EcommerceBytes-NewsFlash, Number 3040 - April 10, 2013     4 of 5

eBay's New Dispute Resolution Process Takes Effect

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eBay reminded users of a new process that took effect on Tuesday, April 9, regarding its Buyer Protection policy. "We're making the resolution process easier for buyers and sellers," eBay said of the changes.

Last July, eBay had initially announced that it would require buyers to contact sellers before filing a claim, a move sellers applauded. But eBay will actually do the opposite - it is now requiring buyers to open cases in the Resolution Center rather than contacting sellers via My Messages.

eBay sellers say the policy change will result in more payment holds. One seller wrote, "As soon as a buyer wants to contact you about an item not received or nor as described, there is no message to you, but instead an immediate case is opened up. Immediate case means immediate hold on funds associated with purchase. Say buyer purchased 18 items and has a problem with one because he does not like the color...you got it the funds for all 18 are on hold. Think about the interest on all that held money...new creative ways to increase revenue to fluff the stock price."

eBay is spinning it as a positive - in Tuesday's announcement, it wrote, "Now sellers and buyers have the opportunity to communicate and resolve issues about transactions before a case is escalated to eBay for review."

eBay is sticking with its promise to sellers that opened cases will no longer count. "When a buyer contacts you about an issue, even though a case is automatically opened in the Resolution Center, the case will not impact your seller performance rating or Top Rated Seller status. Only cases that are escalated to eBay for review and are resolved in favor of the buyer will count."

Another seller told EcommerceBytes he felt the change fell short of goal of greatly improving seller protections and said eBay was putting the cart before the horse. "I believe that Seller protections are only slightly improved by this update. Why should a transaction issue have to reach the point of a claim before a buyer is compelled to contact a seller? A much needed improvement and more positive improvement would be to also require buyers to communicate with sellers and allow sellers have the opportunity to respond before being able to leave negative feedback."

eBay pointed to this page for users to learn more about updates to the eBay Buyer Protection process.

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About the author:

Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com.


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