Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Nov 2 2015 16:10:55

eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay made a change to its returns policy with the recent Fall Seller Update, but an unannounced change in practices is stinging sellers. We've received reports that eBay is telling sellers it will no longer investigate reports of buyer returns fraud - specifically cases where a buyer returns an item different from the product they received.

A seller described the change in this recent letter to the editor. "Historically, whether through Hassle Free Returns, a Protection Case or a Return Request, eBay would require a buyer to return an item in its original condition. If it was not, a seller was able to dispute it, escalate it or appeal it with evidence that the item was not the original item sent out or altered from its original condition. Then eBay would protect the Seller through Seller Protection." But the seller said they verified with eBay that that protection is now gone.

In another case, a seller sold a part on eBay with a stated 14-day money-back guarantee. The buyer opened a "Buyer Protection Case" and returned an old used part - not the item the seller had sent them. "It was missing components, was dirty, the serial number did not match the item I sold and it was even carelessly stuffed into a photo mailing envelope with no static protection at all."

An "Appeals" representative told the seller that eBay did not cover sellers in this type of situation any more - "the only proof they now require is that the tracking number on the return label show that an item was delivered to the seller."

When eBay announced the Fall Update changes to returns, it made no mention that sellers would be unable to appeal returns in cases of fraud - it paints the overall changes as more beneficial to sellers who are victims of buyer fraud. "Along with new customization features, eBay is adding improved protections to help prevent misuse of the returns process."

eBay is well aware of bad buyer behavior and in fact, it's inviting certain sellers to participate in a new pilot program to help them deal with false claims from buyers.

Some sellers say eBay has never helped sellers when a scam buyer returned a different item, but the seller above said several eBay reps told him it's a practice that went into effect at the end of September. It was always difficult for sellers to prove a case, but what appears to be different now is that eBay won't open any investigation on a seller's behalf.

Have you encountered instances of buyer returns fraud (sometimes called "rocks in a box"), and what do you think of these reports that eBay will no longer investigate those cases on behalf of sellers?

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Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 10:24:35 2015

THIS is what happens when the ONLY Feedback a Buyer can GET is ''positive''... Imagine that, no matter what you did in life... paid bills late/not at all, ran red lights, assaulted people, etc... that there was NO record and NO punishment. Would people STOP the behavior ? Would an insurance Company be able to AVOID covering dangerous drivers ? Of course not... The world works BEST when there are ENFORCED rules for BOTH 'sides'... we now have the self entitled generation knowing they need NO 'personal responsibility' when buying ONline... No need to VERIFY what is OFFERED is what one NEEDS... why should I ? The SELLER must pay for MY lack of due diligence... It is RIDICULOUS that 'shipping', which INCREASES every year... should be ''free''... a shopper who goes to a B&M is not PAID to drive there, nor are they PAID when they need to make a RETURN... Buying online is a CONVENIENCE... there is a COST for that... WHY should it be 'free'... HOW can sellers offer 'the lowest prices' on eBay... and self absorb the highest fraud & loss ? I recently fought a bad buyer for over a MONTH... he has done this to DOZENS of sellers... before sale, then, upon receipt after sale partials, feedback extortion, ALL DOCUMENTED in his eBay messages... yes, eBay can SEE what he writes... and... unpaid items... 50% of his 'buys' relisted by low FB sellers, who don't know they CAN file UPI... or... savvy criminal BEGS newbie seller to MARK PAID... then, doesn't pay... thus AVOIDS suspension... BAD people need RULES... they need to KNOW that their bad actions will be a VIEWABLE RECORD for those FORCED to do business with them... a seller has a RIGHT to know what kind of buyer the person is... the seller has a RIGHT to PROTECT themselves from LOSS... I am a 17yr. eBay vet. I will NOT be stolen from, or, abused by a thief. I SUFFERED for a month fighting and getting eBay to see this buyer made NO money for ANYONE... it was all about FREE stuff... I will NOT fight again... IF eBay lets a criminal harm me or my business again, IF eBay is given the PROOF and refuses to act... I will PROTECT MYSELF and LEAVE eBay. End of rant.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: epuise This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 10:29:12 2015

IHEARTJACKSPARROW wrote: Remember back when Rich Matsuura was saying: "If we're getting reports from sellers that they're getting a brick in the box as a return, that's pretty egregious. These things that are outright fraud and these are people we don't want on the site, we're suspending them, and we're just getting rid of them altogether."

Whatever happened to getting rid of "liar buyers"? Oh, that's right, that would hurt eBay's bottom line. ----answer---->
eBay got rid of Rich Matsura... it was cheaper...

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 11:49:03 2015

IT's not so much that this has NOT been "policy"  on ebay for quite some time;  it's that the TOS clearly stated that this was NOT to be taken lightly;  so you at least had the pretense of being able to quote them this and perhaps get action.

Now on the other hand--they still have those TOS up on the site but apparently are blatantly telling sellers Suck It Up ButterCup---we don't give a rats patootie that you sent out a brandy dandy new iPhone and got back a box full of used yogurt cups.  They WERE telling us that "Liar Buyers"  were going to be weeded out and dealt with--NOW they are telling us Nope;  No Liar Buyer is worth banishing ever.

It is rank hypocrisy of course but at least it is now sort of out in the open--now all they have to do is change those TOS ON THE SITE TO REFLECT THIS.  

Since we all KNOW this will NEVER happen--it is up to us to force the issue with--as stated by several posters above--filming any returns;  filing a Mail Fraud Case with the USPS or the carrier;  contacting the State Atty General in YOUR State;  NY;  CA and where ever the package came from;  "threatening"  legal action; and don't forget to cry in your beer.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Nov 4 12:15:30 2015

I've been reading the EKG posts since the last hack/blackout, and it appears that eBay is crumbling faster than the House of Usher. Virtually every function is failing. How much longer are sellers going to put up with this nonsense?  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 12:19:57 2015

@IHEARTJACKSPARROW----

Sadly this will go on as long as ebay "domonates"  the market--there still seems to be no other "venue"  that has the listings (hard tho they might be to FIND!)  and the sales--hard tho they might be to GET!---eCrater; LetGo; FB; Bonanza; ETSY---none of these has decided to go head to head with ebay and we are still at their "mercy".  

These site outages are very disturbing tho--makes you wonder just HOW watertight their old scow really is.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: DZT This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 4 15:02:52 2015

I am not sure what Pay Pal's stance is on fraudulent returns by buyers.... But.....
As long as the buyer pays with Pay Pal & the refund is issued thru Pay Pal.....Why can't the seller dispute the return request thru Pay Pal resolution?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:11:45 2015

Ebay wants criminals it makes them more money. Ebay is a criminal organization period.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: truevisionary This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 01:37:08 2015

This has been going on for a long time. eBay is a complete mess. There are a LOT of unprofessional sellers and a small percentage of scamming buyers. I will never buy or sell on that platform ever again. Changed to Amazon about 18 months ago and it is night and day. Unprofessional sellers get suspended quickly and bad buyers who abuse returns also get suspended.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 04:38:13 2015

If a buyer commits return (or other) fraud and ends up with your item and your money then they have a debt with you. Sell the debt to a redneck collection agency (the kind that collects debts with baseball bats) for one cent. You may not get your money back but you can get revenge. You can also get the agency to trash their credit rating by reporting them to all the Credit Reference Agencies and the fraud list. That will effectively invalidate any insurance policy they have when they or their family come to claim. Just threatening this in the USA where there is no free medical insurance or welfare state can strike terror into the heart of the fraudster. Been there, done it, got the T-shirt.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Thu Nov 5 06:54:48 2015

Comet, I think that there is great potential for Facebook. They are not quite there yet, but if they were to make products easy to list without having to go out to a third party and utilize buy now buttons I think that they could be a huge success. 1.19 billion monthly active users, 874 million mobile users, and 728 million daily users....that's a big potential market.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 5 07:50:20 2015

To hell with ebay , does anyone really care? They are becoming a distant echo in the world, just avoid them like a meltdown on an island.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: MS Vintage This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 12 18:44:39 2015

Uh, yes -

A buyer, a doctor in Missouri, as he reminded me in obnoxious emails, demanded that I resend an item that had not yet arrived, and opened an item not received case against me. I told him that we had to wait and see whether the item arrived a little late. More obnoxious messages, demanding that I refund or resend - then, two days later he left neutral and insulting feedback.  And two days after that, I got a message from eBay that they had decided the case in the buyer's favor and returned his money to him.  So I guess now late delivery is a refundable situation.  Oh yes - that email from eBay suggested I try to persuade the buyer to give me back my money.  So I'm out the item and postage - and if I had given in, I'd have been out double.

Then they sent me a survey about my experience.

I can't tell whether the problem is eBay's having too many non-native speakers of English in their "Customer Support" or whether the company is just amoral: I paid them to give an item away to a Doctor in Missouri. Crazy.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Sun Jan 31 11:54:11 2016

Notice of Class Action Settlement concerning PayPal Holds placed on Seller Accounts:

https://www.accountholdsettlement.com/

Zepeda v. PayPal Settlement

United States District Court for the Northern District of California
Case No. 10-CV-02500 SBA

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