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Tue June 12 2018 13:24:53

When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

By: Reader

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Dear Ina, 
I'd like to share an experience I had with eBay customer service as a seller and possibly a new way eBay now handles returns for no-returns seller.

Buyer opened an "arrived damaged" return request for a dress. She claimed that the dress smells bad. Dress was cleaned prior to shipping and didn't smell of anything to me. Smells are subjective and this is exactly why eBay never considered them as a reason for SNAD (see the first reply in the thread, by eBay).

I tried communication with the buyer, but she wasn't cooperative, so I called eBay to have the case escalated and closed in my favor. 

I talked to regular rep and to supervisor and according to them both, the way eBay handles SNAD returns changed. Since 1.5 months ago, a no-returns seller HAS TO take a SNAD returns, no matter what the issue truly is, all SNAD cases are now decided in buyer's favor if escalated. Even if the item doesn't fit. 

Gone are the days when you could escalate and have a rep close it in your favor. In the cases of buyer's remorse filed under SNAD, a seller is to accept a return and call eBay when item arrives back, so that eBay could credit you the return shipping fees. 

This eliminates the last remaining line of defense for the sellers. We are now completely helpless.
Irina

Note from the editor: Here's what an eBay moderator wrote in the thread the reader referenced:

"Smells would only be a valid return reason if a) the listing states the item comes from a smoke free home b) the listing states it comes from a pet free home c) the smell is an integral part of the item ie. a vanilla scented candle or d) the smell reported poses a health risk, such as the smell of chemicals. In these instances, we would cover a smell. If the seller has no disclaimer about smoke or pets, then the buyer's concerns regarding odors related to these factors would not be covered. We do not cover "musty" or "perfume" smells (unless of course the item is perfume and the concern is that it does not smell like the specific odor it is meant to smell like)."

Should eBay automatically take a buyer's side when they complain of a smelly product? Let us know what you think.



Comments (35) | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 13:46:06 2018

Hell no eBay should not take a buyer's side in a smell issue unless the item IS a scented item and scent was misrepresented. All this policy will do is encourage buyers to file SNAD any time the buyer wants to return and get free return shipping and their original shipping back.  If eBay wants to foster a site based on Zappos type returns, then eBay better expect sellers to increase prices, not lower them.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: Just Plain Irritated This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 13:47:11 2018

As a seller who is highly allergic to some chemicals, and since there are 1000s of different chemicals used in personal products, potpourri, plug ins, candles, sprays, laundry products , cleaners, and cigarettes, this can be a serious health risk for people.

The wrong chemical ingredient can send a person into anaphylactic shock and they could DIE.

Many of our products are used, from other people's homes. Therefore, I always Put a ALLERGY WARNING! statement about any odors I detect, including scented products, even if I don't know what product my NOSE is detecting. That way the buyer can avoid my product if there could be danger for them.

SMELLS ARE a serious issue, they can KILL and eBay should wake up and realize it is a valid reason for returning a product if the buyer cannot use it.  Sellers should take this very seriously, it COULD result in a lawsuit if someone is seriously hurt.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 14:13:46 2018

Just Plain Irritated, if some one is that sensitive to scents and smells, they don't need to be buying online.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: val2525 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 14:16:11 2018

"eBay should wake up and realize it is a valid reason for returning a product if the buyer cannot use it."

It's not a valid reason for a Significantly Not As Described (free) return if the item is not an actual scented item.  In those cases it's an excuse for buyers to return things for free.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Jun 12 14:26:51 2018

What Just Plain Irritated says. I once purchased an expensive toy from a line I collect, and it arrived reeking of the smell of cigarettes (which I am allergic to), which was not disclosed in the listing. I really wanted to keep the toy, so I put it out on my screened-in patio for six months until the smell was undetectable.

Another time, I traded some Disney Vinylmation characters to a fellow collector, and when I received his trades they all smelled like Febreze, which I am also allergic to. They went to the patio as well. The guy thought it was a big joke when I e-mailed him that I could have ended up in ER, and even changed his Facebook page to show a bottle of Febreze.

People need to be educated to the consequences of not disclosing smells in listings. If a buyer has a legitimate issue with smells, the seller should be required to accept the return.  

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jun 12 14:36:45 2018

@Just Plain Irritated

I've been a seller a long time on Ebay.  I've sold new and used items over the years.  I take ZERO responsibility if a customer has such a severe allergy to some type of aroma that it could kill them with one whiff.  I know Ebay holds us responsible for many things but this goes too far.  

Buyers have responsibilities too.  I know for Ebay it isn't a popular subject, but that doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
Buyers need to take responsibility for their own actions and use the brains God gave them to know better than buying something online that could potentially kill them.  And if they aren't capable of that, then whomever is looking out for them needs to take away their internet privileges.  I'm no ones keeper but my own.

As to the return process changing.  Well yes and no.  Ebay will NOT change a SNAD to a BR.  They never have.  Sellers with no returns have always been required to honor a SNAD return request.  So for those falsely filed SNAD return requests, while Ebay from time to time would allow a seller to escalate them to a Claim and then rule in favor of the seller, those days are pretty much over.  That is what has changed.  We can still win some of them, but it has been significantly reduced.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: Part Time Seller This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 14:43:12 2018

I think the point here is that eBay is making it too easy for buyers to return items in cases of buyer's remorse by simply making a false SNAD claim.  Buyers are discovering that they can bypass a seller's "no returns" policy by inventing a non-existent problem, with the full support of eBay.

EBay has increasingly emphasized returns, to the point where the Return button is prominently displayed to buyers, and they're constantly being reminded, and almost encouraged, to return their purchases.  

While eBay likes to cite "industry standard," no other website promotes returns to this extent.  And those very few websites that provide free shipping and, in rare cases, free returns, also have very high markups, not the the bargain prices typically found on eBay.  

This path will lead to many sellers losing money, going out of business, and leaving eBay.  It's not the path to success for sellers or for eBay as a whole.  

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: buffalochick This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 14:50:53 2018

What Trinton typed is ebay's official policy on smells, for sellers with no return policy. If buyers could open a SNAD for smell, ANY case would be good.  There would be no need for any other reason.  If you are that sensitive to smells, then you should be buying in a store, it's that simple.  Smell is NOT a covered reason for a SNAD, has been that way forever.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jun 12 14:54:09 2018

@Part Time Seller

None of that is new.  Buyers have been able to do all that for many years.  Sellers with no return policies have had to adhere to the Ebay Money Back Guarantee for a very long time.

However I certainly agree with you and others that ebay is allowing this to be a bit of a free for all for buyers at the sellers expense.  

Personally I think we are seeing and hearing about more of this just because more buyers have started to figure out how easy this is.

But on the flip side of that MOST buyers do not come to Ebay to purchase something just to return it.  Most transactions go off without a problem.  But there are a section of buyers that are always on the look out on how to get something for free or a significantly reduced price. This is a huge problem for sellers and Ebay is not there to back us up even when clear proof is available.

Ebay will never get involved in a he said she said situation and really they shouldn't.  But there are many times that there is clear proof and Ebay will throw up their hands on those too.  That is part of what is so unfair to sellers.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: sasikat9 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 15:08:32 2018

Nothing worst than getting something thats smells like cigerette smoke or dog pee. I've had both of them and both times the seller claimed item didn't smell when it left them. News for you smokers. You might not smell your smoke but item will reak of smoke the minute a non smoker opens the package. And keeping items in a seperate room where no one smokes DOESN'T HELP.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

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

Tue Jun 12 15:26:03 2018

Ebafia's SNAD policy changed to coerce sellers into a) eliminating No Returns policies b) offering "free" returns.

Nothing is too despicable or dishonest for this criminal corporation, and it's going to get worse as sellers bolt and take buyers with them.

Ebafia apparently will never understand that there  is a direct correlation between their escalation of the punitive treatment of sellers and their pitiful quarterly reports.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Jun 12 15:43:49 2018

The Free Return policy is nothing more than a policy that allows those filing BRs to get their return shipping paid for.  And it allows sellers to give partial refunds during the refunding process on a return request.  Other than that, it is the same as a 30 day return policy.

With that said, I still don't like the policy and am not participating.  

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 16:33:22 2018

Putting SMELL on the side for a moment .....

Ming is %101 correct in that eBays MBG program erases a sellers NO RETURNS policy - ALWAYS.

eBay of course, shouldnt be involved to start with - its not their item, they have never seen the item, they dont know what gets returned - in short - like their understanding of ecommerce in general - they KNOW NOTHING.

That being said, eBay just copied Amazons bad returns policy, 30 day returns FOR ANY REASON. ebay knows this because the Cupcake's daughter just bought and returned a pair of flip flops, 45 days after she bought it (she and her friends went to SWSX/Burning Man etc) and Amazon took the return - no questions asked.

ebay doesn't like telling buyers, NO. Thats why eBay doesn't care if they steal from sellers or abuse any part of any policy - its ok - sellers "deserve it", "sellers make too much money anyway", "taking losses is part of business - here take one" ... the usual pablum.

Smell ..... is subjective and like color - should be something eBay should stay out of ... but "you know eBay" ... they LOVE to mix in "their partners business".

I had a buyer that wanted a return on an item. I asked -
"ok is it defective?" "no its not - its the WRONG color".  I asked "well what color did you get"? Manufacturer makes the item in 3 colors - white, black, brown - which did you get??????   "I got NONE of them!". I asked how is it possible - if they only make those 3!?

eBay forced me to take back the return even after going to the makers site - which proved I was right.

If you get a white and you ordered black then yes theres an issue, but deciding what "midnight blue is" - is not something eBay should even be involved with.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: makinmagic This user has validated their user name.

Tue Jun 12 18:37:33 2018

I am the author of this letter, wrote it in a harry and could have worded it better.
The point here, folks, is NOT THE SMELL. With exactly the same outcome buyer could have claimed that it was a wrong shade of pink or she could have claimed that it doesn't fit and therefore is SNAD and she wants a full refund. This is what the problem is - sellers now can not fight a SNAD. I was told several times today that if seller escalates, they will lose, guaranteed in nearly 100% of the cases.

On the topic of smells... if you are that sensitive to smells, do not buy online and, most importantly, do not buy pre-owned. My item did not smell. I have been selling for almost 10 years, hundreds of items every single month and this is my full time job, I clean every single item and never even list an item if I detect an odor. To me it didn't smell, to her it does and this fact proves that smells are extremely subjective.

But again, point is not the smell, point is that we lost our last line of defense from buyer abuse - ability to find a rep who will listed and decide in your favor if needed.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Wed Jun 13 08:51:10 2018

Your customer isn't happy, who cares what the reason is. If they aren't happy how can you be happy?

I want my customers to be 100% COMPLETELY satisfied with their purchase, if not return the item for a refund.

And yes, I'll eat the return charges as I only have 1 in 500 items returned.

I have a lot of return buyers (not returns), it's important to keep them happy.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 13 09:50:53 2018

Wrong focus.  It's not the 'item'.  

It's eBay itself that stinks these days.  

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 13 10:04:37 2018

New items should be relatively odorf ree but it depends on storage methods.

It might be a better idea to eliminate used clothing and textiles from some this if possible.  When I buy a vintage or dead stock or otherwise "used" item, I expect smells and prepare accordingly.   Full disclosure of odors is important but it's hard to get anyone to read.  Especially if they skip the "read full description" button.

On the other hand, I recall a poster on the buyer's board several years back stating that he bought an item and when he got around to opening it, it smelled like "...Satan's mighty armpits..,"  There was emailing and forth between him and the seller centering on feedback I think.

Something reeking of cat urine (i got fabric like this once) and smoking are in a class of their own, used or not.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 13 10:37:38 2018

Your customer isn't happy, who cares what the reason is. If they aren't happy how can you be happy?

If the issue is reasonable then yes, when it’s not - then no and who cares. We are here to make sales not play psychiatrist.  If you get an item and it is what the listing is - that’s enough.  

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by: Alma St. Goods This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 13 12:34:20 2018

@makinmagic

I'm one of those with the allergy problem. Not buying on line is a knee jerk reaction and not at all correct.

The stuff that's online isn't any more of a problem (for the most part) as buying new stuff with the smell of processing and packaging chemicals all over the item. Clothing has sizing, starches and dye all over them. Used items have been washed and typically more safe for me than new.  The problem comes when they wash in heavily scented detergent or use febreze. Once I got an item with a fresh dryer sheet in the package. I gagged.

Perminate Link for When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?   When Should Smells Count in eBay SNAD Claims?

by: Alma St. Goods This user has validated their user name.

Wed Jun 13 12:36:42 2018

@makinmagic

Sometimes I have to walk to the washer holding my nose, but I know the issues going in and know I have to wash straight away.  

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