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Sun Dec 20 2015 20:28:31

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I wonder if you would consider doing an article about an aspect of the eBay returns policy that is troubling me and other sellers I know. The problem is when a bidder starts a return dispute and the seller approves it and agrees to issue a shipping label and agrees to issue a refund when the item is returned.

The problem is, some buyer just don't return the item, even if you send them messages asking when they are going to ship it. eBay begins to regularly send the seller messages asking if it has been returned and if so click here to issue the refund. There is no place to click to let them know that is has not arrived.

I could find nothing on the eBay generated help pages that deals with this. However sellers on the discussion boards say that if you wait 2 to 3 months, eBay will eventually end the return and free up the hold that PayPal puts on the funds when a return is started.

That seems a rather long time to get your money back.

Sellers have come to realize that the current returns policy is another flawed eBay program that we unfortunately have no choice but to deal with it and find workarounds if possible.
Thanks,
Jim D




Comments (19) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Sun Dec 20 21:41:56 2015

There whole returns process is just crazy.  The fact that sellers are forced to pay for returns is the reason that we ended international sales.

Even if you get through a returns case unscathed the buyers run to PayPal's "buyer is always right" protection program.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sun Dec 20 22:07:32 2015

@Jim D. (OP) - I'm guessing that you have trouble getting the buyers to return their purchases because they want to keep the items plus get their money back.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: The Not So New Guy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 01:10:33 2015

I'd like to add that it is even stupider that when someone does actually return the item eBay never ever bothers to tell the seller the tracking number or when it is or was delivered. It's the most pathetic thing I've ever seen. Just one more case of eBay telling us the level of service we should offer and then not offering us even the barest of data to act on it.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: SparklyEyes7 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 01:11:46 2015

Buyers get 5 days to ship the item. On day 6, call eBay and ask them and ask them to rule in your favor and return your money.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Dec 21 02:27:46 2015

Difference between Amazon & eBay:

On Amazon, the customer has a set number of days to return an item, or they forfeit a refund from the seller (they may be able to extract a ''courtesy refund'' through Amazon).

On eBay, a buyer can do whatever they please, and, as mentioned earlier, if they don't like the results, can then run to PayPal.

No small wonder Amazon's SSS (same store sales) is up 19 percent, and eBay's is only up 0.9%, among other reasons.....

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Dec 21 03:06:11 2015

Yes, Sparklyeyes7 is correct.  Ebay does have a policy that requires the buyer to ship the item back within a certain amount of time, just like Amazon does.

This is directly from Ebay's policy.

The buyer must ship the item back to the seller within 5 business days from when the buyer starts the return. If a seller offered a replacement and the buyer has not shipped the original item back within 30 days of the buyer starting the return, we charge the buyer for the replacement.

And here is the link to the policy.

http://pages.ebay.com/help/policies/money-back-guarante
e.html

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 06:21:57 2015

Gee how pathethic...A Seller who doesn't read the rules.

AFTER SEVEN DAYS CALL EBAY AND HAVE THEM RETURN YOUR MONEY WHEN THE BUYER DOESN'T DO WHAT THEY ARE SUPPOSED TO.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: cvsharkey This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 07:25:32 2015

I'm an eBay buyer and I will rarely request a return for an item. However, I have never yet had a seller pay for a return. Even an overseas seller. Even when the seller has made an error. Ever. I believe the seller should pay for return shipping when that seller has shipped the wrong item or a defective item.  

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Mon Dec 21 07:54:04 2015

This return policy system defect was pointed out to eBay right after this latest fiasco of a system went into place.

Typically for eBay management, the issue remains unaddressed all these months later.

Then again, this is something sellers need, so obviously management has zero intention of correcting their defective system.

Management's credibility with sellers takes another hit.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: cash4clothesbozeman This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 09:32:54 2015

This is an issue.  "Has Levi jeans been returned yet?". The answer no with no place to click.  Reporting a buyer is a fruitless ruse. Thenk you Bruce Wendt cash4clothesbozeman

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: spooky This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 09:58:34 2015

this happened to me as well. had buyer request return on antique lamp base as they said they did not like the patina? I had 12 photos up but oh well! I agreed to the return but 6 days later buyer wanted partial refund instead. I told him I would not offer even $1 and to just return it. 30 days letter no return and several messages from eBay telling me I should have my item back by now and to refund the buyer. I had to call 3 times with long long hold times to request the return be ended in my favor which it eventually was.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Mon Dec 21 10:21:53 2015

OMG!

That's me right now!

I have a customer that wanted to return a socket, he said he bought the wrong size.

It's been 30 days and eBay keeps asking me if the item has been returned and to issue a refund.

I haven't checked to see if Paypal has a hold on the $25

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 12:14:29 2015

Marie and Sparkle - there is a policy in place to deal with this part of the returns....


HOWEVER, getting eBay to abide by its own policy is another matter entirely.

eBay generally refuses to bother/anger/deal with buyers. They are SO PRECIOUS that eBay tries as much as possible to be HANDS OFF.

Theres also a part in the returns policy that discusses an items condition when returned. eBay voids that as well and will GLADLY tell you that once you agree to a return "what ever happens happens - your agreement means you agree to be ripped off" ...

Um no it doesnt. Theft is illegal - but eBay doesnt care.

Follow Marie's and Sparkles advice. Call them, call them again and then pressure them - get them to abide by their own policy. With enough pressure - they will (most cases).

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Mon Dec 21 13:08:06 2015

@pace306

Exact eBay returns policy rule, copied from their page:

You must return an item in the same condition as it was received, not used or altered in any way. You must also include, in the same condition as it was received:
All original packaging such as boxes, bags, tags, and UPCs
Accessories such as cords and remote controls
Certificates, manuals, warranty, and rebate cards
''Free gifts'' or bonus items
All items included in a bundle
Make sure you follow these guidelines. If you don't, you may be subject to a range of actions, including limits of your buying and selling privileges and suspension of your account.

Yada Yada Yadaaa..... So what about the many stories about swapped items and empty boxes???

I agree. If they have policies in place for both buyers and sellers, they need to be consistently enforced. Or just eliminate the ''lip-service'' where sellers are under the illusion that they cannot be defrauded!!

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Mon Dec 21 16:37:42 2015

@toolguy

You have to call Ebay to get it resolved.  If you just wait for them to fix or close the claim, it isn't going to happen.  It is a PITA, but you have to call and like others have stated, you may have to make multiple calls to get it resolved and closed in your favor.  

@pace

They will abide by it.  The problem is the same one we have always had.  Getting to a trained CSR.  That is the real problem.  We are shooting in the dark when we call Ebay.  Sometimes we get a good CSR and sometimes we don't.  It is unfortunate, but true.  Persistence is the only way to get it taken care of.

On the specific point of Buyers delaying or not shipping back the item.  Every seller that I've had personal knowledge of with this problem has gotten their cases closed in their favor by calling Ebay.  Some it took more calls than others, but all prevailed.

As for item condition.  I've won claims in the past when buyers have wanted to return things not in the condition originally sent.  But I know there have been many sellers reporting problems with this.  I hope I don't get a new one to have to work through it again.  I have no desire to personally test it.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: Volvo351 This user has validated their user name.

Mon Dec 21 19:16:57 2015

@Rexford

I've stopped international sales as well...one overseas deal gone bad will wipe out profits for at least half a dozen sales.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 22 09:46:02 2015

This used to bother me a lot, eventually I just got used to ignoring these requests. I find that the ones that are not constantly asking questions are probably not really returning the item. The ones that are going to return usually do so right away. I actually have one that was closed by ebay and it was a late arrival so the buyer refused but it is still bouncing around the post office and not yet come back to me. You would think they could have the buyer upload the tracking and base those emails on that.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

by: meci This user has validated their user name.

Tue Dec 22 14:14:54 2015

We have a return right now still open on its 29th day and eBay just sent us a email stating the buyer has sent the item back.

I call eBay and ask them about the 5 day rule on returning the item and the CS REP stated that if the buyer prints the label within the first five days of a return, they then are considering the return as an "INTENT TO RETURN" the item.  The buyer then is granted an additional 25 days from the day they opened it or 30 days to return the item to you.

So the BS about 5 days to return an item is another BS eBay rule that is loopholed for the buyer.

Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process   Reader Points Out Flaw in eBay Returns Process

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Dec 22 20:14:51 2015

@meci

Just as it happens all too often, you got a bad CSR.  You just need to call again until you get a trained CSR.  Your claim should get closed and just make sure it is in YOUR favor.  That is VERY important stuff.



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