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eBay Passes Buck on Tracking Gap Claims

eBay is passing the buck when it comes to certain claims filed against sellers, with the company’s seller advocate advising there was little a seller could do when USPS tracking information is no longer available.

The “tracking gap” problem is being felt now due to PayPal’s policy that went into effect in November when PayPal began permitting chargebacks up to 180 days after a sale. The problem? The USPS only keeps delivery tracking information for 120 days.

When an eBay seller asked how sellers could protect themselves from claims of non-delivery during this tracking-gap period, eBay seller advocate Jim “Griff” Griffith said, not much.

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The exchange took place on the eBay boards during a scheduled weekly chat sessionbetween eBay and its users.

A seller wrote:

A problem that sellers anticipated has started appearing. USPS only provides online tracking information for about 120 days (and occasionally less). PayPal permits chargebacks up to 180 days.

Some buyers have been waiting until the USPS tracking ages off (after about 120 days) and filing chargebacks based on INR, knowing that the seller has no defense and cannot document that the item was delivered.

We knew this might happen. Sellers discussed this as soon as PayPal announced the 180-day window. Unfortunately, there are whole forums where buyers discuss how to get stuff for free on eBay and this kind of info makes the rounds pretty quickly.

PayPal has already told a couple of sellers they cannot rule in their favor because the USPS info is no longer viewable. What can sellers do to protect themselves?

Griffith responded,”Not much. This is now a PayPal issue, not an eBay issue. What is your rate of chargebacks through PayPal?”

Is it a sign that eBay and PayPal will use the pending separation as an excuse when dealing with unhappy users? You can read more and weigh in on the issue on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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Ina Steiner

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. Send news tips to

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