A couple of years ago, I wrote about an Unintended Method of Manufactured Spending. It was something that actually popped up and had surprised me but it turned out to work out quite well for me. Unfortunately, that method is no longer available. 🙁
No More Free MS From eBay Disputes
In a nutshell, here is how this worked. As a seller, if someone purchased something from you on eBay and then they opened a case/dispute against you, there would be a hold put on the PayPal balance for the amount of the item. If there was no money in the account, it used to go to the primary funding method (which I had as a credit card). That meant it would charge my credit card for the amount of the auction until the dispute was resolved.
I have been fortunate in that I have won all the disputes as a seller. This does not normally happen as eBay is very protective of the buyer but when I have had claims opened against me, it was always because they did not read the auction and understand what the device does/did or they did not want it anymore and would make a false claim.
When this happened, I would have my credit card charged by PayPal for the auction amount and then the amount was refunded to my PayPal account when it was closed. In other words, free manufactured spend! Thanks to the higher dollar items I sell, this has helped me to get a little more in the way of miles and points that I would not otherwise have had.
Credit Card No Longer a Viable Option
That brings us to this incident. I do not know when they changed this (I have not had a dispute in a while) but I had a really terrible buyer this week who informed me that he would be sending it back as soon as he received it and put the shipping on me because he wanted his money back. There was a whole lot of exchange but he was a real pain from the start (after paying) and promised to make a claim and turn it right around to me and make me pay for the shipping again – even saying it didn’t matter what condition it was in, he would file a claim. Thankfully, this was all done through eBay Messages and the reps I spoke to said I should be just fine.
This actually made me a little happy in that I would at least get some more free miles from this bad incident as a result of the claim he filed! Sure enough, item received and case opened! So, I went into PayPal to load the account from my card like I had done before – except it now says they charge it as a cash advance! Oops, that is not going to happen!
So, my silver lining in this incident just vanished away! No more easy MS through disputes, which was the only good thing about them. Oh well, at least I caught that text before going ahead with it as it would not have been worth it at all!