eBay UK Seller Release: New Seller Standards (Defects)

As previously announced eBay’s new seller standards kick into effect on the 20th of this month at the next seller evaluation. We’ve heard from many sellers about how they’re struggling to cope with defects and so have eBay and they’ve listened and responded.

Today eBay announced that they are simplifying the after-sale experience with the aim of helping to prevent any unintended defects from buyers. Here’s what eBay are doing:

Improved post-sale experience

From September buyers will be able to initiate all after-sale requests from their My eBay purchase history. That includes any questions about the item, delivery and requesting a return or refund. eBay are also creating a more straightforward and consistent returns experience.

Clearer & ‘no-defect’ options when a buyer contacts a seller

eBay will add a clear option for buyers to contact you the seller when they want to ask a question about using an item. When buyers select ‘I have a question about using my item or I want to send the seller a message’, it won’t count as a defect.

Simpler cancellation process

A more streamlined cancellation process is being introduced. From September, when a buyer requests to cancel a transaction, you can initiate the cancellation from the sold items section of My eBay. You should select ‘buyer-requested cancellation’ so this won’t count as a defect. You then won’t have to wait for the buyer to agree with the cancellation, it’ll be done and dusted.

You can also cancel a transaction if they can’t fulfil the order for any reason, without waiting for buyer approval. However, this will count as a defect.

Updated terminology for eBay Money Back Guarantee

eBay will update the term “case” to be a “request” within eBay Money Back Guarantee from September. That means when a buyer contacts a seller about an item not received or not as described this will be a request, rather than an open case. This will still count as a defect. If the seller and buyer can’t resolve a request and hand it over to eBay customer support team, it’s still called a case. If a case is decided in your favour, it won’t count as a defect.

Here at Tamebay we’re still a little bemused by this one. It basically means that if you think you’ll win a case you don’t resolve the issue, you sit and wait until it’s referred to eBay and then when eBay rule in your favour you don’t get the defect. An example could be that the item was tracked and the tracking shows delivery took place, the buyer then finds the item and tells you they’re happy but you have to leave the case open for eBay to adjudicate. If you close the case with a happy buyer you get an unwarranted defect. If you leave the case open you don’t get a defect but eBay unnecessarily get an unhappy buyer.

Improved seller protection & New defect removal policy

eBay are updating their seller protection policies to include a new defect removal policy to replace the existing Feedback removal policy, adding new safeguards so that sellers can sell more confidently, and an easier way to manage and respond to buyer queries.

When will defects be removed under the defect removal policy?

  • The buyer didn’t pay for their order and an unpaid item case is recorded against the buyer.
  • An eBay Money Back Guarantee or PayPal Buyer Protection case is ruled in the seller’s favour.
  • eBay takes action on a buyer for activity that violates the buying practices policy.
  • eBay or PayPal instructs you to hold a delivery or takes action to cancel the transaction.
  • eBay can determine through valid tracking that the defect was the direct result of systemic delays in delivery or communication. Examples include: wide-scale postage carrier delays, items stuck in customs, or power outages due to extreme weather.