I guess you better not use paypal to sell antiques!
From her own words, it sounds like the seller knew the label was counterfeit.
I’ve watched antique roadshow enough time to know than even forgeries are sometimes worth a bundle.
I guess I’ll never pay for anything that can be destroyed by using PayPal. Then again I haven’t had need to use it for anything for some time.
In any dispute with Pay Pal I’ll destroy them first. I mean who am I to argue with their corporate policy?
What’s to prevent the buyer of the alleged fake from buying a cheap POS violin from a thrift shop, smashing it and using that to satisfy PrayPal, then keeping the money and the good violin too?
I read about someone being told to destroy a Hermes purse without proving it was counterfeit! Paypal really messes up sometimes. Hate them, but if you use EBay, not much choice.
that’s really insane. If you know anything about violins, it’s that half the violins made in the 19th century say that they are Stradivari. Of course they are not, but they can be perfectly serviceable violins. It’s very different transaction to sell one of that than selling a counterfeit modern consumer good.
I use paypal rather irregularly and for small purchases and sales. I don’t trust it at all, but there is no doubt it makes things SO much easier.
I used to be a huge ebayer - one of the first in, when it really was “one gigantic garage sale”. Listed everything for one penny, and had a lot of fun. But somewhere along the way Ebay decided they didn’t want people like me, and they used paypal to make that very clear to me.
For me, Paypal is in the same category as Google and Verizon. It’s a great product, but the company is rotten.
The ONLY time I used Pay Pal, I ended up with fraudulent charges on my Visa.
No big deal you say?
When you have had a card for 15 years, it is a significant anchor in your credit rating.
When it is replaced with a new card, that continuity evaporates.
As you know, I have had my share of issues with Paypal recently, and while I appreciate the effort they made to do the right thing in our case, I still have a lot of misgivings about them as a company.
This e-mail didnt help.
Dear Helen Killer,I forwarded this e-mail to my contact at Paypal several days ago. They have not replied.
I love your site and was thrilled to hear of your win against PayPal. I recently had a heartbreaking experience of my own with them.
I sold an old French violin to a buyer in Canada, and the buyer disputed the label.
This is not uncommon. In the violin market, labels often mean little and there is often disagreement over them. Some of the most expensive violins in the world have disputed labels, but they are works of art nonetheless.
Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as counterfeit even though there is no such thing in the violin world.
The buyer was proud of himself, so he sent me a photo of the destroyed violin.
I am now out a violin that made it through WWII as well as $2500.
This is of course, upsetting. But my main goal in writing to you is to prevent PayPal from ordering the destruction of violins and other antiquities that they know nothing about. It is beyond me why PayPal simply didnt have the violin returned to me.
I spoke on the phone to numerous reps from PayPal who 100% defended their action and gave me the party line.
UPDATE: I neglected to mention in the original post that the violin was examined and authenticated by a top luthier prior to its sale.
UPDATE 2: Thanks to sharp-eyed reader Mr. Pete, who found this paragraph in Paypals Terms of Service:
UPDATE 3: Paypal has advised that they are now looking into the matter.
Paypal will have to make the seller more than whole.
The negative publicity is killing them.
Let me tell you about my own experience with e-Bay just today. The first time I ever bid on something, though I seemed to have an account. Perhaps via one of their buyouts like Half.com, I don’t know.
An item I needed. brand new, starting bid $65, or Buy Now for $90. Not bad considering other new offers for $125-179, and used ones starting @$60. But I am replacing a used one myself, which failed after couple of years, so a new one is a must.
One bid $66. I researched the matter to find out about proxy bidding which is setting your max price, known only to you and e-bay, and e-Bay will bid competitively for you up to that price. OK, I set it at $81, and the new bid is set at $71, which tells me that the other guys max price was $70. He or some other bidder (biddie?) bids $72, e-Bay bids on my behalf $73. (This happens over a couple of days.) I’m still the highest bidder. I watch the last minute, my bid of $73 still stands, and in the last few seconds, somebody outbids me with $82. I try to outbid, but there isn’t enough time. I lose! WTF happened? How did anyone know my highest bid of $81? This was ‘sposed to be a secret? Or is this perhaps how e-Bay closes the bidding when the seller’s minimum selling price was set above the highest bid?
Anyway, a few minutes later I found this item on the web from a reputable store for $79, shipping free, unlike the e-Bay auction. Ef e-Bay!
Well, surely Paypal can provide her with a copy of the appraisal that they had performed in order to ascertain that the item was, in fact, a counterfeit and worthless...right? Right?
I would say a third party cannot legally tell someone to distroy something that does not belong to them...did they have it verified as a fake, if not I hope the seller takes them for thousands....along with the idiot that destroyed it...unless they have it in writing from ebay/paypal, they are in for a lawsuit...
Paypal is perhaps the greatest advance in business in say 500 years.
Paypal enables safe transactions not previously possible without severe delay
If I have to use paypal, I cancel the order and go elsewhere. I’ll pay more to avoid using paypal. Burned once, twice shy.