Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat May 4 2019 20:37:47

Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers, take note - eBay will automatically relist many types of cancelled and refunded orders on your behalf, which could lead to unexpected fees. In addition, unwary sellers could take a hit to their feedback and performance standings if they don't realize eBay has relisted one of their items that may have been damaged since they first listed it or has since become unavailable.

It's understandable if you missed the news of the new practice, which was announced on April 30, given the numerous Spring Update changes with which sellers had familiarize themselves.

With the "Relist cancelled items and remorse returns" change, eBay provides a checkbox for sellers when they process a cancellation or return. However, the default is to relist - in other words, it's opt-out, not opt in. Sellers must proactively deselect the checkbox, otherwise, they'll incur a fee and the item will be relisted.

And there's no global setting - sellers will have to remember to uncheck the box each time they process a cancellation or refund if they don't want eBay to automatically relist it.

The new policy is part of the Spring Seller Update, and even if you absorbed the first part of the announcement - "...we'll provide you with a more convenient way to relist the item,..." you would have to carefully read all the way through to discover that eBay defaults to auto-relist:

"Starting in May 2019, when you successfully complete a cancelled item or remorse return for a single-quantity listing we'll provide you with a more convenient way to relist the item, which will help you resell the item and manage your business more efficiently. Upon completing a return or cancellation, a checkbox will be preselected for you that defaults to an automatic relisting of your item."

At least one reader was blindsided by the new practice when she refunded a customer for a "something's wrong with the buyer's address" cancellation. 

"Just look at the wording in the confirmation email I received after I sent the refund," the seller wrote: ""You initiated a refund of $2XX.XX on May 2, 2019. Once it's complete, we'll relist your item(s) and send you an email.""

Note that was for an order cancelled just 2 days after the Spring Seller Update announcement, which brings up another troubling aspect of this policy change - eBay committed to giving sellers plenty of notice before making changes that impact their business, a promise eBay has repeatedly broken in recent years.

One seller pointed to the dangers the policy could have on sellers who use the Out of Stock feature, but eBay failed to address his or her question in this Seller Update thread.

It's interesting to read the FAQs for this policy - clearly eBay understood it was putting sellers at risk:

Will the checkbox be easy to find? Is there a risk that my returned or cancelled items might be relisted by accident?

The checkbox will be available within each listing within the cancellation and return flows, prior to submitting the cancellation or refund.

Another FAQ indicates eBay realized sellers don't want the default to be set to relist, given the risk of higher fees or negative feedback:

Will I be able to opt out of easy relist for cancelled and refunded items at an account level?

We are aware that sellers want this functionality and we are exploring adding it in the future.

eBay outlined which types of cancelled items and returns it would now automatically relist:

Cancelled item eligibility
The easy-relist default setting will be displayed and preselected for cancelled items that:
- The buyer initiated and you approved
- You cancelled due to an issue with the buyer's address
- Is for a single-quantity listing

Remorse return eligibility
The easy-relist default setting will be displayed and preselected for remorse returns if:
- Tracking shows the item was returned to you
- You provided a full refund
- The remorse return is for a single-quantity listing
You will be able to deselect the preselected check mark in the default checkbox if you don't wish to relist the returned item.

It would be a bit more understandable if eBay put the practice in place if it was waiving insertion fees for relisting cancelled orders, but sellers are bound to see this as another money grab. For instance, another FAQ worth noting:

If there were chargeable listing upgrades (e.g., Subtitles, or Promoted Listings campaigns running on the original listing), will they automatically carry over when I relist my item?

Yes. The same settings you applied when you originally listed your item will carry over when you relist.

And remember, this checkbox would be incredibly welcome - if sellers truly had an eyes-wide-open choice about choosing to relist cancelled items. Making it opt-out, on the other hand, is a real stinker!

If you encounter other dangers lurking in the Spring Seller Update, be sure to let us know so we can alert your colleagues.



Comments (38) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sat May 4 21:00:23 2019

Am I surprised? NO

Is eBay making more changes? What's new?

Only 2 more years and I can call it quits

Am I still Pro eBay? Yes

Do I think eBay has lost it's mind? Yes

Am I a happy eBay seller? Not this month

I have a $10 coupon off $30 or more that's good until the 9th

I have to find something I want for $30 so I can get it for $20

Anyone got something I could use? Tools, gun parts, bees wax, shea butter, coconut oil, or small glass jars?

I have to ask myself, is this really the direction eBay wants to go?

(my pom poms are wearing out again)

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 4 21:48:46 2019

eBay ONCE AGAIN lies, cheats and steals its way to better "earnigs/stock performance".

Just when you think eBay is done finding ways to hurt you as a seller - they find a new way.

NO ONE asked them for this - it should be OPT IN, not OPT OUT - but its eBays way of padding its catalog/gross amount of items/value on its site.

Id say SHAME ON YOU eBay, but they have no shame.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: industrystones This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 4 22:20:58 2019

All of "THIS" . . . Just to get into your pocket for that quick .30 cents.
I am truly surprised no one has yet walked into Ebay's lobby with a loaded vest.
All the people they have forced to walk the plank over the years, you'd think some nutjob would have went PTSD by now . . . .  

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat May 4 22:26:57 2019

Just when you think eBay can't come up with another scheme to take sellers' money, they do. This is going to be a nightmare for sellers in categories with a high volume of returns (such as clothing).  

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

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

Sat May 4 23:06:14 2019

The way they just slipped it in again shows just how desperate Wenig has become trying to save his job.  He knows that there is a bulls eye on his back and is doing everything in his power to pull in revenue.  I would not be the least bit surprised to see everybody forced to buy a store of some type in order to be able to list on Ebay with the next Seller Update, or maybe even before with nothing other than a special hidden announcement.  The default would be a basic store if a Seller even listed 1 item for sale on Ebay.

I know the thought of that is really stretching reality, but Wenig is that far gone from reality at this point in his life.  Ebay really needs to clean house and get new Upper Management that has some ecommerce experience.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: Grady This user has validated their user name.

Sat May 4 23:24:16 2019

Simply hilarious !

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

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

Sun May 5 00:22:22 2019

I noticed this little trick on a cancelled order just yesterday. Okay, so I let it go to see how it worked. I am willing to try most things once.

Got back an error message. The listing couldn't be completed. I chuckled, that figures. Probably because I list through Auctiva??? Who knows.

I know, shocking. Something else that isn't quite ''finished''.

I won't be trying it again.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

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

Sun May 5 00:32:32 2019

Hey eBay....

If you want to do something, create a Best Offer immediate payment required option.

It was a long time since the last Best Offer I attempted. After reading an article on this site about Best Offer, and how much eBay pushed it, I gave it whirl about a month ago. Guess what happened??? The guy didn't pay. No response to my notes, 2 invoices over a week's time. The listing was unavailable for sale for nearly 12 days running through the unpaid item process.

Won't be doing that again either.

As I said before, (and we all know that YOU eBay, read these comments) THAT would be an improvement worth working on!

Tell the $18 million dollar a year man to focus and get on it.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: mcposty This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 06:24:42 2019

Lol despetate much ebay? Youll do everything in your bag of tricks to increase revenue EXCEPT increase sellers sell through rate. Idiots

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 06:26:31 2019

Oh no don't tell me Fleecebay strikes again. How funny.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 07:32:02 2019

''...we'll provide you with a more convenient way...''
''...manage your business more efficiently...''
''...a checkbox will be preselected for you...''
''...The easy-relist default setting...''

And in the same space -

''We are aware that sellers want this functionality [global opt-out, for ''efficiency'' and ''convenience''] and we are exploring adding it in the future.''

So, this bovine scat is unsurprisingly not about what's good for the seller.  Because a programmed ''choice'' is akin to throwing a single light switch, not undertaking a safari.  Concern for what ought be 'easy' must mean something el$e to them.

This has enough dispicables to keep Sylvester the cat scripted for a season.  Like the ''free trial'' deal that ''conveniently'' fine-prints you for a monthly wallet scrubbing appointment unless you battle for a chance to jump through the flaming stopit hoop while the clock tics.  Despicable contract addendum.

They think folks are stupid, chew their cud accepting of obfuscation, A/I mallable by their answerbots.  They hope folks are lazy, because that's what makes it ''easy'' to raid their purses. Despicable customer service.  

They again break a promise with a breathless priority placed on their own UNsought functionality development that supports a meglomanic need for virtual inventory acquisition, be it phantom or not, and to the effect it is wrested by strong armed compulsion.  Then with it's loose ended quick needled release.  Despicable with a stinger.

Wenig claimes to aspire to a more humanized venue.  He'll have to overcome despicable first.  

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

This user has validated their user name. by: NoMoreEbay

Sun May 5 08:12:33 2019

First the auto best offer then the 50% conflict-of-interest fee and now this.

I don't know how many people subscribe to this board but perhaps we can all get together to participate in a class action law suit for tortuous interference and whatever else a law firm can come up with.

Complaining is great. I sure do my share of it but it's time folks. Any interest?

And before anyone says you can't file a law suit per UA. Of course you can. The majority of meditations and settlements are born out of court filings.

Power in numbers. Power to the people and all that.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: Donkey This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 08:21:40 2019

Buyer purchased item and saw that the ebay bucks were wrong so he cancelled the order. EBay had earlier sent out messages telling people to use their ebay bucks when they had none.

I refund and then ebay relisted the item TWICE!!
Then ebay sent me a policy violation for a duplicate listing.

This site is such a mess anymore, it is a wonder anyone uses it.

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Sun May 5 10:46:16 2019

Why won't eBay offer a video option to replace pictures in a listing?

I've been waiving that money in their face for years

I would pay .25 cents to have a video in my air tool listings

I use to do that with Youtube video's

Insert them into my eBay listing, but eBay put the brakes on that years ago

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun May 5 10:53:00 2019

Don't expect an email when they relist for you. They don't send one. Did it to me. Thank god I caught it, ended it and delete it. Let's see if they can find it again?

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: Beth This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 12:25:14 2019

David and Ina... we really need a like button on here.  No sense repeating all the good posts here if I could just push a like button.  

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun May 5 12:28:27 2019

Just think how much in extra FVF fees this is going to produce. Like that wasn't a consideration? 😒

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 12:35:47 2019

Topic ONE, Day ONE for all NEW HIRES and all NEWLY PROMOTED employees must be something along the lines of "Be sure to Check your Common Sense at the door every time you come into the office."  
Topic TWO same day.  Be sure to screw over the sellers every little chance you get.

HOW could any THINKING HUMAN think that something this EXTREME should be an Opt-Out vs. something that requires and Informed Choice by the Seller?
" Stupid is as Stupid Does."

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 12:48:21 2019

I find it not necessary, and just more control, but actually don't see a problem with it.

All you have to do is uncheck the box that says relist.

What's the big deal?

Perminate Link for Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders   Beware: eBay Now Relists Returns and Cancelled Orders

by: grumpwell This user has validated their user name.

Sun May 5 17:11:03 2019

"Opt-In" would certainly be a better way of approaching this but if a seller has so many returns that they fly through the process by rote it would seem they have bigger problems than a 10 cent relist...

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