First "Foreign" Purchase: Normal vs. INR?

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  1. I would love some advice on 2-3 Qs (at the bottom of this post). Background:

    I ordered a pair of shoes off of eBay from an Australian seller on 04/02. Shipping was around $30 USD (which is fair). Listing says, will ship within 3 business days of payment. No indication in the description that there would be any delay at all. (Est. arrival was 4/12 or so, but I don't know whether eBay was accounting for the international shipping, or presuming Australia.)

    A few days later, the seller was kind enough to message me and tell me that postal only comes in the third week of each month, so I would receive the shoes in May. She said that she would upload tracking as soon as it shipped. I was a little annoyed because this was not previously disclosed, but I also wasn't in a rush, and I appreciated her reaching out to me about it.

    A few days ago, I checked in to request the tracking. She confirmed that the package had been picked up, and she would give me tracking once she herself received it from the postal company.

    Early morning yesterday, I followed up with, that's great, thank you, just following up re: tracking number. No response as of yet.

    I do keep saying "she," but the seller is a storefront / consignment business vs. selling from a personal closet.

    I'm hoping she sends the tracking my way soon, but I also read a lot of posts about purchases starting like this and then going awry. She was nice enough to reach out a few days after the sale to let me know that there would be a delay - but I had to follow up, and still no tracking. I'm not usually particularly picky with regard to my eBay purchases, but I'm starting to get a "funny feeling."

    The questions:

    1. Am I being paranoid, or is this the usual mode of business with int'l sellers? Maybe best tact is sit tight and lay off the internet horror stories :smile:

    2. If it ends up INR, I have heard that those are best filed via PayPal -- but what if you file INR with PayPal, they scurry and get tracking uploaded, and when you receive the item, it is seriously SNAD (fake, very beat up, etc.)? I remember reading stories about sellers who intentionally waited until a buyer filed INR to send the item, and this somehow prevented the buyer from being able to then file SNAD once received.

    3. If I never receive tracking, should I file INR now to push things along / grab seller's attention, or just hang on until end of May, when it would actually be INR?

    Whew! Sorry so long! I appreciate any advice anyone here may have.
  2. I don't know where your seller is selling from but the but the third week in each month sounds pretty weird. It also sounds a bit weird that she has to wait for the tracking - that is usually given upon shipping. IMO, a seller who lives in such a remote area should either not be selling on eBay or should make it very clear in the listing. You have been patient enough. Time to file an INR. Either eBay or Paypal are fine for INR's. Because it is weird, I would go with eBay because I do think they have your back a little more than Paypal.
  3. Yes, I agree, file the INR now before it becomes too late to file. Keep it open until you receive the item and it is as described. Don't close it if the seller uploads a tracking number; wait until you get it.
  4. i would start the 'item not received' process. it could be a situation where she/company doesn't even have the item in hand, so waiting for the postal service or tracking is an excuse to delay b/c she has to get the item shipped from another location or something. i have always had very good experiences, thankfully, with foreign purchases, but i limit myself to sellers that use EMS ... a shipping option that shows immediate tracking upon payment. similar to Fedex, UPS. i hope you get this resolved :smile:
  5. If the mail is only picked up once every three weeks that should definitely be noted in her listing and the shipping time should indicate a month or so. You need to file INR ASAP.
  6. Is this an experienced seller? Does her feedback indicate slow shipping or any implications of strange transactions?

    I think you've been way more patient than you needed to be.

    I also wonder whether the seller realizes that she loses seller protection by taking so long to ship or if (OTOH) she's a scammer hoping time will run out for the buyer to file a dispute.
  7. At this point, you should file an INR...

    If your item should arrive, you can always close the dispute, but until then,
    protect yourself by filing.
  8. Thank you, all. It can be a tough call in terms of being too rash vs. too patient.

    I filed INR with eBay this morning (I saw recent posts describing issues with PayPal INR, I know that eBay can take a little longer, but I don't think I'm going to get a response anyway). I may have been just in time for this, if it is 30 days. Even if I had longer, it's not great having the money tied up while I sit and wait.

    I thought the once-a-month pick-up seemed odd, or if it is true, then it absolutely needs to be disclosed in listings...

    This seller has been a member of eBay since August 2013, but I don't know whether that says much. All reviews are positive (and very good), especially in the last six months - although I'm now noticing that she sold a lot of heel tips for designer shoes in the past. She currently has other items for sale in a similar price point to mine.

    If she doesn't upload any tracking in the next few days, I would guess that she never actually shipped.
  9. A) I have a good friend who lives in the bush, and even they have regular delivery! I can't imagine where this woman would have to live to have once-a-month delivery. Does she mention on her listing where in Australia she is?

    B) I know from my friend sending me stuff that she has to show proper ID to even send a parcel overseas. And the ID gets logged on the customs form. That's for even minor things like Christmas ornaments. So my friend has to have a bunch of paperwork: customs form, ID check, etc done at time of posting. It would be weird to go through all that and simply not get the tracking number until a later date. I smell someone not being honest.
  10. I received two interesting responses.

    The first, via the eBay resolution center. The seller said due to holidays (Australian), the shipping service is behind on providing the tracking number, but I would have it tomorrow. I felt kind of bad, not knowing about holidays overseas. But...

    Then, I received this through regular eBay messaging (copying & pasting):

    "I have sent you an email regarding when you are expect to receive your tracking number not too long ago. If you would like to me go ahead with sending you this parcel, Ebay suggest you should close this case immediately. If not, I will have to stop the shipment and refund you. Ebay advise me to send you this email as soon as possible to have our matter settle.

    Option 1: If you would like to continue to receive the Ferragamo Ballet Flats, please CLOSE this case immediately just so I can proceed and provide you the tracking tomorrow. However, if this case is not close I will not be able to continue with your shipment and no tracking number can be provide to you.

    Option 2: If you no longer wants the Ferragamo Ballet Flats. I will stop our shipment and refund you the money immediately.

    Hope to hear from you soon."

    It's not impossible that someone at eBay told her this, or maybe eBay has different policies outside of the U.S., but how can she stop a shipment that was allegedly picked up ~2 weeks ago?

    And it may not matter at this point - am I crazy for thinking that I'm safest declining to close the case, accepting the refund, and finding the shoes elsewhere?
  11. Do not close the case!!!! If you do, you can't open a new one. You should only close the case if you receive the item. Your seller is a scammer. She purposely sent you that email outside of the case. Call ebay and tell them to look at her message. She should be reported.

    ETA: Also, do not communicate with the seller outside of the Resolution center.
  12. DO NOT close the case. Get them from a refund.

    Care to post the auction link? I have a feeling they are scammers or drop shippers of fake stuff from China
  13. I agree with everyone here. I live in Australia too and this is super dodgy. What she said about postage tracking being behind in Australia because of holidays is rubbish, that doesn't happen ever.

    Definitely DO NOT close the case!

    Hopefully she is not trying to scam you, and is just a drop shipper waiting for a shipment from China or something, but what she has said to you is really strange and definitely not the hallmarks of a trustworthy seller.

    May I also ask how much the item is worth?
  14. I agree. Too many strange things here. It has been a full month since you ordered and presumably the item still hasn't shipped yet. Often things that don't start well don't end well either. I'd just take the refund and look elsewhere.

    And to answer your question in your first post, no this is not normal for international purchases. Typically things get shipped right away and may take an extra day or two in customs but it is not much different than a domestic transaction.
  15. As suggested, do not close the case & don't think you are being rash either.
    You bought these shoes & paid for them in good faith, they should have been
    shipped by now with tracking....

    Get your refund & just keep looking for the ballet flats elsewhere.
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