Kristina wrote to Tamebay to share her experience of these returns through the new managed returns system.
She supplies costumes where any number of claims can be made for SNAD and so was very worried about the effect on her defect rate. Here’s what she had to say:
I recently had a case where the buyer bought a Costume and claimed it looked slightly darker than the picture and there were loose threads. These come in packaging and so I checked when it arrived. The colour was as expected and the stitching was fine. I did not want to dispute the buyers claims as heard so may horror stories about eBay siding with the buyer plus the big fat negative feedback on my page. I was happy to return buyers full costs including return postage but did not want the defect on my account. I opened a chat with eBay and they kindly confirmed that as long as I refunded the buyer, they would remove the defect – Happy days!
It is not all good though. I recently had an INR case opened. the same day, the buyer popped to the post office and it was there awaiting collection due to buyer not being home. I asked eBay if they could remove this and they replied “Kindly understand that we cannot remove defect for opened cases. Note that the mere fact that the buyer opened a case shows that there was a dissatisfaction on how the transaction went. Did you upload tracking with your stated handling time? If not, make sure you follow through on that promise“.
I do not offer tracking on lower items and asked how this would be different as the buyer still would have had to follow the same actions. she replied “We want sellers to inform buyers about the tracking information and delivery details as we want buyers to avoid opening a case and for you to get a defect“.
The reason we do not send as tracked is because of the price of our items and the items that we do send tracked do not always get signed for at the other end either. There will come a time when eBay is no longer a cheap alternative to the high street as sellers will be covering for their tracking costs to avoid defects.
It is a shame that on the one hand eBay are happy to keep sellers happy who keep customers happy but then they are pushing sellers to conform to a unified way of selling or be pushed out.
It’s great to see that the first defect was removed. We’ve seen this before, especially if a product has a history of great feedback and it’s simply one buyer who’s not happy with the merchandise but the rest of the buying experience was great.
For the second instance Kristina is right, eBay want buyers to be informed where their package is and sadly this generally means offering a tracked service. It’s too easy for a “While you were out” card to go missing. There’s a cost for this of course which simply doesn’t make sense for light weight items so seller have the difficult choice of weighing costs against defect rates. This is less of an impact for letter box sized items, but for larger packages that don’t fit through the door.
Have you changed your shipping methods since eBay introduced defects? Have you increased the number of items you send tracked?