This article is 4th in a series regarding changes announced by eBay at the eBay Seller’s Summit 2015 & eBay 20th Anniversary Celebration.
Read the preceding 3 articles to find out more about these changes and how they affect your eBay store and you, the eBay merchant.
- eBay Seller Summit 2015 Recap #ebay20
- 2015 eBay New Seller Standards Overview #ebay20
- eBay’s Hub is Hubba Hubba #ebay20
One of the workshops I attended at the eBay Seller Summit and 20th Anniversary Celebration in San Jose CA, was all about new policies and procedures regarding “Returns”.
The workshop invitation read: “Learn how the simpler, customizable returns process can save you time and effort.”.
I was instantly intrigued! Man, if eBay could do this for us all then wowzers!
The workshop presenters were Jonathan Haney and Lauren Yee, eBay Staff from Seller Protection department.
It was a pleasure to meet Lauren! She is very new to working at eBay and her energy and enthusiasm were so uplifting!
Lauren’s vision to be a part of keeping eBay a great marketplace shone like a big ball of sunshine!
Jonathan has been with eBay for awhile so he has experienced a bit more of the changes at eBay.
I must say I was impressed with his presentation style at the workshop and I look forward to keeping in touch with Jonathan and his team.
Current eBay Return Statistics
It was interesting to view the statistics they shared showing the current return statistics
Lets’ recap these return statistics quoted by eBay:
- 88% of listings on ebay currently offer returns.
- A return is created on eBay every 4 seconds.
- 9 days is the average to approve a return and issue a refund.
When I learned those statistics, I thought it was crazy!
I guess I can consider myself lucky to have such a low return rate.
However, when I’m conducting an eBay training or selling coach consultation I stress over and over again that if a seller describes their items accurately the return percentage will be lower.
Now, sometimes people want to return items simply because it was not what they thought it was or they just don’t need the item anymore. This is the same type of reason that I personally may return an item to a local shop so I do understand the logic.
But eBay sellers can significantly lower their return rate by spending some extra time on product descriptions.
New eBay Return Policies
The new eBay return policies will roll out for everyone later this fall. However, there some sellers who are currently using this “simpler return process” which has a more automated type of system than the previous one.
For those of us offering returns, we will now be provided with a single, customizable return process!
This allows us to manage and respond to several different types of returns that buyers submit.
That old term used was “Hassle-Free Returns”. This is being eliminated and replaced simply with “eBay Returns”.
For those of you that were already using “Hassle-Free” returns, please know your settings will not change. The automation will remain the same. The level will only change when you add or update your returns as shown through the preferences and policies video.
Though I love the new system this part strikes me as a bit odd because returns are also going to be marketed as “Fast and Easy Returns” – which is the key with this system.
Nobody wants to encourage returns, but I think eBay made a smart strategic move in this new branding concept.
Potentially, buyers might do more shopping on eBay because the return process is fast and easy. It sure beats standing in line at the local shop waiting forever to return an item.
***NOTE:*** Buyers can still decide if they want to offer returns or not although I highly recommend everyone offers returns.
Have It Your Way aka Returns Your Way!
The first step for you will be to adjust your return preferences. Once you do this you will be able to customize the return system for your eBay selling.
Ebay created a video that is really informative. Give it a watch.
eBay has reported that by the end of September, most all sellers will have access to the features of customizing their returns and they are recommending you update your return settings ASAP to prepare now for the Holiday selling season.
More eBay changes
Offer a Replacement – This is another addition to the process which will help you be a better seller by creating a great experience for the buyer.
Restocking fees are an option too! LOVE this!
Jonathon and Lauren spoke about restocking fees being an option to add in late October. I was a beta tester for this process and loved adding it to my listings.
My theory is that it will scare off the buyer that MAY have been thinking about taking advantage. Most of you know I believe people are basically good, but it never hurts to be prepared for the occasional meanie! 😉
I have only actually charged the restocking fee once since I began testing it and the seller totally understood, It was for a wedding ring that she simply did not care for once she saw it. No worries! She sent it back and it really was a hassle-free transaction! I gave her a refund less the 20% re-stocking fee. Great feedback was exchanged and we both were happy campers.
Another option for returns is we as sellers can now provide our own shipping labels if desired.
And the best news yet is that RETURNS NO LONGER COUNT AS DEFECTS as long as we resolve the problem and eBay is not called on to step in! Yipee!
Learn more directly on eBay at: CLICK HERE
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