Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Aug 12 2018 21:23:19

Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay continues to raise the bar for sellers as it tries to keep buyers happy, and the Fall Seller Update offers further evidence that eBay finds it a lot easier to just side with buyers when disputes arise.

To wit, a new requirement around tracking that takes effect on September 10. The crux of the issue: eBay won't protect sellers from claims of non-receipt unless they've uploaded tracking prior to the estimated delivery date.

What's changed is the timing and method of providing tracking information: even if sellers can prove their packages have been delivered to buyers by providing shipping carriers' tracking numbers, they're out of luck unless they've uploaded tracking by a certain date. Note that sending the tracking number to buyers via member-to-member messaging does not meet the protection requirements at all.

The text of the new policy follows:

Upload tracking to prevent "item not received" claims
Starting September 10, 2018, you will be required to upload tracking in the structured data field before the estimated delivery date has passed in order to appeal an "item not received" claim. eBay will not protect you from a claim if you send the tracking number to the buyer via email.

Without tracking information, eBay can't protect you because we won't be able to confirm your item was delivered. Tracking also benefits buyers by enabling them to track the status of their deliveries. We will also update the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy with the new guidelines.

There was much discussion about this on the eBay boards (though many sellers may have missed it in the onslaught of news in the fall update).

Did eBay really mean it would side with buyers if the seller provides tracking after an "Item Not Received" claim (INR) is filed?

An eBay moderator made clear the answer:

"Yes, if a seller doesn't upload the tracking by the estimated delivery date we cannot guarantee they will be protected. The seller will still have the opportunity to provide the tracking through the case but if the buyer still insists that they didn't get the item the case will be closed against the seller."

A reader wrote to us about the change and pointed out a related mandate: "eBay is now going to require that the proof of Delivery show the address it was delivered to. USPS only shows the zip code and that has always been adequate, but now they are saying that is not. Wow what a massive change that they just buried in with all the other minutiae."

The problem: no carrier provides buyer addresses in their tracking reports, which are visible to third parties, for obvious reasons related to privacy. Nevertheless, eBay spells out in several places, including its help pages, the need for buyer addresses in tracking:

"To be protected, the tracking information will need to show proof of delivery from a shipping company that clearly displays the delivery status of the item as "delivered," the date of delivery (which reflects that you shipped within your stated handling time), and the recipient's address."

Sellers asked over and over for clarification - would eBay side with the buyer if the tracking information did not include the full buyer address? 

But the moderator jech77 continued to obfuscate.

In responding to eBay seller bubbleman2010 who wrote, "Does tracking when the new features roll out have to display the buyers address if a INR dispute is open in order to be found in the sellers favor? YES or NO," the eBay moderator responded, "I want to reiterate, the only thing that has changed is the requirement to upload tracking before the estimated delivery date. The information that we look at to validate the tracking will continue to be the same. We have not made any other changes," leaving sellers to worry there was a reason eBay left itself lots of wiggle room. Is it possible jech77 isn't sure him or herself?

Update 8/13/18: A different eBay moderator also weighed in on the issue in this thread -excerpt follows:

"USPS does not disclose a full delivery address publicly and for good reasons. We also don't validate to the exact street address for the same reason - sorry, I wasn't clear about that. We do look for a matching zip code.

"International shipments can be a bit more challenging as standards of data quality differ across countries and shipping carriers delivering to those countries. We do our best to manage policies according to what the standards are in those countries, but for US shipments, the main thing is making sure that the item was delivered within the same zip code as the buyer indicated in Checkout."

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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril   Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

by: Shackles4Devin This user has validated their user name.

Tue Aug 14 23:07:06 2018

@Ina   The conversation went something similar to this: I said, 'When Adyen jumps on board and we have to give our SS numbers, etc, I will be quitting eBay. She responded, "Oh, a contract was just signed. You'll be ok for another 11 years." I said, "Do you mean that Adyen won't be the payment processor?" She responded, "Yes, eBay had a problem with them. They won't be the payment processor. You don't have anything to worry about for another 11 years."  She was not aware of Apple Pay.
Who knows.....transparency is a rarity.  

Perminate Link for Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril   Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Aug 15 01:55:13 2018

@pace

"As for the payments issue - your refusal to see linkage and causation is odd - but as nothing means anything to you - Im starting to understand."  WHAT?  I said NOTHING of the kind.  My EXACT comment was: Ebay's online payment policy is a completely different subject from what is being discussed here.  I have concerns about it too.  Some are the same as you describe, some are not.

Honestly I don't know why you continually try to misrepresent what I post.  

Perminate Link for Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril   Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Wed Aug 15 02:03:49 2018

Some information I found out on the net.  The original contract with PP ends in 2021.  It appears a new contract was signed to extend that to 2023.  Another couple of years.

https://www.newyorkecommerceforum.com/2018/05/16/new-pay
ment-agreement-of-paypal-and-ebay/

I
don't know if that helps, it is all I could find.  I haven't found anything about an additional 11 year contract.  I'm not saying it doesn't exist, I'm only saying I haven't found anything.

Perminate Link for Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril   Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

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

Wed Aug 15 02:34:54 2018

@Shackles4Devin

I have not read nor heard anything about this change, but nothing surprises me when it comes to Ebay and their lack of disclosures.  Ebay has never really dealt with CS well since Donohoe took over and although if you are able to get into the Concierge group the CS is out of this world great, for the average Ebay user it is the worst I have ever seen or dealt with.  Ebay considers any team or department that does not generate some type of revenue as unnecessary and I am sure they are not looking forward to having to take over the CS side from Paypal and as others have said Adyen is not going to do it either.  This is going to result in a lot of chargebacks from buyers and complaints filed with whichever government agency oversees the credit card industry ( I just cannot remember right now) and Ebay is going to be in way over their heads as to the rules and regulations that they cannot skirt around like they do everything else.  Ebay owned Paypal but Paypal was their own company who dealt with all of the Credit Card Industry rules and regulations and took care of Ebays CS for them because Ebay owned them.  This is going to be a brand new experience for EBay and they may already have run across some major issues that they realize they cannot just rule against the seller on while Beta Testing with the employees.

As I said on the thread about Ebay announcing the issues they were having already with the Beta Test, for Ebay to announce anything negative about their service says it is a heck of a lot worse than they are disclosing.  They feel they HAVE to disclose what they are to be in compliance with some government agency and the fact they have had to do it I am sure has sent ripples up the ladder to Wenig who is so used to just doing whatever he wants to do.  

So who knows, in the Summer of next year then EBay is supposedly going to be accepting Paypal under the Beta test there might be some other major announcement to go with it.  Ebays Marketplace may have become so worthless by then that Carl Icahn might have Paypal pick that piece off the junk heap called Ebay and start running it themselves, hopefully better than Wenig has, that is for sure.

There is definitely something else big going on behind the scenes at Ebay that if it is ever disclosed will probably even knock the socks off of Pace and FidoMaster.  This is just keeping in line with Ebays past history of never disclosing anything bad or negative, but suddenly making this huge announcement and now this little tidbit slipping out, no matter how accurate it may or may not be.

Perminate Link for Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril   Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 09:51:00 2018

While I dont want to belabor the point .... "As for the payments issue - your refusal to see linkage and causation is odd - but as nothing means anything to you - Im starting to understand."  WHAT?  I said NOTHING of the kind."

Your first comment was that none of this (eBays new rule) means anything to you since you upload tracking right away. The second was that eBays new payment system has nothing to do with it.

All I said to you was that they are OBVIOUSLY connected. Whether you agree or not is where/what we were talking about.

Its a known fact that eBay does what ever Amazon does. If Jeff Bezos has a burger for dinner, so does Devil Wenig. When Jeff Bezos goes to the bathroom - Wenig "follows him in".

SO, when Amazon directs smaller sellers to do SC or not be covered under A-Z issues, eBay will (and based on that Blue's comment(s)) not cover sellers either.

How did I reach that? Because when Paypal is no more (they wont be doing CC processing for eBay after a certain point) - WHO will protect sellers?

eBay almost always goes against sellers, and when Adyen contacts eBay saying there are too many customer issues due to INR (it was delivered to the mailbox but its not there so they file a chargeback) ... eBay WILL mandate SC - its simply just a matter of time.

Perminate Link for Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril   Ignore New eBay Tracking Requirements at Your Peril

by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Wed Aug 15 15:38:52 2018

I just figure the less eBay has to do, Customer Service  or IT wise, the less blame they take and the more beatings sellers get.  And in the long run they will profit, no matter what.

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