|Sun Jan 10 2021 20:38:59|
Will Marketplaces Soon Tell Returners to Just Keep It?
By: Ina Steiner
Amazon and Walmart are telling buyers of unwanted items that they can have their refund and keep it too, allowing shoppers to keep the items they want to return, according to the Wall Street Journal
Shhh, don't tell online marketplaces like eBay and Etsy, they'll be sure to try and jump on the bandwagon and force sellers to allow buyers who want to return an item to "just keep it," along with a refund.
There is precedence for thinking so - large retailers are the reason why online shoppers expect "free shipping" and other customer-friendly policies. Inevitably marketplaces try to follow in the footsteps of large retailers, but marketplaces are not the ones who must absorb the costs, and they also lack the tools that large retailers use to keep buyers in check.
In 2013, before Devin Wenig got his promotion to the top spot at eBay, he told Bloomberg that management was turning eBay from what was in essence a peer-to-peer marketplace to a "retail standard experience
By 2018, eBay was using the phrase, "modern retail marketplace
" and continuing to mandate buyer-friendly policies, including pressuring sellers to offer generous returns.
But the availability of Walmart's current "keep it" policy is based on data, with the Journal writing, "A Walmart spokeswoman said the "keep it" option is designed for merchandise it doesn't plan to resell and is determined by customers' purchase history, the value of the products and the cost of processing the returns."
While Walmart and Amazon use such data to decide who gets to have a refund and keep a return, marketplaces who may be looking to follow suit should think twice before mandating a "one-size-fits-all" policy.