Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sun Oct 6 2019 20:29:45

Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers often describe challenges dealing with buyer disputes. The topic came up in two recent threads on the eBay discussion boards - specifically disputes over returns - so we visited the eBay help pages for a refresher. 

We were struck anew with one of eBay's policies - if a seller asks eBay to step in and help with a dispute, and eBay finds on behalf of the buyer, the seller could receive a defect - and that could ultimately lead to the seller paying higher fees.

The following answer is from a FAQ on the eBay help page about seller protections:

"You can ask eBay to step in and help if you feel the buyer has misrepresented the reason for the return. eBay will review your request and take appropriate action. Remember, when you ask eBay to step in and help without successfully resolving the issue directly with your buyer and eBay finds on behalf of the buyer, it will result in a defect."

For those unfamiliar with eBay's seller defects, they contribute to a seller's performance standards. Sellers who fall below eBay's minimum performance standards face a number of possible consequences:

- eBay may limit their selling activity;

- eBay may penalize them in search;

- and eBay may charge them higher final value fees.

eBay doesn't dispute the fact there are bad buyers on its site. But if sellers are concerned they may have encountered a bad buyer and ask eBay for help, eBay will penalize them for doing so if it finds in favor of the buyer. 

Keep in mind that sellers on eBay don't have details about a buyer's track record, so they have no way of gauging whether they're dealing with a chronic troublemaker. 

If eBay wanted to root out bad buyers, wouldn't they encourage sellers to tell them when they suspect a customer is abusing its policies? 

Here are links to the two threads on the eBay boards about returns where sellers get into the nitty-gritty of what they have experienced:




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Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

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

Sun Oct 6 22:18:29 2019

I had to deal with the credit card company over an Ebay seller who didn't even get the package to the post office.
EASY PEASY  :o)
They got my money back in TWO HOURS ! ! ! !
You NEVER need PayPal.....

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Oct 6 22:56:06 2019

As always, eBay has designed seller protections and claim they have your back.....

Of course they have your back - that's how they know where to stick the knife in.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Oct 6 23:29:01 2019

I never, ever, ever ask eBay to step in to any dispute. If I can't resolve the issue with the buyer myself, I just eat it, write it off and move on. Fortunately it is a rare occurrence for me. Most buyers are honest. Others aren't very bright and I get them cornered in their lie, they give up. Only once have I mentioned contacting law enforcement. Never heard from him again.

The ''review'' of the dispute by eBay typically takes about 30 seconds and all too often results in favor of the buyer.

I don't need that kind of help.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Mon Oct 7 00:21:42 2019

ebay buyer dispute program

GoTo 'dispute'
if Dispute filed by seller GoTo 'automatic denial'
if Dispute filed by buyer GoTo 'automatic approval'
End

The boards also say now if a package was delivered to a forwarder in the USA and forwarded to a guy living in Europe, seller protection is no longer applicable because the buyer may 'work' at the forwarder. One of the Mods actually made this idiotic statement. That would be one heck of a 4900 mile commute.

This is the new October 1 seller protections?  And as usual, no announcement. Great new seller communication!

This is the same ebay that so many here posted their suggestions when what's-his-name (the revolving door Walmart executive) said NOW he is listening.

ebay is a parasite that will never change and will never listen to anyone except for the sound of money.  

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: cfrphoto

Mon Oct 7 00:32:04 2019

Will eBay stick Managed Payment sellers for credit card chargebacks if tracking shows that the item was delivered?

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: OhWhatFun This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 00:33:58 2019

This is nothing new. Even when in 2 cases the buyer admitted they lied in ebay messages I still lost. I  no longer send disputes that way I call only.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: OhWhatFun This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 00:34:04 2019

This is nothing new. Even when in 2 cases the buyer admitted they lied in ebay messages I still lost. I  no longer send disputes that way I call only.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 00:36:27 2019

Customer Service is much better than in the past. Rather than asking eBay to step in and help (automatic loss for defective and not as described claims), pick up the phone and ask for their 'advice' on what to do. If you have a good case they will likely tell you to accept the return (if not done automatically) and then appeal with a phone call. Make sure they document what was decided on for the appeal if they tell you you will win.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: Bird Mad This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 02:15:41 2019

This past week, a customer ordered an item and after I shipped, they ordered the same item again. I sent both separately, thus two tracking numbers. Total with shipping was around $90 for the two items.

Customer received both and may have opened one but then contacted eBay saying it did not match the description or pictures. eBay found for the buyer and issued return labels.

Several days later, eBay reverses my payment saying they received confirmation of delivery of the items back to me.  The eBay case did not show any tracking numbers.

I went to the post office and the customer has written "refused" on one package and put it back in the mail. Thus, they only returned one item, not both.

I contacted eBay and expected a fight.  The rep reviewed the complaint and my listing and then ran the tracking numbers (my numbers from the original shipment). As I had explained, one tracked to the customer and then back to me (the refused package) but the other only tracked to the buyer.

The rep was extremely professional and said that eBay closed the case incorrectly.  They refunded both my payments and removed the defects from my account. They agreed that my description was clear, the custom made false claim and they never used the return postage eBay provided them and only one package tracked back to me.

eBay credited me back the money from both sales (yes, eBay even gave me the money for the returned package).  I also have one of the two items sold.  I was impressed with how the rep handled that case and how quickly they resolved the situation.

Time will tell if the buyer can still claim for a refund. I asked the eBay rep if the buyer will be able to do anything to take the money back and was told they could not.  I won't count the money yet.

I wonder what will happen if the customer uses one of the eBay labels to return the other item.

If my dispute resolution holds, I will say that eBay has turned in a new direction and I am optimistic of the future.  

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Oct 7 02:30:53 2019

@ZZ

Appeal what exactly?  You took the return, so you have the item. Are you thinking Ebay might give you the money back that you gave the buyer AND you have the item in which you can resell?

The first thing the Ebay policy says when you look at the appeal process is as follows:
If you don’t agree with our decision after we’ve been asked to step in and help resolve an issue between you and a seller, you can appeal by providing new information within 30 days of the case being closed.

https://www.ebay.com/help/buying/returns-refunds/handli
ng-disputes?id=4039

Notice
it says AFTER you ASKED Ebay to step in.  That means that when you approve the return and let the process happen, you don't have anything to appeal.

This return system that Ebay labeled Simplified Returns last fall is beyond a hot mess.  It is incredibly unfair to sellers, beyond what the system even was before this change and it was bad then.  I could probably write a book about how unfair and increasingly damaging this policy is on sellers.

And yes the reports are correct, Ebay is ignoring published policies on Return Requests that involve the condition of the item, altered items, and a few other policies.  A seller can not win if they try to fight these no matter how much proof there is.  Not even if the buyer specifically admits to some of this.  Ebay will claim it isn't clear and rule for the buyer.

If you are TRS w/ at least a 30 day return policy the best you can do is give them a partial refund.  Which certainly is better than a full refund, which is what will happen if you leave it up to Ebay.

It just leaves us SCREAMING!!!

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Oct 7 02:35:00 2019

@Bird Mad

I can't tell you how lucky you were to get someone that actually worked for you.  It isn't normal. But I am SO GLAD it worked out for you.

The refusal package is what likely really help to.  The protections on an INR are the best that Ebay has to offer.  They really are pretty good.  And refusing a package = delivery in Ebayland.  So that was the key thing that helped you.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 03:25:19 2019

I Must be Crazy  = ditto

I too just accept the return - easy peasy - 1/2 the time the buyer never returns the item anyway thinking I'll just give them the product and the refund.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: hawk This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 05:07:33 2019

the only giant defect is ebay itself. they care about no one that's honest. enough said.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 08:12:48 2019

Never ask eBay for an adjudication unless you know that you will win.   If you lose then, yes, that goes into your record and starts to count against you via Best Match placement (plus you lose the FVF refund probably).

They work to rules, not a subjective judgment of who is in the right.  Tracking data is considered unimpeachable and will in many cases determine the outcome and it probably won't even be reviewed by a human, unless you take the matter to appeal.

But there is no reason why you should lose any case.  Call eBay and ask to speak to someone qualified to adjudicate claims (they won't be the first person who answers).  Have them review the facts and tell you how it will be decided if you force eBay to make the decision.

If they say it's a lose scenario or that you would have to try and get an appeal accepted, then work out a resolution with the buyer yourself.

If it's going to close in your favor then have them do that while you are on the line.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: Docinmd This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 09:04:22 2019

Last week I tried to report an overseas buyer who wanted to pay me more than I was asking, but wanted me to phone message them, against ebay rules.  wanted to let ebay know, but after searching for a long time, I was unable to find any evidence that you can contact ebay to report a buyer, except by calling the 800 phone number. As I am aware that calling the 800 number often means waiting for 30 minutes or longer, I gave up.

Great job ebay, making it very difficult to report bad buyers.

And the phone number the buyer asked me to call? It's from a private overseas exchange that bills your phone number at $6 per minute for texting.  

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: Mamak This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 10:45:51 2019

After several unfair findings in buyers favor I did receive advice from a CS rep in the USA and was told to tell the rep very clearly you do not want a case opened  and you are simply calling for advice.  I can't tell you how many times I have called CS to discuss a problem and had them open a case and close it in the buyer's favor simply because I called for advice.   Several were finally cleared up after multiple calls and being on hold forever.  Unlike USA customer service reps the ones at overseas call centers are driven, monitored and compensated by the amount of cases they can open and close in a day.  They are not driven by the truth, fairness or common sense.  I rarely bother calling anymore just block & report buyer in hopes they get deleted someday for repeatedly ripping off sellers. If I have accumulated defects that can hurt my fees yes I will call to appeal.   A good portion of my blocked buyers have been deleted so it may help other sellers to report.  I would never sell anything on ebay that I can't afford to loose.  Anything pricy is done face to face.  

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Oct 7 11:12:04 2019

Reporting bad sellers can cost you also!

I lost my community board rights because I alerted eBay to a seller selling feedback.

I got banned, he got raised in search results. . . . .

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

by: Dburn This user has validated their user name.

Mon Oct 7 11:48:10 2019

If this is a duplicate - my apologies

I second the ''call an agent for advice'' suggestion. Never ever click the button that is under a dispute that asks eBay for help. Within 30 seconds I was flooded by email from eBay saying they found for the buyer with one that was obviously filled out by a CS person . I recall the tone was pure taunting. I called shortly after I stopped pounding the floor with my feet while screaming. I got to an appeals person after showing I was unwilling to accept no as an answer. The appeals person took their 30 seconds and found in my favor. Within seconds everything was reversed.

I realize I got lucky. Real Lucky. Most of the time there is just a beat down waiting for us sellers.  These days, if we win on eBay , we can do a countdown of when it will be disputed on Paypal. I've won there on appeal. Yet it's still amazing to me that PayPal is willing to reverse a case that had been adjudicated on eBay.

When sales were ok on eBay the ROI for time invested was ok. Now-a-days, we really should look at the ROI of dealing with both eBay and PayPal. Sales are way off, costs are rising on both platforms .With PayPal charging us for cancellations , and eBay who will do the same and more once they stand up their payment system,    Look at  time as the most valuable asset that we have to invest and ask if the investment of that time is producing a return on eBay and PayPal.  

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Oct 7 12:56:36 2019

@tool

You are over simplifying the issue you had.  There was more to it.  No need to share, but you know there was.

@Docinmd

You are correct, often times when we try to call in the wait time is awful.  Now I use the option to let them call me.  It works great.  It will tell you on your screen about how long it will be until the call and it has been correct every time I've used it.  In fact they have called quicker than anticipated.  So try that next time, you may be pleasantly surprised.

Perminate Link for Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You   Reporting Bad Buyers to eBay Can Cost You

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Mon Oct 7 15:06:58 2019

I can't remember the last time I called eBay. I gave that up a long time ago. I have my returns ready to auto accept. I'm not going through the trouble anymore. I'm thankful that the returns have dried up quite a bit, but then again so have the sales.

When I think of the scope of trying to turn eBay around, well I just can't get my head around it. There is no way they can pull off the improvement necessary in enough time to have any impact at all. 16000 employees. How many are in Customer Service.

I tried to stay hopeful for many years, but even with Wenig gone, I think the damage is just too great to overcome. Time for a fire sale.

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