Getting harder to sell equipment these days!

Started Aug 21, 2008 | Discussions thread
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ne beginner
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Getting harder to sell equipment these days!
Aug 21, 2008

I have used Ebay for years to sell equipment I no longer need or use ... about once per year or so .... maybe 6 - 12 items per year. I've always done well, only burned once from a buyer, but eventually got my money back.

I sold a few items on Ebay last week ... first time in 2008 ... and ran into a new (to me) scam: Ebay and Paypal are holding funds for items you sell and have been paid for, for up to 21 days!

So I call PayPal, which at least has live people you can get to, and they tell me this is Ebay's rule, and they just hold the money at Ebay's direction. Ebay of course has no live people, just a "chat" option. After 3 lengthly chats, I discovered that 1). Ebay claims it's PayPal that decides which transactions to hold, 2). my account does not meet the criteria for which Paypal says they will hold funds for, and 3). they talk in circles and contradict them selves repeatedly in the same session.

For example, Ebay said all transactions in certain categories of equipment are held, like cameras. All 3 items I sold were cameras, all three sold for about the same amount, and all 3 sold within an hour. All listings were in "Camera", and all 3 said "camera" in the title. Two transactions were held, one was not. Contradiction.

Another said the holds are related to your seller rating. I have 100% positive, never had a dispute, complaint, or less than positive feedback. No, it's your "score" ... the number next to your name. Mine is a 43 ... has to be greater than 100. So, I ask, how is that calculated. Response: there's a formula. "What is the formula?" I ask. Response: there is no formula ...

On another chat (when you catch them in enough contradictions, the standard response seems to be "have a nice day" and end the connection) I am told the "score" is actually your total # of transactions. So, I ask, if I had a "score" of 200, but a 80% positive rating, my funds will not be held, but if I have a "99" and a 100% positive rating, my funds are held? "Correct ... this is to protect you". Hmmmm.... So, I ask, it's Ebay that decides which transactions to hold based on that? "No, PayPal does ..."

Three 30 minute chats like that ... see what I mean?

In Paypal, it says funds will be released after 1). positive feedback from the buyer is received, or 2). proof of delivery from Fedex or UPS, or 3). 21 days and no dispute. So even though all 3 buyers paid for UPS ground, at my expense I pay for 3 day FedEx, insured, signature required. Taking no chances here. I uploaded the tracking info into both Paypal and ebay.

Three days later, I get the emails from FedEx confirming delivery. 2 of the 3 buyers leave feedback. 3 days later, funds still held by paypal. So on the phone again with PayPal. Has the buyer confirmed delvery, they ask? No .... but you have the tracking info. 10 minutes later, they confirm that yes indeed these were delivered, and confirm the dates ... 3 days ago. So why haven't the funds been released? "You have to wait 3 days for the funds after proof of delivery." But it's been 3 days ... you just confirmed that. "Has the buyer confirmed delivery?".

Another 30 minutes and we've got a manager on the phone, who basically implies that Ebay must have held the funds because I'm a shady character. But he eventually agrees to release the funds.

Ebay always had it's limitations, but this is absurd. What a scam!

I thinking a few weeks ago of possibly selling my Canon gear and going (gulp!) to Nikon. After this experience, I don't see how I can sell anything except via FM, which I've never used, or something like Craig's List.

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