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Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Latest Scams & The Etsy Feedback System That Facilitates It

I don't know how many other sellers this is happening to.....but I've had it happen one too many times here on Etsy to not speak my mind about it. I do know some other sellers that have been dealing with similar scams.

The Scam:

The buyer purchases an item from you; then after the purchase is complete they contact you requesting that you send the item to a different address than the one that they have listed in their Etsy and PayPal accounts. If you do that, you will be forced by PayPal to refund the customer if they claim they never got it. In other words.....they have the item and a refund.....and you, the seller have zip.

If you don't ship the item to the other address they asked you to ship to; the customer will be angry because the scam didn't work in their favor....so they will come up with issues with the item; and either leave negative feedback or they threaten to leave negative feedback if they don't receive a full refund.....and they still expect you to allow them to keep the item.

Another senerio:

They will say they moved and never got the item because you refused to ship the item to their new address that they sent to you after the sale was completed. Which let me make very clear....DON'T DO IT! PayPal will take your money out of your account and refund the buyer if you did not ship to the address listed in PayPal.

The worst part of this type of scam is that you can't do anything about it. Etsy will allow them to get away with it. Etsy will go so far as to tell you to work it out with the buyer, and to refund them or give them another item.....they offer no assistance at all.

In other words; if you don't refund the customer and allow them to keep the item you will end up with negative feedback from the customer.....and that's okay with Etsy.

My latest scammer went into great detail in her feedback; stating the item was damaged, rusted, scratched, etc.; basically calling the item a piece of junk.....and said that she was "ripped-off" by me. She never once tried to contact me prior to leaving the feedback to let me know of any problems....she just told horrible lies when leaving feedback because her scam didn't work out in her favor. She thought I would ship to another address, but I decided to contact PayPal about it, and I was told "Absolutely, under no circumstance do you ship to another address.....and it sounded like a scam to them".

After she left the negative feedback the buyer finally did contact me stating she would consider changing her feedback if I refunded her in full. Keep in mind that she wants the item, and admits that it's a cute piece in her convo to me.....and that she wants to keep it. She never once asked to return the piece for a refund.....even though I had mentioned that she could have returned the item for a full refund, rather than leaving negative feedback.

She also made it quite clear that she understands the Etsy's feedback system....and that the negative feedback that she received from me doesn't show to the public or to other sellers, so she could care less. She even went as far as to gloat about that fact, and how the negative feedback only hurts me, as the seller. She even added a smiley face after the comment to let me know she was gloating about her not being affected by the feedback.

The Etsy feedback system is totally unacceptable and unfair to all the honest sellers. I think as sellers here on Etsy we need to make it clear that these feedback policies only hurt the honest seller; and should be changed to make it a fair place for both buyers and sellers to conduct their business.

I'd love to hear from other sellers.....what scams are you dealing with? I think as sellers we need to look out for each other.....and let others know what kind of scams are being perpetrated here on Etsy!

Also, as a seller.....how do you feel about the feedback system? How have the changes affected your doing business here?

20 comments:

  1. Scam: a customer buys an item, leaves positive feedback. Months later, they file a claim via PayPal that they never purchased that item and that their credit card was used in fraud. Despite all the evidence you might have (positive feedback, transaction, postal receipt), the credit card company still rules in their favor. Additionally, PayPal charges a $20 fee for mediating the situation, yet they say that they don't want to be "involved" and that it's up to the credit card company of the buyer to make a decision. They will not tell you what credit card company that the buyer uses because it's "confidential" information that they can't share. You have tried to contact the buyer several times, but you never get a reply. As a result, you lose both the item you sent and the money. Etsy has been notified about this scammer, yet it takes 11 days to get back to you. They do very little about it besides say that they tried to contact the buyer and that they hope you can work out the problem with the buyer (fat chance).

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    1. That is called an UNA or unauthorized use chargeback. You are protected by paypal or direct checkout because they provided you with the address, if you lost, you should have appealed. If done properly, all you need to provide is the paypal reciept showing you were told to send to that address, then Paypal takes responsibility.

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  2. It's one of the main reasons that I am moving my stock away from Etsy and onto my own site. I'm tired of the limitations and having negative feedback that I've gone above and beyond the pale to resolve...I'm ready to do MORE than what Etsy allows.

    http://www.PixiesPocket.com

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    1. Hi,

      I abosultely hate this about Etsy. I have gotten a few negative feedbacks ( to a buyer 1 is enough because buyers only look at the negative ) and they are all because of international shipping. I cannot control how long it will take to your country and that is why I says 3-4 to be shipped. I ship it the first week of ordering and they are still mad. There will always be a customer out there who isn't happy no matter what you do. I have to go above and beyond and sometimes even give full re-funds to people so they can change there feedback. Anyone know a site where you can make your own free website?

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  3. I'm also getting my own site, but also getting rid of PayPal. I have dealt with PayPal for years and they always decide against the seller ~ even gave back refunds and didn't get the merchandise back when my elderly parent was in critical condition in the hospital. All this without my consent. They can do this when you go on vacation, too.

    You have no rights unless you want to hire a lawyer and that is expensive. And, even then, if you check into this, they can get into your bank account LEGALLY and seize money, bounce checks, etc. It's scary what rights they have with so many people dealing with PayPal...on a mass scale, they can really affect alot. So, they've got you. It's really PayPal that is the problem, not Etsy.

    I'm firing PayPal, getting a virtual credit card machine with a checkout link. People are mainly doing these flimsy dealings with PayPal and/or overseas check payments.

    PayPal "supports" a lot in the way of state taxes...that's another reason for all of this, in my opinion.

    This is important-- losing inventory when they give out refunds without getting your merchandise back, you are being stolen from. If someone came into your physical store and got some money out of the register and didn't return the merchandise, they would be in jail. Don't you think that would happen?

    Another business whammy... getting bad feedback ~ you are sometimes "forced" to lower your prices to make sales and this allows the transfer of assets (YOURS!) to another party (are these people together?). It's sort of like what Hitler did, stole assets. Makes you think about the legality of anyone (even if it is PayPal) to give out refunds and not get the merchandise back, the feedback system ruining business of good stores, etc

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  4. I understand your "pain" as a seller and this is why I am intimidated about opening a shop on Etsy. Your stories sound like nightmares. On the other side of the coin I have had several "no-ships" from sellers who appear to be ok but then don't ship and don't respond to my inquiries. This is equally as frustrating to pay for a product and then never receive it. I have thought about a perfect on-line system for both seller and buyer and haven't come to a conclusion. Negative feedback to a deadbeat seller doesn't seem to have any affect on the outcome and really only helps future buyers make a decision about making a purchase. If someone has a different solution that is equitable and protects both seller and buyer I would love to hear it.

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  5. This is all so interesting thank you for sharing!!!! I hope this doesn't happen to me!

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  6. Yep, this happened to my wife in a series of orders placed from Atlanta. All items shipped, all items received and all items a refund was requested via Etsy. She lost a significant amount of operating capital to this and now she has now had her store suspended for non-payment despite showing proof of delivery on all items. Since the funds aren't available to refund now, the store will be shutdown and she will be banned permanently. I can't say this is really a loss because Etsy enables Buyer Fraud and there is a growing group of Buyers who use that website that have found this out... But, she was doing well and was breaking even. If Etsy doesn't fix it it will be a website of Scammers selling to Scammers.

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  7. As much as I like Etsy, I'm wondering more and more if it's just a pretty packaging. I sell my items privately but have very few sales on Etsy since I opened my store. When I see sellers with 1000+ sales in a year, I'm wondering if they are for real. So far I've been putting $ into Etsy & barely breaking even.

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  8. We have been able to quit our day jobs because of our sales on Etsy. We have come across a few customers lately though that have claimed damages or problems with their items without backing it up with proof. We make furniture so they can not say it was never delivered, we always have tracking numbers and insurance. We have some try to intimidate saying they did not want to leave negative feedback and hopefully we can come to "an understanding" which means $$$. One even threatened court and fought with us about giving proof. We have to be so careful now with all our shop policies and almost screen our customers. We also are trying to get away from this with our own website and physical store. Never give in to them.

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  9. I just today opened an Etsy store. My first sale was from a person who's PayPal address was in South Korea and they want me to ship to an address in New Jersey. The address in PayPal is also unconfirmed. I refunded the payment and explained that they must pay with a proper credit card or change their address in Paypal. Sheesh, I thought eBay was a snakepit.

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    1. I just had a buyer who didn't pay for an item, wanted a full refund via paypal when they didn't pay me any money, then left negative feedback after I canceled the transaction on every item they purchased.

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  10. I just had a buyer who received a damaged item (it happens) despite our excellent packaging. The red flag should have been: prior to sale, the buyer asked a ton of questions. We gave honest response. Buyer received merch damaged but in most situations buyers are nice in asking for a partial refund or for help in repair - this one went straight for "I'll SUE" yeah, whatever,…..they provided photos of the damage but they enhanced the photos in photoshop!!!! The photos looked strange to me, so I forwarded it to Paypal and they agree some fishy business was being played here with altered photos and I won the case. The buyer could have gotten away with it if I hadn't spotted the photoshop mistake; This was a savvy scammer - but they need to work on their photoshop skills in order to fool myself or Paypal!!!

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  11. I've been a victim to things like this in the past on Etsy, but to be honest, Paypal has always ruled in my favour. Reading some of these comments I wonder just what the customer told them. I too had someone claim that their card had been used without their consent, but paypal still ruled in my favour.
    Paypal is not fully to blame, either, and these are actually some of the first stories I've heard about where paypal has voted against the seller. From personal experience, and the experience of others, Paypal has been nothing but a blessing.

    I wish you all luck selling outside of Etsy - it's going to be amazingly difficult to set up a shop and maintain constant traffic on your own, so good luck to you! Personally, my business is more of a hobby, so I have no interest in branching away from Etsy or Storenvy.

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  12. Client resently asked for tracking number on order 10 days after I had shipped. On the 12th day I responded that order was delivered on day 2.. Client said this is the day she went away and hasn't been back. Day 14, client is now saying item is damaged.
    I was already thinking if I can't provide the tracking, she's gonna file a claim against me.
    Then I provided the tracking.
    Now the item is damaged? After it sat for 12 days??
    On a side note, as much as I hate etsy fees and the policies, I could not reach clients with out them. They have made it possible for me to live my dream.

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  13. This is why I moved to eBay. Even it has it's flaws, but the eBay Buyer Protection is way better than this crap.

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  14. I like buying product and services on bid your way.

    Bid your way is an online auction website like eBay and ebid but what sets this online auction website apart from eBay and ebid as well as other online auction website is bid your way don't charge any fees no auction setup fees or final price fees.

    By not charging sellers any fees us buyers can find better deals because sellers get to keep all of their profits.

    At bid your way you can buy, sell, pay, and get paid the way you want too, sellers can accept payment payments anyway they choose too PayPal, Moneybookers, and 2checkout just to name a few out of many payment gateways you can use for free.

    If you guys would like to take a look at bid your way website just go to http://www.bidurway.com/

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  15. I too am in the process of marketing my own site and moving away from Etsy. I know this will take some time but it's in the works. I can't wait for the day that I am done feeding the mouths of the people that could careless about their customers whom by the way ARE THE SELLERS!

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  16. Etsy is the cheesiest company in America. The CEO, Chad Dickerson is an assclown that should be fired and then given a Golden Dildo on his way out the door. Etsy is basically a flea market for Chinese factory junk, Walmart junk, and Dollar Store items resold as "handmade" or "vintage" at huge markups to unsuspecting suckers. Etsy has never made a profit and their IPO is the worst performing one on Wall Street in 2015. Complain about their corrupt business practices and you will be banned from the site. Supporting this bunch of crooks is like helping someone burglarize your home.

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    Replies
    1. Leave it to a Rothschild to know all of that. :)

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