Remember last year when eBay tried to coerce sellers into offering a 3-month return policy during the holidays? An eBay seller forwarded me a newsletter eBay sent them this week that encouraged sellers to offer a 60-day return policy, and without the coercion.
The seller wrote, "Note that contrary to what sellers were told last year under Donahoe's regime, offering 90 day holiday returns is NOT mandatory after all this year."
Here's what eBay said in this week's missive:
Apply a generous returns policy to your eligible listings. Gift-givers want to make sure their loved ones love their items, so offering a generous 60-day returns policy is a great way to capture buyer attention - and close more sales - during the holiday season. Also, be sure to optimize your returns settings to give great customer service after the sale.
Last year, eBay had a program called Extended Holiday Returns - when sellers chose to participate, eBay displayed a message to shoppers in November and December that they would have until January 31st to return the item. eBay also highlighted listings that offered extended holiday returns on item pages and search result pages.
But many sellers felt it was draconian, preferring to offer a 14-day return policy (or less), especially in certain categories like clothing or collectibles.
To push sellers into offering extended holiday returns last year, eBay tied the program to Top Rated Seller discounts, which are 20 percent off Final Value Fees.
But as we noted last October, eBay exchanged the stick for a carrot midway through the holiday season: rather than penalizing Top Rated Sellers by taking away their 20% discounts if they didn't offer extended returns during the holidays, eBay decided to give them a bonus 5% discount if they did choose to offer extended returns during the holidays.
at the time if eBay actually saw a decline in listings as a result of the policy due to sellers worried about customers using items and returning them in late January.
Do keep in mind that eBay is making a change to returns as part of the Fall Seller Update that TRS sellers may not welcome: Starting May 1, 2016, listings from Top Rated sellers must offer at least a 30-day money-back return policy to earn the Top Rated Plus discount and seal.
You can learn more about the Fall Update changes to the returns process on this page
and on this page
What do you think of the changes? And do you extend your return policy around the holidays? Why or why not?