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PayPal Tells Buyer to Crush Antique Violin Rather than Return it

by Shane McGlaun

OMG I loathe PayPal. As a seller, you can count on losing your money 99% of the time if a buyer complains about anything. As one seller named Erica found out, if the douchebag that buys your stuff complains that it is a fake, PayPal may even tell the buyer to destroy the item in question rather than send it back to the seller.

As the story goes, the seller sold an antique French violin to a buyer in Canada using PayPal. The buyer said the label inside the violin was incorrect and filed a dispute with PayPal. Rather than gather some facts or just have the buyer return the violin to the seller, PayPal has had the buyer destroy the pre-WWII musical instrument, because that’s how they apparently like to deal with items they think are “counterfeits.” The proud and equally douchebaggy buyer then emailed the seller the photos of the destroyed instrument.

According to the seller, the violin had been examined by a professional and found to be authentic, and improper labels are common in the old violin business. Now the seller is out the money that PayPal took back and the violin because the seller destroyed it. All I can say to the seller is get a lawyer and sue the buyer and PayPal. Why in the name of all that is good and geeky won’t someone step up and offer the world a viable eBay and PayPal alternative?

[via Regretsy via C|Net]

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Comments (9):

  1. eyrieowl says:

    re: the last question…probably because our patent system is fscked and ebay/paypal can/do sue the pants off anyone independent (i.e., without a huge patent portfolio to defend themselves) who tries to do something similar.

  2. J. Scarboro says:

    EBAY would not refund over $3,000. after seller would not ship a Sony notebook. I talked to EBAY’S attorney and she said that they would not refund even though i canceled the transaction before they paid the seller. Thank God I had paid with American Express credit card AMEX refunded my total payment. I never use PAYPAL ON EBAY

  3. Rev says:

    I’ve seen several antique violin experts who have looked at the image of this smashed violin and state that it is clearly a cheap Chinese violin based on the finish and the wood. Since we only have one side of the story here (and not even a complete version of the story from that one side), it’s a bit early to cry foul.

    • Technabob says:

      But even if it is a fake, why shouldn’t the seller receive their property back. Leave it to governing authorities to go after them if they are selling counterfeit goods. No private entity should not have the right to be judge, jury and executioner and have a policy that states that merchandise must be destroyed:

      “For SNAD Claims, PayPal may require you to ship the item back to the seller – or to PayPal – or to a third party at your expense, and to provide proof of delivery. Please take reasonable precautions in re-packing the item to reduce the risk of damage to the item during transit. PayPal may also require you to destroy the item and to provide evidence of its destruction.”

      Seems like a stupid ass policy to me. I would think that the rule should be that PayPal should require proof that the buyer returned the item to the seller (i.e. a tracking number) and then give them their money back.

      • Tallulah says:

        I’d think that it’s to prevent the seller trying to sell the same item again to another unsuspecting buyer. Still one would think they’d require proof that it’s a fake before demanding such a thing. Even if this particular violin is a fake the same thing could so easily happen to a genuine one and that is absolutely heart-breaking.

  4. dragonlord says:

    I’ve also read a lot about a buyer scam where the buyer buys the original goods and a fake copy. Reports the fake to paypal as the original, and when told to return or destroy it, does so. Paypal then refunds the money, seller is out of pocket and the buyer still has the original goods.

  5. XpAcErX says:

    “Why in the name of all that is good and geeky won

    • XpAcErX says:

      won’t someone step up and offer the world a viable eBay and PayPal alternative?”

      Because ebay acquired paypal in 2002.

      sorry for the first post for some reason it cut off text.

  6. MadeInManhattan says:

    Everything about PayPal is screwy! I’m glad there’s finally some media attention being brought to their practices. Myself and so many other people you can see for yourself here,
    http://www.screw-paypal.com have been almost put out of business. It’s crazy that their are abel to legally screw people over by you clicking I agree to their terms. SMH

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