I bought the same item twice from eBay, but they have no record of the first transaction. I want my item, but I only want to pay for it once.
April 12, 2011 7:27 AM   Subscribe

eBay doesn't have a record of my purchase, but PayPal does, and the payment has cleared. Will I receive my item?

On April 2, I purchased an item from a Chinese eBay retailer for $34. The PayPal payment was not scheduled to clear for eight days, so I returned to eBay yesterday to make sure it went through, but eBay had no record of the transaction.

Stupidly, I purchased another identical item from the same seller for $20, before checking my PayPal account to see whether payment for the first item had cleared. PayPal did list the first purchase, and while I wrote to the seller asking what was up, that payment cleared.

In my message to the seller, I explained that I'd like to apply the $34 to the purchase I made yesterday, but cancel the order. In other words, I'd like to receive my item (just one), and pay for it just once. The seller has refunded the $20, but has said nothing about my request. I expect there's a language barrier, but the refund notice had no message attached.

So, since eBay has no record of this transaction, should I expect to receive my item? Have I just donated $34 to this seller's PayPal account?
posted by tempest in a teapot to Shopping (7 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
You'll need to give it some time; shipping takes time. I did this the other day (same story, chinese retailer, about $25) and it took a few weeks for shipping to conclude, but I did get my thing. The payment process tracks the payment against the eBay item; if they got your money, you should get your widgets.
posted by mhoye at 7:42 AM on April 12, 2011

Why would eBay have no record of the transaction? That makes no sense.
posted by fire&wings at 7:45 AM on April 12, 2011

It can take time. I've just had a paypal record not show for two weeks, when the money was in the sellers hands, and they'd shipped the item.

But I'd chase this up anyway. Try to contact them again to see whether they have received both your order and your money, and ask for confirmation of this.

If you don't get it, and the ebay record continues to show no purchase, perhaps open a dispute in the resolution center on an explicitly friendly basis. Ie contact the seller and tell them that you're only doing this because ebay is not providing you with the appropriate records. Be polite, diplomatic, considerate, etc. Include a copy of any correspondence you've sent when you open the dispute.

That should give you something to fall back on if you have to escalate it to a paypal dispute to try and get your money back later on, but will also let the seller know that you're being proactive about the matter, and are willing to pursue it if things go wrong.
posted by Ahab at 7:49 AM on April 12, 2011

Also, ebay does have customer support. It might be wiser to use this before opening a dispute. Go to customer support on the front page after signing in, and search for your problem. If there isn't an answer already there in the stock responses, hit the "contact us" button, and sift through the list of problems (I suspect you'll be "technical issues" or something). You should be able to use that to ask ebay directly (either via live help or by email or phone) why the purchase is not showing in your purchased items list.
posted by Ahab at 8:14 AM on April 12, 2011

When you say eBay had no record of the transaction, do you mean that it doesn't even show that you won an item at all? Like, under "Purchase History" in My eBay, the $34 sale doesn't exist ? Or are you just referring to the little icons that show "paid" and "shipped" and "feedback"?

If you're worried about the icons: eBay isn't doing the shipping -- the Chinese seller is. Whether or not eBay knows payment is sent, PayPal told the seller that they received payment, and the eBay item's information should be in the PayPal transaction. eBay's payment tracker misses a lot of things, so I wouldn't rely on eBay's forms to prove anything. Also, the seller themselves can manually mark and unmark things as paid, too. It may be that eBay did automatically mark it as paid, but the seller unmarked it so that they remember the payment was delayed and don't accidentally ship it too soon.

When you buy something via eBay, you're bound to it -- I don't think you've "donated" $34, you've made $54 in purchases and got refunded $20. That $34 purchase is still in process, and if you don't get it, you dispute it through PayPal. You're lucky the seller refunded the $20 -- they could get you into trouble with eBay for wanting to cancel orders, and at the very least leave you bad feedback.

Before you dispute the $34 one, if you bought it on 4/1 and there was an 8-day hold then thepayment went through 4/9 -- orders I've made with China have taken 5 weeks for delivery, and it wouldn't have been shipped before 4/9. You've got some time to wait before you claim that the order wasn't fulfilled.
posted by AzraelBrown at 9:20 AM on April 12, 2011

To clarify, eBay showed no record of the first transaction at all. I'm not concerned about shipping at all — I'm in no rush, and the seller says that items may take up to six weeks to arrive.

I've read through eBay's unpaid item policy, and submitted a request to have the unpaid item removed from the record. From the seller's prompt refund, I'm guessing they won't dispute the request and will ship them item to me for the $34, although there's still no record of this transaction on eBay.

Thanks, mhoye and Ahab. I'm less worried now.
posted by tempest in a teapot at 9:29 AM on April 12, 2011

I hope this isn't teaching you to suck eggs, but have you set the "show transactions for ..." far enough back?
posted by Solomon at 10:43 AM on April 12, 2011

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