Lost $1050 on eBay Due to 'the Buyer Did Not Recognise The Transaction' on eBay, eBay Refunded The Buyer, What My Options?

Hi, I recently sold a second hand high valued item on eBay worth more than $1000, after sending the item in registered post, after the buyer received the item, they opened a case on eBay saying: 'the Buyer Did Not Recognise The Transaction' and opened a dispute. eBay asked me to upload a tracking which I did again after loading it in the original transaction page.

Not long after, I got an email from ebay saying:

''Payment dispute details

Status: Closed

The payment institution has decided to side with the buyer. eBay refunded the buyer for the dispute amount and deducted the funds from you. The dispute fee of $22 was charged.

When I asked ebay why I lost the case as I uploaded the tracking number on eBay. eBay said the decision is in the hands of the Buyers Payment Institution.

I then asked for an appeal on eBay Live Chat, the lady said the case is NOW on appeal and I should be given an answer within 72 hours. A few days later then when I asked again how is the case going, eBay's Live Chat agent said there was no appeal on the case and she can help me to open an appeal…..WTF!

To give you a more understanding on how everything unfolded, this is what's happening:

  1. Sold an item on ebay, buyer paid
  2. send two email through eBay system indicating when the item will be sent and once sent tracking will be uploaded (No reply as this happens a lot so I didn't think too much)
  3. Sent the item using Australian Post Registered mail with Signature on delivery
  4. Item received 2 days after as we are in the same city
  5. 1 day after the item is received, the buyer opened a dispute on eBay saying Transaction not recognised
  6. Contacted eBay and uploaded the tracking to dispute the transaction to prove I have sent the item out (Allow me to explain this: The tracking online by Austpost will only show the delivery suburb not the name of the person who signed for the parcel or the full address it was sent to even with signature on delivery)
  7. eBay sent me an email 3 days later indicating 'The payment institution has decided to side with the buyer. eBay refunded the buyer for the dispute amount and deducted the funds from you. The dispute fee of $22 was charged' So I lost more than $1000+ on this whole transaction
  8. Spoken to eBay live chat and was promised an appeal will be lodged on my behave and not too worry, everything will sort itself out within 72 hours
  9. After 72 hours I contacted eBay Live Chat again and they said it appears to be no appeals on their system, which mean the case is still closed and I lost my money. WFT! After spoken to them again and again they keep direct to eBay links which doesnt help me at all to get the money back.

eBay is pretty much at a dead end here…….

The buyer is in the same city as mine, what are my options here?

Give the buyer a ring and ask to have the item back since now they have been refunded? Sent the buyer a Letter of Demand asking to have the item returned? Go to the small claims tribunal directly against the buyer?

Many thanks

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      • No, I dont sell low value item. Lowball offer and the hassle makes it not worth my time to sell low value item.

        If you must then gumtree and cash exchange.

  • sad but there is probably nothing you can do. as a small business we have many of these type of scam as well. it is very hard to win the chargeback, and money just lost.

    these days, i will just do fb advertise on my personal 2nd hand sales, and will only accept cash.

    • Its a personal sale so you cant even write it off. Which freaked me out at first. $1000 can buy me a very good GPU

  • +1

    Don't be put off fight it all the way. It's not an INR or a SNAD dispute so as the seller you've done nothing wrong. It should be eBay's responsibility to weed out fraud from their very own selling platform and payment system.

  • +3

    ebay and paypal are scum. Things like this happen all the time -_-

    • I think PayPal was better than this new managed payment system

  • -3

    This begs the question: Why are you still using eBay?

  • This also happened to me recently in my 10 years of being on eBay.

    I uploaded my tracking info and seller still got reimbursed.

    I was covered under eBay seller protection apparently so they did not charge me at all, I'm not sure what I would have done if they did.

    Good luck OP, please update because that experience shook me.

    • thats really good. you were the lucky one

  • Had similar situation. Choose eBay to call you rather than the useless live chat. Someone from eBay UK called me and sorted a refund for me. (Though in the end they still charged me for the listing fee) I was happy I got most of my money back.

    • yes call do not live chat. ever!

  • +91

    I have updates, 2 updates in fact and I will share all my wisdom for people selling on eBay with Tips and what to look out for in the future here, please bear with me as this is going to be a long read:

    After spending half a night thinking how I am going to approach this both with eBay and the buyer the first thing I did is sent a very polite message to the buyer again (as the past few messages was not answered) indicating funds has now been refunded back to them now you have claimed the transaction is not recognised, I also indicated as I have the signature of the person at the address which matches the person on eBay.

    I asked specifically if the buyer was also the victim of the scam. I even symphonised with the buyer indicating if she/he didn't authorise the transaction then we are both been scammed.

    I didn't accuse the buyer anything as I don't know what's the real story here, maybe he/she did lose their access and the scammer forget to change the address………….I don't know so I didn't accuse anyone. What I did say is I will report the incident to the police due to the value of the item and trying to get back through our insurance (which of course is none existence but I played the card anyway, but report to the police bit is real, I am fully intended to doing so by the end of the day), I further said however if the item can be returned to me by the end of today I will not file a police report as the whole thing is just a very unfortunate incident involving both of us been scammed.

    I even gave the buyer my work address and told them what time I will be there should they be happy to return the item to me me by the end of today. This is the first part.

    The second part is with eBay, first of all, like many of you said, eBay Live Chat does not help much, they are indeed like reading everything on a script and sending me links after links and its really not helping much apart from giving you the guidelines which most of your already know. Get them to call you or you call them is much effective when a dispute occurs. After speaking to them I have come to a far better understanding of how eBay Seller Protection and Bank Charge Reversal works.

    First of all, you pretty much only get 1 chance when 'the Buyer Did Not Recognise The Transaction' occurs, which is at the time eBay asks you submit an evidence of delivery, now be very careful about this if your item sold is more than $750, when item is more than $750 in value eBay requires 'a signature confirmation is required while uploading the picture as proof. This piece of information is sent to the financial institution of the buyer making the claim', what I did initially is I sent 'a photo of proof of delivery' but does not including the signature of the buyer at the time. And based on that, their FI has knocked back the claim resulting my loses.

    I did able to obtain the buyers signature a few days later from Austpost through Austpost Live Chat but by then the dispute has already closed and eBay can not resubmit the claim for appeal. Basically you only get 1 shot at this when submit your evidence for appeal, that is at the very beginning. I didn't know this at the start as I always thought as long as I have proof of delivery that is good enough. No it is not, far from it.

    Also eBay does not share how the payment was made and which FI is used. So if you were to think to dispute with buyers FI directly is totally out of the question as you don't even know how payment was made.

    For items less than $750, you need to submit proof of delivery, however how good is this when something like this occurs is yet to be tested, so take it with a grain of salt.

    eBay also charges the $22 fees at the time this occurs, so if your item is low value, I suggest you just refund and block the buyer for good, regardless if their account is stolen or not. Because its not worth the cost of $22 for you to submit it, the one thing I don't know is if the $22 will be refunded by eBay or not if you do win the case? Maybe someone else can share their experiences.

    Back to my case, basically I have already submitted the evidence and the case is closed against me, eBay can no longer submit any additional evidence, because eBay has nothing to do with the chargeback hence I have to bare my loses. Its up to the buyers FI to make up the decision to refund or bare the costs of that supposed unauthorised transaction if there really is one.

    So to put it simply, I will not get the money back from eBay.

    However!!!!!!!!!!!!!! There is always a light at the end of the tunnel……………….at around 2pm today just when I am writing this, I received a parcel at the front desk with my name on it, it was hand delivered by a delivery driver maybe? upon opening the parcel I find my item returned to me in its original condition. Can you believe the twist and turns? Maybe I should write a novel…….

    Yes. eBay was not able to help me but the message I sent to the buyer did. I am not going to make assumption if the buyer is a scammer or not as maybe they are also the victim in this just like I am. And they are happy that to return the item to me simply because they got their money back also. So all is well for me at this occasion.

    Conclusion on what I have learnt:

    1: When selling high value items on eBay, once the item is paid for, make sure you ring or email the buyer on the validation of the sale, if possible write as much information as possible so you are dealing with the real buyer
    2: Make sure when sending items by mail, you sent with signature on delivery, and make sure you ask for a copy of the 'Signed Signature from Austpost Live Chat', they can send the 'Signature of the person who signed' through email.
    3: If the buyer is new or with very little feedbacks, maybe cancel the whole transaction is better than fall to the scammer. But you can always write to them to confirm the transaction I suppose.
    4: Have everything written down and keep a copy for least 12 months, I am going to do that from now for all transactions over $100.
    5: If your item is sent and buyer opened Transaction Not Recognised, make sure the first piece of information you submit contains the following:
    an actual signature of the person who signed for the parcel
    the name of the buyer should match on eBay
    the address of the buyer should match on eBay

    Finally, be vigilant. If you can sell for cash for a few dollars less. I suggest you sell locally if you can.

    Happy result for me on this case as I got the item back.

    • +8


      As OP was writing this message, he miraculously received his original item back in the post. Lesson learnt.

      • +7

        I did say its going to be long……but hey do read in your spare time as it may save you some trouble in the future

        • +3

          Remarkable outcome! I'm so relieved for you haha

          If I were you, I would categorically accuse the buyer for the fraud because if they were also a victim they wouldn't have ignored your repeated messages.

          I have one question - due to Covid many couriers including AusPost aren't collecting recipients signatures. I didn't sign for any packages delivered by DHL, UPS, StarTrack, AusPost, Courier Please in the last week alone. How did you manage to get the signature of the recipient?

          • @User210686: They still require to sign if its registered I think, I got the signature of the receiver from Austpost Live Chat. they will send you a PDF to your email.

        • +1

          I'm glad it worked out for you OP. What a roller coaster of a thread.

          P.S. Tifa is the best waifu.

          • +2

            @sildosaggins: Aerith ALLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLLL the way!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • +2

          I read every word, appreciate you taking time to write your experience, it will definitely help all of us. I could imagine these writing could be part of ozbargain training page or eBay seller ozbargain Bible? Great to see you got the item back.

          • @htc: you are welcome. There is an eBay Seller Ozbargain Bible? Would you direct me to the page by linking it here? Thanks

    • +1

      Wow that's an amazing result. So happy to hear this!

    • Great result, what a weird situation

      • Very odd indeed. But a lesson learnt for sure

    • Great to hear that you got your item back :)

    • Very helpful learnings, thanks AW!! Haha yes long, but worthwhile.

    • Thanks for updating us about what happened. I am happy there ended up being a good outcome. I wonder what your next steps would have been if you didn't receive the item?

      • +1

        Well if I don't received by the end of yesterday I would have went to their house and ask the item back, if not I will report the the fraudulent transaction to the police. And everything everyone suggested above. Its $1000, not $100 so I wont let it go that easy.

    • lots of troubles when selling on ebay, avoid

      • Low value item yes, high value item. Needs to be extra careful, gumtree if possible.

    • Thanks for the details

    • Btw, did you write it in word then copy and paste? I could imagine if you press back accidentally, you will lose all your writing.

      • +3

        You mean the whole update? Yes indeed. I put on a word format than copy and pasted and then made some adjustment to make it easier for you guys to read by separate the important bit with the not some important bit.

        The things I do for this community and the things this community did for me is truly worth it as I had many helps from everyone on many things over the years:))))))))

    • It's great to know you at least got your item back. Hope the next sale will be a much better experience.

      I'm still a bit concerned about this bit though

      eBay requires 'a signature confirmation is required while uploading the picture as proof. This piece of information is sent to the financial institution of the buyer making the claim'

      What if the buyer faked their signature, i.e. signed something different to their real signature? It wouldn't match the one stored with their financial institution and it wouldn't prove that the item has been delivered to the payer, would it?

    • Was it in the original parcel packaging that you sent it in, or was it completely re-packaged?

      While you don't want to make accusations I think this will clearly indicate the intention of the recipient.

    • Congrats on getting your item back. But those actions were totally beta.

    • at around 2pm today just when I am writing this, I received a parcel at the front desk with my name on it, it was hand delivered by a delivery driver maybe? upon opening the parcel I find my item returned to me in its original condition.

      Seems a bit off….why didn't they initially return it back if they had it this entire time instead of waiting till after you sent them one last stern sounding yet friendly message?

  • +3

    Yes indeed. Also big thanks for everyone who made suggestions, all end well but i wonder what the result will be if we are not at the same city……..

    • Yeah but I also wonder what ebay told them about keeping the item, surely not just to keep it. Was your return address your work address on the package?

      • No, ebay didn't get involved at all. When I was speaking to them they are sending all these T&C on me. On my package I had my work address. I would never put my home address on the net when selling online.

    • Good to know that at least you got your item back. And also thanks for the pointers.

      However because of the covid restrictions, from my experience, signatures are not required by Australia post anymore (at least in victoria), even with signature on delivery option. If you open your door for a postie, they will just hand the parcel to you without signature. I suppose the only way signature is obtained now is if it was redirected to a local post office if there was no one at home.

      Another pointer I would like to add is before sending out, take a picture of the parcel with the name, address and tracking number. You could send that picture to the buyer in your ebay messages to prove it was sent with the correct details. And save that picture in a folder for at least 6-12 months. This saved me once about 2 years ago when a buyer's financial institution claimed the buyer made unauthorised charge on his paypal. I had to show paypal the picture of the parcel sent with the tracking number in order to get their seller's protection. Don't know how seller protection on ebay managed payments work (if any at all) but best to keep a picture.

      In any case, I'm selling less items on ebay nowadays because of the high fees and risks involved. Simply not worth it anymore. Selling on FB marketplace or gumtree gets you tons of timewasters and some scammers but at least you are in control if you accept cash only.

      • Not sure about Vic, but in WA, you can go to live chat and ask for a Signed Signature in the PDF form to be sent to you.

  • +4

    the person who received your item is still a moron:

    a) doesnt respond to your contact attempts
    b) didnt bother returning the item until you asked them for it (im assuming it had a return address label on it)

    good outcome for you nontheless, looks like ill be sticking to fb market place cash only transactions to sell anything in the near future.

    • Oh good idea, might try the FBM next time. As I have not used it for a long time

    • +1

      yep, cash only and meeting near your local police station is the best

      • +1

        I did that once and the guy didnt turn up! LOL

  • +2

    What a great story. Amazing ending.

    • yes be careful when selling, document everything

  • +2

    Thanks for keeping us all updated. And for documenting for others who may have similar issues in future!

    • Remember my is not the perfect guideline, in the end its up to eBay on what they do. Still, the more you have the better to help your case.

  • +4

    Hi Aerith-Waifu,

    Sorry to hear you're being treated so badly by ebay.

    Fellow ebay seller here so I understand your pain in some ways though haven't had to lose so much money.

    My suggestion is the following:
    * Post / Write on ebay Australia's Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/eBay.com.au. Big companies like ebay rely on their good standing on social media and posting about your experience on their facebook page will get their attention.
    * Do the same on their twitter account, you could choose to DM them or make it public. I'd suggest start with the former. https://twitter.com/ebayau?lang=en
    * Finally, eBay has a phone number which can get you to speak to someone in Australia. Happy to provide via PM if you need.

    I think I noticed one of the answers to your OP suggesting to ask to speak to an Australian agent / manager, which is absolutely what you need. Refuse to deal with anyone other than an Australian person.

    I've had to solve an issue recently and I contacted them on all their social media platform, i.e. Facebook and Twitter, even going as far as contacting the US eBay Twitter page. It took a while but I got it solved.

    Good luck. Happy to chat on PM if you have other questions.

    • Thanks, I sent you a PM.

  • +1

    Great to hear filling a police report seem to have worked!

    Reason why I would never sell high vale electric item on ebay. To easy for buyer to make a claim and now there's no PayPal protection either.

    • I am wondering that also:)

  • congrats on getting your item back

  • Congratulations OP, i can understand the feeling of relief from burden and stress. At least you got your item back this time.

    And very thank full to you for your tips of selling as well.

    I just had an exam yesterday so couldn't really see much of oz forums but gladly i saw it today.

    • Welcome.

      • As a response i to advantage of eBay system, they out of pocket like $2000 suspended my eBay accounts hahaha cannot buy or sell on eBay deleted my other ebay accounts too

        Guess next time have to buy from a new ebay account

        Well anyway ebay deserved it.

        • So you have no eBay account still?

          • @Aerith-Waifu: Somehow they only suspended the accounts that were selling accounts. So the ones that had my confirmed ID

  • edit - guess i'm a little late and it's been resolved

    • Yes finally done and dusted. $65 down but still happy for the lesson

  • Well done OP. Makes me wonder if someones kid bought something online using their parents Ebay account!

    • Its possible. I am not ruling anything out as I dont know whats the truth behind their door

  • What feedback rating do you and the buyer have on eBay? I wonder if this comes into eBay's decisions? I have a pretty high rating and been with them over the past 10 years and havent had any issues with them resolving similar problems, when I have been the seller.

    • The buyer had 100% feedback and been on ebay for a number of year. I have been on eBay for 10+ years with a feedback around 99%

  • +1

    damn. What was this ITEM?

    • Second hand item, very rare.

  • +3

    Where is a good place to sell? Now that Gumtree is Scumtree and Ebay is Scambay.

    I forgot that I had bought a DJI drone a few months back and the Mrs is not happy it's sitting in a corner collecting dust. I think it's better to collect dust than to get scammed.

    • Someone mentioned FBM? Never tried for a long time though

    • Create your own place to sell away from facebook, gumtree and ebay. Or try craigslist? I think there was the quakka or something like that but dunno if that still exists.

  • +1

    Had similar issues with eBay twice in the past now over the last 5 years and ombudsman is the right answer here. eBay issued a “goodwill” refund to me on both instances not long after a ticket with the ombudsman was raised.

  • +5

    One thing I really don't understand, why do eBay not compel the buyer to return the item once they were refunded?
    I can see no reason for the buyer to keep your item if they 'did not recognize the transaction'

    • That is something I asked and did not get an answer to

      • Wow ebay really need to be crystal clear about such matters and be able to demonstrate their published policy.
        I had similar useless answers regarding their veRo policy recently.
        Often the customer service staff just don't know

        • They dont, and they sent you links after links after links of their policy.

    • exactly, and if they keep giving people the run around (i've experienced this on their live chat) and ignore these sorts of things it will be their downfall over the long term as more people are turned off the platform.
      they should compel the return, and if not, help the buyer with details to make a claim to get it back, or cancel the buyers ebay account and any other from that address etc.

      • Well one day maybe……one day!

  • +1

    Should be covered by ebay seller protection if posted within handling time frame and signature on delivery requirements me.

    Seems strange, bet there is a out in the T's and Cs!

    • According to eBay, I screwed up the first time when I uploaded the evidence of delivery. I wrote in my my updates

  • Nice happy ending indeed - what a rollercoaster and glad with the outcome!!!! Way to go OP

    Now lets just say it was a scammer who managed to somehow waited at the front of the buyer's house and received item
    What recourse does OP have? Should they go after eBay?

    • Hmmmmm……….this is a million dollar question…..

  • +2

    So, you are down $22?

    Why is the seller charged the dispute fee?

    • The $22 fee was charged the min you want to dispute the transaction, I am actually down $65 as the postage costs is around $43 by memory. So you add them its $65 altogether.

  • From all that was written here by the OP, this was nothing else, but an attempted scam.

    No contact, no reply, no explanation from the buyer… the parcel just turns up and that's it? Too many maybe's and coincidences to be any but… Of course its an attempt to scam.

    Pi$$ poor effort on the Bank who did the chargeback without looking into the matter a little more, and poorly handled by eBay. The have virtually forced you to use their payment system, yet have no control in something like this, that's BS. They need to do whatever it takes and close this scam-loop hole immediately.

    • Very likely in this case. I still prefer the old PayPal system, this managed payment thing isn't the best like many said.

      If anyone has any dispute raised against them in the future, you are welcome to PM me if you are not sure about something. I will share my best knowledge to anyone who has problems in the future. Not a win guarantee but the more you have the better.

    • If I was a buyer, I would have just kept it and still ignored coz you're already half way there, may as well go the full length. Free whatever $1000 item I scammed the seller off!

  • poor communication from buyer is fishy, good that it ended well - thanks for posting !

    • +2

      Yes indeed, also I dont rule out some kids buying on eBay without telling their parents.

  • Sorry but to say you arent going to make assumptions because maybe the buyer was scammed as well is beyond ignorant.
    Buyer did a chargeback to get a free $1000 item, when they realised you wouldnt lie down and take it they chickened out and returned the item.

    How do i know they werent scammed aswell - easy, who is being scammed if the item goes to the person who's credit card was used?

    • Oh trust me my assumptions are already made, but i give the benefit of the doubt and certainly didn't share it with the buyer on the most deep thoughts.

      However to have something sent to their own address is not the smartest thing to do and in the same city if they are truly scammer, this is the only thing that puzzles me till this day.

      But like you said, does sound odd indeed.

  • It's great to know you at least got your item back. Hope the next sale will be a much better experience.

    I'm still a bit concerned about this bit though

    eBay requires 'a signature confirmation is required while uploading the picture as proof. This piece of information is sent to the financial institution of the buyer making the claim'

    What if the buyer faked their signature, i.e. signed something different to their real signature? It wouldn't match the one stored with their financial institution and it wouldn't prove that the item has been delivered to the payer, would it?

    • This is the most dangerous part as most people will just do a scribble. Which can be anyone in the house ESPECIALLY if its a shared house.

      How they are ever going to approve who signed what by whom?

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