|Thu Mar 27 2014 20:25:38|
Is eBay's Hassle-Free Returns Policy Good for Sellers?
By: Julia Wilkinson
In eBay's Seller Standards webinar, which I blogged about yesterday, the issue of eBay's relatively new Hassle-Free Returns program came up. I'd considered using the program but hadn't done so yet, because I didn't feel I had enough information about whether it might ultimately have a bad effect on my feedback rating.
Since seeing sellers talk about it in some forums, some are happy with it, and one said it helps their standings in search, or seems to. If that is the case, it makes me more interested.
I do accept returns, and feel I have a pretty generous return policy - without going to the point of getting taken advantage of as a seller. But what I worry about are scenarios like this one, posted on the eBay Returns discussion board on a thread about Hassle-Free Returns: One seller wrote, "I won't opt into that program and here's a perfect example of why."
They go on to write, "A buyer just opened a claim on an item I sent them, saying it was missing a part and unusable. They wanted a full refund upon return of item. The missing part was actually inside the handle of the item and one simple email from me cleared that whole thing up. I now have a happy buyer who loves their item. If I was in the program I would have gotten a good item returned without being able to give any input AND the customer would have been out the item they wanted. An undeserved strike would be on my account and they buyer would have had a bad eBay experience. This option is too easy to abuse and shouldn't be allowed until the buyer and seller at least talk. JMHO."
According to the Hassle-Free Returns page, you can "Talk to the buyer at any time along the way through the eBay member-to-member communication system."
However, I suppose it's possible that you won't see the initiated return if the buyer prints the label and zaps the item in the mail before you next read your emails.
On the other hand, how much does being in the Hassle-Free Returns program help your standing in search? And eBay does say you can dispute the return, but it's not clear if a seller would dispute the return in the scenario the seller above painted.
I thought I would throw it out (or up) :) to the selling community, and see what your experiences are. If you are in Hassle-Free Returns, would you please share with us if you feel it's worth it in terms of your items' exposure, and has it not been detrimental to your feedback? Post a comment here!