Items purchased: March 13/14th 2013
Items received March 22 2013
Buyer feedback left April 8th 2013
Paypal dispute opened June 3rd 2013
Credit Card Chargeback take out July 1st 2013
Basic Summary: I am writing to warn other artists, particularly on etsy, of a buyer (Brooke Allison Kutik or AllisoninWonderland8 on etsy) who purchased two items from me and then initiated a fraudulent credit card chargeback through paypal claiming she never received the items. The buyer had previously told me via etsy message that she had received the items, and she left me feedback on etsy. Initially, paypal closed the disputes in my favour at the beginning of June 2013, however in July the credit card company ruled in the buyer's favour for one of the items and the fees were deducted from my account. Paypal gave me back part of the fee but I was still out about $200.
Before I get into details I would like to state that I have spoken at length to paypal on the phone, with 3 different representatives, and feel I have exhausted all my options with them. I am posting this to warn other artists, not for advice on what to do with the current transaction.
Let's get into it.
On March 13th, 2013, user "Alisoninwonderland8" on etsy purchased an item from me for $240 plus $40 shipping. She also messaged me on March 14th asking about purchasing a second item and combining the shipping. Our messages back and forth are as follows:
Etsy receipt for item #1: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/Paypal%20Dispute/invoice_zps0c0370d3.jpg
Etsy Listing for item #2: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/Paypal%20Dispute/item2_zpsc59f0420.jpg
Payment for item #1: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/consonancepayment_zpsb0616917.jpg
She sent me the payment for the first etsy item on March 13th, and the second payment for the discussed amount for the second item on March 14th.
Payment for Item #2: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/Paypal%20Dispute/isoblepayment_zps4b2615be.jpg
On March 22nd, 2013, the buyer messaged me on etsy to tell me she had received the items and was happy with them, and we talked about getting a custom at some point. On April 9th I messaged her about the commission but got no response and assumed she had changed her mind and thought nothing of it (see below for convo). However, it might be worth mentioning that on April 1st she commented on one of my in progress photos on facebook mentioning interest in purchasing that particular item. So, at this point I had no reason to believe she had been unhappy with our transaction in any way. The buyer left me positive feedback on etsy on April 8th. The message I sent on April 9th was the last time I have contacted the buyer.
Comment on facebook: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/Paypal%20Dispute/kirin_zps927884fb.jpg
Feedback on etsy: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/Paypal%20Dispute/feedback_zps000e2646.jpg
Around June 3rd 2013 (paypal has since removed this transaction so I don't have the exact date) I was notified by paypal that two disputes had been opened on my account for the two transactions (one for $280 and one for $175). I was surprised, and proceeded to provide paypal with tracking information and our conversations. Paypal ruled in my favour for both transactions, and the funds were returned to my account.
Disputes on paypal: http://i888.photobucket.com/albums/ac81/evanescenceable/Paypal%20Dispute/disputes_zpsb77e17f1.jpg
On July 1st 2013, $280 and $10 in fees were deducted from my account. I was not in the country at the time and didn't notice until paypal called me a week later about my negative account balance. I talked to a representative who told me that the credit card had ruled in favour of the buyer, but ONLY on the transaction for $280, and not the one for $175. I explained that that made no sense as they were shipped together. After talking to them, I was basically told that paypal could do nothing and if I wanted to pursue further action I would have to go through the court system.
I called paypal again when I was back home and more settled. This time, the representative explained that the reason I was ruled against was that for transactions over $250, they require both tracking AND signature confirmation as proof of delivery. This is why I was ruled against for the $280 transaction and not the $175 one; tracking was sufficient proof for transactions under $250. My account was at a negative of $83 at this point and paypal ended up refunding me that "because you've never had issues with your account before and have been a member for a long time". However, the extra balance of about $197 was not recovered.
To Summarize: the buyer initiated fraudulent credit card chargebacks on items she had received and left feedback for. Paypal ruled in my favour for both transactions. The credit card company ruled in my favour for the $175 transaction but against me for the $280 transaction because they apparently require signature confirmation and tracking for transactions over $250, and I only had tracking. The chargeback of $280 left my account with a negative balance of $83, which paypal refunded as a kind gesture. In total I was robbed for about $197. I have not contacted the buyer at all and don't see what good that would do, since the case seems pretty cut and dry to me. Once again, I am posting this to warn people about this buyer, especially since there were zero red flags during the transaction. In addition, make sure to always send things with tracking and signature confirmation, especially on higher priced items. I think that if people want to find a way to steal from you they will, and paypal will always find a loophole to side against you, but cover your bases as much as possible just in case.
Thanks for reading. If I left anything out just let me know.