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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    My question involves a consumer law issue in the State of: PA

    I sold an item on ebay on 9\12\11 for a little over $500. This was a personal sale. Was paid by seller via paypal and item was shipped. USPS tried to deliver item 4 times and sent it back to me unclaimed after 17 days. I have sent over a dozen emails to this buyer as well as leaving around 6 messages on her answering machine. I also sent her a letter on 10\11\11 asking that she call me on my cell or email me regarding her purchased item. I used delivery confirmation and insured package needing a signature when shipped. Also had a delivery confirmation that USPS showed as delivered when I sent the letter. So letter was received on 10\13\11 by the buyer but she has not contacted me to date.
    Ebay has emailed her and she has not responded. She appears to be still active buying on ebay as I can see her feedbacks left from the sellers to her. She has over 107 feedbacks as a buyer and has never left a seller any feedback on her purchases. All I ask of her is to contact me and pay the re-shipping fees from usps so that she may obtain her item.
    I plan on sending her a 2nd letter (with delivery confirmation) to contact me and asking that she does so within a certain time frame before I consider the item unclaimed. The costs of these letters with delivery confirmation is going to start to add up.

    Can I consider an item unclaimed after a certain time period and can I legally resell it? Buyer is located in SC.

    Thank you
    Jr.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    71,733

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    As it stands it's her property in your possession. So if you're asking if you can resell it and keep the $500 she paid without having to worry about her ever making a claim for a refund or demand for the property, no you cannot. Is it possible that she won't get back to you with such a demand? Sure, just as it's possible that she will.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Mr. Knowitall, thanks for the reply. You wrote,

    "So if you're asking if you can resell it and keep the $500 she paid without having to worry about her ever making a claim for a refund or demand for the property, no you cannot." Well, I do worry about her ever making a claim. That's why I asked if it can be considered unclaimed after a time period. And for how long does a seller stay obligated to hold merchandise for a buyer that refuses to claim it for whatever reason? 6 months, a year, lifetime? Can I ship the merchandise to the local sheriff department in her area and have them take possession of it knowing whom it belongs to? Hopefully it will then be claimed or they will eventually list it for sale and keep the funds. My ebay ad stated "No returns or refunds". So no refunds. And seller has or should have read this before bidding.



    Thank you

    Jr.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,786

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Give the buyer a refund via there PayPal account. Minus the shipping fee, any postage that you paid for other letters to the buyer and a handling fee if one is stated in the auction listing. If you didn't state a handling fee in the listing, you cannot deduct one from the total.

    Then you can re list the item for sale, you cannot just simply keep the money and re list the item.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Thanks for the inputs. No refunds excepted. My ad was very clear. I'm not a business with money in my paypal account and the funds have already been spent. I will send another letter (with delivery confirmation) to the buyer giving her 30 days to respond. If she does not respond I will ship it to her local sheriff's department (certified mail) in her area with her name, address & phone number claiming it is hers. I'll will email & call (leaving a phone message as she never picks up) the buyer stating where her merchandise is and to pick it up at that location. Will this relieve me of any and all further responsibility?

    I don't want to relist the item. And I don't want to keep the item. I prefer that she receives her item. I was just wondering where I stood with an unclaimed item for a long period of time.

    Jr.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Behind a Desk
    Posts
    71,733

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Well, you have no policy on items that are returned to you, and the statute of limitations in your state for a contract (not under seal) is four years, so after four years she could not sue you in your state over the cost of the item.

    I don't think that it makes sense to use a Sheriff's Department as a surrogate shipping address. That's not in their job description.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,786

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Quote Quoting Mr. Knowitall
    View Post
    I don't think that it makes sense to use a Sheriff's Department as a surrogate shipping address. That's not in their job description.
    Not only that, Jr would need to ship to the confirmed PayPal address in order to be protected. If he ships the item to the sheriffs office and the recipient never receives the item, she will sue for her $500 and the shipping charges back.

    Jr, the best thing to do is find the funds to refund her PayPal account and move on. I know your auction clearly stated that there is no refunds, but this is your only option unless you want to store this item for the next 4 years or until the buyer reaches out to you.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Well, I guess I can eventually gather the funds and refund the money. Less all the charges\fees incurred to me by ebay and paypal. Sounds like good advise as having her item in my possession makes me responsible for so many years.
    One last thought, what if I mail it to her USPS with a delivery confirmation? They will put it in her mailbox without requiring a signature. Or is UPS a better option? Will I be ok doing that?


    Thank you

    Jr

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    North East
    Posts
    1,786

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    Yes, you can ship it to her address but UPS nor the Postal Service will leave a package with a declared value of $500 at a door with no signature. She will then be given 7 days to claim the package or it will be returned to the sender leaving you back in the same boat.

    If you chose not to disclose the value and offer no insurance, then the shipper may leave the package at the door and the delivery confirmation will protect you. But if your auction states the package will be insured, or if she asked and or paid for insurance, you will have to fork over the $500 to her if she doesn't receive the shipment.

    have you confirmed with PayPal that a high value package can be shipped without insurance and only be shipped with delivery confirmation?

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    Posts
    7

    Default Re: Buyer is Not Responding to Claim Her Item

    I'm poop out of luck, I wrote this on my ad regarding shipping, "Buyer pays actual shipping costs and insurance." I emailed her an ebay invoice to just add $5 to the total cost not knowing how expensive it was to ship her item. It actually cost me $13.95. Postage was $5.25 delivery confirmation .80 cents, insured fee $7.90. She did not ask nor did she pay for insurance. No communications with her at all. But I guess my ad line above buried me lol.


    "have you confirmed with PayPal that a high value package can be shipped without insurance and only be shipped with delivery confirmation?" I have not.

    Well, I have time on my side to save up for her refund.

    Thanks

    Jr

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