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I messed up. Any advice would be welcome...

Discussion in 'Ebay' started by marsmadness, May 26, 2012.

  1. marsmadness

    marsmadness Registered Member

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    Hello BHW allies, strangers and colleagues.

    So I have made something of a mistake that has gotten out of my hands, and I was hoping one or some of you might take pity on me and offer me some good advice. I am trying to not be too descriptive here in my post, as I'm scared to death that I'm in for a fraud investigation. I am going to end up owing about 10-20 people refunds for an item that I may have to admit I can not supply it for them. My original way of getting said item disappeared, and I don't have proof of purchase. And regarding the money from the buyers - well, the money from Paypal is basically gone. I am scrambling to try and come up with the funds in order to refund these people, as I don't really have intentions of directly being fraudulent. I haven't told my customers to expect refunds yet, as I'm waiting to see what my best options are. I am thinking I should write Paypal and eBay before they contact me about this, at least to show I'm not a thief.

    PM and then email or Skype are probably the safest way for me to communicate about this. I started to write eBay/Paypal about the situation, but I thought I would come here and seek advice first. I put a handling time of 15 days on each sale, and those are beginning to expire, and I'm having to apologize to people already expecting items to be delivered all over the world from here in the US to many in Russia.

    But any experiences with refund, fraud or security issues at eBay and Paypal that you think would be helpful to share with everyone are highly welcomed and appreciated. I don't want to keep people's money without providing any product... :(

    Thank you for your help.

    --MARS--
     
  2. krzysiekz

    krzysiekz Senior Member

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    Eventually PayPal will refund the people their money if they file a claim against you.

    Your PayPal account will go into negatives. If it wasn't much, then they probably won't ever really chase you for it.

    However, it sounds like the amount you owe people in refunds is rather substantial. Having said that, PayPal will therefore definitely go after you and make you pay the money back. You may be able to go on a payment plan with their debt agency, etc.

    There is something a little more concerning about your post, though. You sold an item on eBay (and presumably had not yet bought stock) - which is fine. However, if you cannot buy the items anymore from your supplier, then what is the issue with refunding? You should still have all of the money in your PayPal or bank account that you received.

    If you were more on the 'stupid' side (no offence) then you may have potentially spent your 'expected profits' and therefore be a bit short when it comes to refunding them - but your OP sounds like you have no cash left at all, what so ever.

    Assuming my assumption is correct, and you have taken peoples money and somehow spent it all (to the point where you cannot refund anything - which is what it sounds like in the OP) then you are essentially a scammer, and you will now receive what is coming to you.

    You don't take peoples hard earned money if you have plans on spending it and being unable to refund them in a worst case scenario. Whatever you've done, it sounds to me like you are essentially a scammer.

    Please feel free to clarify if I have got it all wrong, as your OP wasn't really full of information.

    PS: If what I have said above is true, then yes you did indeed 'mess up' but you're not going to get much pity from BHW as there is a difference between being blackhat and making money in less conventional ways versus outright scamming individuals.

    PSS: I do realise all of the above is based on mostly assumptions, as you have not really given us much to work off of. If you indeed are not a scammer and it is not as I have written above, then you should post more and clarify it as people will be more willing to help you if it doesn't look like you've taken peoples money, spent it all, and now looking on how to avoid the consequences.
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  3. abyssal_miss

    abyssal_miss Power Member

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    So you've already cashed out the money from paypal, and can't return it? Obviously I have no clue what your personal situation is or how much of a sum we're talking, I guess you don't have any friends or relatives that can spot you?

    Honestly that's a tough situation, but I would probably either borrow, or work to pay off the clients individually, eventually you'll have to let them know what's going on. On the legal side of things, you'll probably have your paypal account and info blocked, as well as your ebay account, and paypal will send your case to a collection agency eventually. I'm not sure if anything more seriously than that would occur. I'm sure someone else can give some better advice. Good luck dude
     
    Last edited: May 26, 2012
  4. golden_accounts

    golden_accounts Newbie

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    money gone - no goods to deliver. sounds pretty serious to me.

    Whatever put you in this position it's best to come clean and work something out with the buyers. Not communicating makes things worse and you do not want it any worse. It sounds bad enough already. Your paypal and ebay will be lost regardless what you communicate with them and who cares about them anyways. Go and take care of the buyers - especially the Russian ones.....
     
  5. Comic

    Comic Regular Member

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    You need to do what it takes to refund them. It will be easier to take care of this now rather than later. After that consider it a lesson learned. Contacting Paypal won't do any good. Instead find a way to get the funds.
     
  6. marsmadness

    marsmadness Registered Member

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    Well, to be more clear, so you don't think I'm someone who just took these people's money and went to Vegas or something...

    I just stumbled upon Alibaba this year, and long story short (you can guess what's here) and I bought several items, or thought I did, and I of course have nothing to show for it. I do have some resources to liquidate to get the money to pay these people back, but on top of this I now have some serious identity theft going on in my life (loan applications that I did not apply to are emailing me, phone calls constantly from overseas about payday loans, getting education, just all sorts of scams to get more of my personal details) as well as some craziness to my computer's system that resulted in a fried computer as well. Through it all, I have no proof of the actual confirmation emails of sending them money. It's like my life's been hacked and I can't directly point to someone as the cause. It's all hit at this one moment, and I feel overwhelmed... but I realize my focus has to be on refunding people's money to them as soon as possible. My mistakes were so Noob-related, and yes, I should have been sure to have backup funds and watched my accounts like a hawk.

    I will focus on paying the buyers back ASAP, but I am wondering if my first step shouldn't be to contact eBay and Paypal, get them to lock my account and explain that I want to insure all the buyers get their money. It's such a mess,but it's not going to go away if I just delete everything... and I want to do the right thing. :-/
     
  7. golden_accounts

    golden_accounts Newbie

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    ebay /paypal do not care about your explanation. Don't waste time and effort on that one.
    They work in set parameters and when A occurs B will happen.

    Contact your buyers, tell them you got ripped off ( i guess that what actually happened ) and put all your effort into getting the money back to the people that bought something from you and will never get the goods.

    You know, its pretty bad when the cops show up at your door. It;s a whole different ball of wax if the friends from your Russian buyers knock on your door.

    As for all the other things that happened to you - man, you are in a pile of the brown stuff.
    Sit back, take a deep breath and start prioritizing the problems. Attack one at a time and solve whatever you can solve.

    Some legal advise would be probably good.
     
  8. marsmadness

    marsmadness Registered Member

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    I was told that probably eBay will use Buyer Protection to pay the buyers back and then I will have a negative balance on my account. I don't know if they will work with me to let me pay it off over a few months, but if not I will secure a loan for that purpose. This is an expensive lesson. I'm just concerned because I don't know what their response will be and it's just been an overwhelming week. But I'll just keep pushing through, working, trying to make money, and do my best to pay back these people.
     
  9. H3ktor

    H3ktor Jr. VIP Jr. VIP

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    Paypal is always buyer oriented. So you will never win this dispute. The best way to avoid all the trouble is contacting your buyers and explaining your problem and promise a time period of refund or reshipment. People understand each others problems. In the mean time, work hard to clean up the mess. Paypal/Ebay is no people. They will not show any favor which is not mentioned in their rulebook.
     
  10. abyssal_miss

    abyssal_miss Power Member

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    I know of someone who tried to scam ebay for about a grand. Tried to sell an item they didn't have and cash out before it was sent a refund dispute. In the end they ended up with a negative balance of 1k, and when they didn't pay, their accounts were locked, and their banking/credit card info was blocked against use with paypal, and maybe their address as well I can't remember. Not sure how long it took for them to lock it and pass it to a collection agency, but they do have a grace period, you'd have to look into that more.
     
  11. abyssal_miss

    abyssal_miss Power Member

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    Not always lol.. know many people with ebay businesses, some buyers can be nasty. Good luck mars :)
     
  12. marsmadness

    marsmadness Registered Member

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    Okay, so my plan is to be honest with the people expecting an item... while continuing to see if I can find said item from a legitimate source. I will communicate and explain the situation. Perhaps send each one $100 to show proof I'm not keeping their money.
     
  13. abyssal_miss

    abyssal_miss Power Member

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    Crap, guess it is a huge sum eh? Sounds like a good plan, you're gonna encounter some really cranky people though. You're doing the right thing. :)
     
  14. marsmadness

    marsmadness Registered Member

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    Yes, it is. It's quite a bit of money, but I am trying to find it all. I'm going to probably sell my car to cover it all. That and liquidate my entire domain portfolio. It sucks, but I'm trying to be very zen about it... and find out exactly what happened to my accounts/money.
     
  15. dowser

    dowser Power Member

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    Alibaba can be a great source of new contacts and the worst nightmare of the lowest scams. A few years back I got taken for about $4k by a crook who also "worked" Alibaba. Unfortunately nobody cares. Banks will just charge the merchant, FBI doesn't give a shit unless you hit one of theirs. I'm afraid you are on your own and I don't envy you.

    Sending partial refund might work, but only through ebay - never do it outside. Tell your buyers the situation and that you'd like to resolve it through ebay, so that they would give you the benefit of the doubt. Do all the communicating through ebay so that you have a proof (send yourself a copy).

    It's true - ebay is buyer protective, but maybe you will be able to make a deal to pay back on installments...

    Good luck and try to relax!

    P.S. You are a donor here with writing skills - use it! I know it will take a lot of articles to pay it back, but heck, that's a start! Being a donor you can start a thread on offering writing articles (it has to be approved by moderators). If you are any good - you will get customers. (I may even need a few articles myself).
     
    Last edited: May 28, 2012
  16. supramanneke

    supramanneke Regular Member

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    Man, this story sounds like a plot for a hollywood movie!
    Sure hope you'll get out of this mess, without too many problems.

    This makes me realize: I just pulled out 1500$ from my paypal account, while some of my sales are not delivered yet... Maybe this was not such a good idea, because there's always stupid buyers who will scam you (as I learned from this forum) I'll have to keep an eye out for that.

    Anyway, good luck with your endeavour !
     
  17. marsmadness

    marsmadness Registered Member

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    And this is why I knew that asking for advice here at BHW was a step in the right direction. I was sitting on another income source, and I had not even thought about it. /facepalm I will take your advice. This experience has made me more prolific in my writing (and in my web content and Real World sales efforts on Amazon/et al). I just don't have time to have writers block! LOL
    But yes, most of the buyers are actually being very understanding. It seems that many were buying from me for merchant reasons, and they just hoped I had a better connection than what they've had in the past. I think many of you now know what particular contraption I thought I had purchased. This is my third time being burned from Alibaba, and I think I now have to recommend to completely avoid any consumer electronics or jewelry overseas.
    I'm thinking nice paper or patterned cloth is going to be my import of choice now. Heck, I'm going to effing sell Toilet Paper! Come get your squeezable charmin right here boys - it is probably fake too, but so what! Your booty don't care!
    ...:cool:
     
  18. tillman

    tillman Newbie

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    Put yourself in your customers' shoes. What would you want?