I have heard a lot from eBay lately about their new PayPal chargeback protections for PowerSellers and a lot from of sellers saying that this protection is a myth. I personally had yet to experience a chargeback for myself so I was just keeping my fingers crossed until the day when I found out who was right.

Out of the blue a few weeks ago, an item that I sold was subject to a chargeback. I had already shipped the item and it had actually already arrived at its destination so I was quite convinced I was going to get screwed over. This all happened right before I was due to leave for vacation so there wasn’t much that I could do. I added the tracking info to the PayPal claim and wrote a brief statement that I had already shipped the item and it was already received. I also wrote a quick note to the buyer giving him the benefit of the doubt that he didn’t realize it had happened (which I hear is rather common) and could he please pay again? I also filed a Non-Paying Bidder Claim in the hopes that he would get the hint. Then I left for vacation.

When I returned, there had been no movement on the ticket so I just chalked it off as a loss and moved on. Oddly enough, the buyer left me very nice feedback and had indicated in the NPB claim that he was going to repay. That message was a week old and he hadn’t re-paid yet. In case you were curious, he never did.

Then, a few days ago, to my surprise, I get this email from PayPal:

Thank you for providing information about the recent bank reversal. We have reviewed the information and determined that you will not be held liable for this reversal because you followed the guidelines of the unauthorized payment protection plan.

Any funds that may have been temporarily held are now available in your account

Isn’t that nice? Getting money that I had already kissed goodbye back was a refreshing twist to this story.

Here is the part that confuses me, though. If I understand this process correctly, the buyer still didn’t pay me, it’s just that PayPal paid the bill because I did everything correct on my end. After I got this money back I closed the NPB claim because I figured, from my end, I got the money. But didn’t the buyer still stiff me? Should I have left that claim open and let it go to completion? If anyone has thoughts on this I would love to know how you would have handled this situation.

I must say, in the end, I was pleasently surprised that PayPal did, as promised, step up to bat for my needs. They haven’t in the past so I cannot say for sure if it was just this one case or if it is this new policy they have implimented but, at the moment, I am a satisfied customer.