A couple of questions concerning Buys

Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad
Status
Not open for further replies.

The Penguin

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
2,133
Location
Houston, TX
The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??
I'm not arguing that the USPS can be wrong. I know they have had that exact scenario with something you shipped me. But was found and delivered. It's something I expect from time to time at my local post office. I did not expect you to be charged but that USPS insurance would cover it up to the amount entered if the package was lost.

All I'm getting at is if the member refuses insurance, which should be publicly stated in the thread when they so refuse, then that is their choice. Forcing members to insure packages even if they are willing to take the risk of items not being received is telling them they don't have any true freedom to choose what risks they take.
Ty, what you seem to be missing is that the 'members' are not choosing to take the risk. They are putting that risk on the coordinator. The fact that they were given the option to insure and refused to insure a package that someone else is responsible for until it is delivered will not cut a bit of water with PayPal or a credit card company.

eBay about 4 or 5 years ago halted what was at that time a common practice of sellers offering shipping insurance and no longer allow it. The reason - the shipper is responsible for the shipment until it is delivered. That applied to businesses selling on eBay and individuals selling personal items.
I'm not missing a thing Smitty. Trust me. That attitude will lead to no one volunteering for Group Buy Coordinator. Which is not best practice. End of the day I know I won't convince you to change your mind and am not trying. I am putting my two cents in for Monty and the rest of the IAP leadership to make what they feel is the best choice for this site.
Publically stating in the thread that they are refusing insurance will not remove the liability from the group coordinator. You appear to think it will. That being said if group coordinators want to put themselves at risk - that is their choice.
please do not ask to be included in any group buy that I coordinate.

if I offer the opportunity for you to buy insurance - and you reuse. YOU just took the risk.

But you want to shift that risk back to the coordinator under the guise of "paypal says it's the seller's responsibility to make sure the package is delivered"

(it's a hypothetical situation anyway) - but I do not want to put myself in that position that if I ship you a package and it gets lost - you would file a claim with paypal that would then take money from me (or any other coordinator)

any person coordinating group buys should take note.
 
Signed-In Members Don't See This Ad

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,634
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
The "Worst case" event is not one lost parcel.

The "worst case" is a coordinator collecting $15 grand or so for a CSUSA buy and then taking off, closing his paypal account and falling off the end of the earth. He has been well paid for the inconvenience of no longer dropping by the IAP.
 

KenV

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
4,721
Location
Juneau, Alaska.
Ed -

Upper Case "Worst Case" is fraud. Has been around humanity for a long long time and it happens. It happens a lot today in all kinds of situations.

Whole lot different scale of problem than the lower case "worst case" of someone back charging on a missing shipment (though I have known a few who would do that even if they got the package.)
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
The problem is that USPS "tracking" can be wrong. We have had "delivered" packages that the customer did NOT receive. If the "receiver" complains to his credit card company or PayPal, they are very likely to reverse the transaction, taking the money from the group buy coordinator.

BTW, we have had several packages "lost" that were shown as delivered. So far, their local post office FOUND the package and properly delivered. The point is, the customer was telling the truth, but would the post office have paid on an insured package that they show as "delivered"??
I'm not arguing that the USPS can be wrong. I know they have had that exact scenario with something you shipped me. But was found and delivered. It's something I expect from time to time at my local post office. I did not expect you to be charged but that USPS insurance would cover it up to the amount entered if the package was lost.

All I'm getting at is if the member refuses insurance, which should be publicly stated in the thread when they so refuse, then that is their choice. Forcing members to insure packages even if they are willing to take the risk of items not being received is telling them they don't have any true freedom to choose what risks they take.
Ty, what you seem to be missing is that the 'members' are not choosing to take the risk. They are putting that risk on the coordinator. The fact that they were given the option to insure and refused to insure a package that someone else is responsible for until it is delivered will not cut a bit of water with PayPal or a credit card company.

eBay about 4 or 5 years ago halted what was at that time a common practice of sellers offering shipping insurance and no longer allow it. The reason - the shipper is responsible for the shipment until it is delivered. That applied to businesses selling on eBay and individuals selling personal items.
I'm not missing a thing Smitty. Trust me. That attitude will lead to no one volunteering for Group Buy Coordinator. Which is not best practice. End of the day I know I won't convince you to change your mind and am not trying. I am putting my two cents in for Monty and the rest of the IAP leadership to make what they feel is the best choice for this site.
Publically stating in the thread that they are refusing insurance will not remove the liability from the group coordinator. You appear to think it will. That being said if group coordinators want to put themselves at risk - that is their choice.
please do not ask to be included in any group buy that I coordinate.

if I offer the opportunity for you to buy insurance - and you reuse. YOU just took the risk.

But you want to shift that risk back to the coordinator under the guise of "paypal says it's the seller's responsibility to make sure the package is delivered"

(it's a hypothetical situation anyway) - but I do not want to put myself in that position that if I ship you a package and it gets lost - you would file a claim with paypal that would then take money from me (or any other coordinator)

any person coordinating group buys should take note.
Personal comments don't belong here.

In the scenero you depict, I don't "shift" the risk back to the coordinator. It never left him/her. When someone accepts payment via PayPal or Credit Cards the receiver of the money agrees to abide by their rules. The receivers do not get to make their own rules, whether they're a group buy coordinator or anyone else.
 

ed4copies

Local Chapter Manager
Joined
Mar 25, 2005
Messages
23,634
Location
Racine, WI, USA.
Guys, speaking for myself and, I believe for Smitty, we understand the risks we take and would NOT institute a complaint with a credit card company or Paypal.

Both of us have been here a long time and many people in the Milwaukee chapter would recognize me on the street, so I (and Smitty) would have a lot to lose by shafting a coordinator. You need not fear us.

However, if you think every member is equally honest, you are NOT correct. And, their signature lines don't say "I am a thief, beware!!"

As business people, we really better KNOW our risks. If you would prefer to be a coordinator and ignore those risks---please do so!!!! In the eyes of Paypal and Credit cards, you take money, you are a business---they handle millions of transactions a day---yours is the same as any other one they handle.

The basis of group buys has always been mutual trust. None of what we are exploring here is new. So, if you were happy ignoring it before----please continue!!! If you did NOT KNOW it before, at least now you can make an informed decision about the involvement with which you are comfortable.

The way Smitty and I will purport ourselves has not and will not change, just because we know what the options always have been, and still are.

LeRoy, you are free to disagree, but I think this is an accurate summary.

Ed
 
Last edited:

The Penguin

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
2,133
Location
Houston, TX
Personal comments don't belong here.

In the scenero you depict, I don't "shift" the risk back to the coordinator. It never left him/her. When someone accepts payment via PayPal or Credit Cards the receiver of the money agrees to abide by their rules. The receivers do not get to make their own rules, whether they're a group buy coordinator or anyone else.
I didn't make a personal comment, and have avoided doing so.

just a simple statement.

and I made a statement in the thread on your forum which you decided was not germane to the thread and promptly deleted it AFTER you changed your original post.

so I'll avoid making the personal comment and simply say that I'm done.
 
Last edited:

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Personal comments don't belong here.

In the scenero you depict, I don't "shift" the risk back to the coordinator. It never left him/her. When someone accepts payment via PayPal or Credit Cards the receiver of the money agrees to abide by their rules. The receivers do not get to make their own rules, whether they're a group buy coordinator or anyone else.
I didn't make a personal comment, and have avoided doing so.

just a simple statement.

and I made a statement in the thread on your forum which you decided was not germane to the thread and promptly deleted it AFTER you changed your original post.

so I'll avoid making the personal comment and simply say that I'm done.
please do not ask to be included in any group buy that I coordinate.

if I offer the opportunity for you to buy insurance - and you reuse. YOU just took the risk.

But you want to shift that risk back to the coordinator under the guise of "paypal says it's the seller's responsibility to make sure the package is delivered
" That looks pretty personal to me.

The question I asked in the other thread had nothing to do with this one. I was not going to debate this issue on another thread.

I agree with Ed's post above. If any of you have done business with me or Ed you know that we both go far beyond what we would have to do to resolve any problem that comes up with just about anything related to our business.
 
Last edited:

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Guys, speaking for myself and, I believe for Smitty, we understand the risks we take and would NOT institute a complaint with a credit card company or Paypal.

Both of us have been here a long time and many people in the Milwaukee chapter would recognize me on the street, so I (and Smitty) would have a lot to lose by shafting a coordinator. You need not fear us.

However, if you think every member is equally honest, you are NOT correct. And, their signature lines don't say "I am a thief, beware!!"

As business people, we really better KNOW our risks. If you would prefer to be a coordinator and ignore those risks---please do so!!!! In the eyes of Paypal and Credit cards, you take money, you are a business---they handle millions of transactions a day---yours is the same as any other one they handle.

The basis of group buys has always been mutual trust. None of what we are exploring here is new. So, if you were happy ignoring it before----please continue!!! If you did NOT KNOW it before, at least now you can make an informed decision about the involvement with which you are comfortable.

The way Smitty and I will purport ourselves has not and will not change, just because we know what the options always have been, and still are.

LeRoy, you are free to disagree, but I think this is an accurate summary.

Ed
Well said Ed. I agree wholeheartedly.
 

jyreene

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
1,476
Location
Overseas location
I spoke with PayPal. Friends and Family can be used for this but there is no recourse through them if that option was used. To them there is no connection between an item or service and the F&F option. They said there would be no recourse they could help with. They also said that the only way would be either use the Goods and Services option and/or insurance. They said and/or because if it can be proved that insurance was declined then the individual that received payment under G&S was not liable.

Does that clear it up?
 

Karl_99

Member
Joined
Aug 20, 2012
Messages
1,550
Location
Winfield, PA
I have participated in several group buys and ran at least one. As a group buy coordinator, I feel that I am responsible for collecting the orders, placing the order with the vendor, receiving and repacking the items and then shipping them out. After I turn the items over to the post office, my "liability" for the package stops as noted in all of the group buys that I have seen. If someone has opted for the highly recommended insurance and the package is lost then as the sender, I believe it is my responsibility to help check with the post office to resolve the issue, if possible. If some does not accept the insurance, then they "accept" full responsibility for the package after it is handed over to the post office.
 

Brooks803

Member
Joined
Sep 13, 2009
Messages
5,620
Location
Aiken, South Carolina
Here's an off the wall idea.

Why don't we cut out the random group buy coordinators? Have 1 single person run ALL group buys. Have IAP create a paypal or similar account that would be used to facilitate all group buys. Obviously this person will have to be vetted by Jeff and/or the powers that be, but that's to be ironed out another time. This would take that monetary risk away from those that currently run the various group buys. IAP would generate policies and guidelines for all group buys (insurance vs. no insurance, etc.). This coordinator would receive, repack, and ship all items.

No matter what there is always the risk of packages getting lost or damaged. That issue would have to be addressed in the new policy and whatever that is any and all participants would fall under that ruling.

Yes there are shady people that can/will try to make a claim against their purchase (didn't get it...damaged, etc.) when it was received just fine. There's no way around this. However, that has so far been shown to be a very low risk. By putting everything under the umbrella of IAP at least us as individuals cannot be their victim.
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Put your heads in the sand if you like, you have been warned by people who deal with shipping all the time. Maybe no one will ever get burned. I hope they don't.
 

jyreene

Member
Joined
Feb 17, 2009
Messages
1,476
Location
Overseas location
And they've also been informed by others that deal with shipping all the time, associations like this, legal, and coordinating large groups. Both sides disagree and neither will budge so how about we let Mannie give Jeff a brief. And then let Jeff decide.
 

Quality Pen

Member
Joined
Feb 2, 2014
Messages
1,399
Location
Lumberton, Texas
This is a good topic worthy of serious consideration. Despite how heated it may get i am glad our members care enough to broach the topic.

After doing the numerous buys i have in my short time here, these are things i considered every time.
 

magier412

Member
Joined
Feb 6, 2013
Messages
219
Location
Seattle, WA
You know, honestly, I have been piping in and promoting the side of the coordinator's responsibility ending with shipping.

I have to say, though, Ed and Smitty have made salient points.

They are merely stating that the opportunity exists for someone to make a claim against a lost package should it be lost between the coordinator and the buyer. Whether it was actually lost or not.

This is the way that most credit card vendors will enforce payment, and whether we like it or not, that is the way it will work. It doesn't matter whether we like the coordinator or trust them, it's just the way it is. This gives the opportunity to the unscrupulous person to do so.

Now, I very often have packages show as delivered when they are not (to me, anyway). Fortunately, my postal worker almost always delivers them incorrectly to my new friends the Sullivans, and they often have their packages delivered to me. So we've solved the problem by delivering them ourselves (I was actually yelled at for doing so by a postal supervisor after the same package came back incorrectly twice and I finally gave up and delivered it myself and then reported it to the PO...SMH)...anyway...I digress.

I guess what I'm saying is, I can see what Ed and Smitty are saying a bit more clearly now.

There will always be inherent risk to the coordinator, it's not alleviated by insurance, and it should be noted.

There are unscrupulous people out there, and since IAP is growing beyond a friendly little group - no matter how much everyone wishes it weren't - perhaps the time for group buys is over.

It may be that one of the vendors would like to take pre-orders and take something similar on - or not - but it seems like it may be too much to continue to do this any longer as a group buy thing without making it more of a pain that it's worth.

There's a point where groups get too big and lose the ability to do these things...it's the bad side of growing, unfortunately.

Just my two cents. And my opinion alone...nothing personal, and nothing cast in stone as far as I'm concerned...basically...just sayin' ;)
 
Last edited:

eajacobson

Member
Joined
Mar 23, 2013
Messages
196
Location
Bloomington, Minnesota
So, Ed, Smitty, and others,

As PP and CC are there to protect the buyer, and insurance really doesn't cover all the issues that could come up - are you proposing that IAP no longer encourage group buys, or even forcibly prevent members from trying to coordinate one in the IAP forums?

Maybe we have to go back to "Personal checks only. Orders will be placed once all checks clear the bank."

Ed
 
Last edited:

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
So, Ed, Smitty, and others,

As PP and CC are there to protect the buyer, and insurance really doesn't cover all the issues that could come up - are you proposing that IAP no longer encourage group buys, or even forcibly prevent members from trying to coordinate one in the IAP forums?

Maybe we have to go back to "Personal checks only. Orders will be placed once all checks clear the bank."

Ed
No at least I am making no such proposal.
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Buyer protection is to protect the buyer against loss.... And, it is free.
Actually, its not free! It costs 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction in the form of Paypal fees that will get passed on to the purchaser in a group buy situation.
Using G & S the fee is a transaction fee paid by the receiver of the funds. It will be deducted from the receivers account whether or not they get reimbursed.
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Leroy mentioned something several pages back which seems to have gone unnoticed by everyone. I only just remembered it, and went looking to see what it's about.

PayPal Seller Protection

It's worth the time to read what this is & what it covers, since it goes a long way towards restoring a balance of power between seller and buyer.

https://www.paypal.com/webapps/mpp/security/seller-protection
Good idea there are a couple of things in there that people should be aware of. Like it must be a single payment covering the entire transaction or buyer protection will not apply.
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
If I were to give advice on Group Buys I would require insurance regardless of who the carrier is. Depending on the packaging and value this might be included in the carriers normal fee. USPS Priority mail up to $50 and UPS up to $100.

This protects both buyer and seller in case of items lost in shipping and generally gives both the buyer and seller at least some protection for damaged shipments. If something bad happens these are the most common cause of disputes and the most likely to happen.

Buyer protection and credit card charge backs can protect the buyer to a certain degree from seller who take the money but do not ship the product. By PayPal's own statements Credit Card Charge backs are problably better. (they use the term "broader protection" I think.)

To those who have called PayPal and talked to one of their employees -- PayPal is not bound by anything they say to you over the phone regarding any of their policies, terms and conditions of use. Only by what is writen that you signed off that you read, understand and will abide by. Even though if you are at all like me you never have read and probably would have a hard time finding on their web site.
 

jttheclockman

Member
Joined
Feb 22, 2005
Messages
12,276
Location
NJ, USA.
I think this topic is taking on a couple different avenues. Without alienating anyone, here is what I see. The vendors here will do what they have to do to protect their interest but also the buyers. The buyers will not lose and why is that because it is the members here that made those vendors over the years and they will not risk losing them or others as customers because bad word of mouth is killer in the buying and selling business. You see this in the jeers and cheers section. So that being said the organizers of GB is a different topic. There is no monetary gain for them in the present or the future and that is what distinguishes them from vendors. So please leave out the comparisons to Amazon or any other vendor here. No it is not the same thing.

What i see needs to be done for future GBs is set some ground rules that need to be followed by all that partake. First let me say anyone who partakes in a GB is a winner right from the get-go. You are receiving an item or items that you normally would have to pay a higher amount if you bought them on your own. In a GB you are using the power of numbers. When vendors buy inventory they buy in bulk and get those discounts because of volume. How they pass them on to you or if they do is their business. In the case of a GB you are eliminating the middleman because again there is no gain for the coordinator. He or she is doing a feel good thing for the group.

What we need to do is find the way that all parties are protected. Weather insurance is the answer in both ends then so be it. This thing about Paypal and addresses is to me a nonissue. Offer it either way and go from there but again insurance is mandatory. For the small amount of money on your order it is worth it. Remember you still are ahead because of the reduced prices. If you bought on your own you would have to make your own decisions. Whatever cost are endured by organizer will be passed on in the final total to each partaker. If there is a Paypal expense pass it on and it is understood. There will be a set of rules that all coordinators of GB will follow.

So to sum up I think the insurance question is the thing that needs to worked out. This is how I see it.
 

The Penguin

Member
Joined
Dec 21, 2009
Messages
2,133
Location
Houston, TX
here is my opinion on this after much thinking and reading of other comments

any group buy that I coordinate in the future will be offered with the following options:

1. Participants of group buys (coordinated by me) wanting to use "Goods & Services" transfers will pay any applicable Paypal fees + I will REQUIRE shipping insurance on any FRB that exceed $50 in value (or all shipments not sent by FRB). Obviously this adds cost to their buy and nearly defeats the purpose of a group buy by the time all the additional fees/insurance are paid.

2. Participants of group buys (coordinated by me) wanting to use "Friends & Family" transfers to pay for their group buy will be given the opportunity to purchase insurance for every package. If shipping insurance is refused - any loss is on the "buyer". If you don't trust me to follow through - then don't participate in the buy.

3. If I make mistake - that is on me and I will work with the buyer to correct the mistake to our mutual satisfaction. That may involve mutual return shipping or additional coordination/shipping between me and the participant. If it's "my" fault - I'll eat the shipping cost. If it's "your" fault - you eat it.

4. If you don't like rules 1, 2 or 3 - don't participate.
 
Last edited:

KenV

Member
Joined
Oct 28, 2005
Messages
4,721
Location
Juneau, Alaska.
Shawn - good approach

Suggest documentation of the assumption -

Group Buys will use PayPal or similar financial service to handle funds.

Participants using PayPal Friends and Family payment option may choose to self insure shipments from the Coordinator. Self Insurance means that the Coordinator will furnish tracking numbers at shipment and all responsibility for the shipment to the participant becomes the participants responsibility.


It is better to describe the positive action -- self insurance.
 

MesquiteMan

Retired Head Moderator
Joined
Oct 18, 2005
Messages
5,695
Location
San Marcos, TX, USA.
Buyer protection is to protect the buyer against loss.... And, it is free.
Actually, its not free! It costs 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction in the form of Paypal fees that will get passed on to the purchaser in a group buy situation.
Using G & S the fee is a transaction fee paid by the receiver of the funds. It will be deducted from the receivers account whether or not they get reimbursed.
And there is no such thing as a free lunch!! Even in our respective businesses, those fees are being passed along to the customer in the form of overhead and cost of doing business! With a group buy, they are being passed back to the customer. Believe me, I know all about Paypal fees. I use Paypal exclusively for my business and let's just say, I spend a LOT of money on Paypal fees every year.
 

Timbo

Member
Joined
Jan 4, 2008
Messages
1,188
Location
North Wales, Pennsylvania, USA.
Wow! Little did I know that making a casual call to Paypal, then questioning our GB process would lead to such a robust discussion. It's all good...there's nothing wrong with shaking things up once in a while.

I kind of like the way The Penquin summed it up in post #106. I've been a buyer and a coordinator, those rules would work for me in either role.

Let's face it, there has always been some level of risk involved with participating in a GB, that be weather you're a buyer or coordinator. I don't personally know anyone who's GBs I've participated in, or who participated in my buys. Like most of you, there's a level of trust we have in the process and people that overcomes whatever level of risk there is. If there wasn't you would not run, nor participate in a GB. I don't believe those dynamics will change just because the F&F option has been thrown into the mix. Actually, from some of the posts I've read it sounds like some folks have already been using it.

I for one look forward to some new GB guidelines that includes the use of the F&F payment option.
 

Smitty37

Member
Joined
Nov 23, 2009
Messages
12,823
Location
Milford, Delaware 19963
Buyer protection is to protect the buyer against loss.... And, it is free.
Actually, its not free! It costs 2.9% plus $.30 per transaction in the form of Paypal fees that will get passed on to the purchaser in a group buy situation.
Using G & S the fee is a transaction fee paid by the receiver of the funds. It will be deducted from the receivers account whether or not they get reimbursed.
And there is no such thing as a free lunch!! Even in our respective businesses, those fees are being passed along to the customer in the form of overhead and cost of doing business! With a group buy, they are being passed back to the customer. Believe me, I know all about Paypal fees. I use Paypal exclusively for my business and let's just say, I spend a LOT of money on Paypal fees every year.
Me too.
My point Curtis, is just that if G & S is used that fee is going to be charged even if for any of several possible reasons, the Buyer Protection is not available so they really don't pay anything extra for just buyer protection..
 

Monty

Group Buy Coordinator
Joined
Mar 4, 2005
Messages
7,685
Location
Pearland, Texas, USA.
I would like to thank everyone for their input. I'm closing this thread to further discussion. A few minor modifications to Group Buys will be posted within the next few days.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.
Top Bottom