eBay remind sellers 14 day returns now mandatory

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ReturnsIf you’re like most sellers you’ve probably already updated your listings to meet the new returns policy which has now come into effect.

All sellers must now specify who pays for returns (the seller or the buyer) and offer a minimum 14 day return policy. eBay today reminded sellers that not only is the new policy mandatory for business sellers, but that in 2014 the EU law on returns will be raised from 7 working days to 14 days – eBay are just getting policies in place to ensure they and their sellers are compliant when the law changes.

eBay say that “Research shows that buyers appreciate the peace of mind of shopping from sellers who offer returns and items with a clear returns policy typically sell better than those without”. Here at Tamebay, although we like the sound of more sales, think it’s a bit of a moot point – if all sellers have to comply then there’s no competitive advantage available (bar offering an even longer returns period), all that really matters is that we have to comply or we won’t be able to sell on eBay. That being the case a quick check that all your listings are compliant wouldn’t be amiss.

20 Responses

  1. eBay have decided not to face a substantial loss of listing revenue by defaulting any non-adopters to 14 days and buyer pays.

    Trouble is that a lot of non-adopters, and even some who are not, will have return policy details underneath the 14 days etc. that are in total conflict with the defaulted result!

    Another shambles.

  2. 14 days is a very moot point, you can return or get your money back using ebay with little trouble within 60 days in reality

  3. Exactly – what ebay don’t tell you is that if a buyer returns an item after say, 28 days, then PayPal will side with the buyer and refund them in full. You can hardly send it back to the buyer and tell them that they are too late to return the item – so the return period is NOT 14 days

  4. What I’m wondering is, when the law changes from 7 days to 14 days will we also have to extend the terms to match to refund original P&P if returns are received as change of mind?

  5. I really don’t understand why sellers are annoyed with eBay about this. I don’t know what the laws are in the US, but here in the UK and indeed, throughout the EEC, the Distance Selling Regulations have been in force for some time. These mean a buyer can cancel any online purchase within 14 days and return the item for a full refund including original postage.

    That’s what the law says, so eBay are only coming into line with that – it’s not as if they have any choice! There is no distinction made between an item returned because it is not as described and a buyer who just changes their mind – you have to refund original postage to all.

    Yes, it’s unfair, as sellers have already paid out for the postage, but that is the law and NOT something that eBay have dreamed up. As a seller of lingerie, I don’t like getting returns (for obvious reasons) but I have no choice, so I may as well do it with good grace.

    What eBay need to do now is pull ALL the listings with terms and conditions that are in conflict with the DSR’s. As JD says above, many sellers have T & C’s that completely contradict what the law says, which is both confusing for buyers and also against the law. (The Office of Fair Trading take a dim view of sellers who misinform buyers about their rights.)

    As a buyer, it drives me mad when I see sellers saying they won’t refund postage unless the item is faulty and several times when I have returned something, I have had to open a dispute case to get my original postage back. Ebay have supported me each time I have done this (and it is often the big companies who try to pretend they can do what they like) and no doubt the sellers concerned have blocked me as a result, yet I am acting within the law in demanding they repay the postage – they should do it automatically.

    So stop moaning and blaming eBay. If you want to challenge the law, go see your MP. Ebay have no choice but to insist sellers accept returns.

    And in the end, if you are buying something online, what would you rather see? A returns policy that clearly states your right to return someting for any reason, or 10 paragraphs of weasily-worded meaningless terms and conditions that make you think the seller doesn’t have to take returns? I know which seller I’d rather buy from, so eBay is right in saying that the new clear returns policy DOES improve buyer experience.

  6. I have never had a buyer write to me to cancel a contract under the distance selling regulations. And, Under the DSR, the buyer must write to you via email, letter or fax confirming cancellation of the contract if they wish to do so.


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