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Old 01-23-2009, 06:24 PM   #31
scott H
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

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yes the replys were all interesting.thanks again gary. by the way you did use the word (example).
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Old 01-23-2009, 07:08 PM   #32
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

I think that just about everyone has had a mail-order melt-down situation.

Everything comes down to CYB in today's sue-your-heiney-off environment.

Buyer has to ensure that the money got from his hands to the seller's (eg PayPal or moeny order) and prove that the money did get there.

Seller has to make sure that the product gets to the shipper and that the shipper moves the product to the buyer and that the buyer gets his hands on the item. (tracking numbers, probably even sign-on-receipt).

Insurance is there for the possibility of the shipper losing or damaging the product.

The rest is sollipism, tradition and semantics. (Sort of like the movie "He Said, She Said")

Of course, the real fun is when the package goes across the border and the seller relied on the local post office people to fill in the forms. Of course, they never fill in the value and the customs people toss a number in the air -- I had a $20 item come across and be valued at $1000 (eBay purchase), with GST/PST/handling coming out somewhere around $175. The advise that I got from my post-mistress aunt was that you pay the charges and then fight for six months to get the refund because the package doesn't go back to the seller.
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Old 01-23-2009, 10:20 PM   #33
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Originally Posted by Michael Hyatt View Post
You and the seller entered into a contract, be it verbal or written. Wether the package is lost in the mail or not(it may yet be found), he has not fullfilled his end of the contract.
As an honorable seller, no matter what the cost to me(I wouldn't refund the money), I'd fullfill my end of the contract by buying a new item and resending it. (As the seller I'd just have to accept my double loss for being too cheap to buy insurance).
This is too simple. The buyer could state that his end of the contract was fulfilled by shipping it as the request to ship it was from the buyer.

Just as a contract is considered signed and agreed to once a party has mailed it, not when the other party has received it.

The question is, was the contract to ship the item or for the buyer to receive the item? Most online stores are quite clear in their fine print that they are not responsible for loss or damage due to shipping and that insurance is an extra cost. Basically, the store/person selling the item is shipping the item FOR the buyer but it's still at the buyers risk. If you don't want to deal with the risk of buying a shipped item then buy local.

To avoid this type of situation, the terms of the agreement should all be laid out. Unless the seller has explicitely stated that insurance is included then assume it is not and if you want it, as the buyer, then pay the extra for it.

As to who is right or wrong in this particular situation, I'm not going to comment on one side of a "hypothetical" situation.

edit: keep in mind that I'm only discussing the legal implications, not the moral ones. I've taken a bit of contract law due to the fact that I work in construction as a project manager and deal with contracts all the time. Basically, there is no "law" on who is responsible for what. It's all about the agreed to terms in your contract.

Last edited by waylander; 01-23-2009 at 10:28 PM. Reason: added something
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Old 01-24-2009, 06:31 AM   #34
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Itís simple really. I have a Venture One card (Canada Post) and for the same cost as regular shipping I get expedited service, $100 insurance and a tracking number on all packages.

My personal thought on the responsibility is until you receive the goods the transaction is not complete. On that note anything over $100 the extra insurance is always taken out. When I quote the cost of shipping it includes this and for my protection there is no choice. My ads always say shipping extra. I package up the item take it to the post office find out the exact cost of shipping and insurance and that is what is charged exactly. Handling fees in my opinion are a con to grab more money out of your pocket. A retail store does not charge handling fees to stock the shelves or ring up and bag your sale itís a part of doing business and included in the cost of the item.

I also have the option of requesting a signature on the item and that is only a few dollars additional. If the cost of the item warrants this I will pay for this myself as itís something I require and not part of the regular shipping costs.

The only one who can put in a claim is the one who has taken out the insurance. I have had to do this a few times and it always takes a long time to resolve the issue. 8 months on the last one but I did get my money less the shipping of course.

I have had expensive items delivered to my door that required a signature left on the porch beside the recycling bin. I have had item shipped to me that I had requested the extra insurance and a signature, arrive just left on the porch. The shipper had charged me but not taken out the insurance as requested.

Lots of variables lots of answers but it boils down to the diligence of the person doing the shipping to mitigate the risk.

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Old 01-24-2009, 09:46 AM   #35
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Propworn Quote: "..I have had expensive items delivered to my door that required a signature left on the porch beside the recycling bin. I have had item shipped to me that I had requested the extra insurance and a signature, arrive just left on the porch. The shipper had charged me but not taken out the insurance as requested."

That was pretty much the gist of my first post. You get charged enough at the request of the shipper to pay postage and insurance only to find out after the fact, NO insurance was purchased, the funds plus the extra collected for postage and insurance is pocketed by the seller. And yet some insist that the shipper is not responsible once he posts the item(s) and the buyer is to take the loss??

Not only that, if his responsibility actually ends once he has posted the items, should the item get lost, he can then make a claim and pocket a second full payment for his funds? Naaah, that can't be right!

Adding to the senario, according to the above reasoning, the shipper could get away with a total scam. Think about it! The package that I had coming that was 3 weeks overdue was because the shipper had put the wrong house number on the package so it was returned to the post office and they sent it back to the shipper that had put his return address on the package.

So if a shipper wanted to really cash in all he would have to do is purposefully put down the wrong, nonexhisting house number and obmit his return address. For all anyone knows he could put a block of wood in the package and claim its a $500 item, pay the postage and insurance and drop the package in the mail. No such address, the package is returned to the post office, it goes into "undeliverable mail" as no return address is on the package. He tells the buyer, sorry, but the package is lost but I fulfilled my obligation and posted it, here is my receipt to prove I shipped it! He pockets the $500 from the buyer. NOW he makes a claim for a lost package and is paid another $500 through the insurance. He makes a $1000 for a useless block of wood and no one can prove anything. This could easily happen if the shipper's responsibility ends once he posts the package! The law has to be better than that, at least I would sincerely hope it is!

Propworn, I know exactly how you feel my friend. About 3 or 4 years ago I ordered a $2400 Turbine kit from England which was sent Airmail of course. When it arrived at the door, no one was home, so the postal carrier left it sitting on the front step in plain view of the sidewalk and anyone walking by to see. I was honestly very upset. Anyone could have easily picked it up and walked away with it, never to be seen again but of course the tracking info listed it as delivered.....
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:13 AM   #36
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Originally Posted by byrocat View Post
The advise that I got from my post-mistress aunt was that you pay the charges and then fight for six months to get the refund because the package doesn't go back to the seller.
Correct. Been there too. Had an item arrive from out of country which had an extrememly inflated tax charge on it based on a very false overvaluation - a package of two used magazines.

I told the PO that I was not about to pay the assessed fees and their BS collection charge.

The final dispositon was that the package got trashed. And no fees got collected. I was out less on the cost of the mags than the overcharge in taxes amounted too so I didn't care a hoot.
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Old 01-24-2009, 10:17 AM   #37
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Well lets add insult to injury. The seller has no obbligation to insure anything. Unless is for damage, I would suspect covering his own ass, due to poor packing and poor employees at Canada Post etc. Well a missing package is another thing.

The seller acts and follows the buyers instructions. Lets say you mail something to yourself what would you do? You would do the right thing!

Now the seller is being your eyes and ears and brain. The only thing he will do is what you tell him to do has he is only a drone following your instructions because the buyer is not there physicaly to take care of all the details. True some sellers are better than others, talking about the average Joe here not the big companies.

If the item is S&H extra meens you ask for options from the seller and you have the final say. But there is nothing stopping the seller to offer, shipping $10 no ins, $20 insured for $100 or $30 insured for $200 and so on plus $20 for handling. Now if you have something in mind then why not ask for it. If you know were the parcel is comming from then ask the seller for size and weight and you go to Canada Post and get some numbers. The seller acts on your behalf remember...

Now to make a long story short, you scenario clearly stated shipping for $10 dollars and it was (I assume with proof). The item was lost. Hence I have trouble blaiming the seller for doing what the buyer asked. So in my mind the seller's obligations were met and the buyer's obbligations were met. The loss is to the buyer for not clarifying the fine print and details earlier and in that respect accepts all liability. Now if the item is damaged then the seller has an obligation to pack it RIGHT if not then both take %50 blame, the buyer for being cheep and the seller for being a dick and irresponsible.

In other words if you do not hear what you want then ask for what you want do not 'assume' anything, because it makes and 'ass' out of 'u' and 'me'.
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Old 01-24-2009, 12:56 PM   #38
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Talking Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Having sold plenty on line over the past year and a half. I agree that its the seller's responsibility to get the product to the buyer and to claim any losses with the shipping company. The Seller the one with the shipping receipt with the tracking #, proof of insurance, and proof that it was in fact sent out.

When a package is shipped out, it is in the sellers best interest to choose to insure the package. Since not only does the insurance cover costs from lost items it also covers costs from items damaged-in-transit.

When purchases are made on line, my thinking was that the buyer should be getting what they expected through the negotiations with the seller. And, once the buyer has received the item(s), the seller needs to be prepared to qualify "why"; if it is different. And the seller may need to accept that a refund is in order if the buyer isn't satisfied.

WRT to the insurance, if the seller choose not to insure it, they're out of luck and need to send a refund to the buyer. I followed up with each of my sales if the packages were in good order and the product was per our discussions. It just seemed to be the right way to do business.

All that being said, there are no clear cut rules for small transactions like ours here on line. Its like purchases made at a roadside Yard Sale. All we can count on is the integrity of the person you're dealing with to do the right thing.


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Old 01-24-2009, 01:17 PM   #39
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

Hey Gary, without reading through all the pages I'll give you my take ...
First, I have completed over 1000 transactions, ebay, MECA, MECOA and private sales.
As a seller, it's my responsibility to get the parcel to the buyer, after all, he made sure I received the payment.
So, due diligence tells me I better insure. It protects the buyer and me too.
Everything is made clear in my transactions, amount, payment method, insurance and shipping method. IF the buyer says no insurance he gets a LONG email from me. If a guy pays me PP and then says no insurance then I basically cancel the transaction. Reason being he can claim no delivery, complain to PP and then PP pulls the money from my account.
Bottom line here Gary, the seller needs to know what he is doing. Never assume. In my situation, if I do send and decide not to insure, then it's my responsibility if it gets lost. Hope this helps. And by the way I have never lost one item. 2 items took a LONG time, I mean 2 months. 1 went to GB and back to my door, I wrote the wrong address on it second one was sent to Sarnia, 2 months later it showed, imagine that.
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Old 01-24-2009, 04:38 PM   #40
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Re: Buying and Selling On-line!

In a private sale, when the seller gives the parcel to the shipper his job is done. He has no more control of the thing and no more responsibility. If the buyer wants to pay extra for insurance then he should do it. Otherwise it's the buyers loss if the thing does not arrive.
How can you hold the seller responsible when he is no longer in control of the product. I know that when I sell something, once I drop it at the post office that's it, it's out of my hands and out of my responsibility. When I buy something I either pay extra for the insurance or am ready to take the loss of it doesn't show. Now of course if the buyer payes for this insurance and the thing gets lost, it's the seller that has to deal with the shipper to recover the money since he is the one with the insurance contract (even though it was paid for by the buyer, the seller bought it). But, if there is no insurance, it's the buyer's loss.
For retail it is a different story. they still don't have a legal responsibility but good will dictates that they should consider a refund. It may be cheaper to eat the loss than face the negative feedback.

Last edited by robonline; 01-24-2009 at 04:44 PM.
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