PayPal Tells Buyer To Destroy Violin Instead Of Returning It

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Since when did we stop returning stuff for a refund in favor of smashing it to bits? So, the buyer gets a refund, PayPal gets its commission and the seller has their property destroyed?

But the decision as to whether or not the violin is the real deal or an impersonator is not usually left up to the company that promises the payment. Alas, someone at PayPal apparently is an expert in old violins, because the company determined the instrument was "counterfeit" and told the buyer he needed to destroy it in order to get his refund.
 

bonehead123

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Appeal/escalate ?

I certainly hope paypal N E V E R does this to me, I would sue them for every penny they have before the electrons that carry the message got to my inbox..........
 

djgizmo

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WoW. This could be interesting. If the seller has a certificate of authenticity, pay pal could be on the hook for $2500 plus court costs.
 

xxEIEIOxx

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I stopped doing any business with PayPal years ago. If it can be helped I will never use them again.
 

nutzo

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It's always a risk to sell on ebay and accept Paypal. Even when you don't have a problem, the ebay and paypal fees have gotten excesive, especially since ebay started taking a percent of the shipping fee too. Combined with the higher shipping charges, it's just not worth selling some stuff, especially cheap/heavy items.

Because of this, I sell alot less on ebay than I did years ago. I used to sell alot of old computer parts for $10-$15, but it's just not worth my time when the fees eat up half (or more) the profit. It's getting more cost effective to just donate the item to charity and take the write-off.
 

magoo

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I use Paypal alot and I have never had a single issue.

In fact, I ordered an item from a well know etailer about 3 weeks ago, and they short sold their inventory.
I got a message they would send me the item when it was available, and offered no other choice.....even after I called them.
I had already given them the payment, because the item was "in-stock" when I placed the order.

A single phone call to Paypal and I received a refund, and a call from the etailer apologizing for any misunderstandings.:D
 

pigpen

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The story is missing the key piece of information. Was it actually real or not?
 
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this is absurd...there's got to be a whole lot more to the story than what was posted in the linked article
 

Oldie

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The story is missing the key piece of information. Was it actually real or not?

I actually happen to know a lot about violins, and the problem is that it doesn't matter if it was real or not. Disputes over authenticity happen quite a bit and while they do affect the value for traders, the bottom line is that it has intrinsic value as an instrument regardless of who made it. Paypal treating an instrument like a CD-R w/the words "authentic adobe photoshop" written on it in sharpie is abhorrent.
 

bigdogchris

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This is likely a situation where Paypal has taken the hit and both parties received a refund. They cannot prove that either the buyer nor seller were wrong. I've had this happen to me before when someone sent back a graphics card they purchased from me. It was modified and glued. I had pictures proving I was right. Paypal gave us both a refund because they will never take a sellers side over a buyers, but I proved I was right.
 

weebling1

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Really? No one's familiar with this practice? Although it usually takes place behind corporate doors.

The specific case I used to benefit from was when CompUSA existed. They were an authorized service center for some computer brands and the rule was 'do not return the defective stuff to the manufacturer', so they "destroyed" it and tossed it in the dumpster. Also applied to many of the misc. supplies and parts returned by the customer for ANY reason. Dumpster diving heaven!!! even if I had to perform minor repairs :D
 

techie81

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I also stopped using Paypal years ago and haven't looked back.
 

burnin8r

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Disputes over authenticity happen quite a bit and while they do affect the value for traders, the bottom line is that it has intrinsic value as an instrument regardless of who made it.

so all those counterfeit designer handbags should not be destroyed because they have value as non designer handbags ? whether it is a working instrument or otherwise, PayPal is asking for the fake item to be thrown into the cracks of mount doom, preventing it from being bought and sold again, creating further claims.
 

Spire3660

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so all those counterfeit designer handbags should not be destroyed because they have value as non designer handbags ? whether it is a working instrument or otherwise, PayPal is asking for the fake item to be thrown into the cracks of mount doom, preventing it from being bought and sold again, creating further claims.

It sounds horribly wasteful to destroy a perfectly working physical good because of IP law.
 

Oldie

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so all those counterfeit designer handbags should not be destroyed because they have value as non designer handbags ? whether it is a working instrument or otherwise, PayPal is asking for the fake item to be thrown into the cracks of mount doom, preventing it from being bought and sold again, creating further claims.

Well here's the rub, who determines it's a "fake"? Not all violins have in-tact stamps/lables, what if I take it to the Baroque shop in OH and they decide it's a Carlisle, someone else gets it and his shop thinks it's a White (not that that could ever happen, just an example). Should it be destroyed because one appraiser has a different opinion?

These aren't chinese knock-off brands, they're often instruments several hundred years old. Destroying one because you think it's not what you thought it was is just plain stupid.
 

Elios

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so all those counterfeit designer handbags should not be destroyed because they have value as non designer handbags ? whether it is a working instrument or otherwise, PayPal is asking for the fake item to be thrown into the cracks of mount doom, preventing it from being bought and sold again, creating further claims.

counterfeits are one thing some thing like a violin is another JUST IN CASE it should of been shipped back to the seller
this wasnt some knock off hand bag that any one with a brain can tell is fake
 

pigpen

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I actually happen to know a lot about violins, and the problem is that it doesn't matter if it was real or not. Disputes over authenticity happen quite a bit and while they do affect the value for traders, the bottom line is that it has intrinsic value as an instrument regardless of who made it. Paypal treating an instrument like a CD-R w/the words "authentic adobe photoshop" written on it in sharpie is abhorrent.


For sure, but in this story it sounds like the guy didn't just pay for an instrument. He paid for an authentic antique instrument, which i'm sure costs a lot more than just a regular everyday violin. So that being the case, if it was fake, he was defrauded, and smashing the thing and getting a refund seems perfectly kosher to me. If it was authentic, and paypal told the guy to smash it, Paypal has some $$$ to pony up.
 

AaronGant

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These aren't chinese knock-off brands, they're often instruments several hundred years old. Destroying one because you think it's not what you thought it was is just plain stupid.
^^ Agreed

This should of been handled more like a "not as described" complaint and not as it was.



It reminds me of whan I ordered an entire living room set of furniture that was described as having dark brown wood, but when it arrived it was lighter in color than what I would call dark brown. So I set fire to it all and demanded a refund. ;)
 

Monkey God

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For sure, but in this story it sounds like the guy didn't just pay for an instrument. He paid for an authentic antique instrument, which i'm sure costs a lot more than just a regular everyday violin. So that being the case, if it was fake, he was defrauded, and smashing the thing and getting a refund seems perfectly kosher to me. If it was authentic, and paypal told the guy to smash it, Paypal has some $$$ to pony up.

And how exactly do you prove who was right? Is paypal going to pay for a very expensive expert to say one way or the other? I doubt it. Theres so much room for fraud here its absurd, and Paypal doesn't give a fuck if someone gets ripped off for $2500 or if a very valuable antique gets smashed.
 

PynkFloydd

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so all those counterfeit designer handbags should not be destroyed because they have value as non designer handbags ? whether it is a working instrument or otherwise, PayPal is asking for the fake item to be thrown into the cracks of mount doom, preventing it from being bought and sold again, creating further claims.

WAY different. Most designer goods have a value based entirely on the brand. (Sooo...think "Apple".) For example, a Hermes purse can sell for $150,000. ...it'd have to be solid gold for the materials to actually cost that much. Most of the value comes directly from that brand.

The values of antique goods are based on many, many variables: rarity, age, condition, materials, craftsmanship, etc... Depending on what you're looking at, a lot of stuff can be relabelled. I'm into antiquarian books and found that once you get older than early 20th century, it starts getting very difficult to pin a value to the item (even if they're not a 1st print). ...that's not even bringing into the mix the topic of old-school piracy and publisher tricks.

I wouldn't be surprised that this violin was exactly what the seller said it was. Especially since in her original post, she got it authenticated by a top expert in the field prior to the sale.
 

beowulf7

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I don't know what's sadder, the fact that someone would pay $2,500 for an old PoS violin or that PayPal told the buyer to destroy the product.
 

Oldie

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I don't know what's sadder, the fact that someone would pay $2,500 for an old PoS violin or that PayPal told the buyer to destroy the product.

Heh, I've got one I'm selling for $12,000 right now. Old does not mean POS in the instrument world, typically quite the opposite.
 

jojo69

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It sounds horribly wasteful to destroy a perfectly working physical good because of IP law.

what? we seem willing to burn our very constitution on that altar

welcome to the rabbit hole
 

baldrik

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I've always wanted to destroy something of great value and not have to pay for it.

Off to ebay, brb.
 

SilverSliver

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Sooo...buy some electronics. Dispute it as counterfeit goods. Destroy something that looks like the original product. Keep your money and the real item in question.

That's not exploitable at all.
 

burnin8r

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WAY different. Most designer goods have a value based entirely on the brand.

I disagree. The value of the violin is based on rarity and exclusivity. Fake handbags flooding the market make the actual designer goods less rare, less exclusive, thus diminishing the value, which is why they are destroyed.
 

computerpro3

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I don't know what's sadder, the fact that someone would pay $2,500 for an old PoS violin or that PayPal told the buyer to destroy the product.

The piano I practice on at school is 30 years old and worth about 100k. I have violinist friends who have instruments worth 60k+.

$2500 for an old violin is a steal, if it's any good.
 

computerpro3

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I disagree. The value of the violin is based on rarity and exclusivity. Fake handbags flooding the market make the actual designer goods less rare, less exclusive, thus diminishing the value, which is why they are destroyed.

Not really, a Strad that plays like shit won't sell for millions while one that does will.
 

Elios

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For sure, but in this story it sounds like the guy didn't just pay for an instrument. He paid for an authentic antique instrument, which i'm sure costs a lot more than just a regular everyday violin. So that being the case, if it was fake, he was defrauded, and smashing the thing and getting a refund seems perfectly kosher to me. If it was authentic, and paypal told the guy to smash it, Paypal has some $$$ to pony up.

well if the seller was trying to rip the guy off why would they offer a FULL refund for the returned item? kinda takes the wind out of that argument
 

pigpen

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well if the seller was trying to rip the guy off why would they offer a FULL refund for the returned item? kinda takes the wind out of that argument

Actually, it would be the exact opposite wouldn't it? If the seller knew it was real why would they offer a refund? A deal's a deal. Lets say it was a fake, the seller knew full well it was a fake, and tried to sell a $500 violin for $2500 over the internet. Guy on the other ends gets it and says, "what the hell is this? You ripped me off." Logical response would be, "Oops. Sorry. Here, have a refund." Otherwise the guy on the other end might involve the cops.
 

Ualdayan

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Actually, it would be the exact opposite wouldn't it? If the seller knew it was real why would they offer a refund? A deal's a deal. Lets say it was a fake, the seller knew full well it was a fake, and tried to sell a $500 violin for $2500 over the internet. Guy on the other ends gets it and says, "what the hell is this? You ripped me off." Logical response would be, "Oops. Sorry. Here, have a refund." Otherwise the guy on the other end might involve the cops.

If you know it's real I'm sure you're prefer to have it refunded and returned versus what happened (destroyed and still out the money).
 

jiminator

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I use Paypal alot and I have never had a single issue.

In fact, I ordered an item from a well know etailer about 3 weeks ago, and they short sold their inventory.
I got a message they would send me the item when it was available, and offered no other choice.....even after I called them.
I had already given them the payment, because the item was "in-stock" when I placed the order.

A single phone call to Paypal and I received a refund, and a call from the etailer apologizing for any misunderstandings.:D

the problems from paypal are not from buyers, they are for sellers who usually get screwed in any type of dispute
 

wizdum

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Sooo...buy some electronics. Dispute it as counterfeit goods. Destroy something that looks like the original product. Keep your money and the real item in question.

That's not exploitable at all.

Thats what surprised me about the USPS insurance process. They destroyed the box I was shipping an Xbox 360 in. When I got the item back, it would not boot for anything. Showed them a picture of the box with holes in it, and a picture of the xbox with a red ring on it, and they reimbursed me for the item and shipping (both the original shipping charge, and the shipping from the customer back to me). I was never asked to destroy the xbox or bring it into a post office, the whole thing was done via an email form. Same thing with Paypal. I email them saying the item was destroyed, I get my money back the same day and am asked to ship the item back to the seller. I'm surprised there isn't more fraud.
 
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