eBay Ups the Ante for Opting into Managed Returns
By Ina Steiner
After eBay CEO John Donahoe set out to give the marketplace a "more retail like experience," the organization faced the challenge of getting independent sellers to go along with his vision, which includes listings that offer free shipping and accept returns. To encourage sellers to accept returns, eBay gives sellers who offer them a boost in search results, and in September, it launched a "Managed Returns" process.
eBay has been running a promotion to give sellers an incentive to use the Managed Returns program - all eligible eBay sellers with a U.S. return address are eligible for free return shipping labels for returns of items sold after opt-in during the promotion (June 10 - July 31, 2013) where they are responsible for return shipping charges (be sure to read details of the promotion on the eBay website).
This week, eBay kicked off a new invitation-only promotion to give some sellers an added incentive for participating in the program. Those who received an invitation will also be eligible for a 25% Final Value Fee discount on qualifying listings sold during the promotion (July 15 - July 31, 2013).
Sellers must remain in Managed Returns until at least September 30, 2013 to qualify for both promotions.
When eBay introduced Managed Returns in September, eBay's Head of Global Reverse Logistics Steven Cox told EcommerceBytes that company research showed one-third of buyers look at sellers' return policies before making a purchasing decision, and another one-third look at the return policies after making a purchase decision. About half of buyers look for lenient or easy-to-understand policies when making their decision.
Cox said the program helps eBay identify and prevent abuse on the part of buyers - a positive for sellers who participate in the program. Another incentive - eBay automatically refunds Final Value Fees for the transactions resulting in returns.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to email@example.com.
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