Ebay withheld funds chicken and egg scenario

I would really appreciate advice on my situation please.
My wife and I sold an item through Ebay, we are not regular sellers by any stretch of the imagination (one or two items a year).
Being inexperienced on this platform we subsequently learned there was a box that we should have checked to sell to uk bidders only. We obviously didn't know that before and and as a result of the mistake from our part the bidding was opened to all and the winning bid was from Croatia. 
The winning bidder paid paid through PayPal but that was immediately put on hold (as i said we are not regular sellers). I stuck to the £3.95 postage even though it was going to cost me £11.50 to send Royal Mail internationally tracked (our original mistake, we will foot the bill).

Now this is where the problem starts.
I sent the item on the 11th of July, I added the tracking number into ebay so the buyer can see that it has been sent and they can track it. Still no funds released and still on hold. The international tracking updated until the 14th of July where it said 'leaving the uk'. Since the 14th there has been absolutely no further info on where the parcel is. I have messaged the buyer but it's radio silence from them.
Ebay are now requesting £12 for selling fees.

I feel i'm in a little bit of a chicken and the egg scenario.

1. Should I pay the fee before i receive my money or wait until the money is paid to me?
2. Will paying the ebay fee automatically release my funds?
3. If the buyer later claims to have not received the the item after i pay the ebay fee i'm going to lose every which way or can i get the ebay fee back?

Last points.
Having already dipped out on postage i stupidly paid extra to insure the package but only up to £50. The next category was up to £250 which increased the postage by 50% (the item was sold for just over £100)
The bidder bought the item for approaching 20% more than similar products were going for. I have a horrible feeling this is a scam and they will claim their money back and claim no delivery of item. I thought the international tracked would help me in this regard but I now have little faith in that service.
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Replies

  • theonlywayisuptheonlywayisup Forumite
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    I would really appreciate advice on my situation please.
    My wife and I sold an item through Ebay, we are not regular sellers by any stretch of the imagination (one or two items a year).
    Being inexperienced on this platform we subsequently learned there was a box that we should have checked to sell to uk bidders only. We obviously didn't know that before and and as a result of the mistake from our part the bidding was opened to all and the winning bid was from Croatia. 
    The winning bidder paid paid through PayPal but that was immediately put on hold (as i said we are not regular sellers). I stuck to the £3.95 postage even though it was going to cost me £11.50 to send Royal Mail internationally tracked (our original mistake, we will foot the bill).

    Now this is where the problem starts.
    I sent the item on the 11th of July, I added the tracking number into ebay so the buyer can see that it has been sent and they can track it. Still no funds released and still on hold. The international tracking updated until the 14th of July where it said 'leaving the uk'. Since the 14th there has been absolutely no further info on where the parcel is. I have messaged the buyer but it's radio silence from them.
    Ebay are now requesting £12 for selling fees.

    I feel i'm in a little bit of a chicken and the egg scenario.

    1. Should I pay the fee before i receive my money or wait until the money is paid to me?
    2. Will paying the ebay fee automatically release my funds?
    3. If the buyer later claims to have not received the the item after i pay the ebay fee i'm going to lose every which way or can i get the ebay fee back?

    Last points.
    Having already dipped out on postage i stupidly paid extra to insure the package but only up to £50. The next category was up to £250 which increased the postage by 50% (the item was sold for just over £100)
    The bidder bought the item for approaching 20% more than similar products were going for. I have a horrible feeling this is a scam and they will claim their money back and claim no delivery of item. I thought the international tracked would help me in this regard but I now have little faith in that service.
    1.  Yes the fee is not related to the hold.
    2.  No.
    3.  No.

    Croatia is experiencing a return of Coronavirus (not that it went away) and is being compared to Spain and Luxembourg, I am guessing this is having an impact on postal services in the country. 
  • edited 31 July 2020 at 9:40AM
    steviebabessteviebabes Forumite
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    edited 31 July 2020 at 9:40AM
    In future only use the Global Shipping Program for international sales as you only need to prove delivery to the UK forwarding hub. The buyer pays for the international leg of the delivery.
  • edited 31 July 2020 at 9:46AM
    soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    edited 31 July 2020 at 9:46AM
    It’s a shame you didn’t ask on here before sending as you could have risked cancelling, or alternatively charged the buyer for the full postage (depending on how the auction was actually set up). 

    As it stands you could lose the funds if tracking doesn’t show delivery. I believe RM still have warnings in place for most areas as with fewer flights there is fewer chance of RM getting post out of the UK, once in a high risk country it could also sit undelivered for days. The real annoyance here is that buyer could open an INR and get a refund even before item arrives, and then you are stuck. 

    As above, uNfortunately meanwhile you will need to pay the fees. 

    Just keep an eye on the tracking, don’t push the buyer into opening an INR and just stay reassuring that it is on the way. 
     Two other points, if you have to end up refunding buyer then go through an INR case and you get your eBay FVFs back, but will have to add money to your PayPal to account for their fees which they retain. Secondly, it is not definitely a scam, just so many sellers (myself included) no longer shop overseas that yours was probably the only one they could buy. 
    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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  • billy2shotsbilly2shots Forumite
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    Thanks for the comments. 

    I will pay the eBay fee then sit in my hands and hope for the best. 
  • jon81ukjon81uk Forumite
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    hindsight is wonderful, but you almost certainly didn't have to stick to £3.95 postage and could have sent an updated invoice with the right postage amount to ship overseas.
    Although even within the UK I think you would have been out of pocket as it sold for more than £100 so you would have needed to send using a more expensive service to cover that.
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    jon81uk said:
    hindsight is wonderful, but you almost certainly didn't have to stick to £3.95 postage and could have sent an updated invoice with the right postage amount to ship overseas.
    Although even within the UK I think you would have been out of pocket as it sold for more than £100 so you would have needed to send using a more expensive service to cover that.
    I missed that, yes you are completely correct. Standard or signed for wouldn’t have been sufficient , for RM only special delivery would have done. 
    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
    New to Forum? Guide
  • noitsnotmenoitsnotme Forumite
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    Try putting the Royal Mail tracking code in the Croatian postal service track and trace here - https://www.posta.hr/en

    I have sent to various countries where the local tracking shows it as delivered but the Royal Mail tracking doesn't update for days/weeks/ever.
  • billy2shotsbilly2shots Forumite
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    Try putting the Royal Mail tracking code in the Croatian postal service track and trace here - https://www.posta.hr/en

    I have sent to various countries where the local tracking shows it as delivered but the Royal Mail tracking doesn't update for days/weeks/ever.
    Thanks for the tip. 

    'No information found for that tracking number' so presumably it's not made it there. 
    I will keep checking back. 

    I just paid eBay. Hopefully the pay hold is released as it's it's held until August 3rd. After that it's a wait to see if the buyer claims their money back. 
  • noitsnotmenoitsnotme Forumite
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    Try putting the Royal Mail tracking code in the Croatian postal service track and trace here - https://www.posta.hr/en

    I have sent to various countries where the local tracking shows it as delivered but the Royal Mail tracking doesn't update for days/weeks/ever.
    Thanks for the tip. 

    'No information found for that tracking number' so presumably it's not made it there. 
    I will keep checking back. 
    I sent something to Israel which left the UK on July 14th.  No tracking showing on the Israel Post website yet for that one.  Probably all down to Covid related delays.
  • soolinsoolin Forumite, Board Guide
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    Try putting the Royal Mail tracking code in the Croatian postal service track and trace here - https://www.posta.hr/en

    I have sent to various countries where the local tracking shows it as delivered but the Royal Mail tracking doesn't update for days/weeks/ever.
    Thanks for the tip. 

    'No information found for that tracking number' so presumably it's not made it there. 
    I will keep checking back. 

    I just paid eBay. Hopefully the pay hold is released as it's it's held until August 3rd. After that it's a wait to see if the buyer claims their money back. 
    There's a chance paypal won't release the money until item shows as delivered, as it is to protect paypal from losing money if buyer opens a claim. 
    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
    New to Forum? Guide
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