Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Nov 7 2017 16:36:04

Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay launched new returns and refund practices, as we reported in Newsflash today. A reader suggested we put this on the blog as well, which gets more comments, because they suspect sellers will have questions.

The first is change is called "Automatic Acceptance of Returns," which occurs when buyers have paid shipping costs. 

"If your policy requires the buyer to pay for return shipping in cases of buyer remorse, requests for returns are accepted automatically and we'll provide the buyer with a return shipping label. This only occurs when you're OK with a buyer paying to ship back an item they no longer want.
 
"If you're responsible for the cost of return shipping, you still have three business days to provide your own return label before one will be automatically sent to the buyer. This occurs if you offer free returns or if the buyer has an issue with an item.
 
"No return requests are automatically accepted for items that have no returns."

The second is a partial refund option for free returns:

"Sellers who offer free returns - free return shipping and no restocking fees - now have the option to give less than full refunds. You can deduct up to 50% of the item price if the returned item is damaged, missing parts, or otherwise not in the same condition as when you shipped it.
 
"At eBay, we're committed to partnering with you to provide excellent after-sales customer service. And there are even more ways to ensure the returns process goes smoothly. Visit your return preferences to create rules to automate when you send immediate refunds."

Let us know what questions you have about these changes, which had previously been announced as part of the Fall Seller Update. Anything to worry you going into the holiday-shopping season?




Comments (79) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 7 17:28:00 2017

I want more information on how much I can hold back on items.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 7 17:34:00 2017

All the more reason for sellers to start their own website and get off of eBay, no way you put the customer in charge of immediate refunds or eBay for that matter, all sellers should move to NO RETURNS if they sell on eBay.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Nov 7 17:42:54 2017

"At eBay, we're committed to partnering with you...."

Do they honestly think any seller is going to believe that?

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 7 18:06:12 2017

Yesterday, I commented how they encourage returns.  They didn't just double down, they tripled or quadrupled down. God help the clothing sellers who will definitely see returns sky rocket.   Wear and return will be the norm.

What seller would not want to go to no returns with this no win policy.  eBay have their hands in your pocket.....again!

Perhaps a cheerleader can weigh in and tell us why this is good.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 7 18:08:55 2017

Can someone clarify this statement?  ""If your policy requires the buyer to pay for return shipping in cases of buyer remorse, requests for returns are accepted automatically and we'll provide the buyer with a return shipping label. This only occurs when you're OK with a buyer paying to ship back an item they no longer want."

Does the seller pay for this label, or does the buyer?   eBay states that they provide the buyer with the shipping label......I don't want to simply assume that the buyer will pay for that.  With eBay, I would not be surprised despite the sellers' policies that they still make the seller pay for it. Will someone please clarify?

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 7 19:15:00 2017

@Rexford

Clarification: fleecebay will keep their grubby hands in your pocket any way that they can.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 7 19:26:25 2017

@RL15

How does a return put money in the hands of Ebay?

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 7 20:04:47 2017

''How does a return put money in the hands of Ebay?''

eBay does not refund any FVF charged on original shipping right?(unless of course it was sent...'free' (aka embedded, included, invisible, etc.)).

eBay does not reduce their claim of a sale (goes to 'growth' claims), which though 'intangible' still increases apparent 'value' of the venue.

They also do not reduce their GMV clams for the value of the returrn (since that is not accountable income to them).  Only the FVF, for which any 'refund' is tax deductable

eBay will not refund any listing fee, which is an effective loss to the seller as well, since they now have to start all over - IF they can.

Finally, considering how eBay 'processes' any refund (of associated seller invoiced FVF), and depending on the 'timing', it often occurs that a seller pays a current invoice a full month before any 'credit' is recorded.  That's a nice float, with interest.

Yes, 'it' 'sold', and yet, it didn't in the end.  And nobody but eBay benefits from the return.  And everybody but eBay is out of pocket in some way.  

An altruistc eBay?  Wouldn't put any money on it.



Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Nov 7 20:47:51 2017

Another devious move to eliminate more TRS sellers.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 7 22:37:54 2017

At eBay, we’re committed to harasssing you as a seller about returns 24/7/365.



We tell you that we are partnering with you to provide excellent after-sales customer service, but its simply not the case.



Its the Amazon 1-upsmanship and the small mindedness of the people in charge who have no retail experience.



Most companies are pulling back on returns (but not us here at eBay) ( since we dont sell anything, warehouse anything or even ship anything) but we know BEST of all .... (well we for SURE know better then you!)



If we were REALLY your partners (as we claim) we would do our best to MINIMIZE returns, but we dont. See we told the courts we were "just a venue", but in reality we are a "managed marketplace" (and our TOS means we can do ANYTHING we'de like to you - and theres not a d@rn thing you can do about it!).



If you listen to the "eBay radio shows" you can find out about how eBay and Paypal are 2 different companies, yet even though YOU pay for the merchant fees (the %3+ vig to Paypal to process a buyers credit card)  Paypal listens to eBay and NOT to you. eBay can and will dictate to Paypal to debit you AT WILL - and theres not a thing you can do about it  Smiley Happy (with love from the boys in San Jose!).



But as small sellers we must not complain too much - or San Jose may cook up more secret hidden rules (just read some of the responces the eBay blues here have mentioned!). Of course its not really all that legal - but that doesnt stop US - since again - theres nothing you can do about it!  (Imagine buying a home or a car, only to find out that there are secret provisions in the contract ... and they cant tell you them since if the information got out - there would be a problem. That of course DOESNT work in the real world but it does here on eBay!!



So yes, eBay has once again interfered in a place it shouldnt, picked sides in a transaction without being fair, has its thumb on the scales once again, and somehow MIRACULOUSLY just happened to make money on that return label.



Merry Christmas from the Color Your Cart crowd in San Jose!

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 7 23:44:37 2017

Sellers have a way, sell with no returns, close all stores, start listing on other venues, start a store on Shopify or BigCommerce with the money from closing your eBay stores, only list on eBay with your free monthly listings and other listing promotions.

Vote with your money, do not use promoted listings, if eBay does not produce sales for you, they don't make a dime, take control of YOUR BUSINESS ON EBAY.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 8 01:21:11 2017

Why doesn't Wenig just say it & be done with it:  ...Death to all Small Sellers.  

I don't have any questions because I don't care anymore.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Nov 8 02:27:33 2017

@snapped

"eBay does not refund any FVF charged on original shipping right?(unless of course it was sent...'free' (aka embedded, included, invisible, etc.))."  NO.  If the seller fully refunded the buyer during the Request stage, then the seller is fully refunded for FVFs paid to Ebay.  Now if the Request is escalated to a claim and the seller loses that claim, then Ebay retains the entire FVF.

GMV is a number, it is not their profit on a transaction and certainly not on a return.  The question I asked was how does Ebay profit off of returns?

Listing fees have never been refunded during the return process or cancellation process.  However a while back Ebay does refund the listing fee on an auction that sells.

@Ebay shill buster

A big over-reaction to something you don't even have to participate in if you don't want to, except if a Request for return has been filed and the seller has not responded to the buyer within 3 business days of the Request being filed.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 8 08:48:42 2017

"You can deduct up to 50% of the item price if the returned item is damaged, missing parts...."

Translation: "Good News! Liar Buyer can now screw you out of 'only' HALF your money if he returns a phone with a 'missing' [ie. stolen] SIM card, laptop with the guts pulled out, or perhaps an engine with no crankshaft!" That's right; YOU get the shaft!

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 8 08:53:16 2017

So if the buyer opens a remorse claim, the return is automatically accepted, and ebay sends the buyer a label, I'm assuming that the buyer gets billed for that.  What happens when the buyer returns a phone book?  There is no option to dispute that return that is mentioned anywhere.  I want the option to speak to my buyer before they have their return automatically accepted.  I do not just want to take stuff back willy nilly.  But then I will NEVER offer returns for remorse on ebay.  The only way you ever get a chance to negotiate or investigate is to NOT automatically accept returns. I want the choice of dealing with an honest mistake or a scammer, which most seem to be today on ebay.  Ebay just cannot get out of their own way.  When was the last time you ever saw, front page and center, on Amazon, how "you are protected".  Ebay starts a sentence with a negative, breaking the most cardinal rule in sales.  That right there exhibits pure stupidity.  That says all you need to know about ebay.  And they are STILL the biggest scampit on the web.  

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 8 08:54:41 2017

@Buster

I certainly DO 'vote with my money." Just about EVERYTHING listed on feeBay is also on What's-His-Name's List. I don't have to pack and ship just do a meetup with the buyer and put the cash in my pocket and it stays there. Cash sale; no buyer's remorse and no Liar Buyers. What makes my day is going onto feeBay and cancelling a listing with reason "Item is no longer available for sale." They should add another reason: Sold on Seller-friendly ecommerce platform!

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 8 11:06:37 2017

That's funny Marie, sellers are getting burned big time by eBay for store fees due to sales and profits that are nil on eBay due to all the technical problems they are having even delivering simple web pages and returning search results without locking up a users device and you think we should keep paying big bucks for stores that are not producing a profit.

eBay should be put on a pay for performance structure by all sellers, in other words if they do not produce sales, they do not make a dime.

Close all stores, do not use promoted listings, only list on eBay when your listings are free, do not accept returns, this is the only way a seller can make a profit 'selling' on eBay if that is even a possibility any longer.

Business is dead because traffic is dead, eBay has no customers, they have run them all off, they are called 'small sellers' and Devin's day of doom is upon us now.  

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 8 11:48:36 2017

Nobody seems to read:

''No return requests are automatically accepted for items that have no returns''

This seems to say that 'no returns items' can be returned anyway. Which, I might add, is typical of Ebay over-ruling seller's policies.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Nov 8 12:32:07 2017

Many Questions Here..........

If a buyer has a remorse return, and a shipping label is printed, who pays for the label? Hopefully not the seller!!

And how do we charge a restock fee to recover our shipping costs?? Legally and morally, a seller shouldn't lose any money on mailing just because a buyer changes their mind.

Yes, as Marie and others have mentioned, there WAS a workaround to charge a restocking fee- explain in a professional manner to the buyer that they must pay shipping both ways on a remorse return, and then refund via PayPal (after deducting the mailing costs) when the item is received safely.

With this program, all a buyer has to do is claim a return, and the rest is done automatically. Again, there is no provision to charge a restocking fee, unless the percentage is included in the listing details. And this is a big turn-off to buyers.

Also, most all buyers will claim SNAD to avoid paying ANY shipping costs. Even though a victimized seller can report a liar buyer, we all know these types of claims are never investigated or acted upon. They will go to great lengths not to alienate their buyer base, even if solid evidence is presented.

Another attempt by eBay to pull more money out of all seller's pockets. Of course, when questioned about it, they will claim that this is the new eCommerce standard expected, and your sales MAY increase by (a certain) percentage because of this program. Baloney.

And one can only deduct the up to 50% (if the item is missing parts) if they have opted into the ''Free Returns'' program. So scammers can still get their money back by returning a box of rocks, with no questions asked.

Seems like eBay is making another push to rid themselves of small sellers with this program. Only large sellers can afford to lose big money on every return by allowing buyers to send everything back for free.

Which brings up this point: Is the future of this site going to either free returns, or NO returns? Since the Top-Rated seller discounts aren't really that substantial any more, small and mid-sized sellers may just go to a no returns business model. Sure, your listings will not come up in search as often, but if everyone decides not to offer returns, how many listings could be hidden? All of them??

If and when the day comes where over one-half of the items cannot be returned easily, how does this benefit eBay? Sure, a buyer can file a return claim, and the seller would have to comply, but none of the process would be streamlined. One or two of these experiences, and the customer will not go to eBay again. This cannot be good for anyone involved.

Perminate Link for Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds   Questions about New eBay Returns and Refunds

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Nov 8 12:46:36 2017

@Ebay Shill Buster

I know you always like to bring other subjects into a conversation and portray my statements as covering other subjects when it is in no way true.  I did not mention or address store fees, promoted listings, etc.  If you'd like to discuss the subject of this blog specifically, I'd be happy to do that.

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