Join Date: Jun 2007
Location: Santa Cruz, CA, US
Bikes: 3 folders, 2 recumbents (1 is electric), 1 recumbent trike, 1 touring, 1 mountain, 1 road bike -- So many bicycles, so little time.
I've ordered a bike from a China seller on the Chinese eCommerce site called AliExpress. They do it a little differently. When you order, AliExpress collects your money and holds it. The seller has a certain number of days to tell AliExpress that the product was shipped and to post the tracking number. If the seller doesn't do that within the days allowed, the order automatically is canceled and your money is refunded by AliExpress. If the product is shipped (or seller claims to have shipped it by updating the shipping status), then the buyer must tell AliExpress when the product arrives, at which time the money is released to the seller. The buyer has only about 30 days to do that. If the buyer doesn't, then the order is considered fulfilled and money goes to the seller. If the buyer doesn't get the product within the estimated shipping time, then the buyer can file a claim against the seller regarding the order as long as it's done before the expiration date of the transaction. Then AliExpress will investigate, adjudicate, and if there's no evidence submitted that confirms shipping and delivery, the buyer is refunded; otherwise if the seller didn't fail to perform, the seller gets the money. So, AliExpress acts as a sort of escrow agent between buyer and seller.