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cloudystars

Item not received

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Hi! This is about an artbook that I purchased and not a commission, but it's still a transaction so I'm hoping I posted it in the correct spot. Please let me know if this doesn't belong here!

Basically I pre-ordered a fanzine back in July and it shipped out in middle/late September and still hasn't arrived. The zine was shipped internationally from a different country. Shipping method was chosen by the moderators; while there is tracking while it moves through the origin country, once the package arrives at the destination country, tracking stops. So I was able to track my package up until it arrived at customs and then, per design, no more updates were given via tracking number.

I waited two weeks after it arrived at my country before I reached out to the moderators to let them know of the situation. They encouraged me to wait until the of the month (October) as it could still be in transit and then if it still hadn't arrived, they would ship me a replacement as long as I paid for shipping. So I waited until the last week of October and as it still hadn't arrived, I reached out once more and let them know that: 1) the package still hadn't arrived; and 2) because international shipping is so expensive, I no longer wanted the item. I requested a refund instead.

Their response was basically:
1. Once the package is shipped, it is no longer their responsibility
2. They don't have the funds to offer me a refund
3. If I want a replacement, they will ship me one free of charge as long as I pay shipping

I ended up filing a dispute through paypal, which the moderators themselves escalated to a claim. It is currently being reviewed by paypal now, but I just kind of wanted to know if I was in the right to file a dispute/ask for a refund to begin with? My thought was, I didn't receive the item so I was entitled to a refund but I'm not sure if it works differently for international shipping. The fact that they escalated it to a claim themselves makes me wonder if they are right and it is no longer their responsibility once it's shipped. 

Second, if paypal sides with them, is it within my rights to pursue other avenues to get my money back? 

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Did the tracking say it actually arrived at your country or did it say it has left the origin country?

What I remember of international shipping is that the tracking stops once it leaves the origin country.  Depending on the countries involved, you may still receive the book. It depends on how the book was shipped. If it was airmail, it's probably gone. If it was surface mail (by ship or truck) then you might get it next month, or even later.

That aside, unless it was stipulated in some contract, the seller is responsible for the item until you receive it. You were within your rights to request a refund. If paypal denies you the refund, you're technically within your rights to pursue other avenues (the only one I can think of is a credit card dispute) but it's in bad taste and the bank will probably side with paypal's decision.

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Tracking says it arrived at my country's customs. I've ordered other items internationally before and they've all tracked until they reached my door, so I was unaware of the kind that stops once it leaves the origin country; should have done my research and requested to pay for a different method to begin with. Thank you for your feedback! I had a feeling it would be poor form to pursue other avenues.

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@cloudystars You can use other tracking websites. 17track or parcelsapp track your package no matter what.

When I ship my badges (Germany) and they get mailed to the US (USPS), the tracking of our German website stops once it's in the US and I have to use USPS from there on, unless you use the websites I listed above. Just something neat I wanted to talk about~

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When I've bought items Ive had to input the tracking number in to my own local posts site to get updated tracking. Where I live the shipper is responsible for finding lost packages, and will need to contact the post (they wont let buyers do it) for an insurance claim. You may also be able to force a paypal refund, because you never got the item you paid for.

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