Buyer paid and now not responding


I had a snake for sale this spring that was purchased and paid in full. Due to high temps where the buyer lives, that animal is still here with me. In June, I listed two other snakes of the same species as the first, and the same buyer put a 5% deposit on them and we agreed she would pay the balance when a shipping window opened up, and I’d ship out all three animals at once.

I kept in contact, sent pics a couple of times through the summer to maintain communication. Our last exchange was August 16th. I messaged her on September 18th because the weather was starting to cool, but she has not read my message or responded. I messaged again on the 22nd and still nothing.

It’s been 2 weeks since I tried to set up a shipping plan and almost 7 weeks since the buyer last responded to me. I want to get these animals sold and shipped before it gets too cold in my area, as I am getting out of the hobby indefinitely and these are the last animals of my collection. Would I be wrong to relist the snakes and keep the deposits in this scenario?

Any advice is appreciated.


Can you contact her any other way?
If so do try.
Make clear deposits are non refundable (if in your t and c)
And that this will be a last message to get gain contact before they’re relisted as you’ve not heard back in (insert weeks). X


So this is the section of MM’s default store policy that covers this:

I would say send the buyer another message through every possible channel (MM message, and if they have email/phone listed on buyer profile) and inform them that they have x amount of time to respond before their payment will be refunded and the animals re-listed. Because you are initiating the re-list, I believe that makes you liable for fully refunding all money paid up to this point.

However, I will tag @eaglereptiles to clarify, does SoL for non-delivery include unresponsive buyers? And if so, does it still count as the seller backing out/require full refund?


@apple I agree with you @noodlehaus on the refunding issue. This is a bit different from someone backing out of the deal Right Now because you don’t if if they have backed out and just don’t want to respond to confirm it.

As Jess said, you should try every other available option to contact his person, if there are even any, especially if the person has paid for the animal in full, before you put that animal back up for sale. That would be the stickier situation.

The deposits on the 2nd 2 animals would, imo, remain non-refundable and the animals would be eligible for re posting on MM if the person, after a certain amount of time set by @apple in a last attempt to get a response, does not respond……


I agree with @caron & @noodlehaus as well. Also in my opinion- They paid for the first animal in full months ago. Also put down deposits on 2 more, so they should be buying 3 animals from you. I would wait longer, try everything to contact them. Give them the benefit of the doubt for a while longer, just because they already showed how serious they are because paid in full on the first one.


Also @apple! Welcome to the forum family! We are glad to have you here even though you are having problems! These are great people and you will certainly get all the support possible! :blush::pray::+1:


The problem is, the non-refundable deposit is only non-refundable as stated in the section I posted above if the buyer backs out, which is why I tagged asking for clarification. As written, the OP would be required to refund any and all money paid thus far, including deposits, regardless of opinion.

Now, if the SoL applies equally to both parties, then it might be a different story. If the last payment was over 90 days ago, the OP would be able to retain the deposits and only refund anything over that.


Ok this makes sense but there are too many “ifs”? right now so hopefully this person will finally respond if at all possible……


Does MM have any contact details for the buyer that they dont have displayed publicly? If its not appropriate for them to send you those details, maybe they could send an email or sms message on your behalf to let them know that they have in app messages they need to respond to.
If they gave you a shipping address, maybe a snail mail letter with your own contact info would work? Not to be dark but if they turn out to have passed away or something then at least someone else would be able to get in touch.


@noodlehaus you are absolutely on the ball!

So as of right this moment (but this is something we are discussing changing) there is no protection if a buyer goes missing. You need to pay back 100% of their money as things stand, if things get disputed with MM. However it would not be unfair to keep the deposit if this is solved privately.

But we will be adding a line like “Should a buyer fail to communicate with a seller, after sending money, for X amount of time, any predetermined nonrefundable amount will be considered forfeited.”


I definitely agree the buyer should be responsible after x amount of days for the non-refundable deposit.
They’re doing what they can.
I know in the case of animal abandonment issues where I am in California, if a client abandon’s a pet with no contact for 14 days, animal control then gets involved. 14 days of no contact seems like a good time rate to consider no contact for deposit reasons as well. Which it seems like this seller is already past. 2 weeks waiting for shipping confirmation and 5 weeks without contact prior.

I think a partial refund (purchased animal price - deposit cost) should be returned.
But this is 2 weeks time where the animals all could have been paid off and shipped that they have now not been listed and have been cared for by the seller. Not having to be held over because of weather.


As there isn’t currently this protection under the default, if a seller were to put a time limit in their store policy section for buyer response pre/post payment, would that be considered in a dispute or does the DSP override that? I was thinking that could be a temporary fix until sitewide changes are made.


I wonder if someone stole the purchase//payment information to make these transactions (like a juvenile) or someone pulling a prank? I know this is far fetched but stranger things have happened……? :thinking:

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Absolutely that would be taken into account. There isn’t a direct DSP point that would override that in a sellers store policy, however, that line is underlined in the DSP… so it would need to be worded as “should a buyer fail to respond within … this will be considered as the buyer backing out of the deal”.

You could even strengthen it to the max and add “all payments are nonrefundable”.