Ina Steiner EcommerceBytes Blog
News and insight focusing on ecommerce.
by Ina Steiner, Editor of EcommerceBytes.com
Thu Sept 14 2017 20:10:19

eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

By: Ina Steiner

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If you haven't figured it out by now, eBay really wants sellers to offer a generous returns policy, and today it kicked off a promotion giving sellers an incentive to do so. But is it worth it?

The promotion is by invitation only and gives eligible sellers 20% off final value fees for up to 500 fixed-price or auction listings for offering 30-day free returns in certain categories. It's possible eBay is running variations of the promo, as it often does. The invitation we obtained applies to certain subcategories in Clothing and Accessories.

The email comes with the subject line, "Save 20% on final value fees when you offer 30-day returns," and the preheader, "Sell even more fashion items this season! Just offer free returns."

The invitation states that sellers who choose to offer free returns will not only save on final value fees through the promo, but will also sell up to 17% more of their fashion items simply by offering a generous returns policy.

It bases that statistic on the "Conversion lift seen based on Q4 2016 data analyzing sellers who did not offer returns and began offering 30-day returns" and warns, "Individual results may vary. eBay does not guarantee that each seller will experience the same lift or any lift at all."

Note that in order to qualify for the promotion, the seller must offer to pay return shipping "no matter the reason for return, with no restocking fee."

It also notes that by offering free 30-day returns, sellers increase their exposure in search results. 

The promotion kicks off today, September 14, 2017 and ends on Saturday, September 30, 2017. Sellers invited to participate must first activate the promotion before it will apply to their account.

Clothing is a particularly difficult category when it comes to returns, not only due to sizing issues, but with many reports of buyers returning items after having worn them (aka, "rentals"). Let us know what you think!




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Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Thu Sep 14 20:29:42 2017

It is obvious to all sellers that this management team is shooting blanks for the last few years, every idea they come up with is a bad one that has ZERO to do with drawing real traffic into the marketplace.

In other words Devin is wasting time and losing market share quickly, buyers don't want anything that eBay is offering, they are interested in a search engine that enables them to find what they are looking for, not what eBay wants to sell them.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: ZZ This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 14 22:17:50 2017

If you sell men's shirts. sweaters, and jackets you soon come to realize that trying to fit someone to "S,M, L, XL, XXL, XXXL" etc, is incredibly primitive. There is no standard for these labels to adhere to. Even within the same manufacturer, the numbers are not consistant.
Numbers solve the problem. For a mens short sleeve shirt, if you measure the length, the distance between shoulder seams, and the chest (arm pit to arm pit times 2) you can find a shirt that fits without trying it on.

The problem is getting the buyers to know their 3 numbers by measuring a shirt that fits them. The amount of returns for clothes that do not fit is substantial, plus there are returns claiming not as described to get free shipping both ways when it's just a fit problem. Plus there are those who don't bother with the return and simply think buying clothes online is a bad idea when it's actually a great idea.

eBay's solution: Educate the buyers and sellers to size by numbers? Nope. Instead they try to get the sellers into paying shipping both ways for buyers to try on their clothes. True they are paying for some of this with eBay money by reducing fees, so the seller has to do some math and then guess at how many more returns he will get when the buyer knows there is no cost to them for trying stuff on or doing a free borrow.
I don't think I'll be interested in this. I remember for several years I did the 'free shipping' on items I could ship anywhere for the same price (1st class mail for example), because eBay told me how much more I would sell that way.  I quit doing that this year, lowered my prices and let eBay figure shipping for 1st class based on 1 pound per item.  Before, I got plenty of returns for not fit, changed mind, etc, where the buyer paid return shipping but I lost each time on what I paid for shipping to them.

Now when they do that, they don't get refunded for shipping so they pay both ways. Results: My returns have been much less and my sales are better than ever.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: pace306 This user has validated their user name.

Thu Sep 14 23:36:24 2017

Fake news

Real Story, but as usual it's empty since eBay understands nothing about how these things work.

If you sell $1 like Honevile then you can do 900 day returns.

If you have to lay out money yo buy goods or the goods are expensive then eBay's imaginary savings aren't worth it.

Since eBay doesn't know anything about how this all works aka manufacturers DONT want to take things back - it's a stupid promo.

If eBay wants more sales all they have to do is run all listings 24/7/365. If they can't do that then the rest is immaterial.  

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Fri Sep 15 00:41:16 2017

More idiotic programs to stack on top of the lunacy of Sellers Hub and Promoted listings.

Then top executives wonder why sellers hate the entire executive team at eBay.

The Board of Directors needs to boot Devin right out of the HQ building ASAP and clean house at the top of eBay.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Fri Sep 15 01:23:42 2017

I haven't received this promo yet but won't be biting.

In one ebafia communication I received recently, they claim free 60 day returns do not increase returns, Of course they make this claim without offering any evidence whatsoever.

Buyers who abuse sellers by using items as try on or rentals should be held accountable by making them pay return shipping. Those claiming SNAD should be made to prove their claims.

Sellers have also had more than enough of ebafia executive abuse. They have no skin in this game whatsoever.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: angryllama This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 15 04:32:12 2017

3 Little words.        OH    HAIL   NO.           Just how important to these fools think a few percentage points of reduced final value fees could ever be for any SANE seller?

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: FeelingFroggy This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 15 04:56:17 2017

Bayzon is like a heavy loaded train chugging up a hill. Just goes slower and slower until it finally falls backwards, Crash and Burns.

Bayzon CEO's should be looking at their golden parachutes in anticipation of crash and burn..

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

This user has validated their user name. by: The End

Fri Sep 15 06:22:33 2017

Ebay is making itself "radioactive".
Back away.......

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Fri Sep 15 07:41:40 2017

Again... If eBay would just be transparent and stop with all the lies.. The promo should read like this ...

"Save 20% on final value fees when you offer 30-day returns," and the preheader, "Get scammed by fraudulent buyers who can return anything for any reason"... "Buyers will RENT your items while eBay takes your fees and offers no help in the return process"... "All your buyers will fill their cart with color, which they can return after they wear it"

I was breaking it down for most of my clothing sales. I will save 20% on the FVF, but it will cost me 120% after the item is returned used and damaged.  

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

This user has validated their user name. by: blueribbon1844

Fri Sep 15 07:42:13 2017

I haven't received the promo, nor would I opt in to such foolishness. #fireWenig

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

This user has validated their user name. by: Rexford

Fri Sep 15 07:49:53 2017

ZZ, buyers don't read listing descriptions and eBay hides or truncates listing descriptions.  You could measure with an electron microscope and it would not matter.

eBay's playbook should be called A Thousand Ways to Pummel a Seller.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: leathermermaid8 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 15 08:39:16 2017

A company that makes billions can afford to be generous with returns.  Since eBay doesn't own the good being sold, this type of policy should be set by the individual seller.

The problem with returns is compounded by a lack of standardization in the garment industry itself.  That's been the case for years.  All the polyester spandex in the world isn't going to change that.  Poor fit is poor fit.  I'm sure virtual garment try ons are in the offing (yo, Echo...check this thong ...) but in the meantime, I notice a lot of sellers using rulers and measuring tapes in their auctions.  This is good and I appreciate it.

However, someone does need to remind a few that you really should place a ruler or tape measure at one edge of the item and not sit the item in the middle of the measuring device.  As blurry as some of the photos are and with screen resolution variants, you can't discern the numbers on the tape or ruler.  

Even the best things can be mislabeled.  I'm convinced that if a machine operator runs out of a certain label in a clothing factory, they slap in whatever they have to keep production moving..  

Also a good idea for potential buyers to buy and use a tape measure themselves.  Easiest thing in the world to use and has saved me a lot of waiting in line when I do visit a B & M and the dressing room is either filthy or crowded.  

I do hope eBay will at least allow the sellers to opt in, rather than being forced in.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Fri Sep 15 10:15:40 2017

eBay is dead, sellers are not making money right now, the morons come up with ideas like this to bankrupt sellers that they have ruined already with idiotic policy upon idiotic policy.

Instead of growing the marketplace by working with Google to bring in more traffic like Walmart is, these guys come up with more 'return policies'.

Certified morons.........

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: Dburn This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 15 10:28:57 2017

Home Shopping Network offered free returns over 20 years ago. I knew people who were addicted to buying stuff and then returning it. It was probably a symptom of depression.

Just a thought as once again, eBay takes retailing risks in ways that transcends common sense and basic intelligence and flows freely into fraudulent record keeping.

They book the FVFs as the items ship and then are real slow to book the credits. Have a big push towards the end of a quarter . It never works out (see Enron and Lehman Brothers for some spectacular crashes), but it always comes back when the stock market is hot and companies who have been left out of the mania get desperate to boost share prices to increase their personal bonuses.

If we had a real SEC, they would be all over this with a magnifying class especially if executives time their share sales with end of quarter pushes.  

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Fri Sep 15 11:19:25 2017

As Devin loses seller by forcing them into Sellers Hub and his idiotic Promoted listings they are leaving eBay in Droves for Walmart and other marketplaces.

According to eMarketer, Walmart.com is the preferred platform for most vendors looking to expand their online channels. When merchants were asked about the platform they would expand to this year, 29% of the respondents cited Walmart.com, putting it ahead of alternative marketplaces such as eBay (EBAY), Etsy (ETSY), and Walmart’s Jet.com.




Walmart registers 67% US GMV growth

Walmart is also popular with large third-party merchants. For example, eMarketer says 36% of third-party merchants that make more than $2.0 million in annual sales have a presence on both Walmart.com and Amazon.com.

Walmart reported that its US e-commerce GMV (gross merchant volume), which includes marketplace transactions, increased 67% year-over-year in fiscal 2Q18 (June quarter). The chart above offers a glimpse into the performance of Walmart’s US operation.

Marketplace is big business

With the growing shift to online shopping, marketplace operators like Amazon, Walmart, eBay, and Alibaba (BABA) have more than one avenue to generate revenues from their platforms.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri Sep 15 11:20:12 2017

There is no way a sane seller should offer free returns. Especially in the category which has the most buyers who send stuff back.

This further conditions the attitudes of buyers who have no intention of keeping a piece of merchandise. And now they can borrow something with no charge whatsoever. Just find a seller who opts into the program, and you are all set!

And while a seller can measure and detail exact sizes of a garment, a buyer now has zero incentive to check one of their pieces of clothing to ensure it will fit. This is particularly troublesome in the Vintage categories, since fashions of yesteryear are sized much differently.

Honestly, would eBay (if they had a warehouse with fashion items & owned, listed, and shipped the goods themselves) offer this type of guarantee?? Probably NOT.

The future of eCommerce does not dictate that a seller should lose money to stay in business. It is foolish for these companies to believe so.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Fri Sep 15 11:25:02 2017

LOL, sellers are closing eBay stores in record numbers, that is why Devin came out with a GIANT store price slashing promotion a short while back and his webinars on trying to get suckers to open eBay stores.

eBay has a problem, they have no buyers, so getting sellers to open stores on eBay is a lifeline to eBay, sellers will not make a profit selling on eBay unless they get their goods for pennies on the dollar.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 15 13:49:34 2017

Do retailers have restocking fee?  Or did the major retailers kill restocking fees?  I can't keep up with this changing landscape.

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

by: Chicago48 This user has validated their user name.

Fri Sep 15 13:49:57 2017

LOL, sellers are closing eBay stores in record numbers, that is why Devin came out with a GIANT store price slashing promotion a short while back and his webinars on trying to get suckers to open eBay stores.
^^ proof?  source?

Perminate Link for eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo   eBay Encourages Free Returns with New Seller Promo

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

Fri Sep 15 14:25:03 2017

You just proved that you don't read this blog, Ina did a story on eBay running Webinars eBay was running trying to get suckers to open eBay stores.

In addition eBay was running heavy discounts on store contracts in a recent promotion, sorry, but I can't keep you up on everything, you have to do your own research.

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