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.
- 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.
- 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.