Negative Paypal Balance from buyer

Jul 7, 2006
2,124
726
CA
Hi everyone,

So this I understand is my fault on a mistake I made based on ebay policies, but I didn't know this prior to making the mistake (obviously).

I sold an inexpensive watch (only like $40) to a buyer back in early October. He paid for it with Paypal. After the listing ended, I got that message from ebay that says my item sold and in the message it always says "buyer's shipping address". I used THAT address, without knowing I was supposed to ship it to the Paypal address. I thought they would both match, and really didn't think twice. Again, my mistake. The address I shipped to that was in the ebay message is apparently the guy's mom's address across the country (he lives in CT, I shipped to WA). She isn't home, and no one is at that address currently. For a while, there was a vacation leave on that address so the package wasn't being delivered. Eventually though, it WAS delivered.

The guy has been messaging me throughout the whole process and I've been TRYING to be helpful, even calling the post office in WA, asking him when his mom would be back, etc. He was really mad at me first, and even thought I DIDN'T ship the package, even though I had tracking and definitely DID ship it. I didn't know I was supposed to ship to his Paypal address (mistake, yes), but if that's the address I should ALWAYS ship to, why would ebay send a message with "buyer's shipping address"? I think that's really misleading. Of course when I saw that, I thought "oh this is the buyer's shipping address!" I've seen yahoo questions on this when I Googled what to do, and everyone was really rude to the seller who did basically the same thing as me. I'm hoping to NOT get that same reaction here!

Anyway, the guy recently filed a claim on ebay against me and explained that I shipped to an address ebay provided me and that he DOES believe I sent it now. He said he will wait until Nov. 22 to go home to WA to his mother's house to get the package. But I just went to pay for something via Paypal and it says my account is negative the $40 and the only way to resolve it is to pay that negative balance. But the case hasn't even closed yet on ebay, so why'd they take the money? Does that mean he got his money back PLUS probably a free watch??? This really angers me, since even though I may not have shipped it to his correct address on his Paypal, I DID still ship it to an address ebay provided as "buyer's shipping address" and I did have tracking and proof it was delivered, AND he will probably get this watch on the 22nd when he goes there! Couldn't he have waited to file the claim to see if he got his watch next week??

Is there anything I can do? Call ebay? Paypal? I know this was long, but I really am lost as to what I can do, besides pay the negative balance off.

Thanks for any help!
 

Awwgeez

Member
Mar 5, 2008
9,855
1
He is probably just covering his own rear end by filing the claim. I know its a pain for you, but it is understandable. there is nothing you can do until he gets his item and cancels the claim, or deposit money into your paypal to bring it to a positive.
 
Jul 7, 2006
2,124
726
CA
Can he still say that he didn't receive the watch when it says "delivered", and then not refund my money? I didn't send him the nicest message just now. I kind of said "I wish you would have warned me that you were filing a claim, or at least waited until this weekend to see if the watch were there". He had already waited almost 2 months, I don't see why he couldn't wait another week to see if the watch was at the address it was delivered to. I guess that's what makes me mad. He made it seem like everything was okay. His last message to me was about how he was going to see his mom the weekend before Thanksgiving, and that he'd check then. And then he goes and files a claim and my account is negative.

Argh.
 

littlerock

Love is Love is Love
O.G.
Apr 19, 2007
21,588
119
In the moment
Paypal is just holding the funds until the case is resolved. You should call paypal ASAP and explain that the only reason you shipped to that address is because thats the address they gave you. It's not your fault that the buyer gave the wrong address to ebay and it's not like ebay/paypal makes it clear enough for inexperienced sellers.

Common sense tells you that if you sell something on ebay, you use the address that ebay gives you. If you call paypal with this explanation and give them the tracking number, there is a chance they will reverse it. I don't want to get your hopes up but they've been known to reverse decisions after hearing the other side of things.

I think you've learned a lesson here and I don't fault you for making this mistake. Anyone could have made it. My advice to you: Fight for your money and do not give up. Make paypal/ ebay feel like it's their fault for giving you incorrect info.
 
Jul 7, 2006
2,124
726
CA
Paypal is just holding the funds until the case is resolved. You should call paypal ASAP and explain that the only reason you shipped to that address is because thats the address they gave you. It's not your fault that the buyer gave the wrong address to ebay and it's not like ebay/paypal makes it clear enough for inexperienced sellers.

Common sense tells you that if you sell something on ebay, you use the address that ebay gives you. If you call paypal with this explanation and give them the tracking number, there is a chance they will reverse it. I don't want to get your hopes up but they've been known to reverse decisions after hearing the other side of things.

I think you've learned a lesson here and I don't fault you for making this mistake. Anyone could have made it. My advice to you: Fight for your money and do not give up. Make paypal/ ebay feel like it's their fault for giving you incorrect info.
Thanks littlerock! So, does he have his money back, or it just Paypal holding it to see how the case is resolved? It makes me mad if he already has his money back, and still may get the watch this weekend when he goes home. Who do I call, Paypal or Ebay? Or... both? I do understand that I didn't know the ebay policies on shipping to the Paypal address, but I also do feel like they should not send out an email that says "buyer's shipping address" if that is not the address we're supposed to use. I also wish the guy had his ebay info updated!

I told my coworker about this and she said "that's why I don't ever use ebay!" I love ebay, I just hate these hassles!
 

Awwgeez

Member
Mar 5, 2008
9,855
1
He doesn't have the money, paypal is just holding the funds. If I'm understanding this correctly you mailed the package to the address ebay had on file, not his paypal address correct? Unfortunately if he claims to have not gotten it (even if he did) and you did not ship to the paypal address, he will win the case. But I would call paypal and explain the situation to them, see what they say.
 
Jul 7, 2006
2,124
726
CA
Awwgeez - yes, unfortunately that is the case. Would I call paypal or ebay? Ebay is the one that sent the message after he bought the item that said "buyer's shipping address". So I would think I would contact them?? I think they are partially at fault for that misleading email, and I also think he should have his ebay info updated. I know ultimately, I would end up losing the money, but I still think they should change these things, because I'm sure I'm not the only person who has dealt with this.

And if I end up losing the money, it's not a BIG deal since it's only $40, but it still is $40 and I wish the buyer would have warned me in advance of the claim. I have been responding to his emails really fast and have been super helpful, so this frustrates me.
 
Jul 7, 2006
2,124
726
CA
Also, I just tried finding the ebay phone number, but I can't. The website is a pain in the arse to try to find it! Does anyone have it?
 
Jun 25, 2008
19,957
10
The buyer opened a dispute; therefore, PP froze the $40 that correspond to the transaction.

Don't bother with eBay. Call PP. It's much easier to reach, and the info is likely to be more accurate.
 

mmmsc

O.G.
Feb 1, 2007
9,368
30
USA
Call PP and tell them what happened. And that you sent to the confirmed PP address and you have proof that you sent it (I hope, I hope)
 
Jul 7, 2006
2,124
726
CA
mmmsc - unfortunately I did not ship to the confirmed PP address, I sent to the address ebay provided instead. :-s

Thanks guys! This helps a lot - I don't know where else I would've gone to get answers!
 

PyAri

ThisKatEats
O.G.
Jan 27, 2007
4,991
1
.7.5.7.
I'm with littlerock on this one. Paypal/ebay have a hand in giving you incorrect info. They need to take responsibility and refund you your money.
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
47,425
16,135
East Coast, USA
Can he still say that he didn't receive the watch when it says "delivered", and then not refund my money? I didn't send him the nicest message just now. I kind of said "I wish you would have warned me that you were filing a claim, or at least waited until this weekend to see if the watch were there". He had already waited almost 2 months, I don't see why he couldn't wait another week to see if the watch was at the address it was delivered to. I guess that's what makes me mad. He made it seem like everything was okay. His last message to me was about how he was going to see his mom the weekend before Thanksgiving, and that he'd check then. And then he goes and files a claim and my account is negative.

Argh.
Unfortunately, he can claim non-receipt and will win the case because you have to prove delivery to the address in the paypal payment.

As for why he filed a claim, he only has 45 days from the date of the end of the listing to file. If as you say, it's already been nearly 2 months, he must be approaching the limit for filing. He had to do so to protect himself.
Awwgeez - yes, unfortunately that is the case. Would I call paypal or ebay? Ebay is the one that sent the message after he bought the item that said "buyer's shipping address". So I would think I would contact them?? I think they are partially at fault for that misleading email, and I also think he should have his ebay info updated. I know ultimately, I would end up losing the money, but I still think they should change these things, because I'm sure I'm not the only person who has dealt with this.
It's always important to check the paypal payment. Buyers can use any address to have an item shipped to and as long as they put that address as the "ship to" address with their payment, you're protected as long as you ship to that address.

Often, people buy gifts for others and have the gifts shipped directly to the recipient. That's why paypal changed that part of the policy.

If you're going to be selling a lot of items, it is probably in your best interest to ship through Paypal shipping. There are several reasons this would benefit you.
1. You get discounted shipping labels and delivery confirmation
2. The shipping address comes up automatically when printing the shipping label so the mistake you made wouldn't have happened.
3. The shipping information transfers directly to ebay so the d.c. number shows ebay that the item was delivered.
 

r15324

Dismembered
O.G.
Nov 23, 2009
9,685
20
Australia
This has happened to me too, but the buyer was trying to scam me; it sounds like your buyer is genuine.

The negative funds are just being 'held' by PayPal until it is cleared to be returned to you, or if they rule in favour of the buyer, will ask you to 'top-up' your account until you have a non-negative balance in your account.