Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Apr 1 2012 21:58:14

eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

Sellers are concerned over changes to the eBay Buyer Protection Policy that will allow eBay to issue partial refunds to buyers without requiring them to return the item to the seller. Sellers are talking on several eBay discussion boards about a letter they say eBay sent only sent to buyers.

One poster explained why it has sellers upset: "It's a BIG DEAL because eBay gets to decide the value of a partial refund not the SELLER, and it seems the seller doesn't even get the choice of saying "no partial, return for full refund". eBay can't inspect the item to know what's missing etc (if it IS so) they'll rely on the word of a buyer who wants money back?"

The provision that has sellers buzzing is the following:

"In some cases, we may refund part of the cost of the item to the buyer to cover differences between the item described and the item actually received, in which case we will try to recover that refund amount from the seller and not ask the buyer to return the item to the seller."

Another change in the Buyer Protection Policy that eBay's letter did not mention is the parenthetical statement in the following paragraph:

"If we resolve an item not as described case in the buyer's favor, we will in most circumstances ask the buyer to return the item to the seller (and the seller needs to accept the return even if the seller's return policy indicated "no returns accepted") before we refund the buyer and try to recover the refund amount from the seller."

The letter, sent last week to some registered users, states:

Dear (buyer name),
I'm writing to let you know about important updates to the eBay Buyer Protection Policy that will go into effect on June 19, 2012:

A provision has been added that in some cases we may refund part of the cost of the item to the buyer and receive reimbursement from the seller to cover differences between the item described and the item actually received, such as small parts missing or minor repairs needed. In these cases, we will not require the buyer to return the item to the seller.

A clarification has been included that delivery signature confirmation for items $250 or more is only required in order to protect sellers from losing a case where such service is offered by at least one shipping company. Similarly, when we ask a buyer to return a $250 or more item to the seller, delivery signature confirmation is required if it is offered by at least one shipping company.

A clarification has been made that items purchased from the Businesses & Websites for Sale category will not be covered by eBay Buyer Protection.

A provision has been added regarding the relationship between eBay Buyer Protection and the new managed return process. If a buyer uses the process to return to an item purchased from an eligible transaction under that process, and the seller fails to provide a timely refund in accordance with the new process, the buyer may file a case under eBay Buyer Protection. If we resolve the case in the buyer's favor, we'll refund the buyer, the amount of which will depend on the terms and conditions of the process.

As with earlier updates, other changes have been made to keep the eBay Buyer Protection Policy up-to-date with our product and service offerings.Thanks,
Heraldo Botelho
eBay Buyer Protection Policy
eBay Inc.

One seller reacted to the letter by writing, "Taking the buyer's side in a he said-she said and requiring the return of an item for a refund is one thing but how on Earth do they think this is a good idea?  I'd really like to know what's supposed to stop a buyer from claiming missing pieces in order to get a forced discount aside from eBay's standard "if a buyer does it enough, we'll maybe look into it." They're seriously going to start letting buyers keep the item and a portion of the money based solely on their word? This is insanity. Regardless of what eBay puts in their TOS, I find it difficult to believe this is legal."

You can find the current eBay Buyer Protection Policy on this page - it went into effect on June 20, 2011 - and you can access the eBay Buyer Protection policy effective June 19, 2012 at the bottom of that page.

Comments (71) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Apr 3 16:26:24 2012

Sort of off topic, but don't miss this incredibkle exchange in Ina's April 1 newsletter regarding ebafia's blatant intellectual property theft of the ebafia user ID animal.

When ebafia flunky and Jose Mallabo clone Joanna Hoff condescended to even answer Ina's initial queries, she neglected that which was too inconvenient to answer which is so typical of this corporate white collar crime syndicate and the supercilious third raters (graders?) who work for them.

Ina: "eBay also refused to answer why a 14-year seller in good standing was unable to get anyone at eBay.com to help her with the problem. After eBay spokesperson Johnna Hoff failed to address the question in an email response to my inquiry, I asked again, and got the following response:"

Flunky Hoff: "We've provided all the information we plan to for your story..."

If you stuck a pin in this woman's head, it would explode. What arrogance and haughtiness!

Everything ebafia does these days demonstrates again and again just how undependable they are as a trading partner, how nothing they say can ever be believed because they always lie, and how they steal anything and everything they can from sellers -- their funds, their inventory, and now their IDs.

Former New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer successfully went after ebafia a few ago, and ebafia has become even more criminal since.

Spitzer now has his own TV show on Current TV (8pm EDT, 7pm CDT).

Go to the Current TV website and email or call Spitzer's show and ask them to investigate ebafia and PreyPal as an illustration of just how out of control so many tax evading American corporations have become and why we need to enforce existing federal laws and regulations to rein them in.

Most of the public understands ebafia. Unlike so many financial crimes, what ebafia does would be easy to explain and erasy for the public to understand.

current.com
programming@current.com

The ONLY way to 'persuade' ebafia to behave is bad publicity and plenty of it.

Current TV
435 Hudson Street, 4th Floor
New York, NY 10014
(212) 273-3280

Drop Dead, Donahoe.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 16:59:14 2012

@Lawrence A Dickerson..

What a TOTAL ebay shill!  I am sure I am not the only one who sees right THROUGH your little rant.

First, you are trying to make AB feel as though their "reputation" is on the line by allowing people to complain about ebay.

As for "YOUR SELLERS" seriously, you are asking "YOUR SELLERS" how they feel about ebay, like you as a buyer actually cares how the sellers feel.  But then you go on to tell us that not one has REGISTERED a complaint.  So what ebay office would they send you their complaints?

Then we have this quote from you.

"You were king of the camp for many years and then buyers became tired of the shenanigans  and loss of funds. We petitioned eBay,proving to them the mistreatment and'stolen'funds. They began to listen."

So the buyers PETITIONED ebay..Oh I must have missed that "buyer petition" that went around.

I and other sellers would like to know WHERE exactly is the "LEVELED playing field on ebay that you speak so HIGHLY about?

The only thing we have seen is ebay taking the bad acts of some and placing BLAME and SEVERE CONSIQUNECES on ALL sellers except for their ELITE and PROTECTED diamond sellers.  ebay talks about us taking responsibility but yet they take NONE for their own mistakes and issues.
Had ebay dealt with BAD sellers a long ago there would not have been a need to make such drastic and constant changes as they have.  Ebay has not made ebay “safer” they have made it more CORRUPT because they have now turned “buyers” into LIARS and THEIVES and FORCE sellers to sit back and take it with their only other choice being to LEAVE if they do not like it.  Well ebay is getting just that every day.  Sellers are LEAVING and buyers are finding they have less and less choices and are paying MORE AND MORE because those that stay are forced to raise their prices to cover the RAMPET THEFT that now goes on as well as the constant raising of FEES

ebay is constantly finding more and more ways to TAKE AWAY every little morsel they give to the sellers and adding more and more BURDENS on them.
The execs at ebay care more about getting richer and richer and getting millions and millions of dollars in bonuses rather than making ebay a better place for those who are making them RICH! It is funny how their REWARD THEMSELVES for doing such a HORRIBLE job.
JD did not EARN those bonuses; he STOLE them from the backs of his sellers by charging them more and more and providing them less and less.  This is how CORPORATE GREED is today.
And peaking of REPUTATIONS, ebays reputation is TERRIBLE.  It can claim NO trust or loyalty from it’s buyers or sellers.  it is hold NO trust from its sellers   It is not known for being a good place to buy ands sell, no it is known for being a THIEFS  PARIDISE.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: tbyr This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 18:28:54 2012

IS THIS LEGAL? ANYONE TAKING THIS TO THE NEWS?

DOES THE LAW SAY EBAY CAN DO THIS?

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Tue Apr 3 18:50:42 2012

A couple of things need to be made perfectly to the Griff and RBH avatars that emerge from their respective corporate cesspools when ebafia is justifiably under attack.

First, since you work for ebay I seem to recall that ALL ebafia employees or independent contractors were supposed to identify themselves as such in each post.

Secondly, the hundreds of thousands of sellers (and buyers) who read EB are successful or there wouldn't be any need to read it or post here.

Further, the majority of regular bloggers here are successful in spite of all the mostly illegal roadblocks ebafia has erected against us and their utter contempt for the people who help pay for their bloated salaries, stock options, and obscene golden parachutes.

There is NO defense for ebafia/PreyPal theft of seller funds, inventory, paid ads, photos, or IDs.

There is NO defense for seventeen years of an unending stream of ebafia lies.

There is NO defense for misleading the SEC or stockholders with accounting tricks.

There is NO defense for ebafia's historical theft of intellectual property such the Buy It Now engine and others.

There is NO defense for the physical, verbal, and emotional abuse this company and its executives have dished customers since 1998.

There is NO defense for not paying your fair share of state and federal taxes.

There is NO defense exterminating hundreds of thousands of small ebay sellers out of work thereby becoming American's single largest small business exterminator.

There is NO defense for offshoring CSRs for American and Canadian sellers and then proving incomprehensibly bad customer service.

So take your propaganda that only the unsuccessful post here, and stick in Donahoe's inbox.

Drop Dead, Donahoe.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 3 19:42:30 2012

Partial refunds are the "after the sale coupon".  Fraudulent buyers will be all over this.

I have come to the conclusion that this is just another assault on the small and medium sellers.  They keep implementing more and more ridiculous policies to drive small sellers away, and nothing has worked yet. So the ridiculous ideas and policies continue to come.  Amazon must love eBay.

I don't know how this one will be legal however.  I smell a class action law suit if this one comes to fruition.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 3 20:06:38 2012

I just love it when the holier than though Lawrence A. Dickerson trots out to chastise anyone who complains about eBay's heavy handed policies.

Someone has a superiority complex.  Lawrence, it must be hard to always be the smartest person in the room.  LOL

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Apr 3 20:07:11 2012

Holier than thou, not though.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Tue Apr 3 20:29:08 2012

I wonder: If EcommerceBytes is (supposedly) irrelevant, then why do the eBay defenders come out in full-force as happened recently and so often before.

If their claims about EB are to be believed, then one would expect them to post their spin and retorts and disinformation on other forums and blogs that *are* relevant.

Their presence here, their stinging and venomous words, the personal attacks and insults (not to mention the overall haste in which they descend into the trenches) all suggest to me that EB has struck a nerve and that eBay is feeling a bit vulnerable right now.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: Ron This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 21:49:12 2012

Personally, I don't think that anyone in the eBay corporation is independent thinking enough to even question whether they are taking the right direction or not.

The way that most corporations work, the CEO sets the strategic direction and lays down basic policies and everyone else tows the line.  Because not to do so would put their job at risk.  So, that's why we see Devin Wenig spewing the same ridiculous drivel as we've seen previously, like "our buyers expect free shipping, we know that to be true".  He's new, he's from a totally different unrelated business, really what does he know?

I've been a small seller on eBay since 1998 and enjoyed the prices that I used to realize by the auction method, especially on items that I would never have known at what level to price.  All I know is that the policies that have been followed since 2008 when Donahoe took over have finally resulted in items being sold at ridiculous prices by the auction method, if they sell at all.  I do a lot of research before listing anything, and I can guarantee that most things now sell on eBay for a pittance compared to what credible dealers ask.  And if someone tries to sell something at a fixed price that is near to market value, it doesn't sell.

So they can institute whatever policies that they wish at this point, because I have now moved most of my business over to a private website.  This is probably what they were aiming for, but it doesn't make a whole lot of sense.  I've never seen a business that had a goal of eliminating profitable customers.  It's just weird.  My only regret about all this is that the once very efficient auction marketplace that once existed is now close to dead.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: uncle rico This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 22:21:16 2012

@ Lawrence - Professional sellers would not complain to their buyers, even if asked. Anyone with common sense knows that it's unprofessional and looks bad to complaint when corresponding with a buyer.

The partial refund issue is asinine. I sell new items, and inspect things well but occasionally there is a flaw I missed. The buyer contacts me, I apologize, and cover return shipping.

If eBay is bent on issuing partial refunds and letting buyers keep the items, fine - they can pay for it. Don't take it out of our account...

I'll continue to roll with the punches, as eBay is a good source of income for me. I don't really get angry at things like the above policy change; I just shake my head and continue on - it's business as usual.

We all learned a long time ago that eBay doesn't care what we (sellers) want. They have their plan in place, and we are merely 'noise'.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: used2luv2sell This user has validated their user name.

Tue Apr 3 22:23:52 2012

@Lawrence

You are the perfect example as to why sellers hate Ebay.  

When you speak of buyers, you may want to get off your high and mighty horse and think for a moment.  I've seen it every time an Ebay employee gets on this site - you never read for comprehension.  You just talk at people as if you are the chosen one.

Listen to this Lawrence: WE ARE BUYERS.  Sorry to shout, but obviously you don't understand this.  We understand BOTH sides of this scenario, unlike your bosses who have never bought or sold a single item on Ebay.  

We are intelligent people - and we are sick of being talked down to, ignored, and being disrespected - all while paying the higher and higher fees and jumping through higher and higher hoops demanded by your bosses.  At some point, you can't jump anymore.  

So Lawrence, when all the small sellers disappear and all you are left with is new items from stores down the street and new items from China, is that going to make YOU happy?  Are those the people you want to deal with?  Well, you've had that choice all along, which goes to show that you aren't the brightest bulb.  Don't buy from the sellers who you say are so bad at everything they do.  

I like how you put all sellers in the same basket, just like your employer does, because obviously if one seller is bad, then they ALL are.  

You may want to go look in the mirror, because if all of your buying experiences have been so bad, first, why didn't you stop buying sooner, and 2nd, you must be one of those buyers who can't tell fact from fantasy and every item you get has issues.  Do you read the description?  Do you look at the pictures?  We all have been told that buyers don't want to be educated, so this is what we as sellers get to deal with - people like YOU.  BBL is where you belong.

We know your employer puts all buyers in the same basket, because it can be proven they are ALL 100% good; just check their feedback.  Lawrence, do you REALLY believe this to be true?  Did you have to sign a statement swearing to this before they hired you?  

We are sick of the fact that your bosses will not utter a truthful statement.  Instead, ad nauseum we hear that it's the ''buyer'' who wanted this change, the buyer demands this and that - and then your bosses admit that the buyer doesn't want to be educated!  So, those new buyers who are dropping 1's like candy on great sellers, do not have a CLUE that they are slowly putting us all out of business.  Although the buyers seem to be leaving them more frequently now, so we may all be out of business sooner rather than later.

Just another American born company who has China envy, can't afford to create jobs for Americans, and needs more money to pay their selfish management.

Lawrence, you have the gall to come on this site and complain about US?  I would like to recommend you go jump in a cold, deep lake and take your bosses with you.  Tell them the buyers demanded it.  

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

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

Wed Apr 4 08:56:16 2012

This particular letter to the buyer is very misleading.  The rules (at this time scheduled to begin in June 2012) states that first the buyer must go through the managed returns process and if that is not successful a case CAN be opened.  The clause on the partial refund is a possibility in the ultimate determination associated with that case.   In other words, we do get a chance to put in our policies and eBay is "supposed" to honor our policies based on what we have stated in our business policy form.  That being said...  those rules have been mysteriously changed in the past without notice.  I am so over these changes...

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: BlinderGuy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 09:10:44 2012

I am a small seller on eBay but paid over $100,000 last year in eBay fees. Once these changes start and eBay starts deciding who gets a partial refund and I get scammed I will leave eBay and start looking for another ecommerce platform. Probably Amazon or something else.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Wed Apr 4 22:52:18 2012

So what does eBay get from doing this? Can they keep part of the refund that goes back to the buyer in order to make a profit? I see no other reason why eBay would do this.
This is outrageous... I am loosing my mind I am so sick of eBay controling my business...!There's got to be another old eBay, the one that worked; out there that I can go promote and sell on I can't take this anymore.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 00:01:16 2012

So now sellers are supposed to give away everything to eBay and the buyer gets what is left with a refund. Chicken scratch is left for the seller if that. I have only had one return which was not fair in all the years I have been selling. If I start getting them then I will be gone, I will have flown the coop! When you no longer get what you are selling there for then anything is better.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 00:05:07 2012

Check this out:
http://ebaycomplaints.org/

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 00:07:44 2012

http://www.consumeraffairs.com/online/ebay.htm

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 01:19:45 2012

And once again ebay has allowed themselves to become the instrument of fraud. This is the most ignorant thing they have come up with yet. Did something happen here that I didn't get clued into? Is ebay out buying up inventory now so they no longer need sellers? Can't wait. I put my store on vacation after 12+ year. I'm not really sure I'll ever come back. Their newest way to extort and steal from the sellers has really pushed me over the edge this time. Partial refunds? I think the Board of Directors is smoking crack on the big table. Reminds me of the Nazi's stealing all the wealth from Europe.

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Thu Apr 5 01:30:36 2012

Just in case you wanted to know Lawrence - I am a top rated seller with 100% feedback - and if I make a mistake I have ALWAYS taken care of it myself - there was never a need for ebay to step in and "spank" me because I work very hard at my business. I went years without a complaint - now I have one scammer after another trying to steal my inventory - money - postage - packing materials all the wile ebay/paypal have their grubby little mitts in the mix as well. I've watched many many really good sellers drop by the wayside in the last 2-3 years. Wake up ebay before your stock is worth -0-

Perminate Link for eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns   eBay Buyer Protection Changes Include Partial Refunds, Returns

by: Digmen1 This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Apr 5 05:44:12 2012

If you really don't like the policy, the best thing you (we) can all do is stop listing on ebay.

Teach them a lesson.
Join ebid.net or ecrater or bonanza

But don't list on ebay and then complain when someone takes you for a ride, or threatens you like they did to me.

Click to view more comments
1 2 3 4  [Next Page]


Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.