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Mon Nov 6 2017 10:49:57

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sales Ratio

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
At the risk of proposing something that sounds like a conspiracy theory, is eBay steering buyers who are prone to returning items to small sellers? Yes, it does sound far-fetched, but what I have noticed as sales have gone down drastically (especially in 2017) is that the number of returns have skyrocketed. 

The numbers do not make sense when you compare current (high number of returns with low sales) versus past (low number of returns with high sales). 

I used to sell hundreds of items per month and of the same quality that I sell today, and I got few returns. With eBay's abysmal sales as of late, I get very few sales per week but the numbers of returns recently has to be between 25 and 35% of sold items. 

This is making me feel that there has got to be a reason for this, in addition to the fact that eBay never tire of encouraging buyers to return their items. At this rate, I will be given a "pink slip" anyway, which might be a blessing because I am no longer enjoying selling on eBay - I haven't in many years. 

There are quite a few sellers who feel like eBay uses their search algorithms to give their favored enterprise sellers best placement in search, but are their algorithms steering high return buyers away from their favored sellers to small sellers? 

Nothing they do surprises me, but could they sink so low? I have been a TRS seller for years, and my metrics are great, but I am seeing an anomaly which is beyond explanation.
S.

Comments (33) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Tue Nov 7 15:11:03 2017

I do want to chime in on eBay expecting us to take these hits.  When I ordered from a distributor, they washed their hands the instant my order left the warehouse.  One time they scribbled "24" on a carton of 12 figures and I had to fight them for two weeks to get the other 12.  God forbid any of the toys I sold ever had a QC defect.  The distributor tells you to call the manufacturer and the manufacturer tells you to call the distributor.  Scamazon and fellow travelers don't care if you're left holding the bag when they rip that refund out of your account.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Tue Nov 7 17:21:36 2017

@RL15

We just disagree, no big deal.  IMHO the shareholders would not care about the number of sellers, but they care about sales / income.  The number of sellers does nothing to line their pocketbooks.  It may look good to have higher numbers of sellers.  But IMHO it looks better to have higher sales.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 9 01:50:56 2017

OP doesn't say WHAT he sells, so it's not fair to even speculate what his question is referring to.  Some items have a higher return than others, like electronics, drones, and other gadgets like that.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 9 01:52:32 2017

eBay never tire of encouraging buyers to return their items.
^^
Where's the proof of this?  I sell clothing and shoes on EB and have never ever had a return because I give good descriptions and pictures.  OP needs to talk to seller support - direct - or go into EB Wednesday webinar sessions and talk to someone.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 9 02:34:07 2017

@chicago

Yes, categories are important.  But a 25-35% return rate is HUGE for anyone.  There has to be so much more going on here than we know about.

You are so correct.  Almost from the moment a purchase is made, Ebay drills into the buyer that if they have any issue, they can return and/or get their money back.  While I understand they want to be competitive, it really is overboard as it is as every turn as a buyer.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Nov 9 02:51:38 2017

Return rates across the internet are running 30%, according to https://www.invespcro.com/blog/ecommerce-product-return-rate-statistic
s/

Some
categories higher than others.  OP should speak to Ebay support, not the CSR.  But someone higher up.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu Nov 9 02:57:41 2017

Yes, more research is in order.  I had suggested that earlier.  I have no where even near that kind of return rate.  It is just crazy to me.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu Nov 9 08:30:08 2017

The percentage is high because their sales have sunk so low.  When you sell less than 10 items per month, a single return is a 10% return rate.  One bad buyer earlier this year took my feedback down to 92% and all I can do at my rate of sales/feedback is wait for it to age out of their calculation.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: Whatever This user has validated their user name.

Fri Nov 10 03:20:09 2017

Small seller ARE being bashed over the head. It's truly sad.  On the other hand - ebay is losing money on the current course their on. It's a given.  I have honestly 500,000 items sitting in my warehouse.  I truly need to go back to anchor but just can't justify that 6x increase in store fee alone over premium - not with the dismal sales I currently have. And with all this return business - low-ball buyers and scammers - lost TRP status yada yada yada - well what's the point.  Another thing most seller don't consider - what are you selling? Buyers can't eat my product nor can they wear it or use it to make their car go. America is broke - don't believe the bs the government is putting out about the economy. Sure it's great for the 1%ers but the peasants are starving. So my items are not essentials for living. I get that. Couple that with the throttling that ebay is dishing out - well - it's not great folks.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: Studiolines This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 11 00:30:24 2017

The one thing I would like to know, ( a little off topic of returns) Are the sales figures 3rd quarter based on strictly sales or sales as shown on dashboards that include shipping? Also are returns backed out of those figures? Are unique users individuals or registered id's? You know that most people have multiples. Info I saw it was had made at least one purchase in 12 mos on buyer id's. Not saying much since so many are re-registering with new id's. Anybody know?  

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: Studiolines This user has validated their user name.

Sat Nov 11 00:36:57 2017

sorry, meant to say are users "unique" users or id's which could possibly be one of many for a single individual. I did a quick survey in my area and of 20 odd persons only 2 had used Ebay for anything in last year. Most of rest had been buyers with about 5 being taken on China stuff, 6 just frustrated with site and rest were sellers 3 casual and a couple of regulars that got tired of the refund scam. Even one of the casual buyers said she thought it was also to complicated to sell anything.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Sat Nov 11 03:03:50 2017

studiolines

Are you asking about your sales or Ebay's?

Ebay's sales are NOT the same as your sales figures or that of any other sellers.  Ebay sales are FVFs, Listing fees, upgrade fees, store fees, etc.  Plus their sales are based on other holds that Ebay has.

But don't confuse your sales figures as a seller with Ebay's.  Those are two separate things.

eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa   eBay Seller Floats Theory about Poor Returns-to-Sa

by: fashionista This user has validated their user name.

Mon Nov 13 21:27:37 2017

froggy
while I agree that conspiracy theories are a dime a dozen, ebay does manipulate the system.,  I've been selling since 98, and the control over sellers clearly came when they reassigned the listing numbers.  In the old days, if you sold clothes for example, listing numbers started 123xxxxx, if you sold books it would start 345xxxx, if you sold toys it would be 678xxxx (these are examples) I've always kept my inventory stored according to my listing numbers so it was easy and clear.  Then they changed by seller, I have 2 sets of starting numbers 352xxxxxxx & 232xxxxxxx, my husband has 132xxxxxxx & 262xxxxxx & my son has 132xxxxxxxx & 142xxxxxxxx
we all work out of the same isp, same location.
when I called them they said, the server assigned them according to location,  that doesn't make sense.  
One of us will have no sales for a couple of days, no questions nothing, and the next two days we'll have 15-20 sales a day.
they do have the power to prioritize sellers, I truly believe that.
we have to live with it, but it's a fact

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