Forum Replies Created
04/02/2021 at 6:16 pm in reply to: Help please. Buyer claims item is damaged and has issued a return. #87201
If they’ve opened a return, your only option is to accept it or wait and have eBay accept it for you/potentially just refund the buyer out of your own pocket.
If the shitty ones are sent back, immediately message the buyer with a quick, no BS message like “You’ve sent back a different item. Please explain. We are prepared to escalate this issue”, then call eBay and keep insisting you talk to someone who can help you directly with your problem. Tip 1: The first person you talk to can’t do anything, Tip 2: You’ll be told a few dozen times that you must “communicate with your buyer to resolve the issue” and “wait X number of days before eBay can step in”, both of which are 110% false and just ways to get you off the phone. Keep demanding you talk to someone until you pass out from talking too much, and if rejected, call back and try again with a different customer service rep.
Worst case scenario: eBay lets you issue a partial refund down to 50% (I think?) The buyer can contest it.
Does the item have a serial number or another unique identifier? When I upload pictures for a listing, I think to myself that at least some of the images I’m uploading are less for the customer and more to protect me in the event of a scam.
Good luck. Keep calm and don’t get too emotional. In retrospect, every time I’ve gotten super pissed about something on eBay I’ve felt like a total idiot in hindsight.
eBay wrote a blog entry on the feedback system before this, then scrubbed it. The post was only up for a short while and I didn’t think to screengrab it and post it here. There’s no mention of it anywhere on eBay and now this update with extended feedback characters is in the same slot the aforementioned post was. FWIW there wasn’t anything mindblowing in it, but there was this line about how eBay didn’t see “rude or offensive” text as a valid reason for removing feedback, explaining that buyers often get emotional during negative experiences and that there were “two sides to every story.”
In 10 years eBay will extend the feedback length to 100,000,000 characters and explain to sellers that “it’s just business” and to “get creative” by offering novel-length feedback as purchasable, leather-bound publications via vanity press for display in their homes.
I think the funniest things CSRs do is tell you they can’t fix issues until you’re off the phone/chat. It just makes me laugh for some reason. Like, I know from experience they’re just going to wait until I log off/hang up and then immediately do the opposite with zero consequences. “Sir, we can see the buyer isn’t cooperating – we can close the case and refund you the money right after this call”, then you hang up and immediately the case is sided with the buyer and the option to chat with eBay gets removed. Now that’s awesome. I guess the CSRs can also click a button that says “Block this seller from contacting help for X hours” and it just removes the button entire to get help. Even if you have the direct link to start a chat it immediately errors out and says help is offline.
By far, the best lie I was told is that a CSR couldn’t close a return because it had to be done on a special computer at eBay HQ in the last 10 seconds the return was open.
Another pitfall: If you send a refund and don’t refund original shipping, eBay puts those funds on ice for 30 days or until the buyer “confirms” the amount you sent.
I also have open returns past 30 days that were never shipped back, but eBay won’t close them.
From experiences I’ve had in the last month with sketchy returns, I feel that the entire returns system was fundamentally changed without us knowing. The answers I’ve got from customer support boiled down to “It’s just the cost of doing business” or “It’s just the buyer’s opinion. There are two sides to every story!” etc.
GoDaddy responded to my support ticket: “Sorry for the trouble. eBay informed us that the FedEx fees are not available to import initially with a normal refresh. Only later after a few weeks does resetting the account for a manual refresh bring the transactions in. We can only import the data eBay makes available to us.”
The refresh went through and the missing FedEx charges now appeared to be logged. Take note that this isn’t the same process as manually hitting “Update” on the account – apparently GoDaddy support has to do it directly on the backend. This begs the question as to why this process isn’t automated and needed to be ran manually.
If you’re missing data, contact GoDaddy. Top right of the page, “Help & Community.” You don’t need to log in, just type your email and the problem.
I’ve written a script that takes an eBay invoice from a given period and checks for matching FedEx charges in GoDaddy. Before support ran this update, it was missing 16 transactions. I’ll run it again with this latest data, but just from a quick peek I can see there’s way more entries than I was seeing an hour ago. Regardless, I think it’s extremely important that I now audit the books and make sure other data isn’t incorrect.
The problem is that some FedEx labels are in GoDaddy and others aren’t. Right now I think this issue affects all FedEx orders in 2020, even before I switched to MP. Searching for “FedEx” in both the name and description section only return a dozen or so total for the year. I’ve also searched all Shipping Costs during the period listed on the invoice (sorted by highest) and looked for exact dollar amounts listed under the FedEx charges on the invoice and only 5 or so match what’s on the invoice.
I’ve emailed GD support. For now, I’m creating a secondary shipping expenses category and manually entering the data from the invoice.
eBay just sent me a message saying my account was going to drop into “bad standing” if I didn’t handle an INR that I’d already uploaded tracking for and contacted the buyer letting them know about the delay. By “handle” they mean refund, 100%, no questions asked/no need to pay out in the item eventually arrives.
The problem is that eBay isn’t doing anything directly to notify buyers of a potential delay. Buyers are now contacting me and demanding refunds because I missed *MY* “guaranteed” delivery date. Stuff like “You advertised a delivery date of X. What’s happening????” is bothersome and just introduces extra stress that eBay could prevent by just letting buyers know there’s a problem.
As far as I can tell, the only thing eBay has done to help in this situation is add a bit of text to the Tracking page of an order that says something about delays due to higher volume. Judging by the last two complaints I’ve had, buyers aren’t even aware of how to get their tracking number for an order (“Why haven’t you shipped this yet?”), so chances of them even arriving at this page are slim.
Maybe the oddest part about all of this is that when someone opens up an INR case, it’s like eBay forgets there’s even a tracking number associated with the order. Why do I have to give them the tracking number again? Why even allow them to open up a case if they know there’s a problem with delays?
There’s many points of failure here. Some of them are inexcusable IMO. I blame eBay for creating this unrealistic expectation of shipping times. We had delays with USPS earlier this year – what made them think the holidays would be any easier?
0.4% and 3.8%
I skimmed over it, but it does seem to just be restating rules that already existed (essentially what Jay and others above said about not refunding at the first sign of trouble and instead working through INR cases.) Seems estimated delivery dates will also be extended.
My #1 worry is that eBay won’t signpost this delay well enough and “Where’s my package???”-type messages will continue to increase as we get closer to Christmas.
As a courtesy, I refunded 2 buyers yesterday. I exchanged several messages with both and I simply couldn’t make them wait any longer, as tracking was 100% frozen in Indiana. Both were under $20.
Time to follow up:
Most of the packages were knocked loose and ended up finally leaving Indiana. Roughly 75% of those ended up getting delivered between my first post and now. My theory is that there was a delay in syncing the tracking in addition to a delay in shipping. No proof, just a guess.
The last big issue I’m dealing with now are the truly “lost” packages. USPS opened and closed a service request of one package without notifying me of the closure. I’m unsure if that means it was located, I need to open a missing mail request, or what. I’ll be exploring options tomorrow. With orders that had free shipping, I’ve encouraged buyers to claim their voucher ($5 or so?) for their next eBay order. I ship all First Class items with free shipping, so everyone who missed the expected delivery date should qualify.
So far there’s only been one upset buyer. They’d been pretty aggressive about getting the item and I believe had a case opened to locate it. I was prompt in getting back to them on the search, asked them to wait, etc, etc, but when the item arrived it was damaged/”non-working”, and they left feedback accordingly. With how badly they wanted it I’m sure the wait just made it worse. I offered a return but they’re already AWOL. Not a long-term eBay user either, so just someone passing through that decided to leave a mark on their way out.
eBay has been closing INR cases as the items have arrived, so good on them.
It’s funny – after this incident I’m now checking every package that goes out to make sure it’s not just sitting at the PO doing nothing.
The procrastinator in me wants to give it an additional day since the first instance of a lost package eventually broke loose and started moving, but if more buyers start noticing I’ll probably have to. Unfortunately they’re pretty carefree around here about tracking issues and just refer to the tracking history on usps.com, or tell you to fill out a form. Won’t stop me from trying, though.
It’s 10:00 PST and eBay has yet to at least put some kind of “Hey, we know there’s an issue! Working on it”-type message on the Seller Hub or via Messages. I expect more of them.
Seems widespread! I was also unable to view any transaction data this morning, including past payouts.
Sorry to hear that. I wouldn’t expect to get my groove back that quickly after a hospitalization. Take time to heal, then focus on how you plan to handle it financially, which should give you target income goals that will hopefully light the fire again.
Personally, I have a rough idea of larger life goals which are broken into smaller, more achievable goals, and I would say most or all of my motivation comes from targeting those. Sometimes those goals are put on hold (COVID, etc), but typically speaking I try to make progress towards them if time/money allows.