Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Fri Aug 15 2014 08:34:19

Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

By: Ina Steiner

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We're conducting a survey on eBay's new returns policy announced this week. First, some background: eBay is rolling out a new returns process in September that gives buyers an easier way to return items. And beginning early next year, eBay will add more features of its managed returns process (aka Hassle Free Returns), including return labels provided automatically to buyers - but just for U.S. sellers.

By the 2015 holiday season, all eligible domestic returns on eBay will be "hassle-free returns." Sellers will still be able to choose whether to offer returns.

This means eBay sellers will either be in the managed returns process or will have a no-returns policy (except in cases where buyers say they are returning the item because of a seller problem, such as a defective item - in that case, sellers will have to accept returns under the eBay Money Back Guarantee policy).



Above: eBay spells out who is responsible for paying for return shipping when buyer returns an item.

We're asking sellers if the new policy will change their behavior when it comes to their returns policy once eBay implements the new managed returns. You can find full explanation of the new eBay Managed Return policy here, and please take a few minutes to take our survey via Survey Monkey.

We'll publish the results of the survey in EcommerceBytes.




Comments (103) | Leave Comment | Permalink

Readers Comments

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: rhawk This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 09:05:33 2014

I have no idea what to do yet.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Aug 15 09:27:02 2014

When donkeys fly. Not going to happen.  If at some point I am forced to do so, I will no longer sell there at all.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: dans parts This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 09:29:19 2014

1. Does not fit?  My applications are verbatim from the catalogs of GM/Ford/Chrysler.  So, you're going to tell THEM the part doesn't fit the car THEY manufactured?  You're going to have a real uphill battle to convince me of that...

2. No longer want/need.  Tough sh*t.  Why did you order it?  This is what the BBL is for.

3. Found better price.  Go to h3ll!  Again, welcome to my BBL!

4. Defective/does not work.  All my stuff is obsoleted stock from manufacturer, for which I get no return policy from them, so you've bought it as-is.  And you've AGREED to that in the auction description.  It IS new in the box, and occasionally I'll take a defective piece back, but mostly depends on the attitude of Buyer.

5. Item differs from listing.  I make mistakes, but you'd better be able to prove it.  If I made a mistake, I take care of it.

6. Missing parts or accessories.  Happens maybe 1-2 times a year, and I take care of it.  Immediately.

7. Arrived damaged.  Don't be sending it back to me, I want to file an insurance claim on it!  It didn't go out of here damaged!!!

8. Fake or counterfeit.  With 42 years experience selling this stuff, my eyes are pretty good at figuring if I've got a genuine piece, or a reproduction.  I've only been wrong ONE TIME in 10 years ($500K) on eBay in this category.

Since at least THREE of these categories look to be problems for ''hassled returns'', I guess I'm going to have to rescind my return policy and go back to ''NO RETURNS''.

Just one grumpy old man's opinions.

Thanks, eBay, for making me so grumpy, you dolts.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: Ephemera Dealer This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 09:49:38 2014

No.

I will also not be doing the 90 Holiday Returns thing.

I will also not permit eBay to enroll me in the Global Shipping Program.

The day any of those become mandatory is the day I leave.

My real question is, if I signed up for an annual subscription and eBay changes the rules so substantially, will I still be required to pay for the subscription?

If I lose my TRS (before I leave) I will no longer be offering free shipping or 24 hour turnaround either.

I am finding this update even more hostile to sellers than others in the past. It's a damn shame.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: Basset

Fri Aug 15 09:54:59 2014

I'm just as sure about what I am going to do as Brian Burke, Griff, and Michael Jones are sure about how the new policies will work and be carried out.  

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: OnlyPollyPocket This user has validated their user name.
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Fri Aug 15 10:17:29 2014

@Basset ROFL!!!

Nope, I am not doing managed returns or global shipping.  In fact, with this Seller Update and the Defect system, I am fast-tracking my efforts to quit ebay for good.  End of the year (or sooner if I work hard) I'm outta there.

ebay could screw up a soup sandwich, I don't trust them to touch ANYthing that they have allowed me to continue to keep control over in MY business.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: laurengrace

Fri Aug 15 10:30:31 2014

NO!NO!NO! Already getting ready to close shop there. I'm sure enough sellers will be leaving to make other venues profitable which ebay hasn't been for some time now. I have spent more on fees this month than i have sales. Kind of a crazy time for them to get tough on us. Time to get tough on them.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: maxheadroom

Fri Aug 15 11:06:28 2014

Ebay already overrides any small sellers returns policies. Small sellers have no say to this as ebay is judge jury & executioner on sellers. The seller will get stuck paying for returnn shipping because ebay is already offering the buyers a choice of excuses for returns.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Fri Aug 15 12:21:17 2014

For me it is too soon to tell.  I still need to digest the information more.  It is not just a simple decision to make.  It is more complex.  My customers deserve to have a reasonable return policy offered to them when they shop my stuff.

But Ebay want EVERYTHING to be twisted back to always be the sellers fault in one way or another and therefore the seller WILL pay.

Very damaging stuff for small and medium size sellers.  

As it always the case with Ebay, what we know today about the upcoming changes with the return policy will NOT be the final version.  It will change and most likely without notice.  It always does when they announce something long before they implement it.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: tango This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 12:23:32 2014

I have been using managed returns for about 4 months now.  Terms: 14 days - NO restocking cost.  Returns Skyrocketet - it was madness.  Changed policy to 14 days - 10% restocking cost and returns went back into line as they were prior to 'managed returns'.
Here are the problems with managed returns:
1. Retruns started within the return window, ebay tells customer to return item within 7 days and load the tracking number.
2. If customer does not ship the item within the 7 days, return does stay open for another 30+ days past the original Return Started date. So Ebay extends the return window that is in direct disagreement to their own message to the customer - a 14 day policy turns into a almost 2 months pending issue.
3. Even if the customer NEVER ships the item (say he changed his mind OR he was scamming for a freebee...) at some point, Ebay shows in the sellers 'Return' process that the item was delivered, when it never even was shipped and shows a deadline date for the seller to issue a refund.
This is very 'misleading' and almost tricks the seller into issuing a refund.
5. Seller then gets numerous messages from Ebay to issue the refund for a return that the customer never shipped - now this is way past any return date, say 14 days allowed, plus 7 days to start the return - it takes almost 2 months for the return to actually close when the customer never shipped the product.  Its very easy here to make a mistake and refund product that was never returned to the seller if you are a high volume shipper.
Ebay is obviously a 'large volumne' shipper for all the services, UPS/FEDex/USPS etc - however the amount that Ebay charges the customer (or the seller) for a return is way above what we, a much smaller shipper pay for these services.  Clearly Ebay is now also making profit on returns funded either by the customer or the seller.  They do not pass on the commercial rate to either.  This has now for Ebay turned into a new Profit Center!

Global Shipping and Returns:  if a seller ships Globally - take note, that say a US Seller has a Return coming from Australia - that customer, I bet money on this - will never say: oops I changed my mind, they will always say: not as described -  Result is, the seller either has to write off the entire sale OR pay for return shipping from another continent - turning a small profit into a giant loss.  That I find kills any thought of us shipping globally.
Chers!

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: Ania This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 12:32:24 2014

Will not participate in ebay's aiding and abetting buyer fraud. So In the words of Caesar from Rise of the Planet of the Apes - "NO"  

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: DingDong This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 13:43:57 2014

I will sell a little longer on eBay. BUT I will remove the 14 day return with 20% restocking to NO RETURNS. I will not ship globally.

I am moving to ebids, unisquare and Onlineauctions.

Right now, I have been making purchases before I am gone. Making sure I have enough toner and shipping mailers.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: WOODJUNGLE! ON EBAY

Fri Aug 15 14:20:49 2014

The one issue that will be a BIG problem is breakage. Right now, Ebay makes the buyer hold onto the package and help with the claim process, i.e., taking it to the PO for inspection.  TECHNICALLY, the post office is not supposed to honor a claim (although they do) if an item is sent back.  

This one will be interesting.  

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: windsorbear

Fri Aug 15 16:48:28 2014

In the process of getting all of my stuff listed elsewhere before September.  About halfway done.  Even though I am a Top Rated Seller and a Bronze Powerseller, I am done!!!  I have no desire to be micro-managed.  All I need is a nice, friendly "venue" to sell my wares at.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: LDS Brother

Fri Aug 15 18:30:31 2014

Dear other sellers, can someone please clarify for me the Global Shipping ?

I sell International right now, always have, I have read some posts that other sellers said in 2015 we ALL have to Opt in ?

Does that mean if I want to ship Worldwide, I have to use Global Shipping ? I will no longer be able to send it myself ?

If so can someone please refer me to the part of the update or user agreement that explains this ?

Thank you

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: BB2 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 19:20:18 2014

@tango - Thank you very much for sharing your experience with the program. It was invaluable.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: Ogri This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 22:07:49 2014

Looking at ebay holistically, can't see how their business strategy is viable long-term.
Seems with hassle free returns, the defect thing (if I understood correctly from the good cop bad cop - or Keystone cops - discussion), Global Shipping, guaranteed money back, free shipping etc that the aim is to homogenise the selling process.  In other words doesn't matter who you buy from the process appears exactly the same, you are buying from ebay.

Where I cant see how that will work long term is every one of the changes made has a cost associated with it, and that cost has to be paid by someone, eventually the customer.

With third party sellers involved two chunks of profit are being taken from the sale, the Sellers profit and Ebays profit.  The seller becomes a supplier of stock for ebay to market to buyers - no skin in the game for ebay.

The only advantage I can see using 'venues' to sell is the traffic, but you pay for that traffic in final value fees.

With the growth of Social media, search providers such as Google becoming very efficient at finding products, and the ease and low cost of setting up a website (know it takes a while to bring traffic in, just have to be patient) where does the 'venue' fit long term.  Dont know myself, but certainly wouldn't base my business plan exclusively on 'venues'.  My holistic business view shows venue sales dropping consistently and website sales increasing 10-20% month on month so somethings not right - or is right depending on how look at it.

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Fri Aug 15 22:11:49 2014

The problem I see for all sellers is that buyers will always choose one of the last five options in order to get free return shipping. No scamming buyer is going to select "no longer want" when he/she can say "fake."  

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: foolforfashion This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 22:14:17 2014

I have a very small eBay store. So far I have had very few issues with returns...although I have refunded money readily because the cost of return shipping and full refund are too much of a loss. I am very concerned about these new policies. There is absolutely no way I can sell on eBay if I have to anticipate every sell as a possible return. Even big businesses require the purchaser to pay return shipping. Is eBay actually saying that a customer can click a button and return an item and I have to pay the postage for the return as well as full refund? That's impossible! I do not sell electronics...I sell clothing. I provide lots of pictures and exact measurements down to fabric content and care instructions. I do believe that most people are deterred from abusing the return policy I currently offer because they will have to pay the return postage unless the item is damaged or not as described. I had one lady take her measurements of a waistline on shorts which was clearly incorrect and even take a faulty picture to prove the point so as to claim item was not as described. There is no way eBay can ''police'' all these petty issues. Customers will definitely abuse the no hassles returns!!!! I am certain of it. I can't accept this program....its a shame to have to not even be able to offer returns to customers. If every customer has the power to click a button at will and my account be automatically charged to generate a return label I cannot continue to sell. I will be forced to close shop. And....if I'm being forced to ship internationally....No....I won't do that. So what happens when we ship half way around the world and get returns. Not only do we have to pay outrageous return postage, but....if I am reading the new ''very confusing'' policy correctly...we will also be responsible for customs charges. I worked in customer service for FedEx....You do not want to deal with customs and that mess...I promise. I cannot believe eBay is treating their top-rated, hardworking sellers like this. If sellers are not performing well and have numerous cases then yeah, put something in place to regulate their activities. But for those of us who already bend over backwards for customer satisfaction....we should not have to be punished.
To recap: No I will not allow eBay to manage my returns. And No, I will not ship internationally.
I've really enjoyed selling on eBay. It really upsets me that eBay protects buyers but not the hardworking sellers that put money into their pockets. I already take losses because if you don't bend over backwards to please the customer you have the threat of negative feedback. Now not only will they threat hover over sellers but now we have to fear that every single item we sell may come back to us and we have to pay shipping both ways and issue refund. NO business can survive like that!!!

Perminate Link for Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?   Survey: Will You Use eBay Managed Returns?

by: joshua This user has validated their user name.

Fri Aug 15 23:20:58 2014

I am not sure at this time. I will make up my mind the first time I get stuck with a return. But the ''Found a better price'' should not be a reason for a return. There is a sort by price tab for all to use.
If it is fake or counterfeit it should be reported/returned to eBay for appropriate action. From reading the other posts I see a couple things that can/will happen. When the item is returned eBay and PayPal will also refund their fees. If this happens a lot they will make a change to this policy. 2 This may not happen a lot but I am sure it will. I buy/receive a $50 item and print a label to return it (at the seller's expense). I put the label on the empty box and mail it. Tracking shows delivered back to seller. The seller complains that the item was not returned. eBay CS says item delivered back to seller, end of story. Makes us all winners.

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