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Sat Nov 1 2014 20:53:55

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on Product Return

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
As per a conversation I just had with an eBay CS agent (yes he spoke English) - I was told the following:

If you have a customer who returns an item that is NOT defective (even though his email said it is) if he does not agree to the restocking fee (the one stated in your listing at the time of purchase) eBay will step in and override your policy and complete the refund to him.

My case is/was - a customer bought a (redacted) then claimed SNAD - one side of it doesn't work. I agreed to the return (I take returns for DOA items for 14 days) and explained that we do not do buyer remorse cases but will gladly accept the item back for exchange or refund should the item be found to be defective.

The customer agreed and of course upon return - it was found to be in PERFECT shape - working 100%.

NOW the customer decided to use eBay to override the agreed upon terms of the listing (20% restocking fee) since eBay freely admits that "unless you opt into eBay's High Frequency Returns policy and agree to limit your restocking fee to an amount THEY (eBay) thinks is fair - any OTHER returns policy is void.

Just because YOUR policy - written to and agreed to by the customer in the sale details stating you can charge a restocking fee means nothing - eBay will NOT back you up PERIOD.

I "guess" that now all sellers have left is small claims court - since eBay has now TOTALLY shredded any "seller protection" that's left ... that and of course - opting out of returns altogether ... which is what I may have to do.

Is this policy of ignoring policies in the stated purchase details NEW?
Best,
S.




Comments (41) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: MeTech

Sat Nov 1 21:34:37 2014

Eslave thinks the buyer is more more important
than the seller.  One thing they don't factor is
that it takes two to complete the formula.

Any rules that are allowed like 14 days return
are stated and a choice when listing an item then
they override that with their silly micromanagement
or clueless rules.

Why ask sellers to have a TOS when it will be pointless.
Now a buyer doesn't even have to read your TOS since
they know the crooked rules are what will be enforced.

 

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 1 22:12:40 2014

As of SEpt 15th or so - during the last update, eBay forced EVERYONE into the new policy that the OP mentions.

Unless the buyer says "I dont want it aka buyers remorse" ALL other statements, emails etc are null and void - they are ALL SNADs.

Defectives at ANYTIME during the 30 day period - not from the time of sale but from the time of delivery - is SNAD"

Restocking fees and other payment issues/details - items comming back complete, missing boxes, packaging, not being defective - is all void. YES (and I can hear my friend Marie say "but Ebays policies say otherwise") usually get overridden by what the buyer wants/says.

eBay always finds for the buyer since the policy change.

Im guessing its their attempt to APE AMAZON - eBay morons - if you are going to force us to have your returns policy - can we force YOU to show our listings 24/7, dump the morons at VERO, remove the ads from our listings, put back 2 way feedbacks etc (just like Amazon) ?

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 1 23:58:29 2014

Instead of instituting this idiotic policy in the middle of summer, they do it holiday season.
I've had 5 returns all year, 3 have come within the past month. 2 said they loved it, but it was too big, NOTHING about not being as described or measurements wrong. CS told me to do the return the old fashioned way, since I offer free ship and clearly state that it will be deducted from refund.  Both went fine, they said to ask buyer to close the ''request'' I guess they did. I had one yesterday, accusing me of selling a fake perfume.  I sell lots of fragrance, and I'm 1000% sure it's authentic, Ebay's suggestion :  refund and let her keep the item......Ha!  I contacted the buyer, told her I could assure her it was authentic, and that people don't generally make fake testers, they fake the commercial package items. In 10 years I've never been accused of selling a fake anything, but surely ebay wont take that into consideration.  Since all this secrecy with fb and buyer purchase history, there's no way to check if it will be a bait and switch.
I'm sure ebay doesn't keep a tab on buyers and their % of returns.
Almost every major retailer says returns must be in the condition shipped, with all tags attached, packing, etc, and in salable condition.  Ebay doesn't care......

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Nov 2 02:13:44 2014

@pace306

You can make all the snappy remarks sent my direction as you need to so that it makes you feel better.  I get it.

What the OP reports is a tough type of problem to deal with.  It is the buyer's word against the seller's word.  Ebay has no way of knowing who is telling the truth.  As a seller we feel more than slighted when Ebay doesn't stand up for us.  But the reality of a case like this is that it is really tough to prove.

I'm not sure what good filing in small claims court it going to do for the OP since they got the product back unless it can't be resold for some reason that can be proved to be the buyer's fault.

The current policies regarding returns on Ebay aren't very different from the rules of the Hassle Free Return policy.  And as we all know they are going to force everyone into the HFRs by the next holiday season.

This problem that the OP had with this case is one that sellers have battled since the beginning.  It isn't new and it isn't just because of some new policy.  It has always been a tough thing to get Ebay to stand behind a seller in a case like this.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: SFH Storm This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 08:21:39 2014

The reality is Ebay doesn't care! I had a buyer lie about the reason for return so I would be forced to pay his shipping, return a brand new $150 silk shirt without all tags, packaging, filthy dirty, worn, and stuffed into a box, now trashed! I was told because it was returned within the return time frame, regardless of my policy regarding new condition with tags, in unworn condition returns, that didn't matter! I had to refund the money but could report the buyer. My only worthless recourse! Also got a great big Defect for it! Another Item, Buyer didn't even have to lie, claimed NAD, saying the auction details were all correct but he purchased based on the picture only and it looked like a different shirt. Both auction body and Title were correct. Another great big Defect where I paid return shipping! Prior to being forced in to managed returns, I had maybe a total of 6 returns a year, I have had 4 since the managed returns in Sept. Charging a restocking fee will do me no good, Ebay overrides your policies! Why not? Ebay doesn't suffer much loss, not their product.  

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 09:06:15 2014

Marie - there were no snappy answers - no idea where you are getting from.

eBay - aka SNADbay's new High Frequency Returns policy only exaserbated an already bad set of policies.

However in my cases and I believe the OPs, the new Sept policies threw EVERYTHING out the window - the baby and the bathwater.

Restocking fees for non defective item returns, restcking fees for incomplete items etc made sure for most buyers that they dont abuse what ever the returns policy you set as a seller was.

SNADbays overridding it made all that dissapear.

Ive gotten more returns since the new policy in Sept then in the last 2 years combined. ALL the returns were supposedly defective - until they got here and they werent - magically.

Personally, I didnt have an issue with SNADbay "believeing" me when it came to seller vs buyer issues. I sell new items and I am a dealer for most of them. That being the case, me - a seller in good standing since 1998 with a few thousand positive feedbacks vs a buyer with a 13 whose been on SNADbay since last year - its not much of challenge to figure out who is right.

I had a 14 day policy until SNADbay upended it - for no reason. Last I looked they arent my business partner - just a VENUE and in their words - the sale is a contract between me and the buyer not SNADbay.

The new High Frequency Returns policy is wrong, it should never have been put in place - its an overreach of SNADbay and hurts sellers for no reason. IF they want to act like Amazon for returns, the act like Amazon for everything ELSE too.

Its simply Torturous Interference in a Contract - no more no less. SNADbay hides behind a quasilegal shrink wrap license to push it through.

Im sorry the OP is leaving over SNADbays insane polcies.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Nov 2 09:24:46 2014

Marie observes: "  It is the buyer's word against the seller's word.  Ebay has no way of knowing who is telling the truth."

eBay does have a way to more fairly judge cases, they simply refuse to utilize it.

The fact of the matter is that eBay very well could implement a process that would allow them to be more accurate with their decisions regarding damage and SNAD claims, to the detriment of every seller victimized by buyers who would rather lie to get refunds.

The issue is that the change to a fairer and more accurate system for judging returns comes down to eBay deciding to make it mandatory that claims for damage and SNAD be filed with pictures which clearly define the damage or show how the item is different from the description.

eBay has thus far resisted - make that refused every suggestion that this process be put into place primarily because it would then require more human intervention beyond simply siding with the buyer in virtually every case. That additional human intervention involves adding more staff to review cases with photos, and eBay is simply unwilling to shoulder the additional payroll costs.

The corporate mindset is why pay people to make decisions which are fair to sellers when we can simply rule in the buyers favor without incurring all the extra expense of having people actually review cases.

The fact remains that it is 2014, and virtually every eBay buyer has access to a cell phone with a camera, (if not a digital camera) so adding a requirement that a photo be included in order to submit a claim is no additional burden to buyers.

The fact that eBay has thus far failed to make photographs a required part of the claim process points to the eBay management culture that has every management team member believing that sellers have bottomless pockets which the company has no compunction about reaching into as often as possible.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: ebay refugee camp This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 10:14:36 2014

It is all about the buyer, but remember you are the consumer when it comes to ebay, you pay ebay fees to list and sell yur item. You are not a ebay employee.
File your complaint with the FTC you are ebay's customer do not allow them to do this, get a complaint on record.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: Philip Cohen
Web Site

Sun Nov 2 11:14:34 2014

@Ric,

The best analogy would be, had the "Titanic" had sufficient life boats ...

The fact is you are never going to get out of eBay or "PreyPal" anything like the sort of professional dispute resolution process offered by the banks’ credit card system; such professionalism costs money, which many merchants resent paying for, and Johnny Ho is never going to aspire to for the same reason—it costs too much—even as the rusting old scow continues to sink lower and lower in the water, Johnny Ho will not spend the money on the necessary extra pumps; after all, his lifeboat is already well provisioned …

The eBay executive suite—where the incompetent mingle with the disingenuous, the malevolent and the outright criminal, and the just plain stupid ... http://bit.ly/11F2eas

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Nov 2 11:14:44 2014

Marie states: "It is the buyer's word against the seller's word.  Ebay has no way of knowing who is telling the truth."

I strongly disagree with that statement. The problem is, eBay doesn't want to make any effort to find out who is telling the truth. A buyer can have a long history of filing SNAD claims and eBay won't care. Hey, it's a buyer, s/he can't be a liar! No matter that the seller has been selling on eBay for years with thousands of positive feedbacks, they are going to find in favor of the buyer 99.99% of the time.

Ric is absolutely correct. Everyone, and I mean everyone, has a cellphone these days. It would take a couple of minutes to shoot a video showing all the alleged undisclosed defects. But eBay, being as lazy and cheap as they are, won't even consider making photographic evidence mandatory. They'd rather the seller be on the hook for a refund to make those lovely scamming buyers return again and again to the site to scam more sellers.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Nov 2 11:54:56 2014

@Ric

I was not talking about all SNAD cases lost, but the particular one the OP described.  

"eBay does have a way to more fairly judge cases, they simply refuse to utilize it."  For what it is worth I completely agree with this statement.



eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 12:24:29 2014

Opt out of returns. You are dying the death of a thousand cuts.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: RCL This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 12:32:57 2014

My pet peeve at eBay is a seller who shows  a picture, then sends an item not pictured. All you have to do is state: "Picture is representational only. Identical items may vary slightly." But then, I want my customer to be pleased; I don't just want the sale to stick.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Nov 2 13:00:48 2014

At one time I implemented a small, very reasonable restocking fee that did not cover all my cost but helped. And I urged buyers to CAREFULLY read the listing to avoid return costs. Things went very well with my 14 day return policy.

After Pace's post about restocking fees a month or so ago, I removed the small fee.  


My worry was that I felt the restock fee might push the buyer returning an item for ''fit'' or ''color''  reasons over to the SNAD choice. With a higher pay-out for buyers, the SNAD choice is practically flashing a neon  ''choose me''  as it is!


I then began to  limit what I sell to lighter weight items (first class mail) to lessen the loss of postage on returns or in case I have to cover two way postage if a buyer chooses SNAD.

At eBay's loss, another venue currently has my heavier, higher value clothing items.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: troglites This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 17:52:14 2014

This is why I only sell lower cost items now on Ebay - I can't afford to give things away and pay for shipping twice. I also try to stick to using First Class Mail as much as possible.  

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Sun Nov 2 19:04:46 2014

@rcl
ebay pushes sellers to use stock pictures, which is the worse thing in the world, you can't see the actual item you are getting.

Ebay can't determine 100% of the time who's telling the truth between buyer and seller, but they certainly can try.
you have a seller, 100 % feedback, great cs, and you have a buyer, few transactions and accuses seller of selling a fake, counterfit, you can make an educated guess, that if the seller has been selling the same or like items for years, isn't going to ruin his reputation selling fakes. Yet ebay will let that scam buyer ruin your reputation, and nothing ruins it more than being accused of selling fakes or counterfits, withiout any proof.

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: cash4clothesbozeman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 3 00:13:39 2014

Qoute from Bill Gates:

The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency.  The second is that automation  applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.

Personally I look on MyEbay page and see the dollar value of the  returns ouch.  I got three items this week claiming defective.  I used to get 2% returns and now it is 5%  hard on time and money management.  EBAY you are better than this and you need to do better!

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: Lois This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 3 00:19:33 2014

I had a case of buyer fraud last year that still rankles.

Someone bought a high-priced Christmas tree pin from me. I had taken its picture, listed the pin with the picture. She bought it, paid for it, I sent it.

Next think I know, she filed a claim that it was not as described. She said one of the rhinestones was the wrong color.

Now, I know that could not possibly be true, because I had my picture to back me up. Nevertheless, I told her to return it and I would refund.

She returned a pin that was not the one I sold her.

I am thinking she already had a defective one, and thought it would be great to replace it with an authentic model.

Naturally, eBay supported her claim, and the money was returned to her from my own account.

It's funny, you know, that eBay believes all buyers are honest, and all sellers are cheaters, isn't it?

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 3 00:48:33 2014

I opted out of Ebay's returns today and then put my own policy in my ads. I know it won't help me as far as Ebay is concerned, but it will help reassure the buyer who reads it that I do stand behind what I sell.
My brother says it will put me in the basement. I told him no I am already well below the basement level. Ebay hides my items regularly. Even I can't find them unless I put in the title word for word.    

eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P   eBay Overrides Seller's Restocking Fee Policy on P

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 3 00:58:11 2014

@Lois
sorry that this happened to you, but bait & switch seems to be par for the course. Ebay won't even put a disclaimer telling the buyer to return the item in the same condition received or something to that effect.
Everyday they are putting sellers out as sitting ducks, with no protection.
Last year a buyer in Canada purchased a white sweater from me, she wrote and claimed I sent her the wrong sweater a blue one.  I said,it was impossible, I didn't have blue sweaters at the time, and I remember this particular one because it had a scarf & I carefully folded it to make it fit in an envelope. She quickly sent me pics of my envelope and 2 pictures of the sweater, one a close up.  So I searched her purchases, and sure enough, it was a sweater she purchased from someone else, the stitching was very distinctive.  I called cs, they were able to see it & closed the case. Now that we do not have the benefit of seeing sellers purchases, I'm sure I would have lost the case.

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