For many years I have been selling on Ebay, a little over a year ago I took the plunge and opened a full Ebay store. A few months later I was surprised and happy to have received an email from Ebay informing me that I had met the standard to become a Top Rated Seller or TRS.
With this great and esteemed honor however I had to create a 14 day return policy and set all listings to a 1 day handling time. I did so, as I had no problem offering a return for a legitimate reason. As the months passed Ebay updated their TRS program, the first major change was in early 2016, all TRS has to change their return time to 30 days. This gave me pause and I had to consider it carefully. I decided the gold medallion next to my user ID was worth keeping, but I was going to make changes.
I tightened up my return policy, no returns if sold as new and then used or tags removed, no returns for buyer remorse, changed my mind etc, all was going well until. Prior to October 2016 all TRS received noticed that return policies would now be “Managed Returns”, what? Since I read all of Ebay’s terms, I found nothing definitive as to what “Managed Returns” meant, nevertheless all new changes were to go into effect on October 15th 2016. I thought, it can’t be that bad, but I was wrong.
After October 15th I sold a very nice and expensive woman’s skirt suit, name brand. Shortly after the buyer received it she sent me an email asking to return it. Her reason, she did not like the way it fit (after she wore it to some function). I denied her request, explaining that I did not accept returns for such reasons. In the exchange of messages I discovered she had just created her account and thought Ebay was a “store”, I explained the format. She then used the ”I did not know” reasoning. It turned out she never read the Ebay buyer agreement or my listing. She also explained that she had returned the top of one outfit to exchange to a larger size, she is bigger size on top than bottom. I again told her that I was a seller selling out of my home and not a store.
The case got escalated to Ebay and in hours decided in her favor. I called Ebay to ask why when her reason was clearly outside of my return policy and 100% outside of Ebay’s return policy. I was told…
“You don’t have a return policy, just if it don’t work is not a return policy, you need to accept returns. If you are going to accept returns accept returns.”
In follow up conversations I told Ebay I had been mugged, robbed and stolen from. One rep told me it don’t matter what I do, the return is final.
I changed all my listings to a “No Return Policy” added a ship cost on several items and ace day handling time on a few, I then called Ebay back. This time I asked them to remove the TRS icon, in one single forced return I had lost all of the discounted benefits, the TRS Managed Returns program is a serious and soon to be realized major Ebay mistake. The rep told me the status will be downgraded on the next review. It is not a downgrade, but upgrade. This gets worse.
The suit arrived, but not as I sold it. The buyer wore perfume, a light coating was present on the suit. I called Ebay…
“Thinks for letting us know, we’ll make a note on this buyers account.”
That was all.
As any long time Ebay seller is aware, without dry cleaning the suit I have to mention the perfume in the description and it is considered a form of damage. I did relist it, noting the perfume smell and lowered the price by $10.
I added the buyers ID to my blocked list, then did research on the improved TRS Managed Return Policy, what I found was shocking. These cases are in the last few weeks to months.
Case Example: One giant seller of new DVD’s reported, people are buying the movie, opening the plastic, watching and returning within the 30 days. Seller is forced to accept returns.
Case Example: Several seller’s selling clothing are reporting that buyers are buying clothing items, wearing to formal event, then returning, some with damage, Ebay simply notes the buyers account.
If you search the Internet you will find thousands of more cases similar to those above and like mine.
Either Ebay has lost their logic or they simply can’t see the iceberg on this policy. This TRS Managed Returns Policy is ripe for abuse. As soon as words spreads to abusive buyers Ebay will feel the pain, green bleeds. But by then many sellers will have dropped out of the TRS program as I have and others are presently doing.
The TRS program was good and promising, until the Managed Returns Policy was altered and all choices for returns were left up to Ebay.
Today I still feel violated by Ebay, they did steal my money, they in effect held a gun to my head and told me I had no choice. They violated my return policy and their own. I even told Ebay whoever approved the return do so out of emotion. I ho longer have the loyalty and respect I did for Ebay policy, if they can violate it at a whim, then why should I respect it? I will abide by the very letter of the law, strictly, no mercy to any buyer or seller. If any part of any policy is violated in a transaction I will note it in my Feedback.
Case Example: I ordered a cable, it was due to arrive no later than today. It did not, in fact it is at my Post Office right now. It will be delivered tomorrow. I will not leave negative feedback, but 1 star on shipping and a comment on such, it is the policy of Ebay.
Your updated policy governing Managed Returns will in the end cost you millions of dollars, drop your stock value and cause many sellers to leave the TRS program or stop selling all together. I understand that you feel no obligation toward your selling force and only to shareholders, but when your stock values drop you may not have a strong enough net to fall into.