|Tue Sept 4 2012 15:45:48|
What Do Sellers Think of the New eBay Returns Process?
By: Ina Steiner
eBay announced a new managed returns process in March, and it is now available to eBay Top-rated Sellers on an opt-in basis. According to an eBay spokesperson:
"This new and easy way to manage returns is designed to give buyers a consistent way to initiate returns, and give sellers a more efficient way to offer and manage returns. From September 1-30, eBay is offering Top-rated sellers a 5% discount on final value fees - or an extra 5% on listings that already qualify for the 20% Top-rated seller discount."
An overview of the new returns process can be found on this page, and more details are found on this page.
Once a seller has chosen to opt in to the new managed returns process, buyers will be permitted to return an item for any reason - including if they change their mind.
Online merchants and brick-and-mortar retailers are sensitive to the problem of buyer fraud - shoppers who "rent" items, using them before returning them - or who substitute inferior products for the one purchased from the seller, or even send back counterfeit goods.
Online and marketplace sellers are at an even greater disadvantage than retail stores, since shipping costs are incurred when the item is sent and when it is returned, and they aren't able to see the item the buyer is returning until it's arrived back to them in the mail.
On the other hand, online merchants are eager to give shoppers a sense of security when buying online, and allowing shoppers to return items can increase conversion rates. One way some retailers get around this is by charging customers a restocking fee.
What do you think of the new returns process, and will you be opting in? What questions would you ask eBay about the new returns process?
UPDATE: See accompanying news story.