A problem return on eBay...
September 13, 2016 5:17 AM   Subscribe

I purchased an "officially" refurbished laptop from a high volume seller on eBay. Unfortunately, the laptop arrived with a cracked screen. I initiated a return, which the seller accepted, but there was never an option to print a mailing slip. Instead, the status of the return went instantly to: "Shipping, in transit" with a tracking number, while the computer sits on my table. What is going on and what do I do about it?
posted by ennui.bz to Shopping (7 answers total)
If it were me I would contact the seller once to explain the issue and try to work it out, let them know that you will involve eBay if you can't work it out, then involve eBay.
posted by OmieWise at 5:21 AM on September 13, 2016 [2 favorites]

You didn't mention how many days it has been since the status changed to "in transit". If it has only been a day or two, you will probably still receive a shipping label. They may have already generated a label causing it to register as "in transit", but not sent to you. The Ebay return process from high volume sellers is usually pretty automated...I'd give it a couple more days. You are well protected through Ebay....you probably don't have much to worry about.
posted by Long Way Home at 5:39 AM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

I received the "Your return shipping label is ready" message on the 9th, and then the "Track your return" message on the 10th.
posted by ennui.bz at 6:00 AM on September 13, 2016

Contact the seller, tell them that you are still in possession of the item and you need a shipping label to complete the return.
posted by fixedgear at 6:49 AM on September 13, 2016

contacted the seller and got a very quick reply and a shipping label. eBay makes it kind of confusing and/or seem like you shouldn't contact the seller...

posted by ennui.bz at 7:27 AM on September 13, 2016 [1 favorite]

A similar thing just happened to me with an Ebay purchase. I had to return a small electronic item and the seller, from NJ, sent me a return mailing label (through the US mail). The label arrived with their own address on it and a tracking number. I put my package in the mail bin and checked the tracking to verify the mailman got it, but I saw the package had been "in transit" for a week with a point of origin in the seller's city in NJ. I was thoroughly confused and decided to wait on it so I checked tracking again the next day to see what happened; in addition to the activity of a week prior, it now showed the expected departure from my town in WI the day I sent it, and it was in route to the seller back in NJ. It turns out that the seller uses mailing software connected to the the USPS/UPS/etc. which pings the shipper with the tracking number and makes it appear that the package is in transit originating in their own location, as soon as they print a mailing label for an item coming back to them. So with your return, your seller probably initiated the mailing label which automatically made the tracking think it got shipped even though they hadn't got around to sending you the label yet.
posted by cuddles.mcsnuggy at 7:43 AM on September 13, 2016

I ship UPS all day long and yes, this is just how it works. Once the label is created and the information is transmitted to UPS (using their shipping software) they assume that the shipment will be departing that day, and their status emails and tracking information reflect this as well as showing an expected delivery date. Not until the package is actually picked up and scanned in will the real tracking info appear. It's clumsy and confusing, and we've had to set up some very specific processes at work to avoid passing this confusion along to our customers. It appears Ebay has not.
posted by bizwank at 7:52 AM on September 13, 2016

« Older Help me Identify this Painting... Orson Welles as...   |   Mobile Development Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.