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  1. #1
    Undistinguished SOTW Member zorrosg's Avatar
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    Default Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Hi, I have bought many items off Ebay, but currently I am negotiating to buy a horn from someone in one of the forums (not SOTW), and the transaction will be paid through Paypal.

    As this is the first time I am buying direct from a buyer, and not through Ebay, I would like to know if the Paypal buyer protection would cover me in case this buyer does not send the horn after payment? Or if the horn were somehow a wreck, instead of being in the condition described? I intend to ask him to raise a Paypal invoice, so the deal is properly documented. Then I'll have something to back up my claim, in case things go wrong with the deal, or it is some kind of scam.

    I have been corresponding with the buyer, and he sounds decent enough, but still this is a stranger that I have never met or dealt with. This information would also be useful to me in future if I buy some stuff off SOTW (been close a couple of times, but the deals fell through)...

    So anyone who can help to clarify this question, your help would be much appreciated! Thanks in advance!


    PS. I did try emailing Paypal, but they gave me some stock answer in their database that did not give a clear answer to this question.
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  2. #2

    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    You always have, as a sender of money, the option to file a dispute, whether the item was never received, or not in described condition, when paid by Paypal. Sales outside of eBay are just as protected.

    The other option is to pay by credit card and allow your credit card dispute system to go to work if the item is not received properly.
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  3. #3
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    I would suggest that you have him send you a Money Request that details the item so you will have that as an invoice in the event something goes wrong.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Here is the policy: https://cms.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/?c...nline_shopping

    It is not limited to Ebay purchases.

    Having said that, I would have no confidence whatsoever in a fair arbitration run by Paypal. They simply won't put the needed resources (note: credit cards in my experience are not better).
    Bottom line, I would not count on it.

    For Ebay purchases chances are a little better, simply because there is at least a description of the merchandise being traded. However they certainly won't help if you think the merchandise received is significantly different and the seller states otherwise (typical example: original vs. non-original lacquer). Credit card won't do any better.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Swingtone started a thread about this, above the open threads. Quite honestly...although it HAS been made a Sticky and the thread closed...I do feel that there are several inaccuracies on his part in his reporting/interpreting PayPal policy. So I do not think it an accurate representation of the way a Paypal dispute really works. I say this only because I recently had an experience on a non-eFlay transaction where PayPal became involved, and their actions contradicted what Swingtone represented as their policy (contradicted it in a GOOD way, as far as buyer protection goes).

    Here's the thing: if YOU, as BUYER, are unhappy with the resulting purchase and the seller tries to play hardball with you, you can file a claim thru Paypal and the seller's account is automatically DEDUCTED the transaction amount. This becomes a HUGE, HUGE incentive for the seller to resolve the issue...because that deduction effects all future transactions the seller makes via PayPal as long as it remains in effect. Honestly....the buyer's gripe doesn't even need to have any validity whatsoever, initially. As soon as that claim is filed..zap...the seller's account gets deducted. The $ remains deducted from the account until either seller and buyer mutually resolve their differences, or PayPal is asked to make a decision.

    Now, as Rispoli says...should it come to THAT (PayPal making the call)...I would agree, it probably becomes a crap-shoot. So perhaps it would be best to avoid that avenue (although you can bluff it). But the amount of leverage put on the seller to communicate and resolve the problem is actually pretty HUGE, imho. So, at least for the first 75% of the dispute...the buyer is in the driver's seat, really; the seller is up against the wall for that time.

    Remember, it really is all about leverage. How do things look from the seller's point of view ? The messages and info the seller is receiving thru PayPal generally contain semantics favorable to the buyer who files the claim.
    So, having the fact that the transaction was funded via credit card is also a good card to have in your hand. It may ultimately prove fruitless, but it's more leverage on seller to resolve (i.e. "if PayPal doesn't see it my way I will file a claim w/ my card...so this won't be over by a long shot. So let's just come to a resolution now.")

    I agree w/ Kritavi; have the seller accurately describe what you are buying in a Payment Request which he/she sends to you.

    "In good vintage shape"...is bad news.

    Or my favorite one of all time: "...may need some adjustments"

    "In good physical, structural, and functional condition ~ horn plays up and down with no issues; and is free of body bends and major/significant dents "...is more the sorta semantics you want to have on the Payment Request you receive.
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  6. #6
    Forum Contributor 2011 thadnoland's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    PayPal has a customer service hot-line you can call. They are staffed with real, live humans. Although, you must get a customer service pin first.

    Click this link:

    https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/he...&t=escalateTab

    Then click on Call Us - you will be directed on how to obtain a pin # there.

    I have called them before a few times and they have been helpful.

    Best o' luck.

  7. #7
    Distinguished SOTW Coffee Guru milandro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Recently I bought a sopranino on line in Holland counting on the paypal protection. I had requested pictures of the instrument and they provided me one.
    When I received, beside a bent octave key, the sopranino was a completely different model.
    I phoned the shop and told them that I wasn't happy and why and then emailed the same thing telling them that I wanted a refund and that I was going to file a complaint to stop and revert the money transfer (which is held on probation for 45 days). They agreed. I brought personally back the sopranino to make sure that nobody could say that I had damaged it or something like that and before I was home the money was back in my paypal account.
    Perhaps they were nice and good people or perhaps the shop knew that I had a very good case with emails pictures and so on and that paypal would have backed me up.

  8. #8
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    It depends. There are many Paypal transaction types that are not covered. All eBay transactions are covered, but I did run into a situation from a non-eBay merchant where Paypal took the dispute, but stated my transaction was not covered by their buyer protection plan and WOULD NOT intervene in the dispute.
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  9. #9
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    I completely believe this ~ and am curious as to why...what circumstances particular to your instance....PayPal told you it was uncovered ?

    ....if they took the dispute.... but claimed it was uncovered and they would not intervene....DID they deduct the seller's account at the time you filed the dispute, or did they not ? If they claimed it was uncovered, why allow the dispute to be filed ?

    Also, how did it turn out ?
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  10. #10
    Indistinguishable Resident Buescher Bigot and 2014 Forum Contributor maddenma's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Filing a dispute does not cause them at any time to stop payment. It simply logs the complaint and sends an e-mail to the seller that there's a problem. This is where it stops on many transactions outside of an eBay auction.

    There's a second step to this that you have to wait a certain period of time for, and I've forgotten what they actually call it, where the seller has had the mandatory waiting period to respond or make the deal right. If your transaction did not orginally say that it was covered by eBay's Buyer Protection program, then it is not. Under these circumstances, you have no recourse through Paypal.

    I have given a thought or two to stopping the transaction at the bank (or credit card), but I have no idea what would come of that, but I suspect there's something in the fine print with Paypal that would cause the bank to rule in favor of Paypal, or worse, also cause me to have to pay some sort of non-payment fee to Paypal. Whatever it may be, I'm quite certain that's the nuclear option and it would be ugly.

    As for the example I noted, in one case I was eventually able to convince the seller to take back the instrument. In another I was not and was left holding the bag.

    Paypal should be viewed as something between a credit card and a cash transaction outside of the auctions. In any event, it's MUCH better than a Western Union money gram or other cash transaction mechansim, but if you want insure you have the option to stop the transaction, you're best off using a credit card directly.
    1926 Buescher True Tone Series III Gold Plated Soprano -- Morgan Vintage 6
    1936 Buescher Custom Built Bare Brass Baritone -- Strathon 8*
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  11. #11
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayeSF View Post
    Swingtone started a thread about this, above the open threads. Quite honestly...although it HAS been made a Sticky and the thread closed...I do feel that there are several inaccuracies on his part in his reporting/interpreting PayPal policy. So I do not think it an accurate representation of the way a Paypal dispute really works. I say this only because I recently had an experience on a non-eFlay transaction where PayPal became involved, and their actions contradicted what Swingtone represented as their policy (contradicted it in a GOOD way, as far as buyer protection goes).

    Here's the thing: if YOU, as BUYER, are unhappy with the resulting purchase and the seller tries to play hardball with you, you can file a claim thru Paypal and the seller's account is automatically DEDUCTED the transaction amount. This becomes a HUGE, HUGE incentive for the seller to resolve the issue...because that deduction effects all future transactions the seller makes via PayPal as long as it remains in effect. Honestly....the buyer's gripe doesn't even need to have any validity whatsoever, initially. As soon as that claim is filed..zap...the seller's account gets deducted. The $ remains deducted from the account until either seller and buyer mutually resolve their differences, or PayPal is asked to make a decision.

    Now, as Rispoli says...should it come to THAT (PayPal making the call)...I would agree, it probably becomes a crap-shoot. So perhaps it would be best to avoid that avenue (although you can bluff it). But the amount of leverage put on the seller to communicate and resolve the problem is actually pretty HUGE, imho. So, at least for the first 75% of the dispute...the buyer is in the driver's seat, really; the seller is up against the wall for that time.

    Remember, it really is all about leverage. How do things look from the seller's point of view ? The messages and info the seller is receiving thru PayPal generally contain semantics favorable to the buyer who files the claim.
    So, having the fact that the transaction was funded via credit card is also a good card to have in your hand. It may ultimately prove fruitless, but it's more leverage on seller to resolve (i.e. "if PayPal doesn't see it my way I will file a claim w/ my card...so this won't be over by a long shot. So let's just come to a resolution now.")

    I agree w/ Kritavi; have the seller accurately describe what you are buying in a Payment Request which he/she sends to you.

    "In good vintage shape"...is bad news.

    Or my favorite one of all time: "...may need some adjustments"

    "In good physical, structural, and functional condition ~ horn plays up and down with no issues; and is free of body bends and major/significant dents "...is more the sorta semantics you want to have on the Payment Request you receive.
    In all fairness, when Swingtone started that thread in 2009 it WAS Paypal's policy to only offer buyer protection for non-receipt of merchandise for off-ebay transactions--meaning that a seller could send you a box with a brick in it and only had to prove delivery to win an item-not-received dispute. And Item-not-as-described disputes did not exist for off-ebay transactions at that time because the details of the transactions were not accessible to Paypal.

    I know this from using both services extensively since 1999.

    But in the last two years, ebay and its sister company Paypal have totally revamped their buyer protection policies to give buyers way more protection than ever, so even though I have not done any research into this lately, I have heard that Paypal's buyer protection now covers off-ebay transactions.

    I DO know that it has changed significantly since I WAS recently involved in an ebay dispute in which the result was an automatic deduction of funds from my Paypal account. This was something completely new to me as there were always ebay disputes and Paypal and ne'er the twain shall meet.

    Bottom Line: Now that ebay and Paypal are out of the closet in terms of their relationship (they actually used to deny they were the same company when you talked to them on the phone), it's a much better bet to file an ebay dispute rather than a Paypal one. But a few years ago it was much better to use Paypal since those were the only ones with any real teeth from the standpoint that they could freeze a seller's account and deduct money from his account as some have said. Back then, ebay disputes were a joke and took forever to settle too.

    Below bottom line:

    I'm through with ebay and Paypal. They suck. If you want to know how it really works, this is it: Buyers have way more options and other places they can spend their money so ebay caters to their eyeballs by offering them more and more "protection" at the seller's expense. OTOH ebay is a virtual monopoly from the seller's standpoint because there is no other online service with its reach.

    So basically they can give sellers the shaft because they know this. But once you've been given the shaft after 11 years of selling on there--and roughly $60,000 worth of stuff in my case--once is way too much.

  12. #12
    Undistinguished SOTW Member zorrosg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Thanks to everyone for their trouble to make detailed and lengthy replies. It sounds like Paypal may likely offer protection in the event of a scam or con by the seller.
    This is relatively cheap item of less then $300. In the past, I've bought saxes costing thousands of dollars each with nary a though, because it was on Ebay.
    Now while the leverage Paypal can put on the seller sounds convincing, this is not a merchant or even a regular paypal seller here. In fact his Ebay records (which I went to take a look at ) show him to be mainly a not very active buyer of small priced items - cds, records etc. Feedback has been good, but never as a seller. And he is not that active either, maybe 5 small purchases a year on Ebay max.
    So if an individual who doesn't do too much selling, and does only a little buying through Paypal, decides to run a scam, and either take the money and run, or send you a box of rocks, or a train wrecked instrument, with the idea to forget about using Paypal after that - how much leverage then can Paypal really put on him. If after we pay him on the money request (detailed as that may be), he withdraws the money and disappears or stops responding, does Paypal have the will and the clout to recover that amount from him forceably, if he stops responding to them and stops using their service altogether? This is the main question that is still not entirely clear. We can file a dispute, the seller becomes incommunicado, ignores Paypal and doesn't use their services anymore, then what can Paypal do to him under those circumstances?
    Anyway, I am a very straight shooting buyer. I drive a hard deal, but then I always pay within 24 hrs of the deal completion. Even on occassions where I got 'shafted' a bit by the seller, I never did pursue any course of action through Paypal. Usually I just eat the damage and get on with my life. So I'm definitely not out to shaft the seller in any way, but just that dealing off Ebay, with an individual who doesn't rely on selling for a living, and who is not a commercial merchant raises all these questions in my mind.
    If he is out to scam me, and I allow it to happen, it is both bad for me as well as him. I might lose money, but he's doing something 'sinful', so that's why I am doing so much 'due diligence' on a relatively small purchase. Many thanks!
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  13. #13
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by zorrosg View Post
    Thanks to everyone for their trouble to make detailed and lengthy replies. It sounds like Paypal may likely offer protection in the event of a scam or con by the seller.
    This is relatively cheap item of less then $300. In the past, I've bought saxes costing thousands of dollars each with nary a though, because it was on Ebay.
    Now while the leverage Paypal can put on the seller sounds convincing, this is not a merchant or even a regular paypal seller here. In fact his Ebay records (which I went to take a look at ) show him to be mainly a not very active buyer of small priced items - cds, records etc. Feedback has been good, but never as a seller. And he is not that active either, maybe 5 small purchases a year on Ebay max.
    So if an individual who doesn't do too much selling, and does only a little buying through Paypal, decides to run a scam, and either take the money and run, or send you a box of rocks, or a train wrecked instrument, with the idea to forget about using Paypal after that - how much leverage then can Paypal really put on him. If after we pay him on the money request (detailed as that may be), he withdraws the money and disappears or stops responding, does Paypal have the will and the clout to recover that amount from him forceably, if he stops responding to them and stops using their service altogether? This is the main question that is still not entirely clear. We can file a dispute, the seller becomes incommunicado, ignores Paypal and doesn't use their services anymore, then what can Paypal do to him under those circumstances?
    Anyway, I am a very straight shooting buyer. I drive a hard deal, but then I always pay within 24 hrs of the deal completion. Even on occassions where I got 'shafted' a bit by the seller, I never did pursue any course of action through Paypal. Usually I just eat the damage and get on with my life. So I'm definitely not out to shaft the seller in any way, but just that dealing off Ebay, with an individual who doesn't rely on selling for a living, and who is not a commercial merchant raises all these questions in my mind.
    If he is out to scam me, and I allow it to happen, it is both bad for me as well as him. I might lose money, but he's doing something 'sinful', so that's why I am doing so much 'due diligence' on a relatively small purchase.
    If Paypal offers the protection you seek and you win a dispute, then you don't need to worry about whether they can collect from the guy; they will refund you first and then go after the guy for the dough. That's how it works on ebay.

  14. #14
    Undistinguished SOTW Member zorrosg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by drwhippet View Post
    If Paypal offers the protection you seek and you win a dispute, then you don't need to worry about whether they can collect from the guy; they will refund you first and then go after the guy for the dough. That's how it works on ebay.
    Thank you Dr. Whippet, excellent answer that is directly addressing my concerns. Anyway, I think will venture forth on this deal. If anything goes wrong, I will take it as a learning experience and post a detailed report on my experience on SOTW as my way of contributing back to the members here.
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  15. #15

    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Wouldn't it be better to send an Invoice to the buyer detailing the transaction?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by maddenma View Post
    Filing a dispute does not cause them at any time to stop payment.
    Sorta true, but sorta incorrect. Unless it has changed in the past 3 months...filing a dispute after the item has been paid for will actually debit the amount from the seller's Paypal account.

    It doesn't 'stop payment'...but it reverses the funds credited to the sellers account.

    This is where the leverage comes in.
    Quote Originally Posted by drwhippet View Post
    In all fairness, when Swingtone started that thread in 2009 ....

    Actually...naw...it was Spring of '10. Regardless, however, he still had some things wrong (or was just misrepresenting 'em to support his own (mis)interpretations)...but, granted... since you note the policy has been revamped since then, it should no longer be a 'sticky', really...eh ????


    Quote Originally Posted by drwhippet View Post
    Below bottom line:

    I'm through with ebay and Paypal. They suck.

    Coming from someone (me) who basically almost never agrees with you on anything.....I agree completely.

    They have us by the shorthairs...and they know it.
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  17. #17
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by AdamsAutoAdvice View Post
    Wouldn't it be better to send an Invoice to the buyer detailing the transaction?

    I always insist upon this as a general rule....in the end, I think it may be more of a psychological ploy than actually being something which would count to PayPal as being in your favor should the sh#t hit the fan....

    But the way I figure it...if a seller balks at sending you a Paypal Payment Request or PayPal Invoice detailing some specifics about the item you are buying (and hell, yeah, I have had a fair number that did balk)...that's a bad sign right there....
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  18. #18

    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayePDX View Post
    But the way I figure it...if a seller balks at sending you a Paypal Payment Request or PayPal Invoice detailing some specifics about the item you are buying (and hell, yeah, I have had a fair number that did balk)...that's a bad sign right there....
    Totally agree with you there! If the seller is not willing to put in the extra effort and detail the transaction, don't buy it!

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Quote Originally Posted by JayePDX View Post
    They have us by the shorthairs...and they know it.
    Well, as true as this may be, they have a pretty cool (i.e. popular) product that no one else can seem to duplicate at twice the price.

  20. #20

    Default Re: Does Paypal buyer protection cover non Ebay purchases?

    Very simply put- NO.
    Paypal offers you no guarantee of anything. It is all in the fine print. You might as well be sending them a western union.

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