Thursday, December 18, 2014

ASK THE EBAY QUEEN: Why is eBay policy so defective?

By SUZIE EADS, Ask the eBay Queen | 8/14/2014

Dear eBay Queen: I would never bash eBay, because as a professional business, eBay is my partner and when a partner makes an error or has a glitch, we point it out. I’m so frustrated, and I hope my message comes across that way, instead of bashing.

I’ve called eBay a couple of times and complained about how unfair this defect system is when it comes to the categories I sell in: clothing and glassware. My issue is that buyers who want to return the item because of fit are opening cases for “Item not as described.” I am receiving a defect for each one of those cases that are opened even though they should not be. eBay customer service is suggesting that I use the “Hassle Free Return” system. I’ve contemplated this, but when you look at the reasons a buyer can select (and I won’t get a defect,) verses what they can select and I will get a defect, I’m once again at the mercy of these buyers.

Personally, I think it stinks that “Damage during shipping” is a defect. I had an issue a couple of weeks ago where I double boxed, wrapped, double cardboard the item, and allowed two inches on each side of the box in a set of 4 bubble glass highballs. I truly packed these to withstand a drop from a bridge! However, the buyer sent me photos of the box basically crushed! The glasses made it there OK even with the crushed box, but if they had not, I would have received a defect!

I never quite understood from eBay’s people if this is supposed to mean that if I don’t sign up for the managed returns, will every return count as a defect? It doesn’t seem very clear to me.

This entire conversation is giving me a headache! I do not need eBay to manage my returns. I do not want eBay to manage my returns. I also do not need eBay tricking my buyers into opening cases against me, which is what I feel they are doing now. — Sonja

Dear Sonja: I completely understand where you are coming from. I have the same problem with the defect system you have, and each time I call eBay to discuss how the buyer opened a claim that was “Not as described” yet the item didn’t fit, which has nothing to do with description. Each time I call, I have been urged to use managed returns. I am not too excited about using eBay return system, mostly because if a buyer chooses a reason that is a defect, I will have to pay the return shipping. 

I have been doing a bit of research on this, and I have a friend who swears by the managed return system. She says it has ended her problem when buyers “shake the tree.” She talks about how buyers can no longer say they want to keep the item or barter for a better price. The option with this managed return is just that: return it. She also says that you have the ability as a seller to dispute the return if there is an issue.

Another seller I spoke to about managed returns says it has not increased her returns, or created more issues with buyer’s remorse. She has not opted to pay return shipping, and has yet to have a buyer make a not as described claim. 

Strange eBay item of the week: Item No. 271544216838. I am looking to purchase a new rug for my home. I looked on eBay, and found some beautiful pieces! “12x18 Magnificent Handmade French Aubusson Savenery Red Needlepoint Rug.” It sold for $2,950 at

Suzie Eads is a nationally known eBay marketer and eBay trained education specialist. She lives in Rantoul. Have a question for the eBay Queen? Email the eBay Queen

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