Sellers often describe challenges dealing with buyer disputes. The topic came up in two recent threads on the eBay discussion boards - specifically disputes over returns - so we visited the eBay help pages for a refresher.
We were struck anew with one of eBay's policies - if a seller asks eBay to step in and help with a dispute, and eBay finds on behalf of the buyer, the seller could receive a defect - and that could ultimately lead to the seller paying higher fees.
"You can ask eBay to step in and help if you feel the buyer has misrepresented the reason for the return. eBay will review your request and take appropriate action. Remember, when you ask eBay to step in and help without successfully resolving the issue directly with your buyer and eBay finds on behalf of the buyer, it will result in a defect."
For those unfamiliar with eBay's seller defects, they contribute to a seller's performance standards. Sellers who fall below eBay's minimum performance standards
face a number of possible consequences:
- eBay may limit their selling activity;
- eBay may penalize them in search;
- and eBay may charge them higher final value fees.
eBay doesn't dispute the fact there are bad buyers on its site. But if sellers are concerned they may have encountered a bad buyer and ask eBay for help, eBay will penalize them for doing so if it finds in favor of the buyer.
Keep in mind that sellers on eBay don't have details about a buyer's track record, so they have no way of gauging whether they're dealing with a chronic troublemaker.
If eBay wanted to root out bad buyers, wouldn't they encourage sellers to tell them when they suspect a customer is abusing its policies?
Here are links to the two threads on the eBay boards about returns where sellers get into the nitty-gritty of what they have experienced: