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Blondie Poster Timeline – Summary

All quotes used can be verified by eBay

20th October 2018

Blondie poster sold on eBay for £509.00.
Sarasota2010 (aka Gary Smith) paid for the poster using Paypal.
Paypal fee was £23.48 for the transaction.

22nd October

Poster sent to Gary using Royal International Tracked and Signed For service.
I sent Gary photos of the sealed poster tube prior to posting via eBay and the Royal Mail reference number for him to track the progress of the item.


22nd October >

Poster delayed in US Customs at New York.
Gary is aware of where the poster is.


3rd November

Gary says:
‘Perhaps, we can just cancel this order and you can request the package be returned to you. Or, if it ever does arrive, I just won’t accept it and have it marked “return to sender”. Then, we both will be happy!!!’


16th November

Gary says:
‘Just found this email and a bunch of others from you. Would you please stop bothering me...As I stated before to you. I got duped by you!!!’


18th November

Gary accuses me of selling the poster to someone else in Peoria, Illinois, USA – a completely unfounded allegation.


20th November

Poster delivered to Gary Smith.

21st November

Received an invoice from eBay for £52.88 for the sale of the poster

26th November  * * * 6 days after delivery of poster * * *
Received a notification from eBay that Gary had ‘requested to return the item for a refund’. Gary’s later messages contradict this statement.


Message via eBay from Gary saying ‘Hello, Sorry, I don't remember your name, but the Blondie poster finally arrived after being in customs in New York for 25 days.’ I had previously sent Gary 12 messages via eBay, everyone signed off with ‘Michael’.

Claimed not to have a camera but says he will ‘submit photos tomorrow’. He has NEVER sent me photos of the alleged damage.

27th November

Message via eBay from Gary saying:

‘a message was left for me and that within 30 minutes I was able to track down my carrier and retrieve the poster tube you sent. There was nothing wrong with the hard tube you put it in, so there was no reason to reject it’.

He also says:
‘after 25 days in New York customs it must have been thrown around a lot’
He also claims that the Paypal account that was used to pay for the poster is not his. (this becomes relevant later)


29th November

Message via eBay to Gary asking him to clarify ownership of the Paypal account. He did not reply to this message.

3rd December

eBay case opened against me.

Gary asked eBay ‘Please tell me what you would like from me, other than photos’.

4th December

Message from eBay to me asking me to pay for the return of the poster and if I did not, then the case will be closed in the buyer’s favour.

On the same day, I tried to send Gary Smith a sum of money direct to his email address via Paypal to cover the cost of postage but got this reply from Paypal:
‘This recipient accepts Paypal payments only through their website. To complete this payment, please go to their website and follow their instructions, or email the recipient for instructions’


5th December

Tried again to send Gary Smith money via Paypal but failed. I then sent an email to Gary asking him to:

‘Send me the website where I can make payment or
Send me an alternative Paypal account or
Send me a request for $20 via Paypal and I will pay that way’


Received a reply from Gary saying:
'If you sent money, I wasn’t informed as I don’t have a PayPal account. Also, I never said I wanted to return the poster. I only said it is damaged and not in the condition as when I purchased/paid for it'.


6th December

Message from eBay asking me to ‘issue the amount to their Paypal account’.

This messages from eBay fails to mention that it should be a separate transaction to the original Paypal transaction.

I tried to send a USPS shipping label but was not allowed to as I am not resident in the USA.

With no other options available to me, I sent Gary a sum of £20.00 (reduced to £19.12 after Paypal fees) using the original Paypal transaction.

As requested by eBay, I then sent a screenshot of the Paypal transaction to eBay for verification.

7th December

Received a message from Rafique T at eBay saying:
‘Regarding the case, we have informed the buyer to purchase shipping label with the cost provided by you and send the item back within the timeline. I understand that you have done everything right and you do not need to worry. Rest assured; if the buyer fails to return the item within the timeline then we will close the case in your favor’.

10th December

eBay closed the case in the buyer’s favour but did not tell me of their decision.

7th-20th December

There were no messages between myself and eBay

20th December

I saw that the case had been closed and, after the last message from eBay, assumed it had been closed in my favour. I was wrong. Message from eBay states:
On the 13th of December the buyer appealed the case because they claimed that they did not receive the refund but the appeal was denied and it was forwarded to a case specialist for further review.


23rd December

Message from eBay:
‘Michael, when the buyer open the case, we have asked you to facilitate the return by sending them funds to cover the return shipping cost. The refund should not be from the original payment.’

This is the first time that eBay have said I should have sent the payment in a different way and completely contradicts the message from Rafique T received on the 7th December.

24th December

I opened an appeal
The appeal was closed.


28th December

I checked my Paypal account and found that eBay had put in a request for £509. There was a note on the page asking me to ‘Add money to resolve your balance’. When I clicked on the items for more details it said that ‘There is an open dispute associated with this transaction. Visit the Resolution Centre to view status’. Yet when I went to the Paypal Resolution Centre I found no mention of any case, either Open or Closed.

28th December

eBay issue a full refund to Gary Smith via Paypal.

28th December

I sold an item on eBay for the total amount of £17.49 (inc postage). Paypal then took off their fee of 79p. However, rather than this amount showing up as a ‘credit/positive’ amount in my Paypal account the £16.70 went straight to paying off the amount that eBay are claiming from me. Any money paid into my Paypal account will automatically go to paying off a debt which I have disputed from the beginning. I can no longer sell items on eBay as I will not get the benefit of any money paid into my Paypal account until the £529 has been cleared.

1st January 2019

Message from eBay:
‘To receive your item back, I recommend arranging a return shipping solution to your buyer. I am positive that your buyer will cooperate in returning the item now the a refund has been received’.

I again attempted to send Gary Smith money for postage via Paypal but found that I could not as my Paypal account is, in effect, blocked by the disputed amount of £509. I phoned Paypal and the advice I received was to arrange a bank to bank transfer with Gary Smith so I sent Gary an email requesting his bank details for me to do a bank to bank transfer.

4th January

I received a short email from Gary saying ‘Oh, My!!!’