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eBay Eases Up on Extended Holiday Returns, with a Catch

eBay exchanged a carrot for a stick when it comes to trying to force Top Rated Sellers to offer extended returns during the holidays. Rather than penalizing Top Rated Sellers by taking away their 20% discounts if they didn’t offer extended returns during the holidays, eBay will give them a bonus 5% discount if they do offer extended returns during the holidays.

“Now you’ll get a bonus 5% discount off final value fees – along with your current 20% discount – from November 1 through December 31 for all eligible Top Rated Plus listings that offer extended holiday returns.”

Some Top Rated Sellers may be breathing a sigh of relief that they don’t have to offer returns through the end of January for items purchased in November (for early orders, that equates to a 3-month return period), and others may be pulling their hair out if they have to go back and change their listings (if they choose).

But there is still one item that sellers will want to pay attention to before making up their minds about the announcement: eBay will highlight extended holiday returns on item pages and search result pages starting in November.

That means sellers will have a more difficult time getting exposure for those listings that don’t offer extended holiday returns.

eBay didn’t say why it changed the policy, but we noted earlier this month that sellers were experiencing glitches with regards to their returns policies.

Another possible reason – eBay may have found a low adoption rate among Top Rated Sellers, and possibly even a decrease in listings.

If you’re a Top Rated Seller, read the fine print on the eBay announcement board and on this eBay promotions page before making up your mind.

Comment on the EcommerceBytes Blog.

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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). She is a member of the Online News Association (Sep 2005 - present) and Investigative Reporters and Editors (Mar 2006 - present). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to ina@ecommercebytes.com. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.