Post-Order API – Usage Guide
The Post-Order API addresses the customer scenarios that can take place after an order is placed. Use the API to implement self-service flows that process order cancellations and item returns. You can also create flows that let buyers inquire about the status of an order and, in the extreme case that things don't go as planned, flows that let buyers and sellers pursue an escalation to the eBay customer support team.
The Post-Order API gives you the ability to offer enhanced post-purchase experiences that are based on proven retail concepts. The platform on which the interfaces are built provide multi-device support—the flows you implement are automatically available across the range of mobile, tablet, and web devices.
Post-purchase experiences (also referred to as "post-transaction" or "after-sale" processes) help to ensure buyers get the items they want. Buyers can cancel orders within an allotted time frame, return items that are significantly not as described (SNAD), and inquire about an item not received (INR). This document describes the following Post-Order API use cases:
- Order Cancellations – Retail-standard cancellations let buyers cancel orders that haven't yet been shipped.
Currently, cancellations apply to whole orders only—for now, buyers cannot cancel partial, or item-level, orders.
- Item Returns – Buyers are able to initiate a return and get a refund or a replacement for a received item.
- Order Inquiries – The API offers operations that let buyers look into shipments they have not received within a reasonable time frame. Sellers can respond to the inquiries with shipping information, or a refund if appropriate.
- Case Resolutions – Both buyers and sellers can escalate issues to the eBay customer support team when seller-to-buyer negotiations associated inquiries and returns do not resolve order issues. In these instances, the eBay customer service team will step in and resolve the order dispute.
|Tip: For details on the call flows for each of these use cases, please see Resolving Order Issues in the Features Guide.|
Business Use Cases
The Post-Order API is designed to handle all after-sale activities from start to finish. While the existing Trading, Resolution Case Management and Return Management APIs also handle some after-sale activities, eBay recently updated the Trading API with new fields that expand the post-order functionality, and you must use the Post-Order API to programmatically access the new features. By integrating with the Post-Order API, sellers can offer buyers streamlined post-order processing that enhances the overall buying experience, resulting in transactions that delight the customer. In addition, the API gives sellers the ability to programmatically address cancellations, returns, inquiries, and escalations, giving them the ability to provide a complete after-sale experience through their applications.
The Post-Order API supports the following use cases:
- Buyer-initiated cancellations
- eBay Returns
- Buyer-initiated inquiries
- Resolutions by eBay customer support
Use the Post-Order API to take advantage of eBay's updated cancellation functionality, as detailed in the Cancellations section of the Fall 2014 Seller Update.
With the rollout of the latest after-sale experiences, buyers can now request their own order cancellation as long as the cancellation is within the allotted time-frame of the eBay site, and the seller hasn't yet shipped the item. However, while buyers can now initiate their own cancellations, sellers must still approve or reject the cancellations before they can be processed.
The Post-Order API also supports seller-initiated cancellations, and the seller must indicate the justification for canceling the order. Be aware that while sellers can initiate their own order cancellations, they must supply a reason for the cancellation. Cancellations for out-of-stock, or other fulfillment, issues will have a negative impact on the seller's rating; it is up to the seller to track inventories so they can avoid this scenario.
|Tip: See Handling Order Cancellations in the Features Guide for details on order cancellations.|
eBay Returns is an updated capability that gives buyers a streamlined process for returning items to buyers.
eBay now handles all returns using our new return capabilities, and sellers can use the Post-Order API to programmatically handle all returns. The updated return capabilities give buyers the option to print a return shipping label through the eBay Web interface, which greatly simplifies the buyer's involvement with the return process.
In addition, eBay's updated after-sale flows let buyers attach a picture to their return request, showing why they are returning the item. This is particularly useful in return requests where the customer finds the item to be significantly not as described (SNAD). As with all returns, buyers can return items within an order through the feature known as line-item returns.
When buyers initiate returns through the eBay Web flow, they must indicate the reason for the return. eBay automatically generates a return report for the seller. To ease the burden on sellers, eBay has added Return automation rules that dictate how a seller handles specific sets of returns. For example, a seller can configure their account to automatically refund all returns below a specified amount. Set up your automation rules in My eBay (there are currently no programmatic interfaces for setting up these rules).
Here is a high-level overview of the automation rules that a seller can configure in their Return Preferences:
- Return Shipping Address rules: By default, the buyer returns an item to the seller's default return address. However, the seller can customize to where an item is returned, based on the purchase price, return reason, product category, and whether or not the item is on a custom item list.
- Keep Item and Issue Refund rules: By default, the buyer is expected to return the item to the seller. However, the seller can create a rule that allows the buyer to keep the item and still get a refund. Each rule is based on the purchase price, return reason, product category, and whether or not the item is on a custom item list.
- Keep Item and Send Replacement Item rules: By default, the buyer is expected to return the item to the seller. However, the seller can create a rule that allows the buyer to keep the item and get a replacement item. Each rule is based on purchase price, return reason, product category, and whether or not the item is on a custom item list.
|Tip: See Handling Returns in the Features Guide for details on returns.|
The Post-Order API includes operations that let sellers programmatically manage inquiries about the delivery status of orders. Buyers can use the inquiry operations for item not received (INR) cases, and also in cases where buyers ask for a refund for an order that's not received within delivery window, as dictated by the selected shipping service. Sellers can respond by providing shipping information, or they can issue a refund for an order that does not get delivered.
|Tip: See Handling Order Inquiries in the Features Guide for details on buyer inquiries.|
Resolutions by eBay customer support
The Post-Order API provides operations that let both buyers and sellers escalate an issue to the eBay customer support team. This feature should be used as a last resort in circumstances where seller-to-buyer negotiations fail. Escalating an inquiry or Return request opens an eBay case on the transaction, and the outcome can have a negative effect on the seller's rating if eBay resolves the case in favor of the buyer. Sellers and buyers can both upload documents (such as images) to the return request (for example, to show the condition of a received or returned item), and the eBay customer service team will review all material provided before making a final decision on the case.
|Tip: For details on handling cases, see Escalating and Resolving a Case in the Features Guide.|
The Post-Order API is initially only available for transactions occurring on the US, UK, Germany, Australia, and Canada (English and French version) sites.