EcommerceBytes Letters to the Editor Letters to the Editor
Your emails to EcommerceBytes
For consideration, send your email to ina@auctionbytes.com with "Letters to the Editor Blog" in the subject line! Remember to include your name as you would like it to appear in the blog.
Sat Jan 18 2020 23:15:20

Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

eBay's seller protections for Top Rated Sellers is nuanced and can be confusing. Can you help this seller who has a question?

Dear Ina,
I cannot find the policy anywhere on eBay that says negative feedback is automatically removed for "free return shipping" powersellers. I think that they pulled the benefit without an announcement.

The CSR I spoke to today said that it only applies (negative feedback removal) when the item is returned. If it's not returned, feedback removal is not an option.

This policy gave me great peace of mind because it gave me back a little power in dealing with unreasonable buyers. "Please return for a refund. You may print a free return label."  

I knew that if I did everything right, I wouldn't have to stress over bad feedback being left. It was nice not being held hostage.
B.

Note from the editor: See seller protections announced in the Fall Seller Update on this eBay.com help page.

Comments (16) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: mjr55 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 02:59:22 2020

Most of the US-based CS reps are really great.....however, whoever it was that OP spoke to is clueless. No such policy has ever existed.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 08:21:18 2020

As a power seller for years I have never had a negative feedback removed because of free shipping and free item returns. Even though the item was returned. No such policy has ever existed that I know of.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 10:49:16 2020

The OP is correct.   When the protections for Free Returns were first initiated, eBay offered sellers Feedback Protection for just having Free Returns on the listing.   Somewhere in 2019, eBay deleted that blanket benefit and started saying that the return had to be opened and closed out for the feedback protection to be provided.   Previously to this if a buyer left negative feedback on an item that offered Free Returns, the feedback could be removed.   Now if the return is not opened by the buyer and closed out with a refund to the buyer by the seller, they will not remove the feedback.  YES THIS IS A SHIFT IN POLICY AND NO, THEY DID NOT SAY ANYTHING ABOUT IT . . . IT JUST HAPPENED.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Jan 19 11:57:22 2020

This is all I could find. Convoluted at best.

Protections for Top Rated Sellers coming in October
Your track record matters – new coverage for Top Rated Sellers starting October 1, 2019

Top Rated Sellers (TRS) who reside in the US and offer 30 day or longer returns will be protected on items listed on eBay.com when:

A buyer falsely claims an item was not as described
If the report qualifies:

We will subsidize the return shipping label cost up to $6.00 per return for any false claim filed by a buyer that an item was not as described
The subsidy will be credited on your monthly invoice
For transactions to be eligible you must report the buyer
Credits will be applied where we determine the buyer made a false claim
We will also automatically remove negative and neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics
An item is returned after it was used or damaged by the buyer
You can deduct up to 50% from the refund to recover the lost value of the item
We will work directly with the buyer to resolve any issues associated with the item being returned, including removing any negative and neutral feedback, defects, and open cases in service metrics
If we are asked to step in and help, you will no longer be able to issue a partial refund to the buyer. Learn more about refunding the buyer.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: quirkyantiques This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 12:48:43 2020

@canbrit Ummmm...…..if anyone believes a word of what Ebay said there, they're foolish. First are the weasel words "IF we determine buyer falsely claims". Ebay usually ALWAYS takes the word of the buyer over the seller. Getting Ebay to admit to having unscrupulous buyers is like trying to push cold molasses uphill with a toothpick. Good luck trying to refund HALF of a Paypal payment too. Buyer just puts in a INAD claim for the FULL amount. If that fails they put in a credit card chargeback for the full amount. Also "if we're asked to step in you'll be unable to partially refund". Savvy crooked buyers start caterwauling to Ebay-open a case and buyer "experience" is everything to Ebay. I would take that statement by Ebay to be unreliable at best.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 19 13:33:19 2020

“ If the report qualifies:...l

As if.

The rest is pablum, and locked up, even so, dispensed only to the worthy, disregarding due process. The create the disease, and the insurance policy to pay for the treatment.

Qualifies. Right. Physician, heal thyself.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: CanBrit

Sun Jan 19 13:35:11 2020

@quirkyantiques

Don't you worry. I've been on eBay a while and I haven't believed anything they've written or said. I just go on on my merry way and do the best I can for my customers.

The only thing they've ever done that truly surprised me was when they took off three defects for late shipping because I was in the hospital. Even then, I just it was pure luck and the CS was in a good mood.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: 1st Armored Division 1971-1973 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 00:09:21 2020

Ebay will remove feedback even if it falls outside of the guidelines.

I had a customer leave me a negative feedback recently. They never complained about the product, never asked to return it, and as far as I know they were perfectly satisfied with it. What they complained about was I would not negotiate the price, shipping was too high, and I think the price was too high.

Ebay agreed with me this was an abuse of the feedback policy. Everything the customer complained about they knew up front.

Ebay removed the negative feedback.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Jan 20 02:04:20 2020

The Power Seller program on Ebay has next to zero benefits for sellers.  To my knowledge the only benefit that remains for PS's are the delay on negative FB.  Buyer's can't post negative FB on a PS until 7+ days after purchase.  

Now there were specifically stated benefits for any seller that had the Free Return policy on their listings.  And it use to have it's own policy page, but I haven't been able to find it for a few months now.  

I did have asked Ebay about it, but no one seems to know what the heck I'm talking about.

Initially Free Returns had the benefit of the ability to discount a return refund up to 50% if it met the requirements Ebay listings.

And if the seller gave a discounted refund the seller's FB was protected from negative or neutral FB from the buyer.  I think this part is what is being confused here.  it wasn't that the FB was protected for any reason.  It was specific to discounted refunds.

But while I can't seem to locate the policy page anymore, it is still outlined on the Seller Update it was introduced on.  

When you review this keep in mind, the protection on FB is as I stated above.  ONLY on partial refunds.

https://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/20
18-spring/seller-protection.html

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:15:40 2020

@marie

"And if the seller gave a discounted refund the seller's FB was protected from negative or neutral FB from the buyer.  I think this part is what is being confused here.  it wasn't that the FB was protected for any reason.  It was specific to discounted refunds."

Correct and not correct.  Yes, partial refunds were protected through the system but so too was any listing that offered Free Returns.  

This benefit as well as the partial refund benefit and many others were changed when eBay released the BS Fall Seller Protection update.   Ebay slyly removed many of the perks sellers had regarding Free Returns at this time.   They removed pages.  They deleted benefits.  

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: SomeRandy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:27:36 2020

Removal was only for returned items that the seller paid for return shipping. This was always the policy, if the customer did not return the item, then you're shit out of luck, eBay never said they would remove it if the item wasn't returned. I'm going to have to side with eBay on this one, regardless of others' negative views on eBay.

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: DevilishlySarky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:31:58 2020

Ive had three feedback removed recently , all three contravene "rules" one was social commentry "where is my item ,its not arrived yet " (this had arrived at their destination but got sent back to me as they didnt act on the card left by the carrier when they wern'tin when they called .
One neutral was removed as all the last dozen feedback left by this buyer were neutrals despite comments that were positive
and a neg removed as the buyer claimed the same fault for 7 of his last 10 purchases . (as unlikely as being repeatedly struck by lightning)
So , if you can clearly show a just cause for removal , you can get stuff deleted ; far more likely than it used to be when everything was attributed to a"buyers opinion"

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: ebayisscrewed This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 20 08:52:30 2020

@somerandy

Feedback Removal was for listings that offered Free Returns, regardless of whether or not a customer used it.   Again, this changed in 2019.  Between our multiple, accounts, all with 3000 to 4000 items, all with over 600 transactions per month, this policy was used successfully up until the Summer of 2019 - soon thereafter the new Seller Protection Update went into effect.   This changed the previous feedback protection.  

Get the right customer service agent and they will probably admit it or they will use the ebay favorite,  "Well you see this a "GRAY" area  . .  . blah blah blah."

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 14:58:05 2020

Calling it nuanced and confusing is being very polite!

The 2018 policy was for TRS offering Free Returns - dusted-off some old bookmarks for this one (including a friendly debate with Marie 😉).

The 2nd link in the list of links above is the one bookmarked and referenced when needed.

There were significant process (and logic) gaps in the policy from the get-go when it rolled-out (4th link above).

That eBay and everyone else is confused is completely unsurprising, especially given that the execs involved with this have all been blown-up and eBay support never really understood it in the 1st place (again, suggest to bookmark that link if you're a TRS and need FB protection on an item w/Free returns 👆).

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

This user has validated their user name. by: unsuckEBAY
Web Site

Mon Jan 20 15:59:55 2020

There I went and mucked it up myself, conflating the new and old protections (links are obviously correct, but my statement including TRS is not, that's under the new 'protections')

The 2018 protections did *not* require TRS status, just 30-day free returns.  

Perminate Link for Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?   Did eBay Change Feedback Removal Policy?

by: Windkissed This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Thu Jan 23 08:18:56 2020

Why does this apply to only POWER Sellers?  I have a no return policy to cut down on silly returns.  It works well.  I recently had a situation where a buyer bought a beaded belt from me and claimed the photos were not as advertised.  She opened a claim against me to return the belt.  I issued a return label, then later that day she closed the claim.  I contacted her to find out why.  She said she painted the belt with nail polish and it looked better?????? After several contacts she decided to keep the belt.  I said if you are happy with it then I am happy with it.  Then a week later she gives me a negative review.  I went out of my way to make sure she could return the item, but them she damaged it or altered it.  It is no longer returnable.  I relayed that information to her.  So why did she leave a negative against ME, when she obviously damaged the item?  Something like this should be removed from my account as I had a 100% rating?  That was not my photos.  If she did not like the belt she should of returned it as indicated without damaging it.



Login is required to post comments.
To sign in to leave a comment using your AB Verify User Name, fill in the form below. If you have not yet signed up for AB Verify, or if you'd like more information, go to the Registration Page
.

Login for AB Verify
Be sure and use your email address and password to log in.

 
Email:
Password:
 
 Forgot Your Password?
 Even though you are signed in with the AuctionBytes Blog, you will have to sign in to the EcommerceBytes blog. But you can sign in with your existing AB Verify info.