Dear eBay Queen: I have an International Shipping Problem


eBay Queen:

I have an international shipping problem with a costume jewelry necklace earring, bracelet and ring set I sold on eBay. I’m hoping you can me with this. The set is by a famous maker, and I sold it for $450.00.

I sold the jewelry on September 16th, and shipped it using eBay/PayPal international shipping with tracking. The buyer has opened and WON the claim saying they never received the item. I have called and gone into my local post office, and I have called USPS help line. They have told me to NEVER ship things through eBay and PayPal.

I am really upset. I thought PayPal always supplied tracking and protection through the transaction for both buyer and seller, but I guess not for international sales.   My postmaster has told me that the tracking number is just a number for the customs form. My postmaster says the number DOES get updated, but the USPS help line says NEVER will it be updated.

I called eBay, and they were very sympathetic to my issue, but they said they have to side with the buyer because the buyer says that it was not received AND that I have no tracking to prove it. They told me I should be enrolled into the global shipping program and I WOULD be protected. I have no control over the tracking being updated and now it cannot be tracked at all. What can I do? The buyer has been refunded for the jewelry but I don’t have the jewelry back!

I have called PayPal, they told me if I could prove the buyer had the item, that they would refund my money. I have messaged the buyer, but they say it has not been received. Do you know of anything else I can do to get my money or the item? Am I just out this money?

Sadie T

Dear Sadie:

I think you just might be out the money. PayPal should come with some kind of warning when it comes to international shipping. When I need to ship something high dollar to another country, I always bring the package to the post office. I make sure I can add signature confirmation and insurance to the package. The only real way to do that is at the post office.

Just because the post office and I both said you are out the item and the money, doesn’t mean you should give up. If the country you sent this too is an English speaking country, I would call their postal system/customs and try to locate it that way also. It would not hurt to call USPS once a week and see if they have an update. This was an expensive lesson to learn. I am so sorry that you had to learn it this way.


Dear eBay Queen:

I’ve been selling for 4 years, and have always had a “no returns” policy. I guess I’ve just been lucky, because I’ve never had someone that needed to return their item. Last week I had a buyer tell me their North Face jacket that they purchased 29 days ago did not fit, and they wanted to return it. I sent them a message and told them that I do not accept returns. They didn’t message me back, but this week they opened a return request. Now what do I do?


Dear AGB:


I don’t think you’re “no return policy” is going to help you get out of this return, or any return. If the buyer wants to return something, all they have to do is open a return request. The one thing that might help is the fact that they didn’t open the return request for 30 days after they received the item. I would contact eBay and see if they will close it because it was not opened within the 30 day time period.



Strange eBay item of the week: Item #281794747271. Thanksgiving will be here before you know it. Time to start thinking about entertaining guests – and there’s no better place to look than eBay! I found some nice pieces, but these are definitely out of my price range. Pr Paul Storr Sterling Silver Dessert Stands Lot 184 SOLD: $55,000.00.


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