Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Wed Oct 29 2014 21:17:59

Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

By: Ina Steiner

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A longtime seller and reader of EcommerceBytes is quitting eBay over a run-in with an abusive buyer in a bad experience that was compounded by eBay's policies and snafus.

A shopper bought 21 items from the seller over the course of two weeks. Two weeks after receiving her first shipment, the buyer started sending in return requests, citing "don't need it anymore."

The seller's return policy stated 100% refund within 30 days, but the buyer has to pay return shipping. "I guess when she went to ship them back, she realized that, so started opening cases of "item doesn't match description." For the reason she put "Other: Don't need it anymore."

Within seconds, the seller said, eBay emailed her that they had found in favor of the buyer. That means the seller is out her original shipping costs, return shipping, and her eBay fees

"I want to point out that she received several shipments," the seller said. "She had the first shipment of 13 items days before she bought more. So, if she wasn't happy with them, for whatever reason, why keep buying? Clearly, she was buying with intent to return."

And there's more. When the seller went to refund the buyer for the 18 items she had received back, she found that on each item, both the refund request and the case of the item not matching the description were open.

"I called eBay to ask how to do the refund. I expressed concern that the refund could be issued twice, once through the case and once through the return request. The customer service rep confirmed that was true. He said that, when the case was opened, the return request should have been closed, but it wasn't. He said he'd straighten it out and call back the next day. He didn't."

The seller said she thinks it's important for sellers to know that eBay keeps fees in such cases, and that eBay automatically approves the "item doesn't match" cases.

"What should happen is that eBay throws her off (I suspect they've done this before and this is a new user ID she emerged with), then provide a way for me to refund her for the items she returned, less my shipping cost. Since she bought with no intent to keep the items, I should not incur any financial loss. And eBay is definitely not entitled to any fees."

What do you think of this case and how eBay handled it?




Comments (108) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 21:40:03 2014

hassle  FREE  returns.   ZOWIE !   Sign me UP.   ( not )

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed Oct 29 21:43:02 2014

eBay handled this matter the way they always do: the buyer is an innocent, little lamb that must be protected, and the seller is a hungry, salivating Chupacabra that must be put down. End result: buyer wins, seller loses.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: joshua This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 22:43:09 2014

Think of it this way. CS Reps are told to resolve the situation ASAP. If they do not know what to do then buyer wins. Even when you walk them through the transactions.  At no time will they refer up for resolution. I do not know what the turnover is in CS but it does take time to understand the buying/selling process. I would guess most CS Reps do not buy or sell therefore do not understand the process. Everything is off of a script card. If it is on this list the seller wins(this is a short list). If it is on this list the buyer wins. If it is not on any list buyer wins.  

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: ebay madness This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:03:51 2014

This is EXACTLY why I quit offering returns a few years ago. Way too much remorse in the women's clothing category. Bytes has had many an article on this. In addition, there are the shopaholics that just want to shop and then return, an addiction just like any other. A similar thing happened to me. A customer kept buying boxes of clothing and kept returning most of them. The last straw with her and my ''open return policy'', was when she returned the last box of everything she bought, covered in cat hair and bugs with little feelers, and of course they stunk! She had about 20 cats and they must have been using these fine clothes for their lil blankies...lovely. Of course, when she found out I blocked her, she left me a whole row of bad feedback. Previous to that, I would get returns in the mail past my return policy, without even as much as a courtesy email telling me it was coming. I'm just a one woman shop, not a Macy's or Nordstrom's dept. store. I don't know about anyone else, but my bills come the same time every month, fees have to be paid and more goods to buy. When I'm continuously shelling money back out, it just doesn't work! As much as it isn't fair to the smart and savy shoppers, my return policy stays off. I just can't/won't do it!

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: ebay madness This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:09:06 2014

And I forgot the punch line...feebay just doesn't get it! This seller did not deserve it! This defect system is designed to kill the seller! It seems that's what you get for being a great seller. She offered returns and still got hung. They need to make some serious changes or there will be even more mass exoduses!

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: RL This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:41:59 2014

As we have repeatedly said, eBay doesn't understand that is true customers are the SELLERS who pay eBay! This will not change until either the sellers create an effective organization to counter eBay stupidity and greed, or, sellers quit eBay.

How about a one day halt on new listings?.....

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: Small Guy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:49:53 2014

Just hard to believe a company can operate like this.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: Gina This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:50:40 2014

another reason why I list LEGALLY NON RETURNABLE ITEMS!  Lingerie, undies, corsets, etc.  This way, the consumer is protected against getting used underwear.......& I'm protected against "buyer's remorse".  Still, I'm amazed at how many careless consumers throw their money in an instant without reading ANYTHING, then scream to the high heavens when they don't receive it in 3 days,and ten sizes too small.  All this is covered in the listing statement which goes unread too often!

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: zenbreeze This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:54:03 2014

Not offering returns won't save you from this.  ''Item doesn't match'' complaints will override you and eBay automatically approves them (since they keep the fees, it's to their advantage).  It's like if the judge who heard the case got a kickback if he found in favor of the plaintiff.  Unbelievable.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Wed Oct 29 23:58:36 2014

For this reason I limit how many items one person can buy in a short period of time and anyone 5 feedbacks or under.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: miss casual This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 00:06:47 2014

EBay has made it way too easy for any buyer to get their return shipping paid for. Just claim that something is "wrong" with the item.

Sellers are being abused left and right. Amazon abuses its sellers too but at least it delivers a high sales volume. I am closing my eBay store before the end of December.  

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: nimsaoui This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 00:12:13 2014

This issue may not be that simple as it seems.
Returns for internet purchases are getting more and more popular.
Simply because the buyer cannot hold the item in hands for inspection
at the moment of purchase.

In Germany, Zalando, the largest fashion seller on the 'net, even
SUGGESTS that people order 3 sizes of a t-shirt or shoes
and then send two of these back!
Is this the future of online sales? Possibly.
Don't miss the boat!

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

This user has validated their user name. by: SellSellSell

Thu Oct 30 00:14:24 2014

Would it not be fair to listen to both sides and make a fair ruling? It seems in this case the seller was screwed and common sense was an abstract idea. Sorry for the seller and too bad these buyer can't be left negative feedback and their own dashboard.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: ebay madness This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 00:16:21 2014

@Gina

Ditto! Another reason I went to no returns. Too many don't read a darn thing! I've shortened my auctions to only what they need to know, no boring paragraphs on stuff they don't care about. They shop by size label or how it looks on the mannequin-wrong! Every single measurement, it's in there. I have won every case so far, it seems to always be the size issue/buyers' remorse...but I always wear a 2X....it looked so long on the mannequin...are you a size 4???  Of course it's going to hang down further on a curvy sexy mannequin. Personally, I think they do shop more carefully when (if they do read it!), see you have a no return policy. It is nice and peaceful for the most part not offering returns. It keeps most from trying to return, they know from the start, it's a chance they take.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

This user has validated their user name. by: SellSellSell

Thu Oct 30 00:16:57 2014

I have seen as part of the returns that the listing and description was NOT read. This seems to be a trend with more mobile purchases are made as an impulse buy.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 00:36:33 2014

Fun, Fun, Fun, shop till you drop... and then just return everything.

Just like a heroin high, then the crash, or in this case lack of cash. Oh-yah that damn electric bill came due.

So not only are you out all the fees and double shipping costs, add up the countless hours on CS calls and tracking, picking, packing and restocking inventory.

Like I said Fun, Fun, Fun!



Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: WhatWas This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 00:41:34 2014

Oh I wanted to add... eBay really should include a "mental health defect" clause in their Seller protection Terms and Conditions. I am sure the Ho can relate : )

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: Tornad0sRul This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 00:41:59 2014

LOL.  Sorry but it's funny to hear someone ask what we think about this typical story of an EBay criminal, I mean babied buyer, who easily swindles an innocent seller while EBay reps pretty much tell the seller to take it in the shorts and shut up about it.  Same old crap.

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Oct 30 01:08:57 2014

One of the most appalling posts I have ever read. How do I think eBay handled it? Abominably. The thought of what happened to the seller makes me steaming mad. Truly a ghastly experience!  

Perminate Link for Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche   Seller Quits eBay after Returns Avalanche

by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Thu Oct 30 01:10:00 2014

There is no such thing as no returns on ebay. I am moving my things out to other venues. 325 items left. I don't need eBay anymore and I sure don't want to sell on this terrible site. Getting ready to file for my eBay divorce soon.  

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