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So somebody purchased something from me and I shipped it out via PayPal/eBay shipping.
Turns our usps asked for COD collect on delivery. This person has been extremely rude the entire time I've dealt with them and now they want a refund.
Is it scummy to not refund shipping because I did ship the package and usps fucked up?
I offered to reship it once I got it back, but they just want their money. So I'll end up loosing money if I refund with shipping.

Thoughts? I don't want to be a scumbag about this but I can't really afford loosing money. Thanks :/

Edit: Worked it out. Thanks everybody! I apparently used a flat rate express box and didn't realize it. I'm surprised they didn't just go by the actual shipping label, and went by the box instead but I don't ship that often. Going to refund them the total amount when I get my package back in my hand. Thanks everybody for the advice!

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( 23 comments — Leave a comment )
Jun. 1st, 2014 09:37 pm (UTC)
Do you have proof they were asked to pay again? This seems a bit odd as I have not even seen cod as an option I a very long time...I would say buyer needs to take it up with usps and get a refund from them if it's their error not yours imo.
Jun. 1st, 2014 09:57 pm (UTC)
why did they want more payment? did you weigh the package incorrectly? that's the only time I've heard of them wanting more money, if the shipper paid for a lower weight.

if that was the case then yeah you owe them a full refund with shipping, since it was your error

Edited at 2014-06-01 09:59 pm (UTC)
Jun. 1st, 2014 10:19 pm (UTC)
Refund it all. Yes you shipped the package, yes, USPS messed it up. But the customer has done nothing that would warrant them being out of the money either. It's one of the costs of doing business. Eat the cost, learn from it, and move on.

However, do not refund one cent until the package is back in your hands.
Jun. 1st, 2014 10:27 pm (UTC)
Have the provide a receipt from USPS for the supposed COD.

If they can provide a receipt, then refund them. You made an error and they had to pay. They might be annoying, but their complaint is legit.

If they cannot provide a receipt, then they might trying to scam you. You need to then look and see if they are someone you want to keep as a customer. If you don't mind losing their business from now on, then tell them to try to scam someone else, and that you fulfilled your end of the contract. If you want to keep them, then bite the bullet and refund them.
Jun. 1st, 2014 11:00 pm (UTC)
it sounds like the customer refused to pay so it's back on it's way to the sender ("I offered to reship it once I got it back"), so there'd be no receipt
Jun. 1st, 2014 11:14 pm (UTC)
Hmm, missed that.

Most importantly, don't refund a single penny until you have it back in your hand. They could very well be trying to scam you saying it was lost in the mail.

If that be the case, then verify that the package was indeed returned marked "Insufficient postage", and that it hasn't been touched. Then and only then would their story add up at all.

If there is a new shipping label on it, or if it has been opened, then your customer is 100% trying to rip you off. In that case, you need to do whatever you would do if you had finished a piece, but not shipped it, and customer decided to back out. If your TOS permits that sort of a refund, then you can refund them in whatever way your TOS states. BUT NOT SHIPPING. If your TOS does not permit refunds after the piece has been completed, then the customer is SOL.
Jun. 1st, 2014 10:46 pm (UTC)
As for a receipt. I'm confused how they were issued a COD, because from my experience that's something you have to initiate before you ship it. It sounds like they're trying to scam you. If you have a tracking number for the item, you can also call USPS and ask about it.
Jun. 1st, 2014 11:42 pm (UTC)
If you were shipping to the US and USPS decided you underpaid, then they will try to charge the receiver for the excess shipping costs. The buyer should have contacted you and (in my opinion) you should have fronted the extra cost (after verifying this with USPS).

If you were shipping the item internationally, such as to Canada, then the amount they were being charged was due to Customs/Duty fees and not due to your error. If this is the case, then I would not refund them the shipping costs.

Basically, if it's your error, you eat the shipping costs. If it's them being ignorant, they eat the shipping costs.

I hope you contacted USPS to verify this.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 12:05 am (UTC)
It doesn't sound as much like a scam as much as potentially, buyers remorse.

As for customs/duty, that typically happens when you deal with fedex or other courier companies- I've never had duty fees on anything I have received from standard mail!

If I were you, I would wait until you receive the item back in the mail, and make sure like others have said, that there is some marking to indicate that it was sent back, like insufficient postage, and refund MINUS the shipping costs.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 12:10 am (UTC)
Since you did it through eBay: was it in the listing that refunds would be minus shipping cost? If not, well... probably going to have to refund the shipping cost. If you didn't actually have a listinglisting and you're saying you just used PayPal to ship... Hm. It would kind of depend. I would try calling USPS with the tracking number to find out more about it. If it was something you messed up on, yeah, you should probably refund.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 12:15 am (UTC)
I sold them my old wacom tablet, and I shipped it flat rate box, which is guaranteed up to 70lbs.
Sorry I know this isn't really 'artist' but I figured people might have a good idea.

I think its buyers remorse tbh. They're now saying they need the money for their sister's chemo.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 12:31 am (UTC)
did you put the right size flat rate postage on for the right size box? what does the tracking say happened? (priority flat rate will automatically come with tracking)
Jun. 2nd, 2014 01:11 am (UTC)
Yanno, it's really sad that I automatically agree with you, the whole 'family member has cancer and I need to pay for their chemo' excuse has been used so damned much, I automatically side-eye anyone who uses it in situations like this. I'd definitely verify and wait until you have it back in your hands.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 02:05 am (UTC)
In that case, you know they are lying. If you used a flat rate box, then it got shipped successfully. They did NOT get charged any COD.

This is where you just decide what you want to do. You are 100% in your rights to say that they bought it, paid for it, and received it. You don't have to give them a penny if you don't want to refund them. If they want the money, they can sell it to someone else.

If you do feel like being nice and letting him return the tablet (and that is the case. It would be you doing them a favor, you are under NO obligation), then allow them to pay to ship it back, and you refund the purchase price, but NOT the shipping price. You will be able to sell the tablet for the sale price again, but you're not going to be able to make up your lost shipping costs, and this is clearly no fault of your own, so there is no reason you have to suffer at all.

Edited at 2014-06-02 02:06 am (UTC)
Jun. 2nd, 2014 02:38 am (UTC)
"If you used a flat rate box, then it got shipped successfully."

Only if they used the right label for the right box. It's an easy mistake to make when you're printing labels yourself. I cant think of any other reason for the COD, and the OP would know if they were lying about that based on the tracking.

I've personally shipped thousands of packages via USPS and this situation doesn't make sense as the OP explains it (saying the COD was because of USPS and not user error). I'd be curious to see the tracking.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 02:35 am (UTC)
If you sold it on ebay, did you have it ticked to where you will take a refund? If not, they're SOL. It's not your problem. They just want their money back so they don't have to go through the hassle of relisting it.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 02:39 am (UTC)
Actually, if it was sold on ebay, the buyer isn't SOL. They can go through ebay and force a refund. It doesn't matter what the seller listed their policies as. :/
Jun. 2nd, 2014 10:25 am (UTC)
I thought the policy was you were legally bound by the bid? Or has Ebay gone mad with letting the buyers trample all over sellers?
Jun. 2nd, 2014 05:56 pm (UTC)
ebay has been mad for quite some time.

It's nice from a buyer's standpoint, since you know you won't get screwed over by a scam seller, but it's terrifying from a seller's standpoint and it's why ebay is mostly just resellers and no longer a treasure trove of awesome memorabilia.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 03:14 am (UTC)
Do not give them any money until you get the item back.
COD is pretty sketchy as an excuse. It's likely customs fees and they werent aware of them. These can get pretty high.

Or, they may be trying to keep the item and the money.
Jun. 2nd, 2014 03:44 am (UTC)
I remember when my fursuit partial arrived I ended up paying almost the entire price of the partial in customs fees! I think they disputed the value at the border(it was opened).

Was I annoyed by having to pay the unexpected almost double fee compared to what I estimated the customs to be? Yes. Would I try and turn that around on the maker of my suit? Never.
If that's what happened here, and I can see that being the case since people can be unaware of customs and duty, it's a really crappy thing to do.

I realise it's not a seller's obligation to inform a buyer about customs fees but anytime you do ship internationally it's probably a good idea to give a heads up, since it can be $100++ and if they're like the postal service here they don't take credit or debit, it has to be cash at the door. It's nice before you agree to the final deal if you mention- 'hey you know it'll probably be about $60(or $110, or whatever) at the door when it arrives because of customs, I just want to give you heads up about that.'
Again I know it's not your problem to warn people about those fees, but it can be a heads up to people unaware customs fees exist and might make the transaction go more smoothly in the end.

Man, all of use are here on tenterhooks waiting to find out what the tracking says actually happened!
Jun. 2nd, 2014 02:56 pm (UTC)
custom fees can be pretty hard hitting. I know I will get an extra fee of 25% of my package's worth + handling by customs + extra shipping from the closest city to where I am (rural delivery fee). Though.. USPS have charged me home delivery several times despite dropping it off at the local post office. they never even tried to do a home delivery (always people at home, so we'd know). If they do it this time they'll get a nice little phone call :P (though this is not the senders fault in any way)
Jun. 2nd, 2014 04:28 am (UTC)

OK, with ebay, they get the entire purchase price back. Item plus original shipping regardless of what your auction states. This is part of the eBay protection bs program. There is no as-is, all sales final, no returns, no refunds. This is the crap part about ebay. You will be accepting those returns, like it or not. Secondly, if this lovely fella 'Refused' the package he has voided the eBay protection guarantee. I will believe if a case is opened the seller should win this one hands down as long as tracking shows it. Third, you are not required to refund his shipping back to you.

COD. Sounds ultra 'odd' to me unless an error in the label OR a USPS flat rate envelope was used. They are cracking down on those folks who use those trying to cram items that don't actually go in there for that small of a size. You stated you shipped in a box. So....

Anywho really wondering what that tracking says! Last of all, like a few folks have stated, do not refund until your item is back with you.

Quick question, did your buyer open a case up against you?
( 23 comments — Leave a comment )


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