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eBay UK Seller Release 2014: Mandatory Managed Returns for all business sellers

By Dan Wilson March 11, 2014 - 1:51 pm

From this autumn, all Business Sellers on eBay UK will be required to participate in the Managed Returns process. As I understand it, sellers will be gradually enrolled in the system. Before you are required to use it, you will be given at least 2 months in advance.

And in the run up to the changes there will apparently be some improvements made to Managed Returns:

• Royal Mail and Collect+ to be available with more drop-off points for buyers.
• Increased seller protection: improved processes to help eBay to investigate reports in buyer cases.
• Integration of managed returns with third-party listing tools.

It’s clear that an unambiguous returns policy inspires buyer confidence and is good for shoppers. There are also legal requirements for businesses.

But the question mark remains as to whether eBay is competent to administer such a programme. At the very least, from what we know of current buyer/seller disputes, it’s safe to say that eBay Customer Support lacks the verve to adjudicate fairly in the event of a disagreement.

What do you reckon?

Here’s the relevant page on eBay for more on Managed Returns.

  • 3 years ago

    I opted in then opted out of managed returns as buyers know if they mark it as INR they get free return postage and eBay always sided with the buyer

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    argh help
    managed returns not as described count against the new seller defect rating,
    all a buyer needs to do to avoid paying return postage is to invent a reason or even maliciously damage an item to gain free return postage and a ding for the seller ebay blither on about reporting and sending pictures but we all know thats a waste of effort

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      we sell in a category that is notorious for returns
      while we dont mind carrying the return cost because the profits good and returned items just relist sell again,
      but the fact our seller standard will very likely be impacted to the point we may well not be able to trade in the category because of the dishonesty window shopping and in reality the 14 day free use of our stock, by buyers is a concern

    • alex
      3 years ago

      Precisely my concern.

      SNAD/Defect as part of managed returns? Crazy idea.

      I can definately see a situation where more buyers will now buy on the shabby basis of “having a look when it arrives and then deciding if they actually want it or not” and then if they decide they don’t want it they can site a defect, return item, and get a full refund including outbound and return shipping. Not only is this an unfair system for sellers, it may remove stock that could be sold to someone who really does want the item but now can’t get what they need, it also increases sellers costs, and obviously damages the sellers performance rating. It will also greatly increase the number of calls to CS which invariably means more unhappy members.

      This takes armchair shopping to an extreme. None of it makes sense.

      A further observation is this may also be another “back door” way for eBay to chip away/remove TRS and associated benefits, and thereby increase revenues.

      In summary this is: good for bad buyers, bad for good sellers, good for eBay, bad for good buyers, and irrelevant to bad sellers who get returns anyway.

      Combining managed returns with Defect or SNAD is utter madness. It sucks!!

  • 3 years ago

    Does anyone have any idea how much the charge will be for Royal Mail.
    Our average selling price is Around £5.00 to £10.00.
    When the customers start saying they will return because an item is slightly unpolished or whatever excuse they will use, will ebay automatically use Special Delivery?.
    At what price to us sellers?

    What happens if I reject a parcel?
    Ebay have told me a few months back when a customer hadn;t entered their house number in their dispatch details that the onus is still on me as a seller to ensure delivery to a customer. I wonder if that works in reverse? Sly smile.

    Does this also mean international orders?
    We charge £8.50 for an airsure packet of 20 grams to the USA.
    If a return came via UPS, UPS charge over £50.00 for a 20 gram packet.

    ttfn

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      On a legal note there is the small matter of proportionality and like-for-like returns and mitigation in costs.

      If a seller sent originally by budget, minimal size/weight and a buyer uses a premium managed return service, overpacks in terms of size/weight so as to cause increased return shipping and then ebay seek to charge this to the seller without allowing the seller the option to use their own discounted carriers I can state as a fact of law that such an attempt would be unlawful and unenforceable.

      At present you can refuse to pay a buyers excessive return shipping.

      Good luck once ebay take control you will be treated the same as the overall return process with an uninformed lazy numpty in ebay services making quick easy decisions at our cost and taking money from our account and ignoring any appeals.

      One more nail, the coffin is all but sealed……

    • MG
      3 years ago

      Final nail indeed.I have been selling on Ebay for over 10 years and have always tried to embrace the various changes along the way.Enough is enough and maybe just maybe this will be the shove sellers need to build their own site and switch to Amazon.I have done this in the last 6 months and am currently seeing 40% of the turnover i get on Ebay.

  • 3 years ago

    Quote from ebay

    “For all other business sellers, the use of managed returns will gradually become a requirement, but we encourage you to already consider opting in now to prepare for the change.”

    So as such we do not really know the time scale

  • Danny
    3 years ago

    I still can’t see how this will work for sellers who sell big/heavy/fragile goods? You can’t send a fridge freezer by Royal Mail/collect+ ?!

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Easy. They will make it compulsory for all oversized goods listings to declare size and weight to qualify for exemption. More work for absolutely no benefit.

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    Ebay are increasingly taking over and interfering with seller owned areas of sales/returns under the pretext of “better customer experience”.

    I have wondered for several months about these mysterious ever increasing little boxes on size, weight, “abnormal parcel” etc on both turbo lister and ebay listing pages under shipping.

    My money is on this data becoming compulsory in all listings very soon under the pretext of ‘streamlining managed returns’.

    However I now see ebay as sticking its nose into product data and customer interraction that is not their concern nor their business and smell a long term plan to start selling top performing products themselves, once they get their catalogues pre-filled with this most precious of fulfilment data.

    As all us sellers know, the most difficult data to obtain is the size/weight/packaging for each individual product to minimise shipping costs and final sale price.

    With shipping data banked ebay just need to buy up a fulfilment company and they have instant market dominance and can challenge amazon, and us on our own products, head to head.

    Ebay, get this, I dont want you to carry my goods, i dont want you arranging and holding me to your return shipping.

    By all means offer discounts to buyers with 3rd party deals but dont tell me how, when and where I will be receiving customer returns from customers WE earned and take the risk over all over aspects.

  • David Brackin
    3 years ago

    We’ve been using the managed returns process for a number of months since being asked by the product manager to try it out and give feedback.

    It’s a great idea and we like it, but it’s not really finished yet and there’s still a lot more to be done before it’s half way as good as not using the managed returns process. We gave our feedback but had no response whatsoever from the product team — as is usual at eBay, a few months have elapsed so you are never sure if they are still excited about / working on this product or indeed still employed by eBay.

    The prices negotiated by eBay for the returns are a joke. This is an organisation that is considerably better at writing a powerpoint presentation than it is at arm-wrestling a decent deal out of a courier. They should be ashamed. And then to have a system that uses a more expensive Royal Mail service for smaller items than the cheaper box courier service. Well that’s just sloppy coding.

    The inevitable problem is buyers learning the system (if you lie and claim SNAD then your postage is paid — otherwise you pay it). There is an option in the product flow for sellers to report this. Nothing happens if you do: you are still charged the postage and everything goes the buyer’s way.

    This is a great idea. It’s just not been built yet. Forcing people to use it should come after it has been finished.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Just summing up once again the compulsory widescale implementation of a system that is clearly not tested, monitored, finished or fit for purpose.

      If ebay can get a 30kg, 48hr courier, 1.5m x 1.5m parcel returned to me at the £6.40 we pay our own carriers then fine.

      But I doubt it, and therefore they are overstepping their authority and moral and legal obligations and just further evidence it is no longer a “fun, safe place to trade” but an invasive, bullying and disrespectful jobsworth.

    • Chris
      3 years ago

      David, could I ask what category you were in?
      Your penultimate paragraph is what concerns me, there is that ‘grey area’ where its one word against another.

      Obviously, not all buyers are like this..

    • David Brackin
      3 years ago

      Hi Chris —
      I sell across most categories apart from motor — largest categories are fashion, consumer electronics and home & garden. fashion is particularly common to have returns — that’s part and parcel of the business — no objections from me.

      I was assured that there was a flow in the process for seller protesting when the item arrives back and it is as described — but it’s just not there (or at least noone in my team can find it) — and “report buyer” is poorly coded (the response email is templated incorrectly) and has no effect on the outcome.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      try selling gold rings for returns fun

      as you say returns are part of the business ,
      though to incite dishonesty by offering a free return label , then to penalise the seller is really not cricket

    • Chris
      3 years ago

      Thanks for the response.
      We ourselves do mainly Fashion, and expect returns.
      Though it is concerning, I would be concerned a buyer could wear said item for a weekend out then now return easily and say ‘there is a mark/hole etc’.

      I would imagine the category of Clothing will be one of the first to be rolled out..

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    being poked in the eye by paying for a return because the buyers not being honest is one thing ,
    but the follow on kick in the nuts to your seller standing is simply revolting

  • Emma
    3 years ago

    Many thanks for the feedback, just a few answers to your questions and comments:

    eBay only requires you to pay for the return shipping if something is wrong with the item, if the buyer tries to abuse the system then you can ‘report a returns issue’, and eBay will investigate. We are also refining our buyer abuse detection systems every time you report a buyer to prevent buyers ‘learning the system’.

    The postage rate we have at present with Collect+ will be useful for some sellers but not for low value items, but we are working to get the rates as low as we can with Royal Mail on board from Autumn. The rate used will be a tracked return rate from Royal Mail, the buyer doesn’t get a choice of service, we will simply go with the cheapest service available for the weight of your item (remember the buyer pays unless the item is damaged). If you have low value items in the mean time you can opt-in and set a rule to not have them returned.

    For large items that our couriers won’t take, we don’t ask the buyer to use managed returns, we direct them to contact you directly as they currently do today.

    Please do keep any questions coming, I am very keen to hear what everyone thinks and help to clarify where I can.

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      Hi Emma
      Who are you?

    • 3 years ago

      I’m happy to confirm that Emma is in the seller team at eBay (which I am sure she’ll expand upon).

      I’d like to remind everyone that this is a forum for professional business people and exchanges should be framed with that in mind. A spirit of fairminded discussion will also be appreciated.

      Dan

    • john
      3 years ago

      As it is ebay cannot police INR claims. Buyers claim non receipt and it can be seen from there feedback they are ripping off the sellers. Even if a buyer gets naru’d for abusing the buyer protection(big if), I have never heard of any seller being contacted at a later date.
      Even when buyers change stories and lie in claims ebay does next to nothing about it.

      And I assume this new rule / policy regarding returns will be exempt/modified for the outlets.

      14 years I have been on ebay. my inventory started in the early days at less 300 separate auction. Today we have over 1000. Sales are diminishing due to the shocking best match and various other policies. You continually mess with the site and half the policies/improvements? are either badly implemented or just don’t work.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      as dan has pointed out were professional business people,

      WE for one do not believe based on extensive experience ,that ebay do anything at all to sanction buyers who wrongly claim return items are defective or protect sellers

      and emmas patronising comments just epitomise the situation

    • mw
      3 years ago

      I would suggest thst the implementation of managed returns has more to do with the kick-back ebay gets for the “negotiated” service than it does for buyer experience. If I am wrong I am happy to be corrected ebay.
      The idea is potty and will only drive up prices as sellers try to compensate for the extra costs incurred. I guess Emma has never sold anything through ebay and experienced the service levels when something goes wrong. She should try it and see how it feels when the money is hers – sorry to pick on Emma, but if you post you should accept replies.
      Worst case scenario would be for a buyer to pick 20 plus items from your listing, have them delivered, then over the weekend try them all and returning all but 1 (maybe as a pack maybe individually at sellers expense – recorded delivery costs an extra £1.10 per package at the moment) because the colour was not quite right or the fit unsuitable. At least the current system puts some onus on the buyer to make a sensible decision (because they have to pay to return it) and not use sellers as their own personal shop to use and abuse at will. The end game will be small sellers going bust because they cannot afford the continuing cost rises that both ebay and Royal Mail implement – Soon enough Bricks and Mortar shops will be cheaper at this rate.

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      Hi Emma (eBay seller team)
      With Amazon managed returns there is the option for the seller to just send the buyer the opportunity to print an unpaid for “returns” label. Why doesn’t eBay implement this?. It makes much more sense for low value and small items. It also gives the buyer more flexibility. And it works.

      There is also the option to refund more than originally paid so postage costs (and if needed additional costs) can be conveniently and easily paid to the buyer, when processing a refund, Couldn’t eBay implement this solution.

    • Cambridge_Blue
      3 years ago

      Well said Jimbo.
      All eBay had to do was basically copy the Amazon approach and put some better graphics around it since that system works.
      Instead the MBA wonks who have never traded online in their lives then decided to ‘improve’ matters by taking the key decision about who decides on whether the buyer pays away from eBay sellers.
      So now you are at the mercy of the buyer plus you are now expected to pay a ridiculous amount for a tracked return.
      We simply can’t believe this level of stupidity from eBay.

    • Tony
      3 years ago

      Amazon are a retailer, and know how to operate and implement these systems. Ebay are inexperienced in this, and it shows.

      I wonder if Mark Lewis would have allowed this to happen if he was still in charge?

    • 3 years ago

      “eBay only requires you to pay for the return shipping if something is wrong with the item, if the buyer tries to abuse the system then you can ‘report a returns issue”

      That system is about as useful as when eBay update TOS and then give you a link to shut your account if you don’t like it.

  • radroach
    3 years ago

    “If you have low value items in the mean time you can opt-in and set a rule to not have them returned”

    So a buyer can claim a refund on any flimsy pretext and get to keep the item anyway?

    • john
      3 years ago

      That ones a joke…we currently do this anyway, but we only do it if the buyers attitude merits it. And as you have said as soon as the buyer finds out they can get products free there will be a percentage that take advantage.

    • JD
      3 years ago

      Automated theft? eBay wouldn’t be promoting that surely?

  • Mark
    3 years ago

    Hi Emma, I would just like to know why ebay seem intent on penalising sellers?
    why should an after sale query from buyer regarding delivery or an items use go against seller?

    why should a refund for an unwanted item go against a seller? why should a 3 for item as described go against a seller, it’s overkill,
    I can understand why negatives / 1 and 2’s would be a defect but the amount of cases that are opened just when buyer wants to ask a question is going to affect a sellers account standing is wrong,

  • Richard
    3 years ago

    Although I’ve only scraped the surface of the Seller Update so far, impressions are that it’s all just a step too far. The amount of effort to sell relitively low value items really isn’t worth the effort and hoop-jumping anymore. Sad that it’s come to this after being a member for 14 years and a business seller for the last decade. eBay is just too much effort for increasingly poor returns. I’m going to be dedicating 100% of my effort towards my website from now on, probably puling the plug on eBay by August or sooner if things go better than planned.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    DAN
    “Id like to remind everyone that this is a forum for professional business people and exchanges should be framed with that in mind. A spirit of fairminded discussion will also be appreciated.”

    could you please make this point to emma, and add patronising to your comment

    to emma,
    has any seller every won a case for wrongful claim for INR

    • john hadlow
      3 years ago

      I have never won an INR, unless the buyer eventually admits to getting the item.
      SNAD’S I have won a few occasions by tripping the buyer up and proving they were lying in the resolution centre/my messages. Sometimes the buyers make up different excuses in the the my ebay messages and the resolution centre. But the deception has to be clean cut for it to be won by the seller.

      Something you will be unable to do in the managed returns, I assume.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    Emma
    have you every experienced the futility of reporting a buyer to ebay
    costing even more time and frustration

    • mw
      3 years ago

      I agree. Live Chat takes a minimum of 20 minutes to connect before even starting a to chat. Ridiculous!

  • JD
    3 years ago

    @ Emma,
    You make it sound so simple with: ‘remember the buyer pays unless the item is damaged’.

    But that isn’t so is it?
    What about wrong item, wrong size, wrong colour (that’s a particularly difficult one), and then there is a whole tranche of sellers who currently offer to pay for change of mind returns as well.

    There are sellers whose service is personal, who get to know their customers and who encourage dialogue and who are happy to have returns sent untracked. Buyers and sellers are going to be stuck with an overpriced service.

    And then there are items that are small and cost little to return – the rate card from RM will be very interesting. Unless the rates are very cheap indeed, the service will fall into the ‘rip off’ category. And that will do very little for the eBay image will it?

    This is imported procedure from US where tracking is very cheap, not so in UK.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      we have been part of the managed return program since its onset,
      the yodel driver never ever asks for a signature its just thrown in the door,
      good job were honest?

      we have even had a neutral because collect+ lost a returned item , ebay “managed” not to remove it,

      99% of buyers always claim item defective, the very occasional buyer thatpays for the return stands out , is unexpected ,commented on and admired,
      not once have we had the return postage cost returned from ebay ,not once have we even been acknowledged when reporting obvious misuse

  • Gareth
    3 years ago

    For seller’s outside of the UK, but registered on the UK site, what happens when this becomes mandatory? eBay simply say in their FAQ:

    I am based outside the UK, but I list items on eBay.co.uk. Can I use managed returns?
    – You can use managed returns if you actively list on eBay.co.uk and you have:
    – An account on eBay.co.uk
    – A registered address in the UK
    – A returns address in the UK

    Will we be exempt?
    As it stands I sell low value items so just refund rather than ask for a return, which I see eBay will make provisions for, but I still don’t know what happens with international selllers?

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    For transactions completed between November and December, you’ll need to offer an extended holiday returns period to continue receiving your eBay Premium Service benefits. This includes accepting any returns until 31 January.

    I am going to buy all of herefords gifts sets on the first of November any that have not sold sell I will return in january

    FFS on a bike 3 months return sanctioned by ebay is just plain crazy,
    no trs seller discount for us over Christmas then

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      theres Christmas crackers and then there is just plain crackers

    • JD
      3 years ago

      So keep the 14 or 30 days returns as now and get premium service discounts for 10 months of the year.

      Just let those 2 months go.

      Simply a business decision.

    • admiralhardinge
      3 years ago

      Dream on – extended periods? Did they extend periods over Christmas for delivery. No – even though Royal Mail advise they can not keep to normal delivery performance at this time of year. Every time a buyer wants to ask for delivery info it opens a case, and that is a defect.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    yes of course just the 2 busiest months of the year,
    though we could simply buy up all our competitions stock and return it to them in January if their daft enough to offer such a ridiculous return policy

  • Emma from eBay
    3 years ago

    Hi All

    In the spirit of this being a professional forum, I would hope you would exchange me the same courtesy as any other professional and refrain from personal jibes.

    I am happy to answer questions and clarify where I can.

    eBay are not getting a kick back from this, it is not in our interest to do so, we want to keep the prices low for both buyers and sellers. As you have all identified they are currently not low enough at the moment and we are working on this.

    Majority of returns we are seeing come through are for remorse reasons and in this case the buyer pays for the returns shipping. I would like to understand which category ‘Northumbrian’ is in if he is seeing all of his items come back with him having to pay shipping.

    No signature is required for the parcels, it’s all done with a scan, this scan is also shown to the buyer so they know the item has come back to you and changes the next steps you need to complete in the returns dashboard.

    In terms of sellers who would like to pay for the return shipping for their buyers this can be done by changing your structured returns fields in your listing to say ‘sellers pays’ for the return shipping. You are right though in that this won’t be on a customer by customer basis, and in this way we will be losing the personal touch, but ultimately we need to get a consistent returns process for our buyers on site.

    The system does offer up a label, very similar to the Amazon process, however the reasons selected by the buyer for the return decide who pays for the postage, but of course as I mentioned before you can ‘report a returns issue’.

    I would like to hear your thoughts on if you see buyers abusing returns today and what you do about it? The law is quite lenient towards buyers in this country right now on this. Is this just a hazard of doing business online? How would you protect against buyers abusing the returns reasons to get free returns shipping if you were eBay?

    • mw
      3 years ago

      “The law is quite lenient towards buyers in this country right now on this.”
      Where does it say in any legislation UK or EU that the seller pays for return if the customer simply changes their mind? It clearly states that they get the outward post refunded, which is right and proper, but the return is up to the seller to decide and/or agree with the buyer. Leave it at that in my opinion. If ebay does not get a kick-back then why are they bothering with it?
      Concentrate on improving ebay customer service, which is the very worst in the online business and show some evidence of clearing out dishonet buyers which plague the site. Stop tinkering with stuff too as this puts buyers off more than anything else.

    • admiralhardinge
      3 years ago

      The right of the seller to return because they change their mind is in Distance Selling Regs and has been for a number of years. Buying online, the buyer does not need to have a reason to return. they can just do it.

      The regs although well intentioned, are penurious and damaging where a buyer wants to use them to the letter of the law.

    • mw
      3 years ago

      I believe the regulations only refer to who pays return post where the item is not as advertised or not suitable for purpose (faulty). They make no mention of who pays the return post when the buyer changes their mind.

    • Frustrated Ebay Trader
      3 years ago

      “I believe the regulations only refer to who pays return post where the item is not as advertised or not suitable for purpose (faulty). They make no mention of who pays the return post when the buyer changes their mind”

      The DSA/DSR gives the buyer the right to return any item (apart from a few exceptions) for any reason (within a set period of time). It also clearly states that unless the seller has advised otherwise prior to sale then the seller must cover the cost of returning the item. If they state upfront in their description that the buyer pays for returns made under the DSR then the buyer has to pay.

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      Hi Emma
      I think you have misunderstood my point about Amazon – Amazon offers a way of handling returns that allows the item to be returned to the seller in a way that is both convenient (to both buyer and seller) and appropriate (for the item to be returned) and then it allows the seller to reimburse it an easy way. It also allows the seller to compensate the buyer beyond the actual postage cost, if need be. Their returns process is consistent, user friendly and is not overly open to abuse.

      There is really not an issue over who pays for return postage as this is decided by the law (Distance Selling Regulations).

    • Cambridge_Blue
      3 years ago

      Emma most business sellers on eBay understand the law with respect to DSR and SOGA very well indeed and most of us manage our returns process very carefully.
      Taking the decision away from the seller in respect of whether the buyer pays for the return in the fist instance is simply wrong & unnecessary.
      To then add the requirement to use an extremely expensive tracked returns option (unlike the US where that option is more economic) as well just damages our margins still further.
      The decision about who pays in the first instance for any return from any customer for any reason should always be made by the seller not the buyer.
      Otherwise it is going to be ‘open season’ across many of the categories on eBay.

    • john
      3 years ago

      Our product span the whole site. We have diversified since ebay decided there customer was the buyer and not the seller. Also due to the best match fiasco.

      Regarding scam buyers/chancers. We either trip them up in the resolution centre/ebay messages. Thus ebay see it and go in our favour.(if concrete)
      Or we fully refund in exchange for non-return/feedback too save us being hit with a big stick from ebay.
      If the buyer has an attitude we take the hit from ebay. Ebay do not seem to kick bad buyers into touch and now this is the sellers only option.
      50% of our disputes Either go in our favour or ebay refund out of there own pocket.

      That’s how we handle inr or snad. ALL unreasonable buyers go on the block bidder list. For INR most people get a replacement sent out, unless they have feedback that rings alarm bells.

      With the new system SNAD is snad. So we do not have any option to get around it. There will be a percentage increase in the claims. And a substantial cost to the seller.

      Just because buyer shouts SNAD does not mean it is SNAD.

      A good product by a good seller is never SNAD. Faulty maybe. But a good seller will always put rite.

      I would much prefer you got you big stick out and beat me than MAKE me refund for every SNAD and destroy me search standing.

      90% of the new ebay policies Seem to be set to bolster profits and under the guise of forcing good customer service. You have a minority of bad sellers and are tarring the good sellers with the same brush. Because its easier and more profitable.

      I would like to ask again “Are the OUTLETS immune to the managed returns policy or given concessions”

    • Eba yousuck
      3 years ago

      Emma, first of all, “report the buyer” link is there to report a buyer and it doesn’t work as efficiently to remove the malicious buyers at fault when compared to the high efficiency the malicious buyers damage small sellers, top rated sellers, big or small. Even when they are removed from eBay, they come back with new accounts as there is very little verification process from eBay’s part.

      All I see is you introducing more ways to make a seller more vulnerable to malicious buyers.

      Assuming there are top rated sellers with mostly having feedback over 99% for hundreds of thousands of transactions combined for all those sellers (which essentially means that 99 out 100 customers did not have problems). If there is a particular buyer who has a density of negative+neutral feedback which is higher than a particular such as 99% of the total feedback that he has left should essentially mean that he is doing something different to the average buying behaviour.

      For example, a seller who has sold 2000 items in month and has had 5 negative feedback ratings out of 1000 positive feedback means he has had 5/2000 (1 out of 400) customers who has left a negative feedback and 1 out of 200 if compared with the ones who have left feedback.
      In this example, we get a buyer who left a negative feedback for this seller who himself has bought 100 items on eBay in his lifetime, left 50 ratings and 5 negative ratings spread evenly over time. He has essentialy had 1 negative experiene per 20 transactions on eBay. On top of that, 1 negative feedback rating out of 10 ratings on the feedback’s he has left. How did he manage to have such a consistent bad experience on eBay and continue buying. Also, why is it the case that at rate he is leaving negative feedback is actually 20 times the amount that a top rated seller is getting negative feedback.

      Why not have a logarithmic function which reduces the impact of the buyer’s feedback if he is consistently found to be leaving negative feedback or even limit it a few feedback’s higher than the average. For example if he bought 200 items in a month, limit his feedback to 3 negative feedback per 100 items if the items were bought from Top rated sellers with 99%+ feedback.
      How is it possible for just 1 buyer to have a consistently bad experience on eBay and yet they keep going on buying more and more on eBay and bashing sellers’ feedback ratings. It is because they aren’t actually having a problem with the buying experience, they are just used to getting items for free by exploiting poor system eBay has to protect sellers. And, when they don’t get an item for free they leave a negative feedback in retaliation.

      My cousin himself uses eBay for his free shopping spree. For example, he ordered a T-shirt and took off the tags and said that the item was used. eBay accepted an image as a proof to see the tags weren’t there and now sent out a replacement which he asked to be of a different color as apparently the color also didn’t exactly match the one on the listing and he still wasn’t satisfied so he left him a negative feedback for not being straight forward and making him take a photo. Then the buyer got back to him asking him why did he do that. He said that the return process was bad, so the buyer offered a full refund to satisfy him. My cousin said that he will remove the feedback once the refund is received, and when the refund was received, his reply read “I have now changed my mind to not change the feedback”. So in the end, he got 2 items + refund + damaged a genuine sellers rating. He does with every once in a while. He would buy a lot of 99p items to increase the transaction count and then on the more expensive items he would do get them for free. He prefers to leave negative feedback for smaller sellers as they are the ones who “sh*t themselves” on every new feedback and would do anything to have it removed.
      The irony is here that he himself is an eBay seller and this was his way of getting back to “his money” as the same happens to him on a day to day basis (He calls it “Reverse Karma”). He says that he knows how to exploit a seller as he is exploited by his buyers on a daily basis so as not to trigger eBay. He also says that the buyers with the lower feedback are the worst and care the least about damaging a sellers reputation.

      I also sell on eBay and personally have had buyers who have left me negative feedback without making contact and when I made contact one of them said that item was faulty. I covered their return postage only to discover item wasn’t even opened up. I put a claim up on eBay phone support and they tell me to “take it on the chin” as our “policies” don’t allows to help you out here (the customer service rep felt sorry that he couldn’t do anything) . So I pay their return postage (which he sent by next day signed delivery costing me around £15.99, when I specifically asked them to sent it via economy service which would have cost them £4.1), and then buyer won’t remove the negative feedback anymore as I tried to go over him by telling eBay about the fact that the item has not even been opened.

      Take a look at this buyer: “kalifab” on eBay. He has had 4 negative experiences out of the total 17 feedback he has left. He either is very unfortunate or intelligent enough to play around with the eBay system or both.

      While I understand the concept of retaliation feedback from a seller to a buyer if a negative feedback is left by the buyer, why not at the same time introduce a private negative feedback rating which allows sellers to see the ratings of the buyer internally by other sellers or at least eBay. You don’t have to make it public, keep it internal. In essence, “report the buyer” is similar to this as I would almost always report all my negative feedback leaving customers as most of them have been unreasonable. Why not make the process of reporting a buyer easier for a seller.

      You can check if the buyer has received internal negative feedback from sellers who the buyer hasn’t even left negative feedback for. This probably shows the case the transaction has been a bad experience for the seller and the buyer has been happy.

      Also, how can eBay manage to not get cheaper return postage when you are buying in bulk probably over a hundred return shipments a day. Even parcel2go dot com can give cheaper rates that you can. Why don’t you get UPS access point to access point as that is significantly cheaper and some sellers might prefer it. I think you need better people in the department where they get your postal contracts as the ones you employ now aren’t great at their job or probably too lazy to search for cheaper deals as it doesn’t hurt them much.

    • admiralhardinge
      3 years ago

      Emma, ebay work very hard to give their buyers a good experience. The problem is they don’t do the same for their sellers who are equally ebay customers.

      It is not surprising to me that there are so many disgruntled sellers out there.

      The facts of the matter are ebay can’t cope with what they have already designed, never mind new developments. Processes and requirements are poorly designed, not robustly tested, and give the impression of never having been near anyone who actually does business through the platform. To claim ebay will resolve issues, investigate etc seems like pie in the sky.

      Current managed returns is a clear example of a process that is faulty, even before extending it. It should never have been released. Many of the complaints were entirely foreseeable, and if ebay had thought through and designed their process accordingly before releasing it then much of this would have been avoided. They didn’t. It came out half-baked and with clear faults. This is unprofessional. If you are charging for use of your platform you need to perform professionally in return.

      The rates for Collect+ are the same as available on line. Whoever negotiated that is clearly not up to the task. That is just a pathetic result. With your consolidated usage through ebay you should be able to supply us with rates that are better than anything we could get directly with Collect+, My Hermes or Royal Mail. Anything less is a failure. If Parcelmonkey, Parcel 2 Go and many others can do this, why can’t ebay?

    • Bas of Bristol
      3 years ago

      The way to stop abuse of the system?

      Clearly, if eBay are right, the best way is:

      (a) punish sellers the minute a buyer has a query

      (b) refuse to allow the buyer to request an exchange for the RIGHT size shoes

      (c) remove all seller discretion

      (d) put it entirely in the buyer’s power to decide whether the item was as described, while fining him the entire return cost if he makes the wrong call, and preventing him from contacting the seller to ASK how to find the ON switch on his new Television, or how to tie his new designer Wunda-Tie-Shoe-Lacez or enquire whether the seller recommends the Extra short or Petite length cocktail dress for his 4’2″ wife, as regrettably the Maxi length looked more like a wedding dress with train – whereas the item description, showed it as being calf-length.

      (e) give all buyers, including business sellers and competitors, an unlimited right of return for 90 days over Christmas, so that businesses have their stock on sale-or-return, and their sellers get landed with all unsaleable stock back on their doorsteps in February. This was a brilliant idea, designed apparently to ensure that my competitor can buy up all my stock, give himself a monopoly of the market, and ensure my Christmas trading income is zero – because I’ll have to refund it all after the January sales. This scheme which you (or someone with a similar amount of retail experience) have devised, is clearly not open to abuse in any way.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    Emma even though you request courtesy I find your comment distasteful and close to accusation
    our category is jewellery

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    to help you “understand” last 3 returns below we can email you item numbers if you wish

    ~ 25-Feb-14 Item defective Return closed £101.01 £101.01 —
    04-Mar-14 Item defective Return closed £99.00 £99.00 —
    05-Mar-14 Item defective Return closed £252.99 £252.99 —

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    “but of course as I mentioned before you can ‘report a returns issue’.”
    emma have you
    any evidence or data ,that any seller has every been refunded or
    had a case found in their favour concerning a return Issue?

    • David Brackin
      3 years ago

      Northumbrian –
      I’m looking through our returns issues in order to give the seller team more feedback. I have a return which was found in our favour just a couple of weeks ago.

      A computer was returned as SNAD — in fact what it needed was an operating system. The buyer gave it to Collect+ without any packaging. Unsurprisingly it arrived badly smashed. We reported the buyer and got a nice email saying that we’d objected to the buyers INR claim. Odd. And then it’s closed in our favour.

      At least I think it was found in our favour. We still have the money, but I have completely no idea what happened, and the returns centre doesn’t really enlighten me. I can’t check whether we are being invoiced by eBay as that invoice isn’t searchable.

      Managed returns is directionally correct and broadly a good thing that eBay are doing. Buyer confidence in the marketplace should increase if the returns process is clear and easy. In fact a lot of this is about design and presentation, not about the underlying process flow (something that is often hard for the intelligent readers of Tamebay, and super-intelligent product-designers at eBay to intuitively grasp). It’s not finished yet and I appreciate they are working to improve it. I don’t think it should be compulsory. If it’s better, then we’ll use it. If we’re not using it, then they need to try harder.

      As to Emma’s specific question about what should happen in cases of dispute — there needs to be a well-tracked flow that everyone can see when and how the parties disagree on what happened. Usually the dispute is just around the P&P, not the item cost, but items worn over the weekend and returned on Monday and broken / adjusted items have to exist in the flow. Even if eBay can’t resolve then it really helps to have the facts laid out so the next authority can build on the work rather than start from scratch.

      Perhaps it’s not necessary for eBay to make a decision in 100% of cases (although if it wants the brand-value of doing so, it will need to pay out in a few rare instances).

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      buy a lottrry ticket quick

  • Unmanaged Returns
    3 years ago

    Emma,

    Can you possibly shed any light on whether it will be a particular group of business sellers (e.g., Premium Service sellers) that will be opted into managed returns first, or will it just be a rolling cohort of business sellers, in general?

    This is important to us for planning purposes, as we would like to gauge how long we will be remaining on eBay. We will NOT sign up for the managed returns programme, as we refuse to rip off our customers. We do not require them to pay for tracked postage in order to obtain a refund, and while we very rarely experience returns, most of them can be sent to us via Royal Mail at £1.20 or less. Nor will we allow our customers to keep merchandise in lieu of returning, unless the item is clearly defective or damaged.

  • Hereford United fan
    3 years ago

    Emma

    I would also like to know timelines as I think I will also have to leave eBay.

    My sales 1 year ago were over £30k per month. They have now dropped to just over £11k.

    I sell items that generally cost me around £2.5 and I make around £1 on each item.

    I can not join in this process.

    If I start telling customers that they can keep the product if they don’t like it I might as well take all my stock to the charity shop and save myself the bother of wrapping it.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    were not imagining it nor are we making it up ,were in the trenches at the sharp end ,a full time business ,
    ebay can stick its head in the sand!
    its real
    many buyers manipulate and game the system with impunity, ebay can say report them, though anything ebay are doing seems not to be having any effect, we feel on our own and unsupported by ebay

  • Frustrated Ebay Trader
    3 years ago

    If we know that we made an error in the listing or the buyer can prove it wasn’t as described then we always refund the buyer for return shipping (or let them keep the product if it is low value).

    If we are unsure whether it is SNAD then we get it returned and then act accordingly (refunding the return shipping if buyer is correct),

    If we categorically know the buyer is lying then the only recourse we have at the moment is to make them pay to return the item (even if we don’t want it back!) .

    This is our business decision to make as we can not rely on ebay to know when the buyer is lying. For example we may sell and send out a green jumper and the buyer claims it’s red…we have never had red jumpers but how would ebay know that?

    Just as an example…we sold a product to a guy that then emailed us to ask how to use it…we explained. He then said that he was unhappy with the product as it was too fiddly for him to use even after he had modified it. Factor into it that this item was a hygiene product. We declined the return stating he had used it (it had been in his mouth) and he had modified it. He started a SNAD dispute claiming it was broken and ebay found in his favour EVEN after we rang them and referred them to all his ebay messages. So if you can not trust ebay to realise when that buyer was lying and ripping a seller off then what hope have you got with the smarter more devious buyers!

  • Shazina
    3 years ago

    I am a seller on ebay selling personalised invitations and I’m worried about these changes. It is already hard for sellers in this recession and to be forced into paying extra charges for returns or letting the customer keep the goods just to avoid the costs or bad feedback will no doubt put many sellers at financial risk – why make this harder for sellers to earn a living.
    From years of experience I carefully list what I sell and a customer will always win in a dispute despite having evidence stating otherwise. Because I sell personalised items I always state the type of card I print on and provide a emailed proof to them for approval to avoid errors. Some customers have then raised a claim of the item not as described because the card is not thick enough or a spelling error has been made, by them, yet I lose the case very time. I can’t even re-sell the product because it is personalised so I am out of pocket each time. This does not happen often and I am happy to work with the customer to agree a solution, but this will change things automatically that they can return and get a refund for a product that I cannot resell and will be out of pocket for the cost, postage and return.
    Emma, please can you tell me how you will deal with personalised goods for returns?

  • A Nonny Mouse
    3 years ago

    admiralhardinge asked:
    “Processes and requirements are poorly designed, not robustly tested, and give the impression of never having been near anyone who actually does business through the platform”

    I must clarify that I am one of the lucky folks who are invited down to the eBay Seller Council meetings on a regular basis. We chat with the polite and respectful eBay glitterati – the delightful Emma included of course.
    The contents of this eBay Seller Release are discussed with sellers from various selling categories to gauge opinion.
    I think that eBay get the true opinions from the sellers in the meeting but in my experience I have not known an expressed opinion to be acted upon or for it to have changed the way that eBay wanted to go.
    With this particular hot potato I expressed my concern in my particular category meeting and highlighted ALL the issues to eBay on the day that are being voiced here. So before the Seller Release was sent out yesterday, eBay were aware of the type of concerns that sellers have. They are proactive in wanting to hear what sellers have to say. They do listen. They do take notes and discuss. However I get the impression that the mind is made up before such opinions are solicited.
    As for me, I always look for ways around something if being bullied by the big companies. I must admit though that I am struggling with a way to find a loophole with this one. But my postman did say to me today, when I asked him, that if I didn’t accept a scanned item back then he could not scan it as being delivered to me. So where would that leave us all if nothing was confirmed as being delivered back to a seller, and sent back to the buyer as “return to sender”?

    • Simon Everett
      3 years ago

      Appreciate your time “A Nonny Mouse” and interesting hearing your experiences and opinions.
      Love your part about “loopholes”.
      This, with anything however fair or unfair, is how I feel life is.
      Everyone, sadly have to look for the loopholes.
      Google and other huge companies look for loopholes so they don;t pay tax, it’s part of the game.
      I fear even the rejected returns may not work as if the the returned parcel to the seller ONLY has to be scanned by the postie before delivery then it is classed as delivered.

      If I feel unfair feedback, I have to look to entrap the customer across ebay messages so that I can have justice.

      At then end of the day if I don;t like it or can’t afford to give money away, I know the it’s put up or get out.

    • Unmanaged Returns
      3 years ago

      Nonny Mouse,

      Thank you for your impressions of eBay decision-making. Sadly, it confirms what I’ve suspected right along: that eBay take their decisions, and input from sellers is really just for eBay management to figure out how to present the decisions to make them most palatable.

      We use eBay solely to drive traffic to our website, and in that it has been most successful. We’ve known, from past experience with eBay’s updates, that eBay was no place to build a long-term business.

      We have a returns policy that is fully DSR-compliant and which works well for both our business and our customers. The Managed Returns programme would leave our customers worse off. It’s our business name and reputation that’s on the line, and for that reason alone, we cannot countenance being part of eBay’s Managed Returns programme.

      I look forward to hearing from Emma soon as to when the last of the business sellers can expect to be enrolled in Managed Returns.

    • A Nonny Mouse
      3 years ago

      I think you are right.
      Somewhere along the line I thought that the eBay Seller Council was a way for eBay to listen to, and if necessary implement, the ideas & thoughts of business sellers. To help address the concerns of the struggling entrepreneur and to address the perceived imbalance in the seller / buyer relationship. A relationship where the seller feels that they are being consistently trampled upon.
      Perhaps it was just an assumption of mine that the meetings were for just that. My bad. I should have read the small print.
      But I now think that they are a tool to help eBay package their communications to appeal the most – with the least amount of fall-out.
      I guess there’s nothing wrong with that. I like to revisit / proof read comms that I send out to ensure that no offence or misunderstanding is meant. So it makes sense to try it on a sample audience. And if eBay would like to utilise the experience of sellers to do that, then fine. As long as the sellers are fully aware that they are there for that purpose. And not to help shape policy.
      But I do think that they are missing a trick. Not once in my “managed returns” discussion did I hear any seller pro-actively endorse it or hail it as the best way forward. In fact the opposite was true in varying degrees. I think this is where eBay could have taken the vibe and acted on it. And we could have been having a completely different conversation now.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      oh how we wish ebay would listen? to a well balanced common sense attitude such as yours,

  • A Nonny Mouse
    3 years ago

    admiralhardinge asked:
    “Processes and requirements are poorly designed, not robustly tested, and give the impression of never having been near anyone who actually does business through the platform”

    I must clarify that I am one of the lucky folks who are invited down to the eBay Seller Council meetings on a regular basis. We chat with the polite and respectful eBay glitterati – the delightful Emma included of course.
    The contents of this eBay Seller Release are discussed with sellers from various selling categories to gauge opinion.
    I think that eBay get the true opinions from the sellers in the meeting but in my experience I have not known an expressed opinion to be acted upon or for it to have changed the way that eBay wanted to go.
    With this particular hot potato I expressed my concern in my particular category meeting and highlighted ALL the issues to eBay on the day that are being voiced here. So before the Seller Release was sent out yesterday, eBay were aware of the type of concerns that sellers have. They are proactive in wanting to hear what sellers have to say. They do listen. They do take notes and discuss. However I get the impression that the mind is made up before such opinions are solicited.
    As for me, I always look for ways around something if being bullied by the big companies. I must admit though that I am struggling with a way to find a loophole with this one. But my postman did say to me today, when I asked him, that if I didn’t accept a scanned item back then he could not scan it as being delivered to me. So where would that leave us all if nothing was confirmed as being delivered back to a seller, and sent back to the buyer as “return to sender”?

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      so what is the point of these seller councils ? other than market research to pre warn ebay if they listen and take notes but no discernible action it taken ,

    • john
      3 years ago

      I did not think they had committee’s/councils anymore. mind you also thought the pinks were scrapped on the forums…now they are called blue’s lol

      I have tried to stay away from the propaganda and politics of ebay since the dsr’s came into force.

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      Another possibility would to be to send a returns docket/alternative instructions out with your item.

  • Samy
    3 years ago

    Hi
    I can see clearly that the issue with this new return scheme is not only providing the customers with great service and experience, it is selling the return service to the sellers.
    obviously eBay will get a cheap return service from royal mail or collect plus and sell it to the sellers at higher prices.

    If eBay honest and transparent about the new return policy, would ask the seller to provide or upload their own return postal labels as many sellers have their own return service with curriers or the royal mail.

    Any seller protection or safeguard brought by eBay is only a joke, many buyers have been reported for blackmailing and abusing all these policy and the are living on eBay happy ever after abusing and blackmailing more and more.

    there are 3 types of items are sold on ebay
    1- cheap small items, according to the new return policy obviously, eBay asking to refund the buyer and writ off the item it is not worth the return cost.
    2- large items which ebay is still not sure how to deal with it
    3-quite valuable items which worth returning but you will be lucky as a seller if you receive it back as one piece.

    Im not sure why all these discussions about the new policy as it will not make any different as ebay has taken the decision aleardy to sell the sellers to buyers very cheap. what you need to do as sellers is that doubling your prices and make the buyers pay for all these jokes.
    at the end if every case will be counted against the seller, what is the incentive for the sellers to deal and solve it as the damage has happened.

  • JD
    3 years ago

    An observation.
    eBay already sells RM postage on the site. It is sold at non discounted RM rates. eBay gets a kick-back from RM for ‘selling’ the postage.
    It is likely that the RM ‘rate card’ for managed returns will be at the same prices and will therefore be uncompetitive compared with RM contract rates that are available to business sellers.
    If the RM ‘rate card’ is at any sort of discount to the prices at which eBay sells first time postage, any seller simply MUST INSIST that eBay sells the first time RM postage at no more than the prices for return!!
    This is because the service provided by RM for either first time delivery or return IS EXACTLY THE SAME.
    eBay will be accused of nefarious practice if there is a difference and any referral to the OFT would likely find against eBay.
    What do you think?

    • john
      3 years ago

      I think they can do what they want as you are just a user abiding by there contract.

      Until they cross a line no external body will get involved.

      I am hoping for a split off of ebay and paypal. Some fireworks from the big outlets would be good. But I have alwatys been adamant the outlets would turn on ebay sooner or later.

    • JD
      3 years ago

      You think that the managed returns charge can be anything that eBay wants? I am giving a yardstick by which sellers can measure whether or not eBay’s postage and returns rates are reasonable.

    • admiralhardinge
      3 years ago

      John, not so. Ebay can not impose conditions that break other laws. Such conditions are null and void under law. I also agree that ebay need to be very careful. There is all kinds of restrictive practice and unfair trading practice legislation they must comply with, and in my view anything that forces a seller to pay more than necessary is likely to fall foul of this legislation.

      Signing up to ebay’s user agreement does not give Ebay carte blanche to ignore legislation that exists to protect businesses and consumers.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      As a former qualified liability claims handler in the insurance industry I can confirm you are correct admiralhardinge.

      The law is crystal clear that a claimant (in this case the buyer/ebay) has a duty to mitigate their losses and not seek to incur or increase costs unnecessarily. They are entitled, under law, only to reimbursement of reasonable and proportional costs and where the defendant (ie us sellers) can demonstrate failure to mitigate (by comparative shipping rates for example) they are only obligated to pay those rates.

      Whilst an individual private buyer has some leniency in these matters, ebay would not as they are a multi national company with existing ties to carriers.

      If ebay wish to effectively take the role of intermediary in referring, processing and enforcing the terms of a return shipping carrier/service/price they by virtue of this become party to the return process itself, and as such the duty to mitigate.

      In summary, Ebay should take great care to ensure they are not seen to profit in any way from this as I believe the OFT would consider it abuse of their position.

      For the legal geeks out there like me, this is quite a fascinating situation……

    • Simon Everett
      3 years ago

      This makes me think about Amazon and their UTURN on competitive pricing parity, or whatever they named it.
      Enough people complained to the OFT and although still in the USA, I believe, from europe it is no more (for now).
      I suppose it is going to be a wait and see!!.
      Once again thanks to “A Nonny Mouse” for this really interesting insight. Also thanks to “Emma” for, excuse the phrase, having the balls to come on here.
      She must know it would not be well received but still spoke.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      we welcome some input from ebay though we dont understand what it achieved? other than to add to the frustration and annoyance

  • Paul
    3 years ago

    How much will ebay actually pay RM for a returned parcel? Will we see prroof or will that information be commercial in confidence? And how much will they charge the seller? I bet there’s a difference in ebay’s favour.

    I don’t like the idea that ebay will now have an incentive to see parcels returned to a seller. It spells trouble for us.

  • Hereford United fan
    3 years ago

    Dan

    Could you ask Emma to respond to the questions? It was great that she came on but now she seems to have disappeared.

    Thanks

    • Unmanaged Returns
      3 years ago

      Thank you for that. I was wondering where Emma was. It would be nice if she could at least let us know when she expects to have answers to our questions, if she can’t answer them now. Leaving people hanging when they’ve promised to stay in touch is a bit inconsiderate of eBay.

    • Dave from Trumpton
      3 years ago

      If you were a Buyer she’d buy you dinner

    • Unmanaged Returns
      3 years ago

      That’s the irony: I AM a buyer on eBay, as are most sellers, something which eBay seems to forget.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      yes we would like answers to
      veiled ransom demands like this we just received
      that would result in a defect, other than waste out time and effort clicking report

      I like the item and don’t want to return it but i would like a small reduction in the price to allow for this and make me happier.I was thinking of £15.00

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Northumbrian, Imagine when these buyers (or rather post-sale discount negotiators) have a fixed cost ‘quote’ via ebay they can use as a bartering tool knowing full well you will have to pay it as soon as they hit the “return” button and will do anything to avoid it.

      If there was a genuine interraction and belief that when we report buyers to ebay with cast iron assurances that each report is reviewed and answered and something actually happened I’d go along with these games in the knowledge id get them punished further down the track with my evidence and get my money back.

      Problem is, as Emma at Ebay has found, the collapse in good will, trust and respect between its hardcore longstanding sellers and Ebay staff has been catastrophic in the past 12-18 months and I think judging by Emma’s clearly defensive remarks they really are bewildered as to why us sellers are all so damn angry at them. Id go so far as to say they are dismissive of us as a ‘bunch of whingers’ who don’t appreciate all the ‘amazing things’ they do for us.

      The upshot is if ebay know so much what “good customer service” is then why are they so demonstrably awful at it and so bad at handling their customers, ie us sellers.

      It’s a cliche, but a truism, that if we gave the service to our buyers that ebay customer service gives to us as sellers we would have our accounts closed within a week and be subject to dogs abuse in the process.

      When they turn around and throw stones at us about service they better make sure all the glass is removed from that red blue and yellow house they live in as it stinks of hypocrisy.

      Remember, its not like amazon where you pay when you sell, ebay take money UPFRONT to advertise your goods.

      This makes us buyers, not just their customers agents they seem to think is there to do the dirty job of fulfilment.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      ebay totally ignores the believers of the seller council what chance do heretics like us stand

    • 3 years ago

      Emma has been here again today. I think that’s good. Especially as some sellers have been far from gracious. I think a little bit of patience will go a long way.

      Thanks to everyone who has been polite.

      dw

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      gracious.? were talking about my living if I have not been gracious I dont apologise in any way

    • 3 years ago

      I understand that this is difficult for some. But it’s not fair on eBay employees. Not least because if they used a similar tone in return, plenty of you would be outraged at that. They are here entirely voluntarily and have offered quite a number of of answers.

      My feeling is that if business people want to be taken seriously they should behave in a businesslike way. From experience too, a pleasant approach is far more likely to get a useful, clear response.

      I make no apology for asking people to show a certain level of adult politeness in the company of other grown ups.

      And if you don’t like that. You can piss off. ;)

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      Dan, has Emma acted in business like way? Firstly she did not make it clear that she was an eBay Employee. You informed us that she was an eBay employee and said she would expand upon what her position was (a proper introduction?), which she didn’t. You also started to create this false interpersonal conflict by implying that some do no behave like “professional business people”. Exactly which kind of professional business people do you determine that we should behave like?

      Emma’s second post also started on this semi-confrontational/condescending vain “In the spirit of this being a professional forum…etc.”.

      Again you seem to be taking this condescending approach. This forum is populated by adults not school children.

      Your comments, in my opinion, take the conversation away from the subject at hand.

    • mw
      3 years ago

      I was left with the impression that she did not recognise or care that she was communicating with ebay’s primary customer – the people who pay the fees. It confirmed the impression that we have of what ebay thinks of it’s customers.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      very gracious

    • john
      3 years ago

      Maybe if Emma had also made it clear that she was here for information only. And not feedback/discussion then we could have stayed on a question and answer session.

      Emma was fully aware of what was going to happen here. The exact same that is happening on every other media site/forum.

      It looks to me that ebay employee’s have been told to get the info out and inform.

      Ebay is fully aware of the re-actions of sellers. They have all the stats regarding buyers and sellers. We are telling them nothing they do not know or have already been told by “test” sellers.

      I’ll keep it questions only now. Whether I get a direct answer is another thing.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      cant help thinking impoliteness was already preloaded as a get out clause

  • Dave from Trumpton
    3 years ago

    As far as i’m concerned, these new rules leave Sellers open for more theft,dishonesty and abuse from Buyers.
    Ebay loves to talk about how it will punish Sellers for perceived poor performance, but how does it root out dishonest Buyers exactly ?
    For instance, how is it possible that a Seller can be penalized for having an item returned as “Not as Described”, when that particular listing has 100% Positive Feedback on 1000 sales !!!
    A Buyer can send back anything they like in a packet as long as it weighs the same as the original item, and they WILL get refunded.
    Id like to know EXACTLY what Ebay are doing to deter dishonest Buyers. I cannot see anything on my dashboard that monitors my performance as a Buyer.

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    A lot of well informed sellers making valid reasoned points here and clearly underlining that they already adhere to DSR and seek to give (genuine) customers additional services over and above the minimum.

    Ebay, given its size and buyeing power, have no reason to not obtain a courier rate with a major carrier for up to 30kg large items up to 1.5m x 1.5m for under £6. We did, and we are way smaller than ebay.

    That leaves just small items to be processed at RM packet rates, on a non profit basis. Other than monster items which reasonably can be exempt.

    Should the return rates be higher than these rates then it will serve as evidence to anyone who has their own carrier contracts of clear profiting on the sale of return shipping to buyers, and profiteering at the expense of sellers in inflated/disproportional charges.

    Given that ebay take a firm stance on sellers inflating shipping charges and consider it a breach of policy to do so, it would be a serious matter of bad faith and possible contractual breach to seek to profit in the same way from returns aspects of the contract of sale in any way.

    As we are business people, not buyers or moral crusaders, we see the angles in these proposals as contrary to ebays view we do actually know our own businesses and markets and customers needs and wants.

    It is good that Ebay Emma has engaged in this forum as too often the silence from her masters is deafening. However ‘Nonny’ has demonstrated that listening, and acting are two entirely different things.

    Personally I see ebay glancing at intermediary companies like parcel2go, parcelmonkey etc and see a win-win situation to control returns to make it easier for THEM (not us) to fast track dispute cases in the buyers favour. To do that whilst tacking on a nice money spinner in a re-sellers commission per parcel for returns is christmas come early.

    In summary, if the rates are 1) market rates commensurate with a global company’s contract rate and 2) only enforce against a seller once proof of return DELIVERY has been obtained then I doubt us sellers will complain.

    But try to enforce inflated returns shipping costs on a seller on the pretext of being a condition of selling on ebay and I believe there is grounds to consider breaches of tort law on mitigation and profiteering by placing sellers under duress.

    Ebay rules are one thing, but there is a bigger stick called UK and EU law. Amazon found that out with their ‘parity’ clauses they refused for years to concede were unlawful.

    Ultimately, its just seeking to herd entrepreneurs who by definition are not animals who like being herded anywhere, by anyone.

  • northumbrian
    3 years ago

    “We are also refining our buyer abuse detection systems every time you report a buyer to prevent buyers ‘learning the system’”

    its like trying to prosecute every speeding offence on the MI motorway,
    only the unlucky ,,the stupid, and the dangerous will be caught,,
    the difference is we get the points on our licence for those that slip the net

  • Dave from Trumpton
    3 years ago

    This returns system is just none sense. Where there are large sums of money involved, and the Buyer and Seller cannot resolve the dispute, there should be a Return Address owned by Ebay where the Seller can request the Buyer to send it to for inspection.
    I would gladly pay two return fees and an admin fee to root out the dishonest Buyers.
    I have to be honest, I am quite worried about selling expensive items when Ebay always sides with the Buyer who returns something using tracked post.

  • Emma from eBay
    3 years ago

    Hi All,

    Once again, thanks for the comments, I am taking all of your feedback and will be looking to see how we can make you feel better supported from abusive buyers in the returns system and I can assure you I will do all I can to improve this. To David’s point you are right, we need better visibility and a well tracked flow for when you do report a problem with a return, and clear notifications of the outcome. I am also working on some pieces to try and catch abusive buyers before they even initiate a return.

    I can only keep telling you we are not making a profit from the returned shipping cost, it makes no sense for us to do so, we want to ensure that the cost of the shipping is as low as possible and as you have all identified it’s not cheap enough yet.

    To ‘Nonny-Mouse’ we have had quite a few seller councils over the years and we do take on board all of the feedback and make changes, I can give examples of projects that have been completely pulled thanks to seller’s feedback and others that have changed beyond recognition. Returns is not one that can be pulled if we as a Marketplace want to ensure we all have a competitive future, the changes that online retailers are making in this space and the ways they are using it to their competitive advantage mean that we have to have a consistent returns experience for buyers or we will start to lose them to others who do provide this.

    A lot of the changes that were talked about at the council are also being talked about here, which is good as we are already working on solves where we can. The council was only in Feb, so I may need a bit more time than a month.

    I am taking on board your feedback and will work hard between now and Autumn to make things better.

    Keep telling me what you would like improving with returns. Thanks all. Emma

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      “Keep telling me what you would like improving with returns. Thanks all. Emma”

      SIMPLES

      let us deal with returns and don’t automatically persecute sellers

    • JD
      3 years ago

      @ Emma:
      ‘I can only keep telling you we are not making a profit from the returned shipping cost, it makes no sense for us to do so, we want to ensure that the cost of the shipping is as low as possible and as you have all identified it’s not cheap enough yet’
      That is good to hear, will be better assured when we see the rate cards.
      And when these cheaper rates appear will you please use the same cheap rates to sell postage to sellers in the first place? After all the service provided by RM will be EXACTLY THE SAME, a delivery from A to B.
      Thank you for your thoughts and time.

    • Jimbo
      3 years ago

      Emma
      What you could do is allow buyers to return items by the same method that they chose for delivery, as this obviously a method that they are comfortable with. So if a buyer choose a standard shipping option they should return the item by that same method.

      The method of returning an item needs to be appropriate to that item.

      Who will take responsibility for returns damaged in transit?

      Who is the contract between for returns dispatch (the courier and eBay or the courier and the seller or the courier and the buyer)?

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      I’ll chip in my liability hat position once more if I may?

      The following is my personal view, but backed by hundreds of liability disputes in injury, motor accident, financial loss claims and property theft/damage/inconvenience cases as a former CII member (chartered insurers institute).

      Q: “if a buyer choose a standard shipping option they should return the item by that same method.”

      A: This in fact a principle supported in law on grounds of mitigation and proportionality. A buyer who uses a return shipping service above that originally sent by is liable, under law, to bare the cost of the difference or possibly even have their claim repudiated in full if grossly excessive (ie if they used a 24hr courier at £15 when sent by 2nd class standard post for £3).

      Q: “Who will take responsibility for returns damaged in transit?”.

      A: As the collection/drop off, packaging etc in returns are by the buyers arrangement/duty of care so it stands that the buyer is liable until safely returned back to the goods title owner, ie the seller, in cancellation cases. As a seller was not party to the instruction, packaging or dispatch of the return item they cannot be held liable for loss, delay or damage. It would, in legal principle, be for the buyer to make a claim against the carrier they used from the selection available.

      Q: “Who is the contract between for returns dispatch (the courier and eBay or the courier and the seller or the courier and the buyer)?”

      A: I would say that ebay are merely an intermediary no different to parcel2go for example in this case. Whilst they would facilitate access to a carrier (say RM) and process the payment they would not be direct party to the packing, supervision of contents nor the recipient to sign for, inspect or dispute the state/contents received. They are therefore neither ‘consignor’ nor ‘consignee’. Therefore the contract is between the buyer and the carrier, with ebay liable for the processing/administration errors of the order itself between both parties only.

      The only way to get around the above would be for Ebay to make buyers and sellers sign some form of disclaimer to subrogate their rights similar to an insurance broker handling your insurance policy setup/claims etc.

      However this would place Ebay in a very technical area of law in my view where simply stating “you allow ebay to make decisions on the outcome of a case” would be subject to all manner of legal challenges where for example a £1000 watch was replaced with a wingnut or smashed in transit.

      Personally I think it will work only where sellers have absolute rights to challenge, appeal, negotiate and represent their cases on a formal claims basis.

      That, im afraid, from personal experience is way over your typcial ebay customer service pay grade or legal understanding and enters into the realm of financial loss claims handling.

      I also fail to see how ebay could make a decision overriding the carriers own loss/delay/claims process unless special subrogation contracts were also agreed with each carrier for ebay to be judge, jury and executioner. So ebay would have to sit and wait for the carriers own claim process, I would imagine, or suck up all losses themselves.

      It would certainly be lawful to require a position on liability from the carrier, irrespective of what ebay decided, if a seller demanded it, in ‘goods in transit’ loss/damage cases.

    • john
      3 years ago

      I would like more power to protect myself

      the ability to block buyers by the amount of snad/inr reports created. Taking it a step further the ability to block by “defects” created by buyers would also be useful.

      I do not want to deal with problematic buyers.

      I can handle problematic buyers however I cannot handle the persecution from ebay.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      I agree John.

      Personally I think any buyer, no matter how active, who manages to receive more than 3-5 items in a year “not as described” is either the unluckiest person in the world, misappropriating the term “significant” as an unreasonable/malicious buyer or a crook seeking free/discounted goods.

      I would happily have a buyer filter set to block any buyer who has opened more than 5 cases in an 18 month period as frankly it raises a red flag visible from the moon.

    • john
      3 years ago

      They will never do it. its too fair. It would effect there DSR system and even up the one sided playing field. Same reason you can’t block zero rated buyers

    • john
      3 years ago

      Emma
      Questions
      What incentive for SNAD items is there for me to let the buyer have the item free without having to return it via the managed returns? (ebay has penalised me and there is a good chance buyer is going to neg anyway)

      How long before the system will be tweaked, due to the increase in SNAD reports? (it will be counter productive for sellers to suffer any longer than they have too)

      Will the block buyer Settings be improved so I have more of a chance to filter my customers?

      I am more interested in the last question. With the correct tools I reckon I can half my “unhappy customers”. Under these new rules I now have more unhappy customers as neutral and 3 stars are unhappy.

  • Unmanaged Returns
    3 years ago

    Hi, Emma, good to see that you still engaging with us.

    I note that you have not responded to my query above, about when eBay plans to have all sellers enrolled in the Managed Returns programme. Could you kindly answer my question?

    Thank you.

    • 3 years ago

      This info is in the release: “From autumn 2014, some sellers who already accept returns will be required to use the managed returns process. It’ll then gradually become a requirement for all business sellers. We’ll send emails and information 2 months in advance to these sellers about what this means.”

      My thought would be that exact dates are probably not yet known for implementation six months hence.

    • Unmanaged Returns
      3 years ago

      Perhaps Emma could clarify that she doesn’t yet have that information, if that’s the case. I must say, I really hate that eBay makes announcements of announcements; incomplete information really does leave people in limbo.

    • 3 years ago

      Isn’t it better to have this info so far in advance?

    • Unmanaged Returns
      3 years ago

      Nope – people really don’t like being given incomplete information when it affects their livelihood, it causes too much worry. All we now know is that we will have to shut down our eBay shop, but it leaves us incapable of developing a plan for the upcoming closure. In the absence of any concrete information, I suppose the best course of action is for us to start announcing to our customers that we’ll be leaving eBay later this year, and here’s our website addy. We will also consider what other venues will suit our products.

    • 3 years ago

      So there’s a suggestion to eBay, perhaps they should take it on board?

      Please don’t give us notice of big changes until they are imminent.

      Imagine having this news with a few weeks notice. I can only imagine the uproar. ;)

    • Danny
      3 years ago

      I’d have to agree with Dan on this.They’re giving us PLENTY of time to adapt to this as best we can.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      sorry we dont agree, you wont actually be able to adapt to this until its actual,
      you cant learn to fly until thrown out of the nest, being told how long you have before it happens does not help

    • JD
      3 years ago

      There is no way to adapt until we have the facts!
      How much? No rate card for RM returns.
      When? You will get 2 months notice.
      Xmas returns – up to 3 months – will FVF’s be refunded? Policy was recently changed to say that FVF’s will only be refunded within 30 days of whatever. No mention of 3 months then.
      Confusion is rife on the forums with respect to application of Defects in August and exactly how retrospective aspects will be applied to Sellers on 12 months lookback.
      What are the facts?

      Perhaps eBay do not have the facts – perhaps they are simply keeping them back.

    • northumbrian
      3 years ago

      that RM rate cards one to watch
      because if ebays return rates are higher or lower than over the counter charges there will be fun, so why the lack of disclosure?

  • Unmanaged Returns
    3 years ago

    Everyone is going to react differently to the changes. It simply would have been nice if Emma had done me the courtesy of at least acknowledging my question. My business partner has just agreed that we will shut down our eBay shop when it gets quiet in the summer – no point wasting money on shop fees at that time of the year. So, Emma and her colleagues are free to continue giving me the same level of attention that they have so far.

    Edited to add: Done with Tamebay, done with eBay. No point wasting my time further.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      Im in the same position my friend.

      With the search outages like last week, indexing issues requiring resetting/switching things on and off continuously to reboot ebay after each site change, turbo lister issues in august for 6 weeks and the fact ebay intentionally move and hide sellers valid ‘pre-paid for’ listings my intention is to get as far, and as quickly, from ebay within 90-120 days.

      My plan is, unless the above ebay issues cripple cashflow one final time:

      1) focus on amazon and google shopping to promote your new goods using fees normally wasted on ebay misdirecting traffic or refunding unsupported buyers against you.
      2) use ETSY if you sell used/vintage goods and buy barcodes to sell them on point 1.
      3) use Ebid for goods in 1+2 to mop up any search engine oversights.
      4) use ebay as an outlet but expend minimal time following shifting policies. Just use to primarily dump B stock, returns and clearance auctioned goods.
      5) use multi channel inventory software to list on allegro, tesco marketplace and the other up and coming new boys who DO want your business.
      6) make ebay sales nothing more than a passing glance in your daily shipping run at 20%-30% as a target.
      7) take a zero tolerance approach to ebay buyers who return goods, regardless of reason, block each one every time and block any high volume messaging buyers before purchase or those who ask “whats your best price” or other alarm indiciators of intention to cause trouble after receiving.
      8) make sure you are the cheapest everwhere but on ebay. This will show just how much ebay “customer service” is a factor in buyer behaviour. My guess is down the list after price, shipping cost, seller reputation and ability to bloody find your stuff in the first place to even make that decision.

    • john
      3 years ago

      Amazon
      At one time this word was not allowed to be used by an ebay employee or by a user of ebay forums

      it is now often used as a marker/comparison by ebay employee’s.
      I don’t think for some sellers there is much difference between selling on amazon now.

  • james
    3 years ago

    we’re in the home and garden category, we’re also getting a 10% increase in final value fees (from 10% to 11%, may not seem like much, but is a 10% increase in costs), along with managed returns which will be impossible to facilitate on half our items.

    “Yes Granny Smith, eBay wants you to self-label this quarter-ton of bedroom furniture and carry it down the post office yourself. we used to offer a very reasonable doorstep courier collection, but they wont let us offer you that any more, enjoy your free eBay return.”

    i can see my customers being ecstatic with this revelation, no doubt tripling our “defect” rate overnight.

    we just had a buyer refunded, with a message from eBay along the lines of “we’re very sorry, we can see that the buyer has clearly agreed with you that they will bear the return costs since its clearly her fault, however we told her we’d give here a full refund anyway, so we’ve given here a full refund, out of your pocket”

    we do not trust you eBay, we have very good reason to not trust you. it comes from us seeing every day what you do with our trust. we all have first hand experience of it, every one of us. coming here and telling us we’re imaging it and you’re really nice and fair to us will win you no more trust or respect. it is an insult.

    imagine if you emptied a buyers bank account without warning, told them that you did it because of no fault of theirs, but no you wont refund them, you’re keeping it, and they better appreciate how damn nice you are to them. imagine it. now realise you do that to us lot EVERY SINGLE DAY.

  • Alana-Alice
    3 years ago

    Hi Emma,
    I have a few questions. The majority of the items I sell are low value £2-£3. They tend to weigh under 100g and go as a large letter size with royal mail. I have a royal mail business account, as I’m sure most of the sellers on here do. I can send my items as a 2nd class large letter for an average of 58p, 71p for 1st. Will eBay be able to match this price, or better it for the managed returns? If you can match or better the prices we all pay, I’m sure everybody would be a lot less concerned, but at the moment we have no idea, and the only info I can find on eBay says a second class return through the managed returns will cost £4.50 & a First class £5.90 with collect+, which compared to the prices most of us pay, is extortionate.

    Will the managed returns system account for large letter sizes, or will we be forced to send large letters at a parcel sized rate. And if you will be accounting for large letters how do you determine which is which & the return postage to charge, will we have to go through every single listings and put the weight/size of the packages in?

    Also if I am forced to have items returned tracked/recorded instead of just via standard post, more often than not the return postage cost will be more than the item cost the buyer to purchase (including p&p)

    If eBay can not match or better the return postage price, then I will be paying more for the return of an item than I could get myself through royal mail – in which case it would be cheaper for me to send return postage labels out with every purchase. However because the managed returns will be compulsory I won’t have this option.

    If the return postage cost is more than the item cost what will happen? Will I have to pay it anyway; will the buyer have to pay it if it’s a simple change of mind? Or will I have to tell my customers not to return the items, which seems really unfair – the buyer gets to keep the item AND get a refund? I thought that under the distance selling regulations a buyer had to return an item in order to get a refund/replacement – but eBay are telling sellers we don’t have to do this, you can tell your buyers don’t return it/change your setting so you don’t require a return?

    At the moment I do not get many returns, I’m lucky if I get 1/2 every 3 months. I am also concerned that’s this new managed returns will increase the returns I get and therefore defects.

    If you could assure us that the return postage costs will be better than the over the counter costs, around the same level/better than we all pay with our royal mail business accounts, then I’m sure everybody would feel a lot better about the managed returns, If every single eBay return is going to go through royal mail, that is a vast amount, so surely eBay can negotiate a postage rate better than all us small business’s can? But at the moment we have no idea what the costs will be & no confidence that eBay will give us reasonable prices, We feel that we are going to be paying extortionate return costs.

  • Shazina
    3 years ago

    Alana-Alice,
    You have written words from my mind and I’m in the same boat as you with regards to low value cost items. I recently sold some white balloons to a customer who then raised a dispute saying they weren’t white. We replied asking for them to return or explain what colour they received so we could deal with it. Overnight the customer escalated the dispute to ebay and they refunded the customer from my palpal account immediately without even investigating it. Where is the evidence of wrong goods received? Or the chance to deal with the claim? Yet again the customer is always right, they get a free product and money back whilst I have to bare the cost and bad feedback.
    Ebay should not even consider applying managed returns without full testing and concrete return prices. I also sell on amazon and even though they have managed returns I do not have to pay for it unless I approve this. I very rarely get returns through amazon or bad feedback, but ebay is a different story as the buyers know the loopholes and how easy it is to get free products.
    This will just increase it-thanks ebay!
    I wonder if the large outlets will be exempt from this? If so it’s just another kick in the teeth to small businesses trying to survive.

    • mw
      3 years ago

      The large outlets will absorb it in to their costs and apply the overall cost to the prices they charge their customers. Individuals within large outlets take the view that it’s not their money, it’s company money – some already offer the service because they can.
      This process is playing directly in to large outlets hands as the smaller outlets go bust, customers get less and less choice and are forced to buy from the large outlets at their unflated prices. It’s poor behaviour from ebay and a positive action to rid themselves of the smaller and more troublesome outlets. What ebay are forgetting is that large outlets will buy absolutely nothing through ebay – when did Argos buy anything on ebay for example? It’s people who run the small outlets and strictly buyers only that buy.
      We are in the same boat with very low value items.
      Personally I have stopped buying on ebay out of principle.

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    I predict widescale use of the returns process as a ‘try before you buy’ service.

    It is clear, in ebays recent lexicon, that the phrase “the cost of doing business” is how they dismiss sellers valid concerns.

    The principle being that like woolworths pick and mix you expect some shoplifting/theft, or you are as big as Next to hide returns as a free for all service in gigantic turnover.

    This ‘cost of doing business’ however only works on the fact you are making enough overall to give some back.

    Unfortunately as we ALL know and testify, our ebay sales are generally going DOWN so until ebay fix the consistency and reliability of their shoddy IT and stop interfering with our listing presence most of us cant afford the “cost of doing business”.

    This “cost” is also, ultimately, discretionary and at OUR convenience not ebays to give away as they choose without our say so.

    I would reclassify it as the “cost of doing business on EBAY”, and that is a cost many of us are seriously questioning as a price worth paying compared to other outlets which have no such issues.

  • Rachael - Thingimijigs
    3 years ago

    So.. What happens for those of us that have a Royal Mail License freepost address that we give customers for returns that are our fault?

    On Amazon, we use their returns system, and either select our freepost address if its our fault, or unpaid postage label if change of mind – WE decide based on the customer return request – not the customer

    This would be simple to implement – let US manage the returns

    Not happy that I have to pay Collect + or RM to return using their standard rates – as most of our items go large letter and return using freepost is simple – also customers like just being able to put the item in the postbox – not taking / dropping off somewhere.

  • Tony
    3 years ago

    As a 10 year+ ebay seller, I have seen traffic fall considerably, sales drop, margins drop – this despite being a 100% positive account with most DSRs at 4.97 or above (i.e. near perfect) , Top Rated etc.

    Whats interesting is ebay dont realise that chronic under investment in tools, whist increasing the burden of TIME to actually list item, this together with retrospective changing of historic listings (with e.g. photo improvements, items specifics changing etc) causes me to just list all my inventory FIRST on Amazon, and then if I have time put it on ebay.

    The result is a switch of % share of Amazon v ebay from last year of 70% ebay / 30 % Amazon to around 60% Amazon/30% ebay.

    ebay need to make it easier to sell, not more difficult. Changes to shops is just window dressing – its irrelevant – IT WONT INCREASE SALES.

    ebay has a place, but you have lost the hearts and minds of the traditional sellers, and ultimately it will just be a place to buy crap from Debenhams et al that no one wanted in the last season sales.

    • cackonmyleg
      3 years ago

      As a seller of 8 years approaching £2 million in sales on ebay alone during that period I am 100% in the identical situation as “Tony” albeit midway through my amazon transition having trusted ebays assertions last year they were working to fix the search/image/checkout issues well publicised and lost valuable months with my worst Xmas since I began.

      If ebay do want to retain and increase our trade they have a bewildering way of showing it…..

  • Jon
    3 years ago

    The items that we send from our shop are packed carefully and go as large letters … If returned and packed badly (which will be the case) … they will be small parcels which costs more ….. How does ebay account for this in their calculations?????

  • 3 years ago

    Emma,

    Good day to you. Apologies if you have answered this or sim. already.

    It states in the seller release about managed returns that ‘It’ll then gradually become a requirement for all business sellers.’

    We sell jacuzzi’s, have done so online for 12 years (10 on eBay) the delivery is very specialised, the avg. size wrapped is 200x100cm, so as you can imagine if a customer wanted to return something the same applies. All products go via specilised pallet networks, not just because they are better at it, but the sizes of our products are not accepted by parcel carriers.

    I’m assuming the managed returns will develop further before you force us to use it, or, the statement about forcing everyone to use it was actually a mistake, or you will close down the accounts of anyone who sells large items?

    Take another example. lady buys a new sofa, it’s delivered, she comes to unwrap it and discovers it’s too big, she lives in the country and doesn’t own a car, her nearest collect + is 13 miles away by bicycle, what does she do?

    I buy some gym equipment with weights, in total 150kg of equipment, do I have to hand ball that to the local spar shop to return it?

    Let’s say all 3 buyers eventually manage to get to the Collect + shop without dying of exhaustion or a having coronary, what then?

    Collect +
    Please remember that we also cannot carry any item that is outside of our maximum dimensions of 60x50x50cm or our maximum weight of 10kg.

    Post Office
    1.5m in length and 3m length and depth combined
    Weight limit: 30kg
    Large parcels can only be sent via Parcelforce

    None of the items above are eligible for either carrier network.

    Just like beds, wardrobes, tables, dinning sets, bathroom suites etc etc etc would be.

    Be grateful for some more info.

    • 3 years ago

      Just to add, what happens to all the items you can sell on eBay but RM won’t touch?

      What about items like glass such as mirrors, lamps, precious metals, stones (Gold, Silver, Diamonds) ceramics, pottery, instruments etc etc

      Collect+ will handle them but won’t cover them in the event of a claim.

      Who covers the cost of breakage?

    • john
      3 years ago

      Paint, gas, matches, oil, batteries ..list is massive

    • mw
      3 years ago

      If the customer does suffer a coronary or other injury following ebays instructions to the letter, who is liable for that injury? Suerly the buyer is only doing what they are told by ebay. I can see the insurance no win no fee business having a field day on it. It will only be a matter of time and who they dcide is in the firing line.

    • Frustrated Ebay Trader
      3 years ago

      OK – I understand the new ‘managed returns’ and ‘defects’ announcements…I don’t agree with them or think them fair but I do understand how they will work.

      My question is …. If as a seller I get back a ‘managed return’ and it is damaged by the return courier (or even if it is lost by the courier) how do I get compensation for my loss? I can’t claim (as the recipient) I am guessing the buyer can’t/won’t claim. So is it up to ebay to claim? I can’t imagine ebay filling out P58 forms for the Royal Mail so will they just reimburse you themselves? Seems unlikely as once sellers cotton on to this then all their managed returns will get broken in transit…LOL

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      Then we have the DSR rules….

      Correct me if I am wrong, but if a buyer refuses to help with returns, is it not fact that the seller has to arrange collection….!!

  • Hereford United fan
    3 years ago

    Emma

    I have just been left a neutral feedback. The customer has not contacted me and they left the following comment.

    “Very good service thank u”

    Please can you confirm if this will count as a defect.

    Thanks

    • Gerry007
      3 years ago

      .
      Ebay’s system should have keyword search [running in the background] to rout out comments that have been left in the wrong place….

    • Hereford United fan
      3 years ago

      I spoke to eBay today. They have confirmed this will count as a defect as they are not sure that the buyer did not want to leave a neutral.

      I also asked about the case that was opened today. The customer claimed the item had not arrived. I showed them the tracking which showed they had signed for it. They closed the case. This counts against me as well although she suggested I should call in about it and it should be removed.

      I have a lot more time on my hands since my eBay sales have dropped over 70% in 18 months but I don’t want to spend that calling eBay daily.

  • Chris
    3 years ago

    Emma

    Can’t you see that it is wrong that a customer decides whether the return is free or not? Quite often faulty can mean I haven’t read the instructions correctly? Not as described can mean I didn’t actually bother reading the listing before I bought it?

    How the system should work is the buyer initiates a return for whatever reason, the seller has 2 working days to issue a returns number and this point the seller decides to issue a paid postage return or a non paid postage return or just refund the item without the customer having to return it. If the seller doesn’t reply within 2 working days or they are not happy with the sellers decision, they have the choice of accepting a non paid postage return or they can escalate it to ebay who can review the communication between the seller and the customer and make a decision.

    The other problem is the cost of the returns, £4.50 is too expensive. On the items we sell Royal Mail 2nd Class plus recorded is £2.80. If we use Royal Mail Tracked returns the price is £1.86.

    Thanks
    Chris

    • Shazina
      3 years ago

      Chris,
      I don’t think half of the buyers read the item discription. Countless times I get messages through ebay asking how to order or how many are in a pack when it is clearly in the listing. Then you get feedback as neutral or negative as “item too small or didn’t fit” when you have stated size in the listing, so how is this fair on sellers. I’m guessing more people are using phones to purchase and they can’t see the discription or can’t be bothered to check. Either way it’s annoying.

    • DODGEY SELLER
      3 years ago

      Just a heads up how to win every INR claim or get a INR neg removed. Not entirely honest but can be used if you are sure the buyer is conning you. Ebay have become lazy in checking tracking details , they no longer require the receipt to be uploaded. Joe blogs lives at number 56 , So what you can do is post recorded empty packet , too number 26 , It will have the same post code and be delivered from the same sorting office. Simply upload the tracking number. The lazy gits at ebay will simply see tracking for the buyers “area” , and decline the case / remove negative feedback.

  • hacked off
    3 years ago

    someone with some clout should make a list of grievances that need to be addressed by ebay and then organise a day of action where every hacked off seller simultaneously starting at midnight put the holiday settings on and hide all listings for 24 hours .No sales no fees for them and if thousands act together maybe they will start to listen to the people who have made their business what it is .It’s time Ebay realised that they are messing with peoples lives and livelihoods. Enough is enough!

    • mw
      3 years ago

      We would support this.

  • raz
    3 years ago

    As far as i see it, if Ebays managed fiasco won’t except anything over 100cm x 50cm x 100cm, just make sure all the size and weight bands on the SYI pages are over these, even if you sell postage stamps.
    End of managed returns, for a while anyway.

  • raz
    3 years ago

    The only courier, well joke they have is collect and throw over the fence +.
    I really can’t see Royal Mail bothering with Ebay to be honest, why do this and lose trade from its OBA’s.
    Can’t see it myself, it’s pie in the sky.

  • morgan the mighty
    3 years ago

    Emma what is your knowledge base? Have you sold on ebay? Were you a powerseller ? Did you have TRS? If not then how can we have confidence in you . I suspect the answer is no for you , Alan and Barry If it were not so these changes would be much less amateurish and have the support of the professional sellers who are currently your critics

  • cackonmyleg
    3 years ago

    The seller has the LEGAL right to inspect goods returned BEFORE issuing any refund, exchange, or considering offering to pay additional concessions such as return shipping costs. With such costs exceeding the original sale/delivery costs paid by the buyer to the seller in the “invitation to treat” listing.

    That is enshrined in both the sale of goods act and distance selling regulations which seek to protect buyer and seller EQUALLY and without prejudice or preference.

    The act of compelling a seller to effectively accept liability for return shipping costs, upfront, without ability to inspect/test and validate goods/complaints as genuine or reasonable, in my view, prejudices the legal right of the seller under the sale of goods act and introduces a term within the ebay policies that is NOT enforcable under law.

    To seek to compel a seller to waive their rights in this way seeks in my view to supercede contract law and the sale of goods act, and constitutes placing one party (in this case seller) at a disadvantage without placing the complainant (buyer) under the onus of proof and duty to act in utmost good faith at all times as laid down in law.

    It is a fundamental cornerstone of contract law that no party should enter a contract with the intention to gain an advantage over the other.

    I believe a case could be argued that where a seller has legitimate reason to suspect exaggerated/fabricated or manipulated grounds to return goods on the part of a buyer they have the legal right to expect the buyer to first return goods, at buyers cost, for inspection.

    To do otherwise is, in my view, a potentially unlawful act in placing a seller under duress to accept terms that prejudice their legal rights, as a pre-requisite to offer goods for sale on the ebay platform.

    I’d love to hear from someone in ebay with some legal qualification on this as I would hope someone has checked the law before coming up with new compulsory demands on businesses to increase their costs in this way?

  • DBL
    3 years ago

    “You should refund a customer’s money as soon as possible after

    they cancel an order, and in any case, within 30 days at the latest.

    The right to a refund is not connected either to the return of the

    product nor the customer’s duty to exercise reasonable care of

    the goods. Even if the customer fails to take reasonable care

    of the goods, you must make a full refund. You can bring a claim

    for damages separately.

    You must refund the customer’s money even if you have not yet

    collected the goods or had them returned to you by the customer.

    You cannot insist on receiving the goods before you make a refund.”

    Page 28 DSR Hub https://docs.google.com/viewer?url=http%3A%2F%2Fdshub.tradingstandards.gov.uk%2Fsites%2Fdefault%2Ffiles%2FDSexplained_PDF.pdf

    • mw
      3 years ago

      You seem to have a knowledge on DSR. What do you make of Page 29 last paragraph – who pays for returning the goods if the customer cancels.
      It would suggest that you CAN charge the customer for the return provided it was included in the original contract terms. Am I reading this right? If they fail to pay for the return after they have been refunded, do we have legal grounds to seek redress from the customer ie can it be chased through Paypal debt collection? At the very least it negates ebay’s policy change suggestion.

    • DBL
      3 years ago

      I just read a lot of this stuff, if you mean:

      “In all circumstances, you will have to pay for the return of
      >substitute goods
      >goods that are faulty or do not comply with the contract.”

      Substitute goods would be something you sent instead of original order such as a different colour as you ran out of stock of the other, you would have to pay for return, even if you stated customer was responsible (which is on every eBay listing now).

      Faulty would be obvious, that did not work (you would have to pay)

      And comply with the contract would be not as described in the listing, therefore SNAD, you would have to pay for return.

      If you ordered a size 34 jeans and I sent a pair of size 34 jeans if it didn’t fit that would not be a SNAD as you sent the item you described so therefore as you (ebay) stated buyer responsible for return then buyer would pay and SHOULD choose ‘did not fit’ in the reasons for return, not SNAD.

      You would have to refund in full including original outgoing standard delivery costs though.

    • mw
      3 years ago

      No I meant the 2 bits just above that, but especially it’s second paragraph.

  • Elfkincatcher
    3 years ago

    If eBay are not taking any commission because they want to keep prices down…why did they just add 10% to outward postage?

    If I have to use your managed returns it will be the end of 12 years selling on site…with 100% feedback! Why? Because I want to decide whether the buyer returns and pays or not for the return or keeps the item (subject to DSRs)! Not everything is black and white! You can’t put that you will pay for the return and handle it before it’s sold….before the problem has surfaced ….it’s barmy! AND who is going to ensure that it is fully insured …..

    The new seller policy is utter rubbish ……the problem is that eBay sets ridiculously high standards and does not inform buyers as to precisely how they evaluate DSRs left! Any normal person would see par as 3 …..however because buyers are often sellers ….and know that to get the MINIMUM 4.6 you need the majority 5 and no lower than 4 …..you can see the problem! It is a totally distorted system with some thinking 3 is AVERAGE whilst others and eBay see 4 as par! Unfortunately eBay are not informing EVERYONE that to leave a 3 means the transaction is now DEFECTIVE!

    No-one has said just what happens when you become Below Standard either. I am TRS WITH 100% pos feedback from day 1….3 monthly DSR score of 5 in everything….12 month 4.94 4.99 4.97 4.93 ……no open cases …..no eBay interventions ….and I’m predicted to be downgraded to Above Average. On that basis, next re-evaluation I would probably be Below Average! It’s easy to think its about clawing back 15% discount on FVF…but is it more a matter of eBay wanting rid of small sellers? John Donohoe has stated that he wanted rid of the ‘noise’…..I’m part of that ‘noise’! I reckon thousands will be culled just as they were last autumn! Will boost the UK Economy no end won’t it…lots of excellent small businesses going to the wall….

    Lots of people will get nasty shocks in August/Feb!

  • JD
    3 years ago
  • kiteman
    3 years ago

    in my 30 plus years in business it constantly changes ,tescos on the way out ,small shops nice food on the way in ,still have my bricks and mortar shop ,high st will become a lot cheaper than the internet and more pleasant after 14 years of ebay ,and it has been good business ,though no pleasure,,nothing lasts for ever ,there are other ways of making a living

  • Relles Etari
    3 years ago

    I’ve always been happy to offer free returns to all my customers and all my listings clearly state this. As a result of this announcement I have decided to end this offer (on ebay anyway).
    Sorry if I’m straying off-topic but can anyone tell me if there is a quick way to do this. I’ve been playing with ebay’s bulk edit thingamy-jig for half hour and have got nowhere.
    I have over a thousand items listed on ebay stating ‘14 days refund, seller pays return postage’. Do I have to go through each item one at a time to change them all to ‘buyer pays return postage’? If so, I’m in for a very busy and very un-productive weekend.

  • 3 years ago

    SUSPENDED BY EBAY OR HAD BAD EXPERIENCES WITH EBAY? We are in the process of assembling/compiling what people are saying nationwide about their experiences at eBay. Two books are being created to be released in the near future both as online ebooks and possibly in print media as well. THE EBAY PAPERS Death and Destruction of an American Economic Juggernaut. “Book of Gideon” working title “What You Don’t Know About Ebay Will Hurt You” exposing malfeasance and the abuse of sellers by the world’s second largest online electronic selling platform. The author of the two books, Rich Vernadeau, is himself a former ebay seller and the founder of two Facebook groups (Former Ebay Sellers and Former Ebay Sellers 2 Open Forum). All submissions from former and current ebay sellers, users in their own words. Stories may also be submitted to (and will be used from) the OPEN FB group Former Ebay Sellers 2 Open Forum. You may submit your stories/experiences at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/formerebaysellers2openforum/

  • Jimbo
    3 years ago

    “nationwide”, which nation is that?

  • James
    3 years ago

    Hi I am a member of the public and an eBay buyer and just thought I would add what I think – I hope this is OK – sorry of I am ‘butting in’. If I buy something online I need to be absolutely sure that I can return it free of charge. This is why I use Amazon mostly and not eBay. In my experience, Amazon just let you print a label and send the item back. I have never ever had the slightest problem with Amazon (I have bought about about 100 items over the past six years and returned about 7). I would never buy anything major from eBay as I am scared of not being able to return it – or at least, scared of getting into a protracted fight with the seller. It would have to be absolutely crystal clear and guaranteed by eBay itself that I could return items – then I would price compare eBay with Amazon and use both. Hope this helps.

  • NO TO MANAGED RETURNS
    3 years ago

    We are a managed seller in the apparel category. PLEASE do not go ahead with this eBay. We provide a prepaid returns label with every item and charge 2 pounds for a Customer to use it. This is the cost of RM Tracked returns. Works just fine. You guys at Ebay have a nasty habit of tinkering with that which is not broken. We have almost 200,000 feedback and I should add that if your managed returns became mandatory it would mean the end of a fair returns system. U would render yourselves powerless to abuse of the system. STOP FORCING IT DOWN OUR THROATS EMMA, EBAY AND ALL THOSE SITTING IN LONDON HQ.

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