This article was birthed out of my frustration with EBay & Paypal scams I have had to deal with for years; I’ve been a seller on eBay for an average of ten plus years with a perfect feedback until recently. You’ll be amazed at the type of rip offs buyers come up with, using the flaws in the “Paypal buyer’s protection” policy. I stopped carrying high end items for that very reason. I’ll share my own stories with you so you can understand every “reseller’s irritation with Ebay and PayPal. Before I start, I understand that there are many shady resellers out there ( selling bootlegs and defective items), I’m not speaking for them; I’m speaking for honest sellers trying their best to satisfy their customers.
1. This signature confirmation scam
When a buyer purchases an item costing $250 or more, sellers are required by PayPal/Ebay to demand a signature upon delivery . But most rookie sellers are not aware of it , and buyers prey on this type of sellers . Basically what the buyer does in this case is: he receives the item and claims he never got it because there’s no signature to prove it. He then files a claim on PayPal, and they don’t even run an investigation but fully refund the buyer. Consequently, the seller loses not only the money but his/her shoes as well. I was a victim of this scam in 2011 when I sold a pair of Jordan 11 Concord to an individual in New York.
How can one avoid this problem? Require a signature anytime you sell something for $250 or more ( even if the buyer asks you not to demand a signature because ” he claims he is never home”); you have been warned.
2. Unconfirmed/confirmed address scam:
Per PayPal policy, all sellers are required to ship to confirmed addresses only ( as a seller you must make sure that the billing/and shipping address are the same). The way to do this is to look at the order details, and make sure the address is marked as “confirmed”. The way buyers take advantage of this is, they make a purchase and ask the seller to ship to a different destination ( ship to my son’s address, I’m buying it for a friend, etc). The seller is then held responsible in case the buyer claims he/she never received the item.
How can one avoid this problem? only ship to confirmed destinations
3. False claim
This is the worse one, the previous problems are avoidable but this one is really scary. The buyer gets the item and claims it doesn’t match the description or worse case scenario, claims the item is a counterfeit. He/she files a claim on PayPal; even if you send a proof of authenticity ( receipt, or any other documents), per PayPal policy, he/she is allowed to return the item. Meanwhile PayPal puts a hold on the funds so the seller is pretty much screwed. Now this is the worse part : all the buyer has to do is submit a tracking number to PayPal and when the records show that the package has been delivered, PayPal automatically processes a full refund to the buyer ( even if he puts a rock in the package or sends an empty box ).
Now think about it .. what if the buyer sends back a fake item instead of what was originally sent to him or her? Assume you sold a pair of authentic Yeezy and you are sent an empty box or a different shoe? What do you do ? How do you prove that you were burned? PayPal wants to please the buyer so there is absolutely nothing you can do, even if you have a perfect history on PayPal, there is literally nothing you can do. Do you realize the gravity of the problem at hand?
Possible solutions: Sell low end items, the chances of being scammed selling cheap shoes are very small compared to high end items. But even with that, there is no guarantee- actually this is the reason why I wrote this article: I got hit with two PayPal cases because each buyer claimed they were dealt an item that didn’t match the description ( meanwhile none of the shoes sold were above $53 and both were brand new so go figure).
In conclusion, a great number of online small businesses are dying out while major companies are thriving because they have allocated money for this type of setbacks. Consequently, the competition is slowly fading away which leads to a constant monopoly by large established businesses, which means prices of shoes will increase. Another major problem caused by this is brand gating (where third-party sellers are no longer able to carry and sell branded items). This is a serious problem….to be continued.
My Name is Tayib Salami and I'm the founder of Housakicks. I'm part of the AHN network dedicated to providing our audience with more in depth information on sneakers . I have spent a lot of time writing projections on sneakers as far as the retail market is concerned. I also educate my audience on ways to identify fake/ replica sneakers. The AHN network covers a variety of sneaker related topics