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eBay seller protection in Seller Release expected Tuesday 30th April

By Chris Dawson April 29, 2019 - 10:32 am

We are expecting the second eBay Seller Release of the year to be published tomorrow and with an announcement of increased eBay seller protection and tools for merchants who trade on the marketplace.

Unusually for eBay, Devin Wenig, eBay CEO and President, has given a preview of the Seller Release and revealed the date in advance. Normally seller releases are sprung on sellers with no prior notice. However, this time around the secret was already more or less out of the bag as eBay in their early 2019 Seller Release announced that the second release of the year would be coming in April and, being as tomorrow is the 30th of April, tomorrow is the last day for the eBay Seller Release to appear.

It’s even more unusual for eBay to announce something like increased eBay seller protection and new tools will be a part of the seller release or indeed give advance notice of any details of what’s to come.

It’s interesting to see that there is a ‘multi-part plan’ coming for eBay seller protection and eBay tools and whatever else is announced tomorrow is just the first step. It looks like eBay have been listening to their sellers and agree the balance has swung too much in favour of the buyer when it comes to claims and that new tools are needed for merchants to be successful.

Naturally, as soon as further detail are announced and the full seller release is revealed we’ll be writing more on this topic tomorrow.

  • 5 months ago

    I managed to get eBay to refund me the postage of a return label from somebody that claimed an item to be fake. Usual hopos and hedges to jump over / through but got there in the end.

    • Rob
      5 months ago

      @Tyler, have had quite a few refunds or credits from ebay for when buyers have made stuff up to get a refund. From thing like parts missing which were mentioned in the item specifics and listing, to claiming something is fake. Have even had a couple of returns from Click and Collect where the store has refused the item even thou it is in the weight and size limits which ebay have refunded the postage.

      My issues with ebay is they make it to easy in the first place to allow customer to make up reasons to get free returns.

      The more ebay encourage returns and give customers free returns, the more the system gets abused. Stop it the first time and the behaviour won’t continue.

  • alan paterson
    5 months ago

    @ Rob, ebay are obliged by law to allow returns. They need to make it “easy” to minimise the manpower required.

    in the past 6 months we have had over 50 click and collect returns – not Argos but the smaller shops who dont seem to realise that they are now an ebay collection point! they are rejecting the parcels!

    generally speaking ebay have been fair and understanding and have covered me. Its when the buyer goes to the shop to collect and the item has been refused by the shop staff. Bing! another service metric defect.

    I dont mind giving anyone a return or a refund – we often pay for the labels ourselves. just dont adversely effect our account when all I am doing is trying to give the customer a good buying experience.

    • Rob
      5 months ago

      @Alan don’t have a problem with accepting returns if something has gone wrong or buyer no longer wants it. But why should I have to pay for return postage, then spend time on the phone to ebay to get the return cost back all because the buyer does not want to pay return postage. It’s time consuming from contacting ebay and the lottery of if you get through to Ireland and get it sorted in minutes or Manilla where you have to repeat the question two three times and then they repeat it each time.

      I have been selling on Amazon since Nov last year and sold just under 500 items had 3 returns. I am in control as to accepting the return, what label I provide either paid or they need to pay. If I have done something wrong I pay, if wrong colour they pay. On ebay they can get away with saying it is the wrong colour to try get the seller to pay. Then ebay support them with this by giving them the pre paid label.

  • jim
    5 months ago

    mystic jim predicts
    you can bet there will be a cost to any tool thats useful

  • 5 months ago

    I think it ridiculous, I sold a RARE CD, to a buyer, who soon after it being delivered demanded a refund, as he said his wife had purchased the CD from another source, he returned the item, but it was a fake CD. it had been swapped over, thinking I would not notice. I sold the CD For £45 and got a fake returned to me, probably costing nothing. EBay demanded I refund the money to the buyer & postage, leaving me nearly £50 out of pocket.
    Ebay refused to listen to complaint.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @Paul, with many sellers still selling “dodgy” items its a very difficult position for ebay to be in. Buyers says one thing , seller says another. They do try and get it right. It might help to put yourself in their shoes for a moment.

      Have you tried to appeal the decision? I find that often works.

      We sell shoes and regularly get old shoes returned instead of the new pair the customer has purchased. We also have had empty boxes returned containing “ballast” to weigh the box down. There are some nasty buyers out there.

      Its important we dont blame ebay but report the buyer. ebay need this report to take action on the buyers account – which they will do for repeat offenders. There is a department within ebay who monitor buyer activity and I can assure you that they do take action. I have reported buyers in the past only to see the message “this user is no longer registered on ebay” a few days later.

  • Toby
    5 months ago

    Alan… Adepartment that deal with this? Seriously? I have seen buyers who have left negs etc for virtually everyone. Always stating the same thing, sometimes they have dozens a month. How is this not picked up?
    Every time i complain all i get is the standard ‘as we can’t see what was sent and what was recieved we can’t do anything’…. line.
    I have had buyers send stuff back as faulty yet openly admit in an ebay message that it wasn’t but didnt want to pay return cost… ebay said they couldn’t get involved despite admitting reading the message!! I had a 17kg parcel returned to me… sent as under 1 kg. checked by courier and confirmed under 1 kg. Worth £279….. Ebay refunded buyer and ran the same old line past me, refusing to get involved… I had to start legal action to get my item back from the buyer!
    I could list loads of these events.
    Ebay does bugger all as they have their fees and heaven forbid they upset a buyer, scammer or not. It hasn’t got the nickname scambay for nothing.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @ Toby, I dont believe that leaving negs for everyone is against ebay policy. Buyers are entitled to their opinion – as frustrating as it is. Buyers suffering from NPD (for example) will leave lots of negs – it gives them a feeling of control – but this is a disorder and not against ebay rules.

      I am familiar with the line you are quoting above – its kinda my point in my last message – although ebay may LOOK as if they are sitting on the fence they will be recording your complaint against the buyer but it requires us working as a team and remembering to report these buyers to make it work. ebay need the data.

      You say ebay does “bugger all” – that’s not true – they throw a lot of money at the Trust and Safety department. I agree it may LOOK like that but if we have a problem with a buyer we must continue to take the time to report them so as ebay have the DATA. Thats the big picture here. Millions of people are removed from the platform every year (internationally) both buyers and sellers – this PROVES ebay are being proactive but it is a very difficult if not almost impossible situation when they are having to adjudicate between buyer and seller.

      There is a big diffence between ebay “doing bugger all” and doing what you WANT / ECPECT them to do. Just because they dont do what you expect doesn’t mean nothing is being done.

  • Stephen
    5 months ago

    @Alan

    “Millions of people are removed from the platform every year (internationally) both buyers and sellers – this PROVES ebay are being proactive but it is a very difficult if not almost impossible situation when they are having to adjudicate between buyer and seller.”

    Where has this information come from? Is it actually verified? Or are you just believing what ebay claim? Considering ebay never do anything about the scammers i’ve reported down the years i’m somewhat sceptical.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      @ Stephen, ebay used to release these figures although I dont believe that they have done it since 2014. It was widely reported on line and I am sure Tamebay even done an article on it.

      Do I have exact figures for this year? No. last Year no. but I am VERY confident that the figures would be at least static if not on the rise.

      Folk thing the Trust and Safety department do nothing but twiddle their thumbs. I have reported buyers in the past and they are no longer registered on ebay (some of them). You can SEE ebay being effective. Did you revisit the USER ID of the scammers you reported?

  • JIM
    5 months ago

    millions of people just re register or use alternative idS to continue their scams
    just removing the account achieves little

    • 5 months ago

      Agreed.

      I’m fortunate enough to sell products that don’t attract as many scammers as other sellers seem to get, but do get the odd one now and then.

      I’ve had to block one such buyer 4 times under multiple IDs. The original IDs I became aware of aren’t no longer registered, just currently inactive, so ebay didn’t even remove the buyer. This is despite the fact myself and several other sellers all reported the buyer to ebay within the space of a few weeks. He was literally claiming INR for every purchase from every seller, even if it was tracked and signed for. When such blatant and massive fraudsters can continue to use ebay, the system doesn’t work.

  • 5 months ago

    Having had a lot of scammers we used to put the username on the banned list, then quickly realised that buyers just add a number or letter to their username and can buy/scam again.

    We now don’t ban anyone so we can keep a history of repeat scammers, that is more useful when asking eBay CS to help with problems.

    The whole return / refund procedure is our main gripe with eBay and takes up the most time. Hopefully in the future, they will grant sellers a little bit more power to at least contest dishonest returns before imposing threats and timelines to issue refunds.

  • 5 months ago

    I chatted with an eBay insider last night, and while they were careful not to divulge anything that would get them fired, in part of our conversation I asked if there were any seller “hooks” or conditions in what was to be announced. I was assured, “There are no hooks. It’s what Sellers have been asking for for years, to be protected against fraudulent Buyers and MUCH MORE. I promise, we are asking for nothing.” So we shall soon see!

    A couple quick thoughts:

    1) Since eBay Managed Payments is eventually going to be compulsory, I believe with the strongest confidence the “multi-part” plan aspect naturally involves MP.

    With eBay in full control of the payments funnel, eBay is in much better position to identify bad actors and pre-screen them out when they create new guest accounts.

    2) Forever touting their “Artificial Intelligence” and “Machine Learning”, eBay would be remiss not to apply their AI/ML capabilities to screen and segment their 180 million buyers’ (and to be fair, the tens of millions of sellers) behaviors and return patterns.

    I will be very surprised if in today’s announcement Wenig and co do NOT find a way to shoehorn a few of their favorite technology capabilities and buzzwords into the announcement.

    3) Related to above, eBay should be tallying blocked buyers and of course seller-reported buyers to create a risk model (similar to a credit score) to segment buyers.

    4) Lastly, with the “ounce of prevention worth a pound of cure” preventative action mindset, eBay would serve sellers well by enhancing the buyer blocking features set from the nearly worthless selections currently offered (to include metrics such as buyer return %, bad/negative feedback left by buyer %, etc. for sellers to more effectively screen potential buyer trading partners before problems occur)

  • Jim
    5 months ago

    Rational and reasonable suggestions
    Though if ebay takes the hit in the pocket rather than the seller, they will never happen

  • Jonah
    5 months ago

    Seeing is believing.
    In 15 years wor so on the platform we haven’t seen eBay take so much as one action against the blatant buyer abuse that we have reported.
    Actions speak louder than words.

  • Stephen
    5 months ago

    @Alan

    “You can SEE ebay being effective. Did you revisit the USER ID of the scammers you reported?”

    Yep and that’s why it looks to me that ebay do nothing about them! They are still happily scamming away leaving tons of negs for items not received and the occasional revised positive when they’ve successfully scammed a seller into giving a refund.

    • alan paterson
      5 months ago

      I empathise Stephen. That is my experience with many scammers too – they are still on the platform. however a percentage HAVE been removed by ebay. This is why it is so important to report a scammer – whether you think something is being done about it or not. You owe it to your fellow sellers.

    • Jim
      5 months ago

      Whats with this Fellow sellers twaddle my responsibility is to my business not others
      its ebay that takes the fee
      the onus with them to protect and care for sellers
      not other sellers
      Reporting a buyer is just a placebo

    • Stephen Wright
      5 months ago

      100% with you on this, 90% of my negatives are from customers that consistently leave negatives and ebay will do nothing. I’ve called and gone through them, “They only leave negatives”, “they have only left 1 feedback out of 200 they have received as a buyer and that’s negative” “They consistently state INR in feedback” – all fall on deaf ears.

      The INR ones annoy me the most as you know they have received the item (but 90% of my items are low value Large Letters and Royal Mail cant be bothered tracking them using the 2d barcode as it would be “to much work for their delivery staff at the point of delivery”…

      Some items have had 100’s of sales then you get 1 negative from a customer “Doesn’t look like images” – they wont take into account the 100’s of sales that have left positive and say the buyer is entitled to their opinion…

  • Ferret
    5 months ago

    As has been said previously, any action is toothless as the bad buyers simply circumvent any blocks – sometimes with eBay’s full assistance.

    I had a buyer unable to purchase due to my blocks. According to the logs they tried four times. Then suddenly they were able to buy. After making enquiries I discovered that all they had done was to ring CS, tell them they wanted to buy something but were not able to, and CS there and then lifted *my* block and allowed them to purchase.

    All I got was a “it’s a sale – we don’t understand your problem” response

    • 5 months ago

      I didn’t know ebay could do that. I hope you cancelled the unwanted order. I did with the buyer I mentioned further up the replies, when they tried to slip under the radar with 2 new IDs.

      What they and ebay don’t get is, some sellers might not want to accept orders from “buyers” we know are actually thieves, even if they offer to turn up with cash in hand. We can’t recover the losses we made first time around, but turning down their business and forcing them to pay through the nose elsewhere is a pretty satisfying next best thing.

    • 5 months ago

      forcing them to pay through the nose elsewhere is a pretty satisfying next best thing… I remember the great satisfaction of having sold a rather expensive computer about a decade ago which “went missing in transit”, the same customer then came back to try and purchase some memory for said computer. The memory was highly specific and it was enormously satisfying to tell the customer it almost certainly wasn’t any good for them seeing as they never received the computer and they were blocked from buying it from me!

      I was the only one on eBay selling the memory and I really hope they enjoyed the 128k the machine came with or paid a small fortune for the 512k they were trying to purchase ha ha ha

    • Stephen
      5 months ago

      we’ve had similar – blocked a scammer who stole a mobile from us, he sets up another user id so i block this one too, then get a message from customer service telling me how upset the buyer is as we’ve blocked him! Ebay lift the block and customer buys another mobile. I ask CS what is going on and they tell me that we MUST fufill the order and that if the buyer causes any problems again then to report him to ebay.

      Obviously we cancelled the order and blocked him again but honestly what is the point of having blocks available if ebay remove them just because a scammer asks!

  • Dav
    5 months ago

    eBay increased the seller penalty fee from 4% to 5% if you haven’t heard. Other than that there’s nothing new at all with this so-called update. They already have this policy and refuse to implement it. And it will be more of the same. This update is nothing more than smoke and mirrors coming from the ivory tower at eBay as usual. Truly disgusting company. So really, the only change here is another fee increase. What else is new?

  • Dav
    5 months ago

    Oh and forgot to mention, eBay also increased the FVF cap for Basic and Premium stores from $250 to $350. Bigger stores no change. See how they keep driving the nail into smaller sellers? This company is so desperate for every penny that they’ll stop at nothing by making underhanded and deceptive changes like this. It never stops.

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