AliExpress Seller Asking Me to Open "New Personal Reason" Dispute

Sorry folks! I need advice on dealing with another potentially dodgy AliExpress seller.

Back in 12 November 2020, I had ordered an OPOLAR Air Duster (2020 model) based on the following recommendation:
https://www.ozbargain.com.au/comment/9510993/redir

Fast forward to today, and the order is about to close soon without the item in my sight.

Shipping Method: EMS / ePacket

Here is the shipping log:

2021-02-04 16:02 Customer enquiry lodged
2020-12-02 14:56 SYDNEY NSW, Arrived awaiting clearance (Inbound)
2020-11-17 08:41 SHENZHEN (CN), Cleared and awaiting international departure
2020-11-16 20:32 CN-, CHINA, Received item from Sender (Outbound)

The last entry was generated by Australia Post when I called to enquire about the location of the item. According to them, it wasn't stuck in customs but most likely returned back to the seller.

I was about lodge a dispute but I thought I would contact the seller first and get their thoughts on this ridiculous delay. After all, I do want this item.

Here is their response.

Sorry,sir. There's something wrong with your parcel and was returned by the logistics department. Could you please kindly follow the steps below to open an new personal reason dispute? Then you will get refund. Actually you don't need to return anything, just choose it, we will also give up the return, please don't worry.
①Please select "Return Goods & Refund".
②Please select the personal reason “No longer need the item" or "Logistics method does not as described".
③ Please select a refund amount for full refund.
At last, please tell us in time that you have submitted a new dispute according to these steps, so that we can handle it and refund for you in time.

Could experienced AliExpress buyers please clue me on why the seller wants me to select a "personal reason"?
It almost seems like they want the non-delivery of the item to be my fault.

My plan is to apply for Refund only (I can't possibly return goods that I am not in possession of).
Reason for refund request: Logistics tracking problem > Package was returned to seller by shipping company

As for evidence, I am going to provide a screenshot of the shipping log from 17TRACK

I am not sure if this will be sufficient to get my money back completely.
Please advise if I am going about this the wrong way.

PayPal dispute is my last resort.

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Comments

  •  

    One more thing worth mentioning as I review my conversation history with this seller.
    They were also dodgy when it came time to ship the order.

    Dear customer,we're sorry to tell you that we found some problems with the goods when we inspected them. We are contacting the supplier. We are so sorry for the inconvenience caused to you, hope you apply to cancel the order and kindly choose "I don't want this order anymore","the order processing time is too long" or"other reasons", money will be back to you in 3-20 days after you cancel the order, sorry again.

    When I pointed out the above explanation made no sense as they had 3000 units in stock, they replied we will ship soon. 🤦🏻

    I am not exactly sure what game this seller is playing, but right now I am sick of AliExpress and their dodgy sellers who try to swindle you with their bag of tricks.

    I strongly suspect stock level, number of units sold, and most importantly seller ratings are mostly fake on AE.

  • +10 votes

    Go straight to PayPal dispute.
    Item not received.

  • +4 votes

    My plan is to apply for Refund only (I can't possibly return goods that I am not in possession of).
    Reason for refund request: Logistics tracking problem > Package was returned to seller by shipping company

    Just do this
    I've had a couple of AliExpress disputes recently and they all ended with positive results from AliExpress decisions.

    •  

      This.

  • +2 votes

    Seems dodgy. IS there an option for "Goods not received" and if there is use it. Also open a paypal dispute ASAP as there are time limits….

    •  

      option for "Goods not received"

      The first question they ask within the dispute form is: "Did you receive the item?"

      Also open a paypal dispute ASAP as there are time limits

      180 days from the date of payment.

      From PayPal transaction log:

      If there's a problem, make sure to contact the seller through PayPal by 12 May 2021.

      I spoke to PayPal already, and their response was they would prefer for me to lodge a dispute with AliExpress first.
      At the same time, I was welcome to use PayPal dispute any time during the buyer protection period.

      From reading an AliExpress thread on Reddit, I assume raising a PayPal dispute or a CC chargeback results in your AliExpress account being banned. 😭

  • +1 vote

    No way, same thing happened to me, I live in Vic and they sent it to Qld, I also have proof but AliExpress said wait 10 days but it's been like 30

    •  

      Did you happen to order the same item (OPOLAR Air Duster)?

  • +3 votes

    You don't necessarily have to enter the reason specified by the seller and you are free to choose something that better explains what actually happened with your package. Either way you will get a refund from AliExpress. The seller is simply trying to keep their seller rating intact as disputes like yours will lower their standing with AliExpress if more disputing buyers happen to choose a reason which may indicate unreliable/slow shipping methods chosen by the seller.

    Sometimes I feel for these guys as COVID is playing havoc with shipping from China and they do not have any control once the package is handed over to bulk international couriers. AliExpress shipping has always been a gamble and the pandemic has simply made it worse. These days I only order items from Ali that I have no problem in waiting at least 8 weeks for delivery. It may turn up in 2 weeks , 20 or never.

    •  

      AliExpress shipping has always been a gamble

      I never choose the slow and unreliable AliExpress shipping option for any items above $30 USD.
      For this item, I paid extra for the EMS ePacket shipping solution.

      So, what I don't understand is why the package returned back to China after reaching NSW for customs clearance for inbound delivery.
      There are no further tracking events to indicate what happened after 02-DEC-2020.

  •  

    Looks like "Personal reason" is just Aliexpress Chinglish for you use one of the non-standard reasons offered. Doesn't attribute blame to you at all, is just lodging it with Aliexpress' backend systems. I would do what they say and then if not, you still have a second PayPal chargeback route offered.

    The Aliexpress dispute mechanism works well, I would dare to say better than eBay/PayPal's these days (not that that's saying much :) ).

    • +2 votes

      NO NO NO.

      Do not do this if you cancel the original dispute you cant open another one.

      This is exactly what this dodgy seller wants them to do.

      Once you close you step outside the aliexpress resolution system and you are totally reliant on the seller doing the right thing, which they wont.

      DONT DO IT THIS WAY.

      Is NOT chinglish, its con thish

      • +1 vote

        I was about lodge a dispute but I thought I would contact the seller first and get their thoughts on this ridiculous delay. After all, I do want this item.

        From OP's initial post I thought they hadn't opened a dispute as yet? And the seller wants the OP to start using the Aliexpress resolution system? I'm not suggesting stepping outside the Aliexpress Resolution System, quite the opposite - and I agree with you that it should remain at all times inside the Aliexpress resolution system (which I've had good experiences with even when sellers have been dodgy).

      •  

        Is NOT chinglish, its con thish

        🤣
        A+++

  • +1 vote

    Ignore what the seller is saying, they are just trying to cover their ar**s, and just open a dispute, either with PayPal or preferably with AliExpress.

    I opened a dispute with AliExpress recently, the seller had cancelled the sale for an unknown reason and didn't bother to notify me, and it was processed and I received a 100% refund the same day.

  • -2 votes

    I have no basis for this, off memory it was with a conversation with a seller. Basically, if they receive too many disputes of a certain type, their account will get blocked or something.

    That being said, either option you will still get your money back.

    Not sure why everyone (or so many above) is panicking like the World's End as though they are trying to scam you.

    But yeah, you'd be doing the seller a favor by logging it the way they want, or you'd be doing them a disservice by logging the other way.

    • +5 votes

      We are not "panicking".

      We are just warning based on hard experience. Tried to be "nice" and got screwed with nothing.

      BTW Aliexpress even tells you not to do this.

      AliExpress has a system, the sellers know this and are trying to dodge it. The issue is why? Its because they want to con others.

      If they agree to refund, then there is no dispute to get marked down on.

      If you are so sure, are you willing to guarrantee to front up any loss the OP might have?

  • +1 vote

    Just lodge item not received.

    I've had sellers tell me they called the delivery company and tell them to delivery it ASAP, close the dispute and wait a few more days. Delay tactics until window to dispute expires. Burnt once on eBay never again.

    There is also the scam where you buy a product then get a message about how due to COVID19 postage went up and give you a link to pay additional postage. Never ceases to amaze me the things people get up to.

  • +2 votes

    Do not close a dispute and raise a new one when a seller asks you to

    This is how they get out of setting disputes. Keep your original dispute open and stick to your guns.

  • +1 vote

    Has the OP opened an initial dispute though? It seems like they've only contacted the seller via Aliexpress messaging? I agree with all posters above to open a "proper" Aliexpress dispute asap rather than try and resolve through Aliexpress messaging.

    • +1 vote

      Aliexpress dispute asap rather than try and resolve through Aliexpress messaging

      I always lodge disputes with AliExpress if there are any issues. However, I also reach out to the seller beforehand to give them an opportunity to explain.
      If they ask for PayPal information for refunds, the conversation ends right there.

      If you deal with them outside the system, then they are not penalised by AliExpress for their culpability.

  • +1 vote

    Seller's proposal to my dispute: No return & No refund
    Comments:

    Dear customer, sorry for the inconvenience, could you please cancel the dispute firstly then contact us to get the refund? Thank you.

    BOOM! There is now zero doubt that this one dishonest ****.

    PROTIP (for anyone else in the same situation): NEVER deal directly with a seller who wants to refund you outside the system.
    Also, do NOT close the dispute. As soon as you close the dispute, you will not be able to raise another dispute. This is because AliExpress will release the funds from their escrow account to the seller. Then you get nothing.

    •  

      Ha, definitely
      "Dispute will be closed when refund is issued"

      Will escalate to AliExpress anyway and they'll find in your decision

      •  

        Will escalate to AliExpress anyway and they'll find in your decision

        Not possible as they have temporarily hidden the live chat function on Eva due to ongoing New Lunar Year celebrations.

        •  

          Doesn't it auto escalate after X days anyway?

          •  

            @SBOB: That's right. I am just waiting for them to step in then.

  •  

    Does anyone know whether it would be against AliExpress etiquette to upload as evidence a screenshot of a message sent by the seller on Message Center?