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eBay Continues to Press Sellers on Shipping and Returns Policies


eBay logoeBay posted the first of a four-part series to help sellers understand the “Modern Buyer,” where it promised to reveal what buyers expect when it comes to shopping experiences and how sellers can meet those expectations to remain competitive. It was also another attempt to convince sellers to offer generous shipping and returns policies.

Buyers have begun to expect that they can get what they want, when they want it – and they will search across multiple retailers until they do, eBay wrote.

It won’t come as much of a surprise to sellers to learn eBay advises them to offer the following policies and practices:

– Fast and free shipping. “Consider opting in to eBay Guaranteed Delivery so that your items appear when buyers search for items that can be delivered quickly.”

– Free returns and a longer return window. “eBay research shows that the number of returns does not significantly increase when you raise your return window from 30 days to 60 days—but it does increase conversions.”

– An easy shopping experience and lots of professional-looking images. “Make sure your listings show up in search and on product pages by using the right keywords, adding structured data, and optimizing your listings for mobile users. Include lots of bright, high-quality photos, and use a white background so that your items will show up when buyers use the Find It On eBay and Image Search functions.”

While fast and free shipping and easy returns work for retailers on their own sites, some sellers are uncomfortable leaving it to eBay to weed out bad buyers, particularly when it comes to certain types of items, including valuable, one of a kind items.

You can read the post here, and eBay promised to provide greater insight in future installments.

Ina Steiner on EmailIna Steiner on LinkedinIna Steiner on Twitter
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/.

3 thoughts on “eBay Continues to Press Sellers on Shipping and Returns Policies”

  1. We have always had a no returns policy on our items. We charge usually 0.50 shipping per item also. This is more to keep the moron who thinks its funny to buy and pay for things one at a time and is to stupid to use the cart. If they want to pay seperately thats fine but they will pay a shipping fee for doing it on each one. And yes we mail all of the items in one package and don’t refund one cent for the shipping. Haven’t had a problem with anyone on shipping.

    Our sales are great and keep getting better so we don’t worry about what page we are on when someone is looking for something. Just don’t have the time to worry about it or anything else as we are to busy shipping items.

    Sorry Fleecebay but we all know free shipping is a come on………………and the only reason you are trying to shove it at all the sellers is $$$$

  2. We’ve been offering 30-day returns on listings for a couple of years – buyer pays return shipping. We’ve had very few returns (last time I checked, it was about 0.01%). I believe 60 days is excessive. The few returns have been within a day or 2 of receiving the product. Customers have messaged to say that they only buy from sellers who offer returns. It initially raised a red flag, but it turned out that none of those customers have ever returned an item, and have become repeat buyers.
    We offer free shipping on most Fixed Price items where shipping cost is easier to roll into the price of the item. (Might as well get the 10% TRS+ discount on the full amount). For bulkier and heavier items where shipping can vary significantly depending on destination, we use calculated shipping, but still roll any packaging costs, eBay & PayPal fees, etc. into the item price.

  3. Can someone please point me to the postal service that will ship my packages for free?
    I will be happy to use their service.

    If I go into town shopping the gas for my car or bus fare is not free!

    Shipping is an “add on” service and any buyer who whines about shipping costs is rapidly promoted to my blocked list.

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