Buyer who failed to pick up package

Hello. I’m in little bit of an odd spot and not sure what to do exactly. Over half a year ago, a buyer purchased 2 cards from me. I sent them the cards and the cards spent over a month at customs in the destination country, which have sent the buyer a notification that they need to pick up the cards from them, which the buyer failed to do. The cards arrived back at my place about 3months after the auction had ended. I notified the buyer and gave them the option to either get a refund (minus shipping) or pay for shipping again and I’ll send the cards straight back to him. No response. A couple weeks later I sent them another message, asking them again. Again, no response. Now (almost 7 months after the auction ended) the buyer is demanding a refund from me. I told them to take it up with eBay, because the auction doesn’t even show up on eBay anymore and I’m unsure how someone would proceed in this case. They messaged me back asking for a refund via PayPal.
Now, of course the money never really belonged to me, because the buyer never received their cards. But I feel a bit bummed about the whole thing. If I’m going to refund them, I want to at least do it the right way, and not just send them the money back via PayPal. Am I obliged to do anything here? What would you recommend me doing?


By now their buyer protection should have completed ended both on ebay, Paypal and even on their credit card.

I do not believe you are obliged to do anything, it will be you who ultimately decides on the final outcome (they cannot even leave you any negative feedback!).

Imo, it’s honestly ridiculous for them not to respond to you for 6-7 months…


wouldn’t recommend manually refunding, refer him to call paypal otherwise you may end up double refunding him

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You know what the right thing to do is.

No way of knowing what was going on in their life at the time nor why they would have ghosted you on eBay for so long. A whole host of things could come up in life that could cause someone to drop Pokemon and eBay for a large chunk of time. I don’t think eBay or Paypal will compel you to do anything here, but morals should. You should still have records of some kind showing what they paid to you (either e-mail or download paypal transaction history) and you could easily return whatever was netted to you via a paypal gift (subtracting out fees of any kind). It is proper and safe to be a bit skeptical though and I would do due diligence to ensure that all their protections have expired. You do not want this to turn out to be a scam and have them get you to gift them plus then force a chargeback or something. If you can refund the original purchase through paypal that would be ideal. I have never been in a situation so long after the fact and I doubt you could. Actually just checked one of mine from last April and there is no refund option.


I second what @gottaketchumall has already brought-up. It’s a pain having to deal with someone that offers zero communication for such a long period of time! You’d think everyone would be like us - excited to receive their package and not allowing this to drag-on for such a long time. However, you really don’t know what kind of situation this individual has dealt with - something may have happened where they were unable to focus on collecting and/or eBay for this extended period of time.

While your obligation with eBay / PayPal Buyer Protection has long since expired; personally, I would do the right thing. Issue this buyer a partial-refund via PayPal - ensuring that you subtract all of your costs: eBay Fees, PayPal Fees, Packaging Supplies, and Postage. You already have the item back in your possession; it’s not like you lost-out on anything (except maybe some time). Just place yourself in the buyer’s shoes - how would you want this to be resolved?

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Yes you need to refund, really should have refunded it the day you got your cards returned to you imo

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I’m with the above three honorable members.
I have two options:

  1. Figure the total, minus all fees incurred, and refund with a full explanation on the refund so Paypal understands it.
  2. give them that same amount in credit towards your store.

I mean she did originally try to contact the buyer as soon as the cards were returned. Is there even a way to refund through ebay 3 months after a listing ends?

And to play devil’s advocate for a second… I can’t argue that a refund isn’t the morally superior option, but surely there must be consequences to the buyer for behaving in such a way? From the seller’s perspective, there is a lot of lost time from listing, packaging, shipping and attempting to contact the seller in this case. This is particularly true for low-throughput sellers. There’s also an opportunity cost associated with having your items held up for half a year.

And speaking to principles alone, did the seller not do everything correct in this case? Surely the buyer should take some personal responsibility for their actions?

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It’s like everyone said before, we don’t know what happened with the buyer. Do you really think they just willfully sat there for 7 months ignoring everything then randomly thought “hey I bought something 7 months ago, I should probably get a refund”. On top of that, letting the seller keep their money and the item for 4 months?

Sure you can say the buyer was just being negligent but I think it’s more likely that something really tragic happened that made them unable to respond to the seller.

This will probably sound a bit callous and it will probably sound like I’m roleplaying as lexleo here but… so what? If a tragedy happens in my life, can I just not pay off my credit card and ask the bank to annul the accumulated interest 7 months later? Is it okay to buy custom cards from someone if they recently had a death in their family and needed to pay for the funeral costs?

Again, morally a refund is the right thing to do and I’d hope that the pokemon card community would be more empathetic than a bank. But I don’t think it’s completely out of line for a seller to keep most or all of the money in this situation.


I think that’s what everyone has been saying though. No one is trying to say the seller is automatically bad if they keep the money or that they have an obligation to refund the buyer. Just that it’s morally right to give the refund.

Totally understand your point of view - it’s a very very long amount of time and sucks. But it’s not like the cards were lost in the mail…OP has the cards and the money. So I ask are you are saying there is a statute of limitations on refunding? So if I bought cards and then never recieved them and wait 30 days it is okay to ask to be refunded but 35 I am out of luck? Or is it 60 days? 90? 6 months? What is the cut off? I think your argument is that if I pay for a good and never recieve them, I lose out on it after a certain period of time if I don’t reach out. I understand the buyer should’ve been more responsive, that is super frustrating. But it’s ultimately the seller’s responsibility until the package shows “delivered”…and even then problems can arise.

What I think should’ve happened was after not hearing from the buyer once the cards were returned, OP should’ve contacted eBay about how to handle. It’s frustrating, but as a seller you have to deal with this shit, we’ve seen it so many times on this board.

I’d argue it’s the seller’s responsibility to have the cards arrive to their destination in a timely manner. If the item is lost, damaged or very delayed, that’s on the seller to refund the item. If the item was shipped and returned to the seller 6 months later without ever reaching the buyer, I think a refund is 100% justified. But in this case, the buyer chose not to pick up the cards for more than a month (maybe because of the custom fees?) and didn’t even bring up the issue until months after even though the seller reached out to contact them. All the fault lies on the buyer.

I can also turn your question onto you. How long could the buyer have waited to initiate contact and still be entitled to a refund in this situation? 60 days? 6 months? 5 years?

How long can I be entitled for a refund? If there is sufficient documentation that I never recieved their good and the original seller has the product…? I’d say forever. I think people may be too dismissive because we are (probably) dealing with a relatively small amount of money. But if I bought an $80,000 Tesla and they never delivered it and I came back 3 years later and asked for a refund? I don’t care if I ghosted them for 3 years I still am either owed the Tesla or the $80,000 back (minus whatever fees or depreciation, etc). Period.

But that’s just my opinion I can respect yours as well, the buyer messed up I’m not sure what he was thinking not responding. Maybe his wife divorced him, his bitcoin stake crashed, he got cancer, his kid died, his house burned down, or he’s just a shitty responder. But still I think he/she is owed the money or cards.

Tbh, if I was the OP, what I do would depend on how the buyer asks for the refund. If the buyer is understanding of how much of my time they wasted and apologizes, I would give the refund. But if they’re rude, demanding a refund as if I’m in the wrong and just generally being a dick, I would just keep the money. I think this is fair.

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I mean I don’t disagree with anything you’re saying here but you’re arguing something very different. In this situation the item was delivered and the buyer didn’t pick it up. A more appropriate example with the Tesla would be if I sent the car to an agreed-upon location, the buyer was alerted it was delivered and they just chose not to pick it up for over a month with no reason provided and it was sent back to me.

Essentially there’s a contract between the buyer and the seller. The seller upheld everything on their end but the buyer did not. Taking empathy and morality out the of equation, the buyer is owed nothing.

I get it. It’s a garbage buyer. Good luck to OP. I’d suggest call eBay and ask their opinion. Never know maybe they will tell the buyer to pound sand. Hopefully since the cards were bought 7 months ago (August) they should be worth a decent amount more now so OP could sell for even more. unless they were new product of course.

I think 7 months of fees for protection and storage would warrant keeping the buyers payment…but do what you feel is right.