Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri June 14 2013 21:56:13

Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay is surveying sellers about its Managed Returns program, and asked them if they would be interested in enrolling the program if eBay offered a version of insurance that could be purchased like the normal postal insurance sellers can buy in case of damage or loss.

A seller who took the survey wrote to me, explaining, "This insurance would pay for the return shipping cost in the event that a buyer wanted to return an item."

eBay's Managed Return program lets buyers initiate returns without having to contact the seller first. Once seller opt-in, their buyers are permitted to return an item for any reason - including if they simply change their mind about the purchase. The advantage for sellers is a streamlined system with presumably increased conversions from more confident shoppers - and Final Value fees automatically credited when refunds are issued. The downside is that sellers must accept returns for any reason.

eBay is currently running a promotion through the end of July that offers sellers who opt-in to the program free return shipping on eligible sales (though they must remain in the program through at least September 30 to qualify).

The eBay survey also asked respondents their thoughts on five different names to call the Managed Returns program and why they liked the names or why not. "If they called it one thing or another would I be more likely to use it," the seller wrote in her email to me. Some sellers are convinced eBay will make the Managed Returns program mandatory. There has been negative sentiment on blogs and on the eBay forums about the program from early users, and here's an eBay video of a satisfied seller.

It's not clear who would be providing (powering) the returns insurance program for eBay.

Is it something you would pay eBay for? And would you pay an outside firm for insurance on any of your returns? Let us know what you think of the idea and if you've received the survey from eBay.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: Patricia This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 22:22:38 2013

I save the money and the stress by simply not listing on Ebay ;-)

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: AgendaSwallowsAll This user has validated their user name.

Fri Jun 14 22:47:31 2013

DELETE Surveys from ebay, they'll take the 2-4% who indicate they would as a wish of the masses and say to us all ''The people have spoken''.

Simple of mind ignorance from what should most assuredly be educated people. We can't charge insurance because it suits ebay, now they see another buck and want to offer us return insurance.

AgendaSwallowsAll

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: Bloggo This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 15 00:48:30 2013

"streamlined system" Yeah, right.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Jun 15 02:31:51 2013

Get your frigging hand out of my pocket, ebafia!

Positively, absolutely not!

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: PowerSeller2007 This user has validated their user name.

Sat Jun 15 10:21:35 2013

Ebay and Paypal collects Billions USD even after hiding the 6-month long of Cassini disaster.  

Paypal and ebay should be able to create a self insurance fund for the seller and offer free insurance to all our parcels including returns.

This is a good business that small site don't have financial strength to create..... Shhhhh.... keep it secret from those stupid greedy ignorant ebay executives.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ric

Sat Jun 15 13:40:59 2013

Who in their right mind would trust eBay when they peddle insurance.

They push Shipcover insurance yet they fail to fully disclose the many types of items which are not covered.

eBay accepts payments for Shipcover overage despite the fact that the item may not be covered.

A reputable insurance provider would disclose exclusions in advance and prevent sellers from purchasing coverage when items are excluded.

Not so with eBay and Shipcover. They accept payments for all transactions, and inexperienced sellers only find out their item
is not covered when they try to file a case.

A reputable company would refund the cost of coverage in the event a seller discovers they paid for insurance on an excluded item.

Not so for eBay - Shipcover. Once you purchase coverage, they do not refund the cost - even when you discover later the item is excluded from their coverage.

Sellers find out after the fact that the Shipcover insurance does not cover postage costs.

There are horror stories from sellers who have to wait 30 days to file a claim, and who found out there is no support through eBay for the insurance product. Even though the insurance is a subsidiary of eBay, you have to deal with the Shipworks division which is totally separate from eBay.

Given these circumstances, why would I trust eBay to provide insurance coverage for return postage?

Knowing how shady and deceptive eBay is with existing insurance products, there are bound to be a few loopholes and trap doors in the coverage wherein the seller will find they are denied coverage under certain circumstances. Sellers will not find out about the "gotcha" until they attempt to file a claim and find out the hard way eBay screwed them yet again.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Sat Jun 15 14:57:34 2013

"Once seller opt-in, their buyers are permitted to return an item for any reason - including if they simply change their mind about the purchase."

Does this include a buyer who purchases, say, a never opened Lego set, who then opens it, plays with it for a week, loses some pieces, gets bored with it, and then wants to return it for a full refund?  

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Jun 15 15:59:34 2013

In my opinion, if ebafia "manages" the return and requires uthe seller to accept them under any circumstances, then ebafia is responsible for the return and are, therefore, legally responsible for the insurance.

Ebafia tells sellers they are legally responsible for the safe delivery of buyers' purchases which is correct.

Therefore under the (mis)managed return program the buyer or ebafia is legally responsible for the insurance, not the seller, since they are the sender.

Ebafia and their insurance carrier can be reported to whatever California state agency is responsible for investigating deceptive insurance practices as well as the one in your state.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Sat Jun 15 16:03:27 2013

These obscene intrusions into shipping, which are incredibly anti American seller, must be another "seller protection" courtesy of ebafia's second best seller advocate, Brian Burke.

This twisted perversion sounds very much like the reasoning that went into the infamous "Neutrals are negatives because they're positives."

All ebafia "logic" revolves around GREED and the lies and secrets that of necessity must accompany everything ebafia does.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: tc This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 16 15:27:21 2013

I might consider it if:
1) It covered any type of return and paid the seller the full replacement value of the return for any reason
2) It fully paid in advance the return shipping for the item
3) All fees paid by the seller for Ebay/PayPal/Other are paid back to the seller
4) It cost less than 1% of the sale price

I think this is really the only way sellers would be protected from fraud.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: Donna This user has validated their user name.

Sun Jun 16 16:48:40 2013

@tc
The survey questioning on the insurance was just in case the buyer wanted to return an item, ebay would pay for the return shipping (only)if we bought their insurance - nothing more.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: comet This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 00:12:49 2013

Really?????

Trust ebay????

Did I miss something---is TODAY APRIL FOOLS DAY?????

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: Tiffee Jasso This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 00:18:08 2013

A better idea for Ebay to sell insurance that covers the seller for full value of item and actual shipping costs. Then after the buyer decides to return the item, Ebay tell them to keep it and the insurance pays Ebay the price of the item(s) plus postage. That way everyone is happy. Buyer that want to return the item gets free merchandise and their money back and they are happy. That makes Ebay happy. Also if the buyer has broken or opened the packaging which amounts to destroying the value of new items, seller does not suffer loss and that makes the seller happy.
There would be no scamming for Ebay would have a log of how many times the buyer has requested a return rebate. They also have control over who to suspend when for the umpteenth time a buyer has said "I want to return the item no questions asked."  Sellers would no longer be involved in returns and that way Ebay would be in complete control.  

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: cayenna This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 00:30:22 2013

Everything for many years has worked just fine for the most part through the USPS system where the buyer pays for their own Insurance if they are concerned about there package, and sellers are able to apply their policies. There's free tracking for US buyers for their packages. I never signed up for eBay's International warehouse option as I knew I would be in for more problems and out more money. If eBay would put things back into the sellers hands like it is when we have our own websites I believe  this wouldn't be an issue. But eBay wants to control everything and there's always a price to pay for everything they do. eBay should protect the seller and let the buyer purchase Ins if they are worried about it, and go through the normal process; but I don't see that happening.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: Steve This user has validated their user name.
Web Site

Mon Jun 17 00:33:31 2013

Simple answer... NO WAY

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: auctionguy This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 01:42:02 2013

@iheartjacksparrow asked:

''Does this include a buyer who purchases, say, a never opened Lego set, who then opens it, plays with it for a week, loses some pieces, gets bored with it, and then wants to return it for a full refund?''

Of course, it does. We know the rules. The buyer is always right. The seller is always wrong. If we don't like it, we don't sell on ebay.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Ming the Merciless

Mon Jun 17 02:31:43 2013

Is ebafia licensed by the state of California to sell insurance?

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: gejbooks This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 06:49:36 2013

I received the survey as well. It's a bit of a misnomer to call what they are proposing 'insurance.'  What they are considering is charging a fee on every outgoing package that a seller ships in exchange for eBay paying the postage on all returns.  You'd need to have a lot of returns to make that anything but a losing proposition but, of course, that's the whole motivation for eBay.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Mon Jun 17 07:19:16 2013

I no longer participate in eBay surveys.  They only use what they want from the surveys and they will report "You asked for this" or "we listened" after the fact.

I just wish eBay would stop trying to micro-manage every aspect of our business.  Like I've said many times, eBay are "only a venue" when they are in court with a luxury retailer.

And to answer your question, no I would not buy any insurance from eBay.

Perminate Link for Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?   Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?

by: gejbooks This user has validated their user name.

Mon Jun 17 07:47:37 2013

I need to make one clarification to my earlier post - eBay's proposal is to charge an extra fee on every sale (rather than package) in exchange for paying postage on returns.

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