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.
Mon Mar 24 2014 14:52:55

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashion Items

By: Reader

Sponsored Link

Dear Ina,
Re: eBay's extended returns for expensive, seasonal or valuable items and USPS tracking per Griff

I find it ironic that eBay is implementing this new return policy on almost all categories. Ruelala, an eBay company, had this extended return policy in place in 2013 and I had purchased gifts from them that I returned. It took them longer than usual to process the returns and the reps were very rattled.

However as a result they also have more "final sale" items now than ever before on jewelry items, shoes, and clothing when they do not sell in the first offering round and repackage under "shop by color" etc. They claim it is because they are reduced price, but all items are supposed to be reduced on Ruelala.

They never have the gram weight on fine or extremely high end jewelry from eBay seller Lindas***Stuff so it is hard to tell unless a specific designer name is used. Gilt has always had a no return policy on jewelry and use these disclaimers: "Natural imperfections or flaws are intentional and are a desirable aspect of this product" on most of their fine jewelry items.

They use the term "final sale and not returnable" on Hautelook, Ruelala, Gilt and BlueNile among others. They are also promoting Ruelala on eBay. I imagine it is the left over merchandise that cannot be sold on Ruelala and then it will end up part of the email they send to sellers as "great inventory for you to source" that they were sending out for a while.

So basically when it's their nickel they use "final sale" on items that know are high risk for return or items that are season related. We do not have that option.

Griff said in eBay Radio that we do not have to make all our items extended returns and then we do not get the discount. However, there must be a percentage requirement to remain top rated which was not mentioned. I listened to the recording of the show only so could not ask about this.

Another problem with fashion related items is that items purchased November 1, for example, returned on January 31, will lose their value since they may go out of style or won't be as popular later on due to changing seasons and will end up on the clearance racks of outlets and retail stores. For inexpensive items this return policy may work out. If it works so well with expensive items, why does Ruelala carry more and more inexpensive jewelry and clothing items and have more final sale items now?

I also heard Griff discuss how we should "just try it" on the new return policy and opt in, and told a seller of rare vintage books to "try it and see what happens" on eBay Q&A radio.

Now a lot of damage can happen with a rare book, but this did not register with Griff at all. Also on that same show someone called about defects relating to USPS tracking inaccuracies on estimates and that is not really tracking he said how that had all changed now. They actually always track delivery confirmation and signature per Griff. Yes theoretically they do, he is correct but not always in practice.

He also said that in shipping 700 items first class and priority last year he has only had one problem with USPS and he called the eBay customer on the phone and that solved the PR problem, the customer understood completely. He said" just pick up the phone, call them and check your tracking before you check your feedback."

Yes many of us do that. Sometimes the number does not work or is left off for some reason. I guess he is luckier than most sellers in 1 out 700!

Calling generally works well, once in a while calling gets us in trouble when the item was a surprise for someone in the household etc or they did not want someone to know they were shopping. I guess his customers are different though with one problem with USPS a year, I can see that it could work out fine since usually the calls are appreciated.

The more problems we have with USPS, the higher the probability that we will have "defects", which Giff said was a retail term.

Some customers expect the perfect experience and will not be happy unless everything is perfect even if it is weather, USPS or out of the seller's control. In this segment on March 13, they did not admit there were any significant problems with USPS with Griff as spokesperson, although eBay CSRs do say they hear it all the time and so does PayPal.
Signed,
Anonymous veteran top rated seller




Comments (18) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Mon Mar 24 15:16:23 2014

"Griff said in eBay Radio that we do not have to make all our items extended returns and then we do not get the discount..."

U_G is chairman of the Department of Obfuscation at eBay University and a Malarkey Emeritus.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Anonymous Annie

Mon Mar 24 17:58:13 2014

Once upon a time, Griff was actually quite helpful. Now? Not so much. His ''radio'' show is the eBay equivalent of Pravda.

He's an outdated relic of the past, and I'm surprised that he's still on the ''air'' at all.

Whether it's a giggle-fest with his co-host, or whether they're bickering (staged? scripted?)... they have nothing of value to offer.

The ''advice'' given can be boiled down to one simple phrase: ''Comply, or else.'' (Of course it's not phrased as bluntly as that, but the meaning is the same.)

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: LAbay This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 18:46:20 2014

eBay can take their 20% and shove it. They are turning more buyers into borrowers.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: Bidonmine This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 22:14:07 2014

I will not put my Christmas items on a 90-day return. I will put all my under $15 items on 90-day. Anything expensive stays as I have it.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: LinneyPinney This user has validated their user name.

Mon Mar 24 23:42:27 2014

I am removing my better pieces from eBay and listing them on high end sites where they are selling. Perhaps by the holiday I won't need eBay anymore.   And what the heck is up with the latest announcement about DSRs? Now we will know who left the bad marks as they get rid of two of them?  

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 25 00:50:14 2014

I had a package circle thru a Post Office (USPS) Processing Center for a solid MONTH.  I never got a single explanation as to WHY or any HELP from the USPS on this.  It HAD tracking.  

Fortunately for ME the buyer was fairly NICE about this after I did a LOT of legwork and kept in moment to moment contact with him AND I had another identical item I sent him.  He had CANCELED the sale tho---leading to Paypal involvement and potential Neg Feedback.  I managed to salvage this but---just barely.  

and according to EBAY and Unk Griff--I would have been the sole person at fault here and very DEFECTIVE.

Simply put---it is EBAY who has the DEFECTs---starting at the top with the Ho and sliding down hill to Unk Griff and lower still--or do I have this backwards??--to the CSR department,.  

It's about time we made a LOT of noise and proved that we are NOT DEFECTIVE.  

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Mar 25 01:13:50 2014

It isn't just bad for fashion items.  There are other categories that are just as affected and maybe even more.  It's is a holiday rental service provided by Ebay at the expense if its sellers.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Mar 25 07:46:20 2014

Look for a ton of those tacky Christmas sweaters to be returned after January 1st.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Tue Mar 25 10:47:16 2014

Face it... eBay simply does not care if their new extended return policy decimates another category and annihilates another group of sellers.

eBay does not care that Best Match does not work for collectible searches even though they lost sales and sellers.

eBay does not care that Cassini continues to frustrate buyers and cost sellers sales because the search engine was designed as the only search engine on the planet that can not execute a wild card search.

eBay does not care that John Donahoe's turnaround plan has been a dismal failure, and his destructive innovations have cost the company large numbers of both buyers and sellers.

All eBay cares about is being able to tell Wall Street that the changes they are making are designed to improve business.

In the mean time, Wall SAtreet is so busy with the next new shiny thing that they are completely oblivious to the fact that eBay's changes rarely if ever produced the results promised.

GMV on eBay is declining, and the only thing concealing the steady decline in eBay's GMV is the revenue from acquisitions.

Eventually, acquisitions will no longer be able to hide the decline.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Puck

Tue Mar 25 13:40:17 2014

"Once upon a time, Griff was actually quite helpful."

Now he's about as helpful as a screen door on a submarine.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 25 17:12:25 2014

Its not just about fashion items - returns, 90 holiday returns and eBay insane quest to provide buyers with almost anything they ask for is making selling on eBay about as popular as obamacare.

I dont sell in the fashion category here on eBay most of the time - when I do though its handbags - mostly MK and Kate Spade.

When eBay called me 2 weeks ago to ask me why I wont sell more on eBay (vs Amazon) I explained it to the women on the other end - who of course had nothing to say about it (and about the 90 day issue).

I cant list more items because of the animal buyers on eBay - but not just in handbags - but in almost all my categories.

WHen you remove the tag on watches, on handbags, on clohing too (id guess since I dont sell clothing) the value of the item when returned (and its NOT defective) changes.

Watches and handbags that came with tags, and are returned without have a different value then before and arent "new with tags" any more!

I have it with headphones too. Once you wear it and your DNA is on it - its not new. What do I do as a seller with items that have been used (worn) that have peoples DNA on them, that are missing the shrink wrap (so they arent NEW) anymore?

Taking back new unopened items in 14 or 21 days isnt a problem - taking back OPEN goods that arent defective IS.

eBAy of course tells me (as they told me today with a lady Im dealing with)(who SWEARS that they items she bought from me is different that the other 100000000000 ones that exist in the universe. Of course the serial number proves its real, so theres no "its counterfeit claim".

eBay told me POINT BLANK "theres nothing we can do with these customers, you have to take back the new opened (worn by her husband to "try it out") item and maybe then we can discuss dealing with a refund for her.

That its worth %50 less now (its used and opened) is irrelvant to eBay :

Fashion is probably just worse then what I have to deal with - I can just comiserate on MY level.

eBay "just doesnt get it" when it comes to returns - because they sell/own nothing so they have no idea about how the REAL world works.

I sell Casio watches .. .Casio has a 1yr warranty - not for exchange, not for "I'll try it and see if I like it, not I'll give it as a gift as see". 1 yr warranty - repair or replace if defective with the same item. No returns, no refunds, no trial periods.

MK & Kate Spade ... you bought it, you own it. There's no "take backsies".

Im at 99.7% positive, TRSP bla blah blah - but I wont do more on eBay until issues like these get solved - I cant risk it.

(BTW - Amazon isnt much better - this isnt a beat up on eBay day rant)(however they do at least discuss the issue with me and I have a way out with them ost times .. I simply buy one of those returned items FROM THEM ONLY - and switch it. You make me eat crap, I make you eat it.

Hate me if you want :)

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 25 17:43:10 2014

Ebay just increased the rental time the buyers have for clothes, shoes, jewelry, etc.  Books & Records DVDs & the like can all be copied or read, and simply returned.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: COH This user has validated their user name.

Tue Mar 25 17:46:55 2014

Griff is a lying bought-and-paid-for SOS.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

This user has validated their user name. by: Ed Gadfly

Wed Mar 26 06:45:35 2014

If you file taxes you can deduct the losses from returned items.

You pass fees on to your customers. They should be the people complaining.

Is it free to sell on eBay? If not, why don't YOU demand better service from eBay, the people working for you?

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: wheredidebaygo This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 08:55:57 2014

I truly feel for those who depend on eBay for a living. I am one of the hated by eBay ''hobby sellers.'' I have the luxury of stopping my listings as of Nov 1 and picking up again after the rental season ends. It will be interesting to see the stats on Nov/Dec listings this year. I can't be alone in the ability to adjust my selling pattern.  

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 09:20:04 2014

This society has become crazy. I was talking to a lady (in her 70's) who purchased one of those carts to carry groceries etc.. She had to assemble. Used it for 6 weeks decided she would rather have her money - so she returned for a full refund.  She did not see anything wrong with that. She then told me last summer she bought a fan and used it for a month then returned. Her thinking, if they allow it then it must be okay.
What is this world coming to with that type of thinking.
Would not be surprised if ebay gets so desperate that they offer a year for returns.
At least on Amazon, you do not have to refund shipping and you also can get a restocking fee. So you are not out of pocket on that sale.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: Mr. Me This user has validated their user name.

Wed Mar 26 12:22:26 2014

There is no such thing as a hassle free return, SELLER loses the original shipping cost, item must be unpackaged , inspected, re-listed, re-packaged.  Not to mention damage caused by buyer.

eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi   eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashi

by: Davina T This user has validated their user name.

Thu Mar 27 11:24:50 2014

I always thought that when I sold something, and got great feedback that I would consider the sale "done." I hear a lot of horror stories about jewelry being sold at high prices, worn a few months, and then sent back for "any" reason for full refunds. It's unbelievable. I sell things to get them gone. As in sold "as is." It's enough to make a sane person want to cuss.



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.