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Wed May 16 2018 20:55:55

eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

By: Reader

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Dear Ina,
I was reviewing (again) the returns policy going into effect on June 1 and I came across this statement that says:

You will be required to offer 14-day free returns in Products in Collectibles & Art categories to be eligible to receive Top Rated Plus benefits.

Here is the link.

I only sell collectibles and have been offering 30 day returns for at least a year and have no returns. I have to do 2 refunds due to breakage, and was refunded by the post office as these were lost packages.

But back to this 14 day return policy. Did everyone (like me) assume we had to do 30 day vs 14 day return policy?
Thanks, 
L.

Comments (15) | Leave Comment | Permalink
Readers Comments

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This user has validated their user name. by: iheartjacksparrow

Wed May 16 22:42:09 2018

@L. (OP) - On the EcommerceBytes Blog, the article about new return policies taking effect, it states:

"Categories that will continue have the option to offer 14-day returns include Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo and Medical, Mobility & Disability Equipment."

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Wed May 16 23:42:19 2018

Leave it to Wenig’s Wankers to somehow manage to overcomplicate the returns policy they are attempting to 'simplify'.

Don't they have anyone in their massive marketing staff that could throw these things into a summary chart or table so sellers can see at a glance?

Anyways, exception categories that will continue have the _option_ to offer 14-day returns:
1) Collectibles & Art
2) Cameras & Photo and Medical
3) Mobility & Disability Equipment

For whatever reason, eBay has decided categories 2 & 3 above aren’t eligible for Top Rated Plus benefits if they have 14-day returns. The sole exception is your category of collectibles & art.

"L", although they didn't explicitly state it, assume this 14-day return is a MINIMUM, not the sole, explicit value necessary for listing-level TRP (eg. you will of course be fine if you keep things at your current 30-day option):

Category that may offer 14-day returns and still receive TRP benefits:
1) Collectibles & Art

____________________

Don't forget they are also going to remove the "additional return policy details" field that some sellers write a useless wall of 15 paragraphs of text with all their crazy return requirements that have never mattered in the first place.  

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu May 17 00:15:55 2018

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE???

These categories have a 14-day FREE RETURNS policy to retain TRS+ (Plus) status.

Whether 14 or 30 days, most sellers will never offer free shipping both ways in any of these so-called ''exception'' categories. Especially Collectibles and Art, in my opinion.

I just cannot see mailing a large painting or sculpture (which I have done more than a few times) and paying shipping both ways if a buyer is not happy for any reason.

If one offers high-quality collectible merchandise, listed accurately, and the buyer takes the time to read and comprehend the item description, there should never be any returns except in the case of buyer's remorse.

And paying shipping both ways on a large piece would be a KILLER just because a buyer decides to change their mind about a purchase.

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu May 17 01:53:16 2018

I relisted ~20 items today and the site still allowed me to offer 14-day listings. Grateful.

I called eBay custserv last month and asked if I could offer 7-day returns within my listing even though I select no returns as my return option. They had no issue with that workaround.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: Marie

Thu May 17 02:35:56 2018

@LasVagueness

You have no way to enforce that.  ALL sellers are subject to the MGB.  The return policy of a seller MUST meet or exceed the MGB.

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by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 17 08:26:04 2018

@ eXtinctBay, I see your point of not offering shipping both ways. I hardly ever offer free shipping unless it is a smaller item and I can comfortably build shipping into the price. In the past, I did offer huge items on ebay but have opted to sell those items elsewhere. So far we have not been forced to do free shipping on ebay at point of sale.

We can all see how Amazon clients are taking the latest rate hike for Prime! Several of my family members are not renewing their plan. I think they are going to join forces and use one account and share the cost.

As for the additional returns field, well thank goodness its going away!

@ LasVagueness so you will be listing with no returns but stating in your description you will offer a 7 day? I still think ebay will reduce your visibility because you select the no returns. They may slam you for being contradictory.

I have been selling on a couple other sites and actually they have been out performing ebay over the last 3 months. I reduced my store to 7.95/100 and am OK with this until ebay decides that the small stores should have reduced visibility as well as no returns sellers.

And back to the new policy, I am a TRS which I hope to continue to be but am not going to allow stress over this to make my selling experiences miserable.

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

by: uppercutknives This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 17 09:56:37 2018

I immediately moved all listings to "no returns" and have begun closing shop after 21 years on ebay. This website is no longer a viable selling venue. DONE!
I am closing out my last stock on one item and then im GONE !  eBAY succeeded in chasing away another long time good seller.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: RKTOYS

Thu May 17 11:36:12 2018

Visibility isn't really a stick that they can beat me with anymore.  Soon as the banking invasion starts, that's it for me.  I never got to have that much of a business to lose.

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

by: lalaland This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 17 12:15:36 2018

I keep waiting for eBafia to announce that they will be putting a gag, handcuffs and a chastity belt on all sellers.  Everything else is decided for us.

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: LasVagueness

Thu May 17 14:24:52 2018

True, my visibility will take a hit for transitioning to no returns but for those who do find my listings, I am offered a 7-day return policy that is above and beyond the minimum I selected to comply with eBay's arbitrary one-size-fits-all return options.  

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This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Thu May 17 14:41:39 2018

Another new eBay procedure not yet mentioned on ECB is the fact that restocking fees have come to an end. So, even if a seller does not offer free returns, they will have to eat the outbound shipping costs when a buyer changes their mind.

On Amazon, for instance, a seller can deduct a 50% restock fee on an opened piece of new merchandise, and 20% on pre-owned items which have been returned. And so-called SNAD returns do not have mandatory forced return shipping charged to the seller.

Of course, the difference is that Amazon has equity in their merchandise and those who sell / fulfill orders on the site (at least most of the time).

If eBay treated those who do all the work and make money for them as true partners, they wouldn't be in the huge mess they are in.  

And their profits would be more on par with others in the eCommerce arena. But with the constant rule changes which take more money from the pockets of their sellers, they will still flounder at single-digit percentage growth (if that).

 

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by: Linda This user has validated their user name.

Thu May 17 19:37:51 2018

@ Xtinctbay
But yet there is this: SELLER PROTECTION What You Need To Know  (this right here makes me wonder what they are NOT telling me!)

"When you offer free returns you'll be able to offer a partial refund if a returned item has been used or damaged, and eBay will protect you. (????)

Link is here:  
https://pages.ebay.com/seller-center/seller-updates/2018-spr
ing/seller-protection.html#m22_tb_a1__2

I
am by no means a fan of eBay, I used to be but no longer. I have been on board with them since 1999 and then started as a seller in 2002 . I now find them a necessary evil.

I'll play until I get stung - then I'll quit!

L~

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Fri May 18 09:38:45 2018

Linda, it appears at least part of what they're not telling you is that per info on the returns page, the seller protection/partial refund appears to be significantly restricted to just a few categories.  

Why aren't these used/damaged partial refund category restrictions also mentioned on the “Seller Protection” page? It should be right there under the first FAQ, "A buyer uses or damages an item and returns it.

Starting June 1, 2018, if you offered free returns and an item is returned damaged or missing parts, you can issue a partial refund and we will protect you from any buyer claims and remove any negative or neutral feedback."

Here's the wording on the 'Returns" page of the spring update:

"Sellers will also be able to issue a partial refund for all returns where the item is returned used or damaged in select categories, including Business & Industrial, Parts & Accessories, Collectibles & Art, Cameras & Photo, Medical, Mobility & Disability Equipment, Home Improvement, Furniture, Musical Instruments & Gear, and Yard, Garden & Outdoor."

Of course there is the very real possibility that this was an oversight or the person writing this (or the other) copy had old or incorrect information.  

There’s also the possibility that eBay is confused and they’ll just make more stuff up as they go along. Maybe the Weinig AI wrote this stuff?

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: FidoMaster

Fri May 18 09:53:02 2018

So re-reading these updates it looks like the operative word is ''Free''.  If you offer free returns, it appears you can then offer partial used/damaged across all categories, if you don't offer free returns, you're restricted to those few categories...

This is going to cause a lot of pain to sellers selling new electronics, games, garments, or anything not in those categories, who don't offer free returns when customers use the item and there's no partial refund resolution path (or as extinct reminds, restocking fee).

It appears those sellers will be expected to refund the full amount in full for a used/damaged return. ....And when they call in to CS they'll be told if they want to avoid that pain next time, simply offer free returns so they can offer partial refunds.

That sucks.

Perminate Link for eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns   eBay Gives Some Sellers a Break on Returns

This user has validated their user name. by: eXtinctBay

Fri May 18 20:42:57 2018

@Linda

AGAIN, one must offer FREE RETURNS to receive these benefits (like the ability to deduct some of the refund).

Which retail businesses give no-questions-asked free returns for 30 days? I can count them on two fingers:
(1) Nordstrom
(2) Zappos

These two companies charge top dollar for their merchandise, and require THE ITEM BE COMPLETE WITH TAGS, AND RETURNED IN RESELLABLE CONDITION to get your money back.

But not here. And now, if you do not offer free returns, a buyer can send back a box of rocks, and you as a seller will have less rights than ever. When eBay states this is a ''retail returns standard and a buyer expectation'', my stomach churns and the vomit comes up my throat.

Maybe the suits who thought this program up imagined that Amazon would respond with their own 30 day (or longer) free returns program. Since they are one of the two largest retailers on Earth, and since this is a so-called ''retail returns standard'', shouldn't they also have this policy??

All this stirred up at the Amazon corporate table was probably belly laughs. They know that it is not profitable for their business to ship items for free both ways when a customer simply changes their mind about a purchase.

If eBay thinks that a majority of sellers will be on board with this program, they are wrong. Only way it MAY work is if they bring back the 20% TRS+ discount. Who knows- maybe they will have to offer this when they discover the lack of participation. A mere 10% off FVF is not enough incentive here.

Honestly, (I will state this ONCE AGAIN), if they owned and shipped any of the merchandise sold on their site, this would never happen. Easy to be generous with someone else's money!!



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