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Posted By Sharon

When dealing with the public in a small business situation, being online presents some unique situations.  We have had over a 1000 transactions with great follow through but every once in a while, we have a non-paying buyer.

There seems to be a trend with people who make an offer.  You would think if they made the offer, once it is accepted they would pay immediately.  Lately that's not been the case.

We encountered one of these situations again this past week. We had accepted an offer on an item & waited 4 days for payment. It didn't happen. We sent another invoice. Again no response. We waited 2 more days & sent one final reminder, telling the buyer we would have no choice but to turn it in to Ebay if she didn't pay within 48 hours. We heard nothing & turned it over to Ebay.  This morning we received an apology from the buyer saying she didn't realize she had an outdated email registered with Ebay so had received none of our contacts.  Not sure how this works since two of the contacts came from Ebay via invoice but that's of no matter.  She did pay & it will be mailed.

What made the difference in the contact? My personal opinion is that when you turn a non-paying buyer over to Ebay, they contact the buyer informing them there will be a mark against them as a non-paying buyer.  If this continues to happen they will lose their Ebay privileges.  Most times, the buyers pay for the item or at the very least, contact us & ask if we will release them from the obligation.

Why doesn't everyone who hits the 'Buy It Now' button pay for it at the time of purchase? I believe it has a lot to do with the way our society thinks. 1) Maybe the person doesn't have room on the credit card to pay for it but they want the item & want to be sure they don't lose it.  2) It's like a game to them. Because it's a 'cyber' decision, it doesn't seem like it's a real decision. 3) It could be a shopping addiction. The thrill is in the purchase, not the receiving of the item. 4) They don't have the money....yet. Maybe payday is 3 days away & they don't have the money in the bank at the time of purchase.  5) Maybe the person wants to see how great a 'bargain' they can get but think their offer won't be accepted.  Then when it is accepted...well, they didn't think about how they would pay for it. 6) The buyer simply forgot they purchased the item.

These are just some of the thoughts I've had about Non-Paying Buyers but it really doesn't matter why they don't pay. As a seller, we need to know how to respond. Our suggestion: 1) Send an invoice immediately after purchase.
2) If no payment within 3-4 days (depending on your patience), send another invoice reminding the buyer of their purchase. "We all get busy and maybe you forgot..." type thing.
3) If you have not received payment after steps 1 & 2, send an email through your Ebay account (you'll need proof you contacted them if there is a dispute) telling them you will have no choice but to turn the situation over to Ebay if they don't pay because you need to recoup your fees & this is the only way to do it.
4) If you don't hear from them, follow through with contacting Ebay. The very least is you'll be reimbursed for your fees & be able to relist the item, hopefully selling to someone who WILL pay!

Always be kind, courteous & professional in all of your contacts.  Jesus stated it very well many years ago, "In everything, therefore, treat people the same way you want them to treat you..."Matthew 7:12

Have a wonderful week!