Jane Bell, one of the top eBay Education Specialists who provides consultancy to a host of eBay businesses has been a staunch friend of TameBay since the site was launched. Today she talks about her frustrations with seller terms and conditions.
I’ve blogged previously on the problem of Illegal Business Seller Terms on eBay on a couple of occasions. In April this year while browsing as a buyer and 3 out of 5 of the outlet sellers I looked at that day had illegal seller terms and put me right off buying from them … yes the eBayAnorak bought from Amazon, not the first time.
So, how much responsibility should eBay take for its Top Rated Business Sellers who continually flout the law and the EC Distance Selling Regulations as regard returns and refunds?
As a ‘selling venue’ is eBay responsible for the Top Rated Sellers’ it promotes from front page, outlet & deal of the day etc? Should eBay check that they are compliant with the law along with the other criteria for entry?
As I type this, a very large national retailer all over the eBay front page is charging a 10% restocking fee for returned items over £25. Ultimately the retailer is responsible for their T&C’s. eBay promote the ‘good buyer experience’ how can they promote a good buying experience at the same time as promoting companies with illegal seller terms that actually give a bad buying experience.
I firmly believe that in most cases this is an education issue eBay has made it easy for the Mumpreneur, the front room/garage based business and the teenage start up to progress in the world of online retailing at low cost and so are unaware they are breaking the law. Learning about Distant Selling Regulations, EC Rulings and UK business law is usually not on the priority list.
eBay, please, what does it take to send out an email or short multiple choice button survey to all new business registered sellers to let them know that these phrases/terms are not permitted?
But, Outlet sellers’ shame on you, you should know better, some of you have been bought to book before.
- We are not responsible for items lost in the post (Yes you are!)
- We charge X% restocking fee (No you can’t!
- Buyer has option of shipping insurance in case of damage in transit (Seller responsible until it reaches the hands of the buyer)
- Refund less PayPal & eBay fees (fraud as they get fees back from refunds
- Refund less original P&P (Refund including original P&P)
- No returns, or no returns unless faulty (this applied to items relating to returns due to hygiene reasons; buyers have the right to change their minds)
The list goes on …
Business Sellers, give your buyers a reason to purchase from you not 10 reasons to be scared to, know the rights of your buyers and your legal obligations as a seller.
eBay, take some responsibility for those sellers you promote.
Disclaimer: I am not a lawyer but advise you read this OFT (Office of Fair Trading) document on the Distance Selling Regulations