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Mon Dec 14 2015 17:41:35

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I sold a hand made flute, stating "as is... no guarantees. Please ask any questions." My terms of sale state "14 day returns," and under “return policy details, "ONLY if auction is intentionally fraudulent.” Under the description I wrote "TERMS OF SALE: Returns only if auction is intentionally fraudulent."

Buyer initiated a return with eBay without notifying me, and eBay also did not message me that a return was requested. I found out when I saw that my PayPal payment was being "held by eBay while they review the sale."

So, I read the buyer's message in the return page, and clicked on "send buyer a message." When he responded, I went to the same page, clicked, "continue," and saw to my dismay that eBay had pre-filled the option "send a refund" and the system would not allow me to go back and change that. 

I pointed out to customer service that when we want to delete an item from our watch list, a box asks us to confirm that choice. But in the return program, not only is the refund option pre-filled, but there is no way to "confirm" that choice, and no way to go back and reverse it.  

CS said they would not and "no one could" reverse it. Further, since eBay pre-filled, CS said I must refund the buyer myself. I said that I could not, since the funds were frozen by eBay. 

Plus, CS said my 20% restocking fee would be honored but since the refund is "not hassle-free" the refund must be made by me, "externally." And she doesn't know what will happen to my restocking fee that she said I should be given. 

Every day, eBay gets worse. They don't even honor the legal terms, "Sold as is, no guarantee."
Written by,
imbloated




Comments (10) | Permalink

Readers Comments

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Dec 14 22:29:23 2015

The CSR is incorrect on some things.  And quite honestly I'd call again and ask for a claims specialist.

If your buyer claimed it was SNAD, then even if you were in the Managed returns, you could not get your restocking fee.  

This is the first I've heard of this pre-filled thing.  So I have a question for you.  When you were on the page that was pre-filled to refund the buyer, would you have to click a button that said "continue" or "accept" or "process" or something?  This makes a difference, so if you could please update or if someone else knows, please advise.

I know you are upset and I certainly don't blame you, but know that do matter what you put in your listing there are some rules on Ebay that really makes what you stated meaningless.  I don't know if you are a new seller or a seasoned one.  It gets confusing for all of us way too frequently.

When you offer a return policy, such as yours for 14 days.  Per Ebay, you will accept a return for ANY reason during that period.

Now day 15 to 30 [after the receipt of the item], the buyer can still file a claim, but it this has to adhere to the rules of Ebay's money back guarantee, which isn't a guarantee by the way.  And if you review this carefully, there are some reasons that are not covered under this rule such as buyer's remorse.

There is no such thing on Ebay as "sold as is".

I don't know why Ebay didn't notify you of the claim, they usually do.  Check your junk mail to see if it got caught up in there for some reason.  Also check your messages in Ebay.

If you refund from the claim, it will refund from the buyer's payment even though it is on hold.  

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Dec 14 23:40:04 2015

Return Terms Of OP: ''As-is, 14- day returns only if intentionally fraudulent''. What kind of return policy is this??

Seems like this seller wants to refuse returns and also keep the TSR 20% discount at the same time.

So, if you are just (mistakenly) fraudulent, the buyer cannot return an item, only if you are found to purposely be a rip-off artist. HUH???

As Marie stated, there is no such thing on eBay as no returns or ''as-is'' sales, no matter what terms a seller places into a listing.

Now about the issue of a supposed forced refund, is eBay now running our returns, or is someone on one or both ends of this matter confused?

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: aim04744 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 14 23:54:10 2015

That return policy is against the rules. You either take returns for any reason OR you are a no returns seller. By stating you have a 14 day return policy and then refusing returns unless the item was grossly misrepresented, you could be accused of manipulating the benefits of taking returns (higher placement in search)

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Dec 15 02:22:23 2015

@aim04744

The types of return policies we can have on Ebay are extremely confusing and easily misunderstood by many sellers.

The "returns for any reason" only applies to your stated timeframe.  So if you state 14 days, then for 14 days after the buyer receives the item they can return for any reason.  If you state a 7 day return policy, then it is 7 days for any reason.

When a return happens beyond your stated timeframe, but before 30 days after the buyer receives the item, then it falls under the rules of the Ebay Buyer Protection policy.  And there ARE exclusions.  Most noteably, buyer's remorse.  You do not have to accept a return for buyer's remorse under the Buyer Protection Policy AKA Money Back Guarantee.

************************

I don't think the OP was trying to do anything underhanded.  I think they just felt they had honestly described the item and just wanted to sell it without issue.  Further I don't think the OP had any sinister intentions.  Just an honest error in what Ebay policy really means.  And there are a lot of us out here that have done that before.

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: rosachs This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 15 02:45:31 2015

I've run into this same page -- when you first-time open the customer Return, there are FOUR options on the page -- the first one, the one preselected when you get to the page, is "full refund upon return".  The fourth selection, and NOT automatically selected, is "communicate with buyer".

eBay pushes communications in all it's talk/chatter/noise.  But when it comes to the page that handles the process, it defaults to "give it all back when they ship you back anything" and communication is at the bottom of the list.

And... the communicate page can be cancelled out -- you can change your mind with no foul, no commitment.  All the options related to money do NOT have cancel options -- once you click them, even by mistake, you are committed.

This is page was designed this way to get the maximum refund for buyers.  Lists have the #1 option at the top... and if eBay really wants members to communicate these things out, the communicate need to be #1 & prefilled.  Talk first -- refund once you've talked.

Ever notice that the system has no ability to request a replacement instead of money back?

Ever notice that buyers don't need to close a request if, while COMMUNICATING, you are able to help them resolve their problem so they can use their product and no longer need to return it?

Ever notice that if you ship the customer a replacement, and they get it and are quite happy, that they can't close the request as "now satisfied".

Ever notice that if you ship a replacement and the cusotmer comments that they are happy, and so you ask eBay to step in and close the request as the customer is now happy.... that eBay will give them their money back and not require a return shipment!?!?!  We fixed the problem... but I guess eBay thinks that getting a refund also makes it a better buyer experience.  Or maybe their Return Resolution screen has "send the money back" as the first option, pre-selected, and the CSR just pushed the wrong button....???


eBay needs some serious review of their processes and the screens that support them.  Communicate first.  Resolve on refund or replace.  Allow customer to accept replacement as a satisfactory resolution.

Oh yeah... and when doing the refund, where the heck do I put the restock fee deduction??  It's what the customer agreed to... but there's no place in the process to enter it.


Yeah... they need some serious professional retail-oriented design work.  And then complete, sold QA testing to go with it.

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 15 03:18:06 2015

Return Terms Of OP: ''As-is, 14- day returns only if intentionally fraudulent''. What kind of return policy is this??
^^
I question that too.  What is "intentionally fraudulent"?  That makes it seem that the buyer could be scamming the seller.  The flutes I saw were so cheap ($10/12) that a better policy would be "no returns".

I had to lookup "handmade" flute and it's a wood carved flute.
For those type of items, my suggestion to the seller is to make a Youtube video of yourself playing the flute and embed it in the description.  This helps someone "hear" the tone.

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: GotToGetOut This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 15 07:30:41 2015

I sell china so often just one piece of 10 or something breaks. Most times the customer writes to Ebay saying they want a refund and Ebay holds the full amount -- maybe I have to give a refund for $10 but the total order is $100 and then I have to wait for the buyer to approve the partial refund -- and Ebay says says if the customer doesn't approve this. Ebay needs to add a button for partial refund.

Also, I don't believe there is a way to have only one item returned for a partial refund.

I have had several experiences where the options for a return from a customer just don't work.

My thinking, like Rosachs, is that Ebay just does what works best for them -- hold the full amount and make their bottom line look bigger than it really is, etc.

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: Nmst11097 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 15 07:51:24 2015

I've experienced a very similar issue. We have fairly large sales volume and handle a lot of returns. A week ago I got a message out of the blue stating a buyer had escalated a return request to a claim. This was the first I had heard about the request. Normally I am sent a message once a request is opened that I respond to immediately. I scoured my inbox/trash/archived and no such message existed. No messages from the buyer were received either.

I called CS and the rep on the phone (after looking through messages) admitted that no message had been sent to me. She seemed to make this up on the fly, but said it was a new effort to get sellers to check their returns queue directly.....????? Well why the heck wasn't I notified of that?? Also, we've otherwise received all our other return request messages (I hope), so it just doesn't make any sense. She said I was more or less SoL and should try to contact the customer.

... It gets worse. I send multiple messages to the buyer and hear nothing back. The next day I am notified by eBay (I got this message of course!) that the case was decided in the buyer's favour and a full refund was issued on my behalf WITH NO NEED FOR A RETURN. This was a $200 sale.

Later on in the week I was finally able to get a hold of the buyer by phone. They explained a piece was missing from the item and they were just wondering if we could send it to them. They didn't even want a refund, just the piece. I of course got that sent out to them immediately. I asked if they had received my eBay messages and they checked their messages while we were on the phone. They received no messages from me either!!  

What a joke.  

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: a_c_green This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 15 10:48:35 2015

@imbloated:

> My terms of sale state ''14 day returns,'' and under “return policy details,
> ''ONLY if auction is intentionally fraudulent.” Under the description I wrote
> ''TERMS OF SALE: Returns only if auction is intentionally fraudulent.''

I'm curious as to what in the world you were thinking when you wrote that. Are you planning to defraud the buyer and then blurt out a confession later? I can't imagine any part of a real business transaction in which that would be a condition of sale.

eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse   eBay Makes Seller an Offer He Can't Refuse

by: Randy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 15 11:21:18 2015

I would never buy from a seller with that kind of return policy. Hell, I don't even know what that means!



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