eBay user since 2011 with feedback of 1 just paid for my item. ship it?
December 5, 2013 8:43 AM   Subscribe

I sold a piece of electronics equipment on eBay for $130. The winning bidder, who has been a registered user of eBay since 2011, has a feedback rating of 1. The buyer promptly paid via Paypal. I dont see any indication that the buyer's shipping address is PayPal confirmed. eBay says I'm eligible for 'seller protection'. Should I ship it?

I'm concerned about getting ripped off. I know that every eBay user has to start *somewhere* in terms of raising their feedback but I'm a little wary of shipping the product out only to have the recipient claim they never received it and ask for a refund. A user since 2011 with a feedback of 1 smells like a hijacked account to me.

For what its worth, I plan on shipping via FedEx.

According to PayPal I'm eligible for 'seller protection' but don't really know what that means.

How should I handle the situation
posted by neilkod to Work & Money (11 answers total)
Also, should I reach out to the bidder and tell them that there is a delay in shipping the item while I try and resolve a course of action?
posted by neilkod at 8:46 AM on December 5, 2013

I'd ship it and make sure I have solid tracking information. If memory serves, I believe you have the ability to set the requirement of only shipping to confirmed addresses. If you didn't do that, I think the bargain you signed up for is to ship to whoever paid for your item. They paid. You ship. The tracking information should cover you if things go south.
posted by craven_morhead at 8:51 AM on December 5, 2013 [7 favorites]

I have been an Ebay member since 2001 and I have 33 feedback. I would be very annoyed if I promptly paid you and you refused to ship me my item. Not everyone who uses Ebay uses it often.
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 8:51 AM on December 5, 2013 [46 favorites]

Should I ship it?

Well, you don't really have a choice. You sold the item and the buyer has paid for the item. Shipping it is not optional. If you refuse to ship, you are opening yourself up to negative feedback and possible repercussions from eBay if you fail to ship too often.

According to PayPal I'm eligible for 'seller protection' but don't really know what that means.

The PayPal Seller Protection is documented here. Note, there are very specific instructions on how to ship the item to qualify for Seller Protection.
posted by saeculorum at 8:52 AM on December 5, 2013 [3 favorites]

I've been an eBay member since... I don't know, 1999? I've bought 2 items and sold 1. No one ever hassled me about my lack of previous transactions or feedback. Why don't you just contact the buyer to confirm the address, and get delivery confirmation when you ship?
posted by Kriesa at 8:53 AM on December 5, 2013 [5 favorites]

looks like all I need to do is FedEx the item to the seller's address on the transaction page and ensure that it reaches 'delivered' status.

From the seller protection documentation:

You ship the item to the shipping address listed on the PayPal Transaction Details page. If you’re not selling on eBay, make sure you ship to a Confirmed Address. This means that you’re shipping to an address that PayPal has validated to help reduce chances of fraud.

Do I need to create the FedEx label via ebay's interface or can I do it on my own? I typically FedEx through my employer so I can receive their discount.
posted by neilkod at 8:59 AM on December 5, 2013

If you pay for insurance on the shipped package, even if it's claimed to be lost and you have to issue a refund, you can still get your money back. That happened to my husband once, when a buyer on a $600 synthesizer claimed it never arrived. Yeah, the guy was probably lying, but we got the money back from UPS so it wasn't really a big deal.
posted by something something at 9:07 AM on December 5, 2013

You can create the label on your own, but make sure that you update the transaction on eBay and Paypal with the tracking number.
posted by sm1tten at 10:05 AM on December 5, 2013 [1 favorite]

Try to document the condition of the electronic device before shipping. Take tons of photos, against a reference point if possible (i.e. if it's a phone, print out the ebay sales receipt and take photos of the phone in its current condition on top of that piece of paper.)

The worry isn't only that they say it doesn't arrive, but that they say it arrived broken, and send it back to you. Only they keep the phone you sent (in good condition) and switch it out for a broken one which is sent back to you.

Try to document the working condition as best as possible ahead of time. It would be slightly less worrisome if it was a random trinket or object instead of an electronic device.

Insure the package, document the device, confirm address with seller. Then cross your fingers.
posted by barnone at 10:25 AM on December 5, 2013

Nthing that a low feedback score versus time as an eBay member does not necessarily mean anything. I've been a member of Ebay since 2005 and I've bought a grand total of four items. Some people just don't buy a lot of stuff on eBay, but like to have the option.
posted by katyggls at 4:05 PM on December 5, 2013

You run the risk of losing the item. My story of such a loss is here. I do not know if eBay's policies have changed, but I no longer sell things there.
posted by procrastination at 7:21 PM on December 5, 2013

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