/ Shopping, Technology

Ebay changes its protection policy – will you be out of pocket?

Ebay logo

You may have heard that Ebay is celebrating its 15th birthday this week, but did you know about the changes to its dispute resolution policy, including reducing the amount of time you have to report problems?

It’s clear Ebay has come a long way since its first auction – a second-hand CD by The Scorpions fetching £2.89. In the UK, an item is bought every second on Ebay using a mobile device.

But what if the item you buy is significantly different from its description, or arrived broken? Or what if it doesn’t turn up at all? Ebay has recently changed its Buyer Protection policy to a Money Back Guarantee policy to help those buying on eBay – but do the changes actually increase your chances of being out of pocket?

Ebay Money Back Guarantee policy

One of the key changes to Ebay’s policy is a reduction in the amount of time you have to escalate your complaint to Ebay.

You now have 30 days from receipt of the goods to alert Ebay to a problem, a reduction of the previous time period of 45 days from payment of the goods. It’s an important deadline to remember if you have a problem with the item you’ve bought.

You could also be eligible for the Money Back Guarantee policy if your item hasn’t been delivered. Under the policy, you can put in a claim to the seller for a refund at any time up to 30 days from the actual or latest estimated delivery date.

This is where it’s important to be aware of another change from Ebay – you must have raised the issue with the seller and given them eight days to respond in both instances. This is longer than the three days previously given under the Buyer Protection policy.

Paypal policy changes

There is a silver lining to these changes, however – Paypal Buyer Protection has now increased the amount of time you have to escalate issues with them from 45 to 180 days.

This would mean that you would still have the option to use Paypal if you din’t escalate your issue to Ebay in time. Don’t forget that Paypal Buyer Protection and Ebay Money Back Guarantee policy are two different schemes though and cannot be run simultaneously.

Both policies are only for those that have paid by Paypal – Ebay offers no protection for those who have paid directly by credit card or debit card.

Were you aware of these changes coming in? Do you think they are fair? Do you think Ebay should also offer a resolution scheme for those who don’t pay for their goods using Paypal?


180 days to report a problem using paypal, you have to be joking,I have been a seller on ebay for quite a while, and with all the non payers in recent months, i went back to selling for cash.In the long run, i’m making just about the same profits considering that paypal would allow someone to use
my products for 179 days and then demand a refund…I don’t think so !!

It does not matter whether it is eBay or Paypal, you get the same AWFUL call centre in Manilla where they do not understand you so you have to repeat everything 3 times, then you get transferred to another person and have to start all over again, including repeating everything 3 times, only to be transferred AGAIN.

They are completely useless and all this because they are lax about their suppliers, I would rather see some prevention so customers do not have to go through this.

As for selling, they charge a comission on your postage charge and they charge Paypal fees on Charity listings which is akin to loan sharks as far as I am concerned.

It amazes me how well eBay do despite their awful systems and services, I guess that is what happens when you have a monopoly. They should never had been allowed to buy Gumtree and shopping.com.

I can only hope that Amazon improves or that someone with deep pockets for marketing decided to take them on.

I dont see what the problem with PayPal fees on Charity Auctions is, the seller would have had to pay CreditCard fees anyway for a non-cash sale.
( I volunteer for a charity which sells on eBay and its cheaper than other ecommerce outlets).

The problem is that eBay SAYS that if you donate 100% to Charity then they will give you 100% rebate on fees. They make a big thing about this but you can’t give 100% to charity because you will be hit by fees.

It is called social responsibility, if they made it truly 100% more people would do charity sales on eBay.

The fact that it may be cheaper is not relevant, the issue is that they make a lot of noise about charity listings but they are profiteering and making money out of other people’s generosity.

The fact that you think they are cheaper than other ecommerce outlets just shows you do not know the market. A charity can install open source web based software and run their own shop online and they will not get stiched for 5% by paypal. If someone buys from abroad and you have to convert currency then you can double triple that, there is a rate that is 5% higher than the market and a foreign transfer fee of 4.9% approx.

As I said, for me they are ripping people off because of their dominance.

PayPal fees are completely separate from eBay fees, you dont have to use PayPal – although I would agree it difficult not to .
Even with an open-source based shop you still have to pay Credit/Debit Card fees.

The trouble with ebay’s protection policies is that they are often rather arbitrary in their rules. Seller protection, in particular, as they require goods to be posted through a trackable service. I can appreciate that having a courier service guarantee delivery is one way of avoiding delivery-related disputes but there are other ways such as buyer and seller signing a receipt if the item is picked up in person. Equally, Paypal has its place but there are other ways in which a legitimate payment can be made. I don’t mind eBay having rules but it’s the arbitrary nature of many of them that constitutes a misuse of their market dominance.