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Tue Nov 1 2016 00:16:48

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Account Health

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
You know, it is no wonder why sellers have left and continue to leave eBay for Amazon and other ecommerce websites. My mother and I each have our own eBay accounts and have been selling since April 2014. The way eBay has treated my mother makes me wonder if we will ever do business with them again! 

Last month, September, my mother sold 2 packs of new-in-package curtains to a lady. Later, the woman said she was returning them for a refund because "they weren't the right color." When my mother got them back, they were out of the packaging and smelled so bad from perfume that it set off my asthma! (She later washed them, by the way, and the smell did NOT come out!)

She contacted eBay customer service to verify what she needed to do. They told her since the product was new when she shipped and it was NOT resellable as new when she got it back, that she did NOT have to give the woman a refund. OK, a few days later, guess what?? EBAY REFUNDED THE WOMAN THE MONEY ANYWAY!! 

So Mom calls eBay AGAIN, speaks to 3 different people who tell her different things - 2 people told her she was in the right and didn't have to refund, then some "manager" told her that the other 2 were wrong, would have to be "educated" and that she DID have to issue a refund!! So now my mother is out the product and out the money!! 

Fast forward to today when my mother is wondering why her sales have come to a screeching halt and turns out, her seller rating has been changed to BELOW STANDARD!! So she calls eBay AGAIN and finds out they changed it because they had to step in and refund the curtain woman when she didn't!! 

The man she spoke to even had the gall to tell her that he COULD change her seller rating, but HE WOULDN'T!! 

I am beyond livid right now!! My mother has very bad arthritis in her knees and eBay has been a vital source of income. But since it seems it has turned into a scam operation that DOES NOT look out for its sellers, I'm not sure what we're going to do now!!
M.




Comments (32) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: MyLuxury1st This user has validated their user name.
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Tue Nov 1 02:05:38 2016

I think your mom should call one more time and ask to speak to a supervisor. Go over all the scenarios again and let them make their decision. Make sure to present all of your points.  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 1 03:17:10 2016

Selling on Ebay can be quite the mine field to maneuver.  I completely respect and understand your outrage at the problem your mother has been forced to endure.  It isn't however a simply a problem with how Ebay is applying rules.  It is also a lack of the seller understanding the rules.  But with that said, Ebay by no stretch of the imagination makes it easy to understand their rules.

First the return:  The first two CSRs that you spoke to are technically correct however in reality it is NOT how Ebay applies the rule.  If you have a stated return policy, if a return happens during that period, you are to accept a return for ANY reason.  It is the buyer's responsibility to return the item in the same condition it was sent, but when an actual claim has been opened by the buyer, you need to be EXTRA cautious.  Do not assume that a simple note on the claim that you won't be accepting the return or giving a refund is enough.  First thing is get on the phone with Ebay, let them know what is going on, if the CSR you are talking to agrees with you, then put the note on the actual claim and have the CSR close the claim in your favor.  All while you are on the phone with Ebay.  Do not do it any other way.

What happened for your mom is that she refused the refund, your buyer escalated the claim to Ebay and Ebay closed it in the buyer favor because they assumed the seller was incorrect and forced the refund.

Now that this has happened, your only recourse is to call Ebay again and appeal the claim, however with the problem you had with this buyer it is a hard thing to prove to Ebay.  It ends up being a he said she said type of problem and Ebay won't get involved with them.

I know it seems unfair and I don't necessarily disagree with you, I'm just letting you know what my experience has taught me.

Have your mom wash them a few more times and then resell them as used, never hung up, just washed.  But of course you have to make sure the smell is completely gone.

I know it is not the ideal way you want to handle it, but the reality is it is really the only way open to her now.  Ebay is not likely to reverse the problem.

Use this as a learning experience.  I know it is still annoying, but every long time seller out there learned how to better handle things by experiencing things like you and your mom just went through.

As to your mom's stats.  On the 20th of each month Ebay reviews the stats and rank their sellers.  This is every month without fail and the eval is on the 20th for your stats as of the PREVIOUS month.  So what they eval'd us all on the 20th of October were for our stats as of September 30th.

So did your mom's return happen in September or is it more current than that?  One transaction can not make you fall "below standard", so are there other issues.  Look at your mom's dashboard closely.  She may be experiencing other problems that she is not aware of.  It is extremely important to understand how the dashboard numbers are calculated and how they impact you.  If you are in full grasp of these rules, research or come on back and ask more question.

Don't let one bad transaction run you off Ebay.  Learn from it and you'll be just a little smarter the next time one comes around.  Don't throw out 2 years of sales over one problem.  Learn and move forward.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 1 07:06:38 2016

After reading Marie's lengthy but informative post, it once again makes me realize how very little respect eBay have for its sellers.  

A sellers words and problems associated with bad buyers mean absolutely nothing to eBay. What they don't realize is that an eBay seller is also a potential buyer. Guess what mom will likely spend her money elsewhere?  

This also applies to the sellers who have left eBay due to eBay's unfair policies coupled with eBay's bad treatment of their "customer". It really is chasing off potential or active buyers.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 1 09:16:51 2016

Selling on eBay is like holding a hand grenade and pulling the pin.

From the moment you make a sale, until 180 days later (eBay 30-40, Paypal up till 180) you need to hold the handle TIGHT and pray it wont explode in your face.

eBay, desperate to make even the %3  sales increase will DO ANYTHING to please a buyer.

Marie is %100 correct in her explanation - but the facts (as they are) dont help when you as a seller get ripped off.

eBay OPENLY condones and encourages theft, fraud and abuse to its sellers since they are "expendable" while buyers are NOT.

Since you are a Chinese overseas seller, nor one of the big boys who get special JD/DW love (dont worry, we arent either) ... selling on eBay is a game (to them) and not a business.

eBay makes money all 'round regardless - off the fvf, off the shipping(s), off Paypal - the money just keeps on comming.

eBay being awash in dirty cash (alot comming from back end deals, VERO participants and other shady things) could care less what you got back. In their book, its a "blessing" that you got ANYTHING back at all!

eBay wont take losses, but expects sellers too - its a game of Russian Roulette.

eBay will GLADLY tell you so - and Marie is correct - if you have a returns policy that says you take things back - REGARDLESS of how it comes back - its too bad. "Taking losses is part of business - here take one for us".

See the buyer gets made whole (by their partners in crime (eBay)), eBays good because they made money and have a happy customer who will come back and shop again "eBay had my back", and the seller ...

sellers on eBay are treated worse then child molesters, killers, drug dealers, ISIS, and even worse then a Republican running for any office as bespoke by The New York Times.

You have ALL of our sympathies, since it happens to us all.

Best of luck with eBays Filipino CS agents who script read.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 1 09:17:49 2016

Since you are *NOT* a Chinese overseas seller (typo)

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 1 09:44:34 2016

Funny how one never reads about the chinese sellers EVER have a problem.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: I Must be Crazy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 1 12:16:46 2016

Marie is absolutely correct. However it is extremely time consuming and to me, not worth the energy.

My general approach is if a buyer returns an item, I issue the refund and am done with it. Despite the occasional return discrepancy. If the buyer opens a case, I refund and close it, quickly. As far as I am concerned, once a case is opened the seller has already lost. God forbid, if the buyer gets on the phone with Ebay, you will lose the case, your money, and have a strike against you for not resolving the issue direct. That will happen whether or not you are even aware there is a problem. It is critical to get issues resolved quickly as it is an algorithm that is watching what the seller is doing, not a person who can exercise discretion. Seems to me the immediate loss of visibility and sales isn't worth whatever the value of the return. Right or wrong, Ebay is interested in the buyer's perception of Ebay, period. The seller's reputation, item and money involved is of no concern to them.  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 1 12:32:23 2016

It is unfair to the seller.  Completely unfair.  Ebay has a long way to go to get this mess corrected.  A great start would be Ebay following their own PUBLISHED rules.  One of those rules is a buyer has to return the item in the condition it was in when the seller shipped it.  But sadly we have all to often seen that Ebay frequently ignore this rule.

The thing to keep in mind is that these problematic transactions are NOT the majority of transactions.  That doesn't make them any less frustrating, it just means it isn't the majority of your transactions.  So why if you have 100 transactions and 1 is a problem, why would you consider closing your business?  That doesn't make any sense to me.  I respect how upsetting stuff like this is, but is it so much that you can't deal with selling again?

But it in the box of knowledge you have gained and move on.  Next time you know what not to do.  The OPs mom needs the income from her Ebay sales to pay her bills.  Keep selling, just be a little smarter about it.  But you have got to read up on the rules of engagement so to speak.  Learn them better.  Know what a "request for return" is and what a "claim" is and how they impact your selling account.  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: 27tcle This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 1 12:59:44 2016

In a nutshell. If payment is funded solely with the PP balance you would not have needed to give a refund. If it is funded, even in part, by a credit card you will need to give a full refund. It is the treat of charge-backs that is causing such lopsided policies. The treatment isn't right and people who abuse this get away with theft by deception.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 1 14:29:22 2016

The OP stated it was an Ebay claim.  A "chargeback" is different and can only be done through PP if that was the payment processor involved.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Nov 1 14:49:58 2016

@M. (the OP) - Since your mother is incensed with eBay's treatment, my advice would be to offer her items on other marketplaces. I highly recommend opening a store on eCrater (free), where no one dictates how you run your business.

Your mother could continue to list on eBay while she gets another site(s) up and running. If she's been selling on eBay for two years, she has two years' worth of customers she can contact (via PayPal records) to direct them to her new location.

I wish you both the best of luck.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Tue Nov 1 17:43:47 2016

OP, I agree with iheartjacksparrow.  I don't know why everyone isn't buying and selling on eCrater.  They let YOU run your business.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: ljuls This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 00:22:07 2016

Recently faced a similar situation. Expensive ($400) handbag sold. New item. Left me packed carefully and in perfect condition. Buyer opened return and shipped back via UPS. The day that it arrived back I receive a text from my neighbor while at work stating that there was an open box on my front step. Arrive home to find the purse in a box four times its size. No packing material, just a large open,  crushed box with the purse inside hanging out of it's protective bag. Upon closer inspection one of the handles is ripped away from the body of the bag. Immediately call UPS, then eBay. Upload photos of the box as it sat on my step and the damaged purse to the return. Long story short, the buyer created a problem in the UPS store that it shipped from. UPS agreed to refund her for shipping and cost of the bag. I assisted by providing UPS with proof of purchase, etc. eBay return is not closed, and put on ''hold''. I was assured that I would not be penalized and that the buyer would not be refunded as eBay was aware that compensation was being issued by UPS. Day 7, buyer opens case requesting a refund and...SURPRISE, eBay complies, issues the refund, and closes in her favor. Call eBay, was told that situation would be rectified, which it was, and wouldn't be counted against me. I will say this...I once had a business that I took pride in that supplemented my income nicely and allowed me to save with the hope of buying a home. My sales this month were 1/6th of what they used to be. 1899 positive feedback with thousands of sales logged. I'm done. With throttling, and blackouts, lying, and incompetence. With $13 in sales in the past 8 days I am not able to pay my fees...they can hold their hand on their a$$es for them and suspended my useless account. No loss.  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: ljuls This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 00:24:40 2016

Thank you Rexford and iheartjacksparrow, I am on my way over to eCrater now to check it out.  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: Jester This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 00:43:30 2016

3 Things come to mind.

#1 Was the color wrong in the description or just wrong for the ladies bathroom. If not wrong in the description make sure eBay knows this when you are contesting this refund.

#2 When you call eBay and get an answer like that get the persons name and then ask them to document the conversation in your file with their answer that a refund is not necessary.

#3 If you are trying to become a bigger seller grow a thick skin and pick the battles worth fighting. If this is not a lot of money don't waste your time fighting this after you have already got eBays answer. The less you bother them with these type of things the better because when you have a high dollar one they will be more willing to listen and rule in your favor chronic complainers might not. Plus as a business all have shrinkage of merchandise figure in that into your model and don't take it personally it will be much more fun if you let it go!

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Wed Nov 2 01:01:49 2016

Whether a buyer or seller follows the letter of eBay law, sometimes (often?) it just comes down to luck. I have experienced this exact scenario. In my case, a buyer was 'renting' luxury goods and returning them following events (I know because I got in touch with all his previous sellers). Like OP's mother, I was on the hook for the return. I was able to extract $50 from PayPal to cover dry cleaning and mitigate aggravation. Closing in my favor wouldn't instill much confidence as cases are appealed and reopened all the time. You need skills, tenacity, a strategy and LUCK to sell on eBay.  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 01:15:41 2016

Ebay  takes a VERY adversarial  approach  to ANYTHING  involving  "smells"  and  other  intangible  issues  with a purchase.  I  had a Ralph Lauren  hoodie  sold  to  some one who  used it;  abused it;  damaged it;  and sent it back SO smelly  that the mail  person  refused to  deliver it until I OPENED  the box in front  of  her to SHOW her  what  was  in there--she was afraid  of  what it might be.  We  could not even bring  the  thing back  inside  the house.    Ebay  of course told me this was MY OPINION  and MY FAULT--and  refunded  the buyer.  So==I  was out postage;  out  the cost of the item;  out  the  sales  price;  and out the item itself  as I had to toss  it.  AND  I  was told==by  ebay--that bad  smells are NOT a reason  to REFUSE  to refund!  

I  guess  if  we had Smell-A-Phones  that  might help---  

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: Moonwishes This user has validated their user name.
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Wed Nov 2 02:15:00 2016

I too would heartily welcome new, decent sellers to eCRATER. Sales may not be as high there but you also aren't dumping $100s if not $1000s of dollars into fees and being shafted. The more good sellers who work their stores the better known eCRATER will get. No nasty refunds regulations as each seller sets their own. Simple, basic rules to follow, very low fees when you may get them (I've never paid more than $12 in fees in a month since they started them).

@OP let your mom leave what she has on ebay while she builds an eCRATER store and learns to promote it. I have the same problem with arthritis and my needs and selling on line helps supplement our income. I left ebay years ago as both a seller and a buyer. I do wish for a decent auction site where like it used to be on ebay where goods reach their perfect price instead of selling, if they sell, for 99 cents.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: lisapar This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 07:38:10 2016

It is this simple:

Ebay has no heart or compassion for sellers. They simply say -- if you don't like it, leave.

Two years ago my sister passed away unexpectedly.  My world was turned upside down. I was scrambling to hold things together as I had temporary custody of her two young children.

In the interim, a buyer opened up 3 separate SNAD returns just because they didn't like the color.  I didn't see the email (I don't trust email and check my Returns section regularly to make sure I am active on any cases, but failed this time because I was not thinking straight). I'm not sure why I didn't receive the notice, but the point is I didn't respond.  The buyer had their finger on the button the day they could escalate the cases and they did.  Full refund without a return. I was out -$75.  But worse, I had a strike in my Seller Performance for 3 SNAD's that knocked me out of searches just before the holiday season the severely impacted sales.

Long story short, I called and talked to CS on three occasions.  They listened, but barely got any sympathy.  I filed an appeal, even faxing a copy of my sister's obituary showing she died the same day the case opened.  I waited...and the result is what one can expect:  no change.

Moral of the story -- don't play on Ebay's ball field if you don't like their rules. It's a harsh reality, but true. It was once a platform governed by sellers cleaning out attics.  But no more.

Tread lightly, and watch your back... because they certainly aren't watching it for you.

Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc   Following eBay Advice Can Be Dangerous to Your Acc

by: Barbbie This user has validated their user name.

Wed Nov 2 09:11:57 2016

Despite what some may think, ebay does not care about sellers at all. I have had emails where the buyer admitted to causing the problem and they still ruled against me.
If you are the seller, you will lose. Even if you get on the phone 4 or 5 times and they tell you they will do different it will not happen.
They lie.
Try Bonanza, regular account only, easier to list, Do not pay for extra advertising or higher account.

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