eBay UK is consulting sellers on the possibility of imposing a minimum returns policy on all sellers in the Clothing, Shoes and Accessories category. In a post on the PowerSeller board (PS login required), Pink Elisabeth says
we are in the process of exploring whether to establish a default minimum standard return policy (that reflects the minimum legal standard) for all Business sellers in the CSA category (with a view to roll out to other categories). In addition to the minimum standard, we are also considering offering additional flexibility to sellers to enhance select return policy components by adjusting set variables (e.g. – # days of cancellation, seller pays return costs when buyers change their mind). This would allow sellers who choose to go further than the minimum requirement to keep offering this type of service to their customers.
She then asks for feedback from sellers on this: do we like the idea, do we like the idea of a policy slightly more generous than the legal minimum, do we want to be able to specify who pays returns costs, and – bizarrely – how should eBay roll out this change?
Having argued myself that eBay should enforce the law on returns, I start off being in favour of this change – but when I see them even considering not allowing sellers to specify who pays returns, and how many days cancellation buyers can have, my heart sinks. I’ve lost count of the number of times over the past decade I’ve thought “this was almost a great policy, but eBay screwed it up”.
Please, Elisabeth, don’t let this be another case of that. Enforce the law, but beyond that, let sellers run their businesses. Put a couple of radio buttons in to choose between “buyer pays return shipping” and “seller pays return shipping”. Put a “how many days” box in that can’t be set to fewer than 7 days. It’s not complicated.
But more than anything, do something about the sellers who are ignoring both the law, and the existing eBay policy. We barely need more rules – what we need is eBay to enforce the ones they’ve got.
If you have a PS login, please go over to the thread and leave your thoughts – and, PS or not, leave us a comment here too.
Image credit: Ale Paiva on Stock Xchng