|Mon Mar 24 2014 14:52:55|
eBay's New Return Policy Not Compatible with Fashion Items
Re: eBay's extended returns for expensive, seasonal or valuable items and USPS tracking per Griff
I find it ironic that eBay is implementing this new return policy on almost all categories. Ruelala, an eBay company, had this extended return policy in place in 2013 and I had purchased gifts from them that I returned. It took them longer than usual to process the returns and the reps were very rattled.
However as a result they also have more "final sale" items now than ever before on jewelry items, shoes, and clothing when they do not sell in the first offering round and repackage under "shop by color" etc. They claim it is because they are reduced price, but all items are supposed to be reduced on Ruelala.
They never have the gram weight on fine or extremely high end jewelry from eBay seller Lindas***Stuff so it is hard to tell unless a specific designer name is used. Gilt has always had a no return policy on jewelry and use these disclaimers: "Natural imperfections or flaws are intentional and are a desirable aspect of this product" on most of their fine jewelry items.
They use the term "final sale and not returnable" on Hautelook, Ruelala, Gilt and BlueNile among others. They are also promoting Ruelala on eBay. I imagine it is the left over merchandise that cannot be sold on Ruelala and then it will end up part of the email they send to sellers as "great inventory for you to source" that they were sending out for a while.
So basically when it's their nickel they use "final sale" on items that know are high risk for return or items that are season related. We do not have that option.
Griff said in eBay Radio that we do not have to make all our items extended returns and then we do not get the discount. However, there must be a percentage requirement to remain top rated which was not mentioned. I listened to the recording of the show only so could not ask about this.
Another problem with fashion related items is that items purchased November 1, for example, returned on January 31, will lose their value since they may go out of style or won't be as popular later on due to changing seasons and will end up on the clearance racks of outlets and retail stores. For inexpensive items this return policy may work out. If it works so well with expensive items, why does Ruelala carry more and more inexpensive jewelry and clothing items and have more final sale items now?
I also heard Griff discuss how we should "just try it" on the new return policy and opt in, and told a seller of rare vintage books to "try it and see what happens" on eBay Q&A radio.
Now a lot of damage can happen with a rare book, but this did not register with Griff at all. Also on that same show someone called about defects relating to USPS tracking inaccuracies on estimates and that is not really tracking he said how that had all changed now. They actually always track delivery confirmation and signature per Griff. Yes theoretically they do, he is correct but not always in practice.
He also said that in shipping 700 items first class and priority last year he has only had one problem with USPS and he called the eBay customer on the phone and that solved the PR problem, the customer understood completely. He said" just pick up the phone, call them and check your tracking before you check your feedback."
Yes many of us do that. Sometimes the number does not work or is left off for some reason. I guess he is luckier than most sellers in 1 out 700!
Calling generally works well, once in a while calling gets us in trouble when the item was a surprise for someone in the household etc or they did not want someone to know they were shopping. I guess his customers are different though with one problem with USPS a year, I can see that it could work out fine since usually the calls are appreciated.
The more problems we have with USPS, the higher the probability that we will have "defects", which Giff said was a retail term.
Some customers expect the perfect experience and will not be happy unless everything is perfect even if it is weather, USPS or out of the seller's control. In this segment on March 13, they did not admit there were any significant problems with USPS with Griff as spokesperson, although eBay CSRs do say they hear it all the time and so does PayPal.
Anonymous veteran top rated seller