PayPal Tells Buyer To Destroy Purchased Violin Instead Of Return For Refund


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I would cry .....

But I'd like to be sure this actually happened, and it's going to be very difficult to check the facts.

If paypal has ordered the destruction of violins deemed to be "counterfeit", it reveals previously undreamt-of levels of bone-headedness, even by paypal's standards.

In the case quoted, i would have thought a civil suit could be brought against paypal. This violin was covered by buyer protection and was deemed SNAD (significantly not as described), the buyer received a refund and the seller's account was debited. In this scenario the ownership of the violin reverts de facto to the seller, since neither the buyer nor paypal have parted with money but the seller has parted with the violin. If the ownership of the object returns to the seller, neither paypal nor the buyer have the right to destroy it.

Martin Swan Violins

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im rather suspicious too, this story is reported to come from the seller, but they have a picture of the smashed violin from the buyer, they shouldnt be colluding, my guess is an innocent violin was smashed just to make up this story.

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Seems like they are usurping police powers and due process. As I understand it, it's a firm legal principal that you can't sign away your legal rights, and everyone in the US, at least, has the right to due process under law before they can have property taken away from them. Seizure, also, is generally a police power AFAIK.

I think the story is bogus, nonetheless, unless there is a LOT more to it.

Good to know what's in the service agreement, though. I always offer buyer approval on the rare occasions when I sell things on Ebay, and avoid this sort of conflict. Nowhere is it stated that the seller offered to take the instrument back and refund the buyer's money.

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Here

Section 13.5 under "Claims resolution process".

Excerpt from Section 13.5:

"Claims Resolution Process... PayPal retains full discretion to make a final decision in favor of the buyer or the Seller based on any criteria PayPal deems appropriate... If you lose a SNAD Claim because the item you sold is counterfeit, you will be required to provide a full refund to the buyer and you will not receive the item back (it will be destroyed)."

On that basis alone, if I ever sell a violin, I don't think I will accept PayPal.

Note: SNAD stands for “Significantly Not as Described”

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I think this counterfeit issue is a fairly new Ebay/PP practice. I understood there was some Federal enforcement recently. I ran into it 2 times over the holidays trying to purchase a Louis Vuitton hand bag for my wife. At least one interrrupted transaction was for a genuine LV purse. The other I was not 100% confident of it's authenticity. Both times I sniped the items at a low price, but the items were reported counterfeit before the transaction could be completed. EBAY and Payapl void the transactions and place a hold on funds from BOTH accounts. I suspect the counterfeit reports were from other higher priced sellers or disgruntled bidders given the talk on the support forums.

She got a genuine LV, but I had to pay a lot more.

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I believe the problem mostly concerns counterfeit items like Dior, Rollex, YSL, etc... the big luxury firms are very active in this domain and usually such conterfeit items seized by customs are indeed destroyed. But it's very easy for Dior for example to see if a dress or a bag is an imitation or not. Here the problem comes from the fact that no expert was able to say the violin was a fake with absolute certainty and I don't see how it was possible for Ebay to give the order to destroy he violin. And I don't really see how the buyer can recover his/her money since the violin is gone.

Edit: Kurt did say the same while I was typing.

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My caution was that I think a listed item only has to be "reported" as couterfeit for EBAY and Paypal to mess up your transaction and accounts. In my instances, nothing was destroyed but funds were seized util the process sorted itself out. I don't doubt that a quick determination is made with out much expertise in the matter, so it wouldn't surprise me to hear of a lot more stories about destroyed items starting to pop out. There were never any actual questions from EBAY/PP to EITHER party on whether the item was authentic.

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seems to me if you dont make any outrageous claims about your violin and offer a full money back return, your still covered, me id like to see a little heat on the fraudulent sellers, but ebay will never do that, they love crooks

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Another PayPal document entitled "PayPal Buyer Protection" states

"For SNAD Claims, PayPal may require you to ship the item back to the seller - or to PayPal - or to a third party at your expense, and to provide proof of delivery. Please take reasonable precautions in re-packing the item to reduce the risk of damage to the item during transit. PayPal may also require you to destroy the item and to provide evidence of its destruction."

Bolding on the last sentence is mine. The link to the document:

https://cms.paypal.com/al/cgi-bin/?cmd=_render-content&content_ID=ua/BuyerProtComp_full

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I'm waiting for someone to buy an instrument made as a copy, by some 'top maker', and then have PayPal deem it a counterfeit, and have it destroyed.

"To counterfeit means to illegally imitate something."

So some of my questions are :

Should a violin made by say Roger Hargrave, mistaken for a Guarneri, be destroyed? Aspects of Violin and Art Fraud and the Criminal Law

Should a Stradivari, found in an attic, with a label in it by some 'lesser maker', receive the same treatment as our $2,500 dollar instrument?

After all it is a falsely labelled instrument, and therefore meets PayPals conditions.

Does not the 'lesser maker' enjoy the same rights to protection of their name as Stradivari?

Sometimes doing what's right goes outside the "rules and regulations", and falls under something called 'plain common sense'.

Something that seems to be in shorter and shorter supply these days.

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I understood from comments I have seen attributed in the press that there is some pressure on EBAY/PP to comply with US law on the shipment of counterfeit goods. I understood it is illegal to promote their transport, even back to the original seller (hence destruction).

As some here point out, the determination of what is deemed counterfeit and how that assessment is made is the linch-pin leaving sellers in the lurch on EBAY (and buyers potentially without the product or funds as in the case I described above).

In my case, no questions were asked of either party -and I must have violated some law by sending the "counterfeit" items back and getting the hold released on my funds.

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dry.gif Obviously the original intent was to suppress fake Rolex watches and pirated DVD's.

Person A: "I bought a mislabeled violin worth $10,000 for $800!"

Person B: "I sold a $100 mis-labeled violin for $600!"

Who is the bigger cheat? If they used paypal, BOTH violins should be destroyed. unsure.gif

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Should a violin made by say Roger Hargrave, mistaken for a Guarneri, be destroyed? Aspects of Violin and Art Fraud and the Criminal Law

I get a bit tired of the “Jacob identified Rogers Guarneri”story. After all, it was 20 years ago. I’m confronted with it at all sorts of inconvienient times and everybody reports the facts all wrong.

To start with, 800.000 Schillings would have been 40.000 pounds, not 4 hundered thousand pounds, for instance. They didn’t fly Roger in to identify it, but Machold, of all people. I meet him for breakfast at the Intercontinental and gave him Rogers ad flyer (with the “Guarneri” on it) to be sure that nothing went wrong.

The answer to the question “What was the label doing there?” is dead simple: because that is where Roger stuck it in.

What never gets reported is that it was a bloody brilliant copy. Rogers great ambition at the time was to fool Charles Beare with one of his copies, so it must have been immensly frustrating for him to not even fool me.

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....Sometimes doing what's right goes outside the "rules and regulations", and falls under something called 'plain common sense'.

Something that seems to be in shorter and shorter supply these days.

Amen to that!

In the case of a violin that is a copy of a famous one, that should be OK, provided that it is labelled as a copy of X made by Y.

So to go further then, if I copy a Dior hand bag but put a little label inside of it to say it is a copy of Dior but made by me.... that should be OK?

I get peeved with policy and lawmakers who try to solve a problem without taking the time to investigate and consider all sides and in the process create multiple other problems.

Should this situation with violins merit a writing campaign to ebay and its subsidiary Pay Pal?

Cheers, Mat

BTW... the pres of Pay Pal is moving to Yahoo as CEO http://www.forbes.com/sites/greatspeculations/2012/01/04/paypal-president-leaving-ebay-in-lurch-to-spark-yahoo-renaissance/

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I get a bit tired of the “Jacob identified Rogers Guarneri”story. After all, it was 20 years ago. I’m confronted with it at all sorts of inconvienient times and everybody reports the facts all wrong.

Yes, but it's such a great story Jacob! And you know the old saying... "Never let the facts get in the way of a good story".

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I would cry .....

But I'd like to be sure this actually happened, and it's going to be very difficult to check the facts.

If paypal has ordered the destruction of violins deemed to be "counterfeit", it reveals previously undreamt-of levels of bone-headedness, even by paypal's standards.

In the case quoted, i would have thought a civil suit could be brought against paypal. This violin was covered by buyer protection and was deemed SNAD (significantly not as described), the buyer received a refund and the seller's account was debited. In this scenario the ownership of the violin reverts de facto to the seller, since neither the buyer nor paypal have parted with money but the seller has parted with the violin. If the ownership of the object returns to the seller, neither paypal nor the buyer have the right to destroy it.

Martin Swan Violins

Hello Martin and anyone else who might be able to answer the following question. I realize this question may be slightly off topic but it does have to do with paypal. Would anyone know what exactly happends if someone brings a false charge against a violin seller through their credit card co. and even though false, paypal and/or the credit card company holds you responsible for $1000 and places this amount on your paypal account. You have no money in the account at the time and now you are not able to buy or sell anything using a paypal payment because it will be frozen. The question is this, paypal is in Cail. and you are in another state. So what will happen if you simply do not pay this $1000. I assume down the road they could close your ebay account and give this amount over to a collection agencey, but how might they actually collect the $1000 if they are in Cail. and you are in another state. Has anyone on this board had this happen to them and refused to give the money back to paypal? Thank you for reading this long question but any help in this matter would be greatly appreciated as I may be in this situation shortly. OT

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If it's a dispute over an item not as described, then at the point when the buyer returns the item to you (assuming it's not deemed "counterfeit and destroyed :(), the money paypal has deducted from you is transferred to the buyer and the sale is deemed void. If you've already spent the money then paypal will hold the debt against you - I don't think they will try to collect, but you won't be able to open another paypal account linked to the same registered address and bank account. It will also affect your credit rating.

I'm afraid it's irrelevant whether the charge is false or not - paypal has no time to investigate these matters, so they automatically side with the buyer.

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