eBay will crack down on bad buyers in the fall, according to UK newspaper the Guardian in a follow-up to a story from last year. The reporter talked to a number of sellers and describes specific cases where eBay failed to protect sellers from bad buyers.
One problem is when eBay refunds buyers before it's even shown that the buyer has returned an item to the seller. And even when sellers get return packages, the Guardian points out they don't always contain the item, including cases that sellers refer to as "rocks in a box."
leaves readers with the feeling that eBay's policies are contributing to the problem and that the company shows a lack of responsiveness to sellers' reports of troublesome buyers, including those who make threats of violence against sellers.
eBay promised the newspaper to do better - but not right away:
"According to eBay, it will announce permanent policy changes in the autumn. "Learning from the experiences of the 50,000 UK and US sellers in the pilot, we have created a different returns experience, including putting obstacles in the way of suspected fraudsters to prevent refunds, or even blocking a buyer entirely when we suspect fraud before they've been refunded, it says."
Need a refresher on the program? eBay first launched it in 2015, and here's a post we wrote last year
following up on the pilot.
eBay advises how the program works using a number of scenarios. Here's one return scenario:
"You've already approved a return request but when it's delivered back to you, the item is in a different condition than how you originally sent it (for example: obviously worn, stained or broken)."
And here's what sellers participating in the pilot can do if such a situation arises:
"Choose "Don't refund now - ask eBay to step in and help." Just make sure you have supporting documentation/proof of the issue. All cases during the pilot will be reviewed individually by eBay customer service."
Why it doesn't work this way for all sellers already is a mystery, and there's no guarantee anything will change once the new program rolls out as promised this fall.
Bad buyers have been a problem on eBay for many years (something it acknowledges), especially since it changed its feedback system to prevent sellers from leaving candid reviews about their customers. If you've participated in eBay's pilot returns program, let us know what you think. Does it help you get eBay to deal with bad buyers? Are you optimistic that eBay will crack down on bad buyers?