eBay UK Autumn Seller Release – Enhanced eBay Seller Protection

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From the 1st of October, eBay Top-rated Sellers in the UK will get enhanced eBay Seller Protection on listings that offer 30-day returns or more. The following cases are covered:

Enhanced eBay Seller Protection for Top Rated Seller

If you receive a false ‘Item not as described’ request

  • Use eBay’s recently updated Report a Buyer tool to report the case.
  • If the report qualifies for enhanced eBay Seller Protection, eBay will credit your monthly invoice for the cost of the return postage label up to £3.50.
  • For the reported case, eBay will automatically remove negative or neutral feedback, defects and the opened case in your Service metrics, if the report qualifies.

If a returned item is opened, used or damaged by the buyer

  • Accept the return.
  • You can then deduct up to 50% off the refund to cover the lost value.
  • For the reported case, eBay will automatically remove negative or neutral feedback, defects and the opened case in your Service metrics.

Naturally there will be some limits for sellers who abuse the new protections, but we are pleased to see this coming to the UK having seen similar measures announced at eBay Open for US sellers.

Existing eBay Seller Protection for all sellers

eBay have protections in place for all sellers for when:

  • An item arrives late that you posted on time.
  • You fulfilled your orders as promised but received inaccurate feedback or defects.
  • A buyer demands changes or extras from you.

Sellers who aren’t Top Rated will still be protected in the same way, but eBay Top-rated Sellers will get extra protection on their eligible listings

41 Responses

  1. Sounds good in theory but how are they going to decide how an “Item Not as Described” claim is false? The current excuse is they can’t make a decision because they don’t get to see the item (although of course they do make a decision, in favour of the buyer) . So does this mean when we tell them an item was brand new, unused and unmarked when we sent it, they’re going to believe us?

    It’s not just the cost of return postage that is the problem, the real problem is that the item comes back worth considerably less than it did when it went out.

    The same applies for items open, used or damaged by the buyer. Are they going to believe us now? I also read previously that it only applies to sellers who offer FREE 30 day returns; in the UK I was told I could deduct 50% for damaged items if that’s what I offered. I declined because just like I knew Managed Returns would increase the number of returned items, which it has, I know that offering free returns will just increase the number of returns even further.

    In fact ASOS recently reported that they’re scrapping (or considering scrapping, I’m not sure) free returns because of the high number of returns and the fact that most (over 50%) of the clothes had been worn.

    As for ebay having protections in place for items sent on time but delivered late, that’s news to me. I’ve had more than a few battles trying to get defects removed where tracking PROVED I had sent items on time but were delivered late, and they were even counting cases where the buyer wasn’t at home when delivery was first attempted and subsequently delivered late.

  2. Well, this is going to be popular with buyers.

    Clearly eBay hoping no one will ever use this.

  3. I photograph all item prior to packing and send the photo with a message to the customers stating what they ordered and what is being sent. This stops the not as describe cases.

  4. This 50% refund policy has been brought over from the USA.

    That is not the law here.

    The law here is:

    “if the value of the goods is diminished by any amount as a result of handling of the goods by the consumer beyond what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods, the trader may recover that amount from the consumer, up to the contract price”.

    I.e. you are permitted to withhold up 100% of item price if the buyer takes no care of and trashes the item before returning.

    We’ve had Amazon try this 50% max deduction on via A-Z claims. They always back down when you quote them the actual legislation ?

  5. Can’t see it working unless eBay are going to re-imburse the buyer the remainder if only 50% is refunded. The buyer would just open a case with Paypal / credit card company. Trying to prove that a buyer has damaged an item is impossible. We have a repetitive pattern where a buyer purchases a 12 volt component from us, connects it up to 230 mains voltage, it goes up in smoke then they claim it was faulty, it is only after careful tricking buyers to own up to their mistake that we know they have bought the wrong item, but even then, buyers don’t just put their hands up and accept their error, eBay always side with the buyer. 50% is a step in the right direction and lessens the blow but doesn’t really help as the part is then ruined and can’t be repaired or re-sold.

  6. A false ‘Item not as described’ request is easy to check if the item is new and the seller has a sales history. If you are selling a branded product it is unlikely that you are going to send one item not as described if you have already sold 10-50+.

    I recently hasd a claim stating the item was fake, even though I have sold plenty and sell many items of the same brand. I lost the case but won on appeal, I asked them to prove it was fake.

    I also told eBay it would be wrong of them to allow me to continue trading on their platform if I was selling fake goods and that they should encourage buyers to make a police report / trading standards report about the claim or in the least, contact the manufacture, which in this case is UK based.

  7. Good to see this formalised. As recently as last week, concierge agents were suggesting that they were doing us a favour by refunding wrongly charged return postage and that they might not bother in future and we should build it in to our margin.

    By formalising this process, at least the volume of abuse and repeat behaviours should become clearer to eBay the cost of the managed returns abuse and guide them as to how they can build it into their margin

  8. It might work after eBay managed payments arrive, but until that point buyers can do exactly as the wish and sellers are powerless to stop it.

  9. this is an excellent amendment by eBay. Although ebay meant well with the system that is currently in use – this change was well over due.

    We have been plagued by false “item is not as described” cases. We sell shoes and more often than not the case is due to the shoes not fitting. This has been hammering my service metrics (the idea that it is proportional to your peers in your category does not work) and has been causing havoc with our account and my mental health lol.

    Buyers abusing the returns is also ripe – often returning shoes that have been worn for the event or even returning their old filthy shoes that we don’t even supply! whilst causing us to pay for the return and again causing defects on our account. It was a thoroughly dis-heartening system that was causing me to despise my own business.

    A welcome change / amendment for a system that was being regularly abused by unscrupulous buyers and sucked the motivation out of sellers.

  10. We always open expensive returns in front of the courier or post man- we then have verifiable third party testimony should there be a problem

  11. Only one way to solve this is to give the vendor the choice to refund or not
    or at least gjve them a quota of refusals relative to

  12. I sometimes struggle with the stupidity of those amongst us that are supposedly “business” people yet fail to comprehend the realities of business.

    Unfortunately this phenomenon has actually been created by the ones they blame for not providing a safe environment for them to “play” in, at whatever level.

    @Jim: you need to get out in the real world, if I buy from you, on your own website, and want to return something for fraudulent reasons, I can!!!!

    Forget you constant rants about eBay, what are you going to do about it?

    Did you answer? Well I am really not interested in your response, I am a scammer and your response is meaningless unless like eBay you are going to refund me.

    What I am going to tell you is that if you do NOT refund me I will simply create a charge back on my credit card that I WILL get.

    Simple, you LOST!

    Now multiply that by thousands and you will soon work out why eBay refund people.

    I was authorised in the early 90’s to accept what they they call “Customer Not Present” with a turnover of £850,000 per annum. This was not easy and took a lot of approval to get, in the start. My RM bill was £30K a month for mailshots, we hit it hard with adatabase of 250,000 and did manual entry for all orders on a system I built myself incorporating Quick Address and flagging suspect accounts on postcode validation.

    Refunds to a customer complaint were a “given” and the term “The Customer Is Always Right” was also the mantra of the day.

    As they have loosened the criteria for CNP, any flyboy can get one, which increases fraudulent sellers, but the one thing that is often stable is “The Customer Is Always Right”.

    eBay / Paypal have very little choice but to refund customers, if they do and the customer takes it to the bank then they get the refund and eBay / Paypal get a black mark.

    How do we get round this problem?

    As I suggested to Alan Patterson earlier, we have to fight our own battles, we have to provide evidence that the customer is a fraud. Any customer trying it on will back down at the slightest hint of being caught out. They get away with it because they can. And yes, it is partly down to the eBay culture, but even back in the 90’s, if a customer choose to “take” their money back there really was NOTHING I could do about it.

    We could go “Old School”, I am more than happy to go and knock on doors of your customers, in my area, to ask them to explain their problem, at anytime of night, if you cover my customers in your area, etc…

    Just an idea.

    OK not very realistic but as the problem grows we have to start thinking as a group of businesses, not constantly “blaming” eBay / PayPal for something that is actually often out of their control.

    So rather than constantly complaining, what are WE going to do?

  13. TYLER
    we think the above is a longwinded rant if their ever was one,
    were simply suggesting that the vendor has a choice to contest the refund
    rationally and evidence based 100% rather than 50%

  14. tyler
    we understand the ethos .logic . method and reasoning behind returns and refunds though I still think a mechanism should be in place to allow the individual vendor
    the right to refuse to refund the obvious fraudulent cases
    putting the onus on the buyer to contest or appeal the decision, not just an automatic refund

  15. the little protection the law allows you is rendered useless , if ebay strip away that protection

  16. So why would video make any difference?
    It will be ignored the same as other
    Measures terms or conditions by ebay etal


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