eBay UK Seller Release: Extended Christmas returns 2014

This year sellers will be able to extend their Returns window until 31st January for items bought in November and December, should they choose.

Starting in September, sellers can start amending their listings so items bought between November 1st and December 31st can be returned by buyers up to the end of January. As eBay note: “This can help make their business more competitive around Christmas and encourages buyers to shop.”

For sellers using the eBay Premium Service, they will have to offer this extended returns window from November to continue receiving the benefits on those listings. It will be a mandatory condition.

And getting on and doing this isn’t going to be so easy. Sellers will have to add the extended returns on a listing level, not at an account level, using a bulk listing tool or amending listings.

eBay are keen to note the benefits of offering an extended returns period over Christmas:

• It encourages customers to buy from a seller with the confidence their items can be returned after Christmas.
• It provides extra visibility for listings through our marketing activities.
• It makes the business more competitive as most UK retailers offer an extended returns window around Christmas so buyers know that gifts bought from November can be returned until the end of January.

Point two makes us wonder whether there might be a Best Match bonus. But we can’t confirm that.

But it’s a classic eBay fudge. Even if sellers want to offer it, the means to do so are less than convenient (why not let a seller automatically offer it across the board if they wish?)

And it’s a bind for those sellers who want to offer that Premium Service too.

What do you reckon?