eBay move the goal posts and test early ‘auto-close’ resolution cases

By Chris Dawson June 28, 2017 - 6:15 am

eBay (at least in the States, we don’t know about the rest of the world) are testing a faster resolution for items not received cases. In a nutshell, if you don’t respond within 24 hours the case will be closed in the buyer’s favour.

Normally when a buyer opens a case, you as the seller have up to 3 business days to respond. In the case in question it was a $0.99 item shipped to a buyer in Japan and as you’d expect no tracking, so any rational minded seller would normally refund or replace without even thinking about it (probably refund and cut your losses).

If the case lands in the test group and the case is closed before you get to see it then not only will you end up out of pocket (the risk you take shipping without tracking) but you also get a strike for not responding to a resolution on time.

Dinging sellers with a strike seems particularly unfair as hitherto eBay hadn’t announced the test and you’ll never know if you (or the case) is in the test group until it’s too late. In this case the situation was exacerbated as the case was opened over the weekend and as a seller it wouldn’t be considered unreasonable under normal circumstances to respond on the Monday morning.

“It sounds like this situation may have triggered a faster resolution process that we are testing out. If an item not received case is opened more than 5 days after the estimated delivery date, no tracking is provided and the seller does not respond then the case will actually be escalated for a refund after 24 hours have passed, instead of the standard 3 business days. We are testing the impact of this change and while these specific triggers represent a rarer set of criteria, you may see this from time to time being reported. If a seller has concerns with the timeframe provided, we recommend they reach out to customer service to discuss the details.”
– eBay Community Team

The impact for this test for sellers appears to be that you’ll need to be responsive 7 days a week (including Christmas Day) if you don’t want to get penalised for eBay changing the rules in a test without notifying you. It would be more than reasonable for eBay to change their policy from 3 business days to 24 hours should they wish to, it is after all their site and other marketplaces already insist that you respond to buyer queries within a day.

What seems harsh is that you may incur a strike as a non-responsive seller as a result of not knowing that eBay are running a test.

  • northumbrian
    10 months ago

    just another kick in the knackers
    our cod piece is battered

  • Ryan
    10 months ago

    When we sell on marketplaces we hand over the control of our business to be subjected to the latest exec’s bright idea. By selling on marketplaces we see people undercut the competition, undercut the standalone businesses who operate their own websites so they are driven towards selling on these marketplaces. Rinse and repeat.

    By supporting such marketplaces, we’re ultimately funding our own demise.

  • Paul
    10 months ago

    Attention all scammers! Open cases on a Saturday evening for your easy, free refund.

    • Robert C
      10 months ago

      Exactly what I was thinking.

  • Ian A
    10 months ago

    Seen a few sellers complain about this on the boards. They’ve had US / cases opened – no tracking number available – system refund to buyer within 24 hours and before they’ve been able to respond.

    I send EVERYTHING tracked and signed, its the only way to protect yourself .
    I appreciate there are many businesses that sell low value items where it is not feasible to send tracked.

    Even then I find myself fighting cases each week. So annoying PayPal freezes the funds when a case is open.. which is usually just a buyer asking for a delivery update – (last one stuck in a German warehouse waiting for them to collect -one before PERU just needed more time to arrive, and it did eventually).

    Its becoming an uphill battle to make any profit in this saturated marketplace where we are drip fed sales and fighting against its automated, buyer-orientated system.

    Despite this, ebay is still my main sales channel. Like an abusive relationship I need to get out but am yet to find an alternative.

  • northumbrian
    10 months ago

    to be fair if your selling $ .99 items internationally
    your daft to offer anything other than ebays global shipping service as half the world already knows its free your not going to send it tracked

    • timo
      10 months ago

      YOU’RE clearly an English speaker, so getting it wrong 3 times in one short post is pretty hopeless.

    • northumbrian
      10 months ago

      asal cliste penantic

    • timo
      10 months ago

      Presumably you meant to call me a PEDANTIC a**hole ?
      You’ve let yourself down again fella.
      Just give up.

      I do enjoy the craic ….

    • timo
      10 months ago

      Oh mate, just give up … the word is PEDANTIC.

    • northumbrian
      10 months ago

      correct PEDANTIC
      confirmed by your pick up of a gaelic word as being mispelled
      Pedantic = someone who’s too concerned with literal accuracy or formality. It’s a negative term that implies someone is showing off book learning or trivia, especially in a tiresome way.

  • JS
    10 months ago

    After over 16 years I’m moving a lot of my listings to other sites that are more user friendly.

  • 10 months ago

    I’m all for upping the standard.

    I recently had a case sold on .uk but bought on .com where we emailed the US CS team for a clarification as to what they would like us to do about providing a return shipping label to an uncommunicative buyer. They had given us 5 days to comply and we emailed them within an hour to ask if sending a Paypal payment of a certain amount would be ok for them.

    The 5 days expired. We lost the case. When I called, I was told that their queue for dealing with email was longer than 5 days so they wouldn’t get back to us in time and we should have just sent the money to the buyer.

    So yes. I’m all for upping the standard. It’s clear where the problem lies.

  • northumbrian
    10 months ago

    yep weve sent the paypal payment, to the US usually for the expensive full fat shipping with bells and whistles, never seen the goods or the payment again, and had to refund to

  • michael
    10 months ago

    I had this happen to me a week back. Two buyers in Israel opened cases on a Sunday morning, I received an email saying I needed to resolve this 5 days from receiving the email about the case, however before 8 am on monday morning, less than 24 hours later, before I had chance to reply, the cases had been automatically closed in the buyer’s favour. Now, I have been given two strikes for this.
    I phoned eBay to ask about this and the customer service agent said, “it does seem very harsh and a bad decision on eBay’s part.” I asked if it could be appealed they said no and then I ask for a manager to contact me about this, I am still waiting, So reaching out doesn’t seem to work!? Subsequently, as I had taken a holiday last month and put my shop on hold, my sales were down and due to this and the strikes and the ratio of sales versus the strikes means my seller status for global is below standard?!!!!

  • David
    10 months ago

    This is a horrible idea and I really don’t know what the supposed benefit is? Perhaps to humor scammers or problem buyers with zero patience. eBay needs to realise it is not the center of the world to business sellers who have other responsibilities (such as living a normal life). If eBay UK follows suit I will be contacting CS and plaguing them!

  • Dale Machin
    10 months ago

    This is just another poke in the eye for sellers on eBay, buyers have all the rights and sellers have none. I do very little of my selling now on eBay simply because it is not a safe selling environment. Sellers are basically treated as second class citizens. We really need another fair competitive selling platform to knock eBay off their dominant perch, I would really like to see them go down the pan.

  • james
    10 months ago

    they couldnt give a flying f**k about any sellers.
    so much for ebay’s recent touting of “looking after sellers”, then shaft then yet again.
    obviously if you take a weekend off you’re scum. what kind of person would go home of an evening? ebay sellers thats who, filth the lot of them.

    this week i’ve had three cases decided against me, for no reason.
    one of them, i sent a label via ebay, then the case was decided against me for not sending a label.
    the appeal button has also magically vanished, as if it ever worked.
    think me and ebay are about done.

    • Alan Paterson
      10 months ago

      Hardly fair James. Are you selling on a different Ebay than me? That would explain a lot……..

    • james
      10 months ago

      well i dont know what ebay you’re selling on, do i Alan?
      nor do you know what’s fair, in regard to how i’ve been treated, do you?
      but thanks for your productive and helpful input, it really accentuates my
      points, by neither making or dismissing any point of your own.
      but hey, lets hear your opinion. ebay’s awesome and treats you well? are you perhaps running the ebay Argos outlet? or someone else who gets preferential treatment over the rest of us? oh wait, that doesnt happen does it? ebays a fair and decent place to trade and i’m just telling fibs. :-/

    • Alan Paterson
      10 months ago

      James – when you write things like “filth the lot of them” and use words like “scum” – thats what i mean by unfair. so yes, I stand by my post. Obviously, you have had some problems but there is absolutely no need to use language like that.

      I have built a rapport up with many eBay staff and it upsets me you talking like that. It is offensive and you have completely missed my point.

    • james
      10 months ago

      awwwww. grow up snowflake.
      you have a list of trigger words we should avoid incase it sets you off?
      you even notice who i was calling scum or jump straight to being triggered?
      wee nap and some kids tv you’ll be feeling okay again in no time.

    • Alan Paterson
      10 months ago

      yes, James, the trigger words are the words I mentioned previously. “Snowflake” is ok but “filth” and “scum” when referring to eBay staff is offensive and I am sure I am not the only person who is offended by that.

      I think they call that “trolling”. I know some of the people who work at eBay and i find your choice of words offensive and I am sure I am not the only person who does.

      In fact, I am sitting with some eBayers right now and they are sitting shaking their heads at your choice of words. its an attack.

      I am sure if someone were calling folk that you know “filth” and “scum” you would have something to say about it. No? Well, something may be wrong with you if you don’t see my obvious point.

      I see further down you use the words “scam site”.

      OK, you are obviously having problems but there is no need for that sort of language when it is directly towards real people who read these forums. Incidentally, John, your customers, and my customers also read Tamebay – its not like a private site for sellers. What do you think customers think when they read scandalous talk like that. Not good.

      Ok, I know some of my posts can be unpopular – I tend to be the devil’s advocate………however I invite anyone else on the forum to agree with me on this point………there is no need for this sort of language when directed at real people.

    • Silent minority
      10 months ago

      Sorry James. I can’t believe I’m saying this but I agree with Alan. No need for that sort of language. It’s very offensive. Keep things civil.

    • Ross
      10 months ago

      Yes, you are being an arse James. I have family who worked at ebay in San Jose. I was
      angry reading your non-sense. They are filth are they? You are out of order mate.

    • james
      9 months ago

      wow that you 3 times alan?

      so you have friends who are ebay staff in San Jose, which means you get offended when i call (clearly sarcastically, in jest) ebay SELLERS in the UK, including MYSELF scum, for going home of a weekend?
      yeah that logic stacks up.

      three people in a row who didnt understand the original post before getting offended, seems it’s a whole blizzard of snowflakes. or one twat.

      if you dont have the brains to understand my message, hold your tongue before getting offended by it. there was absolutely no way you could reasonably get confused in a 9-word sentence, unless you WANT to get offended. yet apparently three separate people share the same mental block?

      also, i’m not EVERY james on here. other James’ do exist. the one calling ebay a scam site for one, is not I.

      ebay CS staff and ebay sellers, not the same people, FYI.

  • Salah
    10 months ago

    Hello all,

    What other market place can one try cos ebay are too customer centric and even genuine seller like us are suffering with their unfair policies.

  • 10 months ago

    If you sell on marketplaces you need 24/7 cover, Amazon has expected you to reply to messages within 24 hours for a long time so this is no different.

  • PGC
    10 months ago

    I used to live and breath ebay as a non business seller.
    Buy stuff, use it, sell it, use the money to buy more stuff.
    Ebay took their bit, PAYPAL too but it generally worked ok. You got a scammer, you left negative feedback. Simple.
    Then the rules started changing. No negative feedback from seller to buyer and rising postal charges.
    I couldn’t be bothered to queue and get a receipt for every item I sold and guess what more and more scammers saying they had not received things. You could tell because they would leave it the exact number of days before raising a complaint. No communication before that. So I ended up just refunding more and more.
    In the end I stopped selling and pretty much stopped buying as well since my source of funds was drying up.

    The moral of the story. I hardly ever touch ebay any more for buying or selling. Simply not worth the agro. I just take all my unwanted stuff to the charity shop. They love me.

    Vote with your feet is what I say. Only when it hits the bottom line will ebay re-balance the playing field.

    • Alan Paterson
      10 months ago

      When selling on Ebay for profit / business you need to factor in Ebay rules / policies when formulating your strategies and business plan.

      If cases / refunds/scammers are such a problem then you REQUIRE tracking information. Tracking will almost always cover you.

      IF your product is too cheap to send with tracking – and cases / refunds / scammers are a big problem – the solution is simple – you need to find a new product that you can sell that IS financially viable to dispatch with tracking. You need to be flexible.

      Too many sellers expecting Ebay to “bend” to what their expectations are rather than vice-versa (or compromise).


      To quote you – “Vote with your feet is what I say”. – REALLY? That kind of talk will damage all businesses on Ebay – including my business (and your sales if you are still selling) and other sellers reading this post. If you are having a bad time then it is your prerogative to buy / sell elsewhere but don’t try and promote such action – thats just idiocy (and selfish – sorry).


    • james
      10 months ago

      i assume you dont understand what “vote with your feet” means, since you advise he just go sell elsewhere instead?

  • Martin O'Connor
    10 months ago

    I’m UK based and i had a case open against me on Saturday and they closed the case and refunded on Monday morning. I dont work the weekends for religious reasons so i felt quit upset by the matter

  • Chris
    10 months ago

    eBay. What a shame. 14 years a business seller and now I am actively changing my entire business to get out of your grasps. I shall use you to setup my new business and then I shall close the door… without even a goodbye kiss.

  • 10 months ago

    A member of a forum I’m on said that he’d left a few negative feedback marks for customers who’d blatantly lied about descriptions of items they’d sold to him on ebay. After a couple of years, they messaged him saying that they didn’t like the fact that he’d left so many negatives that they’d changed them all to positives as it was making ebay look like a bad place to sell! So much for leaving honest feedback to those who try and dupe customers.

    I rarely sell anything on ebay now because I myself have suffered from the “It hasn’t arrived, I’d like a refund” brigade, even if I’d got proof of posting and a logged dodgy signed “signature” from a certain Mr.Mickey Mouse.

    The amount of people that have been scammed due to eBay’s “buyer protection” is ever-growing.

    If I knew anything about selling websites then I’d love to set up my own. The trouble is, as soon as anyone else’s gets popular then ebay buy it up and we’re back to square 1.

  • SAM
    10 months ago

    This company has no new ideas. Same old same old. open up everyone to yet more buyer fraud.
    This site is now in terminal decline we hardly even bother with it these days. Totally out of touch with the sellers.

  • Andy R
    10 months ago

    If they bring this in, we’re done with Ebay.

    We ONLY get INR claims from Ebay buyers, none at all from our website and almost zero from the other sites we use.

    There is no point in doing this other than to promote fraud.

    It is perfectly reasonable to make checks and ask if a buyer has overlooked items – this happens frequently.

    If they hit us with this for not responding over a weekend we will close our Ebay account forthwith.

  • Alan Paterson
    10 months ago

    We occasionally have cases closed in the buyers favour. HOWEVER, no one seems to be mentioning the option to appeal. Ok, this works only if you have tracking information but my experience is if a case closes against you its most definitely not over.

    Without exception – if we have phoned Ebay for an appeal they have granted it – WITHOUT EXCEPTION (providing we have tracking). They are more than fair. Even when the tracking shows “entered country and is now being processed for delivery” Ebay have STILL granted the appeal.

    There is a lot of hate directed towards Ebay on the posts above. Ebay are by far fairer than any other platform and also are fairer than chargebacks from credit card companies.

    Please remember when Ebay grant an appeal they don’t take the money back from the buyer – they are paying out both buyer and seller from their own funds. You can’t get fairer than that. Admittedly this only applies when you have tracking (which we always do). I appreciate that this is not practical for some sellers with low price items.

  • northumbrian
    10 months ago

    have to agree
    if you send items without tracking is the equivalent of leaving thefront door open and with burglar alarm switched off,
    we never send anything untracked though that’s open to debate considering royal mails miserable system

  • A+
    10 months ago

    Seller fulfilled sales in the past 7 days

    eBay: 243
    Amazon: 147

    Item not received cases in the past 7 days:
    eBay: 7
    Amazon: 0

    This happens week after week. And if you stand your ground against those customers, they tell you they will get their money back from eBay anyway and leave you negative feedback.

    • northumbrian
      10 months ago

      the only time we have item not received is when the courier fails to deliver
      we send everything tracked or signed for,
      though we agree ebay should do more
      if a seller fails to perform their suspended ,
      a buyer , or better still an address with multiple claims for loss damage or not received should also be suspended ,

    • james
      10 months ago

      yes you dont get INR cases when you send everything tracked, but the same ratios stack up for damaged / faulty on receipt, when you compare ebay v any other marketplace.

      “this arrived with a speck of dust on the packaging, i demand half price or i’m going to ebay and paypal”, and the scum usually get away with it too, with ebay’s help.

    • ian
      9 months ago

      totally agree

      the difference between the two customer bases is staggering

      i now sell as much on amazon as on ebay – are the message/claims rate is unbelievable

  • James
    10 months ago

    The quality of eBay customers generally leaves a lot to be desired. As does every aspect of this boderline organised scam site.

  • ian
    9 months ago

    lets face it – we as sellers break our neck to post orders – the days of a seller ‘sitting on’ an order are long long over – – no one would dare to these days and why would we

    i sell items well under a fiver and send normal post – my business wouldnt be feasable to send tracked

    now – if an item is over the (ebay estimated) delivery date by 5 days all this new refund process will kick in to place

    but who are they judging – its the POST OFFICE they are judging – i can only go as fast as the post office do

    thats apart from a customer not being able to put the custard creams down and drag themself away from day time TV to answer the door to the postman – or reply to a calling card – thats if you are lucky enough for a postman to leave one – and how many customers cant even get their own address right ?

    every single order i get I post the end of that day – im playing ball

  • Northumbrian
    9 months ago

    Under a fiver may not be feasible for eBay either so their not concerned

  • Alan Paterson
    9 months ago

    Everyone is complaining about ebay introducing this yet other platforms are far stricter.

    For example – if an INR case is open on Amazon and there is no tracking number the case closes in the buyers favour immediately – without the chance of the seller to respond. At least this new suggested system by ebay is giving 24 hours.