PayPal has crossed the last line!


Gold Supporting Member
PayPal has always been a vicious company, but this is over the line!

On Oct. 9, I sold a small piece of gear (Mastery bridge) for $155.00.
The buyer paid with PayPal and I received $150.20 after fees ($4.80)..ok, that's normal.

The buyer gave me a wrong shipping address (honest mistake, he had just moved) and the item was eventually returned to me as un-deliverable (today, Nov. 7).

When I got the bridge back (today), I contacted the buyer to see if he wanted me to re-send it to the correct address or just refund his payment...and he told me that he had sold the Jazzmaster he was going to use it on and asked me if I could refund his money...ok, no problem. Honest mix-up and that happens.

About an hour ago I went on PayPal and authorized a full refund of the OCT. 7 payment of $155.00.

Like I said, On Oct. 7, PayPal took a $4.80 fee when the buyer sent me the $155 payment.

Today, when I refunded the buyer's payment in full ($155.00), PayPal KEPT the initial fee of $4.80 and charged me an additional $4.80 fee on top of that!!!

Think about it: On Oct. 7, PayPal charged their normal transaction fee on the initial payment AND then today charged me their normal transaction fee AGAIN for refunding the initial payment!

As a result of PayPal's new and improved slimebag "policies", this transaction cost ME $9.60!!!

(and, for those of you who are thinking "it's only $9.60": 1) multiply this practice by the thousands of refunds PayPal processes a day and 2) the amount doesn't's the principle!).

I have a few more things that I need to sell and then I'm done with PayPal (Reverb too). :(


It sucks. I would complain too. But they did offer you a service of taking care of secure payment.

but I do know what you mean. It sucks. They’re making a killing. And yes. It still sucks.


Silver Supporting Member
Supporting Member
They just implemented a new policy in October whereby you no longer get the fee back when you refund a buyer. According to what I read, however, they aren't supposed to be charging the additional fee.

EDIT: @Johnny Alien and I cross posted. :p


Supporting Member
Imagine now you sell a $500 guitar on ebay-

and it turns out to be one of those sales where the buyer puts in a request
for a bogus return.

You have no choice but to accept it, so here is a hypothetical (but fairly accurate)
breakdown of the ways the costs could go down-

$500 sale=

ebay fees of $17.50
paypal fees of approx 20.00
shipping to the buyer- approx $50

Then the buyer returns it, which you have to bear the brunt of-

return shipping $50

Ebays says they do refund your fees, but you would be out approx.
$120 total- 50 shipping x 2 and the roughly $20 in paypal fees.

That is just crazy.


Gold Supporting Member
Did you bring this up with PayPal? Seems like an automation mistake that CS could resolve. Whenever I refund something, the fees are always returned to me.
Of course.
I immediately brought it to PayPal's attention and asked them to correct their "mistake".
Their reply (both agent and supervisor) was: It's not a mistake, it's PayPal's new policy!
PayPal now automatically keeps any fee paid in the initial transaction, does not return any of the initial fee(s) collected by PayPal to the buyer if a refund is authorized by the seller, and now automatically requires the refunding seller to compensate the buyer for any initial fee(s) that PayPal collected (and kept) in addition to the seller refunding the full amount that the seller was paid.
At the same time, PayPal also charges the refunding seller an additional standard transaction fee on the TOTAL amount refunded to the buyer including the initial fee that they are not returning!

Here's how that worked in this case:
On Oct. 9, I received $150.20 from a PayPal payment of $155.00 made by the buyer.
When I authorized a full refund today (Nov. 7), I was charged $159.80 (out of which the buyer was refunded his full payment of $155.00).
PayPal 1) kept the initial Oct. 9 transaction fee of $4.80 that they took out when they paid me and 2) also charged me an additional $4.80 transaction fee at the time of the refund (today Nov. 7)....double dipping and, in the case of the first $4.80 they took, triple dipping the fee(s).

PayPal attempted to justify these actions by informing me that, somewhere buried in the pages and updates to my user agreement, I was informed (via email) of this new policy.

Might make it legal but it doesn't make it right.
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I’m going to be the only fly in your ointment I’m afraid. I don’t like paying fees any more than the next person. But I see the fee as a transaction administration fee. So when you look at it as a transaction admin fee, it is understandable that you should also pay to have the payment refunded - since that is an additional transaction, requiring additional admin.

Sorry. I still don’t like paying, but I think that charge is understandable.


I don't like it either, but they're actually doing more work (automation really) when someone cancels a transaction than when it goes as normal.
It's still using their service.


Supporting Member
A few years ago I sold an item to a guy in France for around $140. I shipped it via USPS First Class International which has very limited tracking info once the package leaves the US. About three weeks later the buyer email me to say that he hadn't received the item yet. As expected, tracking didn't show any useful information, so I asked him to give it a couple more weeks.

After another week or two the customer wrote back to say that it still hadn't arrived. I wrote him back to apologize for the slow delivery and I also noted the ship-to address in my correspondence to make sure that there wasn't a typo error. He wrote back to say, "I haven't lived at that address in over three years. I forgot to update the address in my PayPal account". He then proceeded to file a dispute with PayPal saying that he never received the item he paid for. PayPal ruled in his favor and pulled the funds from my account to reimburse him.

I appealed the refund and sent PayPal a copy of all of our email correspondence highlighting where he admitted that he gave me the incorrect address, however they denied my appeal because I could not prove the the package was delivered as it addressed (because USPS First Class shipping does not show a confirmation of delivery for international packages).

I would love to say "Screw you PayPal", however I take in about $100K/yr through them, so its not an option. Sometimes you're just screwed.


They are like all shady type companies, they defer to practices that benefit from your ignorance, or negligence. How many of us call up, have a service discontinued or changed, and then find out later it was never changed when we get the bill? "Oh, we are sorry about that. We will get it fixed right away." Insurance companies are the worst. Its a common business practice. They gamble [and win] that you are too busy and distracted to catch all the "accidental" charges and recharges. They do it by design, absolutely, and it generates a lot of extra $$ for them.

Follow up and get the criminal second charge returned. Or don't, like hundreds of thousands, who will just let it go because its less than $5. Which turns into millions annually of additional revenue....


Supporting Member
Yea, we all know that Pay pal sucks, but how to get around it? You only have so many buyers locally... Shipping gear is going to be much faster to find a buyer


I'll keep my PP account for the convenience of certain retail purchases, but I'm done using it as a seller of used gear. The returns after 6 months thing was enough to discourage me from using it anymore than necessary anyway.

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