Help - buyer refuses to pay customs fees!

kimalee

Member
Jul 30, 2007
17,669
19
Last week I sold a Louis Vuitton bag on ebay to a woman in the Czech Republic. She asked me to fully insure it for $900, which I did, and to mark it as a gift so that she wouldn't have to pay customs fees, which I also did. However, she emailed me this morning saying that they tried to deliver the package but wanted $227 for customs - apparently, they opened the box and saw the invoice and charged her based on that. She also did not accept it. She asked me to accept a return if she refuses to accept it - I said no, since my listing clearly states no returns and it is not my fault that they opened the package. Plus, she can't return something just because she doesn't want to pay customs, can she? Who will paypal side with if it comes to that? I don't know what to do...I really don't want to take the bag back.
Also, this doesn't really affect the situation, but she sent me a bag in return and I refunded her part of her payment, since it was sort of like a trade. I don't think that will make a difference, but i really don't know....

HELP PLEASE!
 

Babyjlo

Purse banned for 08!
Aug 7, 2007
824
0
Chicago
She can't win a dispute because she doesn't want to pay customs, Ebay and Paypal aren't going to side with people on that one. I don't know what happens in a dispute when the item gets returned like this, normally I'd suspect that you have to refund her the money less shipping but since she didn't really pay you I don't know. Does she want a refund or her bag back? Are you sure the bag she sent you is genuine?
 

kimalee

Member
Jul 30, 2007
17,669
19
She can't win a dispute because she doesn't want to pay customs, Ebay and Paypal aren't going to side with people on that one. I don't know what happens in a dispute when the item gets returned like this, normally I'd suspect that you have to refund her the money less shipping but since she didn't really pay you I don't know. Does she want a refund or her bag back? Are you sure the bag she sent you is genuine?
Yes, the bag she sent me is authentic. I called Ebay and they said that there's no way for her to open a dispute and win, since ebay's policy is that all international bidders are fully responsible for duties and taxes. The only thing that she can do now is refuse to accept it, at which point it will come back to me, and I'll have to pay double shipping. I wonder what happens if I refuse to accept it? will it go back to her?
 

designermummy

Member
Aug 7, 2007
1,569
1
39
UK
Did she pay by paypal??
If she goes through paypal unfortunately she could do a chargeback saying that her card has not been authorised. And if you sent an item to the Czech republic they do not have confirmed addresses!
 

Babyjlo

Purse banned for 08!
Aug 7, 2007
824
0
Chicago
I see on some websites that they refuse to accept packages returned as undelivered to them by customers, so I assume you can do the same, although I don't know exactly what would happen with it in the end. I guess if the tracking showed that you didn't have it back then Paypal would not find against you. I suppose you could call USPS and ask?
You should also be more careful in future sending items as gifts and then including the invoice, you could have been accused of mail fraud with that. Just tell buyers you won't mark as a gift.
 

kimalee

Member
Jul 30, 2007
17,669
19
I see on some websites that they refuse to accept packages returned as undelivered to them by customers, so I assume you can do the same, although I don't know exactly what would happen with it in the end. I guess if the tracking showed that you didn't have it back then Paypal would not find against you. I suppose you could call USPS and ask?
You should also be more careful in future sending items as gifts and then including the invoice, you could have been accused of mail fraud with that. Just tell buyers you won't mark as a gift.
Wow, I had no idea. Thanks for your help. I called USPS and they said there is nothing they could do to stop it from coming back to me. So I don't know what will happen. What happens if you're accused of mail fraud?
 

PinkSuadeSoho

Princess Grace Ave
O.G.
Jul 17, 2006
9,420
3
Spain & France
She should take full responsibility. That is the risk one takes when you buy and have customs to deal with. You did what she asked and unfortunately they opened the box. Hopefully she won't drag this out. I would stand my ground and firmly tell her that the bag isn't returnable.
 

PinkSuadeSoho

Princess Grace Ave
O.G.
Jul 17, 2006
9,420
3
Spain & France
If she does send it back, I would take it back. It's pointless to not accept it. Do you really want to risk losing the bag and money? Maybe give her a negative, for an uncomplete transaction and refusing the bag she clearly won.
 

kimalee

Member
Jul 30, 2007
17,669
19
If she does send it back, I would take it back. It's pointless to not accept it. Do you really want to risk losing the bag and money? Maybe give her a negative, for an uncomplete transaction and refusing the bag she clearly won.
Yep, I think that's my only option at this point. But until she sends it back, I'll just tell her that I don't accept returns, especially when it clearly isn't my fault....Thanks for your help!
 

bnjj

Jovi Junkie
O.G.
Apr 20, 2007
10,215
14
Bon Jovi Blvd.
While it is her responsibility to pay import charges, if you mark a package 'gift' it is only reasonable to not include an invoice inside the package.
 

kimalee

Member
Jul 30, 2007
17,669
19
While it is her responsibility to pay import charges, if you mark a package 'gift' it is only reasonable to not include an invoice inside the package.
Well, I had no idea that they were going to open it...
 

Babyjlo

Purse banned for 08!
Aug 7, 2007
824
0
Chicago
Mail fraud is I believe a federal offense? You could have your bag confiscated and even destroyed in the very worst case scenario.
 

4theluvof-it

Member
Aug 17, 2007
1,296
1
50
I will never mark an item as a gift. I had someone ask me once to declare a lower price for it, and I decided not to because then I couldn't insure the full amount.

Now when people askly I tell them that I will not lie in anyway on the customs forms. It has worked fine for me so far.

Good luck, I hope you get it taken care of.
 

sweetneet

over the moon
Aug 8, 2007
6,119
13
TX
^ yeah, this is exactly why I refuse to lie on customs forms, and always declare the full amount. If you get caught you could get in major trouble, as Babyjlo said. Also, it's a bit risky mailing something so high in value to an unconfirmed/unverified international address, if the buyer paid with Paypal. As someone mentioned they could always do a chargeback, and Paypal would do nothing to help you.

sorry that this happened to you! i'd just take the bag back and be glad that it didnt' get confiscated.