Managed Returns start, Easy Returns retired.

Managed Returns lgeBay have started to roll out their new Managed Returns Process, at the same time they’ve retired the Easy Returns flow sellers will have become accustomed to.

Sellers will be invited to join the Managed Returns Process over the next few months, so it might be next year until you receive an invitation.

If you’ve not been invited to join yet, or if you decide that the Managed Returns Process is not for you, then buyers will have to send a message through eBay to request returns now that the Easy Returns flow has been retired. One of the big disadvantages of losing the easy returns flow is that you’ll no longer automatically get your final value fees refund.

No automatic final value fees refund leaves the seller to open a cancel transaction request and hope the buyer agrees. That’s a step back to the old days where a buyer with a less than great buying experience gets hassled by the seller to agree to cancel the transaction (even if they are at fault and simply ordered the wrong item). It would appear it’s the only way to get your fees back however, plus it’s a manual process.

The new Managed Returns Process however is pretty hands off for the seller. Once you’ve opted in, so long as the buyer paid with PayPal, they can initiate the returns, print out a return label which is currently with Collect Plus, and you as the seller simply get notified that the item is on it’s way back.

Limitations are a parcel size of 60 x 50 x 50cm and weight no more than 10kg. The process is also restricted to the UK only. Also there’s standard insurance, but it only has coverage of up to £50 so if an expensive item goes missing it’s not clear if it’s the buyer or the seller who’s going to have to foot the bill.

Someone also has to pay for the labels. If the buyer says it’s a simple change of heart, then they’ll pay for the label via their PayPal account. However if they claim that the item is significantly not as described then the seller will be billed for the cost of the return label on their next invoice. eBay tell us that about 55% of return in the US where the process has been running for some time are paid for buy the buyer.

It’s time to decide if you want to use the new Managed Returns Process and if you decide to then opt in when you receive the invitation. If it’s not for you then the Easy Returns Flow is no longer available and you’ll have to deal with all returns requests manually again.