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eBay Expands Returns Resolution Pilot Program

eBay has been running a new pilot program that gives sellers additional options when issuing refunds to buyers, and on Thursday announced it would continue the returns resolution pilot.

Back in September, eBay spokesperson Karen Crocker Snell told EcommerceBytes that the pilot provided sellers with broader options for resolving issues with buyers who choose a “not as described” reason for the return, when the actual reason may be different. The pilot opened on a limited basis in November.

Yesterday eBay explained: “The returns resolution pilot gives sellers additional options when something doesn’t go smoothly after the sale. Instead of issuing a full refund, pilot participants have the option to deduct the cost of return shipping – and charge their predetermined restocking fee – when the buyer has misrepresented their return reason as “not as described.” Participating sellers will also have the option to ask eBay to step in and help before issuing any refund to their buyers.”

The pilot program had been announced as part of the 2015 Fall Seller Update. But sellers say what wasn’t announced was a new way eBay handled claims of abuse. Sellers told EcommerceBytes in November that eBay was no longer investigating seller claims of instances of buyer returns fraud (aka “rocks in a box”).

eBay said sellers can apply to participate in this “next phase” of the pilot by sending their User ID to sellergtm@ebay.com. The January 28th post can be found on the eBay Announcement board.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.