|Sun Jan 12 2014 10:29:14|
Could eBay Be Growing Sensitive to Cross Border Challenges?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay alerted sellers to problems with packages sent to Argentina on Friday and proactively put into place some protections for sellers.
In the announcement, eBay encouraged sellers to sell to Latin America - "countries like Argentina offer opportunities for eBay sellers to expand their sales to buyers there." But at the same time, eBay said buyers in Argentina are facing delays in receiving their items. It blamed "stricter enforcement of import and customs regulations and duties in Argentina" and referred sellers to the Spanish-language Administracion Federal website.
In an unusual move, eBay also said it had contacted buyers in Argentina and asked them to allow extra time for their items to be received and put additional policies in place to help protect sellers.
"While we review the situation, we will provide the following protections for impacted transactions:
- Automatic feedback removal of neutral and negative feedback, as well as any low detailed seller ratings for shipping time, along with any associated feedback.
-- eBay Buyer Protection cases opened by Argentinian buyers beginning November 17, 2013, for item not received that we determine are the result of this situation will not count toward your seller performance rating regardless of the outcome of the case."
eBay has greater expertise and more skin in the game thanks to the Global Shipping Program it launched in 2012. Could it be becoming more sensitive to the issues sellers face when things occur outside their control?
A seller who read eBay's announcement was cynical. "Is eBay starting to learn what sellers face as a result of the Global Shipping Program? They will automatically remove feedback for these transactions, many of which likely involve eBay Global Shipping, but their efforts to protect sellers domestically fall far short of what they are doing here."
Last month, eBay also added some flexibility to the Global Shipping Program. It now allows sellers to use their own shipping service for up to four locations while using the GSP program for all other countries.
eBay rebranded its buyer protection program to "Money Back Guarantee." It will be interesting to watch how it balances the requirements to protect buyers and sellers with its desire to minimize its own exposure to the risk of international trade.