An eBay seller was shocked to learn this week that eBay was offering her customers an extended service plan for her jewelry products. An eBay customer service representative told her the program rolled out on October 27, 2015 in order to give buyers a feeling of extra security and safety when making purchases.
The eBay rep could not tell her why sellers were not notified, and said the protection had been added to a random selection of listings. Sellers have no responsibility for claims, she was told, but they are unable to remove the offer from their listings.
More information about the program can be found on a FAQs page on the eBay website, including this section on what is covered:
“Based on the product you purchased (auto part/tool/accessory, jewelry, watch, etc) and that product’s condition (new or used), the coverage and term vary. Examples of coverage include:
Auto parts/tools/accessories: Mechanical and electrical failures.
Jewelry: includes pearl restringing, clasp and chain, gouges and scratches, soldering, re-tipping of prongs and resetting stones.
Watches: For watches under $500 Retail Cost, coverage includes water damage from items rated as waterproof. For watches over $500 Retail Cost, coverage includes broken cases, bracelets, bands or clasps, and movements.
Please refer to your Terms and Conditions.”
We found a listing for a “Breitling Superocean Mens Watch” that displayed an offer for an Assurant plan. Underneath the Buy It Now and Add to Cart buttons it displayed the following: “2-yr protection $86.99 from Assurant.” Clicking on the link opened a popup box showing two options: the 2-year plan as well as a 3-year plan for $130.99.
Yet we found other listings for watches did not have the Assurant protection plan offer.
eBay Motors had announced in August it would offer the Assurant Protection Plan to US buyers of automotive parts and accessories. In its press release announcing the new plan, eBay Motors had written:
“When shopping for auto parts & accessories, we’ve found that online shoppers are looking for warranties and guarantees, which will enable them to shop with a higher level of confidence. In partnership with Assurant Solutions, we’re giving customer’s peace of mind when shopping on eBay for parts & accessories – regardless if it’s a new or used item. Coupled with our current Vehicle Protection Program, customers will now have an extra layer of protection to facilitate worry-free shopping.”
However, there’s no indication eBay ever announced the plan being available in listings for jewelry and watches.
The concept isn’t entirely new, however. eBay has worked with SquareTrade for years, and in 2012, eBay added optional warranties in seller listings in the home and garden category.
Comment on the AuctionBytes Blog.