(I checked Snopes and so far nothing is there … could this be true? Sigh.)

Dear Helen Killer,

I love your site and was thrilled to hear of your “win” against PayPal. I recently had a heartbreaking experience of my own with them.

I sold an old French violin to a buyer in Canada, and the buyer disputed the label.

This is not uncommon. In the violin market, labels often mean little and there is often disagreement over them. Some of the most expensive violins in the world have disputed labels, but they are works of art nonetheless.

Rather than have the violin returned to me, PayPal made the buyer DESTROY the violin in order to get his money back. They somehow deemed the violin as “counterfeit” even though there is no such thing in the violin world.



  1. patti with an i

    Omigod. That’s just shameful. Don’t know whether the story is true, but there is definitely a photo of a smashed violin there, and that’s enough to lose sleep over. And based on our very limited interaction with PayPal, it’s entirely believable. Yikes.

  2. It IS painful to see, isn’t it?

    I’ve never had any issue with PayPal … you have, eh? I’ve only used it for a few things, and mostly just to send money to my kids. Should I be finding a different alternative, I wonder?