Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Mon June 26 2017 22:47:42

eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay changed its Item Not Received claims policy without any notice to sellers. When a seller posted about having received a strike against their account, an eBay moderator responded, calling the new policy a "test." 

That was no consolation to the seller who said eBay had given them little opportunity to make things right for the buyer. The seller called eBay and was told it was a new policy and was unable to get customer service to remove the strike. 

The seller explained he had sold a 99-cent item to a buyer in Japan. The buyer opened up an Item Not Received case on Saturday, and exactly 24 hours later, eBay refunded the buyer and gave the seller a "non-resolution" strike. 

The heart of the problem from the perspective of sellers commenting on the case: instead of giving sellers 3 days from the time a buyer files a case to upload tracking information or make things right for the customer, eBay provided the seller with only 24 hours, which goes against its stated policy.

Under "eBay Money Back Guarantee timelines - Item not received," eBay includes this provision: "The seller has 3 business days from the report to respond to the buyer or offer a solution. If the seller does not respond or offer a solution, the buyer can ask us to step in and help."

The seller said they called eBay and was told the automatic 24-hour case closure was a new policy. "What is going on with eBay?? Are they going nuts? The buyer open up a case during the weekend and the case closed during the weekend?"

The eBay moderator responded: 

"It sounds like this situation may have triggered a faster resolution process that we are testing out. If an item not received case is opened more than 5 days after the estimated delivery date, no tracking is provided and the seller does not respond then the case will actually be escalated for a refund after 24 hours have passed, instead of the standard 3 business days. We are testing the impact of this change and while these specific triggers represent a rarer set of criteria, you may see this from time to time being reported. If a seller has concerns with the timeframe provided, we recommend they reach out to customer service to discuss the details."

You can read the full thread where the moderator answered some additional questions from sellers, who say they'll be less willing to sell certain types of items as a result of the change.

An EcommerceBytes reader pointed us to the thread this evening and explained why it's of concern to sellers like himself. "They are now escalating refunds in 24 hours if a tracking number is not entered, but their system already cannot determine the tracking number information if a case is opened. The seller has to re-enter it or the case closes against them in 3 days. Well now it's going to be 24 hours including weekends. So if a seller is on vacation or takes the weekend off, they may come back to eBay having issued refunds AND also receive a Seller Unresolved Case defect for it.  

"It really looks like eBay is trying to eliminate all sellers who are not working 7 days a week as the Unresolved Seller Case has a 0.3% limit before account is closed."

Let us know what you think of this new policy (or "test").




Comments (69) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 26 23:29:33 2017

Not only does this suck for sellers .. what are the eBay CHEERLEADERS gonna say NOW?

At what point do you just stop fighting and say "YES, eBay screws its sellers YET AGAIN".

Im not the OP on this - you can damn well be sure that if it was me - Id have a lawyers letter in the mail - written policy trumps "TESTS".

SHAME on eBay, AGAIN.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Jun 27 00:29:14 2017

Just read the thread on eBay. WOW.

This moderator Trinton has a very tough job. With these unjust and unfathomable (not to mention against established) policies that this company spews out, how can he sleep at night??

Like Ricky Ricardo said to Lucy, ''You got some spalining to do!!''. And he has to play hype man for eBay every time one of these changes are thrown in the face of sellers.

Rumor has it that the President is going to replace Sean Spicer. Maybe Trinton can apply for the job.....

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 03:50:03 2017

Hasn't ebay already been refunding low dollar item INR and SNAD claims? Seems the only difference is the amount of time?

I am not ebay cheerleader but someone did need to change some of the dispute rules. I had a SNAD return request with a seller who refused to accept the return. I had to be cursed at, threatened, and abused for 3 days in the dispute til I could escalate. Lowering that time frame to 24hrs would be welcome on my end. Next time ship with tracking and avoid international transactions if they are a problem. I doubt this seller would have had any tracking to upload anyway even if given 3 days.

I also doubt the case would have been decided in the buyer's favor had a tracking number confirmed delivery. So ebay just came to the same ultimate conclusion a little faster.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 06:37:16 2017

The heart of the issue is all the china sellers, you simply get burned for INR ebay allows china to use fake tracking, plus the fake ebay shipping due dates are often not correct, which leads to tons of INR cases

At least 20% of china items we order are INR, unfortunately we open many cases to get our money back, not much individual, but they certainly add up to a lot,

We don't even bother reading the sellers reply, just reply with a space or period, and wait until ebay steps in to refund, 3 days is kind of a waste of time anyway, might as well be 1 hour, what's the point of seller / buyer interaction, when ebay Always refunds in the end.

eBay's system would probably be flooded with these cases, and most likely they need a way to purge them out.

it's almost comical selling on ebay today, not sure why we still do.






Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Jun 27 07:55:45 2017

Simple solution--build elsewhere.

Companies that value their sellers don't treat them this way.  This has been going on for years, since Donahoe's reign of terror and based on what I've seen in he last few years it isn't going to stop.  At least not under this current "management".  If you are not a big brand or large enterprise seller you are toast.

Who would have thought that things could be worse than they were under Donahoe.  They are exponentially worse.

I'm sure some whacky Willy Weed Wonker toker will come in and tell us otherwise but I think we all have enough evidence to know that there is no future on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 07:56:18 2017

"Seems the only difference is the amount of time?"

There is also the element of the non-resolution 'strike' against a seller.  Now applicable with less time alloted for reasonable seller response.

In the face of eBay themselves declaring the need for 'reasonable' time to respond to any inquiry made to THEM (nevermind that they more often NEVER bother responding or fulfilling return response 'promises').

And then there's THIS gem:

""If a seller has concerns with the timeframe provided, we recommend they reach out to customer service to discuss the details.""

Seriously?  Call eBay CS?  To discuss elements of a 'test' policy not even promulgated or explained to THEM?  

This is analagous to tossing a live grenade into pen of captive sheep to 'test' the effective range of shrapnel disbursion.  You know, so they can keep the sheep 'more safely' before shearing them.  

Talk about pulling wool....

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 27 08:03:59 2017

eBay really cares about it's sellers!

They just removed a "late shipment" off my dashboard.

It proves to me that we are truly business partners and they truly care about how I feel about our relationship.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 08:21:25 2017

1) TOOL - shut up
2) TOOL - stay on topic
3) eBay has no clue who you are
4) maybe eBay brass wants your 420
5) this has to do with creating rules "after the fact"


Now PLEASE let the grown ups talk.

Sorry, its a DICK move.

There may be a cogent argument to be made that 3 days isnt needed, and that 24 hrs is sufficiant ...

I'm not PRO or CON since Id never sell a 99 cent item and for sure never send it across the world with no tracking ... HOWEVER....

that DOESNT let eBay off the hook for changing rules "midgame", and once again (like it does with returns, BBL and other things) screw a seller and ignore its own rules.

If "you want to change it" then put it in the next Summer Seller Downdate and put it out there for everyone to see.

As well its BLATANTLY against the law. The TOS is a legal contract, and when you signed on .. the agreement said 3 days. You cant change the contract on your own ...

I'd have to defer to someone smarter then me, like Ming or Rexford - who may know if eBay changed the TOS "in the middle of the night" and/or snuck in a NEW line giving themselves permission to change rules "ad hoc" under the guise of "improvements to the site" or some other such BS.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: Frank Abagnale This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 09:21:55 2017

A 99 cent item?? What have sellers said for years--your worst buyer is the cheap buyer!  

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 10:11:35 2017

This seller received an email from ebay STATING that he had until June 29 to upload tracking to this case.  That alone, should be evidence enough that ebay committed a violation against him.

AND, ebay (trinton) said that ebay could see that if tracking had been uploaded already, that sellers need not worry.  

How many cases of INR have been closed against sellers while the seller used ebay labels to ship?  The tracking number right there in front of ebay?  But their software is not capable of transferring that info to a case. How can a case be opened for an item that tracks as delivered?  Trinton is sadly unaware of the sad facts of how ebay really works.  As in, IT DOESN'T.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 10:18:22 2017

Trinton's just an eBay mouth piece - he parrots eBay garbage, nothing more.

If you ask him ANY togh question, he simply ignores you - as hes doing in that thread.

He got caught up in the LIE, that if you used an eBay shipping label and you get an INR case against you, then you DONT have to reenter the shipping info/respond to the case (since eBay KNOWS the tracking exists since you purchased the label from them) .. when he KNOWS his comments were wrong.

He got caught with his pants down - hes out right lieing.

Here its simply eBay being the scum they are and conjuring up new rules to play "gotcha" with sellers.

It seems eBay just sits around all day every day - and instead of making the site BETTER, they sit around and wait to GET sellers.

If you say a seller gets 3 days then give them the 3 days you promised.

If you allow a seller to create a BBL and YOU attach rules to it, then enforce it

If you have a page set up for the condition of items when returned then ENFORCE it.

eBay is just the worst .....

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: Deacon Blues This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 11:00:14 2017

Small seller purge? Because eBay has too many sellers and not enough buyers?

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 27 11:05:12 2017

Trinton is the one who removed my "late shipment" from my dashboard.

The guy has a tough job!

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Jun 27 11:11:18 2017

The thread on the forums seems to suggest that eBay is trying to rid itself of drop shippers!

That sounds like a good idea. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: Silver Ice King This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 11:16:06 2017

Trinton has no clue just how broken that site he supports so dearly is.  He is just as bad as the CSR's at getting caught in lies.  Just says what he needs to and moves on to the next thread.

Ebay is getting desperate to have something to show Wall Street when they announce the not so exciting 2nd quarter numbers that they promised Wall Street last October were going to be great with the Sellers Hub rollout and the implementation of AI in the search engine.  Absolutely none of it has worked and they have no clue what to do now.  Ebay is grasping at straws to try and increase revenue and the number of active buyers on their site (they actually report that to the shareholders) as they no longer have the time to implement a long term plan due to all the short term ideas they have had ever since Donohoe came into power.  Thank goodness he is out at Paypal now.  

If Ebay could manage to have one part of their system interact with another part without breaking both parts this tracking number issue would not be a problem.  Unfortunately they farm  various parts out to different groups that cannot or will not interact with each other, hence the program cannot do it either.

What a waste of a company that had so much potential, just because Donohoe and now Wenig;'s ego could not handle the fact they run a glorified flea market.  Instead they have to try and be like Amazon even if it destroys the company, because they can always move on and once again blame the sellers for all of the problems on Ebay and the fact that the buyers desert them faster than they can recruit them.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 12:11:24 2017

@Silver - EXACTLY :)

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

This user has validated their user name. by: DTSM

Tue Jun 27 13:17:30 2017

buffalochick echoes something I have always thought was strange about the whole ebay case system. Why would ebay ask me for a tracking number when it is already readily available in their system? Unlike Amazon, eBay tends to hide the tracking number for some reason from buyers. This leads to buyer confusion and unnecessary opened cases. I understand that ebay wants to make the seller responsible for each sale, but not providing a tracking number to the buyer is just bad business.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: Mog This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 13:32:13 2017

Quote
by: Deacon Blues
Tue Jun 27 11:00:14 2017
Small seller purge? Because eBay has too many sellers and not enough buyers?

When is ebay going to realise all those ''too many sellers'' are probably also active buyers. Getting rid of them will reduce their buyer base and as those sellers have been ''pi&^%*(d'' off by ebay will tell all their friends not to go there.

I buy and sell on 2 different accounts. If my selling was banned then no more buying and everyone I know would be told to stay clear.

It seems that ebay is the only one that doesn't realise their small sellers are important.

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 13:39:17 2017

If you follow the rules and provide tracking you should be ok. Sure eventually everyone gets the bad buyer, but its the cost of doing business. For the record am not a ebay cheerleader. its in my opinion the best game in town at this moment in time

Perminate Link for eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning   eBay Launches Stricter Rules with No Warning

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 27 13:59:12 2017

Excuse me but this is horrible. Its time to jump ship everyone.

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