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PayPal WARNING For All Sellers!!!

Discussion in 'Buyers and Sellers' started by AsylumArtwork, Feb 7, 2014.

  1. AsylumArtwork

    AsylumArtwork Instagram @AsylumArtwork

    Hey everyone!
    Well, it's ALWAYS something, isn't it?! I just wanted to give everyone a heads up about a PayPal scam that I have fallen prey to today. This didn't happen to me with anyone on this site, but it could absolutely happen very easily on this site. It never crossed my mind that people would or COULD do this, but here goes.
    On January 31st, I sold several items to the same customer. I always ask to be paid thru PayPal (since it seems safe, right?). The person asked for my PayPal email and I gave it to them. They sent the money to me as "friends and family" which I did NOT ask them to do, but honestly when I saw it, I thought, "cool, I don't have to pay the PayPal fees!" The transaction was for $110. Later that evening, they purchased another two items from me for a total of another $325--same deal, sent the money to me thru PayPal as "friends and family" and, again, I thought "cool, no fees!" I packed up and sent the items out right away, in two separate packages (one tracking number for each corresponding PayPal transaction) and even purchased shipping insurance on my dime since the items were somewhat costly and I didn't want to have to worry that they would get damaged in the mail. I never gave it another thought.
    Fast forward to this morning. I wake up to an email from PayPal saying that the buyer had filed an "unauthorized payment" claim for the $110 transaction. It was immediately followed by another email from paypal saying that the $110 payment that was made to me had been reversed, and sent back to the buyer. Normally, the seller has a chance to dispute the claim, but not in this case. This was followed by a third email from PayPal stating that the buyer had also filed another "unauthorized payment" for the second transaction of $325. I logged into my PayPal account and was able to provide info on this claim, so I provided the tracking number, buyer's shipping address and carrier info. After that, I decided to get on the horn and call PayPal to see what the heck was going on. The guy I spoke to from PayPal said that there was absolutely NOTHING I could do about these payment reversals, because the payments were sent as "friends and family" which does NOT offer any seller protection. I told him that I have emails from the buyer proving that they indeed sent the money to me to purchase items, and I can even provide the tracking numbers (which show that the packages HAVE ALREADY BEEN DELIVERED.) The guy went on to say that there's nothing PayPal can do about this, and that the second payment of $325 would also be reversed and sent back to the buyer because it, too, was sent as "friends and family". Since there is no seller protection for "friends and family" transactions, providing proof of shipping/delivery is a moot point. He said that the buyer wasn't "disputing" the fact that the merchandise wasn't received (because the tracking evidence proves it was received), rather the buyer was simply disputing that the transaction was "unauthorized" by them. So, long story short, if someone pays you thru PayPal as "friends and family" or as a "gift" and you ship the merchandise to them (making every effort to cover your butt with tracking numbers, etc) it doesn't even matter. They can take their money back even after having received the merchandise and there's not a dang thing you can do about it.
    On a side note, as a buyer I have sent payments as "friends and family" to sellers with whom I have dealt previously and trust, and when I do this, PayPal always gives me a warning that there is no BUYER protection by paying this way. But apparently that is not the case.
    So, learn from my $435 mistake and be very careful when buyers pay you thru PayPal as "friends and family". It may seem like a gesture of kindness on their part by saving you from having to pay the PayPal fees, BUT they can get their money back after receiving the items, even if you have all the proof in the world that the items were delivered to their door and it was a legit transaction.
  2. Sorry to hear this. I'm curious does paypal have the same restrictions on this as regular payments? As in only having 30 days to dispute something or could you get screwed over 10 months after someone paid you through the friends and family option?

  3. AsylumArtwork

    AsylumArtwork Instagram @AsylumArtwork

    Honestly, I have no idea what the restrictions are for "friends and family" payments. I always thought that when sending money as "friends and family", all of the risk was assumed by the buyer because of that warning of having no buyer protection by sending a payment this way. I thought that once money was sent as "friends and family", there was no way of getting it back, even if the seller didn't make good on their end of the deal. But it's definitely worth looking into!
  4. WOW that really stinks-is there any other legal way you can go after them??Thats alot of money!!
  5. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman $90 for your fur made into trapper hat or mitts!

    First, sorry that this happened to you!

    What can also happen is that if paypal finds out you really are NOT Friends OR Family, they can come after you for their fees.

    Paypal is a business, like any other, they have to make money. I prefer to pay the fees rather than risk anything.

    I've been using them for close to 14 years now, and just recently had a transaction reversed because the buyer had his CC# stolen. I contacted him and he let me know what happened and he paid me another way, but that was thru no fault of paypal.

    Not sure if there's any other recourse to get your money back? Maybe let us know who the buyer was so he doesn't scam anyone else, because that's what this was. Intent to rip you off.
  6. AsylumArtwork

    AsylumArtwork Instagram @AsylumArtwork

    Yeah, it does stink. And unfortunately, it would probably cost me more to legally pursue it than I would actually recover by "winning" the case and getting my $435 back. It did, however, tech me a valuable lesson and hopefully it might save someone a few pennies by learning from my mistake.
  7. pir^2h

    pir^2h Retrievers give you the bird

    Sounds like someone really knows how to work the system. Sorry for your loss but thankful you warned the rest of us. I will remember this one for sure.

  8. AsylumArtwork

    AsylumArtwork Instagram @AsylumArtwork

    Oh, wow, I didn't realize that! I never ask people to pay me as "friends and family" but it does sometimes happen. When I have sent money to people via "friends and family" they are people that I have actually developed a friendship with so I don't have to worry about that.
    PayPal did tell me that, if in the future, someone pays me thru "friends and family" for merchandise, I need to immediately refund their payment and ask them to resend the money as being for "good and services". I think next time, I'll just cut out the chance for this BS and not let anyone pay until I send an invoice. But I'm sure someone will find a way to scam people with that too. It's sad that there are so many scammers out there. :-\
  9. old60furs

    old60furs MO buyers license number is 2465. I need your #

    I think you and wolflady and I need to make a movie about this and i will play the charles bronson part!! I have a little touch of Vigilante left in my bones I ain't used up yet. Hope I get it used up before I am back in the cosmos!

    Time to clean the cans out of the back of the pickup and go for a little trip. haha
  10. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman $90 for your fur made into trapper hat or mitts!

    And I've taken 7-8 bad checks over the years that has amounted to more than $500 all in all. So that's why I no longer take them.

    NEVER EVER a problem in FOURTEEN years with paypal!

    Never a problem with eBay either - used them for close to 16 years now.
  11. Wolfwoman

    Wolfwoman $90 for your fur made into trapper hat or mitts!

    I've got big dogs and I know people that have pigs! ;) ;D
  12. howdoththelilcrocodile

    howdoththelilcrocodile New Member

    I'm on tumblr and I saw a bit of trouble going around in the taxidermy/curiosity communities not too long ago about a scammer. I know a number of people who frequently purchase items from you and one of them came under fire as a scammer/thief (this person also scammed me out of $80 for a skull because I stupid and trusted them). I wonder if they're the same person? I didn't realize that it was so easy to cheat people with paypal! I'll be sure that no one send me "friends and family" money for a sale again!
  13. Wow. I knew that sending money via the "friends & family" option afforded the buyer no protection, but I had no idea that the lack of protection might go both ways... applying to the seller as well. Sucks. Really sorry to hear that this happened to you. Thanks a bunch for sharing though. I hate that we always have to be so darn cautious when sending/receiving money.
  14. This same issue was talked about on here a couple of months ago.
  15. msestak

    msestak Well-Known Member

    maybe the scammer is a paypal employee? it could happen.
  16. I don't put up with crap anymore, how many people just complain and then let it go.
    Go to the courthouse and pay $50 to file a small court claim, you have all their info.
    When you win, file a lien on any property they own, make sure to have the papers delivered by the sheriff.
    You will be surprised the outcome, works for me, they pay fast.
    For bad checks, I take mine to the prosecuting attorneys office, I don't know what kind of letter they send to the dead beats,
    but I get my money fast.
  17. theblackvixen

    theblackvixen Eat, drink, and be merry!

    And this is why I ALWAYS tell people to send me payments through the "goods and services" option ONLY. People abuse this kind of stuff :/ If someone insists on sending you money through friends and family when selling, say no and kindly ask them to send it via goods and services. If they don't comply, walk away! Sorry to hear this happened to you! :/ People sure can suck :(
  18. TurkeyHill Wildlife

    TurkeyHill Wildlife New Member

    What is the address you sent it to? Maybe its my next door neighbor!!
  19. Silverose01

    Silverose01 Proud member of LTBBOI

    Who was the scammer? Wouldn't want them buying from or trying to sell to me
  20. AsylumArtwork

    AsylumArtwork Instagram @AsylumArtwork

    This person was a guy named Gary from Portland, Oregon. I don't think he is a member of this site, and the items he purchased from me were all diaphonized specimens, not traditional taxidermy items.
    But I just wanted to use this instance as an example of what could happen when people pay you thru the "Friends and Family" option of PayPal. I know there are many PayPal transactions happening on this site daily, so I wanted to give everyone a heads up to hopefully save someone the hassle and frustration of getting scammed in this manner. :)