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eBay Opens Returns Resolution Pilot Program

Sellers who signed up to participate in a new pilot program can now try it out. eBay officially opened the Returns Resolution Pilot program on Tuesday after announcing it as part of the Fall Seller Update changes.

The new pilot gives participants “broader options” in dealing with buyers who lie about the reason for their returns request. eBay recognizes that buyers may choose a “not as described” reason for the return, when the actual reason may be different (i.e., buyer’s remorse).

Why do buyers lie? Because sellers who choose not to accept returns (or when the return request is past the seller’s return window) must still accept them if a buyer claims the item they received was not as described.

eBay sellers don’t have as much control over returns as those unfamiliar with the marketplace might think. That’s because the marketplace gets involved, requiring its sellers to comply with the rules it sets when it comes to returns.

Here’s the letter pilot participants received on November 3, 2015:

Dear (Redacted),
It’s official: our eBay returns resolution pilot begins today – which means you now have more options when issuing refunds on not-as-described returns.

Now when you get an item back for being not-as-described and feel the buyer chose the wrong reason for the return, you have more choices when issuing a refund. Here’s how it works:

1) After accepting a return, you can choose to give your buyer a full refund, or use the new “decide what to refund” option when issuing your refund on not-as-described returns.

2) Decide whether you want to deduct the original shipping cost, return shipping cost, and/or your predetermined restocking fee from the buyer’s refund.

3) Be sure to include a note to your buyer explaining why you issued a partial refund, then click “send refund” to complete the process.

4) After you’ve issued the refund, let us know if and how your buyer misused the returns process by reporting a problem with the buyer.

Use this new option carefully – and only when you feel it’s warranted and in accordance with your return policy. And remember, buyers can still ask eBay to step in and help if they disagree with your partial refund.

In the coming weeks, we may reach out for your feedback by email or phone. In the meantime, if you have any questions, visit the returns resolution pilot private community board to get answers from the eBay Returns Experience Team and discuss your experiences with other sellers. And if you have issues related to the pilot or you simply decide that you no longer wish to participate, just let us know.
The eBay Returns Experience Team

eBay is running the pilot program in the US and UK.

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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. See disclosure at EcommerceBytes.com/disclosure/.