I bought some shoes from sneakerhawk when he still had a good reputation. It just happens to be one of the few times I forget to use credit card on PayPal. He tells me there is some shipping delay: because of the holidays I was both lazy and buying a lot of stuff on eBay, so I forget about it. Once I get around to dealing with it, by the time I've verified he's not responding to emails it's too late to file a PayPal/eBay dispute. It also turns out that right after my purchase the negative feedbacks started pilling up.
Here are the lessons I paid for, I'll share them for free:
- Always use a credit card on PayPal to give you more claim options.
- Keep an eye on sellers' reputation after your auction has closed - if it starts to tank, file a claim. (You can escalate a PayPal claim if you have evidence the seller is fradulent.)
- Keep track of what items should have arrived and bug your sellers if things are overdue.
- If there are shipping issues, demand a tracking number and verify that it's correct.
- Put a reminder in your schedule to file a claim before 45 days after payment.