Wednesday, October 19, 2011

On time yet still too late / Is Paypal protecting the seller or the buyer?

On time yet still too late

Barry Trengove went from London to New York to be an art director for I. Miller, the classy American shoe company in the 1960's. He arrived on Friday and went to the office.
The company was moving over the weekend and he wanted to check on where to report on Monday.

Passing down the corridor, he noticed that the walls were hung with the original shoe illustrations done by Andy Warhol for advertising campaigns in the 1950s. The movers were shifting out furniture and had begun to stack the pictures in a corner. Finding the foreman, Barry inquired what was happening to them

"They will be thrown away tomorrow", he said.
"Um", said Barry, "I quite like them".
"Well," said the foreman, "come in the morning at nine, five bucks and they're all yours."

Barry didn't sleep all night. He was back there bang on nine. "Sorry," said the foreman, "the rubbish was collected earlier than expected."

[The art of looking sideways: Warhol's Shoes]

Is Paypal protecting the buyer or the seller?

This is a tricky question. In my opinion - and in the opinion of a number of sellers burned recently - the answer is: neither!

Let me just share with you a true event: a local (Sydney) seller has listed his Rolex on eBay. The watch was sold to another local - a buyer who was happy to pay with Paypal.

The money was transferred to the seller, and as a precaution, he immediately withdrew the money from his Paypal account to his personal bank account.

Shortly after, the buyer contacted the seller asking if it would be possible to collect the watch to save on shipping. The seller was happy to oblige - after all, the buyer was doing him a favor. Personal delivery would ensure that the buyer has received the
watch, the transaction would be settled, and the seller could not be liable or open
to eventual Paypal investigation due to non-delivery or loss in transit.
So our seller agreed to hand the watch over in person.

Again, as a smart seller, at the delivery, he took the buyer's details: copy of the driver's license, phone number - he even took the photo of the buyer himself -and his car! Done deal!

By the time he arrived home, there was an email from Paypal: the transaction has been reversed - and Paypal took the money back from his personal account (as they are allowed to do according to Paypal agreement). Reason: fraudulent transaction! The "buyer" paid for the watch with a credit card which belongs to the victim of an online fraud - and once the victim realised what happen, his bank contacted Paypal.

So our seller lost his Rolex to a local scammer.

Being scammed online is painful, but being scammed IN PERSON is even more so. If you think that Paypal is there to protect you, then think twice. (In defense, Paypal said that seller would have been protected if the watch was shipped, but not when personally delivered!).

Unscrupulous people are out there to outsmart you, me, innocent victims, the banks and Paypal.

Be careful who you are dealing with - both face to face and online, 'Having the Paypal money in your bank account' is no longer safe. The Paypal money is NOT real money! It is a mere agreement between Paypal and your bank, and in case of fraud, it could take months to determine who is the victim and who is the scammer.


Happy collecting,

Nick Hacko

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