and forget about that.

    This is my backup for paypal. I also have other merchant accounts such as 2Checkout, AlertPay, epassporte, ccbill, etc. The last two processors I use for my adult sites but came be used for anything really.

    Always plan for the worse, the good will always take care of itself.
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  • Profile picture of the author GoldPro
    Sorry to hear that. Next time I will always remember to use Escrow instead of PayPal for larger transactions.
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  • Profile picture of the author ezmystic
    using paypal normally negates the protection you get by using a credit card, be careful
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  • Profile picture of the author ezmystic
    Oh yeah Visa and Mastercard will normally protect you for upto several $000 if you use them to purchase stuff I think
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  • Profile picture of the author damasgate
    lesson learned! I will always use ESCROW from now on for big purchases.
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  • Profile picture of the author WilliamLark
    WOW that sucks I have sold like 4 sites on Flippa and i wonder about that same thing happening to me, I am sure PayPal will side with the buyer.
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  • Profile picture of the author LegitIncomes
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for ,XXX using paypal as a payment method. I got my payment, I transferred the site to the buyer, he checked it to see if everything is right, and all went great.

    A few days ago, I received a notice from Paypal saying I got a chargeback regarding the sale for "unauthorized transaction." The e-mail says I got 7 days to tell my side of the story before Paypal decides whose favor it should go to. I was tired, so I figured, I should go to bed and handle this the next day.

    When I woke up, I e-mailed the buyer about it thinking it was all a mistake. He didn't respond (he usually replies to my e-mails in less than 3 hours during the time we were working on the site's transactions). I try to be fair and give him 48 hours to respond before calling Paypal. Less than 24 hours later, I got another e-mail from Paypal stating the dispute has been in the buyer's favor.

    I called Paypal and the speaker told me the case is closed and there is absolutely nothing further that can be done.

    Paypal closed the issue in less than 48 hours even though their e-mail says I have 7 days. I didn't even get a chance to tell my side of the story. Now I am left with a ,XXX debt and the buyer got away with my website free of charge.

    Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill!

    I live in USA and I have a bank account attached to my Paypal without a social security number or debit/credit card. What penalties am I looking at if I just forget about my Paypal balance?

    Anyway, I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistake. USE ESCROW IF YOU ARE SELLING WEBSITES, NO MATTER WHAT!
    You are absolutely right, you said it,...and it's worth saying again:

    ALWAYS USE ESCROW.COM

    These problems CANNOT happen to the seller when Escrow.com is used.

    I do not understand why so many people risk it using Paypal for website sales.
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  • Profile picture of the author Les Blythe
    I also had a bad experience with Flippa - but I was on the buying side of the fence.

    To cut a long story short, I bought a website for several hundred dollars with a so called database of 65,000 active, double opt in prospects. I wasn't really too bothered about the website itself but the database was another matter.

    Sufice to say the database was a complete waste of time. Virtually none of my emails got through - if any at all. I was using Sendblaster and SMTP.com

    Complete waste of money, time and effort! If it looks too good to be true then it probably is.

    Lesson learned - don't try to avoid the hard work - just do it!
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  • Profile picture of the author Shaolinsteve
    Im really sorry to hear about this, but hopefully something is being done about it now. I was informed by someone else to use Escrow and nothing else when selling websites.

    I hope that this post has helped others become more aware of sites they intend to sell in the future though!
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    • Profile picture of the author Les Blythe
      As regards Escrow I would completely agree that it is preferable to use them rather than Paypal for website sales transactions.

      The thought did also occur to me that wherever possible it is better to use ANYONE other than Paypal for anything. I am thinking in particular of their (it seems) arbitary closing down/ restricting of accounts for no good reason at all. They have just got too big and customer service is out the window!!

      BTW - if any one has not heard the Paypal call - shout me up - it is an eye opener. What do you think to a company that tells you it is a privelage to be able to deal with them!! It tells me that business is comng to them way too easy.

      The day Warrior Forum (WSO) offers an alternative to Paypal will be a good day for all.
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      • Originally Posted by Les Blythe View Post

        BTW - if any one has not heard the Paypal call - shout me up - it is an eye opener. What do you think to a company that tells you it is a privelage to be able to deal with them!! It tells me that business is comng to them way too easy.

        The day Warrior Forum (WSO) offers an alternative to Paypal will be a good day for all.
        Haven't heard the "PayPal call" and couldn't find it on YouTube or Google. But I think your sentiments are shared by everybody who deals with them.
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  • Profile picture of the author EllesBelles
    Don't close your bank account, they will just sent debt collectors.

    I apologize if someone has mentioned this already, but I didn't spot it! Have you got signed communications from the buyer since the sale? You said you worked on transactions - if "Ed" has contacted you since "Ed" bought the product, you should forward the emails to Paypal. It will be especially effective if the email-address used is the Paypal email.

    After that, I'd take legal action. As already mentioned, it doesn't matter if he is not in the US. I'm in the UK, but if I buy a .com, I'm told that I could face proceedings in the US if it violates copyright etc as it is a US domain.

    All the best.
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  • Profile picture of the author Brian Tayler
    You can remove your bank account as a funding source on your PayPal profile, then contact your bank and put a "stop payment" on any PayPal transfers. These are usually only for checks but work for direct deposit/wire transfer type payments as well (I had a similar issue but through Amazon).
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  • Profile picture of the author Curtis2011
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill![/B]
    Just don't pay the bill. Stop using the Paypal account and open a new one, under a different name if you have to.

    I highly doubt Paypal would bother to take you to court for it, and if they did they would probably lose.

    Next time, use an Escrow company, not Paypal. Paypal is notorious for protecting buyers to an extreme, even at the cost of sellers.

    Also, you've already said that the buyer isn't in the USA. But Paypal is. This means that you could sue Paypal in small claims court and likely receive the money you have lost in a judgment.
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  • Profile picture of the author DenRich777
    I am dealing with something similar. Thanks for all the good advice. I will go with escrow from now on, not really familiar with Escrow and how it works..anybody tried to get paid through a credit card? I like the idea of mailing a cd with the files on it but does it really work has anybody tried this with success? Suppose I can accept credit card payments on one of my website, I wonder how much a protection the seller would have when it comes to digital goods I guess the payments methods online aren't really advanced like Escrow is. I had seen an add on Flippa from a seller stating she will only accept a payment through credit card. Good luck to the warrior who started this thread.
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  • Profile picture of the author marketwarrior06
    Banned
    Actually that's a disaster. this type of things happens to everybody working for other merchants. That's why you should have to be careful all the time.
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  • Profile picture of the author Mr Bill
    I don't understand. How could Paypal give you 7 days to respond and then solve the case within 2 days? What did they say about that? Why did they solve the case before you had a chance to respond?
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  • Profile picture of the author Adenan
    sorry to hear your badluck..
    thanks for sharing your story..
    your situation answered my question which is:

    "why escrow is the better payment processor for high price online selling?"

    i learned that here..
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  • Profile picture of the author shipwrecked
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for ,XXX using paypal as a payment method. I got my payment, I transferred the site to the buyer, he checked it to see if everything is right, and all went great.

    A few days ago, I received a notice from Paypal saying I got a chargeback regarding the sale for "unauthorized transaction." The e-mail says I got 7 days to tell my side of the story before Paypal decides whose favor it should go to. I was tired, so I figured, I should go to bed and handle this the next day.

    When I woke up, I e-mailed the buyer about it thinking it was all a mistake. He didn't respond (he usually replies to my e-mails in less than 3 hours during the time we were working on the site's transactions). I try to be fair and give him 48 hours to respond before calling Paypal. Less than 24 hours later, I got another e-mail from Paypal stating the dispute has been in the buyer's favor.

    I called Paypal and the speaker told me the case is closed and there is absolutely nothing further that can be done.

    Paypal closed the issue in less than 48 hours even though their e-mail says I have 7 days. I didn't even get a chance to tell my side of the story. Now I am left with a ,XXX debt and the buyer got away with my website free of charge.

    Needless to say, I am pissed as hell!! So mad that I am even considering not paying the bill!

    I live in USA and I have a bank account attached to my Paypal without a social security number or debit/credit card. What penalties am I looking at if I just forget about my Paypal balance?

    Anyway, I hope anyone reading this learns from my mistake. USE ESCROW IF YOU ARE SELLING WEBSITES, NO MATTER WHAT!
    I used Sedo and they intermediated quite well. They took the money from the buyer, pulled down immense commissions, but I still got my money from Sedo afterwards!

    Direct sales via PayPal are extremely risky...

    Then again, I didn't use Flippa for selling, but after reading your story I won't in the future!
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  • Profile picture of the author aloz
    sorry to hear that man but I think you should have known the fact that never use paypal for big transaction for 2 reasons:
    - You will be scammed by buyers
    - Paypal will limit your account.

    Using escrow (escrow.com) will not eliminate all the risk. If buyers want, they can change the domain info and said they haven't received it and you are pretty much screwed. My advice is to use sedo escrow, they do check the domain and the money so literally no risk to both buyers and sellers.

    Good luck with your venture, if you can make a website and sold for $X,XXX you can duplicate that result for 10, 100 or even 1000 times.
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    • Profile picture of the author Sys4
      Originally Posted by aloz View Post

      Using escrow (escrow.com) will not eliminate all the risk. If buyers want, they can change the domain info and said they haven't received it and you are pretty much screwed. My advice is to use sedo escrow, they do check the domain and the money so literally no risk to both buyers and sellers.
      I've sold a lot of domains using Sedo. I no longer transfer domains to the buyers. I transfer them to Sedo's (registrars) account/s and let them deal with the buyer. I make that delivery method part of the agreement with the buyer. Sales done this way, with an open line of communication between you and your Sedo rep, reduce the risk to zero and speeds up the delivery of your payment.
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      • Profile picture of the author amaxlite
        Can I ask why does Flippa even use Paypal if there is no digital protection from them? No one should feel safe buying on there with paypal with no protection.
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    • Profile picture of the author lakeville
      Originally Posted by aloz View Post

      Using escrow (escrow.com) will not eliminate all the risk. If buyers want, they can change the domain info and said they haven't received it and you are pretty much screwed. My advice is to use sedo escrow, they do check the domain and the money so literally no risk to both buyers and sellers.

      Good luck with your venture, if you can make a website and sold for ,XXX you can duplicate that result for 10, 100 or even 1000 times.
      I use namecheap.com and have the buyer get an account there. Push the domain to their account but make them generate a one-time auth code that you will need to be able to push the domain to their account.

      They can't deny they do not have the domain because the only way to push the domain is with that auth code.

      Another tip if you're using escrow.com is CC'ing escrow.com your email conversations with the buyer/seller.
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  • Profile picture of the author dylan4f
    I am really sorry to hear this friend!!

    The same thing happened to me a few times, once it happened for amount over 1k.. and there was nothing I could do.. Paypal said that simply I was not covered by the sellers protection..
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  • Profile picture of the author contentwriting360
    Banned
    If I were to buy anything online, I always remind myself to have this due diligence to do a research about the product/service I'm buying and the seller, too.

    Try Googling the username of the seller. If you see reviews about the seller, double-check if the reviewers are referring to the same seller of the product/service you want to buy. If I got scammed, it was always my fault.
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  • Profile picture of the author maz1207
    I'm sorry to hear about you incident. You should have responded to Paypal email in the first place to prevent that. You can next time give Paypal the URL of your listings and your buyers email / messages as proof to Paypal. Finally, pray that you'll win it.
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  • Profile picture of the author Theduke2011
    Originally Posted by Dash Evra View Post

    Almost a month ago, I sold a website on Flippa for ,XXX using paypal as a payment method.
    I didn't even have to read past the first sentence. There is your problem right there. Paypal is for scammers.
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    Classified Posting & Ad Management Expert
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  • Profile picture of the author John Romaine
    Never hand ANYTHING over until the money is in your bank account.

    Oh, and always use a binding contract.

    Here.

    http://www.bringthedonuts.com/produc...-agreement.php
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  • Profile picture of the author kary yucef
    I sold more than 60 sites on flippa, all of them with escrow
    flippa = no paypal
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    "If you think education is expensive - consider the cost of ignorance."
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