You'll find that returns, exchanges, damaged items, defective items, item not received cases, and extremely ignorant buyers are commonplace on your eBay dropshipping business.
Some tips to consider.
1. Check your return policy in your business policies, if the return is after your stated return policy, eBay will close the case in your favor; unless it's defective then eBay enforces their 30 days return policy.
2. After 30 days you're covered on defective/damaged items unless you offer some ridiculous 60 day policy.
3. If the buyer is outside the policy, you can't "bait" the buyer into opening a return request and then call eBay to have it removed. Ebay will hold you to the fact that you invited the buyer to open a return. So you might try to communicate this in a very special way. I have found the following sentence to work:
Hi, I'm sorry that your item is defective, eBay gives you the option to open a return request in your purchase history. Did you try to open a return request? Again, I'm very sorry about the complication.
This isn't an invitation but usually they'll open a return request after this. Then you call eBay and close it.
If you ever say something like "I'll do whatever I can to fix this for you" then eBay can hold you to those words too and make you refund them.
If you call eBay and they won't close a return in your favor and it truly seems unreasonable, you can call back and get another agent. However, eBay calls this "agent fishing" and they don't like it I have been told.
Click a topic link below
The buyer messaged me about returning the item but doesn't know how or hasn't done it yet.
Returns where the buyer pays
Returns where the seller pays (even if your buyer chose the wrong option)
Offering exchanges and how eBay will protect you
Item not received
1. Ask them why they want to return it, unless you already have this information from their message.
2. Offer an exchange if you think this would satisfy them. If they accept an exchange click here.
3. If they deny the exchange or you don't offer one, then ask them to open a return request in eBay.
4. If they can't find how to do a return, copy and paste this to them:
Go to "my eBay" in the top right, and then click "purchase history". Find your item and then you can open a return request.
5. Usually that message above helps them figure it out.
6. If they still can't figure it out, tell them to call eBay and they open it for them.
II. Item not received
If they message you that they haven't received the item yet, go check the order status and see if it has been delivered. If it has been delivered then say this to them:
Go to "my eBay" in the top right, and then click "purchase history". Find your item and then you can open an item not received case.
Click here for the process of handling an item not received case once they've opened it.
Once the buyer initiates the return
You'll need to find the order in your Easync orders page by either searching the buyers username or the transaction ID or something. If you used AO for that order then the order ID will be a clickable link that takes you to the source market.
Go to that link and begin a return process for that product.
Below are the steps for how to do a return if your buyer chose Buyer pays or Seller pays.
Buyer pays: just get a return address label (this is not a real return label). Don't always choose defective on your returns like with Amazon because they could suspend your account for too many returns. Just get the return address label, copy the image, go open a paint document, paste the image and then cut out the "Amazon returns" words.
I suggest this so the buyer doesn't get upset at you about returning this to Amazon.
Ordered by mistake - Buyer pays
Found a better price - Buyer pays
Just didn't like it - Buyer pays
Doesn't fit(for example: clothing) - Buyer pays
Once you get the email from eBay stating that the return has been delivered then you need to go ahead and issue the refund. In the few hundred returns I have done none of them were fraudulent or missing items.
If you charge a restocking fee this is where you can make some additional money. I recommend 20%.
Seller pays: it's almost the same process except you need to choose defective or something from the source and get the proper free prepaid return label.
And just like above, copy it, paste it in paint, and remove the "Amazon returns" words.
Missing parts or pieces - Seller pays
Doesn't match description or photos - Seller pays
Arrived damaged - Seller pays
1. Begin the return process from the source market just like explained above.
2.a. Manually reorder the same item now, even though your buyer may choose not to return the original.
2.b. If your buyer doesn't ship the original back within 30 days, eBay reimburses you for both products.
Here is eBay's exchange policy. So you are protected if the buyer doesn't return the original.
3. Update the tracking number of the replacement from the source market to prove to eBay you've sent it.
Item not received
1. Check the order status and see if the item shows delivered.
2.a. If it shows delivered via FedEx, UPS, USPS or some other trackable carrier call eBay to close the case.
2.b. Ebay will close the case in your favor and the buyer cannot leave you feedback or your seller ratings.
3.a. It shows delivered but it was an Amazon TBA or other unacceptable form of tracking like OnTrac
3.b.i. If you used AO for this order, then watch this video about how to handle this.
3.b.ii. Here's 1 of several testimonials from our members who have successfully used our Aquiline Tracking site to help with this.
3.c. If you didn't use AO for this, you can give eBay the link you got from Amazon and they might accept it
4.a. If you are successful and eBay closes the case, then congrats, now they can't leave you bad feedback.
4.b. You'll need to decide if you still want to call the source market and ask for a replacement.
5. If you aren't successful then you can try calling the source market and tell them that it wasn't received and they'll usually ship out another one.