Posted by: fiddlehead | November 23, 2013

Perils of doing an international e-commerce business

It’s never pleasant when someone rips you off for hard earned money.

So, after 15 years of selling warm gear online, I will try to help those who are thinking about it.
There are honest people everywhere.   Just as there are crooks.

How to tell the difference?

I recently had a sale to Malaysia for 8 neoprene facemasks, used by motorcycle riders to keep their face warm.
This seemed a bit strange as I know Malaysia is a warm country.
So, I did my best at nipping it in the bud by sending the customer an email before shipment, asking them why they would need so many facemasks.
The guy replied within a day saying that they are for him and his friends who ride motorcycles a lot.
Since he ordered from me before, I decided to ship them (he had already paid)

A month later, I get a chargeback.

Chargebacks are never fun and take a long time to process.   But, this time I figured I had proof as the man sent me 2 emails and I asked questions.
But no, about 60 days later, I find out I lost.  I lost the product, the money and a $20 fee from paypal.
So, what can I do?
Not much it seems.
But I can warn others.
And I can stop future shipments to Malaysia.
This has happened to me in a few countries in the world and I will list them to warn others who might be thinking of dealing with people in these countries.
I have stopped shipment for similar reasons to: Indonesia, Russia, and Israel, as well as now Malaysia.

I can’t ONLY blame the customer.
If I have proof that I sent the item, and emails discussing the sale, with the customer, how can the bank believe them over me?

It is the bank that issues the credit card as much as the customer here and all of the above chargebacks where with banks from those particular  countries.

So, be warned, these country’s banks are not going to rule in your favor.  No matter how much proof you have.

Thanks for listening to my rant.


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