PayPal Buyer and Seller PROTECTION may INCREASE Buyer and Seller CONFIDENCE ONLINE, but does it ACTUALLY WORK?
Many buyer's have experienced a monetary loss through shopping online. Unlike traditional shopping, online shopping carries an element of risk as most goods are paid for before they are received or have ever been seen by the buyer. Cases of online fraud are high, even more so through online auction sites such as eBay.
Many buyers are now lulled into a false sense of security with PayPal advertising: "Free Coverage up to $1,500. See eligibility." on many seller's auctions. This however DOES NOT mean you should let your due diligence slip, always follow these three guidelines:
- Always check the source you are purchasing from to verify they have a good reputation and have been trading regularly for a period of time.
- Carefully read the item description for any terms and conditions which may effect your ability to obtain a refund if the item arrives not as described.
- Email the seller BEFORE you purchase, it is better to test their customer service before you have made a purchase than when something has gone wrong. You may find the shipping is speedy but the reply time to emails is lengthy at best.
Always remember PayPal is not known for it's customer service. You can check this for yourself simply by giving them a call on their help lines or reading the numerous stories at paypalsucks.com. PayPal is a great service at a competitve price, however you need to maintain control of all the money flowing in and out of your account to avoid any problems that may arise.
As a seller you may think you are immune to online fraud. After all how can you lose if the buyer pays before they have received the goods? Think again.
Buyers have the power to put a hold on YOUR OWN MONEY simply by filing a buyer dispute. PayPal automatically freezes the amount of money the buyer is disputing until the case is resolved. And very rarely is it resolved in the seller's favor.
Take as an example a recent case of buyer fraud that occurred to me, a buyer purchased a T-Shirt which was paid for promptly and shipped the next day with full online tracking. A couple of months later a buyer dispute is initiated and my money put on hold. I responded as requested with full tracking details that showed the item was delivered and on what date. Yet still the case was resolved in the buyers favor. PayPal DOES NOT want to upset buyers. The money was eventually returned to my account, less a $20 PayPal processing fee, when the buyer racked up numerous other disputes and was found to be committing fraud.
While I followed all the guidelines to a safe transaction I was still caught out. The only thing I can do is urge you to use common sense and caution whenever buying or selling online.