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Dear ABC News Fixer: Lost in eBay Limbo


Dear ABC News Fixer: In May, I purchased a case of baseball cards on eBay for $689.99. The product was a pre-sale and the item was not to be released by Topps Inc. [to the private seller on eBay] until July 31.

On Aug. 2, I looked up the item number on eBay, only to see that the seller had been suspended. I immediately filed a dispute with PayPal. However, my dispute was rejected because the 45-day time-frame for disputes had already passed.

[The ABC News Fixer is making her debut on ABC News Radio this Saturday. Tune in to Perspective, airing on your local ABC News station, to see how she helped an ABC News reader and how she could help you.]

I don't think this is fair. Since eBay permits sellers to pre-sell products, they should offer buyer protection until shortly after the product's release date, which might be longer than the dispute period.

PayPal said I could file another dispute with eBay. I tried that, but eBay would not accept a dispute because one had been filed with PayPal. This makes no sense, because they are the same company. I was on the phone for two hours trying to resolve this.

- Greg Simpson, Fairport, N.Y.

Dear Greg: We see your point. Unless you had recently bought a crystal ball on eBay, how would you know you were about to get shafted on a purchase more than 45 days into the future?

The ABC News Fixer asked eBay's public relations people, and they got eBay's office of the president to look into what happened.

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Got a consumer problem? The ABC News Fixer may be able to help. Click here to submit your problem online. Letters are edited for length and clarity.

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