Return Policy Problems (Again)

I have a couple of questions based on eBay’s silliness.

eBay just automatically refunded a buyer full price for a dress because the buyer said the waist was too small for her.

Both the size and the measurements were quite clearly stated in the description.

Apparently something in my Return Profile says I asked eBay to automatically refund any idiot who decides they no longer want/like the item.

My profile says: “Returns Accepted, Buyer Pays, 30 Days, Money Back.”

Question #1:

How do I find where I asked eBay to ignore me in the return process and reverse that?

Question #2:

I would like to state as my return policy that if the reason is inaccurate description, damaged in shipping, or anything else that is under my control, I will refund 100%.

But if it’s buyer’s remorse or anything else that is not under my control, there will be a 10-25% fee. Is that no longer possible?

I would add another question about why they keep messing up what used to be an easy, fun, and profitable experience, but I doubt that anyone knows.


Hi Michelle,
dispute matter is so frustrating! I don’t know if it works differently in your country website, but as far as I know, you cannot set an automatic refund and it should not depend on hidden preferences. On the other hand, eBay can refunds the buyer if he/she asks ebay service to intervene in the dispute because of a lack of solution from seller side. Just a question to correctly point out the situation, how much time passed between buyer opened the dispute and when he got refunded? There is a time period within you need to find a solution (money back/partial refund/message to buyer). If there is not a solution within this period, the “idiot” (dishonest…) buyer asks ebay to intervene and… they just send immediately refund to buyer and add a transaction defect in your status level. As I am use to say… they add insult to injury…


I actually never got any correspondence from the buyer, so I didn’t know about the dispute until eBay notified me that they had refunded the money and I should expect the item back.

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You need to check your messages from ebay, they had to have opened a case in order to get their money back. There is no other way, you might not have gotten an email but there will be a notification.

And there is no longer a restocking fee allowed. You will have to either no longer accept returns, or accept returns with no control over remorse etc. And even if you say you do not accept returns, you can still be made to take a return.

You should visit the ebay discussion boards for more info, they will help you out.

Just had the same, I also offer free delivery for customers, so full refund is less my initial delivery cost if they are returning on a whim. My returns are with 14 days. It is difficult to get listings working with these standard terms via GS as they tend to just give errors.

No. No correspondence from eBay or from the buyer about it. That’s why I posted here. As I said in my original post, “Apparently something in my Return Profile says I asked eBay to automatically refund any idiot who decides they no longer want/like the item.”

The woman I talked to at eBay told me I needed to check my returns profile. That policy says, “Returns Accepted, Buyer Pays, 30 Days, Money Back.” That does not indicate, to me anyway, that I invited eBay to do my returns. Again, that’s why I posted here,

Thank you, @KTouchtone, but I’ve actually had much better help here than there. I go to that forum only as a last resort.

If you visit the dispute ebay page, you should see a sort of “chronological history” of this case. Please can you check if dates and time really show an automatic immediate refund? As far as I know, there is no way to set automatic refund within return policies. The only thing I can guess is that this is a new feature in your country not yet available for all sellers, but it’s quite strange if this is not reported anywhere… and scare me a lot…

I’m sorry, Fed, but I’m not sure were that is, probably because of the language difference.

On the resolution page, it gives less information than I think you’re asking about. But her they have two entries. The first was opened on 4 May 2019, because an automatic unpaid case was filed. That case was closed by customer support on 5 May when the buyer paid:

The item was mailed on 5 May. On 9 May, I got the form email from eBay. (At no point had the buyer contacted me, and at no point did I contact the buyer OR eBay, so it’s a crazy letter from the very beginning!)


The buyer apparently told eBay that the suit was purple when in fact, it was DEFINITELY grey.


And finally, on June 19, the case was closed because the item was never shipped by the buyer. (Possibly after someone who saw her wearing her said, “Nice grey pants suit!” :slight_smile: )


It all worked out okay, except for the fact that it appears, both from the messages and the eBay employee I talked to that something in my profile made them bypass me entirely and rule in the buyer’s favor without me even knowing something was wrong.

Hello Michelle,
this screen shows what I mean, there is a time gap between 09 may and 19 may that let the user be able to ask ebay to intervene. In fact, the email states that “request was closed because there hasn’t been any recent activity”. My suggest is that this case maybe went unnoticed and so buyer asked ebay to intervene and they immediately send refund. It is very strange that ebay support said something like that (maybe I should not be that surprised…).
This is how it looks a return page on for me

There is a chronological history. If you click on “view details” button in email you should find something like that. Anyway the time gap explain the matter. I would not be surprised if you unnoticed it, it happened to me too, eBay made it hidden on purpose because their interest is for customers side, not for sellers interest…
Hope this will make sense.

Have a nice Sunday

Hi, Fed,

I think I posted too much information. Let me condense:

The buyer bought the suit on 30 April.

03 May: the Unpaid Assistant opened a case for payment.

04 May: the buyer paid and the above case was closed.

05 May: I mailed the item to the buyer.

09 May: the buyer opened a case on behalf of the buyer. No correspondence with either the buyer or eBay was had. This was confirmed on 09 May when, immediately upon receiving notice of the complaint, I called to find out what happened.

09 May: eBay told me that the buyer had gone to them with the complaint, and she verified that there was no eBay contact between me and the buyer. She said that the buyer has big hips and believes that the grey pants suit is purple and she hates purple.

Further, eBay said that they had made the decision to refund the money to the big-hipped, purple-hating buyer without involving me because of my Return Profile. She also said that they “can’t undo this process once it’s started,” and that the buyer had 10 days to ship the item.

19 May: The buyer still had not put the item in the mailbox, and the buyer’s time ran out, resulting in the case being closed that day.

The time gap between 09 May and 19 May was the 10 days the buyer gets to send the item back. Customer service never heard from the buyer regarding this “complaint” again, so they closed the case.

Thanks Michelle for clarification. Uhmm this is a strange matter, after some research I might have found something useful for you (that does not exist anywhere else in ebay sites, as far as I know). Might checking this page be useful for you ? This is the only thing that might explain the automatic refund. I would check clearly it is not active for you and would not rely on what ebay support says, I would not be surprised if they didn’t know this feature too…

Hi Michelle - I think anytime a buyer says an item is NOT AS DESCRIBED, you automatically lose. Has happened to me a few times, and there is nothing you can do about it. You are lucky the person flaked, otherwise you would have been out the shipping too. If you use profiles (I don’t!) check for return info that may be included, but regardless of what your policy, these types of complaints always mean you are wrong and the buyer is right - some buyers know this and take advantage……

Perfectly true, but it doesn’t only depend on allowed return, the automatic refund option seems to be a different one. At least Michelle should find out and disable it, then she will anyway loose any dispute for not as described items, but at least refund won’t be sent automatically without any contact as she exposed, this is something ridiculous only eBay can imagine so buyers keep money and good… incredible…

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Thank you. But what do you do instead?

They automatically allow the return, put a hold on the funds, send a label to the buyer that they charge to you, then once the return is marked as received on your end, they then refund the money. Michelle, seems they released the hold because COLOR BLIND never sent it out, is that correct? No refund?

I just set them all in GarageSale. I use a master template with everything already set. My return policy is NO RETURNS (sometimes when people see this they just stop right there), payment is PAYPAL (if you even hint at taking anything else they will come after you, they recently came after me for mentioning other payment forms for in person pick-up), and since I sell one of a kind things that range from pocket knives to furniture, I use calculated shipping. I used to sometimes forget to enter the correct shipping, and found myself occasionally having to ship for free, my trick ended up being setting the shipping weight in my master template at 900 pounds. Bay will kick that back, and I then know I forgot the shipping and enter the correct numbers.

Exactly. It’s really nowhere near purple. And I KNOW they can’t blame me for her big hips. :slight_smile:

Do you have any idea whether your sales have dropped off due to the no returns?

I’ve thought about that, but my sales have been pretty much cut in half since January. I’ve no clue why. I’ve not changed anything I have always done.

I’ve dropped most of my pricing a bit, hoping to invite people back. That’s not working out as I’d hoped. Instead, I have roughly the same number of sales but smaller profit margins.

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