Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Nov 14 2017 21:20:07

Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

An eBay seller was left out of pocket thanks to a glitch that he said is a persistent problem involving returns. Whether or not it is as widespread as the seller suspects, it's costly for sellers and pure profit for eBay when it does occur.

Here's how he described the problem:

"It happens when sellers receive return items back from buyers. Some recurring glitch makes it impossible to refund the buyer after receiving the returned items. As seller you have to ask eBay to step in for them to manually make the refund to the seller. As soon as you do this you do not get your Final Value Fees back any more from eBay. You asked them to step in which means eBay no longer pays your FVF (Final Value Fee)."

Many sellers understand that the listing fee is an expense that they pay even if things end up going wrong with a transaction. But when a transaction is not consummated, they feel a commission is not warranted. FVFs can be quite hefty since it's a percentage of the selling price.

Nevertheless, eBay policy states: "You're responsible for final value fees whether you complete a transaction with a buyer or not. In a few circumstances, however, you may be eligible for a final value fee credit." 

One of those situations is "You resolve a transaction issue and refund the buyer." eBay provides the following example: "A buyer asks to return an item or reports that they didn't receive an item, you resolve the issue, and you refund the buyer." In that case, eBay states it will refund the FVFs.

The eBay help page describes what to do and notes, "Important: You won't receive a final value fee credit if the buyer asks us to step in and help with a return or an item they didn't receive."

In the case of the reader, he accepted a return and had to ask eBay to manually credit the buyer since it wouldn't go through for him. "I did not get my FVF back. And now have to contact eBay again."

The seller searched Google for "the refund you sent didn't go through" eBay problem and found there were other complaints about it. "It makes me upset that honest sellers are hurt this way."

The story doesn't end there, though. The reader told us he thought it was ridiculous that he would have to "beg" eBay to get his FVFs back, and said some sellers won't know this is happening and would be left out of pocket.

However, when he requested the FVF credit, eBay denied his request. And he lost the appeal.

It's troubling that eBay didn't honor its policy in this instance and even more troubling that sellers have no recourse in such cases.




Comments (17) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: booklover27 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 14 22:17:17 2017

They've been stealing for years.  This is one more gimmick to help their shrinking bottom line.  I think that this can certainly be reported to your state or federal attorneys office.  It's a great case for one those civil lawsuits representing the thousands of abused ebayers:  Go here:

Financial Fraud Crime Victims USAO-WDWA Department of Justice
https://www.justice.gov/usao-wdwa/victim-witness/victim-inf
o/financial-fraud

Mr.
Sessions will probably be interested in this one...

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Nov 14 23:30:14 2017

I sold an item on Oct. 28th
Customer says they ordered the wrong one by mistake.
The shipped it back with a eBay return service label
Received item on Saturday the 11th
I went to refund them today and eBay had $40 listed for a refund and a box to check if I desired to refund $7 original shipping which I did because the buyer was new with only 3 feedback.

eBay refunded me my FVF on the item. . .

If the OP called eBay I'm sure they would refund their Final Valuation Fee's
I want that person to know that eBay's a good place to buy items.
I had no problem refunding them. . .

PS: Lithium gave me a Lifetime ban on the community boards today! So I'll just post on eBay's Facebook page instead. . .

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Wed Nov 15 06:38:31 2017

Booklover27 says "Mr. Sessions will probably be interested in this one..."

No, he suffers from amnesia.  Or at least a selective memory.  If Wenig were a minority you might get some help.

Small sellers need a modern day Norma Rae to start a social media campaign from hell to expose this company and their practices, particularly their treatment of small sellers.   I think someone mentioned Michael Moore in the past.

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 15 09:03:31 2017

eBay just loves it whenever a seller is compelled to ask for 'help'.  Because it always 'helps' eBay pad their bottom line at a seller's expense.  

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 15 13:00:12 2017

That is simply theft, to keep a fvf even on any type of return.

They also steal when they charge 1.00 even though it says free, yet will not refund unless the person calls. Ignoring a known problem is fraud and Ebay needs to be shut down for 3 or 4 years for a full investigation, and the last 4 ceos need to be arrested and imprisoned for life, and all of their money confiscated. Their sons and daughters should be arrested for allowing their parents to be criminals and not blowing the whistle.

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 15 16:46:07 2017

Ebay support should be able to issue a FVF credit in this situation. If you are asking ebay to step in because a problem with the buyer account prevents you from doing the return on your own, then ebay does have to issue the refund. But they will remove the defect and credit back the FVF. Just make sure you call and explain the problem not wait for ebay to step in at the buyers request.

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 15 23:47:07 2017

Ah @toolguy--- if you are as snooty on lithium as you have been here-- where you are always holier than thou and present yourself as ebays lil Colbert word--- then someone at lithium was doing their job bigly.  Maybe you should take a moment to think WHY they banned you and adjust accordingly.

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 15 23:50:44 2017

If you do call, and they tell you that the refund will be credited in days or 24 hours they are lying. Every credit I ever received they did while I was on the phone. Any time I was told of a future credit it never arrived.

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: DeathFromAbove This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 00:08:52 2017

They also steal your handling fee if you give a buyer-fault refund (minus shipping and restocking fees).   Basically anything you enter in the "handling fee" field at listing time, is stolen from the refund and returned to the buyer.  Meaning the refund amount doesn't add up correctly, and will confuse everyone involved because it will be too much, and probably more than you would have promised upon return. Calling eBay about it is an exercise in frustration and wasted time, because they don't seem to understand something is broken.  No way around it.

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 00:14:24 2017

I always make my refunds through Paypal. So far (knock on wood) they have never refused to make the transaction.  

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Nov 16 00:26:23 2017

I have issues with refunds often. Here's why: a customer returns an item I sold with 'free shipping.' My return policy states that I will deduct original shipping when the item is returned (unless I make an error). I get the item back and then refund the buyer through PayPal minus the shipping. Now I have a problem: my FVF. I call eBay and get a manual override. So far, eBay has accommodated all my requests. It's an annoying inconvenience but eBay has cooperated flawlessly in the process.

@toolguy Why in the world would you get banned? (I'm not being facetious.) I don't know what I would do without you and pace306. :-)

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: longtimepowerseller This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 07:04:52 2017

The biggest out and out theft by eBay is the completely unjustifiable FVF on shipping, but that’s another story.  

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 08:46:16 2017

I don't often have returns since I try to deal with the issue before the return.  My problem is when I give a buyer a refund because they indicate the item has a little issue I didn't notice or one item in the shipment broke or I didn't want to bother with insurance (or I shipped SmartPost that doesn't include insurance).  I give the refund through Paypal and, if the customer doesn't ask for a partial refund on the order, then I don't get my fees back.  Once a refund has been given through Paypal for a Paypal shipment (either for shipping multiple items or refunding part of an order), Ebay should refund our fees. They are so worried about us selling something and avoiding fees, they should do the same for sellers and make sure we don't pay fees that aren't valid.  

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 10:02:45 2017

So everyone hates ebay - just tell me where else I can go or somebody please start a new site that actually will draw buyers in - thank you

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 10:05:11 2017

A venue that fights us for nickels and dimes (to them, not to us)... has deep problems that Wall Street is unaware of...

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 16 12:31:50 2017

What seems like a decade ago, several times I called customer service for help.  I think I even had an American service rep.  All to no avail.  Waste of time.  I never bother with their inept customer service any more.

After reading time and again how many sellers spend hours trying to have eBay do the right thing and fix a problem with unsatisfactory results, I shake my head at how much time is lost not working to make money on eBay.

When sellers should be adding new listings to their eBay stores making money, they spend time ''chasing their tails'' on the phone fruitlessly talking or waiting to talk to customer service on the far side of the planet.

And now McToolGuy has been banned!  Outrageous!  Simply Outrageous!

Perminate Link for Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'   Another Case of eBay Profiting from a 'Glitch'

This user has validated their user name. by: iBuyers

Thu Nov 16 15:08:44 2017

This issue is sill happening, we had two on 11-14-17



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.