eBay UK Seller Release: Mandatory Managed Returns

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As previously announced eBay confirmed in today’s seller release that managed returns will become mandatory for all sellers by next year. Today they announced some such as the ability to manage them via mobile and consolidation of all return requests through the returns section in My eBay.

Improvements to managed returns

There’s a new look and feel to the returns flow and eBay have negotiated rates with Royal Mail, so returns are priced from £2.78.

Improvements to returns experience

All return requests will come through the returns section under My eBay selling history but eBay have said they will add ore flexibility to use return labels outside of eBay managed returns.

It should be a simpler way for sellers to to manage return requests and eBay will automatically refund final value fees for remorse returns once the buyer has been fully refunded.

Later this year, returns will be able to be managed from mobile devices.


First up and very welcome is clearer after-sales options for buyers aiming to reduce the risk of unintended defects.

eBay will have great visibility and the automatic tracking will give extra protection as part of the managed returns process. It will also give eBay improved insight to help them better understand any problems that might arise. Sellers can report a return or ask eBay to get involved if they suspect buyer abuse.

To streamline the process sellers can set up a ‘refund with no return’ option for low-value items (avoiding being billed the return postage when it’s higher than the item is worth). There will also be direct integration with third-party channel management tools so speak to your provider for implementation time scales.

For consumers there will also be more drop-off points and lower rates with the addition of Royal Mail to the existing Collect Plus arrangements. However consumers will only be offered the cheapest option when the seller is picking up the postage costs, even if it’s not the nearest or most convenient option for the buyer.

Time line

August – October

Some sellers will need to start using eBay managed returns. If you are in this group eBay will let you know
by mid September.

From September

All returns requests will start coming through the returns section in My eBay selling history. For sellers who
are not yet using eBay managed returns, they’ll be able to see this section from September. Sellers will
need to start managing and responding to returns here.

From March 2015

For sellers who haven’t heard from eBay by mid September with a mandate date, they’ll be in touch in March
with a date later in 2015.

18 Responses

  1. RM Tracked 48 Price confirmed at £2.78, which is the same as our contract rate, so either eBay are making a profit or did not drive for a better deal than a SME can obtain without much effort

  2. I was very disappointed to get the email telling me that we have to opt into this. I opted in earlier in the year for a short while but after about 15 returns opted out once more as CollectPlus via Yodel took 14, 20 and then 31 days to get the final three parcels to me. One of the buyers escalated the case as one would expect, but over a weekend, and eBay found in their favour, returned their money and charged me for the return shipping before Monday even though the parcel hadn’t arrived yet and didn’t arrive for another 4 days.

    I ended up lodging a complaint with CollectPlus/Yodel and received the money back eventually. It was only luck that prevented negative feedback.

    All it ended up doing was upsetting my customers, harming my reputation/rating and was generally very irritating! I was very glad to be rid of it to be honest.

    Some of the best feedback I’ve had is when I’ve resolved problems professionally with my customers as it shows that you’re a seller of repute, honesty and integrity (mistakes happen from time to time, we all know that). Some of that will undoubtedly be lost now as buyers just choose to have the seller pay for shipping and send it back without any contact whatsoever.

    I’ve shipped upwards of 6000 items with my courier, zero complaints, nothing lost/damaged and it’s cheaper than CollectPlus/Yodel and is a next-day signed for service. Why can’t eBay use a carrier of repute rather than forcing us to use these idiots?

  3. Probably shouldn’t be posting in anger, but have just had an email from eBay saying that we’ll be mandated into managed returns between 9-13th September and am furious. We are no longer able to manage any aspect of our own business on eBay, we are simply a product source for eBay to feed off without incurring risk or cost.

    We are not allowed to use our own Royal Mail returns service, which is considerably cheaper than eBay is providing – and how a multinational company can fail to negotiate a better deal than a small three year old limited company is beyond me. Buyers will be forced to pay more for returns than is reasonably necessary – in direct contradiction to the Distance Selling Regulations, which certainly won’t improve the buyer experience as well as increasing our operating costs.

    eBay can’t see beyond themselves and don’t realise the impact this will have on both our reputation and our wider business. We value our our customers, unlike eBay (their biggest customer being their sellers) and want to offer the best service possible. Forcing them to spend more than is necessary on returning an item isn’t doing that. Even worse, from our own point of view is, in losing control of our returns to eBay, we will no longer be meeting the required number of parcels under our preferential contract rates, and so will incur penalties and retrospective charges on parcels already returned this year, and our rates for returns will increase across out whole business, not just for those parcels returned through eBay.

    eBay can clearly see that we don’t have a problem managing returns from our account history – what happened to the saying if it ain’t broke don’t fix it? Will they’ll be forcing Argos, Toys R Us and the rest into managed returns? I don’t think so! There are all sorts of other considerations that haven’t been mentioned – VAT, Invoicing and accounting, damage in transit to mention a few. When an item is damaged en route to a customer, eBay expect us to resolve it and take it up with Royal Mail as our agreement is with them. Presumably if an item is damaged on it’s way back, we can expect eBay to refund and they can take it up with Royal Mail, as we then have no relationship with Royal Mail? I don’t think so, it’s a disaster waiting to happen.

    I believe many sellers expressed similar views at recent seller council meetings, and as usual eBay had already made up their minds and take no notice whatsoever. And they wonder why sellers are disillusioned and disengaged.

  4. eBay have negotiated rates with Royal Mail £2.78 ?
    For the same service tracked rm 48Hrs i am paying £1.68

  5. Ebay just doing it to us again. The returns will cost 3 times what it costs me to send out. Not even sure what ebay is doing is legal.


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