eBay notified sellers who use the eBay for Charity program to donate to charitable causes of a major change coming in November that could spell big trouble when it comes to refunds or returns.
The email sent to sellers who use the program reads:
Your donations through eBay for Charity will now be automatically deducted
We're simplifying your experience when you donate a percentage of your listing proceeds to your favorite charity. Starting in November, we're rolling out automated donations with eBay for Charity, and the best part? There's nothing you need to do.
What you need to know
You'll no longer be required to manually transfer your donations—we'll automatically collect them from your total sale amount once your buyer pays for the item.
We'll begin rolling this process out in November, and by early 2024 this will be available to all US sellers. Your donation will reach your preferred charity faster—and with zero effort on your part.
Donations through eBay for Charity are nonrefundable, so if a buyer requests a refund after your donation has been sent to the charity, you're still required to refund the buyer the total amount.
We'll be updating our community selling Terms and Conditions to reflect these changes, so don't forget to check back soon for more details.
It does not appear eBay has updated those terms and conditions yet, as the page still reflects the old way of having donations invoiced and paid through PayPal.
While eBay says automatically collecting the donation as soon as the buyer pays will "simply" the process, sellers who use the program say it will put them at risk of having to fund donations in cases of a refund.
With the previous method where donations were invoiced at a later date, if the buyer completed an order and immediately requested to cancel, the seller could process that refund and the donation would be cancelled since the funds had not yet been sent to the charity.
Now with the donation being immediately taken from the payment, if the buyer requests to cancel, it appears the seller will be on the hook for the full amount of the donation themselves - that could get expensive very fast depending on what percentage of the sale had been selected to go to the charity!
We'll provide an update once the terms and conditions have been changed to provide more information.
In the meantime, let us know in the comments below if this change will impact your usage of the eBay for Charity program!