A month before embarking on our overseas trip, I purged my office of some unneeded camera equipment and decided to give both Amazon and ebay a try. From the two sites, I would discover the fabulously simplistic side of ebay and the complete breakdown of Amazon in protecting its sellers from fraud.
In what I had thought would be an easy transaction using Amazon, my camera sold within a few hours. Four days after the buyer received the package, he filed a complaint with Amazon which is called an A-Z guarantee claim. This is the process that protects the buyer in the event that I somehow try to cheat him. He alleged that he received a box with tiny workout weights and no camera. The problem with his claim is that someone other than the buyer signed for the package. I gave Amazon enough information including- pictures of the camera in the box, tracking numbers, shipping weight, original purchase receipt and the lack of communication from the buyer.
Amazon sided with me and denied the buyer of his claim. What happened next is as close to legal fraud as humanly possible. The buyer then filed a chargeback claim with the credit card he used to purchase the camera. This, as I would later discover, is the full-proof method of getting your money back and keeping the goods. Amazon was forced by the credit company to return the funds to the buyer even though they had previously denied his claim.
Once a buyer files an chargeback, it is out of Amazon’s hands and they cannot do anything except act as the middleman holding the money. To put it more bluntly, Amazon offers absolutely no protection to its sellers. Upon googling my experience I found several thousand other complaints from sellers experiencing the exact same thing. There are cases where people gave pictures of themselves at the post office with the purchased item going into the shipping box, but they were still denied. There is nothing you can do to protect yourself when you sell on Amazon.
Which is the complete opposite when you use ebay. Ebay has a system that protects both the seller and the buyer. Their site is user friendly, lets you design the auction and has payment services such as PayPal that offer additional protection against fraudulent buyers. From what I’ve read, all you need to protect yourself when using ebay and paypal is a tracking number. With Amazon, no matter how much evidence you give, you will lose against a chargeback claim.
Here is how it goes if you would like to try your luck- It’s as simple as going to Amazon.com, search for an independent seller who is trying to get rid of an expensive item and purchase it with your credit card. Once the package arrives, immediately file an A-Z claim. If you are denied, then go with the 100% guarantee of a credit card chargeback. Amazon’s policy forces them to side with whatever the credit company says and there is no way to dispute it. And it’s becoming quite the common method to scam sellers out of their goods and money.
In the end there is a valuable lesson to be learned from selling expensive items over the internet.. Do your research into what company you decide to use. From my $2500 mistake I’ve learned that I will never use Amazon again, unless I want to try my hand at being a thief.