-SPONSOR- "STOLEN FISH" = Fundraising Sale

Discussion in 'MiniWaters' started by MiniWaters, Sep 22, 2016.

  1. MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    24 hours ago, MiniWaters.fish was subjected to a $4000 chargeback on two fish orders delivered to a multi-million-dollar apartment in New York back in July.

    The claim was that the purchases were never authorized...not that the fish weren't received, or that there was a problem with them, but simply that they never ordered them in the first place. The fish purchased were the LAST F1 Lightning Maroon pair I had to offer (that are not culls / fish with defects), and a proven spawning pair of Onyx Perculas. The fish definitely warranted the pricing.

    Before you guys go any further, let me say that on an order of this magnitude, I did my homework as best as anyone could, and covered my butt. I have heaps of documentation on this order, and all has been furnished. Everything from images of the fish being packed to the actual signature confirmation of receipt from FedEx. SOMEONE got these fish, and for 2 months, I had the money for them. That all changed last night.

    Now, we've been on the other side of this as credit card users once or twice in our lives, and credit card companies are always good about handling fraudulent charges made on our cards. That said, on the flipside, how many of us ask who foots this bill? We presume it's the credit card companies, but no, I'm starting to learn that it is often the MERCHANTS who often wind up out of money, and goods.

    Obviously, if these were stolen cards, I don't feel that the person who the cards belonged to owes me anything...but someone out there really went to great lengths to steal the most expensive fish I had for sale this year, fish that were irreplaceable. And in the process, they are stealing from a new small business and a family of 4.

    In my case, the purchases were made through Paypal via a Credit Card, so there's actually two parties involved here. It is simply unclear whether I will ever see that money back at this time. PayPal initially deducted $4000 from my account, putting it vastly into the negative. When an account has a negative balance, no business can be transacted; effectively it shuts down that window of payment. So what, am I going to simply start asking you all to send me checks??? Now, I've been a PayPal member for like 13 years or longer at this point, and this is the first time I've had ANY problems as a buyer or seller.

    For the moment, after furnishing PayPal with copious amounts of purchase data, they restored the funds to my account, but they've told me that in 7-10 days, when our dispute gets handed to the credit card company, those funds will once again be "removed" from our account.

    So...in order for MiniWaters to continue to accept payments via Paypal, I will likely have to take $4000 out of my family's "life savings" and deposit it into PayPal. Sure, I could open up another avenue of payment (Square, Stripe etc..), but that would still leave an account in the negative for possibly months. I'm not in a habit of doing things that a) can ruin my personal credit or b) put me in a bad legal standing.

    In the long run, based on all I've read, it's a total crap shoot as to whether I'll ever see that $4,000 from anyone. PayPal seemed overly reassuring that we'd be OK, just that it could take 90 days or longer. But reading online suggests otherwise.

    But I want that to sink in to you all...$4,000. That's basically stealing our groceries for half a year. That's someone out there in NY telling me that their greed is more important than my kids eating for half a year.

    Now, we're lucky, presuming of course this is the only chargeback that comes our way we're in a position to keep things afloat and work through this.

    It turns out that another regional company, SaltCritters.com, has recently been hit with chargebacks totaling $15,000. We don't know if these are related at all, but I do know that the same information was used with another regional company in an attempt to obtain several thousand dollars of goods, but due to differing experiences, that purchase was "thwarted".

    So where does that leave me?


    Well...the $4000 from those fish I sold didn't simply go into a bank account...it was reinvested in various things, including well, fish I have to offer for sale now. In short, I have lots of great inventory that needs LEGITIMATE CUSTOMERS!!!

    Can I raise $4000+ in sales from my website so I don't have to "borrow" from my family to keep the business afloat? I don't know. But I'd like to try.
    Through the end of September 2016, I will extend a 20% livestock discount on any purchase of $150 or more made through MiniWaters.fish. Use the code "tcmassupporter" at checkout. The discount does not include shipping costs nor any applicable taxes. Wholesale Customers, this discount is also applicable to YOUR orders too; wholesale minimum orders still apply.

    I'm absolutely NOT one to ask for handouts here. I'm simply looking for ways to not drag my family down financially just because some (insert explicative here) in NY felt like ripping me off.

    As outlined above, please understand up-front if there are ANY PayPal related hiccups associated with any orders you place. That said, the only way in which any customer of mine could be affected is if their attempt to pay is rejected by Paypal - I cannot ship fish that I don't have payment for. Other than that, the fish are here, and SpeeDee is super cheap, so it's not like I'm going to accrue thousands in FedEx fees trying to ship out orders and leave you all hanging. Every paid order we receive and ship means less I have to borrow from my family's financial reserves.

    We can get through this with your help and support - thanks!
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  2. patent

    patent Ok Moderator
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  3. dougers31

    dougers31 Senior Member
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  4. OP
    MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    Yep, I mentioned that up in my initial post...already reached out to them. Thanks for the head's up.
     
  5. dougers31

    dougers31 Senior Member
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    Oops. I read most of your post but missed that part. Really sucks that C.Card companies stick you guys with the bill... just seems wrong period :(
     
  6. zoolan70

    zoolan70 Senior Member
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    I'm no expert, but when I had the same thing happen to me using Paypal years ago, they did make me whole again. It took months, and I wasn't talking about near that much money, but they did cover the loss when someone used a stolen card.

    I'm going to follow up with an email. I have some folks you can talk to who might be able to help.
     
    • Informative Informative x 1
  7. NotJacques

    NotJacques Senior Member
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    That's super unfortunate and frustrating. Those type of hits can rock a small business. Good luck to you

    It looks like they barely got the dispute in according to Paypal's website:

    What's not covered with Paypal Purchase Protection
    Unauthorized transaction claims reported more than 60 days after the transaction date of the transaction
     
  8. OP
    MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    That's slightly comforting to hear. I've heard it go both ways unfortunately.

    Actually, if that date is based on the date the payments took place, then it was actually past the 60 day windows in PayPal. However, the chargebacks were made through the credit card companies, and it looks like the process was actually initiated back on 9-12 according to the info I can see in PayPal. PayPal made it sound like whether it get my money back or not is a decision of the credit card company, not PayPal or their protection policy. Honestly, it wasn't the best conversation...like I wrote above, a lot of "don't worry about it" type assurances, and nothing of real substance.
     
  9. capman

    capman I contributed!
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    Wow. I'm so sorry you've had this happen.

    Unfortunately, I'm not in a position to be buying new fish at this time (but I'm still planning on monos at some point....).
     
  10. OP
    MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    Sale is going through Friday. Get your orders in!
     
  11. OP
    MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    Bumping this up - just 24 hours left on our 20% off sale!
     
  12. Fragtastic Reef

    Fragtastic Reef We Dont Frag Around! Rare fish and more
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    Matt very sorry to hear this... Your not alone on this trust me on that one. I even had a MN customer jack me out of $1800+ in a single transaction at my retail store!

    I deal with these issues all the time if you want to talk let me know.

    Garrett
    507-3042579

    PS - Your website is not loading up for me.
     
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  13. acharpenter

    acharpenter Senior Member
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    Website up - sale almost over - GET SOME!
     
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  14. OP
    MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    I just can't believe some people have it in their heads that this is "OK" to do to people? But livestock in particular?

    The website..yeah..I found out there's some issues on the server that hosts the database...I know how to fix it (in a way that moves the DB to a new server which hopefully isn't problem-plagued) but finding the time to do that is the tough part!

    Thanks to those of you who reached out in support, whether through your words or your orders...I appreciate the support!
     
  15. TNT CORALS

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    That really is such a horrific situation! We are sorry to hear of this:0( We hope you turn out okay. We are in the business like many others to help advance the hobby, help fellow reefers and to make enough money to continue what we love. You have a family to support and unfortunately these criminals have no conscience. Our hearts go out to you and hope that all turns out well and never happens again!!
     
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  16. OP
    MiniWaters

    MiniWaters Junior Member
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    Thanks for those kind words TNT Corals. As I posted on another thread, it appears that we may have dodged the bullet here. PayPal's messaging is well, frankly UNCLEAR..the chargebacks were marked "closed" but the status says they're "trying to get our money back from the credit card company"...meanwhile for the time being we do have our money back. It sounds like it could still come back to bite us in the ***** at some later date on the one hand, but on the flipside, this was a transaction covered by seller protections, and seller protections reportedly, supposedly protect us from these types of chargebacks (presumably because with a verified address and verification of receipt of a package at that verified address..it's very difficult to say you never ordered what you ordered..?)

    I'm moving forward for the time being, and hoping this is behind us.
     

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