Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Sept 9 2021 23:14:42

When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

By: Ina Steiner

Sponsored Link

When buyers return an item because it arrived late - even if it's the fault of the shipping carrier - it can grow eBay's coffers. That's because of "penalty" fees eBay charges sellers. This week, a seller said eBay customer service reps contribute to the problem and called it "self-dealing."
 
The seller said they have talked to buyers who requested returns because they no longer needed the item, but return requests show up as SNAD claims (item not as described), which incur a 5% penalty fee if they reach the threshold established by eBay. 

The seller described such a case that occurred on Wednesday in a thread on the Seller discussion boards on eBay:

"Today, I had a buyer TEXT eBay for the return. I shipped an item and it took 10 days to arrive (USPS FirstClass) and in the mean time, they opened an "ITEM NOT RECEIVED" case. When the item arrived, they TEXTED eBay to close that case and explained they no longer needed the item and to help them do a return.

"The EBAY EMPLOYEE opened the new case with SNAD, when clearly it was NOT!"

The seller posted a screenshot that showed the text exchange between their buyer and an eBay rep. The buyer said, "I did not need it after all. It arrived too late for us to use."

The seller then posted a screenshot of the claim notification they received:

Reason for return: Doesn't match description or photos.

Comments: It arrived too late for us to use.

It appears the buyer never stated the product didn't match the description or photos, despite what eBay's notice to the seller stated.

Note that eBay displays the estimated delivery date to buyers, which can differ based on criteria such as the buyer's location - the delivery date is not part of the seller-provided product description. 

The seller noted, "If I get enough of these defects over the miniscule threshold, they can make thousands in additional income."

eBay implemented the practice of assessing penalty fees in 2018 (it started as a 4% fee and rose to 5% the following year). At the time, eBay said claims for Item Not as Described and Item Not Received would count in its calculations. 

But in 2019, an eBay moderator wrote, "The estimated delivery date is considered a part of the item description,..."

Should sellers pay a penalty fee when packages don't arrive by the estimated delivery date eBay displays - even during the busy holiday shopping season when carrier backlogs are common? Have you ever been hit by an eBay penalty fee?

Comments (27) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: DZT

Thu Sep 9 23:36:30 2021

When it comes to eBay....2 wrongs don't make a right... but 3 do.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Thu Sep 9 23:56:11 2021

eBay will find any way to make a buck as they slowly but surely destroy the company.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 10 04:12:57 2021

“ But in 2019, an eBay moderator wrote, "The estimated delivery date is considered a part of the item description,..."”

eBay’s ‘right’ to assess a penalty as means of deterring demonstrated poor performance to protect their brand ends where facts have defined an error in the ‘algorithm’ they’ve absently handed that job over to.  Their ‘inability’ to consider appeal that presents said facts rests with a lack of empowerment for human override as a matter of ‘established’ procedure.

In this case, if the seller is complicit in delaying delivery due to exceeding their handling for example, then the ‘defect’ is ‘earned’, and the AI gets a cookie.  But if it s eBay who has provided a ‘guarantee’ that is based on anything NOT defined by the seller, and the algorithm triggered by the ‘alleged’ result, then eBay has no ‘right’ to assess any ‘penalty’ justified by seller ‘defect’. Since eBay is now the MOR, any penalties ‘withheld’ from sellers based on these cases boils down to theft if not promptly corrected upon presentation of relevant facts.

It’s as simple as that.  And as complicated as what it takes to hold those desperately greedy for ‘growth’ who are responsible for the larceny accountable.  

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 10 08:30:36 2021

The greedy lieing thieving mafioso's are at it again.

Sellers dont control delivery. If a buyer wishes to pay more for a shorter delivery time - thats THEIR choice.

Bottom line - when you deal with eBay you come away feeling slimy ..... this is just another one of those reasons.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Sep 10 09:45:55 2021

All of this sounds 100% illegal, even in California!

This is the biggest class action news I've ever heard coming from eBay!

Like I said, it has to be illegal lying about returns so you can profit. . . . .

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: zeek6228 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 10 14:09:02 2021

I put a 5 handling time on my listings so if someone in the same zip code plans to purchase on Sept 10, it will say "estimated delivery date Sept 20-22"

Then if I ship the item on Sept 10, they will change the estimated delivery date to Sept 13 and the buyer opens an INR case and starts complaining Sept 14.



Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

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

Fri Sep 10 18:20:03 2021

@zeek6228

That is exactly why I stopped listing items for sale on Ebay.  They just do not care how blatant they look stealing money for their bottom line as they feel they are completely protected from the government going after them since they have bought most of the politicians with their political donations.  Until that ability is completely taken away, nothing will change going forward.

Ebay has succeeded where the mafia failed - being able to control almost all the politicians very inexpensively.  Hopefully after all the facts come out at the Steiners lawsuit, there will be so much evidence of how Ebay steals money from all of its customers that the Justice Department will have no choice but to finally go after them.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: lancecorp This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 10 18:49:44 2021

The USPS problems are beginning early. I've had packages in sorting centers for days before moving on - TG for decent buyers.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Sep 10 19:58:56 2021

I've ordered 4 items from eBay over the past week.

All 4 coming 1st class mail.

Package from Reno took 3 days.

The one from Washington will take 8

The one from Ohio will be 8

And the one from Illinois will be 8

1st class mail is slowing down!

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

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

Fri Sep 10 23:00:23 2021

@toolguy

That is exactly what DeJoy promised when he asked for the last rate hike and they gave it to him despite this drop in service.  It has gotten to where the PRC just rubber stamps anything that is put in front of them no matter how lousy the service gets.  DeJoy seems to get his jollies from continuing to raise the rates on US sellers without raising the rates on China as had been promised by  Trump all while continuing to lower the delivery standards.

DeJoy has huge investments in UPS and FED-EX  (estimated to be between $35 and $70 million) which he lied about during his confirmation hearings.  Everything he has done since becoming the Postmaster General seems to be geared at driving business away from USPS to the companies he has his investments in which is a total  and complete  conflict of interest and should result in him being removed from the position, but for some reason he seems to be protected even though he was chosen by a Republican President.

Even with those 2 rate hikes they have already gotten this year, now we are going to pay for another so called temporary hike starting Oct 1 through Dec 25 all with no promises of speeding up service but with the same rhetoric of slowing first class down so they can once again send all first class mail via some type of ground service which has been nothing but a fiasco since he took over as the Postmaster General.  He also knows that the entire reason they have lost money is due to the $5 billion annual contribution to future retirees health benefits that Congress mandated a few years ago, yet that topic never seems to get broached anymore just like not raising the postage rate on Chinese packages over hear.  Everything that he proposes is costing US businesses ever increasing shipping costs while providing substandard service which seems to get worse daily despite the rate increases.  

They should not need another temporary increase to handle the holiday rush as that should have all been covered in the budget that was submitted previously as was always done prior to him taking over as Postmaster.  UPS is looking to hire around 100,000 employees for the holiday season and USPS is looking to hire 40,000 who will probably be the bottom of the barrel if their recent hires I have had to deal with are any indication of their hiring pool.  

The last new hire I had to deal with refused to pick up my outgoing packages because they were to heavy for her to carry up the street to her van.  I had 6 packages that each weighed less than 4 ounces, this after refusing to take my packages the previous 2 days also.   My local postmaster came out and picked up my packages to take them to the sorting center and could not believe that they only weighed less than 4 ounces each as the carrier had stated that they were above USPS 70 lb limits.  I never had to deal with her again as she was terminated (still on probation) and sent back to where she came from to use the Postmasters words.

Time for a new Postmaster General who actually has experience working at USPS and who understands how the system works most efficiently.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Sep 11 18:45:47 2021

Continuing to sell on eBay is akin to staying with a physically abusive spouse.  After the first abusive episode, your choice to stay invites more and more of the same, and with eBay you are sure to be victimized time and time again.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: Mazdaman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 13 00:22:01 2021

Yep, we've been hit by this, to the point where we STOPPED ALL INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING.  NO ONE paid for Priority International and everyone chose 1st Class International, so the USPS' 6-15 business day estimate was dragged out during the height of COVID.  But worse, we had packages that would arrive 1-4 business days after the estimate, and the buyer would STILL file an INR, even though the ALREADY HAD THE PACKAGE AND TRACKING SHOWED IT.  It seems this was a popular scamming method in France - so we CUT OFF FRANCE.  It grew to Sweden and Norway, so we cut them off as well.  And the foreign customers didn't like that, but we were tired of providing free products and free shipping, and our business was better off.

Now that some countries are again providing tracking after completely ending in-country tracking, we'll add them back on, but we may eliminate First Class International completely if we encounter more of this problem.

And yes, when that 3-day late item arrived and we APPEALED the eBay decision as EBAYS OWN SITE SAID TO DO, eBay DENIED the appeal!  WHAT?  So eBay essentially STOLE OUR PRODUCTS AND TOOK OUR SHIPPING MONEY AS WELL.  Are they still wondering why sellers are broadening out from using just eBay as a venue, including having their own websites?

Gee, I would have thought an MBA would have been smarter than to do that, but apparently in eBay's parlance "MBA" means "Menial Brain Ability".

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Sep 13 02:11:20 2021

This is likely being blown out of per-portion a bit.  This goes back to the October 2018 change in the return system to the Simplified Return system.  It is logical to thing that in the 3+ years since this was implemented that if a significant amount of sellers were falling into the Penalty fee, we would hear far more about it than we do.

If no place else the threads would be ablaze with this issue and it simply is not and has not been 2018.  

We all have enough issues to deal with on Ebay rather than adding another one to our plates that is more likely a nothing burger.

We do however need Ebay to change this ridiculous Simplified Return system.  Since not a peep about it was in the recent Fall Seller Update, clearly it isn't coming this year.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: leavingNY This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 13 09:07:30 2021

I have had Ebay change a simple return request into a SNAD. It happened when  buyer filed a remorse return and had no idea how to print the label and get it shipped back to me. The buyer phoned Ebay and they changed the return into a SNAD and told me to figure out a way for ME to send them a return label when one was already provided to the buyer. Since the buyer could not figure out how to print the label, Ebay just decided to give them a FULL refund and I never got the item back. Ebay steals your money when ever they feel like it. I filed a police report for theft against ebay. They are criminals

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 13 11:46:15 2021

"This is likely being blown out of per-portion a bit." - NO - theft and abuse of sellers is part of eBays DNA and it happens ALL the time. Its NOT out of proportion at all.

eBay should NEVER even be involved in FORCED returns - too bad if it mucks up THEIR business model. With the BILLIONS they have, THEY can warranty items for 30 days or insure timely delivery.

Leave sellers ALONE.

"It is logical to thing that in the 3+ years since this was implemented that if a significant amount of sellers were falling into the Penalty fee, we would hear far more about it than we do."

eBay PUSHES sellers into money loosing situations because it pads THEIR bottom lines - directly or indirectly.

Now that MP is in full swing - eBay has made it "oh so clear" that they will NOT take 1 thin dimes loss on ANY transaction.

eBay hates Paypal because they did, but now that its directly out of eBays pocket - they will not.

If it causes a seller money - ANY kind of loss - then too d@mn bad - and eBayCLOSED didnt change that - not at all.

Thats EXACTLY why Ina had to run a column LAST WEEK on eBay charging sellers $20 (or more) even if they win chargebacks - if you cant cheat your customers who can you cheat?

If a buyer is happy then they will come back and eBay feels that it doesnt matter if the buyers are crooks, if they are crazy or just feel entitled - it doesnt matter.

As long as the seller put the item in for shipping when THEY promised to - thats IT.

Charging a seller for anything else that may have gone wrong is FRAUD. Sellers have no control over USPS, UPS or Fed EX operations ... ESPECIALLY with the "Covid-19" BS thats still in place! (no bubble gm in the stores? Covid. No rental cars available? COVID)(that game).

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 13 12:30:36 2021

A couple of weeks ago, I made my first purchase on eBay in about 5 or so years.
My wife's car needs a side view mirror after somebody clipped it and kept going.

I found a used mirror on eBay. I too sell auto parts on eBay so I know something about this process. Purchased Aug 30th. Seller in Tennessee, me in California.
My ''estimated'' delivery is Sep 9; carrier UPS...groan. Let me tell you, UPS stinks. They are the worst IMO. I do not use them.
Seller ships it next day. I get a note from eBay ''your item is arriving early''. New estimate Sep 4th.  HUH?? The guy sent it UPS Ground. NO WAY it will be here Sep 4th. It was 'delivered' Sep 7th. Delivered is in quotes because UPS delivered it to the wrong address. It actually got to me on the 10th.

And UPS manage to slightly damage it!! Like I said they stink.

Ebay's false revised estimate is a disservice to buyers and sellers. It is confusing and can lead to false returns. Being in the business I know better and can navigate the process. But for the average buyer, very bad.

Ebay wants to be like the other guy with the improved estimates etc. They haven't grasped that they have NO control over any of the logistics. It is not their place to revise anything. They really aren't in a position to be penalizing sellers for shipping related delays. This needs to be extended to proper training of CS reps so they don't classify returns of this sort as SNAD.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

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

Mon Sep 13 14:19:48 2021

@Marie

"This is likely being blown out of per-portion a bit."
"We all have enough issues to deal with on Ebay rather than adding another one to our plates that is more likely a nothing burger."

This problem may not be getting discussed on the boards a lot for many reasons.  These could include Ebay once again practicing censorship as normal, or maybe because many of those that it is affecting still no nothing about the discussion boards as Ebay does their best to not advertise its existence these days.  

If it is affecting even 1 person then its important as it is just another example of Ebay reaching into the sellers pocket once again to steal money they are not entitled to.  I am sure that if this was happening to you, then it would  suddenly be extremely important.  Also many people may not be aware that it has been happening to them  as they still believe that Ebay is really their partner and would never do anything to harm them.  This being discussed on a platform where censorship does not appear to happen is very important as it may make many others realize these things have been happening to them also.  

If this problem is not happening to you that is great, but it seems to be happening to someone and when Ebay finds a way to steal from its sellers you know as well as I do that it is not limited to only 1 person as they always do their best to maximize any new Revenue Stream.  Unfortunately Ebay no longer has anybody in their employ that they will listen to on how to grow the site organically like they used to and improve their sales once again.  Now it is all about reducing their workload and number of listings/sales while still continuing to increase their rake from each seller on the site.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Sep 13 14:30:08 2021

@PACE

That sounds great on the surface.  But factually it doesn't mean a lot.  I sell on a few sites and all of them can force a refund.  That doesn't mean I like it, it just means they do it.  But forcing a refund is NOT the subject of this article.  

We all know that Ebay's return system is long over due for an overhaul.  I don't think anyone will argue that point.  But that again is not what this article about.  It is about Penalty fees.  And on this subject I stand by what I originally said.

Don't make it something it was never intended for.  I did not address the return system as a whole because again this is not what the article is about.

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Sep 13 14:55:03 2021

"I sell on a few sites and all of them can force a refund. "

I do to and "my dad can beat up your dad".

What is the return period for Reverb? How about for Mercari? How about Poshmark?

Just because eBay wants to ape Amazon - it means nothing to sellers visa via returns.

THIS topic is squarely about returns. Not sure why you cant connect them?

eBay says LOTS of things ... "this doesnt count against you, that doesnt count against you, we are just a venue, Paypal is the safest place to buy for goods on the internet you MUST only use them" and the list goes on and on and on.

1) eBay should fire ALL the overseas CS agents (who are bright as a 25 watt light bulb) and hire American workers, pay them a good salary and give them the power to correct the wrongs that eBays BAD BUYERS inflict on sellers. If this happened then late returns and or negatives could be corrected ON THE SPOT aka this article wouldnt be needed.

2) eBay needs to be %1000000000000 more honest and open about its dealings with sellers and what THEY feel their responsibilities are. As said 900000 times - after the item is dropped off at the carrier - the seller can do NO MORE - so why even have this metric?

3) sometimes - and you may be rich and famous - but alot of us are not - REAL LIFE gets in the way, of some buyers tool, lunch box, trading card or vacuum cleaner bag. Things get delayed - happens on Amazon ALL the time (had it happen to me 2x in the last 3 orders - and waiting an extra day for my 100ft extension cord DIDNT ruin my life). A little humanity (Im not going to say kindness because eBay is evil) is needed.

4) MAYBE you should advocate (since you are so good at it) to be able to penalize eBay when THEY mess up. You said its about penalties no? " It is about Penalty fees. And on this subject I stand by what I originally said."

OK - where do you stand when eBays payouts are late?(why do we not get interest on it?), or how about when they hold money for no reason? or change a rule without telling people? make people waste hours at a time to solve simple issues because they cant seem to hire any normal human beings?

May be go ahead PLEASE - advocate the EBAY should pay a "penalty" ....

I'll stand by what I said (never mind SIK or RIC etc) - this system of penalties - like every OTHER one on eBay - was designed to steal money from sellers in some way. Some overt, some covert - some right in your face outrageous ... all while they give out free perks to the very people who conduct the thefts, and stuff their fat faces at a bar that *I* and every one here had to pay for.

"Just leave us alone to sell our goods. Take your cut and be happy that YOU (eBay) doesnt have to do any REAL work for a living because people like US (we the sellers here) are doing ALL the hard work" - THAT is what I stand by ......

Perminate Link for When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line   When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Sep 13 16:28:53 2021

@pace

While off topic, you asked how I feel when Payouts are late.  IDK, none of mine have been late.  I do weekly deposits.  They are sent every Tuesday morning and they are in my account by early morning on Wednesday.  So this is simply something I haven't experience.  That is NOT to say no one has.  You asked if I had and my answer is NO.

I have also never had MP hold money for no reason.  But I know there are sellers that have issues with their registration and their are some significant delays in getting things fixed so the seller can move forward and get paid.  There are a variety of reasons why this happens, not always Ebay's fault.  But the process is too messed up on the Ebay end and unnecessary delays are imposed on some sellers because they can't even get close to adequate customer service.

YOu can be so infuriating at times as I am CONFIDENT you intend to be.

I DID NOT "May be go ahead PLEASE - advocate the EBAY should pay a "penalty" "  You tend to see what you want to see in what I post without regard to what I actually post.  You myopic view just isn't mine, there is nothing I can do to change that or to get you to open your viewpoint a bit.  You are firmly set.

Here is EXACTLY what I said which bares no resemblance to how you want to twist it to mean.  And FYI my response was ON TOPIC to this thread which is "When Late Deliveries Help eBay's Bottom Line"

" This is likely being blown out of per-portion a bit.  This goes back to the October 2018 change in the return system to the Simplified Return system.  It is logical to thing that in the 3+ years since this was implemented that if a significant amount of sellers were falling into the Penalty fee, we would hear far more about it than we do.

If no place else the threads would be ablaze with this issue and it simply is not and has not been 2018.  

We all have enough issues to deal with on Ebay rather than adding another one to our plates that is more likely a nothing burger.

We do however need Ebay to change this ridiculous Simplified Return system.  Since not a peep about it was in the recent Fall Seller Update, clearly it isn't coming this year."

Click to view more comments
1 2  [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.