Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Tue Nov 21 2017 14:48:03

eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

By: Ina Steiner

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eBay kicked off a promotion today to entice sellers to offer free returns during the holidays with discounted commission fees and greater exposure in search at a time when many sellers are reporting slow sales.

To entice more sellers to offer a generous returns policy, eBay kicked off a promotion where it is promising a 50% final value fee credit for up to 500 listings that offer free returns. It defines free returns as follows: "seller pays return shipping no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee."

eBay is forced to offer a carrot and stick approach since it doesn't own the goods for sale on its marketplace. As it invests in its own brand this year through marketing that includes TV commercials, executives must find it frustrating not being able to promise shoppers free returns on all goods. The brand marketing comes at a time when eBay is making it more difficult for sellers to promote their individual brands on its marketplace and as eBay even limits communication between shoppers and sellers.

eBay has found numerous ways to pressure sellers to offer generous policies - one way is by boosting such listings in search results. And in fact, the new promotion tells sellers they will generate more sales if they participate:

"Offer free 30-day returns on your listings and sell up to 17%* more of your items. Plus: Increase your item's exposure in search results; Stay competitive throughout the holiday season."

It follows that listings that don't offer generous policies get less exposure since rival listings that do offer such policies get higher placement in search results. eBay also gives greater exposure to certain sellers (i.e., "diamonds") by featuring them in email and PR marketing campaigns.

eBay described the terms of the new promotion as follows:

Invited sellers ("Sellers") who activate the offer and then list in the fixed price, auction-style, or auction-style with Buy It Now format during the Promotion Period, pursuant to the terms and conditions set forth herein, will receive a 50% discount on final value fees ("Promotional Rate") on up to 500 Qualifying Item(s)* listed during the Promotion Period (the "Promotion").

The Promotion does not apply to insertion fees or optional advanced listing upgrade and supplemental service fees. Discounted final value fees will be applied to the total amount of the sale, including the cost of the item and shipping charges, excluding any sales tax. All existing selling limits on your account (as well as category and item limits) still apply, and may prevent you from creating the maximum number of listings in this Promotion. View the "everyday rate plan" for full details.

If you receive an invitation to the promotion, be sure to read it carefully for details and restrictions - invitees must first activate the promotion before it applies.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 15:14:32 2017

Nothing they try is actually going to increase traffic to the eBay marketplace, they can not compete with Amazon PERIOD who is heavily advertising free shipping on 1 million items.

If Devin had a clue on drawing traffic into eBay he would not have waited two years or more while Walmart struck a massive multi-billion dollar partnership with Google to drive traffic to Walmart.com, Devin is the gimmick and test running CEO with little substance to offer sellers.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Nov 21 15:26:38 2017

eBay FREE RETURNS POLICY:

''Seller pays return shipping no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee.''

No Thank You. And no amount of FVF discounts will change the mind of most small - medium volume sellers. Only large vendors can afford to eat these types of losses on returns.

This is similar to a couple of years ago when eBay wanted all sellers to enact an Amazon-like 90 day return policy for the holidays, or forego their Top-Rated Seller discounts.

They soon found out virtually no one was willing to participate, and changed the terms shortly after November 1st.

INA: ''eBay is forced to offer a carrot and stick approach since it doesn't own the goods for sale on its marketplace''.

Exactly. And since they do not own, source, pick, pack, or ship merchandise, it is baffling that they would expect sellers to foot the bill when a buyer changes their mind on a purchase. There is zero benefit to a seller to pay shipping both ways when a buyer makes a mistake.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 15:50:43 2017

Just like offering junior a candy bar if he is good. Never works. Maybe Ebay should pay for the return on all items.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 16:07:43 2017

If a seller's normal shipment is 2 lbs.+, and the average FVF is $5-$6 or less, that's a slam dunk auto decline.
Guess they sent that invite to the jewelry hustlers...
Meanwhile, that ebay stench of desperation has it's own unique smell.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

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

Tue Nov 21 16:15:25 2017

This will do nothing but increase holiday rentals leaving sellers stuck with even greater losses when buyers return damaged, obviously used, or unusable merchandise with no recoverable re stocking fee.

Ebafia is so desperate that they're sending out ebay bucks offers this time of the year!

Speaks volumes if Wall Street is listening.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: ignatz This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 16:17:15 2017

Free returns? Pish!  When you-know-where freezes over.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Tue Nov 21 16:26:27 2017

Also, this program may be a test- if eBay can get enough sellers onboard with this, 60 day forced free returns will be enacted in the future.

I am awaiting one of the cheerleaders to exclaim here why losing money on all the things a buyer sends back is good for their business.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 16:29:04 2017

Sellers are not making any profit on eBay due to slow sales caused by Devin's new eBay shopping experience that sucks big time, you have to make enough sales to absorb free returns and eBay is not the place where you can turn your inventory over.

Hell you are lucky to make enough to simply pay your fees so you are not suspended.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: ebayout This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 17:07:08 2017

Can't wait for someone to go on Shark Tank with an ebay alternative...and 5% FVFs.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: smallstuff This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 17:25:17 2017

I haven't received this offer, but would accept it if offered.  I have had only one return in the last year, so I don't have much to lose with the experiment  Although I don't advertise free returns, I always reimburse the return postage on those rare occasions that something is going to come back.  

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: RL15 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 17:34:27 2017

pathetic

everyday more desperation from fleecebay

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: maxmad This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 17:54:29 2017

Can't even remember what the last offer was last month, but this new one is really  just insulting to sellers, ebay is going to have a seriously bad Christmas,  no way around it.

 

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Nov 21 18:03:22 2017

I've sold 1200+ items so far in 2017

I've had 3 returns and I refunded all 3 buyers their return shipping.

It added up to less then $25

But I like so many others are NOT going to get into this program, at least not right now.

PS: I just opened another eBay store today for the Holidays. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Tue Nov 21 19:30:24 2017

eBay says: "Offer free 30-day returns on your listings and sell up to 17%* more of your items."

What a crazy percentage to use. Who is actually going to say, "I must participate in this promotion to get that 17% increase!"

And free returns no matter the reason seems like a disaster in the making.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

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

Tue Nov 21 19:52:28 2017

Up to 17% also includes the number 0!

As usual, ebafia provides no evidence whatsoever for their claims. I actually got a message from them a few weeks ago telling me that offering 60 day free returns wouldn't increase my returns!

Ming's ebay Law #1:

1. EBAY LIES. ALWAYS HAS. ALWAYS WILL.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 20:05:20 2017

eBay is trying in vain once again to match Amazon and Devin is certainly lying once again when he says eBay does not want to be Amazon II

If Devin worried more about getting traffic into the marketplace versus being worried about customers returning goods eBay would be a better place, but they are more worried about what does not matter instead of what really matters.

We should compile a list of the massive failures of this management team, we can start with Seller Hub, Promoted Listings, Heavy Cross Promotion on Sellers pages of Sponsored listings and third party ads, Guaranteed Delivery...

You see where we are going here?

100% of what this CEO is doing is a flop.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Tue Nov 21 21:38:45 2017

@ESB

Don't use seller hub!

Don't use promoted listings!

Don't use cross promotion!

May I suggest you do the same. . .

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: eBay Shill Buster This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 22:09:59 2017

This is a trap for sellers, once they do the 30 day free returns all that will happen is eBay will engage their automatic returns and your PayPal account will be zapped automatically without recourse.

Selling with no returns is the only way to sell on eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 23:20:01 2017

This offer only appeals to people who get visceral reactions to business and dont use their minds/common sense.

eBay is basically asking you to trade a definate (loss on the returns) for a possible (some kind of increased sales).

1) eBay has a VERY bad reputation for being honest - so you cant believe the hype surrounding the program

2) eBay always lies about its programs - its NEVER a win for the seller - only for eBay and "its buyers"

3) eBay needs to back off the nonsense and the intense hype on returns as every single industry magazine, paper, website and store are going in the opposite direction on returns

4) Only large sellers and makers can afford to be that generous, smaller to mid size sellers that DONT have industry clout to be able to deal with such losses.

Now its true that some industries have more returns (in general) and some have less - but that doesnt change the truth about the facts here.

If eBay REALLY believed that returns were the magic solution to "fix" eBay and make people trust it - then (as others here have said) eBay would invest some money in the program. Let eBay offer to pay for buyer remorse returns (if they are so confident its "no big deal" - but they wont.

Its the same game as Guaranteed Delivery. If its such an important thing - offer upgrade all FCM parcels to Priority for items under 5 pounds (as an example). Cut a deal with USPS for a new service (as Amazon did for Saturday/Sunday deliveries) and PROVE to sellers that they "mean business".

But here all they do is make pie in the sky promises that are really just vaporware.

It doesnt matter what you sell - its how you are treated, and if eBay cant/wont be honest with you - then ignore what they say since by definition its a lie.

Perminate Link for eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns   eBay Promo Rewards Sellers Who Offer Free Returns

by: Paul W This user has validated their user name.

Tue Nov 21 23:44:18 2017

I'm opting in.  6000 sales in the last 12 months, 2 returns.  Very little risk.

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