|Sun Feb 10 2013 17:11:18|
eBay Forces Some Sellers to Pay for Return Shipping
By: Ina Steiner
eBay is forcing some sellers to agree to pay for return shipping for buyers who are unhappy with their purchase for any reason, no matter what the seller's return policy states, and despite the practice going against the default eBay Buyer Protection policy.
Only a percentage of sellers are impacted, causing some to believe it is a technical glitch on eBay's part, but one seller believes it's a sign of eBay's intent to eventually force sellers into offering free returns.
Sellers notice the problem on Saturday when listing items on eBay when they were confronted with the following message:
"If your item sells, you will be charged a Final Value Fee based on a percentage of the item's total cost to the buyer (less any sales tax). If your buyer returns this item because the item is not as described in the listing, you'll be charged return shipping on your seller invoice as a fee, which may be charged to your automatic payment method on file, if any. By clicking the List your item button, you agree to pay the fees above, accepting the listing conditions above, and assume full responsibility for the content of the listing and item offered."
It took sellers a bit of sleuthing to figure out what was going on - it appears eBay changed some sellers' settings to show they were part of the Managed Returns program and had opted to pay for return shipping. eBay launched the optional program in September.
A seller on this eBay discussion board pasted a link to information about the returns program, but couldn't figure out how to opt-out after having been forced into it. Other sellers who were impacted agreed, saying they were unable to find a way to opt out of the Managed Returns program. The fix appears to be to sign out of eBay, sign back in and then try to opt out.
"I know without doubt WE NEVER opted in. I wonder how long I have been opted in without knowing...," wrote a seller on the eBay board.
Have you been opted in to the Managed Returns program without your knowledge or permission? Let us know by leaving a comment.