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Community Member
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-17-2004
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How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

I have a couple of sales where I refunded some of the the shipping charges. How do I get the final value fees back?

 

One, eBay grossly inflated the shipping charges so I refunded part of the shipping to bring more in line with actual charges. The other, the person wanted me to ship using their UPS account so I refunded the shipping charges.

 

I got the paypal fees back, but eBay still has the same final value fees.

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melissas-minis-2007
Community Member
Posts: 125
Registered: ‎03-31-2010

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to don242can

From what I know ebay doesn't refund fees on partial refunds. I wondered the same thing before, and I have never received any refund on fees from ebay on partial refunds. A lot of money lost, adds up. The only way ebay refunds fees, is if you cancel the transaction with a mutual cancellation, or if the buyer doesn't pay and you open an unpaid item dispute, which obviously will not work in your case. If I'm wrong about this, please someone correct me.

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Community Member
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-17-2004

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to melissas-minis-2007

Thanks. That seems to me what I was understanding as well. I just couldn't believe it was the case. A final value fee that is not even based on the final value seems like eBay is just ripping us off.

 

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pierrelebel
Community Member
Posts: 7,677
Registered: ‎01-14-2003

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to don242can

"A final value fee that is not even based on the final value seems like eBay is just ripping us off."

 

The method of calculating FVF was changed a few years ago.

 

At the time, eBay lowered the percentage charged on the selling price of most transactions and replaced it by a lower percentage on the total value of the transaction, including shipping and handling.  Many sellers today forget the fact FVF percentage was lowered at the time.

 

This method of calculating FVF is identical to what its largest competitor Amazon had been doing for years.

 

It also minimized the fee avoidance rampant on eBay by sellers shifting some of the value of the item into the shipping charge.  You may have seen items worth $50 selling for $1 (on which FVF was charged) and shipping of $69 (actual shipping cost was $20) where no fees applied.

 

By charging a lower percentage on the total of $70, there is no longer an incentive for sellers to cheat on shipping.  Quite the contrary since TRP gets a rebate on the value of the item, not on the shipping charge.  That is why 50% of all listings on eBay.com offer "free shipping" (shipping included in the price of the item).  Those sellers save a little bit on FVF by offering "free shipping" if they are Top Rated sellers.

 

Unfortunately, because shipping costs are usually higher in Canada than in the USA, most Canadians have experienced higher fees as a result of the change of policy.  We have to remember eBay is an American company serving mostly American sellers and buyers.  They understand the American marketplace.

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Community Member
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-17-2004

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to pierrelebel

Sure. I understand all that, but the whole point is, I refunded part of the cost, shipping or not, the final value has changed and eBay does not refund the fee. If the final value has changed, then the fee should also change. eBay needs to charge the fee based on the final value, after necessary adjustments.

 

Afterall, in the first case, it was eBay's overinflated shipping calculator that caused the problem.

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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-07-2008

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to don242can

I had a similar experience today. Someone purchased multiple items from me and although I charge only 1 shipping charge for multiple items paid and shipped together, the invoice created by ebay mistakenly charged the buyer 2 shipping charges. My final value fee on shipping was based on the 2 shipping charge amount. The buyer paid before I sent an invoice and I refunded the buyer 1 shipping charge. I then contacted ebay about the erroneous shipping amount and the refund and they credited my account by the amount of final value fees on the excess shipping amount. The person on the phone said he would put through a request for the credit but didn't know if it would be approved or not but the credit showed up on the same day.

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Community Member
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎12-13-2002

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to juster691

The only way to get it back is to do a total refund and then reinvoice with the proper shipping. Even then you lose the per transaction part of the PayPal fees that PayPal keeps.

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Community Member
Posts: 2
Registered: ‎05-07-2008

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to widgetc

If you read my reply, you will see I received my refund on final value fees on shipping on the portion I refunded.

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stouffvillejen
Community Member
Posts: 104
Registered: ‎07-12-2011

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to juster691

 


juster691 wrote:

If you read my reply, you will see I received my refund on final value fees on shipping on the portion I refunded.


You're lucky, I've phoned and requested a fee refund for a partial customer refund twice.  Both times they said they would do it, but both times the refund never showed up.  But with my items we're only talking cents so it was no big deal.

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rose-dee
Community Member
Posts: 2,584
Registered: ‎10-21-2008

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

[ Edited ]
in reply to juster691

juster691 wrote:

If you read my reply, you will see I received my refund on final value fees on shipping on the portion I refunded.


Yes, I seem to recall other sellers reporting on these boards that they were able to get the excess FVFs refunded to them after refunding shipping to the buyer, by contacting eBay about it.  Perhaps there is a cut-off on the amount that eBay will bother to deal with, which is why not everybody gets the partial FVFs back.  I assume in your case the difference was more than just a few cents?

 

I don't think that refunding the entire amount and re-invoicing is a good solution.  That could get rather complicated, especially if you're dealing with a fairly inexperienced buyer who doesn't understand the eBay invoicing process. 

 

Another way to handle this problem though is to deduct the amount of the excess FVFs you've paid from the refund amount you're giving the buyer.  So, for example, if the buyer paid $30 in shipping, but you reduced shipping to $10, rather than refunding the whole $20 difference to the buyer, reduce it by the amount of FVFs eBay has charged you on that $20 -- so if FVFs were 9% for example, your refund to the buyer would be $18.20 ($20 minus [9% x $20 = $1.80] = $18.20).  This is a much quicker way of dealing with the problem than spending half an hour on the phone with eBay to get your $1.80 back, and you'll still have a happy buyer who will have received a substantial refund.  If you're dealing with lost FVFs of more than about $5 or $6, it might be worth it.  Remember your time is worth money too!

 

Sometimes I make an exception to the above scenario if a buyer has purchased a particularly expensive item, or made a multiple purchase (or is a returning customer).  In that case, as a courtesy to the buyer I'd just eat the $1.80 FVF -- or whatever the amount may be, as long as it's reasonably small. 

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femmefan1946
Community Member
Posts: 4,060
Registered: ‎03-25-2003

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to rose-dee

The other, the person wanted me to ship using their UPS account so I refunded the shipping charges.

 

This worries me. It is a common scam.

The buyer tells the seller to ship with 'his' courier account. The account actually belongs to the buyer's employer (or a relative's employer). The seller ships- again often to a commercial address.

When the company goes to pay thier monthlly courier bill, the unauthorized charge is challenged. The courier then goes after the seller for payment of their service.

 

 

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rose-dee
Community Member
Posts: 2,584
Registered: ‎10-21-2008

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to femmefan1946
Good point!!
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Community Member
Posts: 66
Registered: ‎12-13-2002

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to rose-dee

 "rather than refunding the whole $20 difference to the buyer, reduce it by the amount of FVFs eBay has charged you on that $20 -- so if FVFs were 9% for example, your refund to the buyer would be $18.20 ($20 minus [9% x $20 = $1.80] = $18.20).  This is a much quicker way of dealing with the problem than spending half an hour on the phone with eBay to get your $1.80 back, and you'll still have a happy buyer who will have received a substantial refund."

 

...perhaps...and perhaps the buyer then feels ripped off as he did not get a full refund.

 

The truth is there is no good solution until eBay fixes a faulty process.

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rose-dee
Community Member
Posts: 2,584
Registered: ‎10-21-2008

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to widgetc

widgetc wrote:

 

...perhaps...and perhaps the buyer then feels ripped off as he did not get a full refund.

 

The truth is there is no good solution until eBay fixes a faulty process.


Well, I agree that eBay could find a better way to handle this issue, but how many buyers actually know precisely what the shipping cost is going to be if it's adjusted by the seller based on new weight and size parameters? 

 

And how many would quibble over a small difference even if they thought they might know?  Even though I'm a seller, I've never argued over the exact amount of a combined shipping discount when I've purchased something - why look a gift horse in the mouth?

 

A seller could certainly consider the 9% fee holdback as a handling charge for adjusting and refunding the shipping.  I know that as a buyer I'd have no problem with that.  For a seller who has a large-ish volume those little FVF losses could add up.  As I said, I'm personally inclined to refund the entire amount in most instances, but if the pinch from eBay on FVFs were large enough, I would likely deduct it from the refunded shipping amount.

 

In any event, it's a solution that I think works well in the absence of any rational changes by eBay with respect to partial refunds.

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Community Member
Posts: 14
Registered: ‎12-17-2004

Re: How do I get final value fees credit when I issue a partial refund

in reply to femmefan1946

"The other, the person wanted me to ship using their UPS account so I refunded the shipping charges.

 

This worries me. It is a common scam.

The buyer tells the seller to ship with 'his' courier account. The account actually belongs to the buyer's employer (or a relative's employer). The seller ships- again often to a commercial address.

When the company goes to pay thier monthlly courier bill, the unauthorized charge is challenged. The courier then goes after the seller for payment of their service."

 

 

 

Ugh. Thanks for pointing this out. I am going to take that option off my listings (though most of what I sell would be purchased by a company anyway). There is always some scam. I know I stopped selling most things on eBay due to scams in the past.

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