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Thu Apr 12 2018 22:12:47

Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns

By: Ina Steiner

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Pointing to this thread on the eBay discussion boards, readers said eBay is running a policy test requiring sellers to accept all returns, including instances of buyer's remorse. They were referring to the following statement by a seller on the discussion thread:

"I had further conversations with a patient and helpful supervisor today who provided better insight into the current situation, what is driving this change, and what (little) leeway they have. What was explained to me is that the move to a 30 day no questions asked policy for sellers has been communicated by your marketing folks/returns team to appeals/returns supervisors/reps and we are in a testing phase ahead of official policy rollout in a future seller update."

One thing is certain: eBay policies and practices around returns are confusing! 

A rep responding to a seller question on the thread included this statement:

"In a scenario where a buyer states that an item was not as described, but has demonstrated elsewhere that it is a remorse return we currently ask you to accept the return and work with CS on any other options available."

As bad as that sounds for a business owner, it's compounded by the fact sellers are reporting that eBay reps are giving them conflicting information.

A reader expressed their outrage:

"eBay is now forcing sellers to take returns on no-returns, for parts or not working listings even if the buyer admits the item is as described. 

"New policy all over the eBay community boards. All SNAD cases no matter what the reason or the circumstances is an automatic refund. Meaning buyers can buy 10 non working listings, keep the one that happens to work and return the other 9 on the seller's dime. 

"This is an outrage. For parts or not working listings are not in the same universe as new or functioning used listings and the same policies shouldn't apply to this unique segment."

(SNAD stands for Significantly Not as Described.)

eBay announced in February it will be moving toward a "simplified" returns policy (readers know to be wary when a company uses the term simplify as it often results in a costlier experience for the seller). Here's a refresher for what's changing next month.



Comments (66) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns   Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 12 22:39:44 2018

As the desperation sets in - YOUR "PARTNER" - always always always throws you the seller UNDER THE BUS.

And why not? WHO will stop them?

Id rather deal with the triads, the mafia, and the yakuza - at least they have HONOR.

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by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 12 22:41:11 2018

Now they don't have to pay. They just borrow your stuff for a month, ruin it and send it back. More improvements !!!!

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

Thu Apr 12 22:58:03 2018

I love how they moved what I sell out from under collectibles so that I have to offer 30 day returns or no returns.  I have been TRS+ ever since the program started just by following my normal business model, but now that will change as there is no way I am going to pay for a person to return an item as remorse because the value went down during the 30 days they owned it.  I used to at least have the 20% restocking fee to offset some of the loss (if any), but now MY PARTNER says that if they damage it I can withhold up to 50% of the value starting June 1, not May 1 when this program starts.  What a load of carp !!

For those that wonder, I have never had a return in the almost 20 years I have been on Ebay, but I refuse to allow them to set me up for failure and losses.

I notice that Ebay still has not addressed what is going to happen when the buyer then files for the up to 50% withheld from their refund with Paypal.  Paypal is going to back the buyer and the seller is going to be sitting there eating it completely.  I posted this comment on the Ebay Discussion boards back when this was first announced and it was taken down as me not having a positive attitude about the changes.  They do not want the sellers to realize just how much they are going to get hosed with this new deal.  Ebay is giving the buyers the total go ahead to completely rip the sellers off and I will also bet that now Ebay will no longer refund the FVF on all returns since they now consider remorse to be the same as a SNAD return.  

Just another way that Ebay will continue to rip off sellers to hopefully show growth to Wall Street.

Perminate Link for Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns   Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Apr 13 06:10:02 2018

Their new ad copy should be "Use it for 30 days, return it in any condition, no questions asked!"

The $17M "I don't fly commercial" CEO is doing a heck of a job.....running customers off of the platform.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 13 08:18:50 2018

it's a fairly simple, just two things to remember when you list and sell on ebay

1- Ebay has full control of your item and the money, and they will do whatever they feel is necessary to keep the buyer coming back, to make money, for ebay

2- Sellers are disposable, plenty of them, and a constant new supply, they have really  little to no value to ebay,  

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

Fri Apr 13 10:43:35 2018

@maxmad

You are absolutely correct, especially with #2.  Wenig has stated long before he was CEO that China was Ebays future which is why he gave them the hot items list constantly and also gave them the specs to be able to have the product made.  He even complimented them on having the counterfeit items up and selling in 30 days most times.  

So as he continues to chase off US  sellers they will start being replaced by Chinese sellers.  Ebay had tried finding warehouses for them to store their products here and cut down on the shipping time, but the Chinese resisted as they did not want to have to pay the US shipping charges, plus that also gave them a US return address so they would have to deal with returns properly.  So now Ebay has recently negotiated a contract with a shipping company to drastically cut their costs but have the items from China to the US in 5-7 days.  I sure wish they would try and negotiate a reasonable contract like that for those of us in the USA rather than have regular pricing with USPS and Fed Ex pricing that usually higher than if you have your own account, plus their gratuity of 10%.

I agree that the are in business to make money however they need to, but they keep shooting themselves in the foot in one of the most lucrative countries in the world so that they can import Chinese goods??  I wonder how much the Chinese government is paying Wenig on the side or what kind of retirement plan they have waiting for him when he finally gets canned.  

It would really be funny if when it was time to collect they did to him what he has done to every USA seller, screw him over!!!

Perminate Link for Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns   Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Apr 13 10:47:04 2018

As a seller on eBay, you need to start formulating an exit plan if you are not already selling on other platforms. At the current rate of policy changes, eBay will kill your business.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Apr 13 10:55:24 2018

iheartjacksparrow....it is still early morning here, and here are my sales today:

eBay = 0
Poshmark = 2
Etsy = 2
Amazon = 5
eCrater = 2

The day is young! And note that I have several eBay sites---all with 0 sales today.

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 13 12:00:49 2018

@Rexford, for sure ebay really is  very inconsistent when compared to other venues, if only the ebay cheerleaders, knew the truth, they would be in tears, unfortunately they are too naïve and or stupid to move their items away from ebay

@iheartjacksparrow , I totally agree, no mater how good your current sales are at ebay, " the exit plan is very important"



@Silver Ice King, yes, the draconian policies forced onto every seller were because of china sellers, shipping and quality issues, but it's to the point where now you can get whatever you want on ebay, for free,  INR, IND, and now buyer remorse, quite sad,

@pace306 , for sure they are crooks, a very nasty company, that needs to be investigated, for what they have been doing to their paying customers

Perminate Link for Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns   Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 13 12:46:16 2018

We have ALL discussed this here before.  This is NOT a new or sudden change.  This was an ANNOUNCED change that happened in October of 2017 as part of the Fall Seller Update.  In part it read:

Automatic acceptance of returns
Beginning in October 2017, returns requests may automatically be accepted to make the returns process easier for you and your buyers. eBay will automatically accept a return request and provide a return shipping label to the buyer when the buyer pays for return shipping. If you offer free returns or if you’re required to pay for the return shipping label, automatic acceptance will only occur if you have not replied to the buyer return request within three business days.

Automatic acceptance allows buyers to ship items back to you quickly and efficiently, and get their refunds sooner. You will also save time and receive reimbursement for final value fees.

You can continue to control the efficiency of your returns process by creating rules in your return preferences to automatically approve returns or send immediate refunds without requiring the buyer to send the item back.

https://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2017-
fall/returns.html

Ebay
is NOT doing auto refunds.  That isn't happening unless the Request is escalated to a Claim and Ebay rules in the favor of the buyer.

I've been saying on many blogs here that to help to protect yourself, go to your Site Preferences for your return rules and check the box to REQUIRE a RMA number on all returns.  This will delay Ebay from being able to auto issue a return label to your buyer for the return.  They won't do it until after you have reviewed the Request and assigned a RMA.

Now if it is a BR Request, this new process is really helpful to a seller.  It allows for the BUYER to pay return shipping and it allows the Seller to withhold the original shipping from the refund if they had S&H stated separately [not free shipping].  Or if the seller has a restocking fee, it allows that to be withheld.

Here is some information that was posted here previously on this subject.

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/C/blog/blog.pl?/pl/2017/
11/1510090564.html

https://www.ecommercebytes.com/2017/11/07/ebay-launches-auto-returns-new-refund-option/

https://www.ecommercebytes.com/2017/09/19/ebay-announces-fall-seller-update-2017/

https://community.ebay.com/t5/Announcements/Fall-Seller-Update-Automatic-Acceptance-for-Returns-and-a-New/ba-p/27714365

Perminate Link for Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns   Reports eBay Is Forcing Buyer Remorse Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Apr 13 13:40:35 2018

@Marie

In the 2018 Spring Seller Update, this is stated:

The five return policy options will be:

No returns accepted
30-day buyer-paid returns
30-day free returns
60-day buyer-paid returns
60-day free returns

Restocking fees will no longer be a return option.

Perhaps at the moment one can deduct a restock fee on a remorse return, but soon this will go away.

Who out there likes the idea that you as a seller will have to pay for outbound shipping on a BR return?? A restocking fee allowed us to at least recoup some of these losses. And it also discouraged buyers from frivolous returns.

I do understand where eBay wishes to go above and beyond their main competitor by offering free, no questions asked returns. After all, it is a retail expectation, isn't it?? No, it is not. Amazon owns their own merchandise, and does not offer this (with the exception of Zappos).

Time will tell whether how many sellers will be on board with Free Returns. And there are those who state that on a SNAD, returns are free anyway, so we may has well just give in and offer them anyhow.

In my opinion, there has to be an end somewhere to ''bending over backwards'' just because that is how eBay wants it. In my situation, there is NO WAY my business can be profitable by issuing refunds at my expense just because a buyer changes their mind.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 13 14:03:13 2018

@eXtinctBay

Yes it most certainly did say that.  However that doesn't have anything to do with the problems outlined in this article as the new rules don't apply for a couple weeks yet.

What is described in the article is the return process, NOT the various return policy terms that Ebay will allowed to be offered.

Yes, soon we can not state or deduct a restocking fee.

Did you mean inbound shipping on a BR return?  The policy currently in place allows for a seller NOT to have to pay for the return shipping on a BR return.  This remains even after the return policy changes as of May 1st.  

"...no questions asked returns..."  The new policy doesn't say we can't asked questions.  It also doesn't say we have to accept returns for any reason.  However I see issues here with Ebay as they have real problems supporting sellers in this area and I have not seen any signs of improvement on this at all.

For example, in the rules if we sell a new item, the buyer wants to return it and by their own admission it is no longer new because they have used it, broken the seal [if there was on] or whatever they did to no longer make it in the condition it was when the seller shipped it.  By the rules we do not have to accept this return.

But I don't see any way to get Ebay to support the seller if they make that determination not to accept the return.  I currently have one such return in play.  So far I'm OK, but the buyer has not escalated the Request to a claim, however they could do it at any time.  I can't seem to get a straight answer out of Ebay on how this should be handled so that the seller doesn't get dinged.  I'll try to remember to update you when or if I get more info.

The ONLY return policy on Ebay now or before all these changes that does NOT allow for a BR return is a No Return policy.  Any other return policy Ebay has always expected sellers to accept those returns.

Those with No Return policies must meet or exceed what Ebay outlines in the Money Back Guarantee.  With few exception, no seller really has a no return policy that is enforceable on Ebay.  They can say it, but it does not make it so.

With the changes in October of last year, which is the rules this particular article is about, sellers got some real help from Ebay on BR returns.  We now have the ability to make the buyer pay for return shipping and we have a way to withhold the original shipping from the refund [if it wasn't free shipping].  We did not have this before and it is a very good thing for sellers.  I have found it helpful several times already since last year.

We as sellers already do Free Returns.  Whether you say so in your listings or not.  If a SNAD is filed, the seller will ALWAYS have to pay the return shipping.  That has not changed.

IMHO the reason this new description on returns is hard for some of us to swallow, me included, is that word "Free".  But if you look at the reality of it, the seller has always paid return shipping on a SNAD, therefore it has always been free.  

BUT, far too many times we use to have to pay return shipping on a BR claim which just was not fair.  We now have a way to avoid that.  And I've found it to work fine as I unfortunately have had a few BR returns in the past 6 months.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Apr 13 14:03:31 2018

maxmad says "if only the ebay cheerleaders, knew the truth"

eBay cheerleaders can't handle the truth.  :)  They still think that eBay is their "partner".

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by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 13 14:29:59 2018

@Marie

ebay will eventually make all sellers follow the same as the china sellers, this is just the begining

when you buy from a china seller,
if you are not satisfied with your item, it's late, whatever, the reason ,the money is refunded, and you KEEP the item,

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Apr 13 14:34:58 2018

@Marie

With the rules in place at the moment, if a buyer claims remorse, they should have to reimburse the seller for their cost to send the merchandise out to them, and also to return it.

This discouraged those who think they can ''borrow'' something with no consequences. Of course, savvy shoppers know they can just proclaim a SNAD and game the system.

It has been stated by eBay that they are going to crack down on fake SNAD returns, and punish liar buyers. This will NEVER occur until they actually ship their own merchandise.

As long as there are sellers who are willing to buy into their programs which eat away at their profits, they will continue to push and push again.

What I am saying is there has to be an end sometime to these policies which take away basic rights from those who choose to sell on the site.

If eBay is still allowed to continue with these constant takeaways, in the future lifetime guarantees on all goods sold will be in our midst. Enough is enough!

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 13 14:35:44 2018

@maxmad

That is the Asian sellers decision to do that.  Ebay is NOT forcing them to do that.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Apr 13 14:53:15 2018

The way to solve the issues with Chinese sellers is for US based sellers to demand that the Chinese sellers follow the same rules - pay for the return(s).

I would get together EVERY eBay seller I know - buy items, claim SNAD and then make the Chinese pay the expensive shipping back to Shanghai.

Thats the ONLY way the insanity will ever end - or at least until eBay sells its own merchandise and we sellers do THIS game - on them.

As long as its US based sellers who eat the losses - eBay doesnt care, but if enough Chinese complained ... things would change IN A HURRY.

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Apr 13 15:30:28 2018

@Rexford - You're not kidding. Certain individuals will spend countless hours explaining away eBay's onerous policies as though they are going to change anyone's perceptions about eBay. I hope eBay is giving them perks for their dedication.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 13 15:41:12 2018

@pace

So you are saying that a seller does NOT have the right to say a buyer can keep the item and the seller will go ahead and refund them?

I'm not defending Asian sellers.  I'm asking a question.  Which for some reason often gets confused here as support for one subject or another.  It is simply a question so that it is clearer what your opinion is.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Apr 13 15:45:03 2018

@jack

The explanation of a policy is NOT SUPPORT for that policy.  It is merely an explanation to which many here, yourself included choose to see as support when that is not necessarily true.

By your own statements, you do not sell on Ebay anymore, so I'm unsure as to why it even matters to you.  BUT as in any job one might take on, understanding the rules and policies that govern that job is very important to one's success or failure.

If it is your choice to NOT understand the rules and policies for any job you may take on, that is YOUR choice to make.  I don't operate that way nor do I apologize for the fact that I like to stay informed.

Being informed does NOT equal support or dismay over any given rule or policy.  It simply means I prefer to be informed with the facts instead of gossip and assumptions.

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