eBay UK Spring 2017 Seller Release: Returns updates

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From Autumn this year, eBay will start rewarding sellers who offer buyer-friendly returns policies, but which they mean offering 30 days free returns.

The reasoning for offering a longer returns window

eBay’s data shows that offering a longer returns window significantly increases the likelihood of a sale. For example, going from a 14 to a 30-day returns policy increases the likelihood of selling by 30%. They also say their data shows that a generous and free returns policy results in fewer “item not as described” return requests in the first place.

However you don’t have to offer a 30-day (or 60-day) returns policy, but eBay are recommending it with the normal carrot for those who do.

The benefits of offering a longer returns window

eBay will introduce improved search filters highlighting free returns on listings to help increase the visibility of listings that offer generous returns and take further steps to identify and prevent buyers from misusing returns.

Visibility

  • Buyers are more likely to find your listings with improved search results filters.
  • Free returns policies will be highlighted on your listings, making the item more appealing to shoppers.
  • eBay marketing campaigns will highlight listings offering free returns and long return windows.

Protection

  • Starting this autumn, sellers who offer free returns can decide if they want to offer less than a full refund. This applies in cases where an item is returned that is not in the same condition that it was in when you sent it, for example, a damaged item or an item no longer in its original packaging.
  • Improved detection of buyers we suspect of misusing returns to stop them before they start a return.
  • Strengthened preventative measures against buyers misusing returns.

If you still detail your returns policy in your listing description it’s time to delete it. Use the Returns fields that eBay provides to ensure you get the benefit of a generous returns policy. Plus of course, next time eBay update returns policies you’ll be able to update your listings in bulk by editing just your returns policy, not the description on hundreds or thousands of listings.

9 Responses

  1. Just a little comment here, it mentions if you offer free returns that you don’t have to refund in full if the packaging isn’t returned. I thought under DSR’s this is irrelevant? You can not withhold a refund if the item is not returned in the original packaging??

  2. Who wants to volunteer as the sacrificial lamb to “offer less than a full refund” to a customer (with a valid reason) and see what eBay does to protect you?

  3. If eBay want sellers to offer better return conditions, maybe eBay can look at buyers playing their part in the deal, ie leaving timely feedback, and buyers having to explain why an item is “not as described”…..and buyers having to provide photographic proof that an item is damaged…….especially when they raise an issue 10 days after they signed for it (as I had once). Ebay immediately side with the buyer……forgetting that without sellers they would not have buyers!

    But photos are needed for insurance claims and there is no requirement for the buyer to provide any on eBay UK (eBay in America does require more proof from the buyer). It is not often worth an item being returned, possibly more damage etc and throwing more money away on postage.

    So if eBay UK want sellers to offer better returns timescales, its about time they started to ask the buyers to step up and play fair. Most do, but a few know how to play the system to the sellers loss every time.

    And this statement “They also say their data shows that a generous and free returns policy results in fewer “item not as described” return requests in the first place”………this does not make sense…..why? This smacks of some figures being twisted / skewed to suit an agenda to me.

  4. All will be good till the buyer does not agree with the reason why they don’t get a full refund. They ebay will come out with their usual line, we have not seen what condition the item was in when you sent it out so can’t prove it was not damaged when you sent it ou. Recently had a leather bag sent back in a bin bag and covered in scratches when it got back to me , buyer had sent it back due to buyers remorse. Yet ebay don’t want to know if you can’t work things out as buyer pretty much laughed about it and not their or ebay’s problem. So don’t see this initiative being any different when you get a difficult buyer.

  5. I’m not buying it either. They’ll just make a claim through PayPal. All the money back, no questions asked.

  6. its about time ebay did something about the large group of buyers that habitually complain as a means of gaining extra discount

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