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Sun May 6 2012 11:59:01

Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies

By: Ina Steiner
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Dear Ina,
Most of the items that I sell on eBay are listed in the "Specialty Services > Printing & Personalization > Stickers & Decals" category. Due to the nature of the products sold in this category, the items do not qualify for eBay's "Buyer Protection" program and have (historically) been exempt from eBay's return-policy requirements.

I use eBay's "TurboLister" program for uploading and managing my listings. When creating a new listing in TurboLister, I'll select the "Printing & Personalization" category. Once this category has been selected, TurboLister automatically removes the field that permits me to specify a return policy.

This makes sense, because the category is (presumably) exempt from eBay's return policy requirements. (For the record, I do permit 14-day returns for items in this category, and I explain this in the text of my listing.)

Here's the problem: I'm now receiving emails, notices, and alerts from eBay letting me know that I need to "edit listings to meet Top-rated seller service requirements" and that about 95% of my listings "need return policy updates."

Where is the disconnect? What's going on?

My TurboLister software is up to date... yet it will NOT allow me to specify a return policy for items in this category. Is there an error in the software? Does this category now require a returns policy to be specified?

eBay's messages to me have a definite sense of urgency about them. It's clear that eBay REALLY wants me to update these listings to include a return policy so that I qualify for better placement in the search results, discounts, etc etc etc.

Will I be penalized for not being able to be full compliance with return policy standards because I list almost exclusively in a category that doesn't permit met to specify a returns policy?

Or, are these alerts and warnings being sent to me in error?

Will sellers be able to eventually specify a return policy for this category? (Will this require me to re-do all my listings, yet again?)

eBay says: "Adding these services is your choice, but starting June 1, 2012 only those listings from Top-rated sellers that offer the following terms will qualify for the greatest average boost in Best Match and a 20% final value fee discount: Handling time of 1 business day and a “Money Back” or “Money Back or exchange” return policy of at least 14 days."

It would be a big disappointment if I were to lose my Top Rated Seller status (and the discounts) simply because eBay's new return-policy requirements are incompatible with the category in which I primarily list.

I can only assume that eBay programmers and "email-writers" and "alert-senders" are unaware that the "Printing & Personalization" category has different return policy requirements. Or... maybe it's that eBay's "policy-writers" have neglected to tell the others how everything is supposed to fit together.

It's truly maddening.

Sincerely,
A Loyal Reader




Comments (12) | Permalink
Readers Comments

Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 6 13:00:22 2012
It says on eBay's Turbolister release notes that the last update was, well, 2/4/2005, 7 years ago.  

If eBay doesn't update that to take into account their new improved daily changing company policy of the day I don't see how you would be able to use it anymore to manage your listings.  

It looks like Turbolister is not being maintained.

Maybe they will have to put a little effort into that one or dump it alltogether.  
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sun May 6 13:28:57 2012
I also use the turbo lister program. It's so clunky, and so ''visual-basic-y''. Slow and buggy. The only benefit is that I can (somewhat) easily duplicate and add and edit listings in bulk. But even that is a struggle sometimes.

I often wonder if turbo lister has been abandoned with the intent of discouraging small sellers.  
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Stockmiser
       
Sun May 6 13:34:36 2012
''It would be a big disappointment if I were to lose my Top Rated Seller status (and the discounts) simply because eBay's new return-policy requirements are incompatible with the category in which I primarily list. ''

I think that is exactly their intention.  Many of the items I sell are easily shipped in letter envelopes - but then I cannot add tracking, which is a TRS requirement regardless of what I sell.

As the ebay rep told me, ''TRS status is being reserved for those sellers that meet the requirements.  If that doesn't work with what you sell or fit into your business concept, that's okay, you don't have to be a TRS to sell on ebay''

@OP - I would suggest you change categories if you want to retain your TRS.  I also sell some personalized products, and I do not use that ''services'' category.
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Roger Rabbit
       
Sun May 6 13:35:48 2012
All eBay wants is to strip TRSs of their 20% FVF discount.

Non-compliant TSRs (no returns and/or longer than one business day shipping time) will be able to keep their badges.

eBay eats the candy bar and non-compliant TRSs can keep the wrapper...which was the game plan all along.  
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Sun May 6 14:15:16 2012
Stockmiser quotes an eBay rep: ''...you don't have to be a TRS to sell on ebay''

That rep's statement needs correcting.

Strike ''sell''. Replace with ''list''.  
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless
       
Sun May 6 17:23:15 2012
Maintain TurboLister? Ha!

You get what you pay for and a lot less on ebafia, and TurboLister is free.

Ebafia doesn't care whether TurboLister works well or not, and they're not going to spend money fixing it when there's no potential for significant monetization as long as it's free.

TurboLister is also a tool ebafia uses to eradicate sellers by chronic double listings of OOAK items and mysteriously relisting OOAK already sold items.

This enables ebafia to lower a seller's policy compliance rating while enabling buyers to blast seller stars.

Ebafia management is manifestly evil.
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.
       
Sun May 6 20:01:39 2012
Everyone who buys on eBay wants:
1. Cheap Prices- unreasonably cheap. So low the item couldn't have nearly been made for what you paid!
2. Fast free shipping- like free FedEx Express service.
3. End to end tracking- so you know where your package is minute by minute!
4. Great warranties- just like if you paid full price at Nordstrom!
5. Easy no hassle returns- just like if  you paid full price at Nordstrom!

But no one is willing to pay for all that.  There's a definite cost to all that stuff!  

When you are buying a used item for maybe 90% off it's new cost couldn't you afford to give up some of that to save money?  It'd be worth it, wouldn't it?

Most people would say ''Yes, I would be willing to give up something to get really really cheap prices''.  

But eBay is trying to give everyone all of it, and make sellers pay for it.  
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
by: Ed This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 7 09:23:20 2012
ebay ask our buyers if the shipping cost is reasonable after they require us to pay for additional features that the buyers are not aware of such as:

1. ebay sellers must insure every thing they sell against damage. USPS charges $1.75

2. ebay charges seller aprox 10% fees on top of the shipping fees.

3. PayPal charges seller aprox 5% fees on top of the shipping fees.

4. eBay shipping calculator over charges customers on combined shipping. It can't figure cost between 1st class items and priority. It can figure if combine items into more than one box and does not know if several items can fit into flat rate boxes. It won't tell you if UPS or FedEx would be lower to ship but is quick to allow a buyer to pay over charge payments.

5. Buyers don't know that sellers that ship FedEX or UPS have to pay an 8% gasoline surcharge.

6. Buyers don't know that sellers that that ship FedEX or UPS have to pay $2.35 extra for Home Delivery.

7. USPS has 8 shipping zones and charge by the size and weight of the box and sellers don't have distribution centers so every thing can ship zone 1.

With all these extra fees and charges is shipping very reasonable?  
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
by: flyingdutchman This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 7 10:16:10 2012
OP: You must offer 'exchange or money back' or 'money back' now as part of your return policies.

IMHO, raise your prices 5% and forget about the TRS.  I'm a buyer and I do not care about TRS or feedback since as a seller I know it is completely arbitrary.  I feel many sellers put far too much stock into what feedback and TRS actually do for them.  As a buyer, the only thing I care about is price.  That's it!
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.
       
Mon May 7 10:29:08 2012
There's a whole other world out there...Etsy, Amazon, Ecrater , Craigslist, etc etc, don't get stuck on eBay, eBay doesn't give a damn about you!!!
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie
       
Mon May 7 10:59:38 2012
@FlyingDutchman: If I'm reading the OP's letter correctly, he or she does allow refunds. The problem described is that the Turbolister software does not allow sellers to fill in the field (or check the option) for that particular requirement.
Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies   Unable To Comply with Mismatched eBay Policies
This user has validated their user name. by: Spartacus
       
Wed May 9 11:51:05 2012
Ming said ''TurboLister is also a tool ebafia uses to eradicate sellers by chronic double listings of OOAK items and mysteriously relisting OOAK already sold items.
''

That's why I quit using Turbo Lister, it was spitting out duplicate listings and of course, those were the ones that sold and had to explain to buyers why I didn't have the item that sold months ago. Luckily, I never got a neg or neutral from those buyers.

I also sell in category that returns can't be accepted. Surprise, it's where all my highest priced items are but only 5% of my inventory so it won't affect my TRS, although an eBay rep told me the FVF discount wouldn't be applied to those items.

eBay are snakes in the grass. Be careful where you step because you can wash dog poo of you're shoes but step on a snake and you might get  bitten.



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