Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon Nov 2 2015 16:10:55

eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay made a change to its returns policy with the recent Fall Seller Update, but an unannounced change in practices is stinging sellers. We've received reports that eBay is telling sellers it will no longer investigate reports of buyer returns fraud - specifically cases where a buyer returns an item different from the product they received.

A seller described the change in this recent letter to the editor. "Historically, whether through Hassle Free Returns, a Protection Case or a Return Request, eBay would require a buyer to return an item in its original condition. If it was not, a seller was able to dispute it, escalate it or appeal it with evidence that the item was not the original item sent out or altered from its original condition. Then eBay would protect the Seller through Seller Protection." But the seller said they verified with eBay that that protection is now gone.

In another case, a seller sold a part on eBay with a stated 14-day money-back guarantee. The buyer opened a "Buyer Protection Case" and returned an old used part - not the item the seller had sent them. "It was missing components, was dirty, the serial number did not match the item I sold and it was even carelessly stuffed into a photo mailing envelope with no static protection at all."

An "Appeals" representative told the seller that eBay did not cover sellers in this type of situation any more - "the only proof they now require is that the tracking number on the return label show that an item was delivered to the seller."

When eBay announced the Fall Update changes to returns, it made no mention that sellers would be unable to appeal returns in cases of fraud - it paints the overall changes as more beneficial to sellers who are victims of buyer fraud. "Along with new customization features, eBay is adding improved protections to help prevent misuse of the returns process."

eBay is well aware of bad buyer behavior and in fact, it's inviting certain sellers to participate in a new pilot program to help them deal with false claims from buyers.

Some sellers say eBay has never helped sellers when a scam buyer returned a different item, but the seller above said several eBay reps told him it's a practice that went into effect at the end of September. It was always difficult for sellers to prove a case, but what appears to be different now is that eBay won't open any investigation on a seller's behalf.

Have you encountered instances of buyer returns fraud (sometimes called "rocks in a box"), and what do you think of these reports that eBay will no longer investigate those cases on behalf of sellers?




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Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Mon Nov 2 16:40:26 2015

Pull out of Ebay NOW, like greased lightning.
Either go on vacation, retire, or hang out 'til January, but GET OUT OF Ebay NOW.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 17:09:23 2015

Ina wrote:

''When eBay announced the Fall Update changes to returns, it made no mention that sellers would be unable to appeal returns in cases of fraud - it paints the overall changes as more beneficial to sellers who are victims of buyer fraud.''

That last statement should be every seller's cue to run for the hills. Every single time eBay says it's doing something to ''benefit'' anybody other than eBay- you can bet money that they are lying and win. I've never seen any company as pathological about lying as eBay.

From the looks of things on the Boards over there with the unending, multiplying ''glitches'' and system failures, though, eBay may be approaching the dubious milestone in which their prodigious inability to tell the truth may actually be surpassed by the rapidly expanding inability of this ''software company'' to make anything on the site function.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 18:31:16 2015

Sounds like the overwhelming seller complaints of buyer fraud, have probably reached the red zone for eBay, and they needed to break free, at least they have come out and said it, so there is no surprise, sellers can at least make an informed decision to not list high risk items, without the false sense that ebay has you covered.

For sure the sellers of high risk items are going to feel this, in the end it's more loss for ebay as another round of sellers leave, the venue.

   

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

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

Mon Nov 2 19:49:04 2015

Ebay was useless in this regard anyway. So now we have a statement of policy. I think it is a shame they are essentially giving up the fight. I suppose there are so many cases of buyer fraud, or theft as it really is, that ebay can't handle the load. So if they choose to not investigate such claims, does that mean they will also keep their grubby hands out of our paypal accounts? If so they can and should walk away and let the sellers handle the situation as appropriate.  

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: AlanJM This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Nov 2 20:25:53 2015

There has been no eBay seller protections for years. This only makes it ''official''...

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: Ebay Seller-Ebay Buyer This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 20:42:39 2015

I buy a lot and I sell a lot and almost all of my problems come when I am buying.  And most of my problems not as described cases.

As a seller I rarely have any problems with buyers.  I sell mostly items under $10, but even with my items over $100; I almost never have any problems.  I get the occasional unpleasant or bad buyer, but almost all buyers are excellent.  I cannot say that about sellers because I find for every bad buyer, there's about 5 bad sellers.  So for me, I like this policy

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 21:44:38 2015

Time to document and send letters to the states AGs again.  Enough letters with documentation go it, it WORKS. eBay will back down, it has no choice.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 22:13:17 2015

I agree that it's pretty much an admission of what's been policy all along. What bugs me about this is that they had to, as always, boldfaced LIE TO PEOPLE before making it official.

"Great News!" "Lowest Fees Ever!" "Buyers will be required to contact sellers before opening a case!" "DSRs are merely a tool, they'll never be used to punish sellers." "The additional question about whether the buyer got the item on time or not is just for our own internal use so we can judge the accuracy of our estimates."

And so on.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Nov 2 22:14:26 2015

Never forget who's responsible for the ebafia fraud that promotes and encourages bad buyers:

1. John Donahoe
2. Devin Wenig
3. Brian Burke

I'm seriously considering adding a caveat in each listing that I will consider filing charges against buyers who return a different item or an altered item.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 2 22:36:25 2015

I was one of the people who sent this info to Ina.

I appreciate that eBay wants "to give me more control" but as always with eBay - the devil (aka the Devin) is in the details!

If it's more of the same as now then it's all eBay bs.

Of course I sent all kinds of info and complaints to both the NY and CA attorneys general repeatedly- so that may be why I was chosen to participate.

I won't accept theft and fraud from eBay. There's no excuse for it - period. That eBay needs it to survive is just too bad. Returns are one thing, theft is another.

Let's see what happens!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: moto-science This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 00:16:38 2015

Only offer cheap items on Ebay.....if you are going to sell in that swamp.

In all business history has there ever been any company with more contempt for their customers ?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 00:19:45 2015

I had 2 returns opened yesterday.

One is from a guy who didn't read in the description AND in the Item Specifics that the box in the picture wasn't included.  So, now he's claiming that since I cleaned the part, it's no longer new.  It's not an appearance part that would have been damaged by cleaning, but a mechanical part that benefited from removal of the surface rust accumulated over 60 years of who knows what kind of storage.  While some parts may not be in good condition, or even usable because of decay (I throw those away - I don't list them on eBay), but they are still new, old stock (NOS).  The only thing that makes a car part "not new" is if it's been INSTALLED.

#2 is from a guy who INSISTS that the LH part I sold him is a RH.  He even posted a picture of the same part on his car, looking identical to the one I sent.  I posted several pictures, with detailed descriptions, circling and pointing out details, and he still insists it is the opposite side.

I'm really going to like eating $50 in postage costs to get that 2nd one back (7lb West Coast)...

Hope he doesn't send me rocks, or his old one.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: Mark4 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 00:21:35 2015

What is amazing is watching the sheer arrogance of ebay even as the ship continues to sink. Rule of thumb that has been become the norm for anyone who sells on ebay is "if you can't afford to lose it, don't sell it on ebay"

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: gramophone-georg This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 01:14:18 2015

Dan, that's a huge problem with eBay... and ALL you can do is hope!

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 3 07:58:55 2015

I have a very simple solution--sell and BUY on ecrater.  You run your business and you make your own return policies.  It is truly a platform and no one is breathing down your neck and micro-managing you every step of the way.  I don't recall a single glitch and they aren't always rebuilding the house. Stable.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 08:32:32 2015

What Rexford said.

Ebay is for the most part a fraudulent company who would rather make money off cheap chinese crap, and ads.  It is a corporate viper that needs its head cut off.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Nov 3 09:05:42 2015

It is business as usual for eBay with regard to seller changes.
I had hopes that the corporate executive mentality would change with a new CEO.

It appears that instead of telling sellers all the ugly negative points behind a bottom line enhancing policy shift, eBay's new CEO instead prefers to paint the message positive and let sellers find out the negative only when it comes and bites them on the ass.

The corporate arrogance and indifference toward their fee paying customers is not coming to an end under new leadership but is intensifying. The insidious manner in which eBay has backed away from return fraud by the liar buyers bred entirely by their past liberal return policies is an affront aimed directly at sellers.

eBay's past policies have encouraged buyer fraud.  Now that eBay has learned how expensive it is to make sellers whole after being victimized by these coddled masses, eBay wants to walk away from any and all responsibility - leaving sellers to bare the cost.  

This management team is essentially telling sellers that if they can not or do not want to afford the expense associated with fraudulent returns, then leave eBay and be done with it.

Memo to eBay management:  If you no longer want to bare the costs generated by past bad policy do not be surprised when sellers abandon eBay in order to protect their bottom line.

This is the trickle down effect bad policy has on the eBay marketplace.

Management has failed to realize that their bad policy is such that no amount of seller re acquisition down the road will convince former sellers to return to the venue that has zero regard for sellers bottom lines.




Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: LightWing This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 09:56:29 2015

SOOOOO....

This should make a lot of TRS & HFR sellers happy that their 1 day S&H and Restock Fees may be available to EVERYONE.

What happens to those sellers who offer free shipping and then print the labels thru Ebay?

Do they get to deduct the shipping and if so how?

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

by: LightWing This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 3 10:43:03 2015

A word to the wise....NEVER sell ANYTHING on Ebay with a value over $50 anymore.

Perminate Link for eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change   eBay Sellers Stung by Returns Abuse with Recent Change

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Nov 3 11:03:40 2015

Sounds like another attempt to Amazonize eBay. Difference here is that on the River, a buyer has to follow at least a few small steps to file an A to Z Guarantee claim.

On the Bay, a buyer can take the elevator to the top floor. And the seller is forced to pay the shipping both ways to get their item back on SNAD claims. This is optional on Amazon.

Another thing: Frequent "Liar Buyers" on Amazon are eventually shown the door. On the Bay, they seem to be welcomed with open arms.....

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