Shipped to France, now having issues with customs and buyer

Apr 30, 2011
1,038
137
Before I sold this designer item to this buyer, they asked me if I can declare a $500+ item for $49 on the customs sheet because they don't want to pay the high customs fees. I politely told them that I can not do that. They still purchased and paid right away. I sent the package via USPS Priority Mail Express International with all of the correct paperwork and insurance. The package got to France but has been stuck in customs for a week now. The buyer sent a message telling me that customs is holding the package and wont release it until I send them an invoice for the item. I sent all of the information they requested right away. I got an email back saying they got my email and that it will take 72 hours to process. Ok, cool, I was going to check in again in a few days to see if it got delivered. but then...

I get a message from the buyer saying they called customs and theres still no release. She also opened a case with Paypal!!! I asked her why she opened a case with Paypal when she and I both know the package will be released by customs in 2 days. She said that she did it to protect me and her in case customs doesnt release it or something like that. but then in another message right after that she said that she purchased two items around the same time and wasnt sure which one was mine, so she explained that the package is still in customs and then paypal offered to open a case for her for my item?

I am really confused and worried. I have sold to international buyers before and I have never had any issues at all! I wasn't worried about this transaction until I got the message about a Paypal case being opened. I just dont know why you would open a case with Paypal for an item not received when you have been in contact with the postal service and know that it will be released soon? Sorry this is so long, I needed to vent and hopefully get some advice on what to do? I am going to call Paypal first thing in the morning to explain the situation. I really hope the buyer isnt trying to scam me.
 

BeenBurned

Coach, Dooney, Uggs
Authenticator
O.G.
Feb 25, 2007
51,027
24,569
Buyers who purchase internationally have to be aware of and willing to pay any taxes and duties that are due. Although customs charges can be random and many parcels go through without charge, the buyer needs to be aware that should their package be assessed, it's the buyer's responsibility.

I'm glad you didn't under-declare the value on the item. It's very possible that the buyer receives undervalued items and customs might be "onto" her.

I'd love to know the buyer's ID so I can block her. I've found that many buyers who purchase an item after requesting sellers to under declare the value can tend to be PITAs because they're upset that you weren't willing to lie for them.

Did you look at the buyer's bidding/buying history? Are there multiple pricey items on which she might have made similar requests?
 

IrisCole

O.G.
Dec 28, 2007
9,245
52
I would also call PayPal and let them know what's going on - give them the tracking information, tell them that you've just sent information to customs in France, and that it will be released in two days.

Also, have you been messaging the buyer through eBay's messaging system? If so, point them to those messages as well, so that they can see that the buyer is aware of where the bag is and when she's getting it.

I'm actually surprised that they even let her open a case so soon on an international sale.
 
Apr 30, 2011
1,038
137
Buyers who purchase internationally have to be aware of and willing to pay any taxes and duties that are due. Although customs charges can be random and many parcels go through without charge, the buyer needs to be aware that should their package be assessed, it's the buyer's responsibility.

I'm glad you didn't under-declare the value on the item. It's very possible that the buyer receives undervalued items and customs might be "onto" her.

I'd love to know the buyer's ID so I can block her. I've found that many buyers who purchase an item after requesting sellers to under declare the value can tend to be PITAs because they're upset that you weren't willing to lie for them.

Did you look at the buyer's bidding/buying history? Are there multiple pricey items on which she might have made similar requests?

Oh you may be right about customs being onto her! because when she was trying to convince me to undervalue the item, she said that she gets her family from the US to send her stuff all the time and they always under declare the item with no issues.

I did look at her feedback and all of it was good but I couldn't see what items they were because ebay changed feedback a while back. Her buyer ID is dressing.de.luxe

I would also call PayPal and let them know what's going on - give them the tracking information, tell them that you've just sent information to customs in France, and that it will be released in two days.

Also, have you been messaging the buyer through eBay's messaging system? If so, point them to those messages as well, so that they can see that the buyer is aware of where the bag is and when she's getting it.

I'm actually surprised that they even let her open a case so soon on an international sale.

I just called Paypal and told them whats been happening. They made a few notes and assured me that they have my back. The tracking info was already in the case so the buyer already gave it to them when she opened the case. Which is weird because like you said, I'm surprised they let her open a case so soon, given that they could very well see the tracking info. Yes, the messages were all via ebay. When I told Paypal, they said that yes they can see that we have been corresponding via ebay messages. I am praying that there are no more issues after the item has been released because this buyer is really being a PITA!!
 
Feb 28, 2010
10,544
5,310
Before I sold this designer item to this buyer, they asked me if I can declare a $500+ item for $49 on the customs sheet because they don't want to pay the high customs fees. I politely told them that I can not do that. They still purchased and paid right away. I sent the package via USPS Priority Mail Express International with all of the correct paperwork and insurance. The package got to France but has been stuck in customs for a week now. The buyer sent a message telling me that customs is holding the package and wont release it until I send them an invoice for the item. I sent all of the information they requested right away. I got an email back saying they got my email and that it will take 72 hours to process. Ok, cool, I was going to check in again in a few days to see if it got delivered. but then...

I get a message from the buyer saying they called customs and theres still no release. She also opened a case with Paypal!!! I asked her why she opened a case with Paypal when she and I both know the package will be released by customs in 2 days. She said that she did it to protect me and her in case customs doesnt release it or something like that. but then in another message right after that she said that she purchased two items around the same time and wasnt sure which one was mine, so she explained that the package is still in customs and then paypal offered to open a case for her for my item?

I am really confused and worried. I have sold to international buyers before and I have never had any issues at all! I wasn't worried about this transaction until I got the message about a Paypal case being opened. I just dont know why you would open a case with Paypal for an item not received when you have been in contact with the postal service and know that it will be released soon? Sorry this is so long, I needed to vent and hopefully get some advice on what to do? I am going to call Paypal first thing in the morning to explain the situation. I really hope the buyer isnt trying to scam me.

Hi OP, any update? I had the same thing happened to me, I was the seller and Paypal sided with me. When I sold my Prada bag to Australia the tracking number only showed that the bag was stuck in Germany (where I live) and there was no further update on DHL website but I still won the case. So, as long as you have the tracking number you are on the safe side. Paypal allows anyone to open a case for what ever reason but they do pay attention to the conversation and the case closely.
 
Last edited:
Apr 30, 2011
1,038
137
Hi OP, any update? I had the same thing happened to me, I was the seller and Paypal sided with me. When I sold my Prada bag to Australia the tracking number only showed that the bag was stuck in Germany (where I live) and there was no further update on DHL website but I still won the case. So, as long as you have the tracking number you are on the safe side. Paypal allows anyone to open a case for what ever reason but they do pay attention to the conversation and the case closely.

Just got an email saying the case has been closed! The item was delivered today so I made a note on the paypal case since the seller did not update me or paypal. I guess shortly after that the seller let paypal know that she has the item now so its closed, whew! What a stressful transaction. I am thinking of excluding buyers from France from now on because I don't want to deal with this every time!
 
Feb 28, 2010
10,544
5,310
Just got an email saying the case has been closed! The item was delivered today so I made a note on the paypal case since the seller did not update me or paypal. I guess shortly after that the seller let paypal know that she has the item now so its closed, whew! What a stressful transaction. I am thinking of excluding buyers from France from now on because I don't want to deal with this every time!

Yay!!! Finally! So glad to hear (read) that. Yeah I would do the same. It kinda scares me now to sell internationally :smile:.
 

Chestnutty

Moja Angelika
O.G.
Oct 23, 2011
3,188
140
Just got an email saying the case has been closed! The item was delivered today so I made a note on the paypal case since the seller did not update me or paypal. I guess shortly after that the seller let paypal know that she has the item now so its closed, whew! What a stressful transaction. I am thinking of excluding buyers from France from now on because I don't want to deal with this every time!
Make it all Europe. Customs in Europe can be up to 40% value, before a handling flat fee. I exclude all Europe off my shipping list.
 
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