Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue May 31 2016 15:02:23

Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

By: Ina Steiner

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In a throwdown between eBay and Amazon, which one wins in the critical area of seller protection?

Both eBay and Amazon offer buyer protection, which is important in gaining shoppers' trust. But as we've documented, there are always some people who will abuse the system - bad buyers, in other words.

In the past, some have said they don't mind Amazon's more stringent seller policies because overall they encounter fewer bad buyers and have fewer headaches there than on eBay - but is that still true today (and was it ever true in your experience)?

Here are excerpts and links to each marketplace's Seller Protection policies:

If you follow the Amazon Marketplace Community Rules when listing, selling, and shipping your item, and you can document the shipment and know that the buyer received the correct item, Amazon doesn't usually hold you responsible for the reimbursement of the claim.

Amazon reserves the right to seek reimbursement from Seller if Amazon, in its sole discretion, decide to reimburse Buyer under the terms of the Amazon.com A-to-Z Guarantee, provide a refund to Buyer if Seller cannot promptly deliver the goods, discover erroneous or duplicate transactions, or receive a chargeback from Buyer's credit card issuer for the amount of Buyer's purchase from Seller.

If you ship an item within your stated handling time and provide tracking information to the buyer before you or the buyer asks us to step in and help with a request, you're protected... If the buyer starts a return request because an item isn't as described in the listing, and then asks us to step in and help, you may be protected from losing a case if you provide clear documentation that the item was described accurately and consistently in the listing.

When a buyer or seller issue arises, we may consider the user's performance history and the specific circumstances in applying our policies. We may choose to be more lenient with policy enforcement in an effort to do the right thing for both buyers and sellers.

Policies are one thing - companies' practices are another. Do eBay and Amazon enforce their policies fairly? Do either of them have employees reviewing buyer-seller disputes, or is it done by a computer algorithm? Are there ways to file for an appeal in a case where the companies wrongly file in the buyer's favor?

In today's Seller Protection Throwdown, tell us which marketplace does a better job of protecting sellers, eBay or Amazon. Vote on SurveyMonkey and return here tomorrow to see who the winner is. And feel free to share your experiences to help your colleagues who encounter problems.

UPDATE: The results are in - Amazon came out ahead, 70% said it does a better job of protecting sellers from bad buyers, while 30% said eBay does a better job. See the story in Tuesday's Newsflash, available now.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Tue May 31 16:54:37 2016

How it goes down for a seller is ARBITRARY on both sites. And depending on the issue, some outcomes are more predictable on ebay, and others are more predictable on Amazon, win or lose.

In my experience, ebay has the most consistent favorability for sellers when it comes to non-delivery on low-ticket items. I have never lost a claim of non-delivery when I have provided a tracking number that shows delivery.

On Amazon, there is a glaring difference in this area depending on your seller clout. I did about 600K in my last 1099K with Amazon. My lifetime feedback is 99.7%. Knock on wood, I always win A-Z claims of non-delivery whenever I have SIMPLY delivery confirmation that shows delivery.

When a friend of mine who did about 20K last year, 100% positive feedback, had an A-Z claim of non-delivery, she provided a tracking number showing delivery and LOST the A-Z claim!

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue May 31 19:52:45 2016

sellerchick says "When a friend of mine who did about 20K last year, 100% positive feedback, had an A-Z claim of non-delivery, she provided a tracking number showing delivery and LOST the A-Z claim!"

That just wrong. Amazon should be ashamed. How is that even legal?  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 07:26:38 2016

@Rexford

Theres probably more to the story than what is being told.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Wed Jun 1 09:42:10 2016

As they say, "All the clowns aren't in the circus" eBay took the Buyer's side on a "Where's My Item?" claim when USPS tracking showed that the item was "Available for Pickup" rather than "Delivered" at her post office box. And she had an eBay Feedback of over 2,000. The eBay CS said that he once worked for the post office and he knew that some POB customers didn't pick up their mail for weeks. Still, the tracking didn't show "Delivery" so my account had a defect for a year plus a "claim not settled without eBay's help" defect. And yes, I sent 2 eBay messages and a Yahoo email to the Buyer reminding them to pick up their package from their own local post office branch that was a mere 3/4 mile from their street residence. Nice house but the lights weren't on upstairs?  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 09:42:36 2016

neither - they both stink

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 12:01:56 2016

ebay is no see ebay. How can you need protection with 0 sales. First a person needs to be seen. If you pay for a store , yes , though , the little guys can forget it. YOU WONT BE SEEN. So , it wont matter. WhaT PROTECTIONS?

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Jun 1 12:31:40 2016

So I need to make a six-figure income on Amazon to have ''seller clout''?

This the first instance I have heard of where they did not require a package to not be sent with signature confirmation to guarantee delivery.

Another example where large online sellers get preferential treatment over smaller sellers. So this is not just limited to eBay.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 12:44:48 2016

These ass clowns go where the money goes. Small sellers are in the way of success for corporations , as usual. The small seller is passed over , & over , & over. Its called , " the price of doing business." We the people , the real deal , are nothing too these giants. They feed on our miss-fortunes. They are both corp. hos.  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Wed Jun 1 14:05:44 2016

@gizmo

I am sure you meant that the corp. hos are actually pimps. Us small sellers are the ones turning the tricks. And we will be bitch slapped if we hold out, or don't do what our pimp says to do!


Small sellers, just like small towns across this country, are the backbones of these online selling sites.

Thanks to corporate nearsightedness and greed, these companies will never realize this.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Wed Jun 1 16:32:07 2016

I equate, not only eBay and Amazon, but all corporate America to the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers (choose any version). They will suck the life out of their sellers and employees, and take as much as they can leaving a discarded shell and then move on to the next enterprise, vessel etc.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Wed Jun 1 22:04:26 2016

@bitbybit, you've got it spot on ...

At least at Amazon the shareholders have received a nice capital gain, whereas at eBay ...

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: XebayX This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 1 23:16:17 2016

As of May 1st on Amazon:
"Amazon now funds not-received claims on orders shipped via Shipping Services
May 25, 2016
Effective May 1, 2016, if you've shipped an order using a label purchased from Shipping Services and buyers claim they didn't receive their order and file an A-to-z claim, Amazon will cover that claim. In fact, you won't receive a notification about it, and your Order Defect Rate will not be affected".

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Automan This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 08:38:30 2016

As with most folks, my own experience colors my response. I sell and buy on both platforms (since '97 for AZ, 2000 on Ebay). As a buyer, Amazon goes out of its way to please. Sometimes that is at the expense of TP sellers, many times they cover the cost themselves. Ebay is a more mixed bag. I find more less than honest sellers and the cases I have opened have mostly been decided for the seller. I buy a lot of items described as new that are not. Usually I don't file a case because it has been pointless to do so.  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 10:02:46 2016

As a small seller, they both need better seller protection.
Anything over $100.00 I require signature.  That makes for unhappy customers and some who will not pick up from post office. As a reward you will get a negative feedback. However, per Amazon, it is the only way to prove delivered. The new policy from Amazon, will wait and see before I make judgement.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 10:45:08 2016

I feel on eBay but buy on both so posting as a buyer: Amazon has a much much better guarantee; I feel as a buyer if something goes wrong with the transaction Amazon will have my back. eBay not near as much and requires a lot more work. Recently I won eBay auction for silver bowl listed in the sterling category. I received worthless plate; told seller and he essentially said tough luck! Had to open case with eBay which requires a weeks worth of back & forth nonsense with the thieving seller. After a week I was able to move the case into eBay's hands which quickly found in my favor. Amazon would have handled it instantly.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: bitbybit

Thu Jun 2 12:36:10 2016

Over the years since 2002 I have found eBay to be a struggle when it comes to seller protection. Might as well throw in seller support because there is none when it comes to small sellers.

I have only sold very little on Amazon since most of what I sell is vintage, antiques, and collectibles. The main difference between Amazon and eBay as both a buyer and seller is consistency. Sellers know what is expected on Amazon but on eBay....the only thing to expect is to expect inconsistency on a day-to-day basis and even a CS-to-CS-to-CS-to-CS basis. As it stands now and mentioned, just a few times (sarc), with low to no sales there is no need for seller protection especially when eBay doesn't make listings visible...maybe I should say consistently.

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: Toledo Maude This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 13:41:29 2016

Several years ago, I decided when I received a complaint from an eBay buyer, I would immediately refund their money and place the trouble making buyer on the poop list.

Putting this unpleasantness behind me and NOT having the heartache of dealing with eBay's disappointing customer service is a win-win situation for me.  Even in the better ''eBay years''  disgruntled buyers were few.

Looking at this year's monthly eBay sales decline from 30 orders a month to 3 or 4, eBay's offer of ''Seller Protection'' is a farce.

Another wonderful example of eBay overpaid executives rearranging the deck chairs while eBay's Ship of State is sinking.  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

This user has validated their user name. by: Shop and Ship

Thu Jun 2 15:20:34 2016

eBay has the worst timing for its updates, changes, and roll-outs. This past one seemed to coincide with the typical May doldrums - graduations, weddings, vacations, gardening, farming, moving, final exams, etc. - coupled with a stall in consumer spending.

Transportation reports a slack off due to a build-up in inventories; distribution reports a downturn in sales. So eBay's May 1 roll-out fast on the heels of Google's annual rehab meant strong head winds for any small sellers on either platform. eBay ads are just now starting to re-appear on Google. Every "Refresh" brings an entirely new internal mix of eBay hits: now you see it; now you don't.

Hell of a way to run an army. Reminds me of that old joke: "Who called that MF a "Chief"; who called the Chief a MF?  

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jun 2 23:24:04 2016

Seller Protection on eBay is a myth. Its the online version of Keyser Soze'  (if you;ve never seen The Usual Suspects - stop what ever it is you're doing and see it!)(then you'll understand).

In eBayland, Sellers are the cause of all evil. They cause Global Warming, they cause unrest in the Middle East, The let their homes be used to train ISIS (or ISIL if you are a moronic first term senator from IL), and worse.

Things that are beyond their control are also their fault - unless as an eBayland employee foolishly said - "you buy them cookies".

Not that Amazon is perfect - by no means. But in eBay's world, THEY are never wrong - so who else could it be? Why (even though they tell you to) would you even waste ANY eBay CS's time intervening in your trifle petty issue - take the loss and shut up. Calling eBay is a guarantee that as a seller you will LOOSE the case!  Calling eBay worsens the odds - NEVER call them.

At least on Amazon they listen and try to help !

Perminate Link for Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon   Seller Protection Throwdown: eBay vs. Amazon

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 3 01:51:03 2016





Luck wise I've had better at Amazon. eBay I don't give a fock anymore. Ebay has more idiots (for a lack of a better word) working for them then any other place I've dealt with. Even though I've seen a drastic for the better change in their CS department. I think that no one can fix the damage DonHo made.



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