Seller Responsibility
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Verbose Collector

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:35 am 
 

I was wondering if some of the resellers here could give me some insight into something I have wondered about. I often see comments like "We are NOT responsible for any items lost or damaged if insurance isn't purchased" in auctions. Is this accurate or enforceable? I was under the impression that it is the responsibility of the seller to get the item to you. Is this one of those blanket disclaimers that can not be enforced and is added more as a bluff? Thanks for any responses. Not an urgent or even currently relevant question "for me that is" but I was looking at an auction and got to wondering.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:47 am 
 

Marlith wrote:I was wondering if some of the resellers here could give me some insight into something I have wondered about. I often see comments like "We are NOT responsible for any items lost or damaged if insurance isn't purchased" in auctions. Is this accurate or enforceable? I was under the impression that it is the responsibility of the seller to get the item to you. Is this one of those blanket disclaimers that can not be enforced and is added more as a bluff? Thanks for any responses. Not an urgent or even currently relevant question "for me that is" but I was looking at an auction and got to wondering.


It depends. If you have paid by Paypal, the seller has to prove that the item has arrived to you in the mail via Delivery Confirmation.  If not Paypal automatcally finds in your favor and will charge back against the sellers account all of the money you paid or at least as much as they can.  Now if you pay some other way, then it becomes much more complicated.  To be honest I am not sure what EBay's policy is in regards to proving delivery.  Being that they are really the same company, I would imagine that the rules would be the same, but being on EBay for over 6 years, I have learned to not expect anything to make any sense. :roll:   Even if EBay's policy is the same there really isn't much they can do to get you your money back outside of hitting the seller with a non-performing seller strike.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 6:54 am 
 

I was sure in the early days of eBay there was a rule that forbade items from being sold "as is".
Removing that would appear to have rendered the "item received not significantly as described" process somewhat moot in such cases.

As far as I can tell, eBay permits and distances itself from pretty much all seller disclaimers although their handling appears to be very uneven.
*
For example, I'm not sure what would happen should a "We are NOT responsible for any items lost or damaged if insurance isn't purchased" meet a claim for goods not received (where eBay now often appears to be siding with the buyer where there is no package traceability).

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:02 pm 
 

If you take payment through PayPal the entire transaction is the responsibility of the seller, regardless of whether or not the buyer managed to convince you to ship M-bag or Donkey & Camel Express.

The only way to guard yourself against having to give the buyer his money back in a PayPal transaction is to ship recorded delivery from a confirmed PayPal address to a confirmed PayPal address. Then you are covered by PayPal's Seller Protection Policy.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 12:07 pm 
 

If as a seller you accept a buyers payment by paypal, you ARE responsible for getting the goods there and in good condition or paypal can come and swoop down and refund the buyer without too much hassle.  As a seller, I've never had this happen (I ship everything I can with delivery confirmation, and everything expensive or fragile with insurance automatically, plus if there was a problem I'd most like have refunded already)  BUT... as a buyer, I've now had 3 cases where I've filed against sellers who "supposedly" sent the item, but it never arrived and they had no proof of shipment.  I was refunded fully in 2 cases, and partially in the 3rd.  I felt bad since these sellers claimed they actually sent the items out, but honestly without a delivery confirmation number ($.55 at the most, cheaper if you print your own postage) I had no idea if they were lying or not

  


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:00 pm 
 

Reindeergamez wrote:cheaper if you print your own postage

8O You can do that?  Here I've been a sucker all these years buying stamps!  :lol:

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:07 pm 
 

deimos3428 wrote:
Reindeergamez wrote:cheaper if you print your own postage

8O You can do that? Here I've been a sucker all these years buying stamps! :lol:

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 1:35 pm 
 

For my own sales, I package items so they WON'T get damaged.  I feel that is the seller's responsibility.  Likewise I add delivery confirmation.  If something still didn't arrive and it wasn't the buyer's fault (incorrect address) or my fault (screwed something up) and there was no insurance . . . I'd probably still make it up to them.  But this could be a hard decision . . . what if it was a $100 item and the post office just lost it . . . (hopefully, I'll never be up against that).  

As far as the original statement - it can be taken in two ways.  The seller could just require you to get insurance in the first place.  End of story.

However, it can basically be interpreted as:  You can save $1.30 (or $2.20 or whatever), but don't come complaining to me if it doesn't work out.  In a way, you can sort of side with the seller.  Rather than making you fork over money that is most likely going to be wasted, they are letting you opt out and take a risk.  It's not really a risk if you don't accept the consequences . . .

Of course, this isn't how I would treat one of my own sales, but I can see their point of view.  Insurance is a rip off (so are extended warranties on appliances, but we all know that . . . right?  :D  )

I have never had anything lost in the mail or significantly damaged.  I just took a quick look at the feedback I have received from sellers - it's 489.  I very seldom get multiples from the some seller, so let's say I've received 450 different packages from ebay transactions.  If they were all insured for the minimum amount ($1.30) then I would be out $585 !!!!.  Almost $600 straight down the toilet!  Hell, I could buy a PotVQ and have it completely shredded into confetti during transit and I would still be ahead!

That's why I don't buy insurance.  Someday, I may have something never arrive and the seller refuse to refund.  Perhaps, I even paid with a check or money order . . . I can find some solace in the fact that in the long run, I am still ahead for making a blanket policy to never buy insurance.


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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 2:05 pm 
 

I have sent over 1000 items around the world and lost 2, one to eastern Canada and one to Italy.  That's a pretty good record.  I only insure items if the buyer specifically asks for it, insurance on international items often slows shipping and usually gets customs to hold it for a few days.

Canada post now offers insurance for free for items less than $100.00 and long as they are less than 2.2 lbs so I do take advantage of that. (its automatic so what the hell).

The insurance offered for items over $100.00 is probably not worth it, the tactic sellers use is just an out incase the item arrives banged up.  Sellers must take responsibility for packing items well.  I bought a few mods off of bclarkie recently and I tell you, unless a truck ran over that package those mods could not have been damaged in transit.  I got insurance on that one just because It was expensive, not again I think.

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 5:19 pm 
 

harami2000 wrote:
deimos3428 wrote: 8O You can do that? Here I've been a sucker all these years buying stamps! :lol:

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Ah yes, I use Endicia http://www.endicia.com just for the added features of them keeping a searchable postage record for me.  (I'm actually horribly unorganized, and without all of my little tools I'd have chaos going on with my ebay sales)  It easily pays for itself for me.  =)

  

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Post Posted: Thu Oct 13, 2005 11:15 pm 
 

Thank you for all the replies. This is not concerning a specific transaction. I just notice comments like that more and more and it was my thinking that unless they can prove that an item was received then they have to be responsible.


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Post Posted: Fri Oct 14, 2005 1:58 am 
 

If I ship an item and the person doesn't buy insurance, then they're SOL. Sorry, but I know I shipped it, and have no idea if it actually arrived or not.

Most items get shipped with $100 insurance for free, so it's unlikely to be a concern most of the time. The only stuff that doesn't get shipped with insurance is stuff that goes oversized lettermail ($3 shipping). If that goes missing, that's unfortunate, but not my fault, and thus not something I feel I should pay for.

I've had a few packages dissapear, and have (so far) always given refunds or replacements. The only thing I haven't given a full refund for is a package I sent to Italy that came back after 13 attempted deliveries. I sent it with tracking, so PP can't come after me. That guy is (once he bothers to reply to the eBay complaint he filed) going to get a refund equal to whatever he paid, minus shipping and my fees (which'll be something like $70). I shipped it to the address he provided, so it's his mistake. I'd feel bad for him, if he wasn't such an idiot.

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