eBay abusive buyer policy enforcement measures updates

By Chris Dawson October 22, 2019 - 10:05 am

eBay have announced that they are updating eBay Money Back Guarantee and other policies to clarify existing enforcement measures against buyers who violate the eBay abusive Buyer policy.

“Buyers may not misuse our feedback, returns, or buyer protection programmes. Engaging in activity as described in this policy may result in a range of actions, including the loss of eBay Money Back Guarantee coverage, issuing warnings to buyers, blocking buyers from requesting returns or refunds on eBay, and account suspension.”
– eBay

Naturally some of the most pertinent parts of the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy address the recent Enhanced eBay Seller Protection for Top Rated Sellers. Specifically spelled out are:

Don’t make false claims – Not allowed:

  • Claiming an item was not received when there is proof of delivery to the address on the Order details page
  • Falsely claiming an item was not as described

Don’t misuse returns – Not allowed

  • Returning an item other than the original item received
  • Using or damaging an item and then returning it
  • Returning an item with the reason that it was not as described when it was described accurately

You can read the full eBay abusive buyer policy here

  • james
    10 months ago

    “Claiming an item was not received when there is proof of delivery to the address on the Order details page”
    So if there’s no tracking info, then it’s fine to steal it under ebay’s new policy wording?

    • 10 months ago

      Without tracking how would you know if the item was received or not?

      eBay do uphold the RM 2d scan.

    • james
      10 months ago

      the customer would know it had arrived, because they received it.
      according to the wording of this, it’s okay for the customer to claim it wasn’t received,
      because there is no “proof of delivery to the address on the order details page”.

      theft is okay as long as there’s no proof you stole.

    • 10 months ago

      @james I don’t see your point, you are trying to make out eBay are saying something that they are not.

      By saying it is NOT ok to do one thing does not make it ok to do another!

      Yes there are thieves in the world and it is wrong, but what do you EXPECT eBay to do about something that you have no proof of?

      Are you assuming that everybody that does not receive their item is a thief? And expect eBay to treat their customers that way?

      Is that how you would treat customers from your own website?

    • james
      10 months ago


      no you seldom do see the point these days.

      why not use the much simpler “do not claim an item is not received when it has been received” or something to that effect?
      to stipulate specifically that it’s only wrong when there’s proof otherwise is odd, is the point.

    • 10 months ago

      @James, Oh dear…

      Unfortunately eBay assume that users are adults, not children, with an adult understanding of how things work.

      “Claiming an item was not received when there is proof of delivery to the address on the Order details page”.

      It is plain and simple for all to understand except you it would seem.

      The problem with your scenario is that there is NO evidence of an item being received if the there is no tracking, and whilst it is wrong to claim an item has not been delivered if it has, there is no proof, so how would you police it? How would you decide if they were telling the truth or lying? If you do nopt use tracking then that is your problem, not the fault of eBay.

      Never mind, half term next week maybe your parents will take you for a nice holiday!

  • Steve
    10 months ago

    It’s seems really odd to me that eBay have done this.

    On one hand – Opening a not received case when the tracking shows the item has been delivered seems obvious and I think eBay always leaned towards the sender in these cases but this puts the emphasis the infallibility of the delivery service. Is it inconceivable that an item was delivered to wrong address? I think we all know the answer.
    Other things they mention in the ‘abuse’ policy are subjective. “Not as described” has always had a subjective element. Unless eBay check each description against each actual item how can they say either way? Even clothing manufacturers can’t agree on sizing – shoe sizes differ between manufacturers …

    I think eBay have gone to quite a bit of effort to make it look like something has changed to protect sellers, but I can’t see what has actually changed.

  • Ewan Lamont
    10 months ago

    “ ‘Claiming an item was not received when there is proof of delivery to the address on the Order details page’
    So if there’s no tracking info, then it’s fine to steal it under ebay’s new policy wording?”

    That is nothing new: if a seller has not used a trackable service, eBay will not protect them. However, a fraud is still a fraud, but the victim, the seller, has to take it up with the Police . That seems fair: tracking is worth paying for if an item is worth anything.

  • Jonah
    10 months ago

    Nothing will change.

    The same mantra will apply from eBay “dear seller, we can’t see what you sent and have no way of verifying what was received so please refund the buyer in full”.

    “Dear seller, we couldn’t verify that you received an empty box return so please refund the buyer in full”

    • Toby
      10 months ago

      Spot on Johan. I was justa bout to write the same thing. In the past i have had photos of used goods returned, even ebay messages from the buyer saying that it had been used or was as described, just that they didn’t want to pay return postage… in every case ebay has allowed the case to go against us!
      What i want to see is EXACTLY what proof is required to win a case in these circumstances… I can make any statement i want, if i have a million and one excuses why it can’t be honoured.

    • Toby
      10 months ago

      Sorry Jonah… in my rush i got your name wrong the first time and couldn’t edit afterwards!

  • Jonah
    10 months ago

    @Toby no worries 😉
    I fully agree, eBay have never found in our favour with these scam returns. We do expect returns online- it’s the nature of the beast. However what we don’t expect are empty box returns- even when we can prove the return parcel weight was substantially different from that sent out. We even heard of eBay refunding the entire cost of a bedroom suite when the “buyer” claimed they had returned the “faulty” goods by post- by second class signed for letter rate!! That’s unforgivable

  • Mark
    10 months ago

    In most cases you are better off calling Ebay and talking to someone as more often than not you get a positive outcome if you are in the right.

    Whilst Ebay policy hasn’t changed much here they are using more language associated with ‘scamming’. Even if Ebay put off 10% of scammers from committing fruad in the first place then it’s a step in the right direction.

    More is needed to better protect the seller but at least this is a start.

  • 10 months ago

    My sales are down 75% this year vs last year which was already down 30% from previous. Of the sales I’ve made this year, 10% are fraudulent buyers. It may have to do with the type of goods that I sell but it has creeped up because fraudsters know they can get away. I think anyone with under 30 feedbacks could be a fraud. Now there are 2 kinds of frauds. Those that use stolen credit cards are the most common and then the last is someone who buys and immediately files for return and sends back something else. I’ve taken down many items because I can’t handle the losses anymore and sell strictly items that are hard to find and not high priced.

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