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Thread: eBay postage problem

  1. #1
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    eBay postage problem

    On 22nd November I ordered an item from an eBay seller in Germany to be sent to my address in Malta.

    The eBay online tracking gave an estimated delivery date of 23rd December. The eBay tracking has not been updated at any time after an initial entry in late November saying the item is being sent abroad.

    I was away for four weeks from 15th December. When Iím away, as I often am, the postman leaves parcels with a neighbour.

    I returned last week to find no parcel with the neighbour and no ďattempted deliveryĒ cards. I sent a message to the eBay seller asking if he could trace the parcel through his local post office. I also went to my local post office. Both post offices gave the same information- apparently delivery was ďattemptedĒ on 3rd December, a day when I was at home all day. No card left. The parcel was returned to the sender on 21st December.

    As of yesterday the parcel has not yet got back to the seller- of course RTS can take a few weeks as we all know, let alone with Christmas and new year in the middle of it.

    Clearly this is a cock-up on the part of Maltapost. The seller isnít at fault. Also there is a problem with eBay tracking information not being updated. But as of now, Iím around £120 down and donít have the item I paid for. Hopefully the parcel will get back to him and Iíll happily pay fresh postage for him to ship it a second time.

    But if itís lost somewhere itís not reasonable for either the seller or me to be out of pocket. Blame lies with Ebay (for not updating their tracking) and Maltapost (for not leaving an attempted delivery card). Any attempt at claiming from Maltapost will frankly be a pissing in the wind exercise, so my best bet is going to be to complain to eBay I guess?

    Iíd appreciate thoughts and advice, especially if anyone has experienced anything similar.

  2. #2
    Is it eBay's fault - in UK, some RM tracking services are only updated when delivery is confirmed, maybe same with Maltapost?

  3. #3
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kingstepper View Post
    Is it eBay's fault - in UK, some RM tracking services are only updated when delivery is confirmed, maybe same with Maltapost?
    As Iíve now learned, Maltapost provide full tracking. eBay failed to update theirs.

  4. #4
    Master village's Avatar
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    One assumes the seller has full proof of posting etc etc as there was a tracking number. I believe itís the sellerís responsibility until tracking shows parcel delivered. In this case (and if it were me selling) I would refund you as the buyer and then place a claim with Deutchpost (or whoever they use) for lost mail. If itís anything like claiming with Royal Mail it gets processed and paid pretty quickly.

  5. #5
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    One assumes the seller has full proof of posting etc etc as there was a tracking number. I believe itís the sellerís responsibility until tracking shows parcel delivered. In this case (and if it were me selling) I would refund you as the buyer and then place a claim with Deutchpost (or whoever they use) for lost mail. If itís anything like claiming with Royal Mail it gets processed and paid pretty quickly.
    I could of course just file an ďitem not receivedĒ report with eBay (in fact I did as a first step) and then claim a refund into my PayPal account, but it seems unfair to me that the seller should have to pay for a problem not of his making. I just hope the RTS parcel is back with him soon.

  6. #6
    Craftsman
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    I could of course just file an ďitem not receivedĒ report with eBay (in fact I did as a first step) and then claim a refund into my PayPal account, but it seems unfair to me that the seller should have to pay for a problem not of his making. I just hope the RTS parcel is back with him soon.
    That's a very honourable thing to do and i applaud you for this .
    But could the seller not claim anything his end so you are both covered ?

  7. #7
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2ptjoe View Post
    That's a very honourable thing to do and i applaud you for this .
    But could the seller not claim anything his end so you are both covered ?
    The short answer is, I donít know. But itís a good question, so Iíll ask him.

  8. #8
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    Not sure how it works between the two countries mentioned, but if anything goes outside the uk from eBay then it goes to a shipping depot, once it reaches there it's no longer the sellers problem if anythings goes wrong, eBay take full responsibility.

  9. #9
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    Not sure how it works between the two countries mentioned, but if anything goes outside the uk from eBay then it goes to a shipping depot, once it reaches there it's no longer the sellers problem if anythings goes wrong, eBay take full responsibility.
    Only if using the Global Shipping thing, I forget what it's called.

    As far as I know and as far as I remember, it is not mandatory to use this. You can still ship direct to the customer.

  10. #10
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by draftsmann View Post
    I could of course just file an “item not received” report with eBay (in fact I did as a first step) and then claim a refund into my PayPal account, but it seems unfair to me that the seller should have to pay for a problem not of his making. I just hope the RTS parcel is back with him soon.
    It seems to me that, although it does feel unfair, it's just the way it works. The seller has contracted to deliver the item to you and has chosen to subcontract that job to their postal service (who in turn subcontracted further to Maltapost, but that's irrelevant to you). Thus the seller needs to refund you and then claim from their postal service if the item doesn't get returned to them.

  11. #11
    Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by markrlondon View Post
    Only if using the Global Shipping thing, I forget what it's called.

    As far as I know and as far as I remember, it is not mandatory to use this. You can still ship direct to the customer.
    I assumed the buyer went through eBay and not privately, I never ship privately any more, too much hassle when things go missing, and always ship to address that's registered to the account, that way you're covered.

  12. #12
    Master M1011's Avatar
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    This is clear cut.

    You are due an item. If it doesn't arrive, you get a refund.

    Seller is responsible for claiming for items lost-in-post from whomever they sent the item with. Hopefully they have used a service which provides insurance, but if not then that's the risk the seller took.

    The only way eBay is on the hook is if the seller sent using eBays 'Global Shipping Service', which doesn't sound like the situation here. It's in no way eBays liability due to tracking updates through the eBay service, and if the tracking number was there then presumably nothing was preventing seller or buyer from checking for updates directly.

  13. #13
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Weirdfish View Post
    I assumed the buyer went through eBay and not privately
    Let's not conflate separate things.

    There is no doubt that this was an eBay purchase. But that doesn't mean that the seller necessarily used the Global Shipping Program.

    The Global Shipping Program is not mandatory for eBay international sales as far as I know and also, as far as I know, is not available from all countries or to all countries.

  14. #14
    Grand Master markrlondon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1011 View Post
    This is clear cut.

    You are due an item. If it doesn't arrive, you get a refund.

    Seller is responsible for claiming for items lost-in-post from whomever they sent the item with. Hopefully they have used a service which provides insurance, but if not then that's the risk the seller took.

    The only way eBay is on the hook is if the seller sent using eBays 'Global Shipping Service', which doesn't sound like the situation here. It's in no way eBays liability due to tracking updates through the eBay service, and if the tracking number was there then presumably nothing was preventing seller or buyer from checking for updates directly.
    This, I think.

  15. #15
    Journeyman DONGinsler's Avatar
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    You say it's "Clearly this is a cock-up on the part of Maltapost", but your blaming Ebay

    If I have a tracked package on the way. Not only am I checking the senders PO tracking site, but also my home countries PO tracking to see who's more up to date on the info.

    I never use Ebay's tracking unless it's a cheap item from a Chinese seller, but I can use worldwide tracking for it also

    Although you may not know there was attempted delivery. Did you not check the tracking at all until you left on the 15th? PO's will hold a package for 15 days before returning.

    I'm checking tracking 3 days after a package is sent and check every day. Even when told it could take 20 days just to be up to date on the information.

    You are right though on Malta PO not leaving a card. Maybe take that up with the local PO


    DON

  16. #16
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    My biggest lesson in this is that eBayís tracking is unreliable and hence not fit for purpose on this type of international transaction.

    I mostly buy from UK sellers and have items delivered to a UK address, and just click the eBay tracking which calls up whatever info is current with Royal Mail, or even the dreaded Hermes.

    If I buy anything in the EU naturally I get it delivered to my address in Malta so as not to be stung with import VAT and handling charges. But in practice I do this much less often.

    No, I didnít check the tracking on Maltapost. Their own tracking used to be hopeless for international orders but has clearly been improved. I naturally assumed that eBay tracking would replicate whatever information there is from any carrier. If for some reason they canít do this in a particular case, the tracking should give a clear message to check with the carrier.

    We are all used to third party websites collating and replicating information from multiple sources, whether it be the various comparison sites, weather reports from anywhere on the planet or real time train and plane movements. eBayís tracking link is or should be another example of this, but if it doesnít work reliably it is worse than useless.

  17. #17
    Master village's Avatar
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    You canít necessarily blame EBayís tracking. Some delivery options from the UK and also from other countries only track internally or show as delivered but nothing in between if posted overseas. If the delivery option the seller used is one of these then EBay canít show what isnít available.

    Regards overseas delivery using the EBay Global ShippingÖ.assuming itís the same in Germany but in the UK itís by far the best option for overseas shipping as you only have to ensure it reaches the domestic hub. As long as it is received their then EBay take full responsibility for the subsequent onwards journey. If you choose to reject that option and post it yourself then,as a seller,you are completely responsible for the goods until either shown as delivered via a tracking number ,or positive feedback has been received from the buyer.

  18. #18
    Master draftsmann's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by village View Post
    You canít necessarily blame EBayís tracking. Some delivery options from the UK and also from other countries only track internally or show as delivered but nothing in between if posted overseas. If the delivery option the seller used is one of these then EBay canít show what isnít available.
    But the Maltapost tracking was (I found out too late) very detailed. eBay failed to reflect that. You may well say that I shouldnít have relied on the eBay tracking (and in future I certainly wonít ) but I wasnít to know that their tracking was duff.

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