Off Topic Messages

Money taken out of enveloppe - what to do?

Fri May 09, 2003 11:52 pm

Hi folks,

I have bought, sold and traded quite a lot over the internet. Most of the times I used PayPal to pay or receive payements, but also used "cash by mail" if the seller/buyer didn't have a PayPal-account.

I have bought a few times and send the money in cash before the seller posted the CD's. No problems... I have sold to someone in Canada, a few people in the US, Germany, Austria, Belgium and France, and let the buyers pay by the "send money by mail" option. Everything went fine (thank God).

Untill this week. Someone bought a CD and posted the money (20 euro). He didn't used registered mail. Today I received an empty enveloppe. It's quite obvious that the enveloppe has been opened, and was closed again, because the tape that closed the enveloppe didn't 'stick' anymore. The backflip of the enveloppe was half-open when I received it.

I really feel bad about it. The seller is also stunned that this happened. We both don't know what to do. So I'd like to ask you all, what's a normal thing to do in a awfull situation like this?

Thanks for helping us out...


Fri May 09, 2003 11:57 pm

First off, NEVER send or accept cash. Get a money order, bank check or something. As cash is not traceable, once it's's gone. My first thought is that if this is someone that you trust and have dealt with before, then give him/her the benefit of the doubt and try again. Just my opinion.


Sat May 10, 2003 12:07 am

This is sadly enough all to common, Albert. Usually it doesn't happen, but when you've sold 100s of items in the last couple of years like me on auction sites like eBay and Yezzz and in private, sooner or later this happens. It can go either way: you becoming a victim or an accused.
It seems the only thing to do to avoid more trouble would be to either send this guy his cd, or send him his money back. It's only 20 euro. Getting a bad name for 20 euro isn't worth it. But it's up to your own judgement really. There are no rules.

Since the money wasn't sent registered your buyer can't claim money back from his postal service. Too bad for him. When you sent money registered from Belgium to a foreign country registered, and the money (inside an envelope) gets lost, you can let it get tracked down by international mail. If after a couple of months the investigation surrounding your shipment turnes up empty, they refund you a fixed amount: 44 euro. This has already happened to me a couple of times.

I send 120 usd cash registered mail to a guy Fabricio F.B. Castro in Brazil a couple of months ago for cd's; he claimed he never received it(!). I asked for an investigation through international mail: even when the postal service refunds me 44 euro eventually, I'm still out of 76 euro. Unless Fabricio suddenly "finds" my money... :roll:

Sat May 10, 2003 12:58 am

with money happens all the time. I sent some coins from here to a friend in Spain tha collects them and they were inside of a box and then inside of an envelope. He only received the envelope lol ....


Sat May 10, 2003 6:33 am

I can't believe how many people send me cash in the mail, especially from outside the US. I've gotten as much as three $100 bills a couple times in just a plain envelope without as much as a piece of paper around them. It truly shocks me. I would never do it myself. I try to convince most buyers to get Paypal or some type of credit card service. It's easier, quicker and you don't have to worry about the mail getting lost or stolen.

jeff R

Sat May 10, 2003 8:54 am

If you don't want to use Paypal or credit cards.

In NZ we can use Western Union or Cooks to get money to the USA or a local bank will draw a Bank Cheque against any USA bank you nominate.

Personally I use credit cards .. with never a single problem with hundreds of "foreign" transactions.

Another advantage of credit cards is that you can reverse payment if the goods don't turn up - which I have done twice!

Sat May 10, 2003 10:21 am

The problem with WesterUnion or MoneyGram is the huge fee that they're asking: about 12 euro per transaction. An international payement by bank costs also around 7,50 euro (sometimes more, sometimes less.... it depends on the bank).

A lot of people don't know how PayPal works and that you don't need a creditcard to pay or receive money. a Real shame, because that's the safest, fastest and cheapest way for online payements :(

But does anyone has an advise what I (or that one that tried to pay me) should do?

Sat May 10, 2003 6:24 pm

It depends on what you agreed to Albert. If he sent cash through the mail then that is his problem. But he may not see it that way. Given that this is a freak incident. I would eat the cost and send the cd free of charge. Maybe you can work out a deal where he pays half. That ways you both lose half of the deal.

I say this:
1. Send the cd. If you care about your rating. And then tell him you are giving a bad review so you don't lose out completely(after all he did send cash through the mail)

2. Tell him to pay a additional 10 dollars, see if he agrees with that. Tell him you honestly did not get the money and this is so you can at least get something for your trouble. Again he should not have sent money through the mail and suggest he don't do it again.

3. Don't send the cd and demand the full amount paid by check and wait till it clears. It is his fault. YOU DON"T SEND CASH THROUGHT THE MAIL....EVER!!

Mon May 12, 2003 1:28 am

I have sent cash thru mail before to Australia to pay for an Elvis record I bought on ebay.

I did not want to do it but did - and the transaction went fine. The seller was trustable. But perhaps that is the rarity= honesty.

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Mon May 12, 2003 1:59 am

Sending money in an envelope is a hit and miss thing. It should never be done. You would be in your rights not to send the CD as you have not recieved payment for it. But that's up to you. :wink:

Mon May 12, 2003 4:17 pm

Yes, the buyer cannot prove he sent the money to the seller if the buyer didn't send it registered. But what if the buyer did send the money registered?

At least then there is at least proof the buyer sent a "shipment" (if not the money) to the seller, when it doesn't arrive there is reasonable doubt that might convince the seller to send the cd's anyway. As for me, I'm still waiting for my cd's from Fabricio F.B. Castro in Brazil, for which I sent 120 usd registered priority post months ago! NObody here seems to know about him yet, which I find very strange since he used to post on the old MB regularly. He must have sold to others besides me, because he had a great list, which eventually can be used against him if he doesn't come forth and send the cd's/refund the money.

To make matters worse, he doesn't answer anymore to any of my urgent e-mails, which strengthens my believe this guys is another rip-off artist, that needs to be brought to the attention of his authorities, the ifpi and his own family (by sending a registered letter to his parents). It seems the only way left to deal with these characters is the hard way.

Mon May 12, 2003 4:48 pm

James, with a little help from the administrator of this board, you can see (on the hand of the IP from this guy) under what new name he is posting on this board.

I don't think that the old messageboard has been deleted, right? So ask the administrator a link to this old board, go to a post of this guy, note the IP number, check another posting of him to check if it's the same IP. Then hand over this IP to the administrator and let him do a search on this IP in this forum. Then you should have the new loginname of him...

Mon May 12, 2003 4:50 pm

The old board has been deleted.


Mon May 12, 2003 4:55 pm

Just my opinion...


1. I would just send the CD. It's obvious it's stolen in the mail.
2. You agree to getting paid by sending money by mail for several reasons.
3. You already saved more than 20 euro's by avoiding all the extra money transfer etc charges ?
4. I prefer to give the favour of the doubt (ahem, voordeel van de twijfel).
5. It's better to make someone happy when you actually didn't have to than to punish someone whom you shouldn't have punished.

Mon May 12, 2003 6:07 pm

Thanks Albert, but the old MB has been deleted ever since the new one went in use. I only have this guy's home adress (which I cannot typ here because of FECC regulation) and his e-mail adress:

The guy's name is Fabricio F.B. Castro, he lives in Brazil. If anyone recognizes this e-mail adress, knows about him and/or is willing to help me out in any way, please feel free to contact me by e-mail. Thanks!