|Wed Mar 21 2012 22:54:09|
eBay's Push for More Generous Terms May Backfire
By: Ina Steiner
|eBay has been cranking up the pressure on sellers to offer free, fast shipping and more generous return policies. But thanks to changes eBay will roll out on June 1, 2012, some Top Rated Sellers say they are no longer inclined to offer free shipping on their listings - in the opposite direction eBay hoped sellers would move.|
Starting June 1, only listings from Top Rated Sellers (TRS) that include 1-day handling and a minimum 14-day return policy with a money-back option will qualify for the 20% TRS Final Value Fee discounts. (If a Top Rated Seller chooses not offer 1-day handling or a 14-day return policy, that seller's listings will continue to receive some additional search exposure and a TRS badge.)
Some TRS sellers say they are unable to offer one or both of these new requirements, so they will lose the TRS discount.
While they don't have to offer free shipping to qualify for TRS, many do in order to keep their DSRs (Detailed Seller Ratings) at TRS levels. Some of them who expect to lose the TRS discount in June say they are considering an end to offering free shipping on their listings. One seller said, for example, that he may move to a flat shipping fee, which would help make up for the loss of the 20% discount.
In an interview with EcommerceBytes, eBay President of Global Marketplaces Devin Wenig said his approach was to continue to advance the marketplace, and said buyers expect free shipping and generous returns:
"If people believe that eBay is as good as the standard on ecommerce exceptions, and you know things like free shipping are absolutely a buyer standard - they believe that is their right and entitlement - whoever created that standard, I won't comment on it, but we know that's the case. And it's the same with returns. This is just part of buyer expectations now, which have been rising really quickly over the last few years. We need to continue to move our marketplace to that standard. That keeps buyers. It brings new buyers. Ultimately it's good for sellers."
It seems with every biannual change that eBay rolls out, there is at least one policy that breaks the camel's back for a segment of sellers. By requiring Top Rated Sellers to advertise a 1-day turnaround and 14-day return policy in their listings to keep the FVF discount, eBay is forcing some of them to rethink their listing strategy and actually move away from what eBay is advocating.
Do these changes impact you, and if so, will you continue to offer free shipping even if you lose the 20% TRS discount?
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