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EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
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Wed June 12 2013 11:37:04

Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?

By: Reader
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Dear Ina,
It happens... sooner or later a seller will have a buyer, on eBay, who has "accidentally" bid on an item, or changed their mind regarding the purchase, soon after purchasing.

The buyer will request that the seller cancel the transaction. This is where the problem, with eBay's current system lies. The BUYER cannot request a cancellation - only the SELLER can do this. Now, when the seller goes to the resolution site to cancel the transaction - it is NOT the buyer, but now, it's the SELLER who is wanting to cancel.

Now at this point, the seller must wait seven days, giving the buyer "time" to "agree" to the seller's request. During this waiting period, the seller cannot re-list the item.

Once the buyer agrees to the cancellation, eBay closes the "cancel transaction" case - BUT the buyer is NOW given the opportunity to leave the seller feedback!! Feedback? From a buyer who requested to cancel? From a buyer who never paid for the item? Leaving the seller at RISK of receiving a negative or neutral feedback?

The ONLY option (to avoid this) is for the seller to IGNORE the buyer's request to cancel, THEN wait a number of days and file a NON-PAYMENT against the buyer...which often, understandably, angers the buyer...but, using THIS method, the buyer cannot leave feedback for the seller.

Imagine you sell TWO of the same type item to a buyer, and the buyer requests that you cancel ONE of them? (This happened to me.) You request a "cancel transaction" on the one item, and the buyer quickly pays for the second item, but fails to follow the process and "agree" to the cancellation? (They either do not understand, or are too busy to follow through.)

Now, you are in a position where you may easily receive not ONE but TWO negative feedbacks!!

All of this could be avoided simply if eBay would require the BUYER to file a request of cancellation, since THEY are the one requesting it, and THEN have the SELLER agree to the request! The item could be re-listed much quicker.

Considering ALL the changes that eBay is constantly making to their site, WHY don't they consider this change?
Thanks,
Betty
Reading EcommerceBytes Letters Blog: Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
Comments (32) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: AlBeSure This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 03:24:30 2013
Try this one that really happened.

Buyer only wants 1 item that is selling for $33 but claims that he made a mistake by picking 2 of the same item. Buyer pays $33 for the 1 item and asks Seller to cancel the mistake transaction.
Seller puts in a cancellation of transaction for the unwanted item as Buyer requested.

Buyer claims that Ebay sends email that I want to cancel all transactions and Buyer only wanted 1 item cancelled. Buyer informs ebay that only 1 item is to be cancelled and that the first item was already paid for. Ebay denies the cancellation of the 1 item stating that the Buyer wants the items in question. Ebay states to the Seller that he must to sell the item to the Buyer as Buyer is wanting to purchase that 1 item.
Then ebay invoices the Buyer for $33 and reminds the Buyer that they must purchase the item as the Seller does not want to cancel the transaction.
Do you think that ebay was a little GREEDY by forcing the extra sale? After all, ebay gets a listing fee, a final sales fee and a portion of the shipping as a shipping fee. So they can get double the monies. And of course paypal gets the double fee for handling the payments.

It was great for me that the Buyer blasted ebay for the forced purchase and not me for the ebay screw ups.
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: Nevets This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 07:17:01 2013
If eBay would just require the use of the shopping cart this would all be solved. The item(s) would not be sold until the buyer checked out by making payment.
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: Bethofvt This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 09:51:21 2013
Gina is right because if you do not accept the buyer cancellation request, they can pay for the item and just return the item when they get it and then you are out not only your FVF fees, but the shipping cost as well. And you then can't relist until you have the item back and hope it is still in saleable condition. And if you don't allow returns, they will just claim it was not as described. The buyers have all the power already. You might as well allow them to file a cancellation request. And if I cancel a transaction, I don't wait for the buyer's action, I relist immediately  
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: Dragonfyree This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 10:13:51 2013
I had someone in Canada buy 7 books from me last night and in her note for an invoice, said she didn't want to pay if the shipping was too high and was that all right with me.

It would be so much easier if she could just cancel from her end and I accept.

Do you get your final fees back if they don't accept the cancellation?  

I've never had that happen.  
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: tmooreseller This user has validated their user name.
       Web Site
Fri Jun 14 16:17:24 2013
It has always been the responsibility of a seller to cancel the transaction at the request of the buyer. I suspect this refusal is on the part of eBay to avoid the mess that would result if they did it, and prevents automatic cancellations without the input of the seller. I always thought it was not fair for eBay or PayPal to make these kinds of decisions, but if a sale is marked as final, it's final. eBay would like to avoid refunding final value fees, too, which it has never done before.
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Fri Jun 14 16:33:06 2013
@tmooreseller

I'm not sure I understand the point or points you are trying to get across.  If you wouldn't mind, would you explain further.

You stated " I suspect this refusal is on the part of eBay to avoid the mess that would result if they did it, and prevents automatic cancellations without the input of the seller."  Ebay has never had this policy or suggested that they would.  While Ebay does get involved in things that shouldn't in my opinion.  It is doubtful that they would insert themselves in this way.  Lots of trouble would be the result.  But I don't think we have anything to fear here as I don't think they would ever do this.

You stated "I always thought it was not fair for eBay or PayPal to make these kinds of decisions, but if a sale is marked as final, it's final."  I'm not aware that Ebay has done this before.  Would you please share some examples so we or I can better understand.  I'm only trying to learn something I wasn't aware of, nothing more.

You also stated "eBay would like to avoid refunding final value fees, too, which it has never done before."  Have you had problems getting your FVF back?  Ebay has always refunded the FVF if a proper MC is filed and executed.  When are you finding them to keep your FVF?
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: mimi51 This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 17:15:18 2013
Something that works for me when a buyer asks to cancel.  I send them an email explaining they have to agree to cancel or they will continue to receive ''balance due'' notices and a UPI will be filed.  I've never had a buyer fail to agree to the cancel since I started doing this.
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 18:10:17 2013
@AlBeSure
  ebay pays CSRs with sub-standard wages and careless about giving ample training.  
  No self-respecting American would want to fill ebay CSRs jobs, which is needless to sday, has worst  reputations and sub-standard wage.
  JD maximizes his take home bonuses by degrading buyer and seller satisfaction.  
  JD is attempting to patch its rotten image through yet another ... refreshed ebay-controlled community board.
  Mostly likely, by ebay statistics, enough innocent fools are out there to feed ebay greedy ambitions.

Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.
       
Fri Jun 14 18:22:27 2013
Yes. ebay always avoid refunding FVF.  Never fails.  For example, when Paypal and ebay grant refund, ebay doesn't automatically give back FVF.  So if seller is not alert on the process, ebay simply quietly takes this ill-kept commission.

When my international EMS parcel got lost, USPS won't admit it.  Ebay did not even pay me back the FVF included in it shipping cost. @AlBeSure is absolutely correct.  

Ebay avoided paying back any thing including TRS 20% refund which hundreds of sellers had their horror stories told here at EB.

I will give credit to Paypal from giving commissions back immediately.

If you lost our TRS for 1 month, your TRS 20% discount is penalized for 2 months.  Ebay accounting is trained to cheat as well.

Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: DR Scarlett This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jun 15 02:52:46 2013
The problem with a winning bidder being able to cancel a transaction would be a legal one.  Auctions, in most jurisdictions are covered by different laws than those covering other consumer purchases.  Placing a bid on an item being sold at auction is the same as making a binding offer to buy if the bid is accepted as the winning bid.  Failure to complete the sale would be a breach of contract and in most cases actionable, although with most eBay sales it wouldn't be economically feasible to pursue the matter through the courts.  So to permit the winning bidder to simply cancel the order wouldn't work.

With regard to non-auction style sales, perhaps such an option to cancel an order within a specified period of time after being placed might be feasible.  However, it would probably lead to considerably longer handling times before shipping since sellers would have to wait until the "cooling off" period  had ended before it would be safe to ship.  Of course, that would require considerable change to eBay's policies.
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
This user has validated their user name. by: Marie
       
Sat Jun 15 03:01:46 2013
@Powerseller

They don't penalize you for two months if you lose your TRS for one month.  Possibly you are looking at your invoice incorrectly as it does get confusing for sure.

It gets complicated [the only way Ebay likes it] because of the different dates that things are done.

Every month Ebay evaluates TRS status on the 20th of the month.  The status is awarded and it's taken away, whichever is appropriate.

But your TRS Status is really for the month that will begin 10 or 11 days later.

TRS discounts are on a calendar month not a fiscal month.

So lets say on June 20th, you lose your TRS status.  You will continue to get your discounts through the month of June, but starting July 1st you will not.  So for the entire month of July you will not get your TRS Discount because you lost the status.

Now if on July 20th you get your TRS status back, come August 1st, you will start getting your discounts again.

Watch your dashboard, you can see this happening.  When you lose your TRS on the 20th, you will notice the badge disappear, but in your Dashboard Summary where you see your status, you will see you are still getting the discount.  That will not change until the 1st of the following month.
Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?   Why Won't eBay Let Buyers Cancel an Order?
by: DR Scarlett This user has validated their user name.
       
Sat Jun 15 03:04:40 2013
One thing I forgot to mention is that eBay actually has no authority to cancel a transaction between a buyer and a seller without putting their status as that of being merely a venue at risk.  In fact, in the case of the sale being an auction, a good argument could be made that eBay was acting as an auction business and bring them under the regulations applicable to auction houses just like any other auction business.  
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