Thursday, July 16, 2009

PayPal and Etsy - things to consider as a seller (and buyer)

Men's Seatbelt Wallet by Interrobang

I'm sure most of you are familiar with the ins & outs of PayPal, but thought I'd post this in case it might be of use to some....

Issues for Sellers
  • To be covered at all in the event of a PayPal claim, you need to send items via a method that requires signature on delivery (ie registered post, or potentially international airmail with insurance). You probably also need a copy of the documents showing that you posted the item to the address on the buyer's PayPal account- so watch out for post office people just sticking a registered label on a prepaid satchel. You need to fill out the form (although I haven't tested this out!).
  • With domestic registered post, you are covered for loss of up to $100 (through Australia post). You would probably need the tracking number and a receipt showing the value of the item (eg the etsy transaction). You may also be able to claim some money back for regular post ($50?), but you might need to have proof of payment. So PayPal would refund your buyer in the case of a claim, but you should be able to get your money back (I am not sure what would happen in terms of compensation if the buyer refuses to sign a form saying that the parcel was not received- the PayPal claim for 'item not received' may be enough to resolve this though). As an aside, you might also be able to claim through AusPost for damaged items (but probably not the postage fee itself). Also, stating the correct item value on overseas packages might be relevant if you need to claim compensation for the item.
  • Sending something registered post isn't going to help you in the event of a claim if you send it to an address other than that listed on the buyer's PayPal account. If the one on etsy is different, you can ask the buyer to change the address they have selected so that the addresses match.
  • If you didn't send an item via registered post, but have emails indicating that the buyer did receive the item, keep these emails if the transaction isn't going well in case they file a claim that they didn't receive the item.
  • Buyers can only file one dispute per transaction.

Issues for Buyers
  • As far as I can understand from PayPal's explanation of their policies (insert roll of eyes), etsy would be covered under the Buyer Complaint Policy, not the Buyer Protection Policy (which is for ebay purchases). This means that items on etsy are only covered for claims of 'item not received', and that there is no protection for 'items not as described'.
  • If an item gets lost, it is the seller's responsibility to deliver it to you (with proof of delivery) in the eyes of PayPal. You should therefore win a claim if your item does not arrive. The seller may be able to claim for compensation from the postal service. Just be aware that this can take a long time (sometimes longer than a month), so if they ask you to wait until that is sorted out, make sure you don't miss the PayPal deadline for filing a dispute (within 45 of payment). A dispute is not a claim, but begins the process and allows for communication between buyer and seller. This can then be escalated to a claim within a certain timeframe, which will mean that PayPal assesses the case and decides the outcome.
  • I have been trying to get a straight answer out of PayPal on this one in relation to Ebay, but in the case of the Buyer Complaint Policy (relevant to Etsy), it is my understanding from the policy document that if a buyer is awarded a claim for an item not received, but the seller has removed all money from their account, you may not be able to get your money back. The seller's account would be put into the negative, so if they receive any money it would be taken by PayPal. However, if they do a runner, PayPal may not refund you all/any of your money. It's difficult to be sure about that though, so I recommend having a look at their policies.
Disclaimer: please note- all of this is just my understanding of how PayPal and AusPost work, and it may be in error. I am not responsible if you do something silly on the basis of this information ;)


Please take a look at my post from yesterday to see some pretty things...and a special secret discount for readers of this blog in the comments! Yay!

Custom made 'Twig' ring in sterling silver by Angelene

1 comment:

Thank you for commenting :) Morphologica

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