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eBay Entices Sellers to Offer 30 Day Returns


eBay logoeBay sent an email to sellers on Friday enticing them to change their return policies using the subject line: “Save on labels when you change your return policy.”

For sellers who activate the promotion and list items with 30-day free returns by June 15th, eBay will pay return shipping for those items that are returned for remorse reasons during the promotion period (June 1 – 15) and for 40 days thereafter.

eBay said by offering 30-day returns, sellers could boost sales up to 15%: “That’s the boost we see for sellers who move from no returns to 30-day free returns,” it said, explaining that was the conversion lift seen based on Q3 2017 data. (“Individual results may vary. eBay does not guarantee that each seller will experience the same lift or any lift at all.”)

The promotion is by invitation only.

eBay changed its returns policy as part of this year’s Seller Updates. As part of the changes, eBay no longer allows sellers to offer a 14-day return policy for most categories as it tries to make sellers offer more generous returns.

If you received today’s promotion, be sure to read the details.

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/.

11 thoughts on “eBay Entices Sellers to Offer 30 Day Returns”

  1. The one key metric they seem to be avoiding is the increase in returns . If they are claiming a 15% increase in sales without the return data, the metric is meaningless. Not only that it ‘s going to differ wildly depending on the type of merchandise sold. One can be reasonably certain they are tracking it closely.

    They also haven’t stated whether the sellers offering free returns are getting ranked higher under best match . eBay can control the flow of buyers as they have said in their user agreement.

    This week the carrot. Next week it’s the stick. .

  2. We have no returns on all of our auctions. And charge actual shipping. If the buyer don’t like it they are free to shop elsewhere. WE JUST DON’T CARE,

  3. eBay states that sales could be boosted by 15%. Sellers could also argue that returns would be boosted by 15%, especially when the first thing a buyer sees when he/she goes to leave feedback is “Return This Item.”

  4. It has been almost 19 years on eBay and never had a return. We charge shipping and handling on everything and only foreign buyers will gripe about the price of that. We explain the cost of the postage and they all understand then.
    What MLY says is true. Bought 100 padded 9×12 envelopes and got a great deal. It was guaranteed delivery and came a day early. When I went to leave feedback here is a big blue label saying ‘Return This Item” and in very small letters was leave feedback. Unbelievable to think that a company would do this but there it was.

    eBay = Dead Man Walking

  5. I been an Ebay member since the 90s and a full time seller for 5+ years, I was extremely happy with the site, the incredible exposure your items were getting, the sales, the let’s call them “fair fees” and the incentives offered by the site to top sellers (call them volume based or high standards) also The “ZERO Catch” Promotions, remember those?

    Yes Ebay was an honest “partner” like they like to be called. Ebay as of today is trying to be what was never intended to be and what it can not ever be and that is trying to compete with Amazon and soon to catch up Walmart but they insist. Insist at a very high price, not to them but to the sellers, taking haircuts on fee discounts and facing never ending listing demands to throw you a bone or even face the scary idea of been kicked out of search results, and so on.

    I put a stop to it today after seen yet more demands from Ebay to throw us a bone, bailed out of the seller fee discounts already and raised my prices as I can afford to.

    Never thought I would say this but I will start selling on other websites and mine also. Yes at the beginning may not be cost effective but you can not have a so called “partner” that gets up every morning trying to figure out how to screw you more and more, you need to have peace of mind and these people are not playing a fair game. Ebay has effectively offer sellers NOTHING in the last few years, not even a mere fight for better shipping rates ( why bother? now they make more, 10% on higher shipping prices).

    Shipping rates are so crucial that a huge number of low ticket items I regularly buy on Ebay arrive home on Amazon boxes and shipping labels, go figure…. and yes Ebay wants to compete with them….well Ebay is not competing with them, wants to suck us dry to make us compete with them at the level they want.

    Hope the decision that Ebay made of ending Paypal partnership comes back to haunt them in due time as Paypal is a must partner to any website trying to take costumers away from Ebay.

    I am ready to move out my inventory out of Ebay like I never ever even contemplated and have good friends who cant wait to do it, many more are ready but most i know are sheep and would not do so until a real 100% viable option is out there. of course this is the reason Ebay gets away squeezing sellers as much as they please but time will come…..

    So to quote Mr Bill here:
    eBay = Dead Man Walking

  6. ..yet ebay provides no statistics of the INCREASE in returns that this little new found ebay money making scheme will create and the resulting increase in expenses for sellers. Why is ebay looking for marginal increase to their bottom line while making sure their partners (sellers) turn from healthy to sick (in terms of bottom line) – makes one wonder. 12 month down the road, we will be asking ebay, so…how did that work out for you 🙂 lol

  7. I switched from 14 day returns to 30 day returns more then a year ago in hopes of seeing an increase in sales. It didn’t work. No matter what I listed, whether it be unique items, so called hot selling items, etc it didn’t matter.

    Tried to find a niche for myself, tried to “get the word out” about my listings, the whole nine yards. Not only have my sales not increased, they’ve actually plummeted. Now, after a whole lot of “sort of” ups to awful downs, I only have a handful of items listed & am trying to decide if I should try a new strategy – AGAIN – or if I should just call it quits.

    Every time I think things seem to be looking up, ebay comes out with some brilliant new & improved whatever & any ground I thought I was gaining is lost. The most frustrating thing is that I do follow best practices, accept returns, ship next business day & most of the time even on Saturdays. Have tried a LOT of different products over the 13 years I’ve been on ebay & bent over backwards to offer outstanding customer service – sometimes even while putting on a smile as I lost not only any profit but went in the hole on a sale just to make the customer happy.

    Not sure what I keep doing wrong, but I’m finally getting tired of jumping through the ebay hoops for nothing. I guess the point of me saying all this is that when they try to entice you into doing something with the promise of increased sales or visibility, it’s never worked out like that for me. Hopefully it works out for someone else.

  8. Let me run my business as I see fit. keep the rules simple. I don’t want to offer 30 day returns and risk getting garbage sent back.

  9. Can someone tell me where I shut it off if I decide I don’t want to offer the 30 day returns. I thought I wanted to try it but I really don’t and can’t find the setting to shut it off.
    I just don’t trust it.

    Thank you in advance.

  10. I sell clothes and provide the key measurements. I get lots of returns from people who don’t even read the description. I don’t care if the cost of offering free returns will be offset by increased sales. I won’t pay the shipping for dumb buyers.
    That said, since eBay has first reduced my TRS 20% discount to 10% and now eliminated it completely, I’m thinking of offering no returns. Has anybody else who sells clothes done this already? What happened to sales once you made the switch?

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