How I Lost $470 To A Vindictive, Abusive, Extortionist eBay Buyer

Justin used to sell on eBay until policy changes made it a more favorable marketplace for buyers than for sellers. But he still has his account and a good feedback rating, so he’s helping a friend sell off some gold coins worth a few hundred bucks each. They’re shipped UPS with signature confirmation and full insurance. The coin itself goes inside a plain envelope, placed inside a sealed cardboard UPS document mailer. This plan worked for 25 shipments, until the buyer from hell wandered into Justin’s life.

I used to make a nice living on eBay until they changed their policies and fees a few years back. Once they rid the marketplace of sellers being able to leave negatives on buyer I left as every transaction would go unpaid and as a seller I had no recourse.

Fast forward to a month ago, in this tough economic times my buddy wanted to liquidate some of the gold coins his family had been keeping for a while. I started selling gold coins on his behalf without trouble for about 25 transactions, until I had a horrific experience with [the buyer from hell] on ebay. Side note: until this point my friend had been receiving the money directly to his paypal and he was shipping the items. He went out of town and left me with three coins to ship while he was gone. [BFH] pays for the item and I ship his coin. I place it in a white regular envelope, seal it and then place the sealed envelope inside the UPS cardboard envelope (the document sized ones) and ship it with signature delivery, and insurance for the full value. If anything should happen, I should be covered.

Man was I wrong, a few days go by and I receive an email from [BFH] saying “The Envelope was empty” and immediately starts harassing me from there, using profanity and becomes increasingly threatening. He even looked up the address of the business I shipped the coin from, (my family business) then took it upon himself to go plaster our Facebook fan page cursing and threatening.

As I try and talk to him all he says is “go fuck yourself” etc. I tried explaining to him that I did indeed ship the coin and if there was a mistake then everything is insured and all will be right, but no the tirades continue. Without being able to resolve anything, he disputes the coin though eBay. Without speaking to anyone, eBay grants him his full refund.

The tirades continue, time and time again I explained to him he now has a full refund, he has not been screwed out of any money and someone obviously stole, or misplaced the coin during shipping. I would like to claim insurance on the package, so I am not out $450 as well.

Up until this point, it is just a typical eBay transaction gone wrong, but now is where I become upset with the process of UPS and eBay.

After numerous pleading emails to the buyer, he now understands that I need him to cooperate in order to receive my insurance claim from UPS. Under their terms, they must inspect the envelope before they grant an insurance claim. The buyer now tries extorting me for money in order for him to cooperate with UPS. He wants $100 delivered into his bank account or else he says he will never pick up the phone.

After countless calls to UPS & eBay they will not help. I’ve submitted documents to UPS and eBay explaining how he in writing has said he will not help without being paid. UPS continues to say that without inspecting the package or at least talking to the buyer, they will not grant insurance. I understand this is a common sense policy, but there MUST be special circumstances! I have in writing a customer that is basically telling me to go fuck myself because he has his money.

Moral of this story is, if you want anything for free on eBay just purchase an item, say you have received the item and the package was empty, never help the buyer. They will grant you a full refund, and the seller will be out money.


It is hard to put into words the frustration I have had with eBay and UPS and this story doesn’t even do it justice. I am being scammed by a user and then extorted to cooperate and UPS and eBay just sit back and do nothing!!!

I am out a gold coin, $450 plus $20 shipping UPS and I receive a big Negative from the buyer in my perfectly clean 1440 feedback!

What a mess. Systems put in place to instill confidence in buyers can instead give evil buyers a refuge when they scam honest sellers. I wish this were an isolated incident.

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