eBay UK Autumn Seller Release – Enhanced eBay Seller Protection

By Chris Dawson September 4, 2019 - 3:01 pm

From the 1st of October, eBay Top-rated Sellers in the UK will get enhanced eBay Seller Protection on listings that offer 30-day returns or more. The following cases are covered:

Enhanced eBay Seller Protection for Top Rated Seller

If you receive a false ‘Item not as described’ request

  • Use eBay’s recently updated Report a Buyer tool to report the case.
  • If the report qualifies for enhanced eBay Seller Protection, eBay will credit your monthly invoice for the cost of the return postage label up to £3.50.
  • For the reported case, eBay will automatically remove negative or neutral feedback, defects and the opened case in your Service metrics, if the report qualifies.

If a returned item is opened, used or damaged by the buyer

  • Accept the return.
  • You can then deduct up to 50% off the refund to cover the lost value.
  • For the reported case, eBay will automatically remove negative or neutral feedback, defects and the opened case in your Service metrics.

Naturally there will be some limits for sellers who abuse the new protections, but we are pleased to see this coming to the UK having seen similar measures announced at eBay Open for US sellers.

Existing eBay Seller Protection for all sellers

eBay have protections in place for all sellers for when:

  • An item arrives late that you posted on time.
  • You fulfilled your orders as promised but received inaccurate feedback or defects.
  • A buyer demands changes or extras from you.

Sellers who aren’t Top Rated will still be protected in the same way, but eBay Top-rated Sellers will get extra protection on their eligible listings

  • Mark Hetherington
    5 months ago

    Sounds good in theory but how are they going to decide how an “Item Not as Described” claim is false? The current excuse is they can’t make a decision because they don’t get to see the item (although of course they do make a decision, in favour of the buyer) . So does this mean when we tell them an item was brand new, unused and unmarked when we sent it, they’re going to believe us?

    It’s not just the cost of return postage that is the problem, the real problem is that the item comes back worth considerably less than it did when it went out.

    The same applies for items open, used or damaged by the buyer. Are they going to believe us now? I also read previously that it only applies to sellers who offer FREE 30 day returns; in the UK I was told I could deduct 50% for damaged items if that’s what I offered. I declined because just like I knew Managed Returns would increase the number of returned items, which it has, I know that offering free returns will just increase the number of returns even further.

    In fact ASOS recently reported that they’re scrapping (or considering scrapping, I’m not sure) free returns because of the high number of returns and the fact that most (over 50%) of the clothes had been worn.

    As for ebay having protections in place for items sent on time but delivered late, that’s news to me. I’ve had more than a few battles trying to get defects removed where tracking PROVED I had sent items on time but were delivered late, and they were even counting cases where the buyer wasn’t at home when delivery was first attempted and subsequently delivered late.

  • ifellow
    5 months ago

    Well, this is going to be popular with buyers.

    Clearly eBay hoping no one will ever use this.

  • Mali
    5 months ago

    I photograph all item prior to packing and send the photo with a message to the customers stating what they ordered and what is being sent. This stops the not as describe cases.

    • jim
      5 months ago

      nothing stopping a buyer claiming your photo was not of the actual item sent ?

  • Bozman
    5 months ago

    This 50% refund policy has been brought over from the USA.

    That is not the law here.

    The law here is:

    “if the value of the goods is diminished by any amount as a result of handling of the goods by the consumer beyond what is necessary to establish the nature, characteristics and functioning of the goods, the trader may recover that amount from the consumer, up to the contract price”.

    I.e. you are permitted to withhold up 100% of item price if the buyer takes no care of and trashes the item before returning.

    We’ve had Amazon try this 50% max deduction on via A-Z claims. They always back down when you quote them the actual legislation 😉

  • 5 months ago

    Can’t see it working unless eBay are going to re-imburse the buyer the remainder if only 50% is refunded. The buyer would just open a case with Paypal / credit card company. Trying to prove that a buyer has damaged an item is impossible. We have a repetitive pattern where a buyer purchases a 12 volt component from us, connects it up to 230 mains voltage, it goes up in smoke then they claim it was faulty, it is only after careful tricking buyers to own up to their mistake that we know they have bought the wrong item, but even then, buyers don’t just put their hands up and accept their error, eBay always side with the buyer. 50% is a step in the right direction and lessens the blow but doesn’t really help as the part is then ruined and can’t be repaired or re-sold.

  • jim
    5 months ago

    the success rate most of the time will not be worth the time and admin effort to claim

  • 5 months ago

    A false ‘Item not as described’ request is easy to check if the item is new and the seller has a sales history. If you are selling a branded product it is unlikely that you are going to send one item not as described if you have already sold 10-50+.

    I recently hasd a claim stating the item was fake, even though I have sold plenty and sell many items of the same brand. I lost the case but won on appeal, I asked them to prove it was fake.

    I also told eBay it would be wrong of them to allow me to continue trading on their platform if I was selling fake goods and that they should encourage buyers to make a police report / trading standards report about the claim or in the least, contact the manufacture, which in this case is UK based.

  • 5 months ago

    Good to see this formalised. As recently as last week, concierge agents were suggesting that they were doing us a favour by refunding wrongly charged return postage and that they might not bother in future and we should build it in to our margin.

    By formalising this process, at least the volume of abuse and repeat behaviours should become clearer to eBay the cost of the managed returns abuse and guide them as to how they can build it into their margin

  • Jonah
    5 months ago

    It might work after eBay managed payments arrive, but until that point buyers can do exactly as the wish and sellers are powerless to stop it.

  • alan paterson
    5 months ago

    this is an excellent amendment by eBay. Although ebay meant well with the system that is currently in use – this change was well over due.

    We have been plagued by false “item is not as described” cases. We sell shoes and more often than not the case is due to the shoes not fitting. This has been hammering my service metrics (the idea that it is proportional to your peers in your category does not work) and has been causing havoc with our account and my mental health lol.

    Buyers abusing the returns is also ripe – often returning shoes that have been worn for the event or even returning their old filthy shoes that we don’t even supply! whilst causing us to pay for the return and again causing defects on our account. It was a thoroughly dis-heartening system that was causing me to despise my own business.

    A welcome change / amendment for a system that was being regularly abused by unscrupulous buyers and sucked the motivation out of sellers.

    • 5 months ago

      @alan paterson Sorry to hear you are having these problems. Would it be possible to set up a video camera and record the opening of the returns box.

      The buyers are committing fraud and video evidence could at least frighten them into withdrawing their case if you send a strongly worded response, like the threat of a police report, along with the video evidence.

      The cost of such a setup should be minimal compared to losing a lot of shoes.

  • Jonah
    5 months ago

    We always open expensive returns in front of the courier or post man- we then have verifiable third party testimony should there be a problem

  • Nic
    5 months ago

    Rumour has that fraudulent activity (such as “buying” clothes for an Instagram photo, and then returning them) is so rife that a well known on-line retailer is paying for social media checks to see if they can spot their clothes being worn in the images. Maybe ebay should be doing something similar.

  • Jim
    5 months ago

    Only one way to solve this is to give the vendor the choice to refund or not
    or at least gjve them a quota of refusals relative to

  • 5 months ago

    I sometimes struggle with the stupidity of those amongst us that are supposedly “business” people yet fail to comprehend the realities of business.

    Unfortunately this phenomenon has actually been created by the ones they blame for not providing a safe environment for them to “play” in, at whatever level.

    @Jim: you need to get out in the real world, if I buy from you, on your own website, and want to return something for fraudulent reasons, I can!!!!

    Forget you constant rants about eBay, what are you going to do about it?

    Did you answer? Well I am really not interested in your response, I am a scammer and your response is meaningless unless like eBay you are going to refund me.

    What I am going to tell you is that if you do NOT refund me I will simply create a charge back on my credit card that I WILL get.

    Simple, you LOST!

    Now multiply that by thousands and you will soon work out why eBay refund people.

    I was authorised in the early 90’s to accept what they they call “Customer Not Present” with a turnover of £850,000 per annum. This was not easy and took a lot of approval to get, in the start. My RM bill was £30K a month for mailshots, we hit it hard with adatabase of 250,000 and did manual entry for all orders on a system I built myself incorporating Quick Address and flagging suspect accounts on postcode validation.

    Refunds to a customer complaint were a “given” and the term “The Customer Is Always Right” was also the mantra of the day.

    As they have loosened the criteria for CNP, any flyboy can get one, which increases fraudulent sellers, but the one thing that is often stable is “The Customer Is Always Right”.

    eBay / Paypal have very little choice but to refund customers, if they do and the customer takes it to the bank then they get the refund and eBay / Paypal get a black mark.

    How do we get round this problem?

    As I suggested to Alan Patterson earlier, we have to fight our own battles, we have to provide evidence that the customer is a fraud. Any customer trying it on will back down at the slightest hint of being caught out. They get away with it because they can. And yes, it is partly down to the eBay culture, but even back in the 90’s, if a customer choose to “take” their money back there really was NOTHING I could do about it.

    We could go “Old School”, I am more than happy to go and knock on doors of your customers, in my area, to ask them to explain their problem, at anytime of night, if you cover my customers in your area, etc…

    Just an idea.

    OK not very realistic but as the problem grows we have to start thinking as a group of businesses, not constantly “blaming” eBay / PayPal for something that is actually often out of their control.

    So rather than constantly complaining, what are WE going to do?

  • jim
    5 months ago

    we think the above is a longwinded rant if their ever was one,
    were simply suggesting that the vendor has a choice to contest the refund
    rationally and evidence based 100% rather than 50%

    • 5 months ago

      @Jim, you are right, it was a bit of a rant and maybe wrongly directed at yourself.

      Overall we get a lot of negativity about eBay, some of it is well founded, some of it is out of their control. But I see very little positive attitude towards fixing problems or at least trying to minimise them. So what we have is constant moaning.

      The internet is one of the best ways of promoting how easy it is to defraud sellers and these type of moaning threads just help to perpetuate the problem. The more you advertise how easy it is too do something the more people are likely to try it.

      Your idea of giving the vendor the choice to refund is not ideal, unless they can back it up with proof, as I suggested above. Should the scammer want, they can still contact the credit card company for a refund and that makes eBay look bad, which is probably why they are so quick to apply refunds in the favour of the buyer (scammer).

  • jim
    5 months ago

    we understand the ethos .logic . method and reasoning behind returns and refunds though I still think a mechanism should be in place to allow the individual vendor
    the right to refuse to refund the obvious fraudulent cases
    putting the onus on the buyer to contest or appeal the decision, not just an automatic refund

    • 5 months ago

      @Jim, I think if people did understand that they would not be on here constantly moaning about it being a problem.

      And once they have understood that eBay are more than willing too refund people they should then look to protect themselves, which they don’t, they just continue moaning.

      Or maybe you are right and we will not here any more moaning about it…

  • jim
    5 months ago

    the little protection the law allows you is rendered useless , if ebay strip away that protection

    • 5 months ago

      @Jim, what protection does the law allow you?

      As I said above, the customer can claim the money back from their credit card, how do you stop that?

      Where is the law to stop them doing that?

      Rewvert nack to what I have previously said and you need to protect yourself, to provide evidence that the item returned waqs not as it should have been. This can only really be done by a continuous video of the opening of that parcel.

      This is why it is important for sellers to protect themselves, it is not something that eBay can do.

  • Jim
    5 months ago

    So why would video make any difference?
    It will be ignored the same as other
    Measures terms or conditions by ebay etal

    • 5 months ago

      @Jim, is that a fact or just your usual negative attitude?

      Have you tried it?

      If you took on board what I actually said earlier, from experience I have found that most scammers would back down when confronted with evidence or the police involvement, which would cut down on eBay involvement, so case closed.

      For those that persist, you could file a police report and submit that to eBay with the evidence, without any evidence you have nothing.

      When you have nothing you lose money and complain, which would you rather?

      Quiet happy for you to or anybody prove me wrong.

      If I was losing the amount of money some people have complained about due to buyer fraud I would not be on here moaning about it, I would be taking action and trying to do something about it.

    • Jim
      5 months ago

      More to the point tyler
      Have you tried it?
      Has ebay ever awarded you a case on video evidence???

    • 5 months ago

      @Jim Love your negativity.

      No I have never tried it. I have no need, I rarely get any cases against me 1/1000 orders and probably 1/5,000 orders which would involve the need to use such evidence and these are not high value items.

      But, as I said before, “If I was losing the amount of money some people have complained about due to buyer fraud I would not be on here moaning about it, I would be taking action and trying to do something about it”.

      What I can tell you is that when RM first introduced the 2d bar codes and items were scanned to show delivery I had several cases that items were suddenly found once I said the police would be involved and the case closed.

      Since then, many sellers have reported the number of cases for INR has dropped significantly as scammers know they do not get away with it any more. eBay do protect buyers.

      Most of these people are not professional thieves, it just became an eBay “culture”, much the same as people buying items in shops, using them and then returning them. Argos used to offer a great “lending” service with their 16 day money back no quibble returns.

    • james
      5 months ago

      Jim is right though, ebay wouldn’t even look at the video, if you could talk them into looking, they wouldn’t take a blind bit of notice
      “we can’t (don’t want to) verify the condition it was sent out in…” etc etc. the lamest of excuses, but you can’t do jack about it.

      it’s nice that you get so few dodgy returns. we sell flat pack furniture, nobody wants to pay the return costs when they’re £50+ to return £500+ of items because they couldn’t measure their space right, so they all claim some fault or other, ebay could not care less, no matter how much evidence you provide.

      it’s not a matter of not being able to verify, it’s that they genuinely don’t want to verify, they’d rather just take your money cos they can and it’s so much easier.

      and your point regarding chargebacks only stretches so far. the people scamming ebay sellers are doing so 3 or 4 times a week with zero consequence, try going into your bank with 4 unrelated chargebacks in one week, they’ll close your account.

    • 5 months ago

      @James Like Jim you seem full of negativity to an idea, maybe it is a name thing.

      Of course eBay won’t accept it, why even bother trying…

      But once again you seem have missed the main point, that if you show scammers that you have evidence and will make a police report against them should they not close the case, a high percentage probably will.

      And for the others you never know, because why both trying, eBay may actually take your video as evidence.

      I am guessing you have built your fraud loss into your profit so it really is not a problem for you. I bet you laugh to yourself every time somebody thinks they have got one over on you.

      Of course there are some situations or businesses that the idea may not work with or, like you and Jim claim, it just would not work at all. I know I won’t lose any sleep over it.

    • Jim
      5 months ago

      Our postie has applied for his equity card
      And insists he will win an oscar

    • james
      5 months ago


      who said i haven’t tried?

      I’ve been banging my head against a brick wall with ebay CS for years, things like facts and evidence are of absolutely zero consequence to these people. I’ve tried a million different things over the years, none work.
      – I had one guy apparently return an entire bedroom worth of furniture in a small envelope using Royal Mail. he had a tracking number so he got a refund off ebay. no amount of evidence could convince ebay they were in the wrong. photos of the envelope with the tracking number and post marks weren’t enough, in their mind someone fit three wardrobes and a king size bed in there so deserves a full refund.

      You think providing them with a video is a new idea? Please.

      Customers are a different story, we can usually sort most of the scammers out ourselves, we’re used to them now, but the ones that don’t back down know ebay will back them up no matter what evidence you provide.

      even when you do report it to action fraud, trot down your local police station with printouts and photos, wait in line, give your report, get your crime number, report it to ebay, wait several days for them to call back and ask the name of the constable you spoke to, wait for them to speak to that constable personally, who’s just gone on holiday…..
      IF after all of that, they do actually decide to give you your money back, it comes out of their pocket as a “goodwill gesture”, the scammer still gets away with it.
      – and the next time it happens, ebay are of the mind that they don’t need to give out another goodwill gesture.

      rather than declare everyone else negative, why not actually try it and then come back and tell us how great you got on? I certainly didn’t start off negative towards ebay, it’s only through experience i’ve grown that way. If you’ve been on ebay a while and aren’t negative towards them it’s probably naivety. I’m sure a few of Harold Shipman’s patients were saying what a lovely man he is and why is everyone else moaning?

    • 5 months ago

      @James, Your response was negative so rightly described.

      When you say “who said i haven’t tried?”

      Have you tried it You haven’t actually said you have, if you had I would assume you would have mentioned it.

      I have no idea what you may or may not have done,. partly because you did not actually say anything other than Jim was right and why bother trying. Lets face it, if everybody had that attitude then we would still be living in caves, Fred tried it and it didn’t work so don’t bother wasting your time.

      I would be surprised if it was a new idea and I have no need to try it as I am not losing money through buyer fraud, but if I was I would try it.

      Did you tell the buyers that you had evidence that they had committed fraud and were going to report the matter to the police? How did they respond? My personal experience was people soon “found” the item that they had claimed never arrived, once the police were mentioned

      Have you asked eBay what evidence they would require or consider to prove buyer fraud? Again you don’t say. But I always find that a better option than trying a million different things.

      How do you handle “most scammers”, maybe you could help others in the same situation, there seems to be a lot of it going on.

      Unfortunately your negativity is such that you are unable to discuss a subject, preferring a rant. Did old Harold also fleece you before he got arrested?

    • james
      5 months ago

      @ Tyler.

      No you don’t have a clue what i tried and what i didn’t.
      You had an idea, obviously must be a great idea and everybody must be on board or else they’re the problem? despite the fact you’ve no intention of using it yourself.
      You’ve been told twice it’s not. Go prove us wrong or live with it.

    • 5 months ago

      @James I put forward an idea, not a great idea, just an idea. I have been told twice it does not work by people that have not tried it.

      How do you know it doe not work if you have not tried it? You don’t, you just want to moan and be negative.

      I have no intention of doing it myself as I do not have a problem with buyer fraud. But I have already said that if I did have a problem I would try it. If you do not wish to try it and carry on losing money more fool you.


    • Jim
      5 months ago

      You claim your not suffering from buyer fraud
      Yet you than claim from personal experience mentioning police made scammers back down ?
      You also suggest refusing refunds etc is futile due to terms and regulations of ebay banks credit cards etc
      Yet than claim that video evidence will be of help

    • 5 months ago

      @Jim I do feel sorry for you, you clearly find it hard to follow a thread, in your frustration you make silly comments that people ignore.

      Let me explain.

      I like others suffered from INR cases prior to RM introducing 2d bar codes, this rarely happens now. But when it was first introduced scammers tried it on. When I told them that the postman had scanned the item as delivered so it was now considered stolen, not lost in the post, so would need reporting to the police. They then managed to “find” the item in most cases. Since then, eBay now uphold 2d barcode delivery scan INR cases.

      It would not have been possible for me to request RM to make the postmen carry a video.

      The above is totally different to what we have been discussing although I used it to explain the threat of police scaring most would be scammers.

      Hope you have followed that so far?

      So what do we determine from the above?

      Most scammers are not professional thieves, they fall into the easy eBay culture of scamming which people consider is ok, much like abusing shop returns, which has been going on far longer than internet shopping.

      The threat of being reported to the police is often not worth the hassle of the scam and the buyer will back down, but no need to if there is no evidence.

      So provide some evidence.

      I suggested a video of the returned package being opened and details of the content being recorded. This could be shown to the buyer and the suggestion being that they withdraw the fraudulent claim or be reported to the police, along with the evidence.

      How many casual fraudsters would back down at that implication, regardless of if eBay refunded them or not? I have no idea, but I don’t suffer from fraudulent returns.

      James has apparently tried millions of things to fight eBay fraud cases, but has he ever asked eBay what they would consider as proof of buyer fraud?

      Even if they don’t accept it, my idea was not just recording the return but also the threat of the police along with providing video evidence.

      This seems to be a repetitive complaint from sellers on here constantly complaining how easy it is for buyers to rip sellers off and whilst it rarely happens to me, we should look at a way of stopping it rather than keep complaining.

      Unless people feel happy losing thousands of pounds each year so it gives them the right to moan. Its a funny old world so anything is possible!

    • Jim
      5 months ago

      To be honest we do find it hard to follow your rambling threads

    • james
      5 months ago

      “James has apparently tried millions of things to fight eBay fraud cases, but has he ever asked eBay what they would consider as proof of buyer fraud?”

      Yes, Yes he has.
      He has been told that they won’t consider any proof, they don’t want photos, and have no means for you to upload a video to them that they care to tell you of. They cannot verify the condition it was sent out in, so no return evidence is of any use to them, and they don’t want evidence of anything being sent out because they can’t (don’t want to) verify that either.


      You don’t want/need to try it, fair enough. we have, it doesn’t work. don’t go around hurling abuse just because your idea isn’t as great as you thought. if it did work i wouldn’t have come on to tell you it didn’t.

    • 5 months ago

      @James I don’t need to try it as I am not ripped off by buyers returning items fraudulently.

      Even if, as you claim, eBay would not take it into consideration, I would still try and utilise it to make buyers withdraw their false claim and if they did not, then I would report it to the police, or seek other legal action.

      If there is no way of uploading video to eBay why have you been arguing about it all this time, why did you simply not mention it at the start?

  • 5 months ago

    Credit card protection usually only applies to items costing more than £100, although I believe the tSB have a debit card which allows chargebacks.

    • 5 months ago

      @Laura I think you are probably talking about something completely different.

      A Customer Not Present chargeback can be made for any amount on the basis that the person denies making the transaction, you will not be told the reason, nor will your bank.

      This may have been tightened up by the use of extra verification, like the Verified by Visa scheme, which uses a password rather than just checking against the credit card cvv and your address/postcode details.

      We used to have to enter the house number along with the digits from your postcode as well as the 3digit cvv.

  • jim
    5 months ago

    ok were going to be positive who do you recommend Spielberg or Tarantino

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