|Fri June 14 2013 21:56:13|
Would You Buy eBay Insurance for Return Shipping?
By: Ina Steiner
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.