eBay Expands Controversial Returns Program to UK
By Ina Steiner
eBay is introducing its Managed Returns program to the UK. In a recent announcement as part of the fall seller release, the company said it would introduce a new managed returns process in the UK.returns centre at the end of September.
"It's an easy new way to manage your returns right from My eBay, improving the returns experience for both buyers and sellers. We've rolled this out in the US with success - sellers have reported increases in sales conversion, lower operational costs and improved feedback ratings."
However, not everyone is enamored of the program since buyers can return products for any reason and without contacting the seller first. And recently, sellers expressed concern that they're being forced into the optional program in what appears may be a series of glitches.
On eBay, it's up to individual sellers to set their own policies, though the marketplace has certain requirements to those who do offer returns.
eBay told its UK sellers that among the "wealth of benefits" for sellers using managed returns were a sales increase of 9 percent, and a possible reduction in customer service costs, "as there will be less communication with buyers on returns."
In addition, satisfied buyers could help sellers receive better feedback ratings (sellers are also protected against abusive buyer behavior), and eBay gives an automatic credit for final value fees, and there are no relisting fees when sellers use the new managed returns process.
eBay has run a few promotions to encourage U.S. sellers to opt in to the program, offering at one point a 5% discount on Final Value Fees or free return shipping on eligible sales.
Restrictions apply, and more information is available on the eBay UK returns center portal.
About the author:
Ina Steiner is co-founder and Editor of EcommerceBytes and has been reporting on ecommerce since 1999. She's a widely cited authority on marketplace selling and is author of "Turn eBay Data Into Dollars" (McGraw-Hill 2006). Her blog was featured in the book, "Blogging Heroes" (Wiley 2008). Follow her on Twitter at @ecommercebytes and send news tips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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