In case you are unaware, Greg and I took a credit card rewards-fueled trip to Europe in November of 2014. While we were there, we took in a lot of sights, ate some great (and not-so-great) food, and spent some quality time together. We didn’t buy a lot of keepsakes, but we did buy a few.

My favorite purchase of the entire trip was this adorable London-flag look jacket I got from the Portobello Road Market in the Notting Hill District of West London.

Super cheesy, I know, but I just like the freaking jacket. In fact, I like it to much that I immediately wanted to order another one. I don’t have a lot of clothes and hate shopping, but I tend to like certain items so much that I want multiples. And I’ve always been like that. For example, I have three of the same bathing suit because it is comfortable and flattering. Sue me.

All I wanted was an identical jacket to the one I already have.

All I wanted was an identical jacket to the one I already have.

Anyway, I was super stoked when I found the exact same jacket on Etsy.com. I would need to pay for international shipping, but the grand total still came out to only around $30. That was fine with me. So I went ahead and ordered directly through paypal, and that is where I made my fatal mistake. Instead of paying with a credit card that offers fraud protection like I normally would for any online purchase, I let paypal deduct the $30 directly from my bank account. Why? Because I didn’t feel like digging out a credit card.

Spoiler Alert: Etsy.com Doesn’t Care

I made my purchase around Christmas and waited the six weeks it said it would take to get here. Then I waited some more – and still, no jacket. Then about a week ago, I got out the calendar and realized that it has been almost 12 weeks since I made the purchase.

So I went back and dug out my receipt. Immediately, I emailed the seller to see what was up.  After a few days with no response, I emailed Etsy.com.  Their response was almost comical. Let me summarize. Basically, Etsy.com said we don’t give a flying f%$K that they aren’t responsible for any purchases made through their site and that I was on my own to negotiate a refund from the seller.

Fortunately, I did pay through Paypal.com, which offers a few protections of its own. And after another day or so, I filed a formal complaint in an effort to get my money back. I’m pretty upset about the fact that I won’t get the jacket, but I think it’s pretty crappy that they have had my money this entire time.  And now, I have to jump through hoops to get it back!

What Happens When You Get Ripped Off On Etsy.com?

Now that I have filed a complaint with Paypal, the seller has until the end of the month to reach out to me and solve this issue. At this point, they haven’t bothered to respond so I’m going to assume they are completely ignoring our requests.

After the month is up, Paypal gets to decide if I do in fact get my money back. Since I never received my item and the seller is completely unresponsive, I will go ahead and assume I will get a full refund eventually.

Still, I am super annoyed with this purchase. If I had made payment with a credit card, I would have called Chase or Citibank or whatever and told them what was up and let them handle it. But since I paid with real money, I am completely on my own.

Buyer BewareWhat happens when you get ripped off on Etsy.com? A whole lot of nothing, that's what. You're on your own.

I like the idea of buying items directly from individuals. However, it’s important to know what the risks are. It’s completely my fault for not realizing that Etsy.com takes no responsibility for any items purchased through their site, but now that I know, I will shop with caution. And honestly, a lot of this could have been prevented if I had just paid with credit to begin with.

Still, it’s pretty unsettling that someone can keep your money and make you fight to get it back. I am willing to shop at Etsy.com again, but next time, I will know better.

Have you ever had to fight to get your money back for an item you never received? Have you ever bought or sold on Etsy.com?

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