Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Sept 29 2016 19:37:10

eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

By: Ina Steiner

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Did you receive an invitation from eBay today to participate in an exclusive pilot program? Many sellers did, so maybe the question is, why didn't everyone receive an invitation?

eBay first announced its Returns Handling pilot program last year as part of the Fall 2015 Seller Update. The program launched in November to a small number of sellers, and it's designed to counter "bad buyers" who lie about returns when filing SNAD claims (items significantly not as described).

Some buyers file false SNAD claims to get around sellers' no-returns policies, for example. 

The program appears to be part of the "kinder and gentler" image eBay has been cultivating since the departure of CEO John Donahoe. The email started out, "You've been selected to participate in an exclusive eBay Returns Resolution pilot. This new program gives sellers more control when handling returns for not-as-described items." (Some sellers received a "friendly reminder" that they'd been selected to participate.)

Sellers can learn more about the returns-handling program in a special FAQs page on the eBay website (PDF format) - and they can choose to opt-out if they wish.

Let us know what you think of the program, especially those sellers who have already had experience using the program.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Thu Sep 29 20:08:56 2016

Will this pilot program also include buyers who return an old, wrecked version of the same item they bought? Or the item minus a particular part they need to repair their existing item? Or a completely different item than what they bought? Or a brick?  

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: TrickyMick This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 20:28:33 2016

I 2nd iheartjacksparrow's comment... I was nailed this week on a 40.00 item. I didnt even bother to put up a fight... just refund.. and report to Ebay.  Good news is... some of my competitors have givin up selling. Lol.

I did not receive an invite from Ebay for the scam slam!

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 20:56:15 2016

Im the op on this one  - and as I am the KING of ALL RETURNS (look, howard stern is the king of all media, Im the king of returns - live with it ! :) )

Its odd since in the 2 returns I just had (whoppers - with customers claiming eBay told them all kinds of things) ... I got no different treatement or results - in fact - it was probably WORSE.

I got a defect for a return that eBay "created" when I issued a return label that "magically" couldnt be printed (eBays crack Bulgarian hacker team cant figure out how to print) and eBay gave the guy an additional 7 days AND forced me to create a second label on my own and never refunded me for the first!

Crazy eBay .... is there no one in San Jose with at least 1/2 a brain ?

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

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

Thu Sep 29 22:26:37 2016

I got this today, too, and think I was already opted in from before.  Haven't had too many returns in the last year, and no "rotten" ones like Pace has had, so no opportunity to see if eBay does actually do something better.

@JackSparrow - according to the info eBay has provided, YES, there is supposed to be some type of accommodation to Sellers for brick-returners, but I'm not going to hold MY breath expecting it to work in my favor...

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: The_Original_Poster This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 22:38:00 2016

I am not the original poster.


The problem with this pilot is that buyers expect return shipping to be covered by the seller... they've made up their minds that the item was defective or not as described when this may not always be the case.  Because of this, they will most likely leave neutral/negative feedback if return shipping or a restocking fee is deducted from the refund.  Of course, most sellers will decide that a bad feedback is not worth the return shipping.


While this pilot is a step in the right direction, until there is protection against negative feedback, this returns pilot is worthless.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: Lois This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 23:36:36 2016

They'll need to train their employees well enough to cope with the issue.

I have not forgotten the expensive Christmas tree pin I sold 3 years ago. Very clear picture. Vintage pin; not something one comes across all the time. Picture showed exactly the color and placement of the stones.

Buyer returned pin, saying one stone was not the right color. Sure enough, the pin she returned was NOT the right color. She obviously had a damaged one, (which was worthless), and kept mine.

eBay didn't think the fact that I had a picture taken by me in my own setting was proof that the pin I sent was the same one I had the picture of.

So, here's the thing. If eBay's crack investigative crew can't make a decision based on evidence, what's the point?

Take an item with a serial number. You send it; you get a return of a damaged item with a different serial number, Will they say, ''You can't prove the one you sent was the one in your picture?''

So, what's their point? Sounds good. Full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: Golddustwoman This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 23:38:12 2016

I'm a small seller and really don't get returns.  So I simply deleted eBay's invitation to participate. Why rock the boat I say.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 29 23:38:36 2016

I thought I was already in this program too, but I got another email about it today. I do not know if it will work on the 2 I got in the last couple days but if they were not costing me money, they would be funny.
One said her mask is defective because it doesn't fit her face (bendable, flexible, not form fitting at all and very large for a typical woman; don't know what her face is like but pretty sure it is not the mask.)  The other one said his used necklace looks new so he must have used every bit of space they gave him on the form to complain that he wanted used and he got new. I think he needs to be locked up in a looney bin. Why on earth would I go pay for him a new one instead of giving him a used one? Does everything have to look nasty to be used? I have never heard someone complain not as described because an item looked too new! Crazy.
I guess we will see if anything changes this time.  Not holding my breath.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Sep 29 23:57:02 2016

eBay did not invite me to the party :-(

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu Sep 29 23:59:07 2016

Both my accounts received the invite and I plan to test drive it immediately with a return due any day. A customer claims a brand new pristine item was received ''scratched and pitted.'' There was virtually no chance of damage in the mail (swaddled in padding and double boxed...besides this item is almost impervious to damage) plus I inspected prior to shipping. I'll post an update as soon as I receive the item and select a return option.    

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Sep 30 02:56:36 2016

Jack and Tricky

You may have missed the other article Ina did on this subject.  It does cover the concerns you voiced.

http://www.ecommercebytes.com/cab/abn/y16/m09/i30/s01R>
This
is from that article:
In addition, "If you believe your buyer misused the returns process (for example, you received a damaged, entirely different, or used item back), ask eBay to step in and help. Depending on the situation, we can provide coverage for sellers in the pilot."

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

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

Fri Sep 30 06:06:21 2016

We're getting KILLED with buyers returning "damaged" goods.
We'll be out of business by next year if this keeps up.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Sep 30 06:57:48 2016

This sounds like a step in the right direction but as with everything eBay I will wait and see.

Buyers do seem to be claiming "item not as described" more often so that sellers are forced to pay the return postage on items that were as described.  Since buyers already get the outbound postage refunded to them I don't know why eBay expects sellers to also pay for their return postage.  

I'm guessing that there would be far less returns if buyers had to foot the bill for the returns.
 

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 07:40:58 2016

I take returns and have had only 2 SNADs so far this year. I don't think they were malicious though. I sold a couple of items with problems and I think they just didn't read the condition statement and or look at the pictures. One claimed the pictures didn't represent the item correctly. Oddly enough I tried a different picture taking experiment outside on just this item.

Whenever I sell an item that has problems I always email the buyer immediately to check and see that they were aware of the problem before I ship. This has resulted in a refund a few times but mostly they did see the problem and still wanted the item.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 08:00:56 2016

Anytime Ebay invites anyone to anything it should be treated very carefully. Ebay has a way to turn something innocent into evil.

Ebay has a way of finding all the brownies and feeding them sugar. In the end nothing good will come from this.

Best to DELETE AND MOVE ON

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: FEEbay

Fri Sep 30 09:32:39 2016

It doesn't matter..... If you don't refund these crybaby buyers in full, they will just neg you out of business....

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: gizmo This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 10:19:31 2016

There is nothing fair about the new sham ebay. You can , you cant , nothing they do works. The ebay ship is going down , all the crap don't float. See you on the bottom.
Abandon ship!

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Sep 30 10:24:20 2016

I've never had a sham return and in fact of the 30,000 items I've sold on eBay over the past 16 years I've had 5 returns and none of them had been tampered with.

I guess I've been lucky but not lucky enough to win the Lotto. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 30 10:24:29 2016

While it seems like I get alot of returns (from the amount of BS I spout about it all) I get only a few ... but the ones I get are SO ONEROUS - that they defy imagination.

And wouldnt you know it - its always a BIG loss situation.

#1 - eBay refuses to let me not sell to "newbie" buyers. %99 of all problems come from people who are "new". These buyers are not NEW as in they wish to remain eBay buyers for some time - they become buyers just to create/commit fraud. If these buyers didnt exist, life would be fantastic .. LOL. I almost NEVER get issues from seasoned NORMAL buyers - they just want the items they bought, on time (which is why I have %100 feedback).

2) despite being in this program, eBay still gives me the "taking losses is part of any business so here take one" regardless of proof. In one of my returns the buyer sent ME a pic of the box and part# (which matched my listing) yet STILL complained that he got the wrong thing. Not possible on this planet - but eBay is a universe all to itself. 40 days the case sat open and I got a defect that Im STILL fighting.

Since eBay still refuses to take seasoned sellers words over fraud buyers - the pilot program has a long way to go - since in the end, eBay loves sellers and hates buyers - its only the flight of sellers and the bad publicity that they really care about.

Perminate Link for eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns   eBay Invites Sellers to Pilot Program for Handling Sham Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Fri Sep 30 10:29:31 2016

@ pace306

"eBay still gives me the "taking losses is part of any business so here"

I had an ebay customer rep tell me this once back in 2010 and I threw it right back at them! I told them they could absorb the small loss easier then I could!

If you're nice to eBay they will indeed eat the loss and let off the hook. . .

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