eBay trials new returns options system for sellers

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It’s often said by sellers that when an eBay Money Back Guarantee claim from a buyer comes in, eBay universally finds for the buyer.

eBay is currently undertaking a trial to give sellers more choices about how they respond to buyer claims with the aim of helping sellers get the results they think they deserve, especially when it comes to ‘not as described’ or suspected fraudulent returns.

eBay also says it’s improving the guidance and procedures that are given to the 1500 or so customer support reps who preside over the adjudications.

The trial began in January with a cohort of UK and US sellers and eBay continues to monitor the trial. And here’s what they said to the sellers in the trial about the new options they will have:

“After the item is delivered back to you and you’ve inspected it, you now have additional options to handle the refund. You can proceed with a full refund or, if you feel the buyer chose an incorrect reason for the return, you can decide how to handle the refund through the following options:

“• Give a full refund for item cost and original shipping

• Refund the full item cost, but select whether to:
– refund the original shipping amount paid
– charge the buyer for the return shipping cost
– charge the buyer the restocking fee listed in your policy (this option may not be shown for some international transactions—as some countries don’t permit restocking fees)

• If the item returned to you doesn’t match the item you originally shipped, do not send a refund and ask eBay to help”

Clearly this is a step in the right direction and it will be interesting to see whether it rolls out universally to all sellers any time soon and what impact that will have for sellers.

In particular, enabling sellers to register that the item returned to them is not the item that was sent should be a useful red flag for eBay to use in the background to identify persistent fraudulent buyers.

Tell us what you think of this trial.

70 Responses

  1. Really good positive change and step in the correct direction

    Im certain though that people will still find a way to complain about this post though xD

    Bottom line is this is a step in the correct direction

  2. i sold an item and buyer wanted to return he was supposed to return within the 28days which he didnt so ebay told paypal to release the funds back to me…..10 days later the buyer opens a case against me with paypal & now i have to accept the return as the buyer has 180days to open return case due to PAYPAL LAWS NOT eu law which states 28 days…so why is ebay return policy not 180 days like paypal as the buyer has opened 2 seperate cases on the same item…double jeopardy…

  3. Probably a gesture to show willing, but will in effect do nothing to change the easily abusable buyer protection policies or how such things are arbitrated.
    As has been said many times before here, eBay couldn’t care less as long as the money rolls in.

  4. I appreciate eBay’s efforts to improve the returns process for refunds but they should get their act together for returns for exchange.

    In fashion exchanges are common place but eBay only seems to think that a customer wants to return for a refund.

    A customer wanting to exchange an item opens up a return case (because they are returning the item) but asks for an exchange at the same time. Once the item is received I ship out the new required size but the case stays open because tracking has been provided by the customer, the tracking shows the return delivered back to myself…… and I get hounded for weeks by the eBay messaging system telling me that I MUST refund the customer. All when the customer has happily received their new sized purchase.
    Any unscrupulous buyer could then just pursue the case for a full refund if they wanted to as my items are too low cost to pay for sending the return with tracking. A loophole for buyer fraud if ever I saw one.

    Am I alone in this thinking?

  5. I was shocked and aghast the first time we were presented with that option on a return case.
    – this one was a full refund anyway, but i felt a small breath of hope.

    any of the blatant scumbag conmen returns i’ve had since, dont have any of these options on the return, or they’d have been used.

    if i recall right, we dont quite have the options shown, we have:
    full refund
    choose a refund amount
    ask ebay to step in and help
    (we’re one of the places restocking fees arent allowed)

  6. A scene overheard in our local post office recently on a Monday morning:

    First woman: I’m returning a dress I wore at the weekend, as Ebay won’t charge me for the return.

    Second woman: Why bother returning it? I just say it hasn’t arrived and get to keep it and get my money back.

    The exact words may have been slightly different, but that’s the gist of the conversation I and a colleague recently heard between two ladies in front of us at the post office.

    Ebay will ALWAYS find for the buyer.

    On the rare occasion they don’t, the buyer will open a paypal case and will get their money back that way.

    Heads, they screw you – tails, you’re screwed.

  7. i guess the clothes thing has been done in retail for years, eg wear at weekend and then return monday, sadly ebay allow it all to easy on any item, but id hate to be a fashion seller.

    also with regards to the stocking fees, if the items listed on USA ebay, can we (as uk sellers) ask for that, or does it go on the sellers location / business address, or does it simply depend on which ebay country site you list on?

  8. Looks like they have finally worked out whet everyone else worked out as soon as the managed returns system was introduced its open to buyer abuse.

    Its a step in the right direction but the damage is done they have alienated thousands of good sellers in to never using eBay again

    Now when are they going to look at the blaitent abuse of the MBG and buyer theft ?

    Example below

    https://feedback.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewFeedback2&userid=dontikas75&ftab=FeedbackLeftForOthers

  9. its a minefield for both ebay and sellers ,were mindful that ebay has to control things its their business ,though the across the board approach to every seller we feel is wrong ,
    surely if your a seller with good record plus good feedback you should be allowed to control how you accept returns

  10. This is great I’m also in the same boat with returns we always replace as the cost of getting an item back exceeds the cost of the item, I hope they sort out.this return process quickly on saying that we are not taking Ebay as serious as we used to since the new late dispatch defect in fact the sooner we ditch them the better,

  11. This is positive news

    As Steve said above
    ‘We have a legal right to reduce the refund if the goods have been devalued by the buyer.’

    ebay have been holding sellers to ransom with managed returns and denying the rights that we have under European law / consumer contract regulations.

    They have no right to freeze our funds before the item is returned.

    Professional sellers wont scam people. They should give us our rights, trust us to run our businesses but have stricter regulation /registration processes for sellers.

  12. I hope this trial is including my returns at the moment…

    Just had the following back and forth with a customer (slightly paraphrased to reduce length of post)…

    Customer: “Hi not working can I av refund please”
    Me: “…What exactly is the fault?…”
    C: “No its not working like refund please”
    Me: “…Sorry, I must ask what the fault is…”
    C: “Yes had one week ago at to av refund not working either please once again send me refund”
    Me: “…Please return the item to the following address and we will issue a full refund…”
    C: “No send my refund the other person sent my refund straight away send courier to pick it up, I am not sending till I av refund I will go to resalution centre”
    Me: “…I can confirm the resolution centre will require you to send the item back before receiving a refund…”
    C: “No I’m not”

    Pure poetry.

  13. I have found the best way to stop eBay from issuing labels for “faulty” items is to set the item weight in the listing to 500KG, whilst I appreciate that this may be seen as not good for a customer, it stops people simply selecting item is faulty for a free label when in fact it gives us a chance to contact the customer and instruct them how to use the item that was not faulty in the first place.

  14. I sell laptop parts & i have had customers returning totally different items,
    The few times i tried to persevere with ebay support, they asked for pictures of the sent & returned item,
    The items were security marked (UV pen)
    Within minutes of me sending them pictures they refunded the buyer.
    After several calls, messages etc they apologised & said they would refund the seller fee !
    Go figure a complete sham, whats the point even security marking items.

  15. If you read the Ebay message boards, something is badly wrong with Ebay again.

    Sales are dying and the checkout is totally broken for many buyers.

    Nothing from Ebay by way of acklowledgement / explanation.

    They’re getting away with it yet again!

  16. >> a useful red flag for eBay to use in the background
    >> to identify persistent fraudulent buyers.

    One might think putting in 50% INR claims over 50 purchases as a new seller who already has PayPal placing (then removing) holds on their account and multiple sellers phoning in to report them, as a “red flag”. But no, they’re still happily buying away weeks later…

    So goes virtually every bad buyer over the last decade. Hard to see them ever taking things seriously after that.

  17. Sales through the floor and today for the first time ever I have had to add funds to PayPal to do refunds for the ever increasing INR claims time to close the shop now after 10 years putting up with eBay working against us its just no longer worth the effort and fees we pay

    Meanwhile Amazon is ticking over nicely and I cant remember the last time I had a INR claim on Amazon guess the two venues have different types of buyer I know where future investment will be heading its a sad day for eBay they really have broken the camel back this time.

  18. .
    When you are strangling someone & they plead for some air, you let go of the throat a bit to allow new air in, otherwise you kill the patient….

    Sadly Ebay SS/CS have gone the opposite, and hold, indeed tighten their grip…….

    Ebay will kill itself, so get out now!!

  19. yes it is annoying all these INR cases on ebay but its like you get to a stage you accept them as a part of doing business on ebay , a business expense as such
    im not happy about it but i just put up with it as long as i am making a tidy profit on ebay
    its like a insurance company have false claims or shops having shoplifters or store returns ,
    maybe ebay should start red flagging these buyers or make buyers who keep making INR cases use ebay/argos click and collect only

  20. Buyers and Sellers on Ebay are like passengers a bus.

    Except that the Seller has to pay for BOTH fares.

  21. Do the above sellers suffering from INR cases send tracked and signed?

    Dead for me recently too. More enquiries on chrono24 which is saying something. Physical sales good today.

  22. I’ll always use eBay as it’s still a valuable venue for advertising, especially for people searching locally but its not the reliable source of global sales that it has been.

  23. @vespa 1

    Im not sure if you understand the implications of attempting to change anything on any ecommerce website. Not just eBay of course, but looking at them they change in relation to feedback received, twice a year they do this

    Its impossible to change serious procedures at the drop of a hat for a service as big as it is! Same goes for Amazon

    Same for myself in relation to investing in a business but I made the decision to sell on this platform aswel as many others with the understanding of how frequently the platform will change, I guess you didnt understand that when you started trading

    This is not a high street store, its not stagnant, its an every changing ever evolving online marketplace in an age where technology grows daily, of course they are going to make changes

    Again I will continue to pick the positives as focusing and moaning about the negatives get you no where, IMO. That may not be your opinion but it is certainly mine

    Again insulting someone on the internet…….. lol

  24. Re eBay trials new returns options.

    I sold a buyer a ceramic cross and I was then informed that it had a ‘chip’ out of it and ‘it was not really what I was looking for’ so a returns authorisation was given and I paid the £2.99 return postage. 14 days later it was returned and the cross was perfect BUT half of the pre formed polystyrene box was missing and the outer cardboard box was in a mess which has now made this item unsellable as new. Before we give the refund eBay tells us to ‘inspect the item’ so as the item was not in a sellable condition I asked eBay to step in with they did and within 10 minutes they ruled in the buyers favour and gave the buyer their payment back. Immediately I appealed the decision and within minutes the appeal was denied. I have emailed then 6 times over this decision with 6 replies received all spouting the same old waffle. So yet again sellers have absolutely no rights and every decision is made in the buyers favour so even they do adopt this new returns policy it will make absolutely no difference as we just cannot win.

  25. if you dont send a prepaid return shipping label and a US buyer escalates a not as described case even though you agreed a refund and are happy to refund
    they get to keep the goods and get a full refund its just ridiculous

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