Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Mar 27 2016 17:49:04

eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

By: Ina Steiner

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This is one of the strangest examples of an eBay return mix-up that we've seen in some time - and it's worrying in case the glitch that involved two sellers could be happening to other users as well.

For those who don't know, buyers who want to return a product to a seller go into eBay's system and generate a return shipping label (details are explained on this page).

In this case, a reader wrote to us today and explained that instead of receiving back the pocketbook he had sold to a buyer, he received a faucet instead.

Some of you might be thinking, "buyer returns fraud" - but that does not appear to be the case.

Even though the label has the buyer's return address on the package sent to the seller, checking the USPS tracking number shows that instead of being sent from Texas where his buyer is located, it was sent from Georgia.

The seller then looked inside the box containing the faucet that he received and found a sheet for a return involving two other eBay members - the buyer and seller of a faucet! And sure enough, the buyer of the faucet was located in the same place in Georgia where the tracking number shows it had been mailed. The return slip was correct, but the return shipping label contained addresses of a buyer and seller of a completely different transaction.

To summarize:

Seller A sells a pocketbook to Buyer B.

Seller X sells a faucet to Buyer Y.

Buyer B sends back the pocketbook, but Seller A does not receive it.

Instead, Seller A receives a faucet - from Buyer Y.

Seller A is waiting to see if Buyer B will provide the tracking number of the package they sent to see where the pocketbook may have ended up (Seller X will check tomorrow to see if he received the pocketbook).

It's a lesson to all users to check eBay-generated shipping labels (and compare them to the return slips) before affixing them to your packages and putting them in the mail.




Comments (31) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Mar 27 18:46:14 2016

Now that is scary stuff.  I've never heard anything remotely like this for Ebay.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Mar 27 19:22:05 2016

I don't know how many return labels are generated in a day, but can you imagine if every label was addressed to the wrong seller? 'Chaos' would not be strong enough to describe what the result would be.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

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

Sun Mar 27 22:55:16 2016

I'm in process of sending out invoices for items sold tonight, and shipping seems to be screwed up.

One International package showed Domestic First Class as the primary (first) choice for shipping, but no amount in the box.  First Class Mail International was the 2nd choice, but, again, no amount was filled in.

Checked the original auction, and shipping details were perfect, no different than any other auctions in the last 5+ years.

A second item was using Calculated shipping (domestic), and choices to be used were 1) Parcel Select Ground and 2) Priority Mail.  Both selections have no amounts filled in.  Again, check original auction, and nothing at all amiss.

Wonder how many more I'll find before the night is over.

And the disintegration of eBay continues unabated...

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 00:14:11 2016

The OBVIOUS moral(s) of the story are:

1) eBay continues to screw up the simplest things, time and time again. Not having people with experience shows AND

2) yet ANOTHER reason why eBay SHOULD NOT BE in the "returns business". eBay, stay out of issues that DO NOT CONCERN YOU - except for real honest to god SNADs. Leave the rest to the buyers & sellers.

'nuff said.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: LucasBuck This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 00:37:47 2016

Accidents happen. Two buyers out of how many returns? Probably a good deal more than two I'm guessing. Way way more than two. Perhaps it might make sense to take a breath and see how this plays out before immediately jumping down eBay's throat but of course that's not really what most people come here for so... let the eBay bashing commence on schedule!

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 01:49:57 2016

That is very scary. Because if your buyer returns the wrong item I can see ebay support reading from their cue card that says "if the buyer made a fraudulent return you still have to refund them....that is the cost of doing business etc."

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 28 02:56:56 2016

@comments

Not sure how that could really happen in this case since the buyer and sellers were not matched up correctly.  This seller did not receive their item back from the buyer they had the transaction with.  This kind of mix up is not the "cost of doing business" IMHO.  It is a screw up on Ebay's part and hopefully they will have it fixed in short order, but history shows they don't always do that.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 03:00:30 2016

Ah , the ole brick in a box. Hmm , how is it even possible? Sounds more human error.

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Mar 28 03:02:34 2016

@gizmo

This article isn't about a brick in a box.  It is about a completely different buyer returning an item to a seller that they did not purchase it from.  Ebay supplied the return label to the WRONG buyer.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

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

Mon Mar 28 06:07:30 2016

AGAIN : one of my Ebay Favorite categories :
Had over 250,000 items 10 years ago, now has barely 18,000.
Ebay is dying the slowest death ever...

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Mar 28 08:35:19 2016

eBay had a system glitch, and eBay will fail likely to make both sellers whole after the fiasco their system created.

Messes like this could only happen because of eBay's poorly engineered systems and antiquated IT infrastructure.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 09:42:52 2016

Let me tell you, that is is a very strange situation, that took the whole day Saturday to figure out. At first, we thought our buyer had sent us a faucet, but the documents inside the box clearly showed a return between two other Ebay members. Then we thought USPS may have switched labels for whatever reason. It was only when we used the tracking number that we saw that the package had been sent from Rome GA instead of Dallas. We then deducted that our customer in Dallas could not have sent us this package although her name was clearly marked as the sender.
Moreover our buyer used a medium flat rate box to return the bag, and the box we received was much larger and brown.
What is very disappointing in this whole story is that Ebay immediately sided with the buyer, issued a refund and  closed the case. I then contacted all the parties involved, and we confronted Ebay. Only then, did Ebay issue a full refund to all 4 parties. The bag our buyer sent back is still missing, some unsuspecting Ebay seller will open a medium flat rate box today and find a Coach bag inside instead of another product he/she thought they were receiving in return. The moral of the story, is that buyers simply print and affix labels on cartons without paying much attention to where the parcel is headed. I am also sure that buyers when they receive an ebay parcel do not really look at who sent it. The buyer will simply think ''Ah, here is the Ebay stuff I ordered''. It's very difficult to tell buyers they should pay more attention to Who sent them the goods, and where they are sending said goods back.
Only when we find our Coach bag will we know the precise mechanics of this Ebay return error.  

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: Bethofvt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 09:51:28 2016

quovadis12345. and if they are expecting a defective faucet back, they may not even open the box and find it is a purse for months down the road. I know I have at least 3 returns in my shed that were sent back over 6 months ago and I have yet to open the boxes.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: queenfloraday This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 11:12:38 2016

I have not had a return issue but I am having blank spaces in the shipping area of my invoices. I use calculated shipping and eBay is not filling in those amounts. I advise closely checking your invoices before issuing them or your customer may be getting free shipping.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 13:05:06 2016

Bethofvt
Good point.
ummm!!

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Mon Mar 28 16:19:20 2016

LucasBuck writes: "... let the eBay bashing commence on schedule!"

I think you'll find that when people here "bash" eBay it's for legitimate reasons. And how can you call what happened an "accident"? This isn't a case of a buyer being confused and printing out a return label for a different item he purchased. This is a case of a buyer printing a label going to a totally unrelated seller. That's not an accident; that's all on glitchBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 17:58:56 2016

OK WE HAVE THE TRUTH, AND NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH.
I just received my Coach bag. Ebay sent two IDENTICAL shipping labels to two different customers who wanted to return their items. I wish i could post pictures here, but I cannot. Both shipping labels have the same tracking number. Wha is strange that USPS only tracks one package. In other words USPS should have shown two identical tracking numbers one leaving from Rome GA, and one from Dallas Texas.
Had i received both packages the same day, it would have been easier to decipher all of this, but the fact that One was received Saturday, and one today, made this really complex.  

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: StickAForkInIT This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 18:42:23 2016

This gets weirder by the minute.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: quovadis12345 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 19:21:59 2016

OMG
usps just dropped off another package belonging to yet another EBAY member.
The shipping label has the same tracking as the other two. The parcel contains parts for a plastic airplane. I also have the ebay return ID which proves it belongs to yet other 2 members. This is ridiculous.

Perminate Link for eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues   eBay Mixes Up Addresses on Return Labels, Chaos Ensues

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 28 23:26:37 2016

Outdated crap! I keep saying it , ebay has outdated equip. Failing is over & over. Stuck on stupid , is the norm.  

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