We finally have a specific answer about the new seller protection policy for authenticated items that went into effect November 1st.
We would like to provide some clarification about this change. Keep in mind this change only applies to Authenticity Guarantee eligible items.
We provide free labels on sneakers that are eligible for Authenticity Guarantee so sellers can ship to the authenticator for free. If you use one of eBay’s free shipping labels we'll automatically provide you with loss and damage protections. No additional purchase of signature confirmation or insurance required to receive these protections.
For other Authenticity Guarantee eligible items, when shipping to our authenticator please ensure you are doing the following:
- Use a tracked service from one of the integrated carrier
- Upload valid tracking to eBay within your stated handling time
- Use signature confirmation, on orders with a total cost of $750 or more
Once authenticated, the shipping from the authenticator to the buyer becomes eBay's responsibility and we'll resolve any shipping related issues.
In the unlikely event that our authenticator doesn't receive the item we may ask for additional details such as one of the following:
- A carrier receipt or image of the label that clearly shows the address the item was shipped to
- Documentation that you were denied a lost-in-transit insurance claim because the carrier can confirm the item was delivered to the authenticator’s address
We're now less than a week away from the new authentication seller protection policies taking effect and still don't have any answers as to how sellers are supposed to comply with the new requirement to provide full address proof of delivery.
All efforts to get any details about what specific documentation eBay will require/accept as full address proof of delivery have hit a brick wall- eBay simply copies and pastes that exact text every time anyone asks.
If eBay cannot provide the most basic information to sellers to be able to comply with this policy update, they should postpone the update until such time as they are able to do so.
After eBay posted the announcement on these seller protection policy updates, I had a few very clear and direct questions for them regarding the new requirement to provide full address proof of delivery.
I linked to the announcement and asked:
"We also encourage you to save documentation from the carrier that shows the full address your orders were shipped to in the event of any disputes."
devon@ebay what specific documentation would eBay be looking for that shows the full address to qualify for this seller protection?
If the seller purchases the label through eBay, would that automatically provide enough documentation since eBay can see the address on the order?
For labels purchased outside of eBay what documents will be accepted?
Devon promised to take the questions to the eBay Sneakers team and a week and a half later we finally have an answer....in the form of literally copying and pasting the exact text of the announcement in question. 🤦♀️
Sorry eBay Team - the question was asking for clarification and additional details on that announcement and no, copying and pasting the exact text in question is not an update nor is it in any way an acceptable answer.
So let me translate this non-answer for all you sneaker sellers out there - starting November 1st eBay is apparently not going to be responsible for any packages that go "missing" after delivery to the authenticator, period.
They've cleverly worded this new seller protection policy to be so vague as to make it impossible to actually comply - you're just supposed to somehow magically be able to save and provide documentation to eBay with absolutely no idea of what that documentation is supposed to be.
Until and unless eBay actually answers the questions and gives us specific details about what documentation will be accepted, I'm afraid I have to advise affected sellers to simply assume eBay will be providing zero protection in these cases.
eBay has finally posted the announcement publicly.
Effective November 1, 2022, we will update how we define evidence of successful delivery for Authenticity Guarantee transactions in our eBay Money Back Guarantee program and Payment dispute seller protections.
You’re required to use a tracked shipping service showing the delivery status to the authenticator’s address in order to qualify for “Item not received” protection. Previously, we looked for evidence showing at least the city or zip code of the address. Starting November 1, we’ll look for evidence of shipment to the authenticator’s full address. Once an item is marked as received by an authenticator, delivery of the item to the buyer becomes eBay’s responsibility, and if there are any delivery issues, we’ll work with the buyer to resolve them.
We will continue to require signature confirmation for orders valued at $750 or more, and we strongly recommend shipping insurance for high value orders.
We also encourage you to save documentation from the carrier that shows the full address your orders were shipped to in the event of any disputes.
I've asked for details about what documentation from the carrier would be accepted in the event of a dispute, but so far eBay has declined to give specifics.
eBay also sent out a notice to sellers today saying they will be using FedEx for the new sneaker authentication shipping service.
As part of our continuing drive to streamline and simplify the Authenticity Guarantee shipping process for sneaker sellers, eBay is partnering with FedEx.
Beginning in October, upon sale, eBay will provide you with a FedEx label at no cost, to ship your Authenticity Guarantee-eligible sneakers to our authentication center. The change will apply to both new and revised listings, and eBay shipping will be the default domestic shipping service.
eBay sent out a notice to sellers today about changes to seller protection for items sent to authentication under the Authenticity Guaranteed program, effective November 1.
Ebay sent a email today stating
"Effective November 1, 2022, we will update how we define evidence of successful delivery for Authenticity Guarantee transactions in our eBay Money Back Guarantee program and Payment dispute seller protections.
You’re required to use a tracked shipping service showing the delivery status to the authenticator’s address in order to qualify for “Item not received” protection. Previously, we looked for evidence showing at least the city or zip code of the address, however now we will look for evidence of shipment to the full address."
As UPS, Fedex and USPS will only display city and zip code on their online tracking. How do we show the shipment is been delivered to the full address? As this will affect all Payment Dispute Seller Protections cases.
While it would appear this may apply to all items sent to authentication (sneakers, watches, purses, jewelry and trading cards), my guess is this may be specifically related to the new "better" sneaker experience they announced last week.
Part of the new experience is that eBay is taking over shipping, setting a mandatory $14.95 shipping price paid by the buyer to eBay, with eBay then providing a shipping label for the seller to use.
When you use eBay’s shipping label, we’ll also provide you with loss and damage protections if anything goes wrong during the first leg of shipping to the authenticator.
In addition, our new handling time requires that you send Authenticity Guarantee-eligible sneakers to the authenticator in 3 business days or less, and buyers will receive their items within 3 days from the authenticator following authentication. We're also taking the guesswork out of shipping costs to enhance transparency, build trust, and drive velocity. Buyers will pay a flat shipping fee of $14.95 in the US. We'll share more details about these shipping updates soon.
The new $14.95 flat rate shipping fee (above) for buyers will not be subject to final value fees or Ad fees. The total amount of the sale for Authenticated items includes the item price, sales tax, and other applicable fees.
While eBay doesn't say using their label will be required, they are obviously nudging sellers in that direction by saying they will be protected from loss and damage if they do.
eBay has not yet disclosed which shipping carrier they'll be using for this service, but given the negotiated volume rates available to them, I'd be willing to bet they'll be making out quite nicely on this deal - if it costs less than $14.95 to ship, eBay will presumably keep the difference.
But what struck sellers as particularly interesting about this new requirement for seller protection is it appears eBay may be covering themselves from a common scam that has plagued both buyers and sellers for years.
Historically, eBay has determined proof of delivery for items under $750 by confirming the city and zip code with a valid carrier tracking number.
The reason eBay has only required city and zip code is very often, that is the only information publicly available from the carriers when looking up a tracking number.
This has resulted in a common scam that has been operating on the site for years.
Unscrupulous sellers can send an empty box or order a $1 item from Amazon and have it delivered to a random address in the buyer's city and zip code and that will be enough for eBay to close an item not received claim, leaving the buyer without their money or item.
Unethical buyers can request a return, send an empty box or order a $1 item from Amazon and have it delivered to a random address in the seller's city and zip code and eBay will force a refund, leaving the seller without the money or the item.
With this new requirement to provide evidence of shipping to the full address for authenticated items I have to wonder - has eBay been hit by this same fraud at their authentication centers as well?
Like I said, they have not said it will be mandatory to use their shipping labels, but tying seller protections against item not received claims to a requirement to verify the full address for delivery is another giant nudge in that direction.
As a seller in that community thread pointed out, there's really no way for either the buyer or seller to get address specific proof of delivery because they carriers do not typically provide it.
I'm not sure how eBay expects to get street-specific proof of delivery (from USPS, at least), regardless of whether it's the seller or buyer who's being challenged for proof beyond simply the City and ZIP shown in tracking.
The only way I can logically think of for this requirement to be met would be to use the label provided by eBay - they enter the address themselves so they can "verify" it was shipped and delivered to the full correct address.
You might wonder why a seller would choose to use their own shipping label at their own expense, instead of the at no cost label eBay is offering.
Well, if you sold a fake listing for a $500 pair of shoes and knew you could keep the $500 simply by providing tracking on a box of rocks shipped to the same city and zip code as the authenticator...it would probably be worth spending $10 or whatever it costs for your own shipping label to do so.
In the past, eBay would have had to eat that $500 refund to the buyer themselves, since the seller provided "proof" of delivery to the authenticator. It would appear eBay has decided they no longer want to put themselves in that position.
There have also been many reports from sellers that say their shoes have magically gone "missing" after delivery to eBay's authentication center, with some suggesting eBay may have some employee theft problems they need to deal with.
This new policy will conveniently let eBay off the hook for those losses as well - if a package is scanned as "delivered" but suddenly can't be found when it's time to do the authentication, eBay can easily wash their hands of it unless you have full address proof of delivery.
Either way, make no mistake, this new requirement for seller protection on authenticated items is likely as much if not more about protecting eBay than sellers and of course if that pushes everyone to use their shipping labels in the process, all that extra shipping money is just the cherry on top.
If the shipping program goes well for sneakers, I would not be surprised to see it extended to the other authentication programs as well. In the mean time, it potentially gives eBay an "out" on covering item not received claims for any authenticated item, if the seller cannot provide address specific proof of delivery to the authenticator.