January is the month that retailers breath a sigh of relief to see behind them having managed returns through from the Christmas and New Year period. Takeback Thursday, has become the biggest day of the working year for returns with returns up by 72% compared to the rest of the year and many of the returns have now missed the Christmas season and so will have significantly lost value.
Returns have become a major part of ecommerce businesses, not just at Christmas but throughout the year, so a quick nod to our friends at ZigZag Global who have just celebrated their fifth birthday, having been established to manage international returns on behalf of retailers.
However today we want to draw your, and your buyers, attention to eBay managed returns. Having spoken to a number of retailers it’s clear that eBay Managed Returns works well when it works but when it doesn’t it’s totally broken. When it doesn’t work sometimes appears to be down to a consumer buying on eBay.co.uk and then opening a return on another site such as eBay.com. In that situation eBay Managed Returns simply doesn’t work.
Opening a return on a different eBay site to where the purchase took place means that the buyer won’t get a free (or paid for as appropriate) returns label and the entire flow simply doesn’t work as well for the buyer. For the seller, it suddenly means talking to eBay support in a different country and if you have eBay Concierge service in the UK then you don’t get that overseas.
If you are a buyer and wish to make a return for a purchase on eBay UK, make sure you log into eBay UK when you start the returns process. You’ll find it a whole lot simpler and if the seller offers free returns (or if they product is faulty) then you’ll get a totally free returns postage label.
If you are a seller, note that if a buyer opens a return on a different country site they may be expecting you to return their postage over and above the refund amount. This really shouldn’t be your problem to sort out, but it could save you from less than glowing feedback.
If you are eBay, a much more joined-up approach to supporting global sellers serving the global marketplace is something we asked you to work on earlier in the year in our ‘Five New Year’s Resolutions for eBay’ post. How about forcing buyers trying to initiate a return on a different country site to where they made the purchase to log onto the original site before proceeding (or simply adding a redirect to force them on to the correct country site so that they can enjoy the managed returns process?)