Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 31 2016 15:02:23

Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

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In a throwdown between eBay and Amazon, which one wins in the critical area of seller protection?

Both eBay and Amazon offer buyer protection, which is important in gaining shoppers' trust. But as we've documented, there are always some people who will abuse the system - bad buyers, in other words.

In the past, some have said they don't mind Amazon's more stringent seller policies because overall they encounter fewer bad buyers and have fewer headaches there than on eBay - but is that still true today (and was it ever true in your experience)?

Here are excerpts and links to each marketplace's Seller Protection policies:

If you follow the Amazon Marketplace Community Rules when listing, selling, and shipping your item, and you can document the shipment and know that the buyer received the correct item, Amazon doesn't usually hold you responsible for the reimbursement of the claim.

Amazon reserves the right to seek reimbursement from Seller if Amazon, in its sole discretion, decide to reimburse Buyer under the terms of the Amazon.com A-to-Z Guarantee, provide a refund to Buyer if Seller cannot promptly deliver the goods, discover erroneous or duplicate transactions, or receive a chargeback from Buyer's credit card issuer for the amount of Buyer's purchase from Seller.

If you ship an item within your stated handling time and provide tracking information to the buyer before you or the buyer asks us to step in and help with a request, you're protected... If the buyer starts a return request because an item isn't as described in the listing, and then asks us to step in and help, you may be protected from losing a case if you provide clear documentation that the item was described accurately and consistently in the listing.

When a buyer or seller issue arises, we may consider the user's performance history and the specific circumstances in applying our policies. We may choose to be more lenient with policy enforcement in an effort to do the right thing for both buyers and sellers.

Policies are one thing - companies' practices are another. Do eBay and Amazon enforce their policies fairly? Do either of them have employees reviewing buyer-seller disputes, or is it done by a computer algorithm? Are there ways to file for an appeal in a case where the companies wrongly file in the buyer's favor?

In today's Seller Protection Throwdown, tell us which marketplace does a better job of protecting sellers, eBay or Amazon. Vote on SurveyMonkey and return here tomorrow to see who the winner is. And feel free to share your experiences to help your colleagues who encounter problems.

UPDATE: The results are in - Amazon came out ahead, 70% said it does a better job of protecting sellers from bad buyers, while 30% said eBay does a better job. See the story in Tuesday's Newsflash, available now.

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Fri Jun 3 05:02:32 2016

“There are a lot of questions out there and I don’t have any of the answers,”—eBay CEO Devin Wenig, Goldman Sachs Technology And Internet Conference, 10 Feb. 2016.

But Devin has apparently seen the light ...

http://www.recode.net/2016/6/2/11841106/ebay-devin-wenig-amazon

"The world doesn't need an almost-as-good Amazon"—eBay CEO Devin Wenig, Code Conference 2016—reversing the previous policy of the cretinous Johnny Ho-Ho-Ho ...

"I'd rather have a billion unique items that arrive in three days than a billion commodity items that arrive in an hour."—eBay CEO Devin Wenig, Code Conference 2016—reversing another policy of the cretinous Johnny Ho-Ho-Ho, but methinks that horse has well and truly bolted ...

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: DZT

Sat Jun 4 00:34:01 2016

Had a crazy eBay buyer purchase an item & then requested a return on the item 2 hours after it was shipped.

5 calls to eBay customer support over a 1 week time resulted in 5 different answers from CS reps who had a poor grasp of the english language.

The best one of all was when I asked the eBay CS rep. about my seller protections & he actually answered with....
{in broken english}
'' There are no seller protections on eBay ''

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen

Sat Jun 4 00:56:42 2016

@DZT, Well, your persistence paid off; you finally got a truthful response—LOL

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the unscrupulous, the malevolent, the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid. ...

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 4 14:25:54 2016

Amazon wins because they are allowed to use common sense to solve problems.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Jun 4 14:51:28 2016

@DZT - That's probably the most honest thing anyone at eBay has ever said.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: thehosst

Sat Jun 4 21:27:23 2016

Amazon is way better in customer support to sellers but the buyers are way much more tricky and experienced in Amazon than on eBay, they are professional scammers.  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: JustTheFacts This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 6 05:37:01 2016

ebay is doing so badly because it is in a constant state of CHAOS!

The constant changing of the rules, terms, feedback, metrics etc etc every 3-4 month or even twice a year does not provide ANYONE, not the buyers, sellers, or even reps a FOUNDATION in which they can stand on. As a result NO ONE feels "safe" except for those who USE the CHAOS to their favor, and those of course are the SCAMMERS. Scammers LOVE chaos because it allows them to HIDE easier.

While change can be good and most of us do not like it because we get used to things as they are, all change is not good and CONSTANT change is usually always BAD.

What makes the CONSTANT changes at ebay far worse is the fact that they are also constantly changing the systems/platforms themselves in some way and they NEVER WORK CORRECTLY. NOTHING is stable!

ebay has become like an OLD broken down car in which ebay REFUSES to pay for the good and correct parts in order to save time and money.  So instead they keep adding more broken and rusty parts and then they throw a can of cheap paint on it and try and sell it to everyone as a NEW and IMPROVED car. But it does not take long for the rust to show through the cheap paint job and the old parts to start falling off again, and for the people to see ebay once again sold them an OLD broken down car that no longer works and has not work for many many years.  

As for Amazon. Yes they too have their problems with bad buyers.  From my experience selling on both "venues",I have FAR LESS problem buyers than with ebay. However, Amazon is not in a CONSTANT state of change/Chaos like ebay. Therefore sellers and customers feel SAFER and know the rules (good, bad and ugly). Amazon is also not constantly implementing new platform changes and that always fail. I am not saying they have never changed anything and that nothing has ever failed, but they do not do it often and it usually works or stays in Beta stage until it is pretty sound to implement across the board.

I guess the bottom line for me between the two "venues" is that ebay seems to be a company that thrives on Chaos, disruption, confusion, deception, manipulation, and has little regard for buyers or sellers, and whose ONLY goal is making themselves more money at any cost and at anyone's expense.

Amazon on the other hand seems to be a company who thrives on order, stability for it's buyers and sellers, as little interruption to the flow of buying and selling as possible and of course making Amazon as much money as possible.

As a business myself I do not begrudge a company of being able to make as much money as possible, I just care about HOW they make it. meaning,are they honest, fair, etc. Again, not claiming Amazon is a saint by any means.

I am also by no beans saying Amazon rules, applying the rules etc are prefect, it is far from perfect. However, it has what most and that is STABILITY!

Buying and selling on Amazon is consistent. Yes the fees tend to go up every year or two, but you  do not have to worry about constant changes especially when they often have a HUGE financial impact on you and literally change the WAY you can do business on the "venue".  

MANY ebay changes have literally put lots of people out of business through the years. Some were just but most were just caught up in more BAD ebay changes/policies.

This actually brings me to another point about ebay.

ebay does not just keep it's self in total CHAOS through it's constant changes, but 99% of those changes HURT and COST their sellers more and more. And if they happen to implement an actual benefit to their sellers, they either TAKE IT BACK or tweak it so much it voids it out or just disappears.

The only explanation for WHY ebay operates as they do in a field where buyers and sellers are your MEAL ticket to success, is that ALL of the execs at ebay are bipolar and none of them take their meds.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: cillianred This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 9 09:53:44 2016

@Shop and Ship

If that situation ever happens again, you do have options. Once the ''non-delivery'' claim is opened, I would immediately call the specific post office where the package is located, explain the situation and start the process for having the package returned to you.

Before doing so, you could communicate to the buyer that you've already spoken to the post office about returning the package to you. Then the buyer is left with the choice of either picking up the package and the item showing as delivered so no refund or not picking it up and losing the item but getting a refund.

Barring the above, if the refund occurred and THEN the buyer picked up the package and it shows as delivered, then there should be enough evidence for a mail fraud investigation.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 9 13:43:30 2016

Like I said before, I have never had a problem on Amazon, the customer service reps are polite and very helpful. As for eBay, well, you know. Just in case you don't know, eBay is a *!#%@*/ JOKE!

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 24 07:39:25 2016

Hi Ina.  I went thru this Wednesay and Thursday.  Here is what I was told by the Paypal representative who fixed my issues with this.

1. Go to ebay to the Account tab. Scoll down and open "Site Preferences".
2 Scroll down again to THIRD PARTY AUTHORIZATIONS

3. find GIVING WORKS and de-authorize the authorization.

SAVE...

from personal experience? check back every day and re-do it.

I also removed my debit card from the back up funding on ebay and used an account with limited funding. They can get the ebay fees - a big $4 this month because I sold so much...(said with my tongue firmly in my cheek) but that's about all.

Folks who got no refund from ebay should contact paypal and report fraudulent activity - because it is.  I believe Paypal will do right by them.

Thanks for the good life ebay - my ulcer's bleeding and my cerebral artery is threatening to explode

BTW I've been on ebay 20 years and I haven't run a donation campaign since the last Bling My Bra campaign in 2012.  SO no... there were no donations due and 1 sale this month and 1 sale last month... so I'm totally stressed and totally fed up.  

My husband, the buyer in the family?? he better not buy anything on ebay again for a long dang time  

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