eBay published an announcement on Wednesday encouraging sellers to enroll in its holiday returns program. Items that offer Extended Holiday Returns will display a message to shoppers in November and December explaining they will have until January 31st to return the item.
Many sellers are uncomfortable offering such a generous return policy – buyers who make purchases on November 1st have 3 months to return an item. Many sellers prefer a 7- or 14-day return policy, especially in certain categories like clothing or collectibles. (eBay requires sellers who accept returns to offer a minimum 14-day return policy.)
To push sellers into offering extended holiday returns, eBay is tying the program to Top Rated Seller discounts, which provide TRS sellers 20 percent off their Final Value Fees. From November 1st through December 31st, Top Rated Sellers will only receive discounts on those listings offering extended returns during those two months.
While their TRS status won’t be affected, their discounts will be affected. (In addition to extended returns, they must also offer same day or 1-day handling to get the TRS discounts.)
eBay also used the opportunity to promote its “hassle free returns” policy, which it will make mandatory for all sellers next year.
eBay wrote, “Gift-givers want to make sure their loved ones love their items, so offering a generous returns policy is a great way to capture buyer attention – and close more sales – especially during the holiday season. To get a head start and attract the interest of early-bird shoppers, apply an extended holiday returns policy to all your eligible listings today.” You can read the post on the eBay Announcement board.