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The Strangest

Ebay seller says item not delivered - USPS says it was. What now?

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I know we have a dedicated eBay complaint thread but I’m hoping to get more traffic this way.

I sold a DS game a few weeks ago. Shipped through USPS, and I receive the attached message below. Basically dude says that the item states delivered but UPS says they don’t have it - well obviously, I didn’t ship through them. I replied back saying that I shipped with USPS, I have the tracking, receipts, etc. that it says the game was delivered a week ago, and that they should check with their local post office.

Maybe I’m too jaded of a person but I’m not sure I believe that he doesn’t have the game - is this how scams usually go down? Or is there some honest discrepancy here that I’m not seeing? I’ve always shipped promptly and never had an issue with items not being delivered.

Anyone have any idea what’ll happen if the post office tells him it’s delivered and he tries to file a claim? Am I just out the money and game then?

I guess it’s possible someone stole it off of his porch, but at the risk of sounding like an asshole, that’s not my problem. I fulfilled my end of the bargain in that scenario but I’m sure eBay will still rule in his favor.

I’m not worried about losing out here - it’s only a $20. I’m just trying to cover my bases and learn from it regardless of how it turns out.

67DEFD3F-1995-4E1E-A191-85AF963395F5.jpeg

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All tracked packages have a minimum insurance, or maybe it's just priority. Either way you should just contact the post office where it was delivered and start a case to see if something can happen to recuperate the loss.  Work under the premise that the buyer is telling the truth and do all you can to locate the package or issue them a refund via insurance, which is the responsibility of the seller. 

A paypal refund claim is usually more difficult to accomplish when the tracking shows delivered. Paypal is another route you will probably have to deal with though.  As long as you're just not a dick and show all of the information you can and you should have nothing to worry about.

Sellers do get screwed some time but that's part of the game.

Edited by samsamsamsmasmasma

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I think you're fine. If he opens a case, he'll say he never got it, ebay will ask you to provide shipping info, and tracking will say it was delivered. There is no way for him to definitively prove he never got it, but you have evidence saying he did. Good luck.

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Here's the rub- is $20 worth a negative feedback?

As a seller, it's your responsibility to assure the item reaches the buyer.   You need to take whatever precautions necessary if shit goes sideways, whether that's insurance or just chalking it up as an L when it happens since it's cheaper to just write off a handful of packages in the long run.

Is he lying?   Could be, but I've had things "confirmed delivered" that never reached my porch as well, and these days who knows.

My advice would be to ask him to give it a few days to show up in case it got misdelivered to a neighbor, etc. then offer a full refund.

Ebay will actually side with you since tracking shows delivered, but then I would bet you're getting a negative feedback which kills your search ranking on ebay.

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2 hours ago, captmorgandrinker said:

Here's the rub- is $20 worth a negative feedback?

As a seller, it's your responsibility to assure the item reaches the buyer.   You need to take whatever precautions necessary if shit goes sideways, whether that's insurance or just chalking it up as an L when it happens since it's cheaper to just write off a handful of packages in the long run.

Is he lying?   Could be, but I've had things "confirmed delivered" that never reached my porch as well, and these days who knows.

My advice would be to ask him to give it a few days to show up in case it got misdelivered to a neighbor, etc. then offer a full refund.

Ebay will actually side with you since tracking shows delivered, but then I would bet you're getting a negative feedback which kills your search ranking on ebay.

$20 is $20. One negative feedback on eBay is nothing. There's plenty of times I buy from people with less than stellar feedback because I know people can be unfair sometimes.

As a buyer, I've been in the position where an item has been "delivered" but I never received it, that's when I (the buyer) take the L. Same as when I'm a seller and USPS loses a package, I'll refund and take the L. The burden shouldn't be on the seller in every single scenario.

Hopefully it shows up in a few days and everything works out, but let an open case or one bad feedback scare you.

Edited by Aguy

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If the package has any insurance, you'll most likely need a signed statement from the buyer that the package never arrived despite tracking showing delivered. I would ask for this from the buyer now, while he is still cooperative, just in case you need it later down the line. Or look at the opportunity cost of the time and effort it will take you to recuperate the $20 and just take the loss (or negative). As Cap'n already mentioned, eBay/PayPal will side with you based on tracking.

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I have had things delivered to the wrong address and I have had things delivered to me that were not mine.  No biggie since  people (myself included) just take it to where it belongs* and explain what happened.  It usually happens with USPS but someone up a few blocks got something of mine and I got theirs on the same day from UPS - she came down a few minutes after I got "my" package and we traded.

*Usually it is someone close to me. 

I suspect that not everyone is going to be  thoughtful or honest though.

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I've experienced multiple times that a package was stated as delivered despite never receiving it. At one point they even had a scan of a signature for the delivery!
I have no idea who signed that, because I sure as hell didn't.

As a seller, it's unfortunately that you have the responsibility to make sure the package was delivered, and you are the client of the shipping service that you used, so even if the buyer wanted to take up the case with them, they aren't able to. As a person who most frequently has the role of a buyer, that's actually incredibly frustrating, because the seller usually don't have any incentive to bother taking turns with stubborn shipping companies.

To avoid any controversy I'd at least give the buyer the benefit of the doubt. They might be a scammer, but there's a chance they are telling the truth. If USPS's notice of delivery counts as "proof" that the package was delivering, you should be good. If you offered some kind of insured shipping method, and buyer actively chose a cheaper one, you're definitely good.
However, for many shipments the tracking is just a convenience factor, and not an insurance of any kind, so you might not have a case. You can prove your validity to eBay, since you do have proof that it was shipped (hopefully you also have a picture proving that it was sent to the correct address), but there's also no reason the buyer should pay for something they didn't receive. Honestly, I'd just stay honest and friendly in messages and leave it to eBay to sort it out. They'll most likely side with the buyer, but there's not a lot you can do about that. The most important thing for eBay is that it's a safe place for people to buy stuff.

Edited by Sumez

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I've had this happen last summer and I just worked the best I could with the person and assures them that if they wanted to file a claim they could. I asked them to talk to their neighbors and post carrier bc often times the post carrier knows best where the packages went.

You're responsible for the package getting to the destination and apparently it did get there. I'd send them a like to a cheap camera like WYZE that is easy to mount and has free motion sense recording. 

You just want to come off like you're on their side and not oppositional. Make them think you're in it with them. That's how I won the case and avoided negative feedback lol 

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If you shipped priority it comes with $50 insurance but since the item says delivered USPS will probably not pay that out. As it’s been said eBay pretty much always sides with a buyer unless they have a track history of making these types of claims. You can add signature confirmation in the future to avoid this but it’s like $3 a package

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I have been in this situation as the buyer before.  Tracking says delivered, but never arrived.  Delivered to the wrong address?  Not sure.  I tried to file the claim with USPS, they said the shipper needs to file the claim as they are the carrier of the insurance.  I contacted the seller, they washed their hands of it because USPS says delivered.  We both plead our case to Ebay.  Ebay ruled in my favor in the end. 

I just wanted to note that this does happen, might not mean that you are being scammed.  Also, you may not win the case.

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6 hours ago, Aguy said:

 

$20 is $20. One negative feedback on eBay is nothing. There's plenty of times I buy from people with less than stellar feedback because I know people can be unfair sometimes.

As a buyer, I've been in the position where an item has been "delivered" but I never received it, that's when I (the buyer) take the L. Same as when I'm a seller and USPS loses a package, I'll refund and take the L. The burden shouldn't be on the seller in every single scenario.

Hopefully it shows up in a few days and everything works out, but let an open case or one bad feedback scare you.

If you're a powerseller negatives are really bad for you.

I'm not saying nobody will buy from the guy, but the automated search stuff like "Best Match" which Johnny Average ebayer doesn't bother to click off of will be affected.

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Thanks for the advice everyone. I’ve heard so many horror stories from people selling games on eBay - and the dude was kind of a smart ass in his second message - so I was quick to assume a scam.

I sent a friendly message offering recourse.

Will update as things progress.

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1 minute ago, The Strangest said:

Thanks for the advice everyone. I’ve heard so many horror stories from people selling games on eBay - and the dude was kind of a smart ass in his second message - so I was quick to assume a scam.

I sent a friendly message offering recourse.

Will update as things progress.

Some people call it UPS instead of USPS for some odd reason, that's probably what he was referring to.

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So I double checked the dude’s address (should have done that last night, it was late) and the package went to general delivery at his post office. My dad worked for the USPS his whole life - he tells me they don’t mark those delivered unless someone picks them up. So, assuming that’s the case and this dude is telling the truth, there’s two options:

They marked it delivered before handing it to him.

Someone else picked it up.

Awaiting his response.

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This has happen to me before once. Buyer said he didn't receive it and opened case not on eBay but through Paypal. However, tracking info said it was delivered. After a few days, case was closed and they sided with me.

Hopefully it works out though for you! Just never know, but guess someone else picked it up without his knowledge if that is the case with your recent update.

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Another variant that has happened to me (as a buyer) is that I get a package with nothing in it.   The items have been packed poorly with room to move around inside  and they bottom out the container/envelope. This has happened to me 3 times - once the store just sent me another and the other two ebay sided with me once I showed  the pictures,

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I had a buyer say this on me once. I didn’t have to pay and if I remember eBay actually refunded him as well as a courtesy. It’s been a while though and who knows if that is actually common. 
 

Edit: In his case I believe it was delivered and stolen. 

Edited by DeuceGamer

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^I've had that happen both ways buying and selling.  Ebay sometimes I think just rationalizes customer support for both sides when they realize someone claims they didn't get something and get all emotionally worked up on the phone, but also realize the item says delivered so they don't want to wreck the seller either if they don't have a history of shenanigans either.  When I've been in the position I've called and said look it says this, but I didn't get it (or I say I shipped it, tracking shows it at their place, what to you (ebay) want to do here as I followed your rules and don't want to eat this) and it worked out.  Not saying it would for everyone but calls tend to help.

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Just an update: no update. Early yesterday morning I told the guy I definitely shipped it, what I think could have happened, and how we could proceed (following up with his local post office or filing a claim with USPS) or that he was free to bypass that and file a claim with eBay. Haven’t heard anything since.

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