Getting my money back from ebay auction?
March 26, 2008 3:51 PM   Subscribe

I bought an item on ebay, and almost 3 weeks after I paid it hasn't arrived. I've tried to contact the seller to get the package tracking number (since I paid extra for delivery confirmation) through his paypal email address (bounced back) and through ebay's messaging system (did not respond). I don't think I'm ever going to get the item, and at this point I'd like to get my money back as quickly and with as little hassle as possible. Should I initiate a dispute with my credit card company, ebay, or Paypal?
posted by joshuaconner to Work & Money (15 answers total)
posted by arnicae at 3:53 PM on March 26, 2008

this happened to me. i went through paypal. it took some time (a few weeks) to get through the dispute process - the seller never responded, and they credited the money back to my account.
posted by gnutron at 3:56 PM on March 26, 2008

Paypal. Do it soon, because they have a time limit for disputes.
posted by bedhead at 3:57 PM on March 26, 2008

4th for Paypal. I've had two different eBay payment returned after disputes with Paypal with pretty minimal hassle. But yea, do it soon.
posted by Nelsormensch at 4:03 PM on March 26, 2008

Response by poster: Thanks, mefites! Dispute filed.
posted by joshuaconner at 4:18 PM on March 26, 2008

paypal, paypal, paypal. I have had this happen to me several times and paypal treats me right each time.
posted by munchingzombie at 4:31 PM on March 26, 2008

Why not do both - the credit card company, then PayPal? I know PayPal is all proud of their (imperfect but there) dispute resolution policy, but credit cards are supposed to be good for this too, yes?

In other words, WHY go through PayPal rather than the credit card company?
posted by amtho at 5:09 PM on March 26, 2008

Paypal's fine, since you're the buyer.

At least you're a buyer; sellers get the short end of the stick, as the Paypal Seller Protection Programme has pretty stringent conditions for a particular transaction to be eligible.

Some relevant information regarding deadlines:

You can open a dispute in the Resolution Centre within 45 calendar days of payment. By opening a dispute, you are able to communicate directly with your seller to work out a problem transaction.


To help ensure that problem transactions are addressed within a reasonable period of time, you must close or escalate your dispute to a PayPal claim within 20 days. After 20 days, your dispute will automatically close.

Via the PayPal Help Centre. You may need to log in to see the details.
posted by WalterMitty at 5:11 PM on March 26, 2008

Don't forget to leave negative feedback. That gets a seller's attention.
posted by trinity8-director at 5:14 PM on March 26, 2008

On ebay, that is.
posted by trinity8-director at 5:14 PM on March 26, 2008

If you paid using a credit card in Paypal, I'd just call the credit card company.
posted by zippy at 7:43 PM on March 26, 2008

Escalate the dispute to a claim immediately.

Feedback should be left after everything is over. You can't leave accurate feedback until there's nothing else left to be done -- and once you've already left the neg, that bit of leverage is gone.

Though, if the PayPal address is bouncing, I think the seller has abandoned the eBay/PayPal business and they're not coming back.

If, for some reason, the PayPal claim doesn't work out for you, you can file a dispute with the credit card. But PayPal will probably be more efficient and once there's a dispute with the credit card, PayPal drops your dispute and lets the credit card people take care of it. IIRC, if you're in the USA, the deadline for disputing with the card is 60 days after the statement date for the statement on which the charge appears (double check this -- it's probably in the small print on the back of the statement)
posted by winston at 7:46 PM on March 26, 2008

In other words, WHY go through PayPal rather than the credit card company?

Anecdotal evidence suggests that if you go through the credit card company as a first resort, PayPal may close your account in retaliation. If you want to keep using PayPal in the future, I'd file a dispute then immediately escalate it to a claim, like winston says.
posted by hades at 8:13 PM on March 26, 2008

Don't forget that PayPal takes about 1 or 2 months to resolve the dispute,.
I filed a PayPal dispute and it took forever and they screwed me and never refund me the money. By then the deadline to report the dispute to the Credit card company has already been passed.

My suggestion is just contact the bank and initiate a charge back.
posted by WizKid at 8:53 AM on March 27, 2008

if you go through the credit card company as a first resort, PayPal may close your account in retaliation.

They don't do this anymore. I don't know if they ever did but it did used to be in their terms of use that they may do this -- but the MasterCard/Visa objected. But they do cancel your PayPal dispute/claim as soon as you dispute through the card. So if you use PayPal's system first, you've got two shots at disputing it. Just don't let the deadline for the credit card dispute go by if you haven't received a refund from PayPal yet.
posted by winston at 12:41 PM on March 28, 2008

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