Buyer says item not received.

I sold an item last weekend & posted it 2nd class signed for on Monday. On Wednesday the buyer contacted me to say they’d been emailed to say it had arrived but they hadn’t received it. 
I checked Royal Mail website which showed it was signed for that day. I advised the buyer of this and sent them a screenshot of the delivery confirmation. They insisted it wasn’t them and asked me to resolve things. 
As they wouldn’t contact Royal Mail I said I’d call them and they have opened an investigation which may take up to 10 days which I have let the buyer know. I suggested they also contact Royal Mail and / or their local sorting office which they haven’t done.
Last night they contacted me again to say they don’t have the bag so want the postage refunded. 
Up until then I had sympathy with them and was happy to try and help but it seems strange to want postage back but not the item? 
I spoke to eBay last week who said as the item was tracked I’d win an INR case (which hasn’t been opened) and it was now up to the buyer to dispute with Royal Mail.
I don’t want to refund postage and accept liability but will call Royal Mail again to see if they have an update. 
Apart from this what should I ask the buyer to do? Am I unreasonable to think they too need to do some work to trace the item as the item shows they signed for it? Should I suggest they open an INR and let eBay deal with things?
I’ve sold & brought on eBay for a few years now (only personal items so not huge volumes) and have never had an item not received nor not received an item myself so not sure on best process to follow. 
From my perspective I’m not sure what else I can do to help the buyer apart from ask Royal Mail to investigate which I’ve already done.

Many thanks 
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Replies

  • edited 26 July 2020 at 12:29PM
    soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    edited 26 July 2020 at 12:29PM
    Wanting postage back makes me think that something is off about this Buyer, and I certainly would not be even considering it. The fact that they were querying non receipt so quickly also raises flags for me.

    I would do the standard, email the buyer, re confirm the address It was sent to , explain you have asked RM to confirm and as far as they are concerned this has arrived. Suggest again that they speak to their delivery office in case they can be of any further assistance. They will lose any claim raised by eBay or PayPal as long as you have delivery confirmation to the address given on eBay, so they are unlikely to want to go down that route.

    stay very polite, very helpful but do not give them and false hope of a goodwill part refund gesture. Let RM run an investigation and assist wherever you can.

    Do not be drawn into any discussion about signatures as they are not required for low value items, only proof of delivery. 
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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  • nicky73nicky73 Forumite
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    Thanks very much for the advice. I must admit I was suspicious from the start - they brought the item Saturday evening and on Sunday morning messaged to chase postage even though I’d specified it would be via Royal Mail and within 2 working days. 

    Glad to hear I’ve done as you suggested so far. I’ll reply to say I’m waiting RM to investigate & suggest again that they also call RM. If they do open an INR case the tracking details are on there already so eBay can check. 

    As you say, if they hadn’t received the item, surely they’d be happy to call RM? 

    What happens if RM can’t give any more info? As their records show it’s been delivered unless it’s a mistake their end their reply could well be to confirm it was delivered. As the buyer just keeps messaging me do I then say they need to contact eBay as there’s no more I can do? I assume then eBay will tell them the same as me that they’d need to raise this with RM.

    Many thanks 


  • nicky73nicky73 Forumite
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    Just thought of one other thing the buyer mentioned which I hope someone can confirm either way.
    When they messaged me they said they were emailed to say the parcel had been delivered. 
    Royal Mail confirmed the email wasn’t from them as they don’t generally do this and didn’t have the recipients email address. 
    As far as I’m aware eBay don’t email you to confirm delivery & it will just show as received when you check purchases for tracked items? Is this right? I’ve had a couple of Royal Mail signed for items posted to me and didn’t get an email from eBay. 
    I did ask the buyer who emailed them but didn’t get a reply.
    Many thanks 
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    nicky73 said:
    Thanks very much for the advice. I must admit I was suspicious from the start - they brought the item Saturday evening and on Sunday morning messaged to chase postage even though I’d specified it would be via Royal Mail and within 2 working days. 

    Glad to hear I’ve done as you suggested so far. I’ll reply to say I’m waiting RM to investigate & suggest again that they also call RM. If they do open an INR case the tracking details are on there already so eBay can check. 

    As you say, if they hadn’t received the item, surely they’d be happy to call RM? 

    What happens if RM can’t give any more info? As their records show it’s been delivered unless it’s a mistake their end their reply could well be to confirm it was delivered. As the buyer just keeps messaging me do I then say they need to contact eBay as there’s no more I can do? I assume then eBay will tell them the same as me that they’d need to raise this with RM.

    Many thanks 


    They have no claim through eBay or PayPal , technically they could try small claims but again you have proof of delivery so that is unlikely to assist them at all. RM scans are usually very good, better than couriers anyway, but it’s worth looking up their address on google images to see if it’s shared accommodation as that can be an issue for buyers if stuff is handed in at door to wrong person. 
    I'm the Board Guide for the Ebay Board , Charities Board , Dosh & Disability , Up Your Income and the Local MoneySaving-England board which means I volunteer to help get your forum questions answered and keep the forum running smoothly. However, do remember, board guides don't read every post. If you spot an illegal or inappropriate post then please report it to [email protected] (it's not part of my role to deal with this). Any views are mine and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.com
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  • in_the_Cotswoldsin_the_Cotswolds Forumite
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    If it was a tracked item they would have had a message saying their parcel has been delivered. If it signed for we sign for it ourselves using a code that RM are using due to CV19 this minimises customer contact with the PDA's. There is a procedure we have to carry out though. We can't just "scan and go".
  • theoreticatheoretica Forumite
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    I get order delivered emails -they come from ebay not RM - for Royal Mail packages where tracking numbers were uploaded.
    But a banker, engaged at enormous expense,
    Had the whole of their cash in his care.
    Lewis Carroll
  • nicky73nicky73 Forumite
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    Thanks very much for all the replies - much appreciated. 
    It was a signed for item & know RM sign themselves due to Covid restrictions but being a buyer too they have made sure I have the parcel! 

  • olgadapolgaolgadapolga Forumite
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    I've had emails from Royal Mail to state that a parcel is going to be delivered and again when it has been delivered but these have been generated as a result of the sender giving RM my contact details. I think that for the last parcel I received, I had three emails and three texts: one text/email stating that my parcel would be delivered on a particular date, another on the morning of that date to let me know the approximate time for the delivery and the third stating that it had been delivered. 
  • Spoonie_TurtleSpoonie_Turtle Forumite
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    I've had emails from Royal Mail to state that a parcel is going to be delivered and again when it has been delivered but these have been generated as a result of the sender giving RM my contact details. I think that for the last parcel I received, I had three emails and three texts: one text/email stating that my parcel would be delivered on a particular date, another on the morning of that date to let me know the approximate time for the delivery and the third stating that it had been delivered. 
    Yes, same here. It's usually when I've ordered from a company but when I do Click and Drop I think there's the option to put in the recipient's e-mail address. That would depend on how you bought the postage, OP. I have also had plenty of e-mails from eBay when tracking has been uploaded, though I don't know how that would work with Signed For which isn't actually tracked.

    The buyer sounds very off though and the fact they aren't even attempting to contact RM rings alarm bells. Even if RM turn round and say they'll only deal with the sender (do they do that?) as a buyer I would be trying that route anyway just in case I got anywhere.
  • nicky73nicky73 Forumite
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    Thanks for both your replies.
    I didn’t give the buyers email address to RM so know they didn’t email them. I assume as I added RM tracking details to eBay when I posted the item eBay then emailed the buyer to say it had arrived. 
    RM will deal with the buyer - when I called them said it would be best for the buyer to call them about this as the dispute was now between them and the buyer.  This was also the advice given to me by eBay. Unfortunately the buyer doesn’t want to do this which is what rings alarm bells with me. When I sent them the copy receipt showing RM reference and their address along with a screen shot of the RM delivery confirmation they just said it’s not them. 

    I haven’t had a reply from the buyer since I contacted them earlier to say I was still waiting for RM to investigate and suggested again it may speed things up if they also contacted them. 

    I’ll wait to see if / when they contact me again but will give RM one more call just in case they have an update. 
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