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eBay Fall Seller Release: Managed Returns, Some Relief on Defects

eBay is set to announce a Seller Release today, a twice-yearly occurrence in which eBay announces changes that impact a seller’s business, and often dreaded by sellers. Today, it will announce that all sellers who offer returns must offer eBay’s managed returns, also known as hassle-free returns, by the 2015 holiday season. That means buyers will be able to return an item for any reason. Sellers will still have the option of not accepting returns at all.

Sellers should note that for hassle-free returns the return shipping label is provided automatically when the buyer initiates a return. And starting in mid-September, eBay will automatic issue refunds to buyers after 6 business days once the item has been returned to the seller and as long as the seller has not asked eBay to step in and help.

eBay is also streamlining the cancellation process to make it easier for buyers and sellers to cancel a transaction directly from My eBay. Buyers will be able to request a cancellation if they change their mind within an hour after the sale as long as sellers haven’t already shipped the item.

eBay is also introducing a new version of the Global Shipping Program that will apply to all sellers on an “opt-out” basis. Basically eBay will add an international priority shipping option to all sellers’ listings for buyers in 10 countries whose buyers primarily shop on eBay in English: Canada, Australia, New Zealand, United Kingdom, Singapore, Ireland, South Africa, Malaysia, United Arab Emirates, and Mexico.

Some Relief from New Defect Policy
But eBay is offering sellers some relief from its new defect policy going into effect on August 20th. When buyers ask sellers a question after the sale, it is now often considered a defect against the sellers’ performance record. eBay said it was adding an option that allows buyers to ask sellers a question or send them a message after the sale without counting against the seller.

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All buyers requesting returns will now have a more detailed list of reasons for returning an item, designed to help reduce the number of Item Not as Described cases.

And eBay will expand its defect removal policy to establish clear instances where defects will be automatically removed from sellers’ performance records without having to ask eBay to step in and help.

eBay is also adding new features to its Selling Manager and Selling Manager Pro listing tools.

eBay will make a full announcement later today, be sure to read all the details on the eBay website.

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Ina Steiner
Ina Steiner
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 ina@ecommercebytes.com.