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Sun Jan 10 2021 20:38:59

Will Marketplaces Soon Tell Returners to Just Keep It?

By: Ina Steiner

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Amazon and Walmart are telling buyers of unwanted items that they can have their refund and keep it too, allowing shoppers to keep the items they want to return, according to the Wall Street Journal on Sunday. 

Shhh, don't tell online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, they'll be sure to try and jump on the bandwagon and force sellers to allow buyers who want to return an item to "just keep it," along with a refund.

There is precedence for thinking so - large retailers are the reason why online shoppers expect "free shipping" and other customer-friendly policies. Inevitably marketplaces try to follow in the footsteps of large retailers, but marketplaces are not the ones who must absorb the costs, and they also lack the tools that large retailers use to keep buyers in check.

In 2013, before Devin Wenig got his promotion to the top spot at eBay, he told Bloomberg that management was turning eBay from what was in essence a peer-to-peer marketplace to a "retail standard experience." 

By 2018, eBay was using the phrase, "modern retail marketplace" and continuing to mandate buyer-friendly policies, including pressuring sellers to offer generous returns.

Similarly Etsy began compelling sellers to offer at least one delivery option with free shipping in 2019.

But the availability of Walmart's current "keep it" policy is based on data, with the Journal writing, "A Walmart spokeswoman said the "keep it" option is designed for merchandise it doesn't plan to resell and is determined by customers' purchase history, the value of the products and the cost of processing the returns."

While Walmart and Amazon use such data to decide who gets to have a refund and keep a return, marketplaces who may be looking to follow suit should think twice before mandating a "one-size-fits-all" policy.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 00:05:27 2021

I recently bought a widget from Amz and I think it cost $13.  It didn't work for me so I asked for a return/refund.  And AMZ told me to keep it and they refunded my money.  I wondered - does AMZ let the seller keep the sale or do they deduct it from their earnings.
As a seller on AMZ I have told customers to keep it, but only after they told me it was "broken" or didn't work.  If it didn't work, made no sense for me to take it back and put it in inventory.
But if it was reuseable, I have the customer return the product for a refund.  So yes, this may be a "thing" with AMZ telling customers to keep it.  I just wonder who keeps the revenue?

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by: shut1968 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 02:57:09 2021

Amazon takes it from the seller, we get false return requests every day by buyers trying to cop a freebie  

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This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Jan 11 03:59:10 2021

It isn't the "marketplaces" place.
Overriding the sellers is really not a good idea.....

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 04:01:41 2021

eBay has no legal way to force you to let a buyer keep anything

In most of the Amazon cases it’s cheap stuff that costs more to return and repair or replace then it costs.

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by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 05:39:41 2021

Amazoo and Malwart again?!  It's always those two clowns that appeal to the lowest common denominator; perpetuating the worst in human behavior.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 07:40:42 2021

If Ebay ever told a buyer of one of my items that they could keep the item AND have a refund that came out of my pocket, that is when I would pull the trick of suing Ebay in Small Claims court as they have no right to do that.  If they changed their UA to once again allow them to steal even more from their sellers that is when I would close my account permanently and sell exclusively on other sites where that does not happen.  Marketplaces are overstepping their rights by telling the buyer that they can keep the item and then take the refund for that item from the seller.  If Amazon and Walmart want to give away their own products that is fine, but not when it is not theirs to give away.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jan 11 08:21:05 2021

Those "worst buyers" that we have been talking about and dealing with for years, the ones who are always trying to get something for nothing, are chomping at the bit as they read of this.

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by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 08:27:46 2021

I think the difference with AMZ is if you're FBA or FBM.  I'm FBM and have more control vs. FBA.  I've had buyers ask for a return/refund and never returned the product; I kept the money.  Or they returned the product AFTER 30 days which was pass the limit, and I did a restocking fee charge.
But it makes a difference if you're a STORE (Ebay) or FBA (AMZ).  It seems the platforms have more control.

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by: fusgeyer This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jan 11 12:14:46 2021

I sure hope that Etsy does not follow suit. This would kill that marketplace as most sellers would leave. We cannot afford to have a customer keep the item and get a refund. Actually, my store policies do not allow for refunds or exchanges. If I make a gregious error or something arrives damaged, I will make it right, but overall--no returns/no exchanges. I think that policy helps keep scammers away.

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by: DRA This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 14:26:42 2021

There is "Generous Return Policies"...then there is insanity "Refund and Keep Item".  That would be the majority of eBay Sellers would say "Good-Bye" to eBay--if eBay adopted this policy demand! What, then, would be the purpose of eBay as a "Selling" Venue?!!

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by: Vox29 This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Jan 11 14:47:00 2021

The day that happens I will close my eBay account for good. There is no point in selling through a site that does not know anything about the law or business. I am not there to give stuff away.

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by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 11 21:37:56 2021

@Vox29

There is no point in selling through a site that does not know anything about the law or business. I am not there to give stuff away.

Ebay is very much aware of the laws and how they continue to violate them by adding it into their UA knowing full well that what they are demanding is totally illegal but never worrying about it because they feel they are completely above the law.  Since the DOJ seems to not be interested in any of what they do, the smug upper management team which seems to all have law degrees,  has gotten overly confident that they can do anything they want as we cannot sue them and generating enough interest among sellers let alone attorneys to file a class action suit seems to be a foregone conclusion.  It is going to take a RICO case brought about by the DOJ to have any chance of reeling them back to a lawful company.  

At this point, at least as long as Trump is in office, nothing will happen as he is more focused on bringing down Amazon because Bezos also owns the Washington Post who has not been on Trumps good side for years.  We will see if this Presidential change later this month changes the climate in the DOJ about allowing these Ecommerce sites to do whatever they want including violating our laws as if they were the Mafia of old.  It has been shown over and over again that the CEO;s that Ebay hires are not competent to run a business our size let alone Ebay, yet they continually do everything they can to seize control of our businesses and now seem to have succeeded with Mangled Payments as they now even control out cash flow from them, which was the final straw that Wenig needed and wanted to try and show just how powerful he was.  I:m still not sure that Wenig will get dragged into the Indictments against Ebay but I for one sure hope he does get brought in personally and either loses or is forced to spend every penny of that $53 million golden parachute which he was given for doing nothing.  Wenig barely kept Ebays stock price above what it was when they spun off Paypal despite all of the stock buybacks that were used to artificially inflate Ebays stock price rather than spending some of that money to fix his prized Seller Hub which is so full of glitches I doubt that it could ever be fixed.  

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by: Nova Rae This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jan 15 14:06:06 2021

Since when does a party who does NOT own your business or the products you sell have the legal right to give your stuff away and force you to pay for it? The very reason I keep hearing of things like this is because the people it's happening to do absolutely nothing about it. If you want these things to stop, they MUST be reported to your SAG, the FTC and the DOJ, folks! Stop letting them get away with more and more. Put a stop to it!



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