So... the bad news is that I have got more than my share of stubborn idiots this month.
The good news is that, since I need to have some sales in the next few days in the most desperate way, so that I can get out of my negative paypal balance and become able to ship packages from my paypal account again, I'm having a FREE SHIPPING SALE.
If it will fit in padded envelope, it will ship for free, via first class mail, to the United States OR to Europe or Canada. If you are purchasing from ebay, you MUST request a combined invoice before paying and send me the code NOVFREESHIP in the "comment" box of the "request invoice" page.
If you want to order from the website, you need to send me a list of what you want so I can send you an invoice. The coupon code will NOT work on the website checkout - I have to fix the shipping manually.
Please don't pay shipping and then ask me to refund the shipping because of the coupon - I can't, because my paypal balance is seriously, seriously negative due to a buyer with a chip on his shoulder. Any money that goes into my paypal account gets immediately sucked up into the black hole of GIANT EBAY ASSHOLE. So please, please ask for the free shipping BEFORE you pay.
If you are a US buyer and you purchase $50 or more in merchandise, your package will be upgraded to free priority mail. If you are an international buyer and you purchase $75 or more in merchandise, your package will be upgraded to free priority mail (the only way to get tracking info for an international package - it's not available for first-class packages).
(Yes, I will ship your order - I have borrowed money from a colleague in order to keep my business open until paypal can do its thing and confirm receipt of a package overseas [which could take weeks, and which in the meanwhile makes my business my colleague's business. I don't upload every pissy buyer's userid into toolhaus.org or similar databases or ebay "bad buyer" clearinghouses, because it's not always worth it. Sometimes a buyer is a jerk or annoying but there's nothing illegal about being a jerk or annoying. But this is about money, and about fraudulently withholding payment in violation of the ebay buyer/seller contract. And when people rip off sellers with false paypal claims, chargebacks, false information, and the like, we have to protect ourselves this way, because ebay has removed the ability to leave negative feedback for buyers. The only feedback you can leave a buyer is positive feedback - so buyer feedback on ebay is completely meaningless and useless. Thank God it only happens about once a year.])
This sale is on until Monday the 15th at 10 am Eastern time.
The whole story is behind the cut.
He opened a paypal dispute for "item not received" this past Monday on a custom item with a five-week handling time, and he opened it SIX BUSINESS DAYS after giving me the info I needed to make the custom item. This froze my account and made me unable to ship any items, as the total of his order with shipping was $400 (yes, I was too trusting, but I have had so many wonderful buyers and clients and customers that I guess I forgot how it only takes one snake to ruin things). I had already spent money on paint, fabric, herbs, glitter, gas to drive to the cemetery, candles, beads, etc for his custom work, so he put my account in the hole. DEEPLY in the hole.
We emailed about it, and he lifted the dispute, releasing the funds back into my paypal account. He claimed not to know that a dispute froze my account, meaning I was unable to ship items (or buy more supplies to finish his custom work) unless I used my own grocery money (and since he is international, that is $53 of my grocery money to ship a large insured flat rate box overseas). But he was upset with me for "treating him badly" (?!) and for not behaving "as a seller should behave to a buyer" (?!). In other words, for not kissing his ass and begging instead of telling him to release the funds immediately, and that if he didn’t, I would have no choice but to block him from bidding and warn the conjure, vodoun, and custom jewelry/art seller communities and guilds that I was a part of. However, the last email I got from him was apologetic and cordial – he insisted all along that he had meant no harm and had not understood how the dispute process worked -- and I continued working on his custom item.
Then Monday he opened a claim - not a dispute, a claim. I had no warning of this – he didn’t email me first, didn’t ask about his item, nothing – opened a claim. Plain, hostile, aggressive action. I called paypal, and there is nothing they can do. His claims is for “item not received,” and he has not in fact received the item (paypal does not care about the five-week handling time). A claim puts me on a clock; if I don't provide a tracking number by their deadline, the case is closed and the money debited from my paypal account is returned to him permanently. The stated handling time does not matter to them, but he ordered a custom-from-scratch item that CANNOT be finished in a few days, not even in a week.
It could be weeks before the case is closed and the funds are returned to me - assuming he does not decide to be a dick and file "item not described" or some garbage. He basically didn't want the items any more after I got mad - guess it finally occurred to him the folly of pissing off a rootworker and serviteur of the loa who is doing altar work for you -- but I was not going to be bullied into refunding him after all the time and expense I've incurred, left holding the bag with hundreds of dollars worth of now-useless ritual paraphernalia that has been customized for somebody else. (For what it's worth, I did nothing to his items that was not as advertised - I serve the loa and the spirits and Bon Dieu, not the Gods of Commerce or the Imp of Spite. I have a hard-earned reputation for honesty and I am not going to let somebody like this drag me down to his level. That he no longer trusts me not to hex his giant altar piece is a result of his own decisions and personality, not anything I've done.)
I have evidence, properly logged through the ebay messaging system and uploaded to paypal, that his motivation now is revenge and power for my blacklisting him and sharing his ebay userid with other sellers, rather than the paypal claim having anything to do with the items themselves. I hope paypal will make the right call, but if they don't, at least I can help others protect themselves from buyers who abuse the dispute and claims systems.
A paypal dispute is a last, not a first, step in communicating with a seller over an issue or concern, and this guy just screwed me royally. Then he got all butt hurt when I had the gall to be upset instead of begging and pleading with him. He wants to be treated with more respect, it seems. Funny how you don’t get it when you don’t extend it. There are clearly outlined procedures and steps for dealing with problems in transactions - he followed none of them but went straight to a paypal claim. Considering that I have high overhead and several part-time assistants who are on my payroll - including my 65-year-old mother, who sews my mojo bags and poppets - this guy's actions are cruel and vicious, and they are hurting a lot of people that *aren't me.*