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Paypal Protects From Online Auction Gone Wrong

Aug 17, 2007
I think that for the many online shoppers that have Paypal accounts, few are aware of all the benefits that their accounts allow them to enjoy. One of the benefits is their buyer protection program that includes the dispute resolution tool designed to resolve problem transactions.

Having recently been part of an auction sale that turned bad and not being able to resolve the issue with the seller, I turned to Paypal for help. My issue revolved around a used piece of electronic equipment I had won on a popular auction. Turned out on receiving the unit I noticed that many functions were not operational with this unit and there were some cosmetic flaws that were purposely hidden on the listings pictures of the unit. The unit was listed as flawless both functionally and esthetically. The sellers refused to recognize that his listing was miss-leading and that the product did not respect the listing rules even accusing me of damaging the equipment as his only defense.

Looking over Paypal's buyer protection program I discovered buyers are protected for a total $1250 for a possible 3 claims per year. The dispute resolution service will protect the buyers in two ways;

- The non reception of products.
- For products that are not as described.

This covers quite an array of possible scams and in my case I was able to prove that there were discrepancies between the listed product and the received product.

The process did extend itself over 4 weeks mainly because the seller was slow to respond. I was asked by Paypal's resolution center to provide a copy from an authorized repair center own evaluation report. This consisted of returning to the resolution center a faxed copy of the repair centers work order outlining the needed repairs. Once all the steps where taken to evaluate the discrepancies the resolution center were quick to resolve the issue and in this case decided in my favor. Once the unit was shipped back, at my cost and received by the buyer, Paypal was prompt in returning the funds to my account.

Paypal refunded me the Purchas price with the exception of the shipping charges including the return shipping charges that I had to bear in order to return the unit to the seller, to comply with the resolution center's final requirement.

For most part online auctions end with successful transactions, but I know from reading blogs there are some horror stories about online auction frauds. In most cases frauds occur when unprotected payment methods are used like money transfers or cash payments. It pays to know the advantages and disadvantages of each payment protection mechanism offered buyers, and never, never transfer funds or send cash or even checks. Knowing how each payment methods protects you, be it paypal or credit cards, helps you understand when you are protected and when you are exposed to fraud. This will go a long way to help you anticipate frauders and enjoy online buying with peace of mind, knowing if things go wrong your protected.
About the Author
Mr. C Bourgoin is an MBA and an online auction seller and buyer as well as an e-commerce executive he can be reached here for more
online auction tips and info
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