Discussion Piece: The Gift That Taketh Away


In the days where its hard enough to find someone willing to help you pickup a hard to obtain pair of new sneakers, now those people (as well as myself) will have to be a lot more cautious when it comes to lending that helping hand.

Paypal, one of the most used and recognizable merchants in today’s sneaker marketplace, has been under some scrutiny as of late due to a seemingly new loophole for scammers to fraud sellers. This loophole was discovered by Rick, better known as @kicksaddiction1 via Twitter, when he was recently scammed by a buyer whom he previously helped before.  I asked Rick what happened and how it ultimately lead to him not only losing money, but also a pair of shoes in the process. He wrote:

“It all started with me getting a text from a guy saying he found me on Twitter and saw I was selling some Air Jordan Olive 9’s. He bought those from me and all went well. Then 8 months later, the same guy saw I was selling a pair of Air Jordan Blk/Red 11’s. After a little back and forth, we agree on a price of $180 USD. He offers to pay me as gift so I can avoid PayPal fees and I agreed.

So I ship the shoes the same day and he received them three days later. A week passes and I get an email from PayPal stating that a claim was filed and that $200 USD was removed from my PayPal account.. $180 for the shoes and $20 for a claim fee. This happened because he filed a claim with his credit card company saying he did not get the item he bought online. That’s when I found out from PayPal that he had his credit card linked to his PayPal account and that’s how he paid for the shoes. If he would have filed a claim with PayPal, they would not have given him the money back.

So they said that since I was able to provide the tracking number and that is says the item was delivered, they (PayPal) would fight for me and that it could take up to 90 days to resolve the claim. 70 days later, I get an email from PayPal saying I did not provide enough proof to claim he got the item and that his credit card company decided in his favor. So I call up PayPal and I was told that since it was paid for as a gift, I should not have sent any items because the buyer can always get the money back if they pay with a credit or debt card by saying they did not receive the item and no matter what, you will lose the claim. So they gave me the $20 dollar fee back from the original $200 they had taken from me.”

After some research, I found out that per PayPal’s Seller Protection guidelines, sellers are not covered when:

“You’ve received a claim or a chargeback, and the shipped item is found to be significantly different than it was described.
Example: You describe a new laptop, but send a used one.”

With the verbiage used in this explanation, it would seem that Rick would have had a great chance of winning the claim and rightfully regain his funds but that wasn’t so. Due to receiving a “gifted” payment, which only partially covers sellers at most times, he and many others can now be left vulnerable for those who pay others via PayPal using their credit or debit cards instead of an actual PayPal balance.

The purpose for the gifted payment was that so sellers can get you kicks without incurring the dreaded PayPal fees. Having the ability to gift payments to sellers, to this point, has been sort of a “scratch my back and I’ll scratch yours” scenerio that works out for the benefit of sellers and buyers alike. But in a world were its becoming ever more apparent that you really can’t trust anyone, even helping someone could leave you with a cost.

Does this story change your mind about accepting gifted payments through PayPal? Participate in the poll and let’s discuss this in the comments below.


About simplyforkicks

I'm just an ordinary person with an extraordinary love for sneakers.

6 Responses to “Discussion Piece: The Gift That Taketh Away”

  1. ? Delivery confirmation?

  2. Fees are only 3% which is small for the added protection.


  1. Discussion Piece: The Gift That Taketh Away | Midwest Sole | Online Sneaker Magazine | Simply For Kicks - August 23, 2013

    […] http://midwestsole.com/2013/08/23/discussion-piece-the-gift-that-taketh-away/ […]

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