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Sat Jan 17 2015 11:43:26

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Sellers

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I came across this issue as a seller, I thought it might be of interest to you and other US-based sellers out there.

I received a return request from a UK based customer for a silver bracelet. The indicated reason was 'Wrong size or doesn't fit', which as per eBay policy falls under buyer remorse. And indeed, the customer indicated that the piece didn't fit her.
 
When I clicked to accept the return, to my surprise the next page told me I will have to refund the original item price of $35.60 plus the original shipping cost of $8.95! 
 
After an hour I finally got to a 'specialist' on the US side who confirmed to me that for buyer remorse returns the original shipping cost does not have to be returned. However, since this is a UK case he forwarded me to UK support people.

eBay UK proceeded to tell me that eBay UK policy is different: The seller is expected to refund original postage on any return regardless of the reason! Because, I got the answer, 'they want to keep the buyers happy'.
 
I am absolutely dumbfounded and complete blindsided. International postage is expensive yet I was told I should just consider it 'a cost of doing business'...I can't believe the arrogance. Yet another way in which eBay stacks the deck against sellers, in this case with no regard to even basic fairness. 
 
Apparently, as a US seller I am at the whims of whatever policy of whichever local eBay site. It's hard enough to keep up with eBay US policy changes!! How can eBay try to promote cross-border trade while at the same time they are micro-managing our business with inconsistent and blatantly unfair policies?
I am livid!
Mark




Comments (20) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Sat Jan 17 12:34:19 2015

That does not sound correct to me.  If you are a U.S. seller and are listing your items IN the U.S., the return policy from the U.S. site should apply.  

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: gutspiller This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 17 13:20:35 2015

There's no logic in the Ebay world.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: dreamweaver149 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 17 13:32:13 2015

Hi, I am a TRS on eBay UK...I really sympathise with you OP. For a long while now we have had no choice this side about whether or not we will accept a return, it gets returned whether we like it or not, and, we have to do it on an eBay label at their prices which are a lot higher for smaller items than the royal mail. We also have to refund upon receipt of the item, whether it is a false snad or the item has been abused or is just plain absent from the packaging. There is no argument you can use this side with eBay regarding this, even if you know you have been had and can prove it!....To top it all you will always get a defect for a return and it is non removable.....Even if the customer says sorry that they have made a mistake in writing!
As far as foreign sales for us are concerned we are bound by the rules of the country we are selling to, as unfortunately you have found to your cost.....
I really wish sometimes a couple of people from the states would come and have a look at the rules we have to use here.....We don't get it easy, just as you don't on your side....I think we just get a few extra vicious tweaks to their universally nasty, draconian rules......
EBAY is...Every Buyer At You!

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Map

Sat Jan 17 15:08:12 2015

What the writer is describing is also happening on returns in the US ebay site as well.

I have been refunding the sale price minus the original shipping in paypal.

When I go to the resolution center to open a case then the option is not available and ebay gets to keep the final value fees.

Ebay is ripping us off in our faces now.

Another sign that they are selling the company as they gram our money by theft.

I hate these men!

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 17 19:57:58 2015

@dreamweaver
It's not just UK, this policy is coming here. "The cost of doing business" is their new mantra.
If we "invited" the return, then we have to accept it in any condition. I went back and forth with them, that most mayor retailers have the right to inspect and accept or not accept the return. It has to be in salable condition, unless defective.  I asked if I sold an expensive NWT dress, and it was returned full of spaghetti sauce, she said, "it's the cost of doing business"
Really?

I'm sorry for OP, but thankfully, it was a small item.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: espresso This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jan 17 23:03:39 2015

Just add 20% re-stocking fee as that most of the time covers my shipping.  

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Sun Jan 18 07:16:04 2015

fashionista said: "If we "invited" the return, then we have to accept it in any condition."

EXACTLY ! And if you don't take returns, then the old switch gets the lights shut out on your exposure !

eBay in my opinion are evil doers, compellers, and the devil, they take mine and your's FREE AGENCY away to run our set our terms contrary to anything they want to control us with lock stock and barrel !

Lucifer Donahoe control control control ! Compel Compel Compel ! NO FREE AGENCY or else for our exposure !  

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sun Jan 18 11:35:30 2015

Keep in mind that returns through eBay are not accounted for with regard to eBay's bottom line or GMV.

Unlike sellers and brick & mortar retailers who see their bottom line negatively impacted by returns, eBay does not account for returns in any way, shape of form.

Additionally, Bay helps themselves to additional profits for returns handled through their systems.

As eBay will soon be a stand alone company, suffice it to say that eBay will allow and encourage returns in order to take yet another slice of a sellers transaction without negatively impacting eBay one bit.

You can be sure that if eBay was compelled to account for the dollar value of returns like sellers and brick & mortar retailers must, eBay's return policies would not be the ultra liberal policies they are today.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 18 15:12:27 2015

It's impractical to sell items online and have essentially unlimited liability.  

No one does that, only on ebay does that somehow make sense.  

If you buy on Walmart.com and you want to return it, you have to take it to the nearest Walmart store yourself.  They don't pay for it, and they don't refund the shipping you paid. That was expended when it was shipped to you, that money is now gone, it cannot be returned to the buyer.  

Walmart is not in the business of selling to anyone at a loss, or of arranging their affairs to allow them to lose money.  

It's all arranged to prevent losing money.  

Businesses are not able to lose money on their sales. Well, except that Florida pastor. He was.  Until the end, that is.

Only on ebay does this somehow make business sense.

I had a guy buy an ebay item from us, wanted to buy outside ebay, it was $24.99. He paid no shipping and picked it up.  He was really cheap!  

Then, a few days later wanted to return it, and asked if we could come to his house 30 miles away and pick up the item he no longer wanted and give him a refund!  He really thought that made some sense.  

I told him we could send a truck but it would cost about $400.  

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: Massachusets Howler This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jan 18 16:44:16 2015

How about this PAYING OF DUTY to get your stuff BACK!?

They are a TRYIN'!

MH

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: felinefeline This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 19 02:15:13 2015

Believe restocking fees are illegal in the UK unless something has changed recently

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: Watching the Wheels This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 19 05:16:23 2015

I don't sell on Ebay, but do NOT offer international. If ANYTHING goes south, it's a no win scenario for the seller. Be it the venue, Paypal, the Post Office, or any restriction form another country, why run the risk.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: simerivergun This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 19 07:23:17 2015

Hello!  Well, I have a UK buyer who missed my 14 day hassle free return deadline.  The item cost $139.00.  To get around this since her 45 days are almost exhausted she opened a ''appears to be fake'' case.  Ebay expects me to pay for all the fees both ways on International Shipping plus probably get back a ruined item.  Ebay asked me to negotiate with the seller.  I am going to issue a partial refund since the buyer will not email me.  I have nothing to lose since I am going to loose anyway.  For sure I will not contact UK Ebay!  What thieves--Ebay is the biggest ecommerce scandal that is going to happen in Congress soon.  I hope other people are complaining to their Congressmen.  Thanks for the opportunity to vent again on Ebay's greed.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: Biglouis This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jan 19 09:18:41 2015

I sell on other sites where the returns policy is upto the seller. My policy is if the return is "directly" due to my error I will pay for the return at post office (not courier)rates. If the return is for buyers remorse (wrong colour/does not like/arriived too late/changed their mind/ etc) they pay return shipping. Buyers get a big shock when they visit the post office and the result is I get very few returns. I also charge a 20% restocking fee at my discretion.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

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

Mon Jan 19 09:31:15 2015

Charge a restocking fee, problem solved. Thanks for pointing this out, though .

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Mon Jan 19 12:56:46 2015

Thank you for posting, Mark. I haven't had any international returns, but if I did I would lose ~$55 as that is the average price for me to ship internationally.  

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: Steevo This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 20 01:56:48 2015

Oh, btw, our attitude is always if the buyer is in a foreign country, or complains about shipping, or wants to get a guarantee he will receive it at a particular time (this would entail overnight shipping, like FedEx, right?) we'd rather sell to somebody else.

It makes much more sense to us to sell it to somebody else instead of getting in a problem transaction.  

There's just no point at all in doing that!

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

This user has validated their user name. by: Tula

Tue Jan 20 12:48:43 2015

Ric is correct. Why should Ebay care about minimizing returns when they make money regardless? They have nothing invested or at risk in the transactions on the site. It's we sellers who take that on, since Ebay is (supposedly) just a venue. They even make more money on return shipping labels, so of course they're going to encourage returns. Every new set of changes fobs off more risk and cost onto the sellers, while Ebay take their cut of everything, leaving us holding the bag. And with scammers and thieves running rampant on the site, that bag is getting emptier and emptier.

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: donald This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 20 15:41:31 2015




@ NutriActiva

Do you think ebay will let sellers charge a restocking fee on a return ?

I mean if they are not letting us breath in, how can they let us do any think else ?

Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller   Returns from Overseas Can Be Costly to eBay Seller

by: ajeweler This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jan 20 15:57:38 2015

and who ever is the original poster of this letter, so you will know in addition from the uk you will also have to pay the assay office in the uk before ANY Gold or Silver or Platinum or precious metals as all items of precious metals, shipped to or from the uk before they clear customs , coins and jewelry included have to go thru great Britain's assay office there is a fee for the incoming and out going assay or test to determine quality of metal, you will also receive a separate bill for these services, and guess what also you are responsible for customs duties both out going and incoming on your sales by my figures your 35.60 plus shipping of 8.95 will turn into about $109.00 usd your refund cost, as optioning into return you are now responsible for the above charges, if you do not pay them e bay will and charge your pp account, in addition you will receive separate bills for assay and customs' duties, you may wish to consider refunding and letting them keep the item as opposed to loosing your hard earned money , I am a professional jeweler and was forced into this the last few months, e bay says its not their rules it is the law, and hence your responsibility and e bay will still be giving you a defect adding insult to injury, I am sorry to inform you this is a great costumer experience again at sellers expense refund before it gets shipped if not there is no way to stop the rolling ball now sorry for the bad news

EBAY MEANS
EMPLOYEES BAND ANNIHILATE YOU !!  



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