eBay hints at changes to Returns

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sweetnamOn the first day of eBay trading as an independent company without PayPal, Jordan Sweetnam, Vice President of Seller Experience at eBay, has written about some of the changes that might be coming to sellers in the not too distant future.

You can read the full blog post here. But it’s the third major point that he made that really leapt out to us:

Sweetnam writes: “Lastly, I’ve heard loud and clear that returns are not working in a way that respects the vast range of verticals and business models on eBay. Working closely with sellers we’ve identified a series of changes that will streamline the returns process to help you efficiently manage returns based on your specific business needs. We’ll start with our first set of improvements this fall and will continue to enhance this into next year.”

So what exactly does that mean? As he says there will be more details in due course but this is an encouraging acknowledgement from eBay in the first instance. But without knowing exact details, it’s certainly too early to rejoice.

Several aspects of the post also sound promising but, again, it’s difficult to get too excited without all of the information.

Regarding defects, Sweetnam says: “We’re looking at how we can adjust seller performance standards to ensure we recognize when sellers deliver a great buyer experience. As part of this, we are continuing our journey of relying less on subjective buyer inputs and more on objective metrics.” We wrote about this idea a few weeks ago.

And other positive news is news that improved seller tools are on the way. And if you’ve been struggling with the cruddy analytics tool eBay has recently rolled out, this will be good news. Sweetnam notes: “Starting this year, many of the tools, insights and reports used to run your eBay business will be brought together in one centralized, easy to access spot. We want to make the right tools more discoverable and make data more readily available. This is an example of our tremendous focus on efficiency improvements going forward.”

We’d expect such changes mentioned above to be reflected in the UK but, again, that’s not confirmed.

All of this is heartening news but anyone who has been involved with eBay will know that they are very good at fine words. So we’ll wait and see. We’ll keep you posted.

19 Responses

  1. The last sentence sums up my feelings, heard it all before and changes on eBay are very rarely good for sellers.

  2. Minor tweaks is what to expect bigged up and spun , buyers will still be favoured

  3. typical ebay, retail waterboarding, they let you breath occasionally then find new ways to torture

  4. Ebay managed returns what a joke, Its simply to easy for a Buyer to return an item and thus wipe out your initial profits. I wanted to extend my business in clothing but cant as any items where a Buyer dosent read the sizes creates a return and thus 0 profits

    At the very least Buyers should not be refunded for postage costs for an item that dosent fit them cos they where to stupid and brain dead to read the item sizes

  5. One change I’d like to see is eBay’s message boards brought in-house rather than run by a third party. Too many clueless power mad fools in charge banning folk for no good reason. An acquaintance of mine has just been banned and I’ve also been on the receiving end of them in the past too.

  6. The line that worries me is that ebay see a need to “streamline” the returns process. My vertical doesn’t need streamlining of returns. We need a process that allows technical support queries and extended warranty claims. 90% of SNAD claims that come back to us are fully working. Buyers either are mistaken about the fault (we sell recycled mobile phones) or are gaming the system to avoid postage.

    If we resolve the problem quickly, we should not have a defect. I imagine a simple fix would be to allow a seller say 7 or 14 days to resolve a problem to avoid a defect.

  7. We understand the need and purpose of the defect system but wefeel there is too much stick , not enough carrot

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