Mandatory Managed Returns coming soon to eBay UK

Last year, eBay announced a new flow called Managed Returns that tracked and formalised the Returns Process. We wrote about it last summer, when it was revealed as part of the seller release.

According to a new announcement from eBay UK, Managed Returns will become mandatory for certain categories of sellers from later in the year. Here’s the exact text:

“We’ve made further changes to the Returns section of the User Agreement and eBay Money Back Guarantee policy to explain that later in 2014 we will be requiring certain categories of sellers to use the eBay returns process to manage their returns on eBay, and where we will protect buyers if sellers fail to fulfil their specified returns policy during the managed returns process.”

So, here’s what we don’t know:

– Who it will affect? Will it be based on seller behaviour or seller type?
– Could it be applied rather in certain selling categories across the board?
– When will it come into effect exactly? For instance, other changes will be applied from 17th Feb. Will that be the case for Managed Returns?
– Could this be a pre-cursor to Managed Returns being applied universally to all sales?

In short, this could be a headache for sellers and the numerous question marks are cause for concern.

We’ve asked eBay for more details and await their response.

Updated at 17:53 GMT on 15th January 2014:

We received this comment from eBay just now – “We plan to introduce Managed Returns for some sellers later this year, and this will be announced in our next Seller Release in March. Sellers will receive a minimum notice period of at least 60 days before the change is introduced.”