Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu July 27 2017 11:35:51

eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

By: Ina Steiner

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Sellers hate returns, but eBay is placing increasing importance on offering them, and free returns in particular. In a session live-streamed from the eBay Open seller conference on Wednesday evening, executives revealed some changes coming to the marketplace that will impact sellers. 

eBay's Vice President of B2C (Business to Consumer) and Seller Experience Bob Kupbens said:

"We are going to create a filter that allows buyers to look at only those products that have free returns, and only those products that have returns.

"We think that's a great way of delivering on a new kind of buyer expectation. ...

"Our sellers then have an opportunity to get highlighted by offering that kind of advanced and enhanced return policy."

The head of eBay Marketplaces North America Hal Lawton added that eBay's search engine drives on three criteria: Relevance; Value (price, return policy, shipping cost); and Trust (great performance delivering, low defect rates, DRS scores). Lawton also advised sellers to refresh their listings if they aren't moving.

Watch the entire video interview with Hal Lawton and Bob Kupbens from eBay Open on this Facebook page.

You'll notice the executives failed to address what eBay was doing to crack down on buyers who abuse seller return policies, which might be a more effective approach to encouraging sellers to offer returns.




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Readers Comments

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: hopeforthebest This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 11:49:02 2017

I LOVE this idea!

It'll allow me to screen out scammers instantly by not offering 'free returns'.

Anyone who searches by this filter is going to be nothing but trouble.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

This user has validated their user name. by: toolguy

Thu Jul 27 11:54:16 2017

Relevance: No Problem, my items are relevant

Value: I'm usually the cheapest on my products

Trust: Been here for 17 years with very few negatives or neutrals

Free returns? All a customer has to do is claim SNAD and BAM! eBay makes you the seller pay up!

I'm happy that most aircraft mechanics don't work like that.

Fly Boys have Honor!

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 11:56:54 2017

@hopeforthebest

We don't offer returns of any kind except the ones Fleecebay forces us to do. This will just allow us to screen the scammers and troublemakers. Most good buyers don't use the useless filters to purchase something they want. They are more concerned that if there is something wrong that the seller makes it right.

It stands to common sense if sellers are offering free returns that their prices are probably higher or they are the carrot jumpers still trying to get the tid bit Ebay hangs in front of them.

We prefer that those people who are anal about returns that they shop elsewhere as we just don't have the time for their insanity.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu Jul 27 12:09:12 2017

Ina: ''You'll notice the executives failed to address what eBay was doing to crack down on buyers who abuse seller return policies, which might be a more effective approach to encouraging sellers to offer returns''.

Exactly. If they want to administer this free returns policy, there has to be some amount of fairness to the seller, or no one will participate.

But why do they need to be fair? As Pace mentioned in the recent ECB ''rentals'' blog, eBay does not own the merchandise. And if they did, you can bet these policies would not be in place.

When they introduced this free returns program, myself and many others said that someone who strictly purchased because a seller would offer free paid returns is a customer we prefer not to do business with.

And Kupbens is selling this as ''a new kind of buyer expectation''.  Sure it is, as long as their users get a free service that eBay is not paying for. As long as sellers are willing to lose money to fraudulent ''buyers'', it will work. Again, if eBay actually owned the goods in question, we would not be having this conversation.

Personally, I cannot find a good reason to offer free paid returns for my business, so if someone wants to buy my stuff, they can (maybe) find it by searching all listings. Hopefully others share the same sentiment, and this program will be offered by very few sellers. And then go away.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: dander This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 12:41:47 2017

I have to agree with the posters. This will help screen out the renters who buy an item wear it once and trash it and want to return it. If ebay really wants to shove free returns down the sellers throat do what tradsy does, deal with the returns themselves.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 13:47:13 2017

eBay executives will all be replaced soon, the stock is down nearly 4% right now, everyone knows that they have negative growth no matter how many new buyers they claim they have, the shipping fees on each order add to their fraudulent GMV results, without those fees on shipping eBay would have sunk years ago, if only Wall Street knew the real truth, they will never get it from Devin.

They can continue to screw the sellers with search filters, but being the misguided  leaders eBay executives are, the more they screw sellers, who happen to be the biggest buyers on eBay, the less sellers will buy on eBay.

Promoted listings, search filters will be the final nail in the coffin for these clowns that will turn all sellers other than the shills on the eBay forums against the delusional executives running eBay, they remind me of a bunch of kids in a Disney movie, world class they are not and will never be, the Board of Directors needs to boot Devin off the Board and clean house at the top of eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 13:53:30 2017

Slow Suicide for those who DO embrace this wrong-headed idea.   Over and Over I'm struck that the WAY TOO MANY EMPLOYEES that eBay has out in San Jose just whirl up Kookie ideas like this as a way to STAY EMPLOYED of another few months.  A few more paychecks for them and a WORLD OF HURT for the poor misguided sellers who embrace their cock-eyed Brain-F*rts.
No way I'll  ever sign up for this particular Daily Beating.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 13:56:39 2017

Now the clowns want to ruin My eBay and force sellers into a new format of MyeBay, another slap in the face and a disgrace, they want to make MyeBay  so bad that sellers will join Sellers Hub so they can try to convince them all to buy promoted listings in that abomination  of an interface.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: Trying-My-Best This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 14:12:20 2017

Let's take a look at this Advertising Age write up on this Summitt/Live event back in 2010.  Hint it's all about Wenig and Co supporting small sellers ... probably his 10 year plan,  Now compare to what we know has happened,  really think hard what Lawton has done for us too.  Sad to note - absolutely no support, no seller protection, decreased visibility, declining sales for most of us.  

http://adage.com/article/digital/ceo-devin-wenig-ebay-an
ti-amazon/305910/

Mr.
Lawton offering free returns is a joke - it's trumped by MBG fraudulent acceptable claims that buyers use as a  default to - force your hapless sellers to pay both original &  return postage.  It's an eBay freebie already.  

I must ask - what exactly has Lawton done for small sellers on the site?  And hiring a Mr. Bob add-on is not an answer.  

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Thu Jul 27 14:31:39 2017

This seems to be Ebay's answer both "Prime", and to Etsy's recent attempt to nudge (Force) sellers into "included" shipping. I believe this is simply Ebay is forcing sellers to "donate" "Free Shipping", or pay the price in search penalties, which will SURELY be part of a future announcement about this mess.

“VP Seller Experience” said: We think that's a great way of delivering on a new kind of buyer expectation.
(That means: “Sellers, delivering the buyer expectation - Free Shipping").

I don't doubt buyers WOULD use this feature, at least in their initial search. Ebay would probably hide other alternatives as they have with the link to: "+ Follow this search". Further wasting a good portion of the precious time any buyer spends on a site before leaving. (For Amazon)

Vintage and Handmade would also get caught up in this new race to the bottom. Could be the final nail in Vintage & Handmade on Ebay.

Which would leave Ebay to compete with 500 million Amazon skus, & Prime.
Wonder who wins that?

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 14:34:44 2017

Lawton and Bob Kubust both need to be canned along with Devin, the entire top management team needs to be shown the door by an outside CEO, the Board of Directors is lost for allowing this abomination to continue, they must not read the seller forums at all.

Promoted listings on a broken search engine that provides terrible results is not the answer sellers have been waiting for, Devin's sellers hub where AI meets promoted listings is means nothing to sellers who are seeing sales and margins drop in the eBay race to the bottom.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

This user has validated their user name. by: BuildingMyOwnSite

Thu Jul 27 14:39:52 2017

Do these guys EVER think anything through?  This seems to be Ebay's answer, both ''Prime'', and to Etsy's recent attempt to nudge (Force) sellers into ''included'' shipping.  I believe this is simply Ebay is forcing sellers to ''donate'' ''Free Shipping'', or pay the price in search penalties, which will SURELY be part of a future announcement about this mess.  

“VP Seller Experience” said:  We think that's a great way of delivering on a new kind of buyer expectation.
(That means: “Sellers, delivering the buyer expectation  - Free Shipping'').

I don't doubt buyers WOULD use this feature, at least in their initial search.  Ebay would probably hide other alternatives as they have with the link to: ''+ Follow this search''.   Expect to see this affect search for: “Price + Shipping = Lowest”.  There are a lot of ways Ebay can lead (Force) buyers into using it.  Further wasting a good portion of the precious time any buyer spends on a site before leaving. (For Amazon)

Vintage and Handmade would also get caught up in this new race to the bottom.  Could be the final nail in Vintage & Handmade on Ebay.

Which would leave Ebay to compete with 500 million Amazon skus, & Prime.
Wonder who wins that?

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 14:45:56 2017

Devin says eBay does not want to be like Amazon, yet he is trying in vain to compete with Amazon Prime with his guaranteed delivery program and his loony price matching  guarantee, no one is going for it Devin, give up the ghost, you have no buyers, you have no growth, and you will not have any with your kooky ideas.

What's next, you going to try to compete with Amazon same day pick up, next you will have your faithful sellers dropping stuff off, oh I know, these brands you are bringing on will have in store pick up, yeah, order it on eBay and pick it up the same day from our brand resellers, LOL Devin, give up now, eBay is dead in the water.

You don't have a speaker buyers are going to talk into, you can't compete, eBay is not relevant unless you buy traffic from Google.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 17:45:06 2017

But but but .... "HES YOUR PARTNER!"     LMFAO

Hey Kuphead - where the better SELLER experience? Oh wait - I know that one - there ISNT one and there never will be.

eXtinct said it best :) "And Kuphead is selling this as ''a new kind of buyer expectation''.  Sure it is, as long as their users get a free service that eBay is not paying for"

eBay NEVER pays for anything - from stock pictures to listing on Google - eBAy ALWAYS looks for the free way to get things done - wich %99.9 is always making the SELLER pay.

Its funny how "MY PARTNERS" are always NOT looking out for me, how they continue to put roadblocks in my way, how they try to hide my listings when I dont agree with their latest stupidity - "with friends like this who needs enemies?!"

"Without you theres no us" ... was he doing that Joe Pescie looking in the mirror thing when he thought of that? or was it on the inside of the $1 store card he got for his wife?

more stupidity from the dumbest people in ecommerce.

KUPHEAD - just SHUT UP and show my listings!

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 17:53:07 2017

They can't show your listings, they can only show the listings of sellers who offer 6 month free returns, guaranteed delivery in 2 days, those that pay for promoted listings.

What this means in the real world is that sellers close their eBay stores and start their own Shopify Store and dump eBay ASAP.

The dunces do not realize that eBay sellers are also their biggest customers, so when they cut us they will see their numbers drop as more and more sellers go on an eBay buying strike, sellers have long memories, and if the board does not clean house at the top of eBay the fees are going to dry up fast.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 17:55:02 2017

I would LOVE to see an eBay 2 day NO BUYING strike ....... !

In fact ATM I use eBay as a catalog, then contact the vendor on their own website and buy it there - I wont give those rat b@st@rds a dime more then I need to !

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: comments This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 17:58:22 2017

I have offered free return shipping since before it was an "option". It has always been good policy and it is almost always received as a very good gesture by the buyer.

If your items are not ultra expensive to ship free returns are a VERY good idea.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 18:00:13 2017

As sales decrease due to inept executive decisions sellers will close their stores and they will not buy on eBay, I can tell you that I buy very little in comparison to what I have purchased in the past, eBay executives are too dense to figure out that when they treat sellers poorly they are losing customers in more ways than one, not only will they close their stores on eBay down, they will quit buying on eBay and the downward cycle will be multiplied as time goes on.

What goes around comes around, like Devin says, it may be painful as we make these changes in the marketplace, well it is going to be painful for him when he sees millions of sellers put the pain back on him for costing them their businesses.

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

by: Snapped This user has validated their user name.

Thu Jul 27 18:00:30 2017

So...this is eBay's idea of being technologically 'innovative?  Adding yet ANOTHER filter to a broken and rigged search process?  

No need to repeat the absurdities already noted here, however there is a mutual exclusivity that seems somewhat counterproductive about this latest eBay 'buyer enhancement', to wit:

If seller 'trust' METRICS (already infected by subjective, unvalidated FB and DSR 'opinion' treated as if objective fact) include consideration for 'defective' sales, and a returned sale is graded as a defective sale by default, it seems to me that offering one 'free' will enhance only one thing - the amount of defects a given seller will be blamed for, thus serving to lower their 'standing' in potential search returns.  And the number of 'top' rated sellers as a 'bonus'.

And lo, whaddya know? It's an eBay fradulent GMV inflation perpetual motion machine - with an increase in fees not rebated.

Break out the cigars and brandy.  Happy Holidays!  And, uh, many happy returns.....

Perminate Link for eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter   eBay to Highlight Free Returns with New Search Filter

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

Thu Jul 27 18:05:21 2017

No returns, no guaranteed delivery, no purchase of promoted listings, eBay does not make a dime if they do not produce sales.

No store, no pay for listings, no nothing to eBay unless they produce sales, that is the only way sellers should use eBay, they are trying to brainwash sellers into paying them for absolutely nothing and sellers have to wake up and face reality, eBay is not producing, they should not get paid for non-production.

Wake up sellers, don't pay eBay a dime if they don't make you a dollar.

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