Re: Thanks for the info!

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Posted by Maureen on October 27, 2002 at 17:47:25:

In reply to: Thanks for the info! posted by Heather (Moroccan Treasures) on October 27, 2002 at 13:18:41:

Hi Heather,

One mis-speak. This is not in the User Agreement. This is what a
person in the resolution department stated as the way to protect
yourself from paying for multiple items and obtaining 1 and just
ending up out of luck. So the single item order/transaction is still
the one that provides the best chance for a refund if the product is
not delivered.

The international purchases are truly truly another story. The
currency exchange piece requires close reading if you have chosen to
allow buyers to pay you with the currency of their country and have
PayPal convert that to U.S. dollars equivalent to the price. You
have to be careful when "accepting" those payments by making sure the
money paid in one currency amounts to the cost of your item in U.S.
dollars. PayPal will be converting the money based upon the rate of
exchange at the time of the transaction. You have a way of looking
at that and checking it out and agreeing or disagreeming to accept
the payment. What you don't have choice about is in case there is a
cancellation and a refund is required, the rate of exchange for the
currency is at the rate at the time of the refund. And between the
time the purchase has been made and the time the purchaser receives a
refund, you can have lost money. I didn't checkout a lot about the
International transactions. But did check into it enough to know a
real careful read is required.

Ebay is another duck altogether. It appears that ebay has a sort of
buyers protection thing for buyers using PayPal. Problem is that it
is depended upon a resolution in your favor after filing a Buyers
Complaint with PayPal. The paperwork on this one and what you are
required to send to them as evidence can have this one go on
forever. Good luck with that.

Another really cute one is PayPal's Buyers Transaction Protection is something like that. If you buy this protection
at an additional fee to the cost of the item, shipping and ordinary
PayPal fees, PayPal supposedly guarantees your satisfaction. There
are so many caveats to many to go into here...But they are
well worth reading. But what they say they are doing is purchasing
the item from the buyer at cost paid minus shipping cost and some
fee. But, if you purchase a set of 10 of something and 2 come
broken. PayPal is going to buy back the 2. So what you have is a
set of 8 that may or may not make the "set" functional.

A lot of the stuff that appears to make your transaction safe and low
risk is really smoke and mirrors with PayPal. They have a caveat
somewhere on their website to state that they are not responsible for
whatever it is their buyer' protection and security makes you think
they do have some responsibility to do and are accountible for.

There is an entire piece on the websites that have PayPal logos and
take PayPal transactions that are just money traps. There are a
number that I ran across that have PayPal in their name and an
imitated PayPal logo on their website and you pay for their products
with PayPal. One might think they had some affiliation with PayPal.
Nope!!! PayPal even has some of these money traps in the PayPal
Shops causing someone to perhaps think there is even stronger
affiliation. Nope!!! PayPal is not checking on a thing. They have
a disclaimer on the PayPal website that no one with a website using
PayPal should use the PayPal logo to pretend affliation and in anyway
other than to transaction the payments. Another disclaimer
indicating that PayPal has no responsibility or accountablity for any
transaction made in their PayPay Shops and on websites using PayPal
to facilitate payment of transactions. So if you run across and get
your money taken by one of these websites. Kiss it good-bye. Some
of these websites may have once been legitimate and have been long
out of business. Others were set up as a trap. Both have the
ability through PayPal to accept the payment. There is no way for
you to test the site without sending money and seeing if you receive
your goods.

That is why ordering one item makes a lot of sense. But this won't
protect you from folks who have a boatload of different products on
their website but who only have a handful of products in stock. That
sort of seller can send you an invoice indicating the items are back
ordered and keep you dangling until the time you have to file a
buyer's complaint has passed. PayPal expects its sellers to ship
within 7 days. So, while I don't hold anyone to the 7 day thing if
they communicate with me about what is going on...there are two
things I suggest. 1) Email the seller immediately after purchase
and request some estimated date of shipping. If you don't get a
response back right away, that is a red flag. 2) If the seller
indicates the item is back ordered but does not provide you with an
exact time frame when it will be in and states instead something like
the item is backordered and we will email you when we get it in.
That is too vague and a red flag. If after sending a seller two
emails in two days, they do not respond to flag.

Now they have gotten your money. You may or may not ever get a
refund. But to increase your chance of getting your money back,
don't wait around to long to file the complaint and when filing it,
request specifically for your refund AND that the funds you paid be
frozen in the sellers account until the dispute has been resolved.
Asking for it to be frozen will at least assure the funds are their
if the case is resolved in your favor.

PayPal can resolve a case in your favor and say that you
are "entitled" to a refund and close the case. Sounds good doesn't
it? But you will never get your money if at the time they decided
you are entitled to a refund if the funds are not in the sellers
account. All the seller has to do is accept the payment. Remove all
funds from the account. Send nothing. When the case despute is
resolved, if there is no money there at that point in time, you are
jsut out of luck. The case is closed. Even if the seller later puts
money into the same account. You are still out of luck because the
case is closed and there will be no monitoring to return your funds
from funds that later go into the sellers account. So when filing a
buyer's complaint, ask that the funds be frozen until resolution.
PayPal is not going to freeze those funds unless you ask.

Additionally, any order/transaction under $100.00 doesn't get much
attention. There is something about the $100 mark that will get the
funds frozen. However...remember the purchasing one item per one
order/transaction thing. If it is one item that costs $100 or more,
you have some chance of a refund. It it is multiple items adding up
to $100 the funds will be frozen but if the seller sends you one of
the items ordered costing %5.00, kiss our other $95.00 goodbye.

Some things to really look closely for on the websites prior to
ordering: 1) Lots of products that you can't find anywhere else and
sellin at a low price and cheap shipping. Especially, if there are
lots and lots of items that have to be imported and handmade. 2.
And this is the most important. Look for a telephone number, name,
address, email address, and information about the company or
individual. Then call the telephone number and see what you get.
When trying the telephone number, I have gotten everything from a
message that the voice mail account I was trying to access had not
been set up as yet, to wrong numbers, to disconnected telephone
numbers. When trying the email addresses provided by making inquiry
about a product, I have gotten that message that you get back when
something is wrong with the email address and I have gotten
absolutely no response whatsoever.

So look to make sure that all of the information about the owner of
that website is listed on the website: name, address, email, phone
number and some information concerning the business. If none of it
is there...and the only thing there is a list of products, price and
way to matter how well that is dressed up...there is a
problem and you should pass.

Unfortunately, that list is not so simple as do this, do that and do
the other thing. PayPal is really pretty slick in how it exhonorates
itself from any responsibility or accountablity for any transactions
it facilitates. PayPal is also nothing near diligent in any efforts
it will make to recover your money and actually does nothing to
prevent screen who gets to use those PayPal logo, shopping cart and
receive money features.

So if someone is questioning a transaction they are about to make
using those PayPal funds or echecks, feel free to email me and I will
help as much as possible with what things you might want to check out
first and things you can do to safeguard yourself with a particular

Take care.



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