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So I sold this Stanley No 8 plane on Ebay two weeks ago for about $82.00. I get an email from the buyer last week claiming that he received it broke. It’s not too often that tools I ship end up broken during shipping but when it happens it makes me want to go down to the post office and go postal on someone.

Over the years, I’ve shipped hundreds of planes all over the world to places like Canada, Italy, Australia, England and France. Every time I take care in making sure the plane is well packed and well protected. But when I finished packing this boy to California, a little voice in my head told me I better add insurance to the bill.

A couple of years ago it was the buyers responsibility to pay for insurance when they paid for the item. Now Ebay turned that responsibility onto the seller. So if you sell something expensive through Ebay without insurance and it breaks during shipping, you’re responsible even though the buyer didn’t pay for insurance. I don’t ship everything I sell with insurance because it adds expense to the shipping and handling charge and buyers often get turned off to an auction if they feel the shipping charge is too high.  But thankfully I had enough foresight to pay the insurance for this plane.

When the buyer emailed me it broke, I told him to file a claim through Ebay so they would know the plane broke during shipping. I used Ebay’s third-party shipping insurance called ShipCover and not the USPS. Once the claim was filed, I went through Ebay’s dispute center where they acted as a mediator between the buyer and seller.

As soon as the buyer filed his claim, Ebay immediately froze the money he sent me through PayPal until the dispute was resolved. That can be a hairy situation if you already spent the money your buyers sent you. If there isn’t enough money in your account to cover the disputed item, Ebay will often take the money from your bank account. Talk about a sticky situation if you start bouncing a bunch of checks because Ebay froze your money.

Luckily I had enough money in PayPal and after he filed his claim, I filed mine to ShipCover through Ebay. A few days go by and I received the plane back from the seller. My frozen money went back to him and I was rewarded the $82 from ShipCover. The dispute was settled and life goes on.

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