|Wed Sept 10 2014 14:30:09|
Should Buyers Be Able to Cancel eBay Orders within 1 Hour?
By: Ina Steiner
There's a new eBay policy that may have gotten lost in the shuffle with all the changes the marketplace announced on August 12 as part of the eBay Fall Seller Release, and that's order cancellations.
eBay is making it easier for buyers to cancel orders. Previously, buyers had to contact the seller directly in order to request an order cancellation. Now, says it is streamlining the cancellation process to make it easier for buyers and sellers to cancel a transaction directly from My eBay.
Buyers will be able to request a cancellation if they change their mind within an hour after the sale (as long as the seller hasn't already shipped the item).
Upon learning of the new policy, one irate reader wrote, "Obviously they know that smaller sellers like myself can't possibly stay up 24/7 uploading tracking numbers within one hour."
Another seller wrote a letter, published on the Letters to the Editor blog, expressing dissatisfaction with the new policy, writing, "eBay used to tell buyers that when they bought an item they were entering into a legal binding contract to pay for it."
In addition, eBay states, "Sellers will also have the option to cancel transactions directly from My eBay instead of the Resolution Center and, if the buyer paid with PayPal, sellers will no longer need to wait for a response from the buyer."
Don't forget, however, that seller-initiated cancellations are counted as a Defect.
eBay provided a tip to sellers for avoiding defects for cancelled orders: "If your buyer asks you to cancel a transaction, just be sure you do so through the eBay cancellation link in My eBay and select the "buyer requested" reason for the cancellation. This lets eBay know the buyer requested the cancellation. Remember, cancellations requested by your buyer will not count as defects."
Pay special attention to what follows: "However, if you issue a PayPal refund without a cancellation request from the buyer, eBay may conclude that you have cancelled the transaction, which would count as a defect."
We found a Youtube video published by a seller that shows the process he goes through for cancelling the order without getting a defect - screenshot follows.
To demonstrate the uncertainty sellers often have around changes, someone left a comment for him on YouTube stating, "From what I understand about the new Seller Policies and defects, and reading the eBay community board, if the buyer does not cancel the transaction by their own initiation, and without you the seller initiating the cancellation on behalf of the buyer, the defect will still count against the seller."
We've asked eBay to confirm that the video correctly outlined the method a seller should follow to avoid getting a defect, we'll let you know when we get an answer.
So, on one hand, sellers are concerned the new policy will lead to an increase in buyers making purchases without a commitment to follow through - this can be quite burdensome particularly for auction listings. On the other hand, many sellers say they'd rather have the buyer cancel a transaction before they ship the item rather than afterwards.
What do you think, and how will you handle this change?
Update 9/10/14: Here's what eBay spokesperson Ryan Moore said:
Yes, that video is accurate today and is similar to the video that is available on the eBay YouTube page.
However the returns best practices will change slightly with the After Sale changes we announced in the Fall Seller Update. When the after sale changes start going live starting next week through the end of the month. If a buyer contacts a seller directly for a return, the seller should advise them to request the return in My eBay. Doing so helps safeguard both the seller and your buyer by giving eBay visibility into the transaction in the event that we need to step in and help. It’s also important to remember that if sellers issue a PayPal refund without a return request through the eBay returns process, eBay may conclude that the seller has cancelled the transaction, which would count as a defect.
We will be updating our videos to reflect the appropriate best practices soon.