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seanv

Preferred Member
Mar 22, 2018
2,152
4,856
Canada
Guys I need some help here. I ordered a beautiful estate Meer with a windcap from a reputable seller on eBay. The seller uses the global shipping program via eBay. As far as I can tell everything he did was correct and again, he is a reputable estate pipe seller. I have been refunded however the pipe is apparently not going to be returned because it is a restricted item. Since I have been refunded already I cannot open a case on this auction. I have emailed the seller to ask if he has encountered this before. The strange thing is that this pipe didn't even clear the global shipping program location but I have received many estate pipes using this service. At the minimum I would be fine with the pipe being returned to the shipper, I just don't want it destroyed.

I have 2 questions for everyone

Have you dealt with this before

What are my options

This is the description of the pipe. I wonder if there are any flag words that alerted an auto system.

Turkish Meerschaum (new) Wind Cap Apple Pipe 60’s Bone Tenon Bakelite Stem

Here is the email I received from eBay

RESTRICTED ITEM​
Dear Sean,

We are writing to inform you that your recent purchase through the Global Shipping Program from (name of seller removed) cannot be completed.

The item in question has been deemed restricted. This could be due to import/shipping restrictions or eligibility requirements within the Global Shipping Program. The item will not be shipped to you nor returned to your seller.

Don’t worry! Your full refund will be processed back to the original payment method within 72 hours. You may notice two separate refunds: a refund for the item, and a refund for the shipping and import costs. No further action is needed.​
 

DAR

Senior Member
Aug 2, 2020
355
1,075
Tiburon, California
I have never encountered that on eBay. Not that this helps in any way but...... that is what I fear when the global shipping program is used. That's why I never, ever use it as a seller or buyer. I stay local.
 
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paulfg

Preferred Member
Feb 21, 2016
1,047
1,642
Corfu Greece
yes thats exactly how the ebay Global shipping works.
i bought a box of nails for a paslode nail gun from the UK ,It was shipped by the seller and when it reach the global shipping depot they declared it a restricted item as it included a gas cartridge for the nail gun.
I was refunded my money but the item was not returned to the seller.
I read a few months ago about someone (I think it was Dave) who had found a long sought after pipe and bought it,only for the same thing to happen as it had a horn ring on the stem/stummel join that was mentioned in the listing header.So I am pretty sure it was the word bone that did it.
I believe that was destroyed.

I reordered the nails from Amazon and it was delivered DHL no problem.even though it included the gas cartridge
 
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rx2man

Preferred Member
May 25, 2012
603
26
I am wondering if "they" think either the bone or pipe is ivory...and "bone" triggered a closer look...but I don't understand not returning to the sender. I mean if it was an ivory product fine seize it, but it is not made of anything banned....
 

john019

Member
Jul 19, 2018
140
37
Guys I need some help here. I ordered a beautiful estate Meer with a windcap from a reputable seller on eBay. The seller uses the global shipping program via eBay. As far as I can tell everything he did was correct and again, he is a reputable estate pipe seller. I have been refunded however the pipe is apparently not going to be returned because it is a restricted item. Since I have been refunded already I cannot open a case on this auction. I have emailed the seller to ask if he has encountered this before. The strange thing is that this pipe didn't even clear the global shipping program location but I have received many estate pipes using this service. At the minimum I would be fine with the pipe being returned to the shipper, I just don't want it destroyed.

I have 2 questions for everyone

Have you dealt with this before

What are my options

This is the description of the pipe. I wonder if there are any flag words that alerted an auto system.

Turkish Meerschaum (new) Wind Cap Apple Pipe 60’s Bone Tenon Bakelite Stem

Here is the email I received from eBay

RESTRICTED ITEM​

Dear Sean,

We are writing to inform you that your recent purchase through the Global Shipping Program from (name of seller removed) cannot be completed.

The item in question has been deemed restricted. This could be due to import/shipping restrictions or eligibility requirements within the Global Shipping Program. The item will not be shipped to you nor returned to your seller.

Don’t worry! Your full refund will be processed back to the original payment method within 72 hours. You may notice two separate refunds: a refund for the item, and a refund for the shipping and import costs. No further action is needed.​
I don't know how much time you spend looking on eBay, but there is a seller (Deadman's Pipes), and when you see one of his listings, you know it is his by the pictures. Okay, so one day I see a set of pipes done in his picture style as a Buy It Now. Normally his lots are auctions, but I watched it, and a few hours later I get an offer for the lot, but it is not from him. I contacted Deadman because I wouldn't want someone using my pictures to sell their pipes. He contacted me back and said that those were one of his lots that he sold to someone in Europe, and he uses the Global Shipping through eBay, and for some reason, they didn't clear customs. He said that since it was done through eBay's Global Shipping Program, that eBay automatically refunded the buyer, HE GOT TO KEEP HIS MONEY, and that now those pipes are owned by eBay. He said that the seller was an eBay employee, and since the pipes never made it through customs, eBay got to keep possession of the pipes, and that they could re-sell in the US only. He didn't know why they got denied in customs, and he didn't care because he got his money. He made it sound like pipes are a hit or miss getting past customs. So you might actually see that pipe again on eBay. Funny thing about the lot I was looking at, it had a nice Dunhill Bulldog in his listing, but in the "New" eBay listing, they removed the Dunhill, even though they used his exact same listing. So maybe it wasn't that it din't clear customs, maybe the Global Shipping person liked that pipe??? Maybe???
 
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olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
7,266
11,871
The Arm of Orion
This is the picture of the pipe that is likely going to be destroyed. A piece of history gone

View attachment 54455
Nope, I don't think it will be. Someone will benefit from this. Confiscation's always been a major (grey) business, and with the present viral thing all kinds of egregious abuses, delays, and appropriations are happening with impunity. Best fishing happens in troubled waters, eh?

I just had Fedex make such a stink out of an icon, 4 by 6 CENTIMETRES in size, being rejected by the customs office of the country I sent it to because it's "made of wood" and wood is a "prohibited item". :rolleyes: Since I declined to abandon it, it'll be returned and I'll be billed again, probably another $90 to have it back.
 

guylesss

Member
May 13, 2020
193
870
Brooklyn, NY
Like many other eBay innovations of recent years, the global shipping program (which a seller must opt out of with international listings) is a service clearly intended to benefit eBay.

At its best, it is exorbitantly expensive, unreliable, and slow (even in normal times). And its vaguely worded policies about "prohibited" items (and materials that may be component parts of items) is both far more restrictive than what customs authorities allow, and provides ebay considerable discretion to confiscate at will (without any recourse available to buyers or sellers) what they want. The destruction of confiscated items of any value is, I infer, a very rare event. And Pitney Bowes' SOP is to flip whatever they confiscate to connected job lot sellers (usually nearby to the Pitney Bowes processing hub involved) for resale several months later. This quite often employing the photos, and sometimes the title and part of the original seller's description.

Needless to say, transparency is not a point of pride with either EBay or Pitney Bowes about how it all actually works. And a google search will turn up many tales of woe involving coats with fur collars, acoustic guitars with bits of rosewood, old perfume bottles and much else that is freely traded across international borders.

My own practice whenever I see an unusually high estimated shipping price in a foreign ebay listing that interests me is to write the seller and ask if they're using global shipping (worth noting is that the seller does NOT see the sum that is being demanded). And ask if some other method of shipment is possible.

As for advice to the OP: set up a "saved search" and wait patiently. This strategy worked for me earlier this year (with a non-pipe item of moderate value and interest to a comparatively small collector community)--though it took 3 months for the post-confiscation listing to appear. Needless to say the high volume job lot UK outfit involved did NOT use EBay's global shipping, and my supposedly "prohibited item" arrived quickly and without incident within a week.
 
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shanez

Preferred Member
Jul 10, 2018
3,805
13,928
47
Las Vegas
Thanks for the replies. The shipper is going to try to get involved and we will see how it shakes out.
^^^^This.

I recently was refunded for a pipe through fleabay. I reached out to the seller (through people on this site no less) and was able to obtain the pipe directly. The seller is a stand up guy who was having an issue when I bought the pipe through fleabay. Directly, he was wonderful to deal with. So don't give up. Sometimes automated/electronic policies are just bad ideas. "Garbage in, garbage out" as my old programming teacher used to say.
 
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Chasing Embers

Captain of the Black Frigate
Nov 12, 2014
30,227
47,522
38.0565° N, 83.9433° W
Smoking pipe did it. I've seen Global Shipping confiscate them due to containing toxic substances (tobacco) whether they've been smoked or not. Even adding "tobacco" to a PayPal note can cancel shipments in some cases.
 
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captainsousie

Preferred Member
Aug 1, 2012
3,700
2,723
They do this to musical instruments too. I had a friend who modifies Rickenbacker bass guitars and re-sells them. One of his was confiscated by eBay because it used "banned materials". We assume they incorrectly identified the fretboard as rosewood. He went rounds with eBay to no avail.

You can keep an eye out for the pipe when they re-sell it in the USA but eBay thinks they are the ultimate authority and will not likely change their mind.
 

olkofri

Preferred Member
Sep 9, 2017
7,266
11,871
The Arm of Orion
Smoking pipe did it. I've seen Global Shipping confiscate them due to containing toxic substances (tobacco) whether they've been smoked or not. Even adding "tobacco" to a PayPal note can cancel shipments in some cases.
I'd not be surprised. What surprises me is that people are so candid with declarations. Just write supplies or something. Technically, you're not lying, and customs can always open them parcels if they want to.