Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Sat Aug 29 2020 16:12:53

eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns

By: Ina Steiner

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Beginning September 14, eBay will automate the returns and refunds processes for sellers actively enrolled in Managed Payments in order to "align the seller experience across the eBay platform."

Automation of returns and refunds saves sellers time, and enables them to process returns faster, eBay said.

However, even if they don't offer returns in their listings, sellers must accept them anyway in some cases, such as when the buyer files a SNAD claim (item not as described). In such cases, eBay automatically provides a return shipping label to the buyer and bills the cost of the label to the seller's invoice, with no impact to the seller's performance metrics.

A seller of furniture had a lot to say about the new policy in this thread on the eBay boards, objecting to eBay's choice of USPS for automatic returns.

"Why would you switch our UPS and FedEx shipments to come back via USPS at the same time the USPS is overwhelmed, under attack, mid-pandemic, and with an upcoming volume of high-priority mail - for the election - that they already can't promise to deliver."

The seller also questioned eBay's method of determining the cost of the shipping label by using the weight and dimensions of the package: buyers ship back furniture in different boxes for various reasons, including cases where they assembled a piece that the seller had sent disassembled.

"For many of our products, we don't have shipping weights and dims, because different shipments may be packed uniquely based on details no one here cares about," they added.

Sellers are also discussing the new policy on a special board that only sellers enrolled in Managed Payments can view.

The following is an excerpt from the email eBay sent sellers:

Updates to how refunds, claims and disputes are funded
For your convenience, eBay will now deduct expenses resulting from refunds, claims or disputes directly from your pending payouts. If your pending payouts are not sufficient to cover these amounts we will charge your payment method on file (debit or credit card, and/or linked bank account) within 14 days. Learn more about handling payments disputes and protections here. If you are eligible or active on managed payments, you can find more information about claims, refunds, and returns after you log into the Help Hub.

Starting September 14, 2020: Streamlined returns process
eBay will automate the returns process for managed payments sellers to align the seller experience across the eBay platform, save sellers time, and deliver a streamlined returns experience for buyers by providing them immediate access to return labels and faster refunds. Learn more about this important change here.

As always, for updates on managed payments, please visit the eBay Seller Center for payments. You can join a dedicated private community to engage with your fellow sellers on managed payments here. If you still have questions, you can get more in-depth answers on the Help Hub or request a call from our customer support here.

Some sellers pointed out that eBay is providing just over 3-weeks' notice after having committed to providing sellers 60-days' notice for such changes.

Let us know what you think of the new Returns mandate eBay issued by email on Friday evening, which it inexplicably chose not to post on the Seller Announcement board.



Comments (40) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns   eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns

by: sellerchick This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 29 18:02:36 2020

Awful. WE NEED MORE ROOM TO NEGOTIATE A BETTER SOLUTION THAN RETURNS!

My number one return reason is USPS damage/careless customer unpacking damage. I resolve 95% of my "returns" with replacements, and have the customer throw it in the garbage. I don't need to bleed out more costs for pointless returns. We need a streamlined EXCHANGE option.


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by: HardWorkingSeller This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 29 19:22:20 2020

It sucks.  Another short notice change that tinkers around the edge with something that in most cases isn't broken.

If this is an example of the new CEO building bridges with the seller community then we're in for a very rough ride.  His presence on the latest seller check in call was much hyped, but in the end we just got a re-heated version of a few remarks made on the last investor call.  He took no questions and couldn't get off the line fast enough after a saying nothing that hadn't already been published.

I've tried to approach Managed Payments with an open mind, but the fear has always been that once eBay has access to your money at source then it's just going to be way too tempting for them to help themselves to a bit here and there with little rationale or justification.

This change seems to be first significant cash grab. eBay promised that MP wouldn't be used as vehicle for raising fees.  That commitment just got broken.  Forcing the use of eBay Priority Mail labels for returns probably doubles the cost of the label by the time the weight gets above 10lbs or so, depending upon the circumstances.

What was wrong with allowing us to upload a FedEx label if that's the most cost effective approach?  Provided that it is handled promptly it's still a good customer experience.  What's wrong with taking a moment to understand the customer's issue, as in my experience 80% of ''return'' requests are just a case of the customer needing some help to get the item working.  Sure, allowing sellers to ship returns on their own account cuts eBay out of the label selling game, and that's less profit for them.  So their logic is pretty easy to spot here.

And trying to suppress the reaction from sellers so that it can't be seen by sellers yet to agree to Managed Payments clearly indicates that they know how unpopular this change is going to be.

Anyone want a side bet on how long before eBay starts collecting commission on refunded payments?



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by: justchangecarriers This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 29 20:12:06 2020

I HATE MANAGED RETURNS. They dont streamline anything. They cause a larger headache and zero communication where if I were able to communicate we could fix the situation. Video game systems are expensive to ship, and many times the buyer is just too ignorant to set it up and thinks it doesnt work. Under new policy I have to just pay a huge shipping bill back to me when a buyers thinks it doesnt work. Such a pain.

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by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 29 21:15:30 2020

Is this asinine idea from the 2 Walmart idiots

eBay needs to stay out of the returns business

Honesty and integrity my @ss - it’s pure coercion through and through

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by: Shanna This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 29 21:20:13 2020

Remember, eBay, like Amazon is paying pennies on the dollar for shipping labels from USPS. They are making more on the shipping than the FVF, so if they can get you, the seller, to pay twice, all the better for eBay.  I use Fedex and Pirate ship for heavier, or oversized items.

I shipped a large stuffed animal, it was big, but not that heavy. With USPS and dimensional shipping, the 5lb package 18x16x14 to CA was over $60, while with Pirateship it was $17. If that person returned it through eBay's automated system, would I be charged $60?

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by: COVID-19 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Aug 29 22:32:29 2020

Good news!  This is just perfect for those frivolous buyers to exercise their p̶r̶i̶v̶i̶l̶e̶g̶e̶s̶  rights.

Perminate Link for eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns   eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns

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

Sat Aug 29 23:00:35 2020

Just another money grab by Ebay.  They have been losing their shipping profits to other sites ever since that fiasco where all the shipping services, except Ebay, by  lowered the cost of First Class Shipping $0.06 on the first four ounces.  That started a big move away from using Ebay as the shipping service and has hit their bottom line big time.  So this is their way of getting some of that revenue back while justifying it as only on returns and they force the use of Priority Mail for the return because it once again puts more money in their pockets and they can charge whatever price they so desire.  

Mangled Payments was always Wenigs last step in gaining complete control of all of their sellers by controlling their cash flow.  They also overcharge big time on return labels because they can and things are only going to get worse going forward as this is the only way Ebay knows how to generate growth, by stealing the money from their sellers.  The new CEO is quickly proving what I have said from the outset, that he is nothing but another yes man in the string of CEO's that Ebay has hired since Whitman left the company.  Of course they only allow the discussion of this topic in the Mangled Payments folder so as few Sellers as possible can see what is being said about this theft from Sellers.  The new CEO is quickly becoming the second coming of Wenig who told lies every time his lips moved.

Once again Ebay just does not understand what transparency means and continues to show why forcing Mangled Payments down all Sellers throats was created in the first place.  From Day 1 it has all been designed to dig deeper into Sellers pockets with their policies that of course only effect those that were forced into Mangled Payments.  Then they are going to wonder why more and more sellers leave this site and take their unique items to sell elsewhere.  There is only so much profit in selling on Ebay and they are extremely determined get their hands on every bit of it while being short sited as usual on what this is going to do to their Selling Revenue in the future.  I guess this is why Wenig always stated that China was their future, knowing full well that USA Sellers would continue to find other sites to sell their wares on, while their partners in crime (China) try to fill in the gap of all the revenue that ebay is chasing away from their site.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Bill

Sun Aug 30 00:54:28 2020

Just another reason why I will be closing my store on eBay after over 20 years of selling on there.
It has been going down the tubes since after they hired Doughnut Hole and I have been making more sales on other sites for a lot less cost.
The idiots that are running now have no clue what so ever about how to run this business.
It's a shame since years ago it used to be fun but now it is a big pain in the rear.

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by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 30 06:13:36 2020

Here we have Exhibit #101 for WHY all of the BLATHER from Bay was 101 percent BLATHER.

Mangled Payments is going to be he DEATH of EBAY.

Silly Rabbits running eBay think it will be a CASH COW, but for them to KEEP this sort of HORRIBLE IDEA a secret until the month(s) that they start Wholesale Involuntary inclusion of Seller after Seller INTO this TIGER PIT makes it all the more clear WHY they MADE the ins/outs of Mangled Payments SUCH a Disaster.
Pit of Death works much less well if there is a series of LIGHTED SIGNS leading up to it that say,  Death Lurks Ahead,  You are Quickly Approaching Death, Turn Back Now, if you want to survive, and finally Stay away from the EDGE of the Pit of Death.
Happy Holiday Selling Y'all.    

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by: Ophelia1 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 30 16:31:33 2020

I am so glad I decided to stop selling on eBay. I must admit that I second guessed myself a few times, tried to weigh in the good vs the bad in eBay, and the bad outweighed the good every single time. Not enough antacid in the world to help me digest all these mostly deceitful changes.

Perminate Link for eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns   eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 30 19:09:32 2020

It’s these kinds of things that were the reason that eBay kept MP details a secret (and still do)

Dopes think MP was just about keeping the extra point or two on the processing or even keeping the float (which they do as well) but it’s not - it’s about %100 control over its sellers

The “OTHER” white elephant in the room that no one speaks of is that eBay used to have to wait 30 days to get paid aka industry standard terms but now with MP, eBay gets its finds COD. So sellers are once again holding up eBay ........ and what do we sellers get for getting eBay ITS money faster????? NOTHING!

Honesty my @ss

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Aug 30 19:27:33 2020

eBay has too many grifters and no leadership.  They are ridiculous with how much control they think can exert over a shrinking volume of  increasingly unprofitable sales.  Every time the have a choice to make, they always make whichever one is most obviously wrong.  Severe brain problems all around in San Jose.

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Sun Aug 30 19:35:19 2020

The type of people that have "run" eBay the last 12 years could never have started a business.  They're too greedy, have no ideas, and don't know how to treat people.  It's so sad how they've just about destroyed a once-revolutionary marketplace.  If there was any justice in the world, they'd be living under a bridge eating old muffin stubs.

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by: notfunanymore This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 30 21:09:56 2020

“For your convenience” ha ha!! I hope this post makes you understand this is all planned. They know exactly what their doing to extract more and more money and take away any part of decision making from you! Wake up! They just took more control away.  

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by: Opalie This user has validated their user name.

Sun Aug 30 21:59:27 2020

And never once, even before this newest iteration, have they addressed the fact that forcing sellers to accept automated returns negates any insurance the seller may have paid for shipping damage.

Never mind that for a genuine SNAD return request involving a broken 'breakable" (think china & glassware) the last thing a seller wants is to have to PAY to ship back a box of broken something.

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by: thriftyattireandstuff This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 00:13:02 2020

These automated returns are so flipping annoying.. Customers don't contact you about the slightest problem in advance of opening a return and then you are stuck in limbo, giving no options to mitigate the problem.  Is the auto return going to extend to items you offer no returns on?  Probably.  Even if after a buyer opens a return, and you fix their issue, you then are stuck having to instruct the customer on how to close the return, and if they don't, waiting time out to get eBay to close the case (if you can explain to them that you resolved the issue), or worse if the customer doesn't close the return waiting it out till the return window closes and having to contact eBay to have them manually close it.  I've never heard a seller who said they enjoy contacting eBay customer service ever.

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by: Disgusted This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 00:33:23 2020

I had thoughts about reopening a store on ebay.  Not anymore after this crazy idea.  Just reinforced why I left in the first place.

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by: TDAKS This user has validated their user name.
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Mon Aug 31 00:35:06 2020

Is this a typo ??
"In such cases, eBay automatically provides a return shipping label to the buyer and bills the cost of the label to the seller's invoice, with no impact to the seller's performance metrics."
Does this mean SNADS no longer steer you towards the FVF penalty zone ?

Perminate Link for eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns   eBay Issues New Mandate for Accepting Returns

by: Evenger This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 07:59:26 2020

Wow.  Just wow.  SO HAPPY I CANCELLED MY STORE!!!  I was given the deadline of mid July to enroll in MP, but did not despite the carrot dangled.  I was still able to list until about 1 week ago.  I debated keeping my store or just listing items without a store to clear out the inventory I had stored on Auctiva, but decided it was not worth it.  I would deal with migrating those listings to Etsy rather than enroll in the MP for reasons already stated numerous times in these boards.  The forcing of returns for any reason, at the sellers cost is something any experienced seller on eBay could see coming.  FREEDOM FEELS SO GOOD.

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by: Geetar This user has validated their user name.

Mon Aug 31 09:16:56 2020

NO! No, No, No. I dont want to use ebay labels for anything. I dont want ebay issuing a label return from them. I want to use shipstation. I will not pay ebay for labels. Why, so they can make some money off of the label?

This is BS. PLAIN AND SIMPLE!

Besides the fact that at least half of the time I could resolve the problem without a return. WHY, SO THEY COULD MAKE MONEY OFF LABELS? Next (WATCH), they will be keeping the FVF on a sale that is returned (WATCH, THIS IS HOW THEY OPERATE).

Ebay is no different from Amazon. The costs are the same, the BS is the same. BUT, you know what. for the same money (FVF, Storage, shipping costs) Amazon will ship the items. THAT is streamlined. I may have to do a little work daily, but I do not have to ship every day. That leaves a lot of time for other things, and to peruse other opportunities.

YOU ARE BLOWING IT EBAY!

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