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eBay Sellers Gain More Control over Improper Returns

A year after eBay launched a pilot program to give sellers more control over dealing with returns from “bad buyers,” it’s expanding the program to include many more sellers.

The Returns Resolution pilot gives participants broader options in dealing with buyers who lie about the reason for their return request. eBay recognizes that buyers may choose a “not as described” reason for the return when the actual reason may be different (i.e., buyer’s remorse) to get around seller no-returns policies, for example.

The invitation explained the program gives sellers more control when handling returns for not-as-described items. Rather than being required to refund the entire amount, sellers can use their discretion.

Beginning October 3, 2016, if a buyer incorrectly chooses “not-as-described” as reason for returning an item, the seller can choose whether or not to deduct the original shipping cost, return shipping cost, and/or your predetermined restocking fee, for example.

In addition, “If you believe your buyer misused the returns process (for example, you received a damaged, entirely different, or used item back), ask eBay to step in and help. Depending on the situation, we can provide coverage for sellers in the pilot.”

Recipients of the email will be enrolled in the pilot program automatically, but can choose to opt out.

eBay launched the returns resolution pilot with a small group of sellers in November 2015 and has since expanded it to include a growing number of invited sellers. eBay said it would continually evaluate results to determine next steps, including whether to extend the length or breadth of the pilot.

In a thread on the eBay discussion boards, one seller said they had been opted in several months ago and used it twice for false SNAD claims. “Didn’t have any repurcussions (or even a response from the scammy buyers, for that matter),” the seller wrote.

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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/.