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Return shipping cost (~$100) is more than actual item - automatic loss? Scam?

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Return shipping cost (~$100) is more than actual item - automatic loss? Scam?

I bought pants on Etsy from a seller that claims to be in Germany. I'm in Canada.

 

I checked the sizing by message beforehand, everything looks good, I buy them.

 

They arrive and are hilariously small - child's size. I take a photo and message them right away - they say ok, return it.

Surprise, return address is in China; they only accept Paypal, and return disputes through Paypal require return tracking info.

 

I phoned Paypal about this yesterday and the agent seemed to get it, but when I saw the case she opened up for me it just said "Pants don't fit. Give me refund" without any context at all - I'm afraid that what she said about the tracking issue is lost in the wind.

 

Do I have any chance at all at wining my return/refund dispute? I'm fine shipping it through regular mail, but when I go through the auto-system, I have the suspicion I'll be rejected without a tracking number.

 

Anyone been through this? What can I do? I have the sense that the seller had no intention of selling me something suitable, and no intention on getting it back.

 

This seems like a very deliberate exploitation of both Etsy's and Paypal's policies.

4 REPLIES 4
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Re: Return shipping cost (~$100) is more than actual item - automatic loss? Scam?

You are correct in that the seller has no intention of a genuine sale, it's a well known scam, The return shipping is so prohibitively high that even with PP's subsidy ($30) you'd lose money. And with no guarantee the refund will go thru because the address could be suspect. Seller is counting on buyer/victim will not send it back and ends the case there.

 

What you can do is contact customer service again (chat in message center seems more reliable than phone for most) and get a live rep to help you get an exception to the return shipping rule. Others have done it (including me), just have to get lucky and persist in convincing the rep to see the unfairness of the return shipment policy.

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Re: Return shipping cost (~$100) is more than actual item - automatic loss? Scam?

Thanks for the heads up and for confirming the worst. I may have lucked out - I've been all over this problem, chatted with both Etsy and Paypal twice, who then communicated with the seller - and the seller refunded my Paypal (with a message that it was me who didn't understand the sizing, entirely false). I will breathe when I see the funds in my bank account. I imagine it's a numbers game - for every 9 people who give up disputes at different stages of their game, 1 person like me agitates they know its not worth the while to keep up the fight.

 

From here, do I need to worry about them popping back up and reversing the refund?
Should I report them for fraudulently shipping unsuitable items and not disclosing their true location?

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Contributor

Re: Return shipping cost (~$100) is more than actual item - automatic loss? Scam?

It is a common scam with China, Hong Kong, and even India. They will send a cheap item.( that is not what was ordered) they don’t expect you to send it back. If you attempt to return item, it will be lost in China Express, or Customs. PayPal won’t refund without proof from seller that item was returned. Of course the seller won’t admit if they get item back.. why would they? They get to keep money and item. I would complain to Etsy, about the vendor. They have a reputation that they care about. PayPal is a hit and miss on these scams. You have to be vigilant and document everything. I’ve had 3 of these bait and switch items. I was refunded on 2 of them, the 3rd, I’m spinning my wheels on. Don’t trust the Chinese vendors.. they have this scam worked out to string buyer along, until time runs out. PayPal has a tendency to protect the vendor, over the customer. (JMO) it’s very frustrating. Good luck! FTC and FBI (cyber crimes) can be notified, and a case opened. But they are both pretty pre-occupied, and we are unimportant .
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Re: Return shipping cost (~$100) is more than actual item - automatic loss? Scam?

Yeah, I've learned a lot about this scam the hard way. Thanks a lot for the additional warning about stringing along until time warns out. That helps a lot.