Do you sell saddles or other high-value items through eBay, PayPal, or both? Then you need to read this scary cautionary tale from Stacey Kimmel-Smith.
From Stacey’s Behind the Bit blog:
This is is a warning to folks who sell expensive, delicate items — like saddles — on Ebay
I am in the midst of a dispute regarding an eBay transaction, on a saddle I sold in October. After 10 years of successful transactions on Ebay, I’m learning a hard lesson. At the moment, it seems like sellers are not well protected on eBay.
Would you send your saddle out on a 45-day trial to a stranger? Me neither. And I didn’t understand that this is a possibility with an Ebay sale…
Saddle junkie and wheeler-dealer
Most of you know I’m a saddle junkie, and I buy and sell a lot of them on eBay. I have 500 transactions in eBay, probably 15 or so were saddles in various price ranges — I have a 100% satisfaction rate. I post detailed photos, I answer questions, I measure, I try to be honest about whether I think a saddle will work based on what prospective buyers tell me. I do not take returns, though. Or at least, I didn’t think I did.
I have three saddles — and that is too much money tied up in saddles — so I put one up for sale. The saddle was in perfect condition. I took over a dozen photos and fielded many questions and requests from potential buyers.
What just happened?
Usually, buyers ask a ton of questions before making an offer. But in early October, a new eBay buyer, with no transactions, just clicked Buy It Now and bought it, no questions asked. I had a bad feeling — was this a scam? It’s hard to imagine someone shelling out $2,200 without asking any questions. But they paid, so I sold the saddle and shipped it.
Almost a month passed with no word from the buyer and then… Stacey learned a lesson in “buyer beware” the hard way. Read the rest of her eBay Chronicles on her blog: part I (above), II, III, IV and V.
Here are some lessons learned from this blogger’s experience…
- Paypal buyers have 45 days to file a claim on an item they purchased.
- There is no seller protection from a buyer claiming SNAD (significantly not as described). The burden of proof is on the seller.
- Photos are not allowed as evidence in a claim.
- Selling an item on Ebay with “no returns” will make it more likely that the buyer wins any dispute they file.
- The track record of the buyer and seller are not considered when evaluating a claim. In a dispute, don’t expect your good sales history to carry weight.
In short, Ebay and PayPal’s claims process is buyer-friendly — for the seller, not so much.
Thanks for sharing your story, Stacey. Safe shopping!
Stacey Kimmel-Smith is one of Horse Nation’s favorite writer/riders and the author of blog Behind the Bit.