eBay to update User Agreement on 23rd Sept

eBay announced amendments to their User Agreement this month. The changes are effective immediately for new eBay users and from the 23rd of September for existing users.

Apart from some wording changes and the addition of a new section to cover changes associated with the introduction of the eBay managed returns process, the really interesting changes are to the Buyer Protection Policy.

Increase in signature confirmation threshold

eBay are increasing the threshold where sellers are required to provide a signature confirmation proving delivery from £150 to £750.

What that means is if you’re using services such as the relatively new Royal Mail Tracked service, where an item is scanned at the doorstep but a signature isn’t collected, you’ll be covered so long as the item value is under £750. That’s a five fold increase and should be a move welcomed by many.

Reimbursement

If a seller chooses not to engage with the eBay Buyer Protection process on an item not as described case eBay may seek to carry out a reimbursement from you without requiring a return by the buyer.

In other words those rare sellers who disappear as soon as there’s a problem will be billed by eBay for the refund and as the seller has already received a crappy service they won’t have to bother returning the item. This seems reasonable enough, especially as seller will have to offer a minimum 14 days return option and specify up front who pays the return carriage.

Grace Periods in exceptional circumstances

In limited situations eBay reserves the right to extend the period that buyers are eligible and sellers are responsible for resolving cases e.g. national emergency, national holidays and labour strikes. When applicable this will be communicated via the announcements section of our site.

In other words the mandatory 14 day returns period eBay just made you offer could be even longer. I do hope this is just a precautionary measure on eBay’s part and not some secret knowledge of the CWU and Unite’s dispute with the Royal Mail!

As usual with eBay policy changes there’s not a lot to worry about for most sellers. If you’re doing a good job and taking care of your buyers nothing will affect you, but you will be able to ship higher value items by services which don’t have signature on delivery and still be covered under seller protection.

If you’ve not read the User Agreement and associated policies recently we’d always recommend a quick browse to make sure you’re up to date and know what you can and can’t do.