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PostPosted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 10:59 pm 
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A listing from the member Charles Morley attracted my attention: he said he was selling a mint Thunderbird Kerry low D whistle. I exchanged e-mails with the seller and we agreed on a price of $145.00 and on a Pay Pal payment. I sent the payment that was accepted and went into the seller's Pay Pal account. After one hour the seller sent me an e-mail complaining that Pay Pal had charged him a $5.00 dollars fee for the transaction. He said that he had "rejected the payment" and he asked me to re-send the sum of $145.00 to him using the "family and friends" Pay Pal option that does not charge a fee. I double-checked my Pay Pal account and realized that the seller didn't send me any refund. The money from the original payment was still in his Pay Pal account. So I wrote him an e-mail informing him that I had not received the money back, and asked him to issue a regular refund, before re-sending him the money a second time with the "Friends and Family" option. I got no reply from him, and I got no refund. I sent him two more e-mails, again insisting to get the refund, and again I got no answers and no refund. I contacted Pay Pal customer service and asked for assistance, and they confirmed me that the seller not only had not "refused" my payment, but he accepted it and he was keeping it into his account. They recommended me to open a Pay Pal Case, which I did. Only then, I got my money back. I am reporting this story because I believe that the business ethics of this forum member are questionable. Thanks.
(Note: I have the seller's e-mail requesting a second payment and my e-mails asking him to issue first a refund for the first payment, they are available to moderators if needed).

[EDIT: thread moved here from UIE. Under consideration by Mods.]


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:19 am 
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Actually, I have had positive experiences and good communication with Charles Morley (Alabama, I think? User "Cathal Morley" on C&F) over the years, since at least 2006.

I think most likely there was a misunderstanding about his use of the payment method, so he didn't expect the PayPal charge. Probably not a frequent user, & certain accounts used to not have charges deducted for personal (vs. business) sales.

I had a similar experience with a frustrated new eBay seller recently, in which they were unfamiliar with how the sale worked. In that case, it was because eBay charges me (the buyer) California sales tax to receive the item, and the seller was confused about the amount he was to receive. He did refund me, but because I had purchased through PayPal using my credit card (not a PayPal balance or bank account debit), the refund was to my credit card. He then billed me for the total amount with tax, an amount he was not entitled to, as eBay takes care of the tax. Too much confusion & we mutually agreed to cancel the sale. For eBay, the seller was still charged their Final Value Fee.

No transaction was recorded with PayPal - I had to examine my online bank statement for the card to see it credited back.

Tell you what, if you still want the whistle, I will personally guarantee your payment should the transaction not be to your satisfaction.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 2:25 am 
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I will remind people that the "Friends & Family" option of PayPal provides no recourse for undelivered products, which is why we usually advise against it unless that person really is well-known to you, or you can afford to lose those funds.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:05 am 
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If I'm asked to use friends & family, I walk away.

It's obvious that there will be a fee to use a service provided by a company, whether internet or otherwise.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:13 am 
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Yes I agree that it is dangerous to use the Pay Pal "friends and family" option to send a payment to a person you do not know, because there is zero protection offered by Pay Pal with this option. In my case (my bad) I was inclined to take the risk because usually forum members here are people that can be trusted. But to expect, as the seller did in my case, to receive a second payment for the same sum BEFORE refunding the first payment, was absurd. The seller dismissed my e-mails, did not refund me and didn't even care to respond, until Pay Pal intervened. And he was even upset that he had to do that, because he added to the refund the note : "MATTER CLOSED". Yes, as you can guess, the matter was closed and no transaction happened anymore. And...all this mess for a five dollars fee?. For sure I will look elsewhere for my pre-owned low D.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:37 am 
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gerardo1000 wrote:
But to pretend, as the seller did in my case, to receive a second payment for the same sum BEFORE refunding the first payment, was absurd.

"pretend"? - Did you mean "request" in this context?

True, one should properly process the refund first, before going ahead with any corrected transaction. BTW, by using PayPal to send money to the seller's email address, there is no way to "refuse" it. The seller can only refund it. I think the PayPal agent you utilized misspoke. Of course, refunds still result in a penalty charge to the seller, so that $5 wasn't enough of a loss for him to incur so much excitement. I continue to think it was just a mistake by a novice seller.

I don't know what the timeframe was for your communications, but I suspect it might not have been long enough for the seller to understand what was going on and to respond appropriately. I sense some clarity of language problems might also have exacerbated the frustration level.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 5:54 am 
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Yes, I edited my comment replacing the word "pretend" with "expect" which is more appropriate. Regarding the possibility that the seller did not have enough time to respond and/or refund: he had the chance to respond to three of my e-mails, not just one. In my second e-mail, I even said that all this was probably a big misunderstanding and that I was hopeful that he was going to issue the refund. But he did not respond to any of my attempts. More over, he declared that he "rejected" my first payment which is not possible because, as you say, there is no option on Pay Pal to "refuse a payment": there is only the option to refund. Which he did not, even if I patiently asked him to do it for three times. But...guess what, as soon as I opened a Pay Pal case, the refund arrived promptly.... in the best case scenario, this seller should learn how to deal with a potential buyer and learn to follow some basic ethical norms as, for example, respond to buyer's inquires about a refund, and respect other's people money without playing with it. It took me a lot of stress, a lot of time, several hours of wait, two phone calls to Pay Pal, to finally resolve the issue.... the seller didn't have the right to behave this way.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 7:35 am 
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I do believe that I bought something from him a while back. Everything was fine.

Not defending his actions, but I remember when I was new to Ebay and PayPal and confused by how everything worked. People had to be patient with me.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 10:05 am 
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A little while back the paypal buyer protection only applied to sales through ebay so it didn't really matter if you used F&F -- you were not protected anyway. If in europe, I'd prefer bank transfer, which is free of charge in the EU. But I had one case where I bought something, got a refund (I no longer remember the exact reasons) but then bought it again and paypal charged me twice, because it took a while till the refund was processed. So paypal was quicker to take the money from my account than to process the refund. All went well in the end.


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:18 pm 
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I'm finding this thread most enlightening. It has helped me to understand something about PayPal and, more importantly, something about the different ways it may be looked at.

A while back, I sold one of my CDs to a member here - I won't embarrass him by saying who, because his actions were so charming and in character, if you knew who he was - and he added, without my asking, a reasonably significant sum to what I had requested from him "hoping that this will cover PayPal and any other fees you may incur". Now there was a true gentleman.

But different people have different, and equally valid perspectives on the vagaries of PayPal and, indeed, life. (Sorry - I've gone all philosophical this evening, it seems.)

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 04, 2020 3:27 pm 
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I know a German watch collectors forum where literally everybody asks for payment with paypal F&F, since nobody is a "professional" seller but many people like to "flip" watches. I am not really sure that this is legal however. I'd always prefer bank transfer if possible.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 9:56 am 
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I bought a whistle from a guy who asked for an extra $5 after I failed to send the money Friends and Family. I just apologized and sent the extra money to make up for the fee. He was already giving me a deal, and the way I saw it, he did not receive the agreed upon price, so he was entitled to get those last few dollars.

It might be wise to treat fees like shipping costs. Those aren't assumed, but rather stated up front or negotiated prior to sale (shipping included in price, plus shipping and handling, etc.).

If you don't want to do that, sending a bit of extra money to make sure the fees are covered is pretty easy to do through Paypal. It tells you exactly how much the seller will receive. Think of it as buying your peace of mind.

In short, if the seller agrees to sell something for $200, I think it's reasonable for the seller to expect $200, rather than $195. As for the original post, it definitely sounds like confusion around how Paypal works combined with poor communication. Buying and selling used can be stressful. There's always a bit of worry involved, but I've always had positive experiences here.

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 10:31 am 
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Haven't seen this mentioned yet, but PayPal policy expressly prohibits the use of F&F for purchases such as those conducted here. In fact, if you are caught doing this they will disable your account - probably both parties. When I buy from someone using PayPal I offer to pay the extra 3%. To be honest, the convenience of PayPal is worth a few bucks to me.

Pat

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:21 pm 
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plunk111 wrote:
Haven't seen this mentioned yet, but PayPal policy expressly prohibits the use of F&F for purchases such as those conducted here. In fact, if you are caught doing this they will disable your account - probably both parties. When I buy from someone using PayPal I offer to pay the extra 3%. To be honest, the convenience of PayPal is worth a few bucks to me.

Pat


I agree with plunk111. Why mess with Friends and Family since it strictly prohibits commercial transactions? I was surprised there was any refund given. I do understand $5 to me may be far less that $5 to someone else though. I do remember my being humbled by my relative sense of frugality some years ago at a Target store where a couple were anxiously discussing if they could actually afford a pair of $2 shoelaces for their kid. Volunteering to pay the percentage to the seller sounds like a good option if we can afford it.


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 05, 2020 2:38 pm 
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busterbill wrote:
plunk111 wrote:
Haven't seen this mentioned yet, but PayPal policy expressly prohibits the use of F&F for purchases such as those conducted here. In fact, if you are caught doing this they will disable your account - probably both parties. When I buy from someone using PayPal I offer to pay the extra 3%. To be honest, the convenience of PayPal is worth a few bucks to me.

Pat


I agree with plunk111. Why mess with Friends and Family since it strictly prohibits commercial transactions? I was surprised there was any refund given. I do understand $5 to me may be far less that $5 to someone else though. I do remember my being humbled by my relative sense of frugality some years ago at a Target store where a couple were anxiously discussing if they could actually afford a pair of $2 shoelaces for their kid. Volunteering to pay the percentage to the seller sounds like a good option if we can afford it.


I didn't realize it was strictly prohibited. I thought it was more for opting out of PayPal's money protections should something go wrong, since that's what the fee pays for. I always figured that whistlers here are enough of a community that I didn't mind calling them "friends", or assuming a little risk on the transaction. Good to know, though it seems like something that would be troublesome for PayPal to prove on their end for the types of infrequent, irregular purchases you'd find here.

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Or like my author page on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/NathanielDowellPhotography/


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