Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Feb 12 2017 19:11:47

Is eBay Letting Buyers Off the Hook?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is being coy about buyer requirements when it comes to claims of goods received damaged in the mail. Does it require them to work with sellers on shipping insurance claims or not?

The topic came up on eBay's recent weekly chat session with users, and referred to the insurance that shipping carriers (or independent third party firms) offer when packages are damaged during delivery. 

A seller asked, "Recently on the boards it has been posted by reps that eBay requires buyers to cooperate on insurance claims with a seller. They stated there are protections for a seller if a buyer does not. Could someone offer a bit of clarification on this matter, and please explain what protections are available."

An eBay moderator replied, "We actually are not able to elaborate on this any further. There are certain protections or guidelines that we choose to keep internal so as to minimize any chance of exploitation or fraud. If you run into a situation like this, just know we have options available and reach out to us with the details."

Shipping carriers and companies that offer insurance to senders (sellers) require recipients (buyers) to cooperate so they can examine the packaging and determine the cause of the damage before paying out on a claim.

A user pointed out that if the buyer returns the damaged item to the seller, that voids the insurance coverage. They said buyers were getting wise to the problem and were "getting tons of stuff for free with no repercussions whatsoever."

Have you encountered an issue where a buyer refused to cooperate with you over a claim of a damaged package? How big of a problem is it?




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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 12 20:08:10 2017

I've been following this thread for a few days .....

Its ANOTHER "double secret probation, we cant tell you but trust us we have your back" thread.

That answer came from Trinton@eBay .. who at this point will say that line each and every time a long thread about some evil thing eBay did/does pops up.

In each thread, more and more sellers realize that eBays answers to things are merely lip service. Even those steadfast eBay stalwarts are comming around to the realization that what they say and of course do about issues "is not worth the paper its printed on"

When asked for specifics you get BS.

Typical 2017 eBay bad behavior.

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by: TomH This user has validated their user name.

Sun Feb 12 21:19:34 2017

''Have you encountered an issue where a buyer refused to cooperate with you over a claim of a damaged package? How big of a problem is it?''

Yes, 10 or so times over a good number of years. I immediately put them on my banned list. And, two times they, with a new profile name ordered again, but the same shipping address. Did not send of course and canceled the purchase. Complained of course, as did eBay. Basically told them to pound sand.

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

Sun Feb 12 22:14:17 2017

As a past buyer of antique and vintage on Ebay, I must say :
STOP picking through people's garbage for your stock.
It's for sale on Ebay ? WHAT'S wrong with it ?
NOTHING for sale on Ebay now is UNbroken. It's all junk, for BIG money.

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by: Gemz This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 00:27:56 2017

Buyers do not cooperate with returns! They open a case, ebay takes the money back immediately, then you are left trying to get the merchandise back by having to issue a label for the return shipping! Ebay DOESN'T CARE nor does it have any way to distinguish the claim from shipping damage as opposed to defective or just not wanted by the customer. The ONLY way you get of the hook for not buy the person a label is if they put down that they just don't want the item. Anything else, You're paying regardless and you HAVE to take it back regardless of your return policy! Why they even want us to list our policy is a joke! It means less than nothing. We have has buyers refuse to cooperate in about 60-65% of the time. Especially when they return to us a brick, or a good one lately, 7 cut up 2x4 pieces of wood! So we lose the money, and the merchandise AND we lose shipping BOTH WAYS! Talking to ebay on numerous occasions, they say...Well sir, it's the cost of doing business! I said... Yeah, the cost of doing business with Ebay that is! Worthless company with values that are nothing short of a joke. I would love to hear the private banter of the BOD when they are in closed private sessions! They are probably all dressed as Pirates sitting in a decorated board room that looks like the Black Pearl from Pirates of the Caribbean! Splitting up the ill gotten gains from the suckers than depend on Ebay for their living! Make em all walk the plank into shark infested waters and get some people in there with actual ethics!  

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 00:33:20 2017

@THE END---Really?  Have  you  been to  ALL  of  our  houses  and store  rooms  to VERIFY  that  EVERYTHING  on  ebay  is broken?  I  sell  things  that  are  most  certainly NOT  broken;  as  do  most  sellers  I know;  and  things I  have  purchased  have  been  just  fine.  

I  have  my  issues  with  ebay;  but  this  is not one of  them.  If  YOU  have a problem WITH  EBAY---please  share.  If  YOU  have a problem  with  individual  sellers;  then  maybe  you  should  stay  away  from  ebay.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: DeathFromAbove

Mon Feb 13 00:46:07 2017

Yes, and eBay will also bill you for return shipping.  UNNECESSARY return shipping that they MAKE MONEY on if the parcel was (truly) damaged.  So you have to pay eBay to get your item back to file a damage claim with the shipper, and as the article says, re-shipping a damaged parcel can void the initial claim.  

eBay clearly does not care because they have no skin in the game--and stand to profit either way--and they have obviously not bothered to do any case-studies to give their automated refund machine and sellers the ability (extra time) necessary to deal with this scenario.  Instead you have to ''accept'' the return the moment a buyer opens it, because if you wait for an insurance claim to pan out, it will go beyond the deadline and the buyer can ''escalate'' the case and eBay will close it in their favor with refund, and you score a defect. Broken.

Fortunately the handful of times I've had to do a carrier damage claim the buyer contacted me and was cooperative.  Anyone ''faking'' a damage claim probably will not.  Also the ''messaging'' system has a tendency to simply railroad an honest buyer into opening a return for a damaged parcel prior to contacting the seller for instructions, which throws a giant wrench into the whole thing.  Broken.

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by: handmedownheaven This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 13 00:52:39 2017

Makes me glad all I sell are resale clothing items.  Hard for that to get damaged in the mail

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by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 01:23:14 2017

@handmedownheaven:::   I  sell  a LOT  of  used  clothing  items  and  have  had a FEW  complaints;  mostly  of  the OH I  did not  think  you  really MEANT  USED!  And  OH  the  sweater  does  not  match  my  cats  whiskers!  and a few OH! This  is  not  the  right  size!  When  I  can  clearly SEE  that  you  consistently  BUY  the SAME  size  by  looking  at  your  prior  buys (can  be  found sometimes  by  looking  at  their SELLERS  FB  or  the FB  they  left  or  for a low  volume  seller  looking  at  the ebay "code"  for  the buyer  is  not that  hard).  Telling  me  you  don't  have  kids and bought AND paid  for a  spendy ski  outfit  BY MISTAKE and  within  moments  bought ANOTHER one  and  now  don't  want MINE-that I  have ALREADY  mailed---nope;  not  gonna  make  me  your  friend.

And  I've  gotten  some  back  so  smelly  and  damaged  I  had  my postal  worker  ask  me to open  it outside  to  verify  just WHAT  was  in  there---a  few  things  I  got  back  were  certainly NOT  the things  I  had  shipped--and  of  course--for  none  of  these  would  ebay do a THING.  The  most  interesting  one  was a Kate Spade  planner  I  sold  very nicely  but  the buyer--who  FAR  out  bid  after DEMANDING  that  I  do a BEST  OFFER  just  for   her (NO!) then  claimed--before  it  ever GOT  to her---that it  was  seriously  damaged.  Well I  looked at  her  account  and discovered--she  had  done the SAME  thing with prior  KS  items;   and  she  now  had  the item I  sold HER  up for SALE--as--perfect!  Using--MY PICTURES!  I  DID  win  that  one--I  was  lucky;  on  about  the  5th  call I  got a native  English  speaker who UNDERSTOOD  what I  was  talking   about.  I  suspect  half  of  this  could be SOLVED  if  ebay  only  hired  people  who DID  speak  English.  

Some  one  should  do  a book  about  the  bizarre  things  people  have  tried  to  "return"  and  things  people  have gotten  back  damaged  in  weird  ways.  Hey!--You  could  sell  it  on Amazon!      

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by: rachel This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 01:27:05 2017

It has not happened too often but when you get an insane buyer whose item is held up in customs, eBay may decide they have waited long enough,, refund a high value return and once its out of customs the buyer keeps it. However if you keep on calling you might get an eBay rep in high value claims that agrees with you and personally calls the member in a different country to "reach out" and the buyer agrees to wait 2 weeks then even though she asked you to delay shipment after purchase until she returns from Australia and you are dinged for shipping late, she blames her husband for not wanting to wait. So you have to really hope you get a high value claim person that doesn't lecture you while you yourself are on vacation and your husband is ready to divorce you because you went to Maui and were wasting vacation time trying to call eBay. They don't care but there was one that did.  After hours of telling me "they waited too long" I no longer ship internationally any high value items only through GSP and now the duties are so high that these customers do not think it is worth it to them.

eBay can get very confusing because no one sends an email or puts in writing anything you have to take notes or record your call.They record your call for quality assurance purposes LOL. CYA purposes which is what many reps do just to survive not think like the CSRs on Amazon sad but true. The employees are treated like no brain people and have not much authority except some high value claims people but you get some power trippers so you have to keep on calling until you get a person who actually knows what is right. Even though you have always been top rated it doesn't matter. Some assume you the seller is lying..which is really weird they need sellers and sellers shop on eBay when they make money. That's part of the problem.

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by: blrug This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 13 02:14:04 2017

There is this buyer that have left 12 out of the 15 feedback negative.  Most of us - sellers that received negative feedback have reported the buyer and called several times ebay is not willing to remove this crook . Buyer send emails outside ebay messaging requesting 30-50% discount and if you dont pay will leave negative feedback  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Feb 13 02:44:50 2017

@blrug

When you get a buyer that is sending you messages outside of Ebay's system, cut and paste it, make sure you get the header too.  Put it into an Ebay email.  Type a message above what you just pasted in the email.  Be calm and collected in your response to them.  Say something like, I received an email that I believe was from you below.  Please review it and let me know if this actually came from you so that I may take care of you as quickly as possible.  I just wanted to check in with you as this came to be outside of the Ebay email system, so I'm just trying to make sure this actually came from you.

Most of the time I find that they will respond and they do admit it is their email.  And that is what you want to encourage to happen.  This gives you some evidence to fight a negative FB once you have it documented in Ebay's M2M system.

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by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 05:35:17 2017

Ebays new motto....

Feed, Burp and Change Diapers of Buyers...Heaven forbid that they just might move to another site.

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by: C.Page This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 06:52:35 2017

One more reason to self-insure!

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by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Feb 13 08:31:25 2017

I have had pretty good luck with ebay selling.  But I have haard some really horrible stories from colleagues about being scammed by buyers.  Ebay should stand behind their sellers, they are who brins in their bread and butter.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 08:55:28 2017

eBay simply wants all the money while doing NONE of the work.

THAT was what changed when Meg left. JD insured that the corporate beliefs changed.

eBay isnt your friend, they arent your partner, they arent related to you (heaven forbid), they dont care who you are, who you know, who you voted for, they care about NOTHING but themselves.

If you believe FOR ONE MOMENT that ebay cares or "has your back" then you are the dumbest person GD ever created.

Time after time, incident after incident, year after year - eBay proves over and over that its programs and policies are there to maximize ITS pocket and to minimize yours.

Thats why i PROUDLY make off eBay sales, I PROUDLY use each and every tool provided - emails etc to enhance MY POCKET and not theirs. They use me and I use them - its simple, its organic and its well deserved.

eBay lets buyers off the hook because simply - they hate sellers. Hate may be abit strong - sellers are useful tools, they post their items and eBay decides whether or not they WILL ALLOW the seller to make money off it. In any case eBay makes out and the seller ... can drop dead.

They FIRMLY believe that they DONT have to care, that theres a zillion people just waiting to sell their stuff online, so if you leave - so what?

Me? Im here till I can get my Amazon sales to the point where I dont need eBay anymore (except to dump junk that I cant sell on Amazon) ... till then Im under the "care" of the head mafioso JD and his Gabagool eating consigliere Devin Wenig.

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by: candy7122 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 09:10:41 2017

@The End Wow you must have had some really bad experiences on eBay.  I have been buying and selling on eBay since 1999.  I have got some really good deals on eBay.  In all my years and 1000's of buys I can count my problems on one hand.  As a seller 99% of my items are brand new and bought from retail stores.  I don't go ''garbage picking'' as you suggest. To lump all sellers into this category is unfair.  I have worked hard to find great items.  Yes, some of my items that are hard to find are expensive, but with raised postage and fees I am finding myself  more often than not breaking even or actually being in the hole on items.  Maybe next time before you make such a generalization on eBay sellers you should do some research.    

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by: Flying Childers This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 09:29:46 2017

I have a question for all you long time Ebay sellers:

How can I protect myself if I have an item (a baseball card) that could be worth a few hundred dollars or more?  I really want to list it for sale on Ebay but after reading all the stories I am afraid.

What if the buyer is a thief and files a claim against me?  What if they buy the card, say it was not as described, then return to me a damaged card so they can collect the money from Ebay?

I really want to sell this card.  I need the money.  Andy advice from you guys and gals would be greatly appreciated!!
Thanks!

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by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 09:29:51 2017

@comet

poster 'theend' clearly doesn't SELL here, otherwise his/her/its post would be a case of self damnation. I don't sell 'broken' stuff, either. If there is a defect, it is a]fully disclosed; b] the item is otherwise repairable or serviceable, or a donor for parts; and c] priced appropriately. 95% of what I sell is usable right out of the box in good, used condition. 5% may be considered 'salvage' but generally 'best available' for its item type.

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by: Bethofvt This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 10:22:42 2017

I had it happen once.  I shipped a $185 antique cookie jar. Buyer claimed it arrived with broken lid.  Easy enough, I just filed an insurance claim with Ship Saver who I had paid nearly $5 for insurance.They required a signed statement of damage from the recipient, who refused to provide one. That is all that was needed. A statement saying it arrived broken and the buyer refused.  One would think in a case so blatant, Ebay would say, no statement, no refund. But no. They fully refunded buyer and I am out $185 for cookie jar, $17 for shipping and $5 I paid for insurance.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Feb 13 10:27:07 2017

Flying ...... I wouldnt sell it on ebay if its your prized possession.

I understand you need the funds, but knowing that you cant trust the mafiosos from San Jose ......

All you need is 1 scumbay (ebay buyer + sum = scumbay)(trademarked patent pending)(use it and Ill VERO you!) buyer who does a SNAD on you and sends you back a newspaper ... months of therapy and alot of crying STILL wont ever get whole....

Run my friend - far far away.

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