Wednesday, May 30, 2007

One news reporter may be doing a story on our ring/eBay nightmare

Good news. One news reporter, Mark Cripps, Managing Editor, HAMILTON COMMUNITY NEWS is looking into doing a story on what happened to us with my Grandmothers ring. This is great because it might help some one else from getting taken on eBay like we were. It will also tell people not to send things to Indonesia unless they know the person they are shipping to. I will let every one know when he has printed his story. If I can I will put a copy of the story on my blog. I must say that I am very great full that he was willing to hear our story, and even more willing to share it.

One thing that has come out of this is the number of people who have been burned on eBay, both as sellers and buys. If you have been burned on eBay and would like some one to hear your story, please email me your story. I am going to start adding them to my blog. We all know it is happening, but no one seems to be doing any thing about it. Maybe if we share our stories people will hear us. If we can save one person from being taken on eBay by these thieves it is worth the time to write out our stories. Please share my blog with others so we can tell people what is going on, and what our stories are, and how we can try to protect ourselves. My email is

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Indonesian Customs in now holding my Grandmothers ring hostage for $900.00+

Robbed on eBay and now by Indonesian customs for $900.00+

Indonesian customs uses ring as a hostage to get $900.00+ from us. We are getting robbed twice.

We made the mistake of putting my Grandmothers ring on eBay for $1000.00. Like so many 1000’s of others we were scammed. Some one used another person’s eBay account and Paypal account to buy the ring. Please note that there is no protection for sellers on eBay. At first we thought that we were going to be out just the $116.00 shipping cost as we had contacted FedEx and did a stop shipment. Well things did not work out, and the ring made it to Indonesian customs. The only reason the person did not have my Grandmothers ring is because they would not pay the customs of $330.00, oh and by the way the Indonesian customs will not release the ring until some one pays the $330.00. Indonesian customs does not care that it was not suppose to even make it to them, or that this is a case of theft. Not their problem.

FedEx tells us to pay the $330.00 as Indonesian customs is known to take up to 6 months to resolve a dispute, and they charge you a storage fee. The storage fee is usually more then the customs fee and the chance of them saying, “oh, so sorry to hear about this person stealing from you, we wont charge you the customs fee” is 0. So we would have ended up paying both storage fee and customs fee. So we make arrangements with FedEx to pay the $330.00 and have the ring shipped back. So it was to arrive here yesterday or today. Guess what? No ring! We call FedEx to find out that Indonesian customs has now issued an invoice to FedEx for over $900.00 “custom fee’s” and will not release the ring until we pay it. Indonesian customs has now decided that $330.00 is not enough; they want us to pay over $900.00. They are holding our ring hostage.

All I could think of was “This is not happening”, but it is. They want us to pay $900.00 to get my own ring back. So if I want my ring back I have to pay almost the value of the ring. What is going on here? FedEx has no idea what Indonesian customs is doing or why they are charging so much. They are going to try and fight it, but as I indicated earlier, they will take up to 6 months to resolve the issue and are going to charge a storage fee, and the chance of them letting us win is 0. Their country, they make the rules, why would they let us win?

Please share my story with as many people as you can. I know it is too late for me, or my Grandmothers ring but please let people know about this. Maybe we can stop it from happening to some one else. I did contact the news shows and reporters in my area, but it is happening so often too people that there just is no story in some one being robbed on eBay or by Indonesian customs. So what happens, every one knows its happening but know one reports on it, so it keeps happening. The only way people are going to know about this is if I stand up on a box and yell as lowed and as long as I can. I am doing that but I need your help to let others know. If no one else is willing to tell this story then it is up to try and let people know.

Thank You,
James Porth
Lori-Lee Craig
Medieval Magic

Monday, May 28, 2007

$456.00 lost but getting my Grandmothers ring back

Just an update, the ring is on its way back to us, should be here some time this week. FedEx told us to pay the customs because Indonesian customs is known to take 6 months with any disputes, and they charge you a very large storage fee, so even if you win, you end up paying as much if not more then the original fee. Also, they tend not to let any one win a customs fee dispute, so we would have ended up owing the customs for both the customs fee and storage fee. I am past the crying and anger stages and have reached the acceptance stage. The good thing is that FedEx is going to charge our account for the Indonesian customs fee and then bill us at the end of the month. This will let us budget and figure out a way to pay it off.

I just want others to hear my story so they are more careful then we were and don't ship any thing right away and get burned the same way we did. The sad part is I have been getting email after email from both sellers and buyers, who have been taken for on eBay. We are not going to be selling any thing on eBay again. I could write a "How to use eBay to steal 101" book with all the information I have found out. I may do a blog, not to help thieves but to help people from being taken in by the con-artists. What got me the most is not the number of people who have been taken, but by the fact that there is nothing we can do once it happens. The police cannot help, eBay and Paypal will not help because they can not afford to become responsible for this. There must be some way to protect people, but I don’t know what it is yet. If you have some idea of how to make it harder on thieves please let me know.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

You might as well hang up a sign on eBay, thieves welcome

First I had to go through the hard question, do I sell my Grandmothers ring. I don’t have a lot of hers and I miss her very much. We need the money though, so I think she would understand. It was a hard thing to do but on eBay it goes. Then comes the inquiry could we ship it out right away, rush shipment, some one wants to buy it as a gift. So we go out of our way to make sure we ship the ring as soon as the payment hits Paypal. How far out of our way, we barrow the $116.00 so we can ship it. That is just over ¼ of my budget for the month seeing as I am on Ontario works (welfare) right now.

I have a very hard time sleeping that night. I sold my Grandmothers ring so I am feeling sad, but at the same time I am happy that we will have some money to pay off a few bills. But I cannot sleep, there is just some thing eating away at me. The next day we get an email from Paypal, the transaction was fraudulent – some one just stole my Grandmothers ring. We were out $116.00 for food that month, but at least we were able to contact FedEx and get them to put a stop shipment. Things are going to be hard but at least we are getting the ring back.

Mothers Day, just don’t feel like doing any thing, to upset and I am worried about the ring and how we are going to pay back the $116.00. On top of that the 16th is my sons 4th birthday and I have to explain to him that we cannot get him the gift Mommy and Daddy said he would have for his birthday. He does not understand we are $116.00 short of our budget and now it just is not possible. No party – no money. It is a good thing we had picked up a few small things for him. But it was very hard to have to tell him that he was not bad and that was not why he was not getting his big gift, just some bad things happened. What price do you put on a parents tears when they have to tell this to a child.

We keep checking with FedEx, yes there is a stop shipment order. So why does it show that it is still going? Monday the 14th we find out that FedEx did not stop the shipment. The only reason the person did not have my Grandmothers ring is because they would not pay the customs of $360.00, oh and by the way the Indonesian customs will not release the ring until some one pays the $360.00. So we get robbed twice.

So now the ring is sitting at Indonesian customs and we have to spend our months budget for food just to get it back, or we can just let Indonesian customs confiscate it. So now what. What are we suppose to do, other then cry that is. At this point I start finding out what can be done. Nothing. FedEx does not care that we had a stop shipment on the ring, eBay said we can file a dispute on the dispute console but all that will do is get them to give us back the $1.00 listing fee. It does not matter that some one used some one else’s eBay account to buy the ring, not there problem. Seller protection – none. Every thing is for the buyer. Paypal, well they let us know that there was a problem, and they took all the money back and that way the person who’s account was broken into did not loose any thing, oh the seller, to bad, not our problem.

We thought we were dealing with some one we could trust. The eBay buyer had a good record and looked like they could be trusted. The fact that some one else was using the guy’s account does not matter to eBay. There was no way for us to know this was not a real sale. A week after the sale we got 6 emails from eBay to let us know that the email communications from the eBay buyer could be fraudulent. Thanks, a little to late though, um, we told you. Is eBay going to do any thing for us, no. Same with Paypal. Not their problem. So even though it was the security of eBay and Paypal that was breached we are paying the price. I am not very happy with eBay or Paypal right now. Then FedEx let us down as well. We put a stop shipment return to sender when the ring was in Alaska, why did it get all the way to Indonesia after we were repeatedly reassured over the phone there was a stop shipment and it would not get that far. What do you mean the only reason the thief does not have my ring is because they would not pay the customs, and now I have to pay for it. Oh, and its not your problem. Yah, I am never using FedEx again.

So this one person has devastated my family. First by stealing from us, and having us pay extra to ship it to them. Taking ¼ of my family’s money for the month. Then Paypal and eBay will take no responsibility for the unusual circumstances to help us. Now FedEx lets us down and we have pay another $360.00 or say good by to my Grandmothers ring. So I get to chouse between feeding my family and saving my grandmothers ring. It was hard enough to part with it knowing that the money from it was going to help my family, but to lose it this way is unbelievable. That does not even touch on the emotional hell I have gone threw this last two weeks. Or what it made me feel like to tell my son he could not have some thing I promised him. So much for us moving from a two bed room apartment to a three bed room town house. We were expecting to be able to move in a month or two, have to give that up to after working for a year to get there.

This was not some joke or harmless crime; this has hurt my family in ways this thief does not care about. The icing on the cake is that this thief will never pay any price or consequence for their actions. No one is going to even try to find them, let alone charge them. They just get away with it, and do it again. There is nothing to stop them. Any one can be next. As for eBay and Paypal, not their problem. So what if they lose me as a customer, what do they care? They have millions of people willing to use them. There is no incentive for them to stop this, or help the people this happens to. There is insurance for the buyer but nothing for the seller.

You might as well hang up a sign on eBay, thieves welcome. Come in, use some ones account, and steal from as many as you can, then move on to another account. Get caught, no, you may not get every thing you try to take, but you just move on to the next account. No one is going to try and find you, or make you pay for any thing. No consequences, steal until there is nothing left to take.

Friday, May 11, 2007

eBay & Paypal fraud Sellers beware!

Think before selling on eBay. Take a look at eBay policies. There is a lot of protection for the buyers, what protection is there for the sellers, not much. If there is insurance for buyers, why not insurance for sellers?

As people may have noticed there has been quite a few problems for E-Bay sellers with fraud. Be it fake bids such as the Playstation 3 game system just before Christmas and the General Lee car in the last few weeks or just out and out theft. A person buys an item, then pays and gets you to ship the item, then cancels payment. Or you get what just happened to us.

I put my Grandmothers ring out eBay as an auction and a buy it now. We were contacted by a buyer who wanted the ring as a gift and wanted to know if we could ship it right away, they would pay extra for two or three day shipping. We said sure, we will ship as soon as the money went through Paypal. The person had been on eBay for years and had 100% rating, some one you can trust. It is Mothers day weekend, nothing odd about some one buying a last minute gift and asking for us to ship it directly to the person. Money shows up in Paypal, item is shipped that day.

We rush the Ring to FedEx and send it out right away. I just made it to the office for the last pick up of the day. Next morning we received an e-mail from PayPal saying the funds have been held and an investigation has been started as the funds may have been stolen. I called FedEx and had them stop the delivery and send it back to me after explaining what had happened. At this time I am told that the shipping is not refundable so I am out $116.51 now. I then receive another e-mail from another eBay seller, mrs2620, who was also taken by the same person. They too were scammed and are trying to get their item sent back before delivery.

So here we have two small business owners trying to make some extra money selling good quality items on eBay being taken for a ride by crooks. Some people say that is the cost of doing business. However, I would like to point out that the ring we were selling was not part of Medieval Magic stock, but was my Grandmothers ring valued at about $1,200.00 ten years ago, more now. So this is not a case of a business sale, covered under insurance, this is me loosing my Grandmothers ring. This is personal.

Even though we are getting our ring back, this is not a harmless victimless crime or a joke, we are out $116.00, some thing we cannot afford. We are selling the ring because we need the money, we have some bills coming up and with two little kids things are a little tight. I was not expecting to sell the ring, but it would have been nice. Now things are even harder on us, we are out $116.00 about ¼ of our budget for food and diapers for the month. On top of that we used part of the money in Paypal to buy some thing. So now we are about $130.00 in debt to Paypal. We have to come up with the money to pay for the item that has already been shipped. So that is about ¼ of our food and diaper budget that means 50% of our budget is now gone. Thank you very much.

It is my sons fourth birthday this month, so if you think this crime has no effect on any one, just a business, you are wrong. So now I have a budget of about $200.00, about $100.00 of that has to go to diapers, wipes, and $100.00 for food for two weeks for a family of four. So much for my sons birthday, some one want to come and explain to my four year old why he is not having a birthday party, and why he is not getting that gift Daddy told him he was getting.

So this crime or joke has a very strong impact on my family. I am not telling people this so they feel sorry for me, but because I want people to understand what this person has done to my family. What the impact of this one act has had on us. Crime costs people like us every day. We are not some big corporation that can absorb a loss like this, we are hard working people trying to do our best and one person just kicked us in the teeth, took food out of my kids’ mouths. You don’t want to know what I want to do to this person if I could find them. Making them pay the $116.00 is not enough for the worry and anger I have right now.

It is time that we the consumers and sellers start to put our foot down and stop this. New rules and procedures must be put into place on all the auction sites and payment sites to protect us all. We have to ask for them. People have to look at what the effect will be on eBay and other auction sites if thing like this continue. Who wants to sell items on eBay if there is no protection for them? Look at John Schneider, he has decided to go with a bricks-and-mortar auction firm that strictly screens buyers to sell the General Lee. This would have been a great achievement for eBay. If this keeps up there will be no place for every day people to sell and buy as it will destroy peoples trust in being able to sell on eBay. At this point in time we have changed our shipping policies to protect ourselves from this happening again. But I have to admit I am rethinking about selling on eBay as I have an online store Medieval Magic I am already selling on.