Following the announcement that eBay Managed Returns will become mandatory for some UK sellers as early as the 13th of August this year, we’ve had some questions over the pricing of the service. With two services available – Royal Mail and Collect Plus, how will the service used be chosen, especially if it’s the seller who has to pick up the costs? eBay have given us some additional information which answers the question:
eBay Mandatory Managed Returns for Buyer Remorse
If the buyer selects a remorse return reason (i.e. simply changes their mind as is their right under distance selling regulations), the system will be set up to give them a choice of return carrier with a corresponding selection of price options. They’ll be given a free choice between returning via Royal Mail or Collect Plus and can select whichever method is most convenient for them – but they’ll be paying the cost.
eBay Mandatory Managed Returns for SNAD
If you sent out the wrong item or it arrives damaged in the post, then you as the seller will be paying the return postage costs. The last thing you want is the buyer paying a high postage cost if there’s a cheaper option available in the Managed Returns system. In this case the system will automatically select the cheapest option available between Royal Mail’s offering and Collect Plus’ pricing, dependent on the weight bracket that the item falls into.
eBay Mandatory Managed Returns Scrappage Scheme
Don’t forget to set up your disposal settings as soon as Managed Returns becomes mandatory for your seller account. You can create a rule on eBay specifying that if the item is low value, or you don’t want it returned for any other reason, it can automatically have the refund applied and you avoid paying the return postage cost.
We are still waiting for the Royal Mail minimum cost to be confirmed and all we currently know is that it will be “under £3”. It’s unlikely that you as the seller will want to foot the “under £3” return postage bill for a 99p item that cost you 53p to post in the first place.
We think that eBay are not planning to operate within the spirit of the legislation on this.
Buyers do not get to find out the return cost until, well, they come to make a return.
Let’s say that the item costs £10 plus £1 postage to buy. They could very reasonably expect the cost of a return to be £1.
If a remorse return will cost £3 then that might have been influential in their decision to buy in the first place if they had known this before purchase.
I don’t wish to sound pedantic, but the Distance Selling Regulations are now defunct as of a few weeks ago, and have been replaced by new legislation.
eBay are still quoting them too.
“It’s unlikely that you as the seller will want to foot the ‘under £3’ return postage bill for a 99p item that cost you 53p to post in the first place.”
I don’t really want to pay £3 for the return of a £15 item that cost me 35p to post but I would still want that item back if the buyer is going to get a refund. It would cost the buyer 53p to return at the Post Office if they used the same packaging!
By the same token, I don’t suppose my customers will appreciate having to pay £3 for a change of mind return for the same item either, but this is the ridiculous situation eBay are forcing us into next month.
I have FREEPOST returns address label from my Royal Mail business account, how does that option fit in? Also on Amazon we have the option to email returns label as .pdf
eBay Mandatory Managed Returns for SNAD
If you sent out the wrong item or it arrives damaged in the post, then you as the seller will be paying the return postage costs. The last thing you want is the buyer paying a high postage cost if there’s a cheaper option available in the Managed Returns system. In this case the system will automatically select the cheapest option available between Royal Mail’s offering and Collect Plus’ pricing, dependent on the weight bracket that the item falls into.’
OK, a couple of things: that last line about the weight of the item – will eBay be providing me with a set of postage scales to weigh all my items? Do I now have to enter that info into all my listings?
For anyone already opted in, they don’t have very long to edit all their listings, and eBay haven’t mentioned this in their communications so far. (But neither have they revealed what that ‘under £3’ RM cost will be.)
Also, if the system selects and comes up with Collect Plus but the buyer doesn’t live anywhere near a drop off, they’re going to be extremely displeased, even if they are not paying the cost. And how will they express this? Negative feedback and low DSRs. Triffic.
Oh – and what if the buyer doesn’t have a printer to produce the return label? Maybe eBay will send them a free one and charge me for it?
I did hear something about sellers being able to advise buyers to NOT use the provided label but take the parcel to the Post Office instead and pay the ‘over the counter’ rate – but I’ve heard nothing more since.
There are so many questions around MR that remain unanswered.
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