Metro man left scrambling after international scammer purchased his Mahomes memorabilia on eBay

Problem Solvers

KANSAS CITY, Mo. —  Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes is so popular that the value of his collectibles, including signed jerseys and trading cards, has tripled in recent months. But cashing in on those items can be risky as one metro man learned.

“This was one I had two of,” said Brad Ziegler, a retired major league baseball pitcher, who has spent decades collecting sports cards, including the one he was showing us: A Patrick Mahomes rookie card.

“If Mahomes has a good day, his rookie card goes crazy,” Ziegler explained, who decided last fall to sell it on eBay for $939 – a decent profit on a card that had cost him less than $200.

He quickly sold it to a Canadian buyer. After verifying the buyer’s credit card payment had cleared, Ziegler shipped the card that day.

But then it got weird. Once the card had left the United States and was en route inside Canada, the man buying the card filed a dispute with his credit card company, claiming it was unauthorized transaction.

PayPal, which handled the payment, asked Ziegler for documentation of the transaction. Ziegler said he gave PayPal everything it wanted, including a video he had shot of him mailing the card. The video shows him putting the card inside the package, sealing it, and then shows the tracking number.

Despite a stellar record as an eBay seller, PayPal ruled against Ziegler and in favor of the buyer. PayPal then demanded Ziegler give PayPal back the money he had received for the card, which Ziegler had already transferred to his bank account.

Ziegler refused and called eBay for help, which acknowledged there was something fishy about the Canadian buyer. He had opened the eBay account the day of the purchase and had never looked at it since. Plus, the tracking number showed the Mahomes card had been delivered to the buyer’s address in Hamilton, Ontario. 

“eBay froze that account and then they took that name and address and froze any other account that might have been tied to that same person,” Ziegler said.

Armed with that damning information, Ziegler called PayPal to get his name cleared as well as the $939 debit removed that PayPal had placed on his account.

But PayPal wouldn’t budge.

“You are as high up in the call chain as you can go, and there is nothing we can do for you at this time,” Ziegler said PayPal told him.

Nothing about this tale surprises Robert Kleinhem, who owns MO Sports Authentics, Apparel & Gifts, in Kansas City’s Northland. Kleinhem has learned to never ship outside the United States.

“For us, it’s not worth the hassle,” said Kleinhem.

Besides having to deal with the occasional fraud, Kleinhem said you also have to mess with international customs and different postal systems. He tells international customers wanting items shipped that he’ll ship it to someone they know in the United States and that person can ship it to them.

But back to Ziegler. He refused to give up and took to Twitter to complain – making sure PayPal saw it.

“Immediately someone from PayPal Twitter sent me a private message… We’ll escalate this to a claim,” Ziegler said he was told.

But the problem still wasn’t solved. PayPal again said there was nothing it could do, claiming Ziegler waited too long to send PayPal the tracking number so that it could investigate his complaint.

“I went back and looked and one of the emails. I sent the tracking information two hours after I received the email notifying me of the dispute,” Ziegler said.

But PayPal wouldn’t budge.

“It was almost like speaking to a robot at one point,” Ziegler said.

But a PayPal robot was no match for Ziegler, who had spent a MLB career facing down worthy opponents. He took to Twitter again. Again PayPal contacted him and promised to solve the problem.

This time it did.

Ziegler got to keep the money he got for his Mahomes’ card and that Canadian fraudster is now PayPal’s problem.

The moral of this story is avoid selling big-ticket items internationally, and if you have a problem getting help from PayPal, head to Twitter.

FOX4 Problem Solvers contacted PayPal for its side in this whole dispute, but we’ve never heard back.

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