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Mon Mar 12 2018 16:51:11

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

By: Ina Steiner

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Home design marketplace Houzz has gotten creative with seller fees. The site notified sellers it will begin charging them "non-compliance" fees beginning next month.

A seller on Houzz forwarded the notification and asked, "Have you heard of a venue doing this before?" 

According to the chart provided to sellers, Houzz will begin charging sellers non-compliance fees such as $25/order for any orders cancelled due to failure to ship, and $15/order for an order that was cancelled due to "out of stock." The new fees go into effect beginning April 3rd.


The seller also had other concerns, stating they felt Houzz offered no seller protections "and always seem to take the side of a buyer." It can take up to two months for the marketplace to approve a listing, the seller said, and "their coding is unable to weed out fraud addresses at check-out not matching zip codes etc."

In our last post, we noted some of the ways eBay has gotten creative with fees in its User Agreement. How do you feel about these types of fees?

Update 3/30/18: The Houzz seller forwarded us the company update:

Non-Compliance Fees Update
Based on your feedback and enhancements to our process, we are updating our non-compliance standards.  As a result, the new fees will NOT go into effect on April 3rd, as we previously communicated. We will reach out with an update on the process and the new timing in the coming weeks.

The fees will continue to populate on the Charges page of your dashboard with an asterisk. This way, you can see which orders would have incurred a fee and continue to make improvements to your fulfillment process to prevent future charges. If you see any fees that are inaccurate, please notify Seller Support. 

We appreciate your feedback! Our goal is to minimize issues during the fulfillment process to ensure Houzz provides the best-in-class shopping experience.




Comments (33) | Permalink

Readers Comments

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 12 20:19:37 2018

And this is how HOUZZ treats their customers (the sellers).

It would be funny if the sellers just up and left.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: Beanie

Mon Mar 12 20:29:29 2018

If all these so called "venues" keep up with this monetizing every dang thing they can think up to dig into sellers profits, brick and mortar stores may just make a comeback sooner than we think. It's getting beyond ridiculous with this trend.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 12 22:01:05 2018

If Houzz is doing it, then ebay will adopt it. You know what a bunch of money-grubbers they are.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 02:23:19 2018

wow what a concept, they can make money on a bad seller , ebay will definitely be doing this.

these venues are completely out of control with fees on anything, but the real question is... are sellers that stupid that they cannot sell on their own?



How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 13 03:00:33 2018

Why would anyone sell on a site with a fee structure like this?

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 13 06:29:38 2018

Is this site that I have never heard of run by someone named Johnny No Thumbs?

Non-compliance fees?  LOL   I haven't read anything this ridiculous since Ryan Air thought of charging passengers a fee to use the toilet.

I do agree with the poster above who stated that eBay will likely adopt something similar.  They just haven't thought of it yet.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 06:36:34 2018

I have never ONCE heard of HouZZ. ( NOT that that means too much ), but is this some HIGH DOLLAR RITZY PRODUCTS ONLY venue?   I'm asking as ALL of those TRAFFIC TICKET Slap-Downs seem wildly TOO TOO much $$.  I could actually GET BEHIND eBay doing such TRAFFIC TICKET slapDowns of BAD sellers who make a practice of NOT SHIPPING when they get a "Too $low$ WINNING Bid".  Having said that the MAX that anything like that should be tied to the $value$ of the item... with Min. $ and MAX. $$ guardrails.  Myself I've NOT experienced anyone Cancelling a SALE where I was the buyer, BUT one of the reasons I spend TOO MUCH TIME on eBay is that I experience Schadenfreude OVER and OVER by scanning PAST SALES within the last 90 days on items that I'm PRICE CHECKING before listing my OWN example of that product.  I'm taking about BRAINDEAD sellers who start out a 4 pound $40 item as an auction WITH free shipping at $0.25 and wind up with a WINNING BIDDER @ $3.51 .... The punchline writes itself.  This is part and parcel of why when I'm BUYING at Estate, Moving, or Garage sales I AVOID BlockBuster HIT MOVIES on DVD or Blu-Ray as THOSE are the ones where 511 different listings come up with a search "Fast Furious 15".  Of those 511 listings AT LEAST a half-dozen are DOPES who do something along the lines of Free Shipping and $0.25 starting price.  i.e. a TOTAL waste of MY time to even LIST a LIKE NEW one.  This is about to get WORSE if eBay actually manages to execute their wrong-headed attempt to HAMMER and BANG current listings into their ill-concieved "only show 4 listings" on page one if anybody WERE to search for that mythical Fast and Furious 15.  

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 07:03:42 2018

I absolutely love the idea of fees for non compliance. This is a gold mine for the company and it will keep the sellers doing the right things.

NOTHING makes a seller learn from his mistakes faster then hitting him in the wallet.

Had ebay done this instead of the buyers against sellers, Feedback, bans, DSR's, selling limits, and defects then amazon would be a much smaller company today.

The idea of a "fine" is appealing to me because it is a good way to learn from a mistake but still lets you move forward rather then the alternate growth prohibitive path actually taken. These days it seems like everything is set up to stunt your growth as a business.

When I buy an item on ebay and the seller doesn't want to sell it to me because it went a few dollars too cheap then he would be compelled more to sell me the item if there was a fine to be imposed versus a defect that won't effect them until they hit a threshold that won't actually matter to them until it is too late.

I have been saying fines were a good idea since 2008 and still believe that they could have been a better way to police the site then irreversible bans. I understand the need for ebay to action accounts, but maybe not in a growth prohibitive way unless the seller/buyer is just a criminal. Buyers should also be fined for non payment, excessive retuns, and cancelling an order.

With ebay the carrot and the stick for everyone is either to make money or save money. Loyalty only goes as far as your wallet. As long as ebay has deals buyers will be there to buy them and it isn't necessary to side exclusively with buyers either.

Amazon is starting to get expensive to buy from. If ebay could get out of the dropshipping market they can reclaim dominance if they play their cards right.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 08:02:08 2018

I absolutely love the idea of fees for non compliance. This is a gold mine for the company and it will insure that the BUYERS doing the right things.

NOTHING makes a BUYER learn from his mistakes faster then hitting him in the wallet.

Had ebay done this instead to the buyers instead of always trying to punish its sellers with bad buyer behaviors like 1 way Feedback, bans, bid retractions, abusive returns, and fake SNADS then eBay would be a much better company today.

When I sell an item on ebay and the buyer wants to return it to me because its magically a different color (even though the UPC is the same), or he didnt read the entire description, or he out right just lies and says its defective or not original when it is (being just an excuse to hurt a seller rather than admit it was his own fault) then if a fine to be imposed, they wouldnt do that behavior.

updated :)

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Mar 13 10:32:25 2018

Add me to the list of people who've never heard of this site.

I wouldn't be surprised if eBay adopted a policy like this, though I'm sure it would only be for sellers, since, as we all know, buyers are all little snowflakes and we couldn't do anything to send them to another site.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 13:09:44 2018

I have heard of the site - but havent gotten around to looking into the details.

Its also been on TV (commercials) so they must be trying to get some recognition.

Id rather concentrate on Amazon personally  :)

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 13 14:04:46 2018

Comments,

So when a company like eBay relists one of a seller's "sold items" without the seller's permission (and they do, I've had it happen to me countless times, and it has happened to others), are sellers supposed to pony up the fee?  Ludicrous   Phantom listings are a known problem on eBay.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Mar 13 14:51:28 2018

It's a shame this for SELLERS and not BUYERS!

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: geoffreymason This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 18:09:55 2018

On any online venue, such a policy would only alienate buyers and diminish sales. More of the "us versus them" mentality.

Houzz? Wha' dat?

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: Troy Stiffler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 13 20:01:57 2018

That place looks very high end. I doubt the "real" sellers on there are too worried about absorbing penalties here and there.

Also, I'd say that place generates very few real orders. It has plenty of breathing room to experiment.  

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: Rose76 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 14 12:22:27 2018

I actually sell on Houzz and this is ridiculous for so many reasons...
I understand Houzz wants customers to be satisfied with their purchase. Why not ban sellers who drop below a certain star rating... I sell low priced items and on multiple venues. Houzz does not integrate inventory counting over multiple platforms. So daily I manually update stock levels. It does happen I am sold out once in a while and I will refund the customer and apologize. Now this will happen...
A customer has an order for $10 incl. shipping. For some reason I ship too late....
1. I still pay a 15% commission if I shipped late
2. I get a $15-25 fine
3. my rating goes down
The customer would be happier if I send the order for free or if I give discounts for late shipments.
Now Houzz takes my money and am not sure what it is used for...
In my case I am now expanding my lead time to 1-14 days (from 1-3) and I will remove all my low stock items to avoid these kind of fees. I will not offer customers discounts anymore for late shipments, Houzz should pay that out of the fee I am paying to them.

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: Deacon Blues This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 14 12:34:18 2018

In classic eBay Bizarro World logic; If they were to adopt this type of policy, they may just favor the listings of bad sellers so they can generate more revenue from fining them.  

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: thebobman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 15 00:25:31 2018

I'd much rather pay a $15 fine instead of feeling forced to ship a defective item or else my metrics take a hit and put my account at risk. If I take a hit and have to pay the fine, that wouldn't be good, but paying the fine instead of the hit would be ok with me.

I shipped a defective item last week because it was really the best option. If got returned (obviously), but something must have happened while it was in storage and didn't work like it did when I listed it.  

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Mar 15 01:12:59 2018

It would be interesting to hear Houzz's side of the story. Perhaps cancellations and out of stock issues are becoming unmanageable. I would be fine with the fee so long as there is some built-in allowance for the occasional mishap.  

How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?   How Would You Feel about a $25 Order Cancellation Fee?

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Mar 15 03:03:05 2018

Silly me, when i first saw the title of the thread, I thought the fee would be for a buyer that buys something and 45 minutes later (in the middle of the night) cancelled because they no longer need it. The only thing I can think of is that found it elsewhere for cheaper. A fee for buyers that cancel, should be assessed. Not $25 either but just a couple of dollars. I don't think most buyers, unless they sell also, realize that when they buy and pay for something then almost immediately cancel the sale, and we are left owing 30 cents to PP for nothing. Enough of those they start adding up.

I had a buyer once email me 3-4 days after I shipped, and the note she sent me was a response to the shipping notification I had sent her. She claimed that she had just noticed that the item wouldn't be shipped for 3 weeks and she didn't want to wait that long. I got to tell here to go check her mailbox as it had just been delivered! Well she actually hadn't cancelled, but being bothered with nonsense like that deserves some kind of compensation for dealing with nutz. it will never happen, but you can dream!

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