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Sun Sept 7 2014 06:10:25

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Purchases

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
In my opinion the upcoming ability of buyers to cancel a sale if the seller hasn't uploaded the tracking number within one hour should be approached with skepticism and caution.

eBay claims this unasked for "improvement" will result in an "enhanced" selling experience or at least that's what the script says that Customer Service representatives are reading from.

As a 14 year eBay seller I see little upside to this change, but we've come expect this from eBay.

eBay used to tell buyers that when they bought an item they were entering into a legal binding contract to pay for it. This new recission policy could result in creating even still more irresponsible buyers who know they can cancel anytime from within one hour of purchase to 6 months in the United States and a year in the United Kingdom by simply filing a meritless case either eBay or PayPal.

Now unless sellers sit in front of their computers 24/7 uploading tracking numbers within seconds of purchase, buyers will be able to reserve an item for one hour while they scour eBay and other sites for a lower price.

Instead of continually giving buyers ways to wiggle out of their "legally binding contracts," eBay continues down the path of self destruction by failing to develop ways to encourage orders to stick or even require buyers to honor their end of the contract.

Why would eBay introduce such a facially counterproductive policy? Each item returned or cancelled item is relisted. Each time it sells eBay can count what actually amounts to one sale as multiple sales in terms of dollar volume it in their patently deceptive gross merchandise volume (GMV) column.

eBay desperately needs this inflated GMV for Q4 and their annual earnings reports even though returns and cancellation amount to non existent dollars (except to sellers).

If history is any indicator this new buyer initiated cancellation policy likely will cost sellers sales and money which means absolutely nothing to eBay.

The only positive thing I can think of is that sellers won't be out shipping label costs and return postage in shipping included listings when the buyer cancels within the hour.

I suspect, however, it's simply another new avenue for buyers to abuse sellers with eBay's blessing.

Just Sign Me,
League to Eradicate Stupidity, Mendacity, and Avarice




Comments (66) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: 1beck3 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 06:27:20 2014

Or, ebay could be trying to make the buying experience as similar to a brick & mortar location for buyers as possible.  

While I understand your frustration, can you honestly tell me you've never purchased something and then changed your mind?  Or, purchased something and returned it?  EVER?  

It happens.  And, yes, there are going to be some buyers we probably abuse this.  

But, if you were a buyer, wanted to cancel a transaction BEFORE the item shipped and were then told, "SINCE YOU COMMITTED TO BUYING THIS ITEM, YOU'VE BASICALLY SIGNED A BLOOD CONTRACT.  YOU HAVE TO TAKE THIS ITEM NOW!"  

Would you want to come back when pretty much every website has a hassle-free return policy?

Whether you're a small-time, individual seller or you've built your ebay business over a decade to the poing you're selling millions a year is irrelevant.  Buying is buying to the customer, whatever YOUR situation is.

The ultimate goal is to have people return to ebay again and again for multiple purchases.  While I'm not a huge fan of this policy change, it is in the best interest of the buyer experience.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 07:14:50 2014

Sellers are starting to over think things and in return are creating a mountain of problems for themselves.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

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

Sun Sep 7 07:33:55 2014

While it makes for BIN purchases,  there is no possible way it makes sense for auctions, and why does ebay consider a purchase by immediately charging you a FVF, then the buyer cancels and the SELLER is at the mercy of that buyer to get the FVF credited and has to wait 7 days? How many sellers take the time to get the credit back? ebay is collecting millions on FVF charged for sales that were never paid for, or buyer cancelled.  

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: FREDDY This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 08:08:40 2014

That's ebay.  Did you really expect any sane policies??

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: frustrated This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 08:34:02 2014

We have never and will never upload tracking within 1 hour of anything.

EVER.

Who has time to go into the warehouse on SATURDAY at 11 pm to upload tracking??

In a way, this may be HELPFUL.

LET THEM CANCEL. If a buyer wants to change his mind 1 hour later, I would rather refund and have done with it, than ship it, and have him open a case, saying the item is broken, when it's NOT, etc etc etc. You know ebay will MAKE them open a a case, even if they don't want to.

THEN we have the opportunity to block these dipsey doodles before they can do more harm to us.

If they want to cancel that quickly they are nothing buy PITA buyers who will return it anyhow.

Consider it a gift.  

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Sep 7 09:29:30 2014

Since I'm on the east coast and have a lot of west coast buyers - a lot of my sales activity takes place in the middle of the night for me. Sounds like transactions could be bouncing all over the place before I ever wake up!


BUT - I have always agreed to cancel when people changed their mind before they paid or say they bought an item ''by mistake''.  I did not see the point in completing the transaction with someone who wanted ''out''.  Too risky & best done BEFORE item ships.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 12:15:52 2014

There appears to be no concern here so maybe I'm not completely schooled on John Donahoe & Co's fall update.

Are sellers not given a defect  for refunds and are we open to negative feedback and/or low DSR's for a canceled within one hour sale?

If I have understood the Fall update this seems a perfect addition for John Donahoe & Co's attempt to steal TRS from the selected with collateral but accepted damage to all who have lost TRS due to prior updates.

@1beck3

There never has been nor will there ever be an update and/or change made by John Donahoe & Co. directed at ''buyer experience'', it always has been and always will be all about the money with a ''buyer experience'' fluff promotion.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Sep 7 14:47:47 2014

@1beck3 - I have returned exactly one, ONE, item in my entire life, from a B&M. And I'm old! If I can't research what I want and the item turns out to be wrong, that's on me, not on the online seller. I'm not going to make the seller pay the price for my stupidity.  

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Sep 7 15:06:10 2014

I see ebay has directed Lithium to spend more time and effort here.

The only times I have ever returned merchandise was when it was defective -- both brick and mortar and online.

The big box stores initiated these insane return policies -- which they're now having to back track from -- so I myself have NO interest in providing customers with a laissez faire "retail experience."

Constantly equating brick and mortar selling dynamics with online is a false comparison. They're two very different experiences and should be recognized as such.

Many websites do NOT have "hassle free" return policies. They have reasonable return policies with no third party swooping in with managed returns in order to steal money from the seller.

Houseplants need better disguises.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Sun Sep 7 16:15:34 2014

On returns, the big box stores ARE backtracking. Their trend is to tighten up return windows and monitor returns more closely.

It is eBay that is swimming against the tide - Returns full speed ahead. 90 days!



Do the big box online stores ship and load tracking within an hour!

Au contraire, mon frere!  Shopping at online stores like drugstore.com and walmart, I usually get ''item has shipped'' tracking usually within a 12-24 hour period, well after my ''thank you for your order'' email.

Doubt it is much different for eBay's big name online stores.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: Scotty This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 18:12:00 2014

From Amazon:

by:  Adolf Guggenbühl-Craig of the Jung Institute (Zurich)

Emptied Soul: On the Nature of the Psycopath (Classics in Archetypal Psychology)

Why do psychopaths exert such fascination? Do Eros and morality have some kind of connection with psychopathy? Are those feelings part of something in us that allows the most violent kind in our society to kill easily, or is there a recognition that we, too, have a touch of the psychopath lurking in us at all times? Yet in the popular mind, psychopathy only describes a disorder of the aggressive, antisocial criminal. The author reviews the field, gives an explanation of the main symptoms, suggests an approach to treatment, and then presents a new vision: psychopathy is not so much a deficiency of morality as it is crippled Eros.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

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

Sun Sep 7 18:24:55 2014

This is simply one more, of the many, ill-conceived ideas that come out of the eBay executive suite, where the headless turkeys from the corner offices do little more than run round in circles all day and produce not even an edible egg, let alone a golden one …

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 Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sun Sep 7 18:45:23 2014

This is simply a very bad idea.  Once buyers get use to this and/or learn about this, they will feel free to bid on several similar items ending around the same time to see which one they can get cheaper.  They pick the one they want to keep and REQUEST a cancellation on the others.  They do still have to REQUEST it.  Buyers can NOT cancel a transaction.  The OP isn't completely correct on that.

However, even though the seller can deny the request for cancellation, I can't see any up side to doing that.  Trying to force the buyer into completing the transaction could really backfire on sellers.

From the Fall 2014 Update:
Previously, buyers had to contact the seller directly in order to request an order cancellation. With the new after-sale experience, buyers can request their own cancellation, as long as it’s within an hour of purchase and the seller hasn’t marked the item as shipped. While a buyer can initiate the cancellation, the seller still has to approve it. If a buyer wishes to cancel an order more than an hour after purchase and the item hasn’t already been marked as shipped, they can still contact the seller directly, in which case the seller has the choice to cancel the order or not. Sellers will also have the option to cancel transactions directly from My eBay instead of the Resolution Center, and if the buyer paid with PayPal, sellers will no longer need to wait for a response from the buyer.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

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

Sun Sep 7 19:30:52 2014

"even though the seller can deny the request for cancellation"

What would be the point of that? Is the seller going to sue the delinquent buyer to complete the sale? No. Is eBay going to "defect" the delinquent buyer? No. This clause in the update simply expresses the facts on the ground. Still, it is "Captain Queeg" at his nonsensical best, and the sooner the ship owners remove this utterly incompetent captain the better for all concerned; though I suspect the rusting old scow is now so low in the water she must surely go submarine regardless ...

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 Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Sep 7 19:34:48 2014

I agree with Marie. I'm not sure why, but eBay is notorious for "grooming" a bad buyer.

The only good thing about this is that eBay loses the money too.  They not only shoot the seller in the foot they shoot themselves in the foot.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: shabbychick

Sun Sep 7 20:50:46 2014

@ Marie   You say: ''Sellers will also have the option to cancel transactions directly from My eBay instead of the Resolution Center, and if the buyer paid with PayPal, sellers will no longer need to wait for a response from the buyer.''

Do you mean that for the case when the buyer has already requested  a cancellation?

Further thought:  How many times have I sold an item at auction for a fairly high price only to have the buyer ask to cancel. Then upon relisting found buyers had lost interest and item went much cheaper.  I hope sellers won't use this tactic to 'wear out'' a listing in order to drive the price down. It could happen with unique higher priced items.  

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sun Sep 7 22:18:03 2014

I'm afraid Marie splits hairs.

What seller in their right mind would risk a retaliatory defect from an angry buyer for refusing a cancellation?

No, this is nothing more than another ebay greased shafting of sellers to be perfectly blunt.

@Bassett

I've never refused to cancel an order, either. That doesn't mean, however, that I haven't reported the buyer when appropriate for all the good it does, I'v blocked many of them, and I pass along the buyer's user ID to sellers I know who sell in the same categories so they can add them to their blocked buyers list.

What sellers need is union representation. Yes, I know some of you are adamantly opposed to labor unions, but historically labor unions have protected their members from abusive and unfair labor practices and kept wages at a decent level.

Something to think about. Seriously.

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 23:02:40 2014

@1beck3


Online purchases and in store purchases are 2 TOTALLY different things, Im suprised you'de even say so.

eBay CLAIMS they are a platform .. fine - then what they are doing is facilitating a contract between 2 parties PERIOD.

eBay has no legal authority nor "right" to abrigate ANYTHING - and that includes purchase details (restocking fees etc).

Brick & Mortar stores are free to do as they please. Its THEIR merchandise - they can extend or deny ANY part of the transaction that they like - as long as it follows that states UCC laws.

As eBay is NOT a party to the transaction they have NO legal authority to take one side (party) and demand changes. Its also known as "Torturous Interferance With A Contract".

If you dont like something, dont buy it - no ones forcing you.

If you buy it and want to return it - pay the restocking fee if there is one and take the lump like a grown up.

Sellers do - so why shouldnt Buyers?

eBay isnt a license to STEAL on a buyers behalf or is it?

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: macsbaby This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 23:29:18 2014

The whole purpose of this is to collect ill gotten fees based on "defects", and just plain old time and human error. They are making t so that sellers do not want to make "claims" or they will receive a "defect".  

eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur   eBay Removes Obligation to Follow through with Pur

by: macsbaby This user has validated their user name.

Sun Sep 7 23:38:27 2014

Ebay is on its way to being a shadow of what it once was. They are defecting off the ''mom and pops''....and bringing in the mega conglomerates. I think time will prove this to be a huge error. I know ebay has stacked the deck against the unique antique and collectable stores as every rule is meant for large and ''new factory warrantied'' items. Unique antique and used items do not fit this new landscape. Ebay may limp along...it will split off paypal which will grow...and ebay may even survive, but it will be but a shadow of what it once was, and will not have the unique and fun corner it used to occupy. It will fade and become a has been.....I speak for about 95 percent of the collectable and antique shops that have been knocked off and our existence threatened and beheaded with unfair and biased practices. Ebay will lose its pull....I guarantee it, unless they change course. Paypal is carrying them now...and otherwise they will start to dive, the past year and a half has been very flat. Real numbers are really starting to drop....they cant draw blood from a turnip...they have bled me dry, and I am moving on, and I am one of many.  

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