eBay Local Pickup: You may not be aware of it but eBay has changed it’s policy regarding items sold on eBay and then picked up locally. It used to be that local pickup items were not returnable and all sales were final. That is no longer the case. In eBay’s quest to remove all buyer risk, buyers now have the standard 30 days to claim the item is not as described and request a return on an item that has been picked up locally. Here is a link to their local pickup policy and an excerpt from it:
“Returns for local pickup listings should be treated the same as other delivery options. If the buyer’s returning an item because it’s faulty or it isn’t as described in the listing, they can return it to you even if your return policy states you don’t accept returns.”
This policy obviously has serious drawbacks for sellers and eBay has not thought this out. What if you sold a large piece of furniture such as a couch, the buyer picks it up and then 2 weeks later wants to return it. All the buyer has to do is claim it is not as described and ebay will authorize a return. What if in the meanwhile you sold your house and no longer live there? The buyer is supposed to return the item to the original place of purchase. This presents a serious logistics problem and it is unclear how this would play out. In all likelihood eBay’s policy is unenforceable under these circumstances.
How do sellers protect themselves from having to take returns on local pickup items? The obvious answer is to not sell local pickup on eBay. I have found Facebook Marketplace to be a much better sales platform for local pickup items since it is a locally based environment. In addition there are no fees and all sales on Facebook are cash and carry. I have found that used household furniture tends to sell far better on Facebook than on eBay.
If you do sell local pickup items on eBay then only accept cash as payment as there is no way eBay can then force a return and repayment. Also be sure to get a signed receipt that the person has picked up the item. While you must offer some electronic form of payment as per eBay’s policies, I would not accept it on a local pickup item. In the auction state that you will accept cash only at pickup. eBay claims you cannot discourage buyers from using electronic payment methods but I have not had an auction taken down that stated cash only at pickup.
Under no circumstances should you accept Paypal for local pickup as Paypal allows cases to be opened for 180 days past the purchase date. I have read horror stories of people selling local pickup items on eBay that were forcibly returned in damaged condition months later via Paypal chargebacks. As I mentioned earlier, I prefer Facebook Marketplace for local pickup items.