Topics in this issue:
- eBay 101 – Managed returns.
- Is this the worst PayPal spoof ever?
- Ask Molly – Will my FVF be refunded?
Hello and welcome to this week’s edition of The eBay UK Bulletin.
Sales are still quite buoyant for the time of year although I have no news regarding my trench-art bullet lighter; no reasonable offer refused.
Slower sales activity does provide more time for a stock inventory, which at HQ resulted in almost £500 of stock stashed away in a cupboard and forgotten about – happy days.
In this bulletin you will find a few thoughts on the eBay managed returns policy and details of a worrying development concerning VAT and cross border sales.
[For admin details for this newsletter, please scroll down to the end.]
1. EBAY 101 – MANAGED RETURNS
Just hoping you can shed some light on an eBay process for me, as eBay themselves seem unable to.
Now that we’re using the eBay Managed Returns Process, we’ve seen an increase in customers claiming that items are not as described, no doubt because it’s simply been made easy for them to do so by just ticking a box, whereas previously it would have been an entirely separate appeal. This of course means eBay will charge us for the return postage.
However, this has naturally resulted in a number of dubious claims, some of which we’re keen to appeal against.
For example, there was one last week regarding a customer who purchased a high vis orange running t-shirt from us. Their email to us stated ‘Unfortunately I was hoping the colour to be more Holland Football Team orange rather than the very bright day-glo.’ Now to me, high vis and day-glo are synonymous, and we state in the title, item specifics and description that it’s high vis. Nowhere in our listing are the Dutch referred to.
The first eBay representative I spoke to told me that the best thing to do was to accept the return, fully process it, and then appeal.
Having done this, I contacted eBay, only to be told that I should have appealed before refunding the customer, and that it was now too late. However, as I’d been misinformed, he forwarded me to the appeals department anyway.
Well, tried to, as I was put through to the wrong department. They then forwarded me on to the appeals department, but after 15 minutes waiting in a telephone queue I decided to postpone this conversation. Instead, I went to the instant messaging communication option, where an eBay representative told me that he would have refused the return in the first place.
So, when should I appeal, by refusing unreasonable requests in the first place, after accepting them but before closing them, or after having processed them entirely?
eBay are normally very good at explaining process, but on this occasion, I’m not sure they’ve even got their own heads around it!”
Wow, what a mess, I agree that eBay staff are not very well briefed on this subject.
I often have a return request for cosmetic items which are the wrong shade, I describe it as red but the buyer expected fire engine red or almost pink.
They can easily tick the ‘I received an item that does not match the seller’s description’ option, which automatically gives me the liability for return postage. In this instance I just ignore the return request and contact the buyer stating that they can return the item but as it was not mis-described they will have to pay the return postage costs.
This leaves the dispute hanging until the item is back and I then just accept the return selecting the ‘seller pays return postage’, which of course won’t matter as I have the item back. eBay then issue a refund.
So far I have not had to involve eBay which as you so rightly say can be problematic and take up a lot of time.
My personal experience of the returns process is not that great, generally my buyers know what to expect. If any readers out there have anything to say on the subject then please let me know me at the usual address.
For those readers who sell digital stuff into the EU this will need no explanation, for everyone else it stands for VAT Mini One Stop Shop.
If you supply digital services to a customer in another EU member state, you must account for VAT to the tax authorities in that member state and at that member state’s VAT rate. This is why there is so much confusion concerning your eBay bill and what rate of VAT is applied.
So you do not have to register for VAT in every member state where you have customers, HMRC has developed a M.O.S.S. service for UK-based suppliers of digital services.
You mentioned Vatmoss a couple of weeks back, but did you know that the EU Commission expect to extend it on 1 Jan 2016 to all physical goods sold online.
It seems from what I can find out that this is not just a rumour, although it doesn’t seem to have been confirmed yet. If it happens it will be an absolute disaster for SMEs and sole business owners.
Your thoughts on this would be appreciated.”
I had not heard of this but anything could happen and as you say it could spell the end of small businesses selling anything overseas.
The vatmoss scheme seems to be a good one as it takes away the need for multiple country registration, however for current non-VAT registered businesses it will add in loads of costly admin at the very least. Extending the scheme to tangible goods may well prove just too much for many.
Sales of goods to a customer within the UK do not fall under these new rules and the usual VAT stuff applies.
I wonder if this step was made how a sale via the eBay global shipping programme would be accounted for.
Please do get in touch if you can shed any light on this nasty development.
Having trouble sleeping? Check the HMRC website for more on the VATMOSS rules.
3. EBAY SPOOF E-MAIL
One of the worst PayPal spoofs I have seen in a long time. Could it be in the running for the worst one of all time?”
From: Service PayPa| <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Date: 4 February 2015 at 04:38
Subject: Resolution Center : Your Recent Activity
Update your details or we will disable your account .
Until We Here From You . To Update Your Information .
Simply click on the web address below
Please update your information promptly so that you can
continue to enjoy
Nice one, I particularly like the poor speeling of the word ‘update’.
Have you seen a better contender for the most rubbish spoof title? If so please send it to me.
4. ASK MOLLY – WILL MY FVF BE REFUNDED?
I recently sold a pair of designer shoes that were for my buyer’s daughter but when they arrived they were too small. She is returning the shoes for a refund.
When I receive them back I’ll send her a refund via the cancel order button but will I get my FVF back?”
Yes, using the cancel order option from the Resolution Centre or from the pull down menu at the far right of the sold item page will issue a refund to the buyer and return your FVF.
A couple of interesting points though to bear in mind. The first is who pays for the return postage. If you have structured your returns policy correctly it should state that the buyer pays for any return shipping costs, a pair of shoes will not be cheap to send back. I would be tempted to tell your buyer to send them by recorded delivery just to be on the safe side.
The second thing to be aware of is that although you will also have your PayPal fees refunded automatically you will not quite get it all back as the ‘flat fee’ element of a PayPal charge is not refunded, this is usually 20p.
When they arrive back with you check all is ok before hitting the cancel order button and remember to block this buyer from any further purchases.
If you have a question about eBay or home working in general, please send it to me at the usual address. I will reply personally to every email I receive and, remember, there are FREE copies of my book available for the best questions, tips or stories.
– END NOTE –
That’s all for this week. Check out Harriman Intelligence for the latest news from Molly HQ.
I notice from a recent eBay e-mail that the Argos ‘click and collect’ scheme has been extended to all business sellers with eligible listings just at the time when I don’t seem to be sending anything to an Argos store.
I still think this is a good selling tool, so if you are eligible, give it a try.
Author of the bestselling title, The eBay Business Handbook, available direct from the publisher Harriman House.
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