So here is my sorry tale…….
Early last month I thought my luck had come good – I saw ( on Ebay late one night ) a nice ND M35 for sale ( it was a buy-it-now ) for a great price and only just listed in the previous hour.
M35 veteran stahlhelm - did I do good?
I checked the images in the sale via Google to see if they existed anywhere else – they didn’t – and I assumed all was going to be fine so I grabbed it quick, used Paypal for security and waited for it to be sent. The seller was a ‘zero feedback’ new seller based in Vilnius, Lithuania who had only recently joined Ebay and this helmet was their first sale. I took the chance, knowing I could make a claim on PayPal if it all went south. Not all ‘zeroes’ are bad and I have bought many good items from ‘first-timers’ over the years ( military, car, electronics etc…. ).
The next evening I saw that the helmet had been marked as ‘posted’, and an EMS tracking number was uploaded. ( all seemed OK so far ) The seller even responded to my email asking for more info on where the helmet came from. ( they said they didn’t know any more background )
Four days later I was once again late at night surfing Ebay and came across ( also just listed ) the late war M38 in bits.
M38 Falschirmjager helmet ........ or not?
The seller was ALSO a newbie, ALSO in Lithuania, the helmet was ALSO a buy-it-now - BUT, the ads were quite different. Different cities, different style of photographs, different grammar in the wording and different fonts were used …… enough for me to believe it was NOT the same person … SURELY a pure coincidence that I found TWO great & low priced helmets within a week of each other???
And, it REALLY WAS within the hour of being listed as well ….. This seller also responded to my emails, marked it as posted two days later and uploaded a tracking number ( international airmail this time ) so I really felt that my luck was holding out.
BUT as the weeks have gone by ( 6 weeks now ) neither of the helmets arrived. I checked the tracking numbers online via EMS tracking, Track & Trace, and even Lithuania Post directly and the numbers DID NOT appear in any database ( online at least ) so I began to get worried.
I quickly lodged disputes on both purchases with Paypal – they immediately escalated one to a claim ( as the seller had de-registered from Ebay ) and paid me out on that one, and after another week waiting and many unanswered emails to the other seller I escalated the M38 to a claim – for which they credited me only yesterday.
Phew …. So, I have ALL my money back ( I would have preferred the helmets though ) but what a weird turn of events???? It’s like it was some sort of scam? – not to hurt me – but to get money out of Paypal ( that was their preferred method of payment ) But then surely, one’s details can be traced ( after all, you need a valid credit card to join Ebay and Paypal ) and I am surprised if they just wrote off many hundreds of dollars without pursuing it… So is this a new scam to watch out for? …… I only know that I remain confused about the whole event.
IF ( as has happened to me once before ) the seller/s took my airmail payment amount and shipped the packages surface to save themselves money ( but which can take 10 weeks from Europe ) they might just still show in a couple of months’ time but with only a 45 day window to make a claim, I couldn’t afford to wait – I have lost out before with Paypal by waiting too long to act.
But I'm guessing they were never sent.....and that's my tale of the helmets that got away……… Dan