Amazon and Ebay: How many returns is too many? Buyer abuse policy
Nearly a year ago, i received a warning from eBay that I was abusing the buyer / buying policy. It listed a number of possibilities, without giving any specific reason. I am confident that the reason i was flagged will have been for too many returns. I buy a lot of CDs from the megasellers (eg musicmapie, OMFG) on ebay, and the results and condition of the CDs that they send are a lottery. I also often received the wrong version, incomplete items (eg booklets or even CDs missing from boxsets) and occasionally counterfeits.
So they were returned if the condition was not as described.
As a result I stopped buying from megasellers on eBay, and my returns have dropped a lot. I do still need the ability to do returns though, as even with private sellers there can be disagreement of condition. It is the nature of buying second hand goods.
A few days i was also warned by Amazon that i was, specifically, doing too many returns. I buy almost exclusively from megasellers on Amazon.
I am very concerned now about making any returns, as neither company will give me any more information and guidance. Losing either my eBay or Amazon account would be a disaster for me.
Does anyone have any experience with this? Does anyone have any idea of what sort of return ratio is acceptable? I don't even know if they are looking at ratios, but seems the logical thing to do.
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It is extremely rare to receive a warning on eBay, the next step will be to remove the buyer protection from you , although I think with newish consumer rules this is near impossible now so they might go straight to stopping your ability to buy anything. Amazon gets mentioned a little more and usually once you have the warning it isn’t long before another return triggers the loss of account.
If you are careful with your browsing and buying returns should be virtually nil, yes we can all meet the odd seller who decides their ratty old Lego set is near mint , but it should be very very rare and easily spotted from a careful read of the description and check on the photos. I assume when you buy from Amazon you are buying from 3rd party sellers so again if you have any doubts or their feedback looks poor perhaps avoid buying.
When you do your returns on eBay do you leave feedback ? I have reported a couple of buyers in the past who seem to have an unending stream of poor feedback left for sellers as these buyers are either cursed or out to make mischief.
All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
As I said I believe it is buying from megasellers, for the reasons I gave, was the problem with returns.
I am experienced eBay user and research any potential thing I buy as much as possible:
check seller feedback, examine any photos, ask question if necessary.
But with best will in world I will often receive CDs that simply are not as described. And if i pay £25 for a Like New condition CD that has "been played once and put back in case", and it arrives with a lot of scratches then I will need a partial refund or return. I am as patient as possible.
I guess everyone's experience varies a lot depending on whether they are seller or buyer, and what they are selling and buying.
I guess you are a seller? And if you run a good operation you will have a very low return rate, and that is your experience. I am a seller too. Unfortunately not everyone runs a good operation. If you have bought from the likes of Music Magpie you might understand where i am coming from. There was a legendary thread about them on here on this very forum many years ago!
As for feedback my ability to leave neutral or neg is gone, I will always leave positive feedback if everything works out, which is the vast majority of the time now.
has eBay removed your ability to leave non positives and was this at the same time as getting the warning. Also before that were you leaving non positives?
I am primarily a seller on eBay but for the past 6 -8 weeks or so have been buying loads of items for a hobby project , several items a day , and nothing has been returned so far. On Amazon I am only a buyer , just had 3 items delivered by courier and I think I have had just one return in the past few months and that was for an item sold as brand new but which arrived opened and damaged.
All views are my own and not the official line of MoneySavingExpert.
The article ends by saying companies don't generally reveal their policy for banning customers based on returns or refund requests and their helpful (!) comment at the end is, if you have multiple causes to complain, try to find another provider of the service.
I'm assuming because of the nature of things that you're buying, there is a much higher than average rate of faulty / not as described items hence your rate of returns may stand out as being higher than average. Not sure how you resolve this one, sadly.
Whereas I really would have loved a follow up on the lady in the article being banned from 'multiple websites'. What was she returning and why? CDs from a mega seller is one thing, where you can understand why a customer has a greater than average chance of finding faulty goods. But this woman was apparently complaining, for example that Waitrose were sending her out of date goods, and presumably complaining a lot. Which is unlucky to the point of being unlikely, to say the least. And what about the other companies who banned her? Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, but multiple bans from different retailers does lead me to draw a conclusion about the lady featured.....
Well different experiences as I said. I buy rare collectable CDs and vinyl and often pay a lot of money for them - physical condition is very important, and I know I am not the only one who struggles with badly described items. Are you buying New or Used items mostly? I think it is a lot more straight forward with New items, as less of a grading minefield which is to be had in the Used market, which is the vast majority of my purchases.
I think my return ratio on eBay, is probably between 1:15 and 1:20
Yes I believe that nature of what i buy and who I buy from is the root of the problem. Some of the garbage i have received from MM after paying £34.99 for a Used CD is shocking - dirty and cracked cases, scratches, water damaged pamphlets. But i know they can get away with it, big ££. All I can do is stop buying from them. And be as patient as possible with private sellers if any problems arise.
It seems inevitable if you continue returning at that rate your account will quickly be closed. From what I hear both ebay and amazon are very good at finding if you have multiple accounts or open a new account after you have been banned so I'd be very careful if I were you.