Paypal Violin episode- Erica lost her violin and money

January 9, 2012 | by

Do you think that Paypal is just a payment gateway between buyer and seller, then you are mistaken. Read their terms and conditions carefully. The heart breaking story of  Erica underlines that. Erica sold her old French Violin to a Canadian customer for $2500. After purchase, buyer disputed the purchase by quoting that the item is a fake one. Normally if you raise a Paypal dispute, the buyer will be ordered to send items back to seller and will get the refund. Here Paypal ordered the seller to destruct the Violin and send a photograph as evidence to get back his money.   Erica says

Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as “counterfeit” even though there is no such thing in the violin world.”

I am now out a violin that made it through WWII as well as $2500. This is of course, upsetting. But my main goal in writing to you is to prevent PayPal from ordering the destruction of violins and other antiquities that they know nothing about. It is beyond me why PayPal simply didn’t have the violin returned to me.”

brocken violin

Looks very ridiculous or surprising ? Then go through Paypal’s Terms of Service. See the screenshot of the part where Paypal protect the “buyer’s interest” through destruction.



PayPal has reasons to  justify this .“The reason why we reserve the option to ask the buyer to destroy the goods is that in many countries, including the US, it is a criminal offense to mail counterfeit goods back to a seller” .

Moral of the Story

Read and understand the terms carefully, especially while using the services like PayPal. Don’t sell any counterfeit goods – at least through online Winking smile.


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