Though yes, this is not exactly about the Retail, Properties or Eateries of Atlanta, I felt this story should be repeated as much as possible, as what eBay and PayPal get away with online is outrageous. The story I'm speaking of is one that appeared in the AJC this past Sunday and details the ordeal Lisa Wright of Atlanta went through as a result of her eBay sale of a Louis Vuitton handbag. A former eBay merchant myself, I had a very similar experience where I was basically "kicked when down" by eBay and later PayPal. Selling an item I personally purchased from Nordstrom, the seller claimed that it was counterfeit. I offered a full refund if documentation was provided to prove with her claim that it was a fake, she refused. After almost two months of battling and filing claims and counterclaims with both eBay and PayPal, the same result occurred as Ms. Wright. PayPal took the funds from my account and instructed the buyer to send the item, in this case a pair of UGG's to that same "returns" department in Dallas, leaving me without my product, without my funds and without recourse. Something tells me, somewhere out there, PayPal employees are enjoying their Louis Vuitton bags, UGG shoes and whatever else is falsely and wrongly deemed "counterfeit". Sites like "PayPalSucks.com" with so many complaints only show why PayPal representatives refuse to disclose the number of times buyers seek charge-backs from their credit card companies or how often sellers lose in such disputes, because it occurs often. It is unfortunate everyone can't get their story to the masses, otherwise there may be enough attention to enact a change in policies.
The sad part being, this actually does relate to retail, as many consumers have shifted to online merchants in an attempt to save time and money. A recent poll on Repeat Atlanta showed 50% of respondents are doing most of their shopping online rather than in a "bricks and mortar" store. Many merchants also believe a lot of the merchandise that was stolen from assorted Atlanta area boutiques last summer ended up on sites like eBay. I say, in this time of economic uncertainly, support local businesses as much as possible. You know them, you see them, and you can trust them. Repeat Atlanta!